Highway to the “American Dream”

Annotated Photo “Enduring Life” by Dorothea Lange

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The image which I have chosen to analyze is a photograph taken by Dorothea Lange, it was named “Enduring Life”. The photo doesn’t have too many elements in it, focusing purely on a migrant worker walking on a California high way. There is a strong connection between this photo and the book Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. The worker who is walking down the road reflects a similar image as to when Lennie and George was walking in the forest after the incident in Weed. They were described as two lonely men trudging in the forest carrying rolled up blankets on their backs. The migrant workers at that time had no stable house where they could live for their entire lives. Lennie and George were experiencing the same type of life, it was this constant struggle of moving from each to ranch.’Guys like us, that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world. They got no family. They don’t belong no place. They come to a ranch an’ work up a stake, and the first thing you know they’re poundin’ their tail on some other ranch. They ain’t got nothing to look ahead to” (Steinbeck, 15). Because of the lifestyle they live, most ranch workers often have the same emotional depressions. They are all fighting endlessly to achieve their own American dream. No matter how difficult the journey is, the thought of owning their own land was the one thing that kept them motivated. Lennie and George were exceptions, for they travelled this challenging journey which each other’s accompany, while most other migrant workers were simply left on their own. Alone or not, these workers all share the common characteristic of loneliness. In the photograph, it is visible to see loneliness and depression within the steps of the man. The mise en scène of the photo made it so the man was the dominant element, and the only focal point of the entire picture. Although it may seem bland that way, but it helps the viewers concentrate on his movements, appearances, outfits, and other features which may have been ignored if other aspects were included.

Curse of the Crystal Ball

“If a man could have half his wishes, he would double his troubles” – Ben Franklin. The consequences of making wishes is often far more cruel than the wish itself. Fate rules people’s lives, and that those who interfered with it did so to their sorrow. In the short story Curse of the Crystal Ball, Mr. and Mrs. Sullivan are trapped in a loveless marriage. Their incompatible personalities causes a series of egotistic actions, until ten years of tolerance finally erupts into a storm of anger. The involvement of the crystal ball portrays a powerful theme of how a wish of greed turns into endless regrets and despair.

The overreaching motif of this story is the crystal ball itself. It is the key item to expose the couple’s true character. On the other hand, the freezing weather symbolizes a harsh personality in both of the characters, their ice cold hearts lead to a series of ghastly events. The outdoor setting parallels with the scene inside of a crystal globe. “Intricate patterns of ice drifted down, glistening in the bright rays of morning sunshine…” Connotations such as “glistening” “crispness” “bejeweled” and “ferocious” creates an imagery inside the reader’s head, further developing the tone and mood of the story.

Many aspects of literature ties in with each other to form the overall theme of the short story. There are also many epiphanies and ironies included which enriches the story to be more interesting.  Hope you enjoy! (:

Curse of the Crystal Ball

Intricate patterns of ice drifted down, glistening in the bright rays of morning sunshine, each flake swirling and dancing, as an icy wind carried it toward a row of 20th century cottages. The naked winter trees line the avenue, while each breath rises in visible puffs join the clouded morning sky. There was a freezing chill in the air that brings crispness to the leaves, bejeweled with frost, that crunch underfoot. There were 3 more hours until the flea market closed for the day and Mrs. Sullivan was desperate to visit the annual market even. Knowing how intolerable the weather is, she waited until the last few hours before the flea market closed, then when the time came, she dragged her husband out of bed and insisted on taking him to the market. The poor man was dreading this moment like a child dreading the monthly dentist visits, but he had absolutely no choice but to obey his wife’s orders.

 

The couple dressed in thick layers of clothing, including a fur coat which will hopefully shield them from the harsh and biting snow. Mr. Sullivan wiggled uncomfortably in his thick outfit, and a drop of sweat rolled down by the side of his head. Nearly none of his clothing looked right on him for his height screams a giant 6ft 8’. On the other hand, Mrs. Sullivan was a rather petite woman, her legs looked like two pencils sticking out of her torsos and her head had the potential to fall off at any moment. Most of the townspeople wondered how exactly did they end up together, but they were still able to maintain a somewhat happy marriage for 10 years by now.

