African-American Studies

Zombie Culture: From African Legend to Modern Movies

In the 1960s, the movie “Night of the Living Dead” introduced a new kind of monster in horror movies: the zombie (Kay, 2008). Over the last several decades, movies and television shows featuring zombies have become more and more popular. The zombies that are depicted in most modern horror movies and shows are dead bodies that somehow have come back to life, usually from some sort of contagious virus or an environmental catastrophe (Kay). These zombies do not speak or even think; the only thing they care about is eating living things –usually human beings. In most zombie movies and shows, the bite from a zombie will turn the victim into a zombie as well, thereby spreading the zombie plague (Kay). These zombies may only exist in the movies, but the idea of the dead coming back to life as zombies has actually existed for centuries, and is rooted in the religious histories of Africa and Haiti.

            The earliest stories and traditions about zombies originated in parts of Africa, where some people believed that witch doctors had the power to bring the dead back to life (Davis, 1988). Some researchers believe that these witch doctors may have used various plants and herbs to create potions and poisons that could temporarily simulate death in those who took them. Other researchers have theorized that witch doctors and shaman used psychoactive chemicals derived from various botanical sources to induce trancelike states in people. When under the influence of these psychoactive drugs, it has been claimed, the victims would be very open to suggestion, in much the same way as someone who was in a hypnotic trance. The witch doctors would supposedly control the spirits of their victims, and would offer to bring them back to life or to release their spirits from captivity in the victims or their families paid for their release from the witch doctor’s control.

            The word “zombie” is believed to have come from the word Nigerian word “nzambi,” which can mean “god” or “spirit” (Davis). The religious practice of the witch doctors that created zombies was known as Vodun (rhymes with low-dun) (Davis). During the centuries where African slaves were shipped to the West by the thousands, many of the religious traditions of their homelands were brought over as well. The descendants of African slaves who lived in Haiti kept the many of their ancestor’s traditions alive, and the practice of Vodun in Africa gave birth to the Vodu (rhymes with low-doo) traditions that still exist today in Haiti (Davis).

            Vodu, which is still sometime referred to as Vodun, is a religious practice involving shamans who use drums and psychoactive drugs to enter into trance states. During these trance states the shaman can commune with the spirit world and bring back messages to the living. Some people believe that these shaman, like the shaman and witch doctors in Africa, have the power to bring the dead back to life, and to enslave these zombies until they decide to return them to the grave (Brown, 2010).

            Researchers who have studied Vodu and Vodun in Haiti believe that the zombie legends there are similar to the zombie legends from African history. Vodu shaman may use psychoactive plants or trance-inducing poisons to send victims into a state of partial paralysis and suggestibility. The strong influence of the cultural beliefs associated with Vodu may help to reinforce the state of suggestibility, meaning that the poisoned or drugged victims may actually believe that they are dead, and willingly follow the orders they are given by the shaman (Davis). Some researchers have doubts, however, about how long a shaman could actually induce such a state in a victim (Davis). The zombie legends of Haiti describe shaman who have raised people from the dead and kept them in a zombie-like state for years, though most experts believe that this is impossible, or at least very unlikely. What is more likely is that some shaman have induced trance states in victims for a matter of hours or even days, and the legends and stories told about these supposed zombies have been exaggerated over time.

The television shows and movies that depict zombies as the victims of some sort of pandemic or other disaster may not be exactly like the zombies of Haitian Vodu, but it is clear that stories of the dead coming back to life capture the imagination of people from all different cultures and backgrounds. In an age where the threats of nuclear attacks, biological warfare, and terrorism are a reality of life, the idea of a “zombie apocalypse” reflects our deepest fears about a world gone mad (Kay). Just like zombies themselves, the legend of zombies looks like it will be very hard to kill.


Brown, N. R. (2010). The complete idiot’s guide to zombies. New York, NY: Penguin.

Davis, W. (1988). Passage of darkness: The ethnobiology of the Haitian zombie. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press. Kay, G. (2008). Zombie movies: The ultimate guide. Chicago, Ill: Chicago Review Press



Congratulations class of 2013, it has been a long and bumpy four years for many of us, but we made it! Now is the time for us to set out on our own paths in the real world- the future is in our hands. As we leave for college, enter the workforce or begin whatever journey our future holds for us, let us remember all of the lessons we have learned during our time here- not only from our teachers, but from each other as well.


