Monday, January 24, 2011

Current Event 1/28

Happy 3rd Quarter! For this 9 weeks, you are to pick a topic that you are interested in and become an expert on that topic through current events. Each week, your current event should cover the same topic, so choose wisely...pick something that you wouldn't mind reading about and reporting on for 9 weeks. A few suggestions: Healthcare, the Environment, NC politics, Court system, Economics, ect.

Have fun! :)


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    This article talks about the differences in mental activity between a novice and an expert chess player, this research also extends to similar variations of chess. The PloS One, a team of scientists in Germany showed experts and novices simple geometric objects and chess positions, and asked them to identify them. Both their reaction times were measured and brain activity was also monitored by using functional MRI scans. Their reaction time for identifying the geometric objects was about the same, this showed them that there were not much differences in visualization skills. On the other hand, when the subjects were shown chess positions, the experts identified them faster. But what sets the experts apart from the novice, other than experience, was their right brain hemispheres. Their right brain hemisphere displayed more involved patter of recognition, and also lit up with activity, because of this, they were allowed to precess information in two places at once. Researchers in Japan, also concluded that there were no differences in shogi players reaction speed to a novice chess or Chinese chess player.

    This article caught my eye when I read the first few paragraphs. It's simply stating that there's no differences between a amateur and an expert, except experience and devotion. This concept can easily be applied to other things whether its sports or academic related. The article stats that “It tells you there are no shortcuts to expertise.” and I couldn't agree more, I believe that every shortcut we take is a chance we lose at becoming better.

    Shane Sater
    Topic: Domestic News
    For many, public universities, which rely largely on tax money for income, are a great option for higher education due to their lower tuition costs. However, with state budget cuts and general financial hardship, these colleges are relying more and more on tuition fees to make ends meet. Ashley Murphy, a sophomore at the University of South Carolina, is going into debt to pay tuition despite a 5000 dollar scholarship and a job on campus. However, her sister Allison, who attends a private university with an advertised tuition of twice that of USC, now pays less for her education than Ashley does. This is in part due to financial aid, and partially due to rising tuition costs at USC. In fact, Ashley is very concerned about increasing tuition: “...If tuition goes up again next year, I’ll be in an even worse position [than now].” A study in 2008 revealed that the majority of the country’s public colleges and universities cover over half of their budgets with tuition fees; three years of rising tuition undoubtedly means that the picture is even worse now. Jane Wellman, director of the Delta Cost Project, which performed the study, says, “In the next three or four years, we’re going to have more students who are spilling out the bottom, priced out of the expensive institutions... We’re going to be rationing opportunity.”
    I think it is disappointing that college tuition is rising. For many people, public colleges and their relatively inexpensive tuition are practically the only option in terms of higher education. Moreover, I feel that it is misleading when universities publish a certain tuition charge and then raise it, even for students who have already entered the school based on this information. When a student takes courses at a college, they are in effect entering into a four year agreement: without a diploma, the education they receive is of little practical worth in terms of finding employment - a field in which credentials, not knowledge or skill, are valued. In California, tuition has risen 30% in the last two years. In effect, when choosing a public college, students can not trust published tuition information: these steep rises in cost are extremely deceiving. States now give these universities 80 billion dollars in subsidies; when public universities allow tuition to change so rapidly, they defy the obligation to public service implied by these subsidies, and relinquish the legitimacy of their claim to this money.

  4. Hannah Blackburn: Social Injustices

    A Free Woman (Letter from Burma) by Joshua Hammer - The New Yorker Jan. 24, 2011

    with help from:

    Aung San Suu Kyi was born in Burma (now Myanmar), and educated at Oxford, in England. Aung San Suu Kyi is the daughter of the leader of the original independence movement in Burma. She married an Englishman, but was compelled to return to Myanmar later in life. She returned without her husband when her mother fell ill. Once in Burma, Aung San Suu Kyi quickly became involved in the struggle to raise a democracy in a county run by an autocratic military leader. Within a year, Aung San Suu Kyi was nominated as the leader of the National League for Deomcracy, the main opposition to the military rule. Aung San Suu Kyi became a favorite of the people and the military regime locked her away on house arrest to prevent her from stirring up passion in her followers. In November this past year, she was finally released from isolation after seven years of solitude. This release occured just after an election that set up a bicameral parliment, in which the military automatically holds enough seats to shoot down any decision made by the other representatives. Aung San Suu Kyi has assumed her previous position as head of the NLD again, but the party is not as strong as it once was.
    Hammer, the author, seemed skeptical that she could still make a difference in the nation. He frequently described her personality as very calm, but seemed doubtful of her ability to incite passion in her followers. From the tone of the article, I am not very hopeful about Aung San Suu Kyi’s leadership skills. It also sounds like the military regime is in no way backing down or weakening. Support for Aung San Suu Kyi has also fallen since the last open election. She ordered the NLD not to vote, saying it was an unfair, undemocratic election. This was a reasonable assumption after a previous election in which the military refused to honor a landslide victory by the NLD. I hope Aung San Suu Kyi can still inspire Western assistance and support for democracy as she once could. She may be a little too passive at times and a little too aggressive at other times, such as when she requested the West put sanctions on Burma, which she claims may have had hidden effects that hurt the military. Aung San Suu Kyi seems to truly believe in her cause, but her methods may be old fashion and out of date. Peaceful protest and sanctions no longer have the same effect, especially in a world where China will trade with even North Korea.

    Kendall Simms 6th pd.

    A sheriff out in California was sentenced to a 5-½ year sentence for attempted bribery. Michael Carona’s campaign was under previously under investigation for any corrupt actions. Carona tried to persuade a former assistant to lie during his testimony to a grand jury in order to cover up his misconducts. Carona was proven to have used illegal contributions and cash bribes during the duration of his campaign. The judge overseeing the case expressed that the attempted tampering with a witness and lying would not be tolerated. The fact that these misconducts came from a law enforcement official made it that much more intolerable. Carona was formerly dubbed “America’s Sheriff” after apprehending the killer of a kidnapped 5-year old little girl. That title seems slightly ironic after this whole situation.

    People already perceive law enforcement as being kind of shady in terms of its actions; this instance only proves that that is a legitimate concern. I think it’s safe to say that us citizens don’t want a person who has bad judgment and poor morals in charge of keeping our communities safe. The fact that this guy knew he did something wrong in terms of his campaigning and then attempted to hide that with more inappropriate actions only shows how potentially corrupted all officials could be. Sadly that certainly doesn’t help peoples’ opinion or bias towards people in those positions. I feel that people who are in positions that directly affect citizens need to clean up their act even more than our representatives in Congress. Too bad Mr. Carona didn’t get the memo.

  6. These next nine weeks I have decided to focus my current events around the executive branch. So today of course I will talk about his State Of The Union Address. He brought up many topics that many Americans were starting to wonder about such as America’s future as well as the unstable budget. As we all know our economy has really been suffering these past few years and along with a struggling economy come the loss of jobs and the reduction in pay. Many families have felt the impact of the recession and it’s caused many to downsize in the way they live. President Obama challenged Americans last night to unleash their creative spirits and to set aside political differences in order to make this country a better place. He proposed many new ideas that would also create many new jobs. Ideas such as clean energy technology, and high speed rail. He also discussed the topic of budget cuts. Budget cuts that would reduce the deficit by $400 billion dollars in a period of ten years. He said that America NEEDS to be the best place on earth to do business. This State Of The Union Address was particularly special because democrats and republicans mixed and mingled and set aside any differences they may have had in the past. Also black and white ribbons were worn in honor of Rep. Gabrielle Gifford’s of Arizona who was injured a few weeks ago in a shooting in Tucson. A seat was also held open for her. President Obama worked hard to diminish any partisan conflicts or disagreements that have been created or building up these past years. He kept many intrigued and got continuous applause as he delivered this wonderful speech.

    This was my first time ever watching the president deliver a State Of The Union Address. I found it particularly interesting. I think that President Obama did a wonderful job addressing and stating plans for each and every issue brought up. While I was watching this, it showed me that this country is really on our way back to a healthy economy.