 

Through the sea of people, the couple soon lost sight of each other. Mrs. Sullivan was in deep anxiety for not knowing where her husband is. However, Mr. Sullivan has already wandered into the crowds, focusing his attention on the market itself. The exquisite ornaments displayed on each side of the street greatly interested the man. The unbearable heat did not seem to bother Mr. Sullivan anymore, and after almost an hour, he finally found the perfect item to buy. A sparkle of glitter caught the corner of the man’s eye and lured his head to turn around. This spherical ornament rested on a wooden base, and its crystalline surface dazzled under the rays of sunshine. Mr. Sullivan walked over to the seller and calmly asked for the price of the crystal ball in front of him.

“How much for this globe?” questioned the gentlemen, careful not to put too much passion in his voice, hoping to get the cheapest deal possible.

“10 dollars, and it will be all yours” replied the merchant. Mr. Sullivan was tempted, the price wasn’t very high, considering how well crafted the crystal was.

“I’ll take it!” said Mr. Sullivan as he handed a brand new check to the seller, and received the wrapped crystal ball.

 

Carrying the carefully wrapped ornament, Mr. Sullivan started to make his way home. The weather was beating on his back, the man’s only wish was for the weather to warm up, his shirt would easily get soaked by snow on his way home. Just at that moment, a violent blast of sunlight shined at the streets and roared at the people like some wild dark grove deep in a forgotten land. Mr. Sullivan walked swiftly towards the direction of his house, and left the sounds of reshuffling in the flea market behind.

 

“Where were you? I simply turned around and you were nowhere to be seen!” questioned Mrs. Sullivan. She has been worried sick for the past hour, after realizing their separation, Mrs. Sullivan immediately returned home, causing her to miss the flea market entirely.

“It’s nothing important, I just simply wandered the market myself. After all, it’s not required for us to always be accompanying each other” replied Mr. Sullivan in an impassive tone.

“Perhaps you could have at least notified me before you left so I wouldn’t have to worry all evening!” badgered his wife. But Mr. Sullivan wasn’t even paying attention to her words anymore, he turned to head into his bedroom and motioned to shut the door. “Were you even listening to me?” continued Mrs. Sullivan. She was almost certain that her husband tuned out again but just as always, she wouldn’t let a single worthless issue go. “So how was your tour around the market? Did you find anything worth buying?” questioned Mrs. Sullivan with a casual smile, trying to ignore the tense atmosphere flowing in the house.

“Nothing special, just a small crystal ball which happened to catch my eye” replied Mr. Sullivan as he reached into his pocket and pulled out a dazzling object. Mrs. Sullivan eyes sparkled for a second as she reached out to feel the globe’s shining magic.

“Darling, that’s truly beautiful! I was just talking about the lack of quality in the flea market this year with Mrs. Smith, would you mind if I take the crystal ball to show her what a treasure we’ve found? Mrs. Sullivan tried to keep her voice sweet and soft while pleading her husband for a great favor. She simply thought that this ask would be immediately granted, which was why his response came to her as such a shocking surprise.

“Enough!” he shouted, “I’m sick and tired of your constant need for attention, do you care to be a bit more altruistic? I’m going out for a walk, don’t wait for me for dinner.”  His face grew dark as he rebuked his egotistic wife. Burning rage hissed through his body like deathly poison, screeching a demanded release in the form of unwanted violence. It was like a volcano erupting; fury sweeping off him like ferocious waves. Never before has he dared to defy, but years of collected discontent finally built up beyond his limit.

 

Mr. Sullivan reached down for the crystal ball which was left sitting on the dining table.  He couldn’t be bothered to examine is wife’s expression across the table, but he already guessed the fear and shock in her eyes. This feeling gave him satisfaction; he took great pleasure in his wife’s reaction. Following his trail of thoughts, a vicious idea suddenly flashed across his mind. Although it would take a miracle for that wish to come true, but just the thought of it was beyond gratifying.  At that exact moment, the crystal ball sparkled a bright silver light, which neither one of them noticed. With a demonic smile plastered on his face, Mr. Sullivan hurried out the door.

