Taylor Swift’s Diet Coke Advertisement

Featured in the advertisement is notable celebrity, Taylor Swift. She is wearing a red dress and is pouring a glass of Diet Coke while looking into the camera. She is sitting behind a table that is set for multiple people. There is already a filled glass of Diet Coke on the table while she is pouring the second glass. In addition, there is a sweepstakes included in the advertisement. The sweepstakes includes the chance to win a gift card and cool Diet Coke and Taylor Swift products. The main colors included in the advertisement are red, white, and black.

The advertisement’s message is that if you, as a consumer, are to drink Diet Coke, you could be as extraordinary as Taylor Swift. Since she is a notable celebrity, the company uses Swift in order to entice her fans to drink their product. The message also includes the chance of winning a gift card and other cool prizes. Taylor Swift is a world-renowned artist, so if she drinks Diet Coke, it must be good enough for the common person to drink it too. After looking for a few more seconds, it is clear that the meaning of this ad is to get people to “share a Coke” with Taylor. There is already a full glass on the table, but Swift is pouring another one, which the viewer can assume is for them. In order for them to get that glass of Diet Coke, they have to buy the product.

The product’s advertisement is arguing that their product is good enough for celebrities, so it is great for you too. Diet Coke is also arguing that their consumers will be extraordinary if they buy their product. The money and prizes allow the company to pull more customers towards them and away from competitors. Furthermore, just a year before this advertisement got published in 2014, Taylor Swift had released her song “22.” This song conveys the message about being young and feeling extraordinary, which is why Diet Coke then argues in this advertisement to “Stay Extraordinary,” but the consumer can only do that if they buy the product. 

There are several rhetorical strategies that are prominent in the advertisement for Diet Coke. For instance, the appeal to logos is seen in the lifestyle of Taylor Swift. Soda has been infamous for problems such as obesity, but then we see this contradictory image of a young, skinny, seemly healthy celebrity urging us to buy soda. The positive behavior can be identified on how drinking Diet Coke seems good for the consumer since Taylor Swift is a thriving celebrity and also drinks the product. There are appeals to ethos in having Taylor Swift be the face of the advertisement, since she is well-known, and by having the logo of Diet Coke included in the advertisement. The colors play into the appeal to pathos because the red all around the scene plays into our emotions. The red is a symbolic color as it is found in the Diet Coke label and is also a symbol for love and passion.  


Government Regulations Needed for Agricultural Runoff

My research paper looked at the environmental health crisis of agricultural runoff. This is a non-point source of water pollution since products, such as fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides, can arise from multiple inputs over a larger area. In addition, nutrients, waste, and bacteria from feedlots on farms contribute to the pollution. If land is managed sustainably, then agricultural runoff will be clean. Governmental regulations, environmental awareness, and safer agricultural products will allow for cleaner runoff.

“Impacts from agricultural activities on surface water and groundwater can be minimized by using management practices that are adapted to local conditions. These practices can also increase productivity and save farmers and ranchers money in the long run.” – United States Environmental Protection Agency

Non-point source pollution resulting from applying fertilizers and pesticides to farmers has been tagged as one of the greatest threats to water quality. Even though these products are beneficial on farms, they should not be leaking into land other than the farm. Once these products become runoff, they are extremely harmful. For instance, most of you have heard about the red tides occurring in Florida.

Algal blooms are the result of an excess of nutrients, such as those found in the products used in agricultural. When these nutrients are in waters and concentrate in large amounts, algae growth increases dramatically. As seen in the picture above, the algal blooms can discolor coastal waters. These blooms can deplete oxygen in the water and release toxins, which can cause harm to both humans and animals. For example, the algae in Florida’s blooms produce potent neurotoxins, which then cause human respiratory illness. Also, shellfish can become contaminated from the toxins, and if consumed by humans, cause Neurotoxic Shellfish Poisoning. Florida’s ecotourism is taking a hit as the red tides are causing widespread mortality of fish, turtles, birds, and marine mammals.

