Monday, April 27, 2009

Earth may be Overrated

As we recently passed Earth Day, a movie came out in its honor. The movie, entitled Earth, is a film about wildlife families and the journeys they face. I have not personally seen the film yet, but I plan to. My mom is a sixth grade science teacher and took her class on a field trip to watch the movie. The kids enjoyed it and so did my Mom. However, she said it was too similar to the hit television series Planet Earth and was actually worse and too brief. This is just one opinion, but I am sure I will feel similarly when I finally view the film. Planet Earth was so extraordinary and eye-opening and it is hard to top it. I am sure Disney did a fantastic job with the movie Earth, but again I feel it is for younger ages or for viewers who did not see Planet Earth; it would just be a let down.

Now that I've sounded extremely bias against this movie, I am all for earth day and helping the environment. The thing I like mostly about this viewing event on Earth Day was:

" For every 'Earth' ticket sold [on] Tuesday, [Disney planted] a tree in your honor."

This is a fantastic way to promote a movie as well as better then environment. If you have seen the movie Earth please comment and let me know if it is worth seeing in theaters, a "renter", or a knock-off of planet earth.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Animals are always effected by the choices and products of humans. We build nuclear power plants and such, which produce harmful substances, that hurt the environment. The news has always been overwhelmed with the stories of oil spills hurting marine life and now there is news of nuclear damage being done to animals. According to ABC Science, there was a Ukraine nuclear disaster involving Chernobyl, which happened more then 20 years ago, that is still effecting wildlife. A quote from Biology Letters, in the Royal Society Journal, states that "[the] numbers of bumble-bees, butterflies, spiders, grasshoppers, and other invertebrates were lower in contaminated sites then other areas because of high levels of radiation left over". To think that something that happened such a  long time ago is still effecting our environment is shocking. It gets worse. If the animals did not die immediately from the disaster, many are now suffering with distorted limbs. This makes it a lot more challenging for the animals to find food or defend themselves. I think about all the other environmental issues we are facing and I am realizing that a lot of these could be long term effects. Harmful substance are emitted or accidental exposed into the environment every day and each one has a separate effect. Assuming this was an accidental Chernobyl disaster, it is still our responsibility to make up for it and fix it. Other disasters are being left uncared for. Wildlife is being harmed around the world and we need to be more careful and aware of our daily actions to help protect the wildlife. I was so upset to see this article on ABC Science!!! One thing after another is causing our world to fall apart. I may be opinionated, but it seems a lot of these "environmentally harmful" acts are caused by humans. When will we wake up and finally take action and fix it instead of just talking about?

To read more about the disaster, ABC Science has a lot of relating links including the following:

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Ever since the idea of global warming came up, scientists and researches around the world have been trying to find alternative energy sources to help reduce CO2 emissions. In the past, we have had a small amount of energy from solar panels and wind. Those are now being used more and more. Given the fact that the earth is 3/4 water, we are finally looking into using water power to generate electricity. According to the ABC Science article Wave Power, the technology for this wave electricity is still being developed and there are high hopes for it succeeding. It is mainly being tested and worked on in the UK and Europe, but is slowly becoming a global focus and idea. Andy Baldock, a UK wave energy analyst, says, "Waves are caused by wind blowing over long stretches of water, and [that wind] gets stronger towards the poles... That means that Australia and New Zealand have got good resources, as well as northern Europe, Canada and northern USA." The technology is starting to get more finalized and secure and now we also have an idea as to where the technology would be placed. Some are looking to use pilot wave power units (rest on the waters surface), which has chambers to help displace the air by moving up and down. The air is then forced inside a turbine to create the energy which then travels through a pipeline back to the land it is nearest. There are also other technologies being testes such as floats which move with the waves creating electricity and pure drinking water by bringing water to land at a high pressure. I am a huge supporter of alternative energy sources and trying to create a "green" planet. I feel if we have the technology, we should execute the idea of wave power. It is all around us and is such a huge part of earth. We need to use what we have and water is definitely easily available. GO WAVE POWER! I couldn't get this video to upload, but for an example of wave energy go to this link:

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Are you LOST?