 

The elevator door was just closing when a loud bang shook the small compartment. Through the thin crack, Mr. Sullivan saw a face full of twisted emotions. The sight of such an abstract vision frightened him to take a small step back. Slowly the door slid open and right in front of him stood a wild animal. It charged forcefully into the elevator in the beat of Mr. Sullivan’s heart. Suddenly, as if waking up from a dream, Mr. Sullivan finally identified the animal in front of him. The figure appeared to be none other than Mrs. Sullivan herself. She immediately pulled her husband outside the elevator and began to wave her arms frantically. It was quite obvious that her lips were moving, but somehow, no sound was heard. It was to the point where Mr. Sullivan was almost questioning his own deafness until his wife’s message was finally understood. His wife was aphonic. This tragic epiphany caused her husband to drop the shining crystal ball onto the carpet floor.

 

Mr. Sullivan was as conflicted as ever. This outcome completely granted his wills but his realization brought extreme terror to his mind. Could the cause of his wife’s disorder possibly be himself? The evidence matched up flawlessly: The wish that he made a few minutes ago, while holding the crystal ball must have come true! But such a thing was clearly unrealistic, and a grown man like him could not possibly be convinced.

 

He hid all the confusion and excitement away, and turned to comfort his wife. It would be a foolish thing to tell her about his wish, so naturally, he chose to keep it a secret. “Don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll be fine in no time” assured Mr. Sullivan, even though he didn’t believe his own words one bit. A look of suspicion appeared on Mrs. Sullivan’s face, she tilted her head to one side and let herself sink into a series of deep thoughts. His wife’s actions were starting to worry Mr. Sullivan; it was his first time in their 10 years of marriage to see Mrs. Sullivan so calm and rational. The personalities which she was portraying just so happened to be Mr. Sullivan’s idea of an ideal wife. This atmosphere in the room was like a silent battlefield. No communications were made but deep in the minds of both Mr. and Mrs. Sullivan, a war was just beginning.

 

*CURE ME* wrote Mrs. Sullivan on a piece of blank white paper. A long period of silence filled the room, until the squeaky sound of that black marker continued, written below was the words: *I KNOW YOU CAN*. Mrs. Sullivan turned the sheet of paper around and slid it across the table until the page was right under her husband’s nose. The black ink was overflowing due to the muggy weather, making each word appear maliciously dark. The words jumped out of the page, carrying weapons of all kinds, and slowly surrounded Mr. Sullivan. It was his move, but he only had two possible choices, both leading to death.

 

A ray of sunlight emerged between the slight crack of curtains. It aimed directly at the exquisite crystal ball, creating a dance of sparkles. This peculiar sight occurred at such a coincidental timing that it gave Mrs. Sullivan a brilliant idea. She slowly walked over to her husband’s side of table and once again, began to write on the piece of paper. *IT’S NOW OR NEVER*. Her threatening words were meant to give her husband one last chance, whether he takes it or not… *IT’S YOU’RE CHOICE*. She drew a period at the end of that last sentence, indicating her husband’s time is up. Her fingers crawled towards the crystal ball, and snatched it from the table. A swirling storm of screaming silver appeared inside of the crystal ball, and the white dusks of snow bleed into the world. She glanced at Mr. Sullivan who backed away to the far wall. The icicles sparkled as she made one final soundless smirk.

Polymer Project Journal #4

The engineering process played a massive role in the polymer project. Overall, the entire process can be divided into three main parts; defining the goal of the product, designing/developing the product, and lastly evaluating the products. Nevertheless, developing the product: “Beauty Blender Slime” also took the effort to carefully go through each step of the engineering process.

Firstly, my group and i had to come up with a design goal as a whole. It was important to come up with a feasible plan from the very beginning. Since we picked to design a polymer with the purpose of “medical uses”, we agreed that the purpose of moisturizing dry skin was both achievable and interesting to make. This is because i cities especially like Beijing, the weather tends to be very dry, leaving people with a lot of skin issues. And developing a polymer which not only solves the issue of dry skin, but can also be used as foundation would appeal to many young girls and woman from ages 10-30. It was surprisingly easy for my partner and i to find a product goal, so we started off the project in a very nice place.