The Clean Water Act is a federal law which regulates the discharge of pollutants into the nation’s surface waters… but it doesn’t say anything about non-point sources of pollution. With inadequate laws and regulations in place, pollution will just keep occurring. Non-point source pollution represents the most significant source of pollution in America, yet the US government has decided to ignore it.

The environment needs your help. As runoff continues, more chemicals are infiltrating waterways, which are creating more harmful algal blooms. Biodiversity is being negatively impacted. The earth is losing its most precious species just so humans can benefit from genetically modified produce. Agricultural runoff is killing off aquatic species faster than we can implement solutions (because the government moves slower than a sloth). Before we know it, there will be little to no species left to save. The government needs to implement regulations of agricultural runoff before it is too late.

As cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Contacting local and national government agencies will be the most realistic way to get things done in a timely manner. Without a push from you and I, the government will just keep sitting around like we don’t have this environmental health crisis getting worse by the day.

By contacting governmental agencies, we are urging them to change their regulations. If they refuse, we will threaten our demand of the agricultural business, and they will have no other choice but to listen and implement regulations. Help stop agricultural runoff and save our environment.

Plan and Anxieties: Agricultural Runoff

Being an environmental science major, I have selected a topic I am familiar with, but not an expert in. Having some understanding of the topic, but not knowing every little detail, will allow my curiosity to help lead my research. I did a slideshow on the topic back in high school that was extremely basic and didn’t even touch on what I will be arguing for in my paper: governmental regulations. Cleaner runoff is achievable through the government stepping in to solve the problem. By being more conscious about the products agricultural practices use, we could be living in a much safer environment.

My plan to tackle this paper is to start researching right away. I will go through the sources I have already found and write down key points that I could possibly include in my paper. For my partial draft, I plan to write my background, possibly my intro, and outline the rest.

My main anxiety is not achieving the minimum word count, but rather exceeding the maximum. With so many sources, examples, and information, I’m afraid I will present too much in my paper and will have to scale back. On the other hand, I feel like once I actually start researching, I will be too overwhelmed to know what to even write and not have enough of my own words in my mind.

Follow-up: Agricultural Runoff

My paper will specifically look at the governmental regulations that can be put into place to have cleaner agricultural runoff. This environmental health issue is detrimental to many aspects of life and can cause issues such as algae blooms, unsafe drinking water, and chemically contaminated resources. Agricultural runoff needs to be more strictly regulated by the government because the current regulation, The Clean Water Act, is not doing enough to provide a safe environment. Farmers and agricultural companies must be held accountable if they do not follow the regulations that are in place because they are the ones that are putting everybody else’s lives at risk.

Proposal: Environmental Health

When I heard we get to do research for this next project, my mind went in a million directions, but all my ideas were tied to my major: environmental science. I have narrowed down my options to the environmental health impact from farm and agricultural runoff. This topic is interesting to me because not enough is being done to regulate the chemicals, herbicides, pesticides, and waste products that are used and produced on farms. These products seep into the ground or go into nearby water supplies. This harmful pollution should be more strictly regulated by government agencies so we can live in a cleaner (and safer!!) environment.

Image of a polluted waterway on the edge of farmland
Illustration showing where the products on the farm end up

Planet B: Space Colonization May Be the Answer to Climate Change Impacts on Earth

Supporters of space colonization believe that it is the long-term solution for human survival. By having alternative locations outside of Earth, humans would be able to continue to live if there happened to be a disaster on our planet. Space colonies would allow some of the earth’s current population to move off our planet and onto another planetary body. By removing people here, we also remove their environmental impact, which could potentially be the solution to climate change. Establishing space colonies will allow humans to survive the current climate change issues we are facing.

