Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Chicago's Corrupted Politics

Chicago governor Rod Blagojevich was arrested due to suspicion of corruption. Blagojevich was supposedly trying to make a profit for Obama's soon to be open senate seat. There is a recorded conversation of Blagojevich discussing how he will be getting something for Obama's senate seat. Supposedly, he even considered giving himself the senate seat. To me, this comes as no surprise for Chicago is known for having corrupted politics. As of now, Obama says to have no knowledge of Rod Blagojevich's actions so I believe we should respect that. Here is a quote I found from the recording:

I mean of course we should look into it to make sure Obama took no part in this, but this should not be effecting Obama. There is talk of this hurting Obama when it is possible he is completely innocent in this situation. I think people should stop making assumptions and wait to hear the facts and believe the facts they hear. As a local Chicagoan, I am disappointed to know we can't trust the people we appoint to powerful positions. This current Rod Blagojevich scandal creates all types of questions as to who was involved and what other corruption has Blagojevich taken part in in the past. This scandal is still evolving and it will be interesting to see where it all ends up.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Silky Teeth

One my favorite websites, ABC Science, I found an interesting article in which scientists discussed how silk might be the key element in replacing damaged teeth or bones. Professor David Kaplan (from Tufts University) says, "Spider and silkworm silks are among the strongest natural fibers." I found this fascinating because you always see how strong silk is in spider webs and such when you see insects getting stuck in them. Other scientists throughout the article talked about how the silk has incredible attributes among tension and compression. It is tough and has more strength then one could know. Knowing these characteristics, scientists are looking into using silk to rebuild teeth and bones. Testing shows it is not harmful to humans, therefore it could be used for these wanted purposes. Silk is also extremely durable so it will not break down easily and if it did, no harmful acids would be placed into the human body. I personally feel, the more natural and non harmful substances we find, we should use. The planet as a whole will run out of resources and technology and man made substances will not be able to fix and create everything. We must keep finding more and more natural resources which we can use to create important things such as using silk to make bone matrix to help create new bone and teeth.

Friday, November 14, 2008


Scientists believe that our planet will go through another ice age due to changes in its orbit years from now (around 10,000 to be exact!). However, a new study shows it is possible the ice age may be prevented; instead the planet will continue in a "meltdown" or remain the same. I came across an article on ABC science news which discusses this possible ice age. Professor Thomas Crowley and Dr William Hyde recently created a journal entitled Nature. They believe it is possible the ice age could be by-passed or simply not occur due to the Co2 levels in the atmosphere. Don't confuse their opinion as a defense to Global Warming, it simply is just a theory that our planet will remain the same instead of freezing over.

"In September, a scientific research consortium called the Global Carbon Project (GCP) said that atmospheric concentrations of CO2 reached 383 parts per million (ppm) in 2007, or 37% above pre-industrial levels."
"Present concentrations are 'the highest during the last 650,000 years and probably during the last 20 million years,' the report says"

These two quotes are facts in which our CO2 levels are higher then they have ever been and scientists believe even if we were to cute back on our CO2 emissions, it would probably be enough to stop a future ice age. I think it is important for our planet to go in and out of different climates whether it is a meltdown or an ice age. It creates a clean slate to start with new, fresh resources. However, an ice age would obviously be a major set back in our society and the progress we have made as a species. Good think this ice age is planning to come for thousands of years and I hope we know either how to take care of it then or hope the CO2 emissions can help prevent freezing!!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Is it worth the risk?

Reading has never been something I do for fun, until now. For English this year, I am being forced to read a certain number of pages each quarter. I finally found a book I loved and couldn't stop reading!! I just finished reading a book called "Into Thin Air" by Jon Krakauer. The book is asbout his journey climbing 29,028 feet to the highest possible location a human could stand on earth, Mount Everest. This book is filled with pages and pages of interesting facts such as the price in which it took to climb the mountain to the training it took to be prepared. After reading the book however, I realized no one is ever fully prepared. No one can prepare themselves for HACE which is a dangerous mountain sickness, frost bite, brutal weather conditions, barely any oxygen or even death. The list goes on. My question after reading about the horrible 1996 tragedy where eight climbers were killed (Krakauer managed to survive the mountain) is simply, was it worth it? To be able to say you are physically and mentally tough enough to take on the massive peaks, simply to say you were on the highest land elevation in the world, to say you battled loneliness, hunger, and sickness seems worth it to me. Though the challenge is unlike any other, I feel it would be one of the most gratifying moments to be able to say that you literally conquered the world. You climbed Mount Everest. This book was very inspiring to me and I feel like I can conquer anything my heart desires. You never know, maybe in 30 years I will be standing on top of the world at 29,028 feet.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Switching Meat Sources to Help Global Warming