After finalizing our design idea and goals, we then started the process of developing and creating our actual polymer. Before we mixed and materials together, we first had to know the purposes of each separate material. From the very beginning, super slime was our ideal polymer because of its ability to shed off color. Super slime was also the slimiest base polymer, which meets the goal of moisturizing the consumer’s skin. However when we realized the flaw of super slime was that the polymer cannot hold its original form and melts overnight. We tried solving this issue by adding solid corn starch, but the results did not match our expectations. In the end, the problem surprisingly fixed itself when we altered the amount of foundation that was added into the slime. Therefore, we created 3 different polymers, each with a different amount of foundation added inside (10 squirts, 15 squirts, and 30 squirts).

The last step is evaluating the prototypes. After running different tests on all three of the prototypes, we came to a conclusion that prototype #2 was the most successful. It was the most medium prototype; not too watery, not too hard, both moisturizes the skin and also sheds off foundation. It was as close to perfect as the polymer can get. We were very pleased with our final product and decided to name it “Beauty Blender Slime”, this name is straightforward and tells the consumers the products purpose and functions.

Throughout the project i have learned a lot of valuable lessons. For example, it is always important to go with the flow, and when it is necessary, some adjustments has to be made, even if that means the final product will not be perfect. And also the importance of following the engineering process, because even if you skip a small step, what has to be done later on would be at a greater difficulty level. Planning out the entire time frame is also important, i believe my group did a good job of keeping on task and not falling behind which was something that helped us achieve our final success.

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Infomercial:

The Cheese Stands Alone

“And the danger is that in this move toward new horizons and far directions, that I may lose what I have now, and not find anything except loneliness.” -Sylvia Plath. Loneliness. Being alone is a fleeting transient notion, while loneliness is one of the harshest feelings people can feel and suffer from. In the novel: “I Am The Cheese”, by Robert Cormier, The protagonist Adam Farmer goes through a journey to discover his horrifying past and to accept his lonely future. The story revolves around a goal to help him remember the past, however, many more under-covered lies and manipulation was put through, which twisted the purpose of the book. Adam lives in a family withholding two identities; they are constantly on the verge of death, facing the never knows of the future. There are many significant quotes in this book portraying deep meanings and thus, Adam’s true feelings.

“I am the cheese.” (Cormier, 229), Adam thinks this to himself in the final first person narrative section, after reciting the song, “The Farmer in the Dell.” Three out of four lines in each verse of the song repeat some “taking” action, such as “The farmer takes a wife” or “The wife takes a child.” The final verse of the ditty is “The cheese stands alone,” and this is how Adam feels—he is alone, without any parents or even his own identity. Cormier has solved the mystery of Adam identity, however, Adam is unable to handle the truth of his past. He sends himself back to having no identity, he is simply alone and he is simply “the cheese.” The quote answers the mystery of the novel’s title, and encapsulates Adam’s struggle with his painful situation.

“…I stood there with all that immensity of space around me in center field and I felt as though I’d be swept off the face of the planet, into space.” (5), Adam lists some of his various fears, such as claustrophobia and a fear of dogs. His claustrophobia is understandable, as Adam is physically confined to a mental hospital. He is also psychologically imprisoned, as he is not able to grasp the reality of his tragic situation, nor is he able to tell anyone about his secrets or escape his secret life. Adam sympathizes with Arthur Hayes when he sees him encaged in the fire escape. Adam’s fear of phone booths is as much due to the absence of open communication with other human beings, as the small physical space of the booth. The basis for his fear of open spaces, however, is subtler. Adam has only a loose hold on his identity, and he is dimly aware, at this point, of how much it is has been altered without his consent. Whereas he delights in the powerful feeling of moving outside his body when talking with Brint, he accepts the out of body experience because he is controlling it. On the other hand, in center field, as in his life, Adam knows that he is a helpless individual in a huge world where others hold the reins. He is alone in the huge space of the world, as well as the tiny details of life.