  7. 3rd quarter topic: politics

    In President Obama's State of the Union address yesterday, he mentioned that our "infrastructure used to be the best, but our lead has slipped." In reaction to this, he has proposed a goal to have 80% of Americans have access to faster railroad trains by 2036. He says that these high-speed trains will allow people to travel in half the time it would take them to drive, and in some instances, it may even be faster than flying. However, an infrastructure expert says that these high-speed trains may cause problems with the economy. He says that the high-speed trains would use the same rails as the nation's freight train industry, and this may cause the economy to lose tens of billions of dollars every year. He also brought up the problem with the internet. To this he proposed a goal to extend wireless internet coverage to 98% of the population. South Korea is known to have the fastest and most available internet connection in the world. The US is ranked 9th. The White House has said that greater internet access "will enable businesses to grow faster, students to learn more, and public safety officials to access state-of-the-art, secure, nationwide, and interoperable mobile communications."

    Personally, I think that it is a good idea to have the high-speed trains working in the US because it really would make traveling a lot easier for many people. When I lived in Korea, my family used to travel a lot by trains/subways. It was always a hassle to travel by cars. When I first moved here, the whole lack of public transportation shocked me. My parent don't like long drives, and this prevents us from going out of state often. This new high-speed train system would help families like mine a lot. In our generation, internet rules everything we do. Even now, we are doing homework on the internet. This is hard for some because they don't have access to it. They should have equal access to it like everyone else. Slow internet connection causes people to have to spend more time on something they should have been able to finish fairly quickly. Faster internet would allow people to have more time in their lives to come up with new things that could help us as a world.

    Jenny Jin
    7th period


    Topic: Legislative Branch

    More than two weeks ago, Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head by Jared Loughner in a grocery store shooting spree. She was transferred to the Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center in Houston last Friday to be further treated. Giffords has been on a journey to a miraculous recovery; her medical condition has been changed from "serious" to "good" on Tuesday night. Furthermore, Giffords may be moved from the intensive care unit, where her husband has steadfastly kept her company at her bedside, to the rehabilitation unit as early as Wednesday morning. The only delay that had been posed was when fluid collected in her brain a few days ago, but with its successful draining, nothing is stopping her from fully recovering this tragedy.

    The Tucson Shooing has brought incredible media coverage and a focus on human strength and heroism. I think that Congresswoman Giffords's rapid recovery is a wonderful symbol of the tenacious American will. I remember hearing on the news that 6 people were killed and many were wounded in the horrible tragedy and how that shocked so many people across the nation; it seems that the American spirit is steadily improving with the improving conditions of Arizona's representative. Though it is a hard time for the family and friends of Giffords, I think the situation brings to light not only American kindness, but the advancement of medical care and the ever-present potential danger of being in a powerful government office. Nonetheless, Gabrielle Giffords's improvement has given us hope and joy and a sense of unity for one cause, which is needed especially in the time that calls for a need to move forward as a nation.

    Jessica Gao
    6th Period


    The strangled body of Texas teen Elizabeth Ennen was found earlier this week. A former close family friend and now the prime suspect in the investigation, Humberto Salinas, was identified on video forcefully grabbing Elizabeth. Elizabeth had been babysitting for Salinas but video shows Elizabeth attempting to leave and then being grabbed and marched away. This video however only surfaced recently and due to the fact that Salinas had seemed credible due to his friendship with the family, police saw no reason to investigate him as a possible suspect. In order to protect his own innocence, Salinas even went as far as to implicate his own son as a possible suspect in the girl’s death.

    In my opinion, this is a heinous crime. Reports from people who knew Elizabeth talk about her love of music, poetry, and dedication to her studies. However, this was torn away from her in the most severe way possible, when she was murdered. Another thing that bothers me about this case is that Salinas tried to pass the blame off of himself and onto his son. This to me shows a severe lack in parenting. Parents should love and defend their children, not attempt to pass off the blame from their own offenses.


    Nevada councilwoman Donna Fairchild shot and killed her husband and then comitted suicide on Monday, January 24th. The bodies were found Tuesday morning, hours before Donna Fairchild was to attend a City Council meeting and face possible sanctions over a travel expense voucher and public comments. A neighbor told CNN on Wednesday she had lunch with Donna Fairchild on Monday and was the recipient of a box left by the councilwoman, apparently on the morning of the shootings.

    According to police, Donna Fairchild contacted City Attorney Cheryl Truman Hunt around 8:30 p.m. Monday to discuss an opportunity to meet with the mayor and council in order to tender her resignation before the meeting. The city attorney at 10 p.m. confirmed with Fairchild a Tuesday afternoon meeting with the mayor and council. Before she comitted the murder-suicide, she reportedly called Arizona police. She was quoted as saying her address, that her house was unlocked, the couple was in the bedroom, and she would be "post-suicide".