Overpopulation has a detrimental environmental impact: the more people there are in one area, the more resources are being depleted. However, if we set up space colonies, and the resources of space were opened to use and viable to humans, Earth would no longer have to worry about its carrying capacity or resource limitations. Those in space would no longer be taking as many resources from Earth, and could potentially send new and different resources back to those still on Earth. All 7 billion inhabitants of Earth will most likely not be able to live in space at the same time, but the smaller population remaining on Earth will benefit from others leaving for their new space home. The decline of Earth’s population would allow for the regeneration of overused resources, more land for agriculture, and a better quality of life since there is a surplus of supplies.

Space colonization will be able to save the environment of Earth by moving people and industrialization into space. According to the IPAT model, environmental impact (I) is the product of population (P), affluence (A), and technology (T). If we were to move a portion of Earth’s population to space, the environmental impact from that population would cause Earth’s overall health to increase. Over time, greenhouse gas emissions, resource depletion, deforestation, and climate change would significantly decline. Those in the space colonies would no longer be impacting the environment of Earth, which would create a healthier environment to live in for those still here. In addition, the most affluent population will most likely be the ones in space since they have the money to travel there. With a decrease in the population, the environmental impact stressing Earth will also decrease.

As physicist Paul Davies explained, we could “reverse-colonize” Earth in order to restore human civilization by having self-sufficient colonies in space. Another notable name in science, Stephen Hawking, had argued for space colonization as a means of saving humanity multiple times. Hawking said we either colonize space within the next two hundred years and build residential units on other planets, or we will face the prospect of long-term extinction. Founder and CEO of SpaceX, Elon Musk, has had plans of space colonization for a few years now. In the video below, his plans to successfully colonize Mars are shown.


Space colonization may not be that far out off reach nowadays. With a long-term extinction ahead of us, Earth inhabitants need to come up with a solution on how to survive. We are already facing the problem of climate change and the issues that come along with it: resource depletion, greenhouse gas emissions, rising sea levels, an increase in global temperature, loss of biodiversity, and the list goes on. All these problems would be solved if humans set up a space colonization on another celestial body. Colonizing space is the only solution we have to face climate change if we do not fix how we are living on Earth.

Adapted P1: Antibiotics & Superbugs

John Bachman-Paternoster wrote “Antibiotics & Superbugs: The Future of Health?” as a wakeup call to a public health crisis: antibiotics are being overused and misused, which is causing detrimental and harmful effects for humans. He discusses the frightening current event in a well-structured manner, but his series of excessive appeals to ethos really impeded the article’s persuasion for urgency on the matter. Bachman-Paternoster’s piece seemed to only show the opinion and data of other sources; other than his personal experience of losing his dad from a superbug, there was no personal voice to the article. The article, overall, was only successful through the driving force of the author’s appeal to pathos.

Superbugs are dangerous, and it is only a matter of time until antibiotics refuse to work at all. The author presents his thesis that bacteria are evolving into superbugs through the overuse and misuse of antibiotics in the beginning of his article. He does this by using the rhetorical appeals to ethos, pathos, logos, and kairos. Bachman-Paternoster is able to blend all four of rhetorical appeals together into a cohesive article, although he relied heavily on his appeal to ethos. In addition, he maintains the tones of ridiculing and pessimism throughout his article by acknowledging the concerning data and trends.

The issues discussed in this article can make one question whether the pharmaceutical industry and the government prioritize money over human lives. Bachman-Paternoster did a good job educating his audience about the urgency of superbugs, but it was clouded by the countless number of sources and citations he used. Although it is beneficial to have a good and strong foundation of hard data, that cannot be the only aspect of an article. It was a scientific based article, but it would have been more effective to hear the author’s voice more because reading numbers and facts became boring.