“I am riding the bicycle and I am on Route thirty-one in Monument, Massachusetts, on my way to Rutterburg, Vermont…” (3) (234), These are the first and last words of the book, and constitute Adam’s quest to meet his father. However, the end of the book reveals that Adam never went far away, and it suggests that he rode his bike around the grounds of a mental hospital. The entire trip took place in his mind, a futile attempt to make himself believe that his father was still alive, and that he can find him at the end of his journey. Just as Adam reaches the horrifying truth—that his father died, along with his mother—he withdraws, loses his memory again, and becomes infantile. Brint suggests that Adam should be killed, or held until he “obliterates,” and when Adam repeats his journey again at the end of the book, it is clear that this will be his obliteration—an ongoing bike trip around the hospital.

Loneliness, casted a hole in his heart, and Adam can only fill it in with emptiness. He always staggers before each and every new discovery about his past. It is because he is reluctant towards his past; afraid to face what once was a reality. However this fear was beaten down by the constant need and curiosity to find out about his past, his family, and all the scattered questions. The entire imagination bike journey from Monument to Rutterburg was a metaphor for his life. All off the different events portrayed reality in the past and his determination to go on. In the end, the book reached it’s finale with Adam starting a journey; the same one as he has just finished. Adam has to travel an ongoing mental journey, until he has the courage to bravely face the past, and move on to the future; all by himself.

The Battle Between Justice And Death

Heroes are not always credited for their honesty and righteousness. This is the view towards society that Robert Cormier exhibits in the novel: “I am the Cheese”, where the individual is punished for standing up to himself. In this society, the non-valiant are rewarded for their ignorance and compliance, narrated through the characters of Grey and Whipper. Moreover, Robert Cormier portrays this society to be void of truth and justice. This is seen through exploring the innocence behind Adam’s parent’s suffering and death. Nevertheless, the author holds reserve for truth and justice when Adam tries to complete the puzzle of his past.

Truth and justice have no place in the world of “I am the cheese”, particularly in the lives of Adam’s family. The disguise of Grey, which led to the deaths of Adam’s parents, is a vivid example of deception, dictation and punishment. “He worked for the government, the federal government… He’d been on the sidelines, watching, waiting…” (Cormier, 142). Grey initially identified himself to be involved in the US Department of Re-Identification. It was supposed to protect people. To provide people with new identities. So they could hide from those they testified against. Through acting continually in the image of a protector by imposing new identities, occupation, residence and lifestyle, he was able to dictate and manipulate the family’s lives. The truth of who he really was and his real aim was never uncovered, not even when Adam’s parents were murdered.

A life ruled by a silent enemy, such as the life of Adam’s family, shows that justice is hollow in the world of “I am the cheese”. Adam’s family did nothing to deserve living in constant fear and insecurity. Truth was testified to, and yet they were the sufferers and victims. They were punished more severely, through daily imprisonment, the Never Knows, and through death. Had moral convictions in society been strong, Adam’s family would not have had their homes moved, names and occupations changed, and all dreams that were to be a part of their former life discarded. A similar view is seen through Adam’s mother’s words “sometimes think we were too unquestioning, Adam, too naive. Did your father really have to give up newspaper work?” (176). Thorough examining the meaningless and needless losses and sacrifices made by Adam’s family, justice does not find room in “I am the cheese.”

The cause for Adam’s confinement to a mental institution following the trauma from his parents’ death illustrate the emptiness of justice. Adam has merely trusted those around him and lived accordingly. However, not only has this trust been heavily betrayed, he is used for further investigation. The path to realizing what has happened to himself has been a path to decide whether he should be terminated like his parents for Grey. The choice he’s been unknowingly given, to remain in a vegetative state or be eliminated, shows clearly that there is no room for justice.