  11. Connor Randolph
    Logan current event
    Topic: Executive Branch

    This Wednesday, Senator Harry Reid said that Obama is seeking “to get more power” in an interview with CBS news. The senator stated that any president would lobe to be able to get more power that is what it is all about. He also said that the president wants more power and that he is not going to let him obtain it. Senator McConnell made many of the same points as Reid wants the White House to control its federal spending. Many others state that the earmarks (funds requested buy lawmakers for funding) should not be sent to the White House with its uncontrollable spending.
    In my opinion, Obama is not making any attempts to gain power with more money; but rather using it to spend for the good of the people. I would like to compare this accusation to where Obama stated that he need more money to look for new sources of fuel but prices must rise in gas for this to accomplish. The basic idea is you have to pun in a little to get a lot out and that is exactly what Obama is doing.



    There may be two suns in 2012. Betelgeuse is the ninth brightest star in the sky and it is in the process of gravitational collapse. The fuel at its core is dwindling, and when it runs out the star will collapse upon itself and disintegrate. When this explosion happens, a monumental amount of light that is millions of times brighter than the sun will be released. This will result in intense light on Earth, 24 hours a day for about two weeks. It will fade over subsequent months and eventually; the majority of it will disappear. Contrary to reasonable apprehensions, the presence of two suns will not have any detrimental effects on the Earth. In fact, this explosion may not occur for another million years.
    I think that having two suns is a fascinating prospect. As long as it is not harmful, it may actually be a fun experience. Electric lights will be unnecessary. Temperatures would probably stay consistently high. It would never be dark and dreary and every time it rains there will be a rainbow!

    Maria, 6th


    In the past few decades, smoking became a notorious part of the American lifestyle. All though cigarettes are so popular, they are extremely harmful to a persons health. In the U.S, the average life of people is low compared to other nations. These nations include Japan, Australia, Canada, and France. Recently, the trend of average life age in U.S citizens has been steadily increasing. This is mainly due to all the new discoveries in the science field relating to cigarettes. Most of these discoveries have to deal with the harmful affects of smoking on your body. Also, obesidity in America is another major problem. This issue with weight lowers the life expectancy of Americans as well.

    I believe this is extremely important because it allows American citizens to see many of the bad aspects of our social customs. WE are able to see the bad patterns and trends that run through our generations. By realizing these, we are able to fix the problems and continue to improve or customs. Also, I, as an american citizen, take this article into high regard. This enables me to see trends that i do not want to occur anymore. It also shows me how the average lifespan has been increasing, and will continue to do so as long as we take into account our problems and attempt to fix them.

    Cole Shoup
    Period 7

  14. Ryan Rainey

    I will spend the next 9 weeks keeping everyone posted on the status of Gabbriel Giffords. A couple days ago republican representative Gabby Giffords was realeased from the hospital and sent to one of the worlds best rehabilitation clinics. She is currently for the first time out of intensive care. She has been an iinspiration to tons of people throughout the nation. Giffords has a rough road though. Brain injuries are among the toughest injuries to come back from. The article states that her brain still can have everal malfunctions. It still can get infected. Even this long after the shooting. Her brain is exposed. Some skull has been removed but she is showing signs of major recovery and friends tell of her being a curagous human being. The other problem that could occur is to much spinal fluid entering the brain. She has already had this a couple of times. They have to drain it when it happens because this puts preasure on the brain. She is being monitored constantly. She will be in rehab to get back her communication and physical strengths back. Odds are against her to recover fully but there is always hope and doctors are confident. Doctors honestly dont even know the toll on the brain yet because no real tests have been done yet. Doctors said one of her first real tests will come when they ask her common knowledge questions so they know what parts of the brain have been affected. They said something as simple as making her draw a clock. She may draw the clock missing numbers and or the numbers may be in the wrong spots. Her brain will have things mixed up and the doctors will learn which of these spots are affected so they can do special treatments. I believe in Gabriel Giffords and I hope over the next couple weeks I can tell you more optimistic news.