Airport Full-Body Scanners

Full-body scanner has emerged as one of the most controversial debate topics in recent years because the issue pits two fundamental constitutional rights, the right to privacy and the right to security, against each other. The supporters and the opponents of the full-body-scanner disagree upon the degree of compromise that should be allowed in these two individual rights. The supporters argue that the right to security takes preference over the right to privacy, especially in the light of events that have taken place since 9/11, and no security measures should be spared when hundreds of lives are at stake. The opponents argue that full-body scanners go too far and similar objectives could be met through less-intrusive measures and devices. The opponents further argue that these violations of constitutional rights granted under the Fourth Amendment (Fuller, 2010) only advance the terrorists’ agenda who want to create an atmosphere of paranoia in America. A critical analysis of the arguments relevant to the issue confirms that the benefits of full-body scanner outweigh the costs.

Public Relations

Communication Speech

Good morning my friends. First of all, I would like to thank everyone for taking the time to be here. I have been asked to talk about an issue I am passionate about and I eventually decided to talk about the importance of communication. I have had the opportunity to visit some countries, have talked to those who are in the real world, and have even met people from other cultures and all of these experiences have made me realize that we often underestimate the importance of improving our communication skills. This is why my goal today is to persuade you to spend more efforts and time on improving your communication skills because it will help you both in personal and professional lives.


Roast to Sarah Palin

Just when we thought the average IQ of politicians could not go lower, God blessed America with Sarah Palin. Sarah Palin had an unrivaled foreign policy experience because she could see Russia from Alaska and maybe the huge fences prevented her from learning about Mexico. Palin opposes Planned Parenthood because she likes surprises and Bristol did give her one. Planning makes everything boring in Palin’s views.


Organ Donation


Topic: Organ Donation

Research Sources: Siegel, J. & Alvaro, E. (2009) Understanding Organ Donation: Applied Behavioral Science Perspectives, United States, John Wiley & Sons, 2009.

Childress, J. & Liverman, C. (2006) Organ Donation: Opportunities for Action, National United States, Academies Press, 2006.

Egendorf, L. (2009) Organ Donation, California, Greenhaven Press, 2009.

General Purpose: To persuade

Specific purpose: To persuade the audience to donate the organ when they are requested to do so.


  1. Attention Getter: The speaker will persuade the audience to understand and participate in the donation as he himself is also donating the organs.
  2. Audience connection: The speaker used the United States as an example for the audiences to understand the aspect of organ donation.

Thesis statement: From the speech, the audiences are persuaded to save the lives of others after they have died.


Transition: After introducing the topic, it is important to give some examples to the audiences when trying to persuade them about organ donation after dying.

  1. The audiences are given examples of the situations in the United States and the need of the organs for them to continue living.

Transition: After the audiences have received the situation and the state people who are in need are undergoing they are given the steps to follow.

  1. The audiences are introduced on how they can approach the doctor and so the doctor explains to the audience what to do and before and after donation.

Transition: The speaker should be in a position to donate the organs.

  1. This will stimulate the audiences to donate the organs as the speaker himself donates the organs.


After the speech, the audiences will have understood that it is very important to donate the organs to orders after one has died. Besides, they will know that it is easy an easy procedure of filling the form and signing it to demonstrate the acceptance of donations.



In everyday life, many people die because they are in need of various organ transplants. They end up losing their lives because they donate get volunteers to donate required organs to them (Childress & Liverman, 2006, p. 190). There has been a problem about organ transplants because many people need some money so that they donate the organs. For example, in United States, about 79000 patients are in need of organ transplants and they are waiting to be served with the organs with the organs by the volunteers. Every day, 16-17 people die while they are waiting for organ transplants. We can save their lives if we decide to donate the organs such that we can continue living together in harmony (Egendorf, 2009, p. 88).

We can save the patients and the only thing we need to do is to get in touch with the doctor who will explain the important things we need to do. The first thing is to feel a form of accepting to donate organs and get a card; it is just that simple. The form will be kept and when you die in many years to come your organs will be removed to save the lives of other patients by giving them more chances to live. When the organ transplant was introduced in the United States, the rate of survival was increased from 20% to 80%. This is a massive increase, which would have been impossible without the organ donations.

Some people have many worries that they might be left open after the surgery for the organ. This is not true because surgery will be done not because you are death but the same procedures used in the most common surgery will be followed (Siegel & Alvaro, 2009, p. 134). The gift of life is very important and anyone can donate. The way I saw things and what made me to decide to donate my organs is that after I die my organs will be of no use to me anymore but it can help others to continue living. There is no reason why I should deprive someone from using the organs.



Siegel, J. & Alvaro, E. (2009) Understanding Organ Donation: Applied Behavioral Science Perspectives, United States, John Wiley & Sons, 2009.

Childress, J. & Liverman, C. (2006) Organ Donation: Opportunities for Action, National United States, Academies Press, 2006.

Egendorf, L. (2009) Organ Donation, California, Greenhaven Press, 2


Charles Darwin

Topic:  Charles Darwin

Research sources:  Bowler P. J. Charles. (1996). Darwin: The Man and His Influence. Cambridge University Press

Darwin C. (2010). The Autobiography of Charles Darwin. Bibliolis Books

Holder C F. (2004). Charles Darwin: His Life and Work. Kessinger Publishing.