Many novels tell the story of a corrupted society where humans are forced into telling lies and hiding secrets. This sadly, is the under-covered truth of our current society. Secret organizations form to protect the unjust actions others make; which forces other organizations to form to protect the ones who act in the law of justice. For example, in the series: “Among The Hidden”, by Margaret Peterson Haddix, many fake identities were created due to the no third-child policy. In a world so strict of rules, some just had to be broken, and one at a time they were covered up in ways unknown to the outside world. Once the actions that are supposed to be remained as unknown gets revealed, event after event chases the person who has altered their plans. Nobody can get away, from justice or from evil. The wrong will always get what they deserve, but the right; they are true heroes for defending justice, but criminals for daring to stand up to the evil. This phenomenon is a wonder by itself; why do people need to suffer from defending the righteous? The answer is simple. Win some, loose some. The heroes won justice, but lost everything they once owned. The evil lost their possessions, but won the hero’s lives. The balance of what is more important decides the final win.

Robert Cormier’s “I am the cheese” portray a highly pessimistic view of society, where the individual is punished for standing up to himself. This view is explained by the death of Adam’s parents for testifying truth and assisting the government. Yet, the novel dose not offer such a grim attitude towards the people whose lives do not shine as heroically as Adam’s father’s. The novel also convey a lack of truth and justice, as shown through the disguise of Grey, or Brint, and the experiences that Adam’s family went through.

Piecing Together The Past And My Future

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Mysterious, loneliness, fear… These three words precisely describe the mood of the novel: “I Am The Cheese”, by Robert Cormier. The book starts off with a very gloomy and dark mood, showing a mysterious sense and providing the reader with a lot of questions.

The bike ride Adam takes through New England is the most vivid setting in the book. All the places he passes – from gas stations to houses to the almost-final destination of the motel – are deserted. Even though he’s traveling hundreds of miles, he only passes a handful of people. This deserted setting adds to the eerie tone of the book that Cormier carefully crafts. This empty New England setting contrasts starkly with the one we see when Adam recounts the memory of passing through these same places with his parents. They towns are not abandoned; they’re beautiful and magnificent and welcoming. On a “brilliant October morning… weeping, climbing curves greeted them and majestic landscapes unfolded in the distance” (Cormier, 216).

The other main location used inside of the book was the mental hospital’s questioning room. The questioning room was remained as quite a mystery throughout the entire book. “There are no bars on my window, not like that other room where I sit and answer questions.” (227). The bars add to the sense of confinement we sense from Adam and sustains the mysterious nature of the place.

Creating multiple picture collages portrays both the physical and the emotional setting of this book. The emotional setting can be inferred by observing some of the physical settings. For example, it would be obvious that this book withholds a mysterious mood by observing the abandoned locations which Adams travels to. Nonetheless this book contains numerous setting which could be then compared and contrasted by creating a picture collage.

During the process of creating these collages, I had to choose between focusing on the emotional setting or the physical setting. However, I found both aspects be equally important in a book, which is why I ended up creating three different collages. In these three different collages two of them obviously shows the physical setting where as the last one shows the emotional setting. However, it is interesting to infer the different physical settings just by looking at the emotional words and vise versa.

Both the physical and emotional setting plays a very important role in this novel. It helps build suspense and layers the story in a more interesting level as a whole. Adam lives a special life; he may be lonely but his determination for justice is just as strong as his fathers. That would be what guides him as he moves onwards to the future.

Work Cited

Polymer Project Journal #3

During the process of optimizing our prototypes, my group has created 4 different successful prototypes, with slight variations yet jurassic differences.

Out of these four prototypes, one prototype was made of gloop with foundation, and the other three prototypes were all made of super slime with foundation. The only difference between them is the amount of foundation that was added. This slight difference changed the texture, use, and feeling of the slime, completely.

The following are the recipes for each prototype:

*Note: all recipes are made by simply combining and mixing all materials listed.

PROTOTYPE #1:

  • 4ml of PVA solution
  • 20ml of borax
  • 10 squirts of foundation

PROTOTYPE #2:

  • 4ml of PVA solution
  • 20ml of borax
  • 15 squirts of foundation

PROTOTYPE #3:

  • 4ml of PVA solution
  • 20ml of borax
  • 30 squirts of foundation

PROTOTYPE #4:

  • 1cm of glue
  • 7ml of water
  • 8ml of borax
  • 10 squirts of foundation

As you can see, 3 out of 4 prototypes is based from super slime, with a slight alter of the amount of foundation. The fourth prototype uses the recipe of gloop. However, gloop was ruled out in the very beginning because of its main ingredient, glue. Allowing our customers to apply glue onto their skin is just not an option. Also, gloop’s dense characteristic absorbs the foundation into   the polymer, shedding off no color when rubbing the slime on your skin. Overall, the gloop polymer did not work well for our product goal as a cosmetic product.

