Magazine: Popular Science, March 2015, USA
1. tell us what the image is (hopefully there is a caption or explanation in the magazine)
The image of a cover of a Popular Science magazine is a yellow Lego Man in the center wearing a hazmat helmet and has a radiation symbol on his “shirt”. He has a face expression of fear. There are a couple groupings of words and captioning in various font sizes, styles, and colors around the Lego Man.
2. tell us your own thoughts.
I chose this cover after browsing through a friend’s box full of science magazines in his classroom (he is a science teacher, by the way). I chose this cover for a Popular Science magazine, because of the yellow Lego man and his radiation symbol. The next thing that caught my eyes was the word “STRESS” in red and the Lego Man’s face expression. Before I started to look at every wording closer, I found myself wondering what the Lego Man had to do with the captioning around him. The variation of font sizes and styles were effective as it made me read everything to see which captioning was about the Lego Man or the word “STRESS”. The choice of fonts in black and red were also effective by allowing the Lego Man to really stand out.
3. tell us the reaction from the stranger.
The stranger I chose was the duct guy who came to my house to clear out and repair my dryer duct and exhaust ducts. I told him I needed to pick his brain after he was done with the work on the dryer. He was a bit hesitate and I assured him it was just a class assignment and needed him to participate. He said, “Oh, okay. I hope I get an A.” (My son interpreted ASL-voice/voice-ASL)
4. tell us about the stranger (male? female? approximate age? major? or anything else you find interesting about the person)
He is in his early 60s and a third generation Japanese who does not read or speak Japanese. He regrets not learning Japanese when he was growing up. He is a retired minister who went into construction to keep himself busy. He is taking a class online to complete his Theological study (master degree). He was very easy to talk to and we ended up sharing our point of views and ideas about the image I chose.
5. how did your reaction differ or was it similar to the stranger?
He and I had similar initial reaction when we saw the cover of my choice. He saw the yellow Lego Man immediately and but he spent a bit more time observing the Lego Man noticing his radiation symbol, hazmat head helmet, face expression, and the size of the Lego Man in the center of the cover image. He then read everything around him and started to wonder what the Lego Man’s story was about, especially if it was as scientific as the magazine was. He started to pull me into discussing the image and each captioning. After a few minutes of discussions, I pointed out a teeny tiny red arrow next to the Lego Man. He said, “Whoa! I did not see that! So the “Stress” is related to that yellow fearful Lego Man?!” and “How can we beat stress through science?”
I asked him, “Why did this magazine use Lego as a scientific item? It is a toy!” He replied, “Well, science nerds like to build, so why not with Legos? It got our attention, though didn’t it?” He had a good sense of humor.
6. post the photo
Drats! We had great discussion for about thirty minutes before he realized and he had another job to go to, so he left in a hurry. I forgot to snap a shot of him with my chosen image. I found the print out still on the dryer he was working on, so I took a picture of where he left it at. The dryer is not ready to be used yet because one duct bracket went AWOL. My son will finish the job though. (picture below)