General purpose:         To inform.

Specific purpose:          To inform the audience on the life and contribution of Charles Darwin       in the field of science

Thesis statement:       From the theory of natural selection Charles Darwin remains one of the   most influential figures in history.

Communications and Media

Rhetorical analysis of President Obama’s speech at Sandy Hook School.


President Obama in his speech with regard to the tragedy that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School at Newtown Connecticut tried to lift the spirits and hearts of those who lost their dear ones. With his remarks and solace he tried to provide a brief relief to the families and people of Newtown. He stood with the families of victims and people of Newtown by stating that “You are not alone in your grief”. He challenged the audience to gather as one nation for ensuring the safety of each child. For achieving his purpose through out the speech the President used various rhetorical devices like word diction, images, humor, repetition, logos, pathos and egos. This paper analyses the speech of the President Obama on the basis of Lloyd Bitzer’s rhetorical situation.


Why Concealed Carry Laws Work


This paper explores how concealed carry laws work in U.S.A. It shows how it is important to carry firearms for self defense in public in relation to how such permission may increase crimes. This concealed carry law allows people to carry a handgun in public either before acquiring a permit or even after acquiring a permit from the local government of U.S. The carriage law works under various permits such as Concealed Handgun License, Concealed Carry Weapons, Carry of Concealed Deadly Weapon License and others have given citizens the privileges of carrying firearms in the public (Ayres & Donohue, 2003).

IT Management

Components of an Information Security Framework

Description: The below graph is designed to explain the importance of different aspects of information security and their place in the information security framework. It includes the main aspects and components of security frameworks, as described by Patil: (2008) people, technology and process. It highlights the necessary steps of information security in an organization to provide a visualization of data transferred and processed by IT systems.

Support: The below visual aid is designed to help those involved in information security understand the flow of information, the different processes of securing, encoding and retrieving data within information systems. It is also useful for those who would like to know how data can be filtered in order to avoid information overload and the different stages of filtering. The flowchart model was selected in order to help the audience understand which processes are involved in transforming people’s input into readable, safe and analyzable data.



            Visual Aid Script

  1. Input/People

Input is made by employees, third party and the system itself. They can be diverse based on data quality, level of procession and data type.

  1. Technology

Technology needs to be in place to pre-filter and select categories, sub-categories automatically. The technology should be designed to reduce the use of system resources and prepare data for processing. System storage is a tool that is able to securely store information before processing. While this is not necessary, it can be a useful feature. Companies need to make an informed decision considering the use of storage, resources and the regulations regarding backing up data. Post filtering and encoding is a successful method to eliminate security risks, prevent unauthorized use of data and protect customers’ details. Encoding is the oldest and most successful method of protecting written information. Pre-filtering allows users to select which type of information they would like to see and in which form.


  1. Process

Processing data is important for selecting visualization methods. The methods can be determined by the graphics engine, which sets the visualization based on user preferences from the encoded data. Logging and reporting is a feature of the process that allows users to share information safely and select which part of the information would be shared. The creation of graphs and reports is a good way of monitoring network security. The IDS Rainstorm is a tool that is built into data processing systems allowing administrators to identify and eliminate risk factors in the information system. Glossing is another tool that is designed to create alarm glyphs whenever a security risk is identified based on sender, data type, security certificates and source of data. Filtering is an additional tool that can be user-defined, to determine default views, the details to be processed and displayed.



            Following the above simple and detailed information security framework has various benefits. First, it prevents information overload within organizations and internet systems. This results in a reduced use of resources; both technological and human. Time spent to filter the information can be reduced, and this can have a positive impact on the speed of processing, answering e-mails, queries and processing data sent through servers. Secondly, it is providing advanced filters that constantly measure risks associated with information transfer through servers.


Audience Questions

  1. How to achieve balance among organization, people, process and technology taking into consideration the risks involved in using information security systems?

A: There is a need for advanced organizational support from the management. It is important to employ people with high competency in secure data processing and information technology. Creating and communicating a security strategy and providing adequate training for employees is essential, while enabling people to participate in the design and implementation process is also important. Eliminating technological, organizational and human risk is a complex design to achieve a higher level of information security, prevent information overload and allow safe interaction within the company.


  1. What is an ideal information security culture like in an organization?

A: An information security culture needs to be intentional instead of functional, according to a recent ISACA report. (2009. p. 21.) Technologies need to be based on continuous risk assessment and process improvement. Security needs to be implemented into every project from the beginning. I.e. when introducing a new system for interacting with customers online through the website, the design needs to include security measurements. Creating awareness and gaining commitment regarding security is also important on an organizational level. Potential risks need to be communicated regularly.