Prototype #3 (30 squirts of foundation) was the first super slime + foundation prototype we created. After creating gloop, which did not shed off any color, we decided to add a large amount of foundation so the slime can blend out a large area of foundation when applying to the customer’s face. However, this polymer turned out to be too watery/slimy, although it was very effective upon shedding off foundation. After leaving this prototype inside a sealed plastic bag for days the slime would melt slightly into a more liquid state compared to when it was first made. The mistake of adding too much foundation led to creating our second prototype, prototype #1 (10 squirts of foundation).

Prototype #1 (10 squirts of foundation) was a jurassic change compared to prototype #3 (30 squirts of foundation). We designed this prototype hoping it would not only withhold it’s original shape but to also effectively shed off foundation. The feeling of this polymer turned out great, it was in a slime form but not too watery at all. The only problem was that the amount of foundation that this polymer was able to shed off was barely noticeable. We had to break the polymer in half and forcefully apply it onto our skin in order to see any clear color contrast. The results of this polymer also made us wonder if it was effective enough in the field of moisturizing dry skin. Due to the issue of dry-ness in our polymer, we decided to make our third and final prototype; prototype #2 (15 squirts of foundation).

Prototype #2 (15 squirts of foundation) was the prototype we selected in the end. It suited the purpose of our original product idea the best and met all of our product goals. It maintained its original form of slime after leaving it inside a sealed plastic bag for days. The polymer is also able to shed off foundation smoothly, and we realized it works especially well after tearing the polymer in half. Compared to Prototype #1 (10 squirts of foundation) and #3 (30 squirts of foundation), prototype #2 is more moderate, and suitable as our final product.

Our final product, the “Beauty Blender Slime” turned out to be very successful. It wasn’t exactly perfect but the polymer ended up meeting our product goal completely. The final slime can manage to moisturize your skin and apply blended foundation effectively. The overall design process was rather successful, and moved through smoothly without encountering too many roadblocks. There were many lessons learnt throughout the cycle for my team and i, which only helped us improve our product and lab efficiency.

The slime itself can moisturize your skin (without shedding off any foundation), meaning the consumer can simply roll the slime on their skin and they would instantly feel refreshed but foundation does not need be applied. And when the consumer wishes to apply foundation, they can simply tear the polymer apart and blot the slime onto their face. This was something we did not plan originally but turned out exceedingly well, because now the slime allows consumers to roll it on their arm or their hands when they only want to feel refreshed. Opening up a new option for the consumers and a new function for the slime itself.

Clear Instructions to recreate prototype #2 (final product):

MATERIALS:

  • 20ml of PVA solution
  • 4ml of borax
  • 1 bottle of foundation (with squirt top)
  • 1 plastic cup
  • 1 wooden stirring stick / scoopula
  • 1 beaker
  • 1 graduated cylinder

PROCEDURE:

  1. Pour slime into hands from the plastic cup
  2. Mix together borax with foundation and PVA solution using a scoopula/ wooden stirring stick
  3. Pour borax into the plastic cup
  4. Measure 4ml of borax using a graduated cylinder
  5. Mix together foundation and PVA solution using a scoopula/ wooden stirring stick
  6. Squirt 15 squirts of foundation into the plastic cup
  7. Pour PVA solution into the plastic cup
  8. Measure 20ml of PVA solution using a beaker
  9. Kneed the slime for approximately 30 seconds

Polymer Project Journal #2

Creating an effective foundation/contour slime requires not only pure base polymers, but the combination of each base polymer’s best features. In order to design our ideal foundation/contour polymer, we would need to know what substances are needed to include in our polymer. We have conducted a series of tests on many different types of basic polymers in order to design a final polymer which meets the goals of our product needs.