I have been a fan of ABC's television series LOST, which is about survivors of a plane crash finding themselves on an island, stranded, with no help. I did not watch the first two seasons while they were actually on, I had to cram them in during a summer. Fortunately for me, I became obsessed and finished them easily within three days. The twists and turns due to the brilliant mind of J.J. Abrams leave some viewers lost and confused. Now that some of the survivors are off the island, they are being told they must return, while those left on the island are trying helplessly to be home and to stop the "time hopping". The whole idea of the time jumping for those survivors still on the island is brilliant. You realize from previous seasons such as 3 and 2, when the cast heard noises and thought it was the others, they realize it was actually themselves because they get sent back in time. In essence, they are there own enemy. Not to confuse you, there are actually other people on the island, but half the time it was them scaring themselves. From one of the most recent episodes they showed Sawyer and his group paddling in the rain in a long, narrow boat. I remember seeing a flash of this in a prior season, possibly 3 or 3. You had no idea then why you were seeing a boat in the rain, but we now know it was Sawyer. I love a show that makes you think hard and LOST is definitely a show in which you have to pay attention to every detail. Things are coming together and new wild and crazy turns are happening as well. Its a love hate relationship, I hate waiting seven days to watch the next episode.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

To be or Not to Be

Often doing the right thing can lead to a bad thing. An example is how shark nets prevent swimmers from having fatal attacks, however the nets also catch non harmful creatures such as dolphins, whales, and manta rays. The question now being brought up (from ABC Science) in Australia is whether or not the nets should be taken down. For some 70 years or so, the nets have kept Aussies as well as tourists safe and able to swim freely. Due to the fact the nets are catching friendly creatures, they are thinking about removing the nets. Also, a specific type of shark is being commonly caught, which could negatively effect the food chain: the great white shark. In my personal opinion, I would continue to keep shark nets up in public and common beaches. However, I would remove them where able to. This way some sharks would be eliminated, some would stay away from crowded waters, and the number of dolphins, whales, and manta rays being caught in the net would decrease. There is data given that there are 1.25 fatalities in Australia each year. This is upsetting of course, but there were 212 accidental death in 2006 because of drowning. Unfortunately, water cause a lot of deaths whether it is accidental or from a creature. Sharks are a marine animal important to the food chain and we cannot just kill them off. They are necessary for the food chain to remain stable and healthy. As I previously stated, the nets that can be, should be removed. This will compromise the situation until a less harmful solution is found. I am not sure the public would be happy with this descion, but you have to respect both sides of the situation.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Dark, Cold Winter

I have been recently talking with my dad about the stress of school and soccer these past few months. The winter is the time for my biggest tournaments, holidays, and of course school and finals. My dad informed me the winter months and the end of the year are the time when people most commonly get depressed. Is it the weather, the projects, family, work, or all of these? I have thought it out and decided it is a combination of the bunch. Projects are do at work or school and your running out of time because it's the end of the "year". People don't seem to stop a notice that besides new years, days blend into one another and those projects can be completed in the next week in January. The weather is bitter and cold and it is also extremely dark. No one wants to get up in the morning and no one wants to do anything other then drink hot chocolate and sit and watch movies. Another factor of this time of depression is family and the holidays. Between buying the perfect gifts and being forced to see your great Aunt Susie, you are panicking constantly. All of these are causes of stress which are common during the end of the year. As humans, I feel we must embrace all of these stresses. Your finally going to finish the project you have been slaving away on, you get to celebrate the holidays with family members you haven't seen in months and you get to play in the snow and see it's beauty each morning. We tend to look at the negative aspects of everything, take out the bad things in good things so we have a reason to complain. We have to realize to pick out the best traits, appreciate everything including working late at the office or staying up late to study for a test. The new year is the start of a new yearly purpose, you fulfilled your previous one and it is time to do new things. I personally look forward to the new year and appreciate every aspect of winter, including finals!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

"Do something."

As humans we often question what is the purpose of our life. Unfortunately, some spend a life time figuring out what they were supposed to do with their time on earth and others never find their purpose. I came upon this concept while watching a commercial, a young lady was speaking and said "Do something. Doing nothing is boring." Who knew such a powerful and truthful statement could be made during a 15 second commercial. This commercial could let someone come to the realization of time. We do not have an infinite amount of time to do everything we want in a lifetime. However, we must spend our time doing what's most important and helpful. This commercial helped me by forcing me to think about my purpose. Ones life is placed in the hands of the beholder. It is up to each of us to do something. Do what we were meant to do on the earth. So many people are cut short on their life due to accidents, sickness and misfortune; those of us who aren't, must not waste our life by doing nothing. We must pursue the cliche of living life to the fullest. We must carry out our purpose and fight to reach our life dreams. I am only 17 and I am not even close to figuring out the world, but I know my purpose. I am meant to bring smiles across others faces and help lead when chaos is present. I was born with the attributes of a good friend and I must continue to be a good friend to those in need. By no means do I feel limited to my current purposes. One's purposes in life change ad vary whether or not they are carried out. We come across different situations and paths in which our purpose is either tweaked or changed. I hope you have the chance to see this commercial, which surprisingly was found on MTV. It is a powerful statement and I hope others can come to the realization that every person's life is important, everyone was put on the world for a reason. You may also be asking, why a sailboat? To me a sailboat represents absolute freedom. I feel completely at peace with the world and feel everything is aligned while sailling.