Antibiotics & Superbugs: The Future of Health? (Outline)

  • Thesis:
    • Bacteria are evolving into superbugs through the overuse and misuse of antibiotics
      • This public health crisis needs to be taken seriously before more people are killed by these superbugs
  • Appeals to ethos:
    • Cites academic and professional sources
      • Gives him credibility – looks like he knows what he’s talking about
  • Appeals to pathos:
    • Personal experience
      • Dad died from a superbug (MRSA)
        • Connects to the reader’s emotions
  • Appeals to logos:
    • Offers statistics and facts, which are then backed up by further reasoning and sources
      • Provides a logical argument in order to prove his point: superbugs need to be stopped
  • Appeals to kairos:
    • This is a very timely event occurring in our world today
      • Present concern for health and medicine

Uniqueness Makes A Special Impact

Special Olympics strives to have the world be a kinder place, where all people feel accepted and included. This organization has shaped me into the person I am today. The athletes do not realize how impactful they really are on others. Without even trying, the athletes I coach have changed my life for the better. Their bubbly personalities, endless smiles, goofy jokes, and extreme determination have taught me how to be a better person. Being involved with Special Olympics has allowed me to be accepting of myself, gain leadership skills, and appreciate the bonds I make with people.

The one important life lesson I have learned since becoming involved with Special Olympics is to be accepting of myself. There are a lot of things I struggle with daily, such as my arthritis and OCD. Since the very first day of practice in 2017, I have been learning to be okay with who I am. All the athletes that I help do not look at themselves as inferior or that they have something horribly wrong with them. They do not know any other way of life besides the one they have chosen to embrace. The way they all continuously smile even if they get disqualified from their event is inspiring to me.

I have strived to be the best example for the athletes I coach. My general rule for myself was to show up a few minutes early to swim practice every Sunday so I would have extra time to catch up with the kids. When it came time for our swim meets, I would stay with them to calm them down as they made their way to the diving blocks. The second that buzzer went off and their fingertips hit the water, I screamed and cheered for every single one of them. By being a leader, I must be their friend and encourage them to reach their maximum potential. Leadership skills are an important skill to have as their coach, but these skills can also be applied to daily life.

One athlete I coach and hold very close to my heart is Cooper. He jumps up and down because he is so excited to see me every Sunday. He asks his dad incessantly if I am going to the next practice or the upcoming meet. Even though we get to swim side-by-side, at the end of each lap we stop and chat about tv shows (his favorite happens to be American Ninja Warrior). Despite the fact that I have a close relationship with Cooper, I am not even sure which intellectual disability he is diagnosed with because it has never come up in a conversation between us. We only see each other as caring and kind humans that bring happiness to those around us. The bond I share with Cooper, as well as the ones I have with the rest of my team, brings me great joy.

Over the few years I have been involved with this organization, I have grown to know the names of athletes that I do not even coach. Building bonds with everyone involved in the organization makes the whole experience of being a coach that much more special. The bonds that I create with everyone is more special to me than any award will ever be. I was only recognized because I did what everyone should do: accept everyone and include others in activities.

Having an intellectual disability should not be looked at in a negative light. Having the word “disability” associated with the brightest of smiles, the happiest of kids, and the most determined people is quite ironic. Special Olympics has taught me many valuable lessons, such as leadership abilities, appreciating the bonds I create, and to accept myself for who I am. The athletes go out there and compete in their events just like you and me. In my opinion, I say we should stop using the phrase “intellectual disabilities” and instead replace that with “intellectual specialties.” My time as a coach on my swim team has hit pause as I go to school, but the lessons my kids have taught me will forever play on. Always accept others, and always include everyone.

Cooper and I at the New Jersey Special Olympic Summer Games

Introduction to Myself

Hello everybody! My name is Alexis Cervantes. I’m from Hazlet, NJ, which is a super small town I’m sure none of you have ever heard of. My major is environmental science, which was strongly influenced by growing up ten minutes from the shore. I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis when I was eleven. Another thing I’d like you all to know about me is that I’m a legacy here at UD. I take great pride in being a Blue Hen, after all, I was a Blue Hen cheerleader at my mom’s graduation in 2002.