First of all, oobleck was one of the first polymers we created, however it did not meet our product’s needs. Oobleck has a very extreme characteristic; when left alone, it takes a gooey liquid form. However once force and pressure is applied, the polymer instantly hardens and changes to a solid form. We hope our foundation/contour slime would stay in a slime form at all times, and to be in-between solid and liquid. It would be impossible for consumers to apply hard solid foundation to their skin and leaving the foundation liquid-y would lose our original product goal. Boogers was also a base polymer which did not meet our requirements. The characteristics of boogers was too stringy and sticky. We would not want our foundation/contour slime to stick onto the customer’s face, or to pull out long strands on stringy polymers when applying foundation. Nevertheless, this polymer did not shed off any color during the experiments, which would mean foundation would not be able to come off of the slime for our final product. Gloop was effective for shedding off color at first, however we realized that after a few minutes, the polymer would completely absorb the foundation and stop shedding off color. Lastly, gloop and boogers both had the issue of containing glue as part of its recipe; since we are making cosmetic products and glue should not be applied to the consumer’s face.

We have concluded that the recipe for super slime would be the best starting point for designing our polymer. Super slime’s characteristics fit our product’s needs the best. It has a slimier structure and its texture is less dense and feels more comfortable when applying as a cosmetic product. Its softer, and more flexible structure would give the polymer that moisturizing characteristic it needs to heal dry skin. Yet it is still able to shed off color so that the polymer can eventually apply foundation or contour evenly on skin.

However, the characteristics of super slime might be too slimy for our product to withhold it’s original shape and texture after a few days. So in order to improve this polymer, solid starch can be added to the mixture in order to thicken the polymer.

After designing and creating the prototypes, we would need to test the effectiveness of each prototype in order to find the best foundation/contour slime. We then came up with a few small tests tall aimed to see if the polymer can successfully meet our product’s goal. The following are the different tests:

  1. leaving the polymer in a sealed plastic bag for 2 days and see what form it is in afterwards (whether or not it is still in solid slime form) As mentioned earlier, our polymer needs to stay in slime shape for a decent amount of time, the polymer should not melt overnight.
  2. Rubbing the slime onto our hands to see how much color/ foundation comes off of the slime. This test is aimed to see how well the slime itself can shed off foundation, and whether or not the color blends in well with the skin.
  3. Rubbing the slime onto skin to see if it has a somewhat moisturizing. Moisturizing skin and healing dry skin is our polymer’s main goal, this test would be done by surveying others to see if they feel like the slime can moisturize their skin.

*** Both tests #2, and #3 would be done again after leaving the slime in a sealed plastic bag for 2 days.

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https://www.qfeast.com/personality/quiz/cpXGoX/Is-the-prototype-a-good-fit?r 

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Polymer Project Journal #1

Does the feeling of dry skin ever bother you? Are you tired and disgusted of using cosmetic products that makes your skin feel oily? The foundation/ contour slime will fix all of your problems! Our goal is to make a polymer that offers our consumers a cosmetic product that can help with dry skin while also covering up little spots on the face. Our final product should have a medical use upon customers.The polymer would have to be clean and safe to apply to the consumer’s skin. Our polymer would be able to satisfy most girls who seeks for easier and more effective ways to apply simple makeup.

Some of the characteristics that we would want our slime to have is that when pressure is applied to the polymer, color (the foundation or the contour) would come off. And the color should come off spread out so it would be easier to blend into the skin. However, we do not want the slime to have any negative affects on the skin which is why it is critical to use safe products.

Our target market audience for this foundation/ contour slime would be girls at the age of 10-25, because at this age, girls are most interested in all sorts of cosmetic products that are interesting and special. Our final product would satisfy the needs of this age group as this would be new idea to the audience which would interest them. We will make sure that the foundation/ contour slime can effectively help decrease the amount of time and effort needed every time girls are putting on makeup. And also help girls with any skin issues to own a cosmetic product that not only makes them look prettier, but also treats their skin issues to better their skin as a whole. The slime will meet the needs of them, being not only portable, but also fun to use. The slime will also come in different shades so it can be used for different races and skin tones.

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