I read this article on the ABC science website and it wrote how Australia is trying to think of new ways to help decrease the amount of harmful gas emissions. A major factor in the severity of their greenhouse effect is due to the number of animals they kill. They were brainstorming up ideas to try and reduce the amount of methane gas without completely eliminating meat such as cattle and sheep. Australia has come up with the idea of eating kangaroo because it produces less amount of methane gas then their current meat sources. "Livestock, mainly cattle and sheep, are responsible for some 67% of agricultural greenhouse gas emissions." states Garnaut's report on ABC Science. They are starting to talk about reducing the amount of lamb and cattle produced and increasing dramatically the amount of kangaroo produced within the next 10 or so years. Many Australians already eat kangaroo and there is a huge population on the continent so this plan is very realistic. I personally think this is a good idea. If you have a too heavily populated animal in which it can replace another source of meat to help improve global warming, this needs to be put into effect. I understand how this could cause a conflict because Australia is well-known for their kangaroos, but it is not just about Australians in this case. This could positively effect the rest of the world. Global warming can not be ignored and any slight chance that this will lessen the green house effect makes me believe it should happen. I understand it will be strange for some to change from eating cattle and sheep to eating kangaroo, however this article claims many Australians already do. I say, go for it! Try to reduce the amount of harmful gas emissions even if that means eating a new kind of meat!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Is it possible for it to be too quiet?

So many new cars come out every year it is hard to keep track of them all. One of the latest selling points in cars has being how quiet a car can be while you drive. Everyone loves to relax while they drive and nearly soundproof cars are very popular. I just read an article from ABC Science news about how quiet cars give people a false sense of security. Australian researcher Dr. Mark Horswill recently quoted, "The main design principle of making cars these days to be as quiet as you possibly can, is actually a real problem for road safety." After reading through this article, I completely agreed with Horswill. I understand why people would like to have a quiet car ride, however I realize the danger in it. You could be driving twice as fast as you think you are, but wouldn't notice it cause it is silent. Noise helps trigger our reactions so it helps us drive the speed limit, hear car horns and also listen for sirens. It does not only risk the drivers safety but also other people on the road as well as off the road. I personally feel we need to rethink where we want to go with car manufacturing and consider the effects of sound. My car, a Honda CR-V, is far from sound proof and I love it because I am more aware while driving and can hear little things such sirens in the distance and the noise of my engine telling me I need to slow down. I feel it is a necessity to be able to use all five of your senses to be fully aware of your environment.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Barack Obama's view on Education

As a student and a future parent, education is very important to me. I am not the most knowledgeable when it comes to politics and I don't fully understand every issue the candidates are forced to make an opinion on. However, education is an issue I can relate to and therefore care about in this upcoming election. Barack Obama's view on education is that there are not enough high-quality teacher's in every classroom across America. Part of the reason why classrooms are lacking good teachers is that 30% of teachers across America are giving up the teaching profession shortly after starting. Barack wants to start training, hiring and rewarding teachers across the country. I agree with this solution as long as the reward for the teachers is large enough. Teachers have a huge impact on the people we become as a country; without good teachers, our country's population will be poorly educated and probably not very successful. Obama also believes that we need to start educating children at a younger age. I strongly agree with this opinion because the younger we are, the easier it is to learn. For example, it is easier for children to start learning a second language at a young age rather then starting when they are 12. Barack and Biden's plans are to create better child care so its easier on working families, increase Head Start funding so children will be better educated at a younger age, and increase funding for the Federal Charter School Program which would help create better and stronger school systems. These are just a few of the actions Obama plans to make if he is elected president. I strongly agree with Barack Obama's education plans to help change and improve education across the country. John McCain's views on education are not as equalizing as Obama's. McCain for the most part believes in school's competing for the best teachers instead of trying to get good teachers in every school. John McCain also says, "If a school will not change, the students should be able to change schools." This is easier said then done. A lot of students are stuck at a school due to location and finances. McCain has some good educational plans, however I agree more with Barack Obama's educational views.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008