  1. Which are the best security frameworks approved by government to implement in an organization?

A: There are different frameworks approved by the government, offering the same measures as seen in the visual aid. One of the most common systems is ISO/IEC 27001 & 27002 (formerly ISO 17799) used by organizations to get security certificates for their information technology, protect their data and customer information. Another framework is the Federal Enterprise Architecture Framework (FEAF). An organization needs to decide based on the level of security the system provides, industry requirements and internal policies which applies to their business most to make an informed decision. (Security architecture, 2009, 5)


Abdullah, K., Lee, C. P., Conti, G., Copeland, J. A., and Stasko, J. (2005, October).IDS RainStorm: Visualizing IDS Alarms. Proc. IEEE Workshops Visualization for Computer Security (VizSEC). IEEE CS Press, pp. 1-10. Retrieved from:

Aneja, A., Rowan, C., & Brooksby, B. (2000, January). Corporate Portal Framework for Transforming Content Chaos on Intranets. Intel Technology Journal. Intel Corporation. Retrieved from:

Burns, J. and Madey, G. R. (2001). A Framework for Effective User Interface Design for Web-Based Electronic Commerce Applications. Informing Science, Vol. 4 No. 2, 67-75. Retrieved from:

Conti, G., Abdullah, K., Grizzard, J., Stasko, J., Copeland, J. A., Ahamad, M., et al. (2006, April). Countering Security Information Overload through Alert and Packet Visualization. IEEE Computer Society. Retrieved from:

Eppler, M. J. and Mengis, J. (2004).The Concept of Information Overload: A Review of Literature from Organization Science, Accounting, Marketing, MIS, and Related Disciplines. The Information Society, 20, 325-344. Retrieved from:

ISACA (2009) An Introduction to the Business Model for Information Security. Retrieved from:

Juvvadi, S. (2003, June).Requirements for Managing Security Information Overload. GIAC Security Essentials Practical Assignment Version 1.4b. SANS Institute. Retrieved from:


Security Architecture Website. Security Management Frameworks. Retrieved from:









Investing for the Future

One of the defining traits of western societies is the expectation of financial independence, even from those whose families may have enough money to support seven future generations. For most of us, high school graduation marks the end of financial support from parents which could also be interpreted as their acknowledgement we are finally adults. Just like death and taxes, it is certain in life that we will always have expenses but one cannot say the same for the income aspect. Thus, we earn income not only to support our present but also future and like other important decisions, a little planning goes a long way towards ensuring a pleasant future. One is often tempted to make excuses for not investing money in the future because immediate gratification is always more satisfying than planning for a distant future but most of these excuses such as having little income or too much time to save for the future have little or no sound basis. This is why investing should be adopted as early as possible because not only it makes investing a less painful experience but this strategy also increases the probability of financial independence for life.

Communications and Media

Friendships at Work: Establishing a More Positive Source of Work Improvement through Avoiding Conflicts Background

Every human relationship has its pros and cons. The way a person views the need to establish good relationships with others could affect him in either a positive or a negative manner depending on how he perceives the situation related to the said connection. At work, friendship is considered to be an up building relationship that requires attention and nourishment. Good friendships are expected to provide motivation and inspiration to human individuals. On the other end though, in the instance by which particular conflicts arise between friends, the said relationship becomes rather stressing. This is the reason why it is very important for administrators to see to it that their employees are given proper guidance in relation to how they should establish good relationships with their workmates.


Jackie Robinson

There are few professional sports players that can claim a similar legacy to that of Jackie Robinson. For multiple reasons, Jackie Robinson stands apart from most other sports icons, and his accomplishments are not relegated to the baseball diamond. An outstanding athlete, Jackie Robinson also had to prove his fortitude in society as the first African American player in Major League Baseball. Through personal challenges, professional accomplishments, and unique grace, Jackie Robinson overcame his doubters and detractors, and in doing so forever changed how the game was played. Jackie Robinson’s background and life story are highly applicable to his success, starting with his early upbringing and development into adulthood. How he responded to adversity explains in large part how he made it into the major leagues, and also how he persevered through some of the treatment he received once he made it.


Effective Life Cycle Asset Integrity Management

       Keynotes- Speech


As more and more manufacturers take advantage of the versatility of silicon technology globally, Dow Corning is committed to continuous supply chain innovation to provide faster, flexible and reliable delivery of silicone materials. Brett Able has been instrumental in leading efforts to develop supply chain capabilities worldwide to serve unique customer needs. He spent several years based in Tokyo focused specifically on building supply chain capabilities throughout Asia. In addition, he has played a critical role in facilitating solutions selling by promoting contract manufacturing of customer products when it benefits the customer and leverages Dow Corning\’s internal capabilities and market position.