  15. Nicole Chang
    7th period
    Topic: Science

    Scientists have recently learned how to active and inactivate a mouse gene during development of sperm and egg by mimmicking the process of imprinting. By doing so, they have successfully inactivated a paternal version of the Grb10 gene, which has led to increased amounts of aggression in mice. The scientists used their newly found experimental technique to measure social dominance. The mice with an inactive paternal Grb10 gene were more characteristic of grooming other mice and nibbling off the fur and whiskers of other mice. Additionally, these mice were less likely to back away from other mice when placed inside a tube. Scientists believe that male mice pass on these genes to their offspring in order to continue their legacy. Mice have different amounts of this gene that are active, which explains why some mice are more aggressive than others.
    I think this is very interesting because this will potentially allow scientists to control the amount of aggression found in mice in the future. This could potentially lead to the activation and inactivation of other genes as well. If advancement keeps on progressing this much, scientists could possibly even learn how to control human genes in the future. This new skill is remarkable because scientists have learned how to control genes, and in a sense, traits of mice. This proves that they have a true understanding of the manipulation of genes, and ultimately, this will lead to a great amount of success in the future.

  16. Maria Miggs

    A curious and informative discovery was made this week on the Arabian peninsula at a site called Jebel Faya. Archaeologists found a collection of stone tools that were 127,000 years old. It was formerly believed that modern humans in Africa migrated to other parts of the world only 50,000 years ago. If these assorted tools were in fact engineered by modern humans then this present view which was developed using comprehensive genetic data would be disproved. This new finding raises many questions regarding the evolution of modern humans and their spread and movement around the world. It’s possible that these implements were created by neanderthals not modern humans as archaeologist first believed because no human remains have been found at the site yet. Another question this discovery brought up is the possibility that humans and neanderthals interbred. Although this unearthing gives us insight on the lives of modern humans it requires much inquiry and debate.

    Because I’m not a certified archaeologist, I can’t say if these tools were made by modern humans or neanderthals. I’m very interested in our origins and science which is why I chose this as my topic. As proved by this finding, science is always being redesigned and modified.

  17. Civics and Economics
    Basirul Haque
    Topic: crime and stuff like that

    Former Orange County Sheriff: Michael S. Carona, who was once had the nickname “America’s Sheriff,” turned himself in Colorado Federal prison, where he will serve five and a half years in jail for a witness tampering conviction. Carona was sentenced April 2009 in federal court because he tried to persuade a former assistant to lie and withhold testimony from a federal grand jury investigating claims of corruption in Carona’s campaign and administration. He was ordered to pay a $125,000 fine. During the trail prosecutors presented evidence showing how Carona used illegal campaign contributions and how he accepted cash bribes. During the trail, prosecutors said they presented evidence of a secretly recorded meeting in August 2007, where Carona tried to persuade a former assistant to lie to a grand jury. Back in the day Carona was a hero, in 2002 he caught the kidnapper and killer of a year old girl, whom Carona dubbed “America’s little Girl.” However, Carona is going to jail, and the judge said that tampering is a very serious offense and that lying would not be tolerated in the court room.

    I would have a lot of respect for Carona if he would not have used his office for personal financial gain, not to mention tell somebody to lie in front of a grand jury. But I do like how to took a right turn by turning himself in to a federal prison though. I know that accepting bribes and lying is a very bad thing, but I think that twenty years is too long, and I am glad he is serving only five years. People need to respect Carona for what he did before he lied and accepted bribes. But you know what they say- “you either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villan” in Caronas case, he ended up going from great hero to villan.

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  19. Johnson & Johnson has recalled another series of drugs including Tylenol 8 Hour, Tylenol Arthritis Pain, and Tylenol upper respiratory products made before last April. Benadryl, Sudafed PE, and Sinutab were also affected in smaller quantities. Their producer, McNeil, appears to have had dirty equipment that contaminated their products. The company doesn’t think that it affected the product that much but it’s a little bit shocking that they are having another recall. This past November right before Thanksgiving, they had a recall on Children’s Benadryl and Rolaids. Over the past year they have had over eleven recalls and people are beginning to question Johnson & Johnson medicine. Still, the company seems to be one of the front runners of medicine with millions of people using their products everyday.

    It’s surprising to me that this company has been able to get away with so many mishaps. Johnson & Johnson has almost a monopoly over children’s medicine so the fact there has been no “parent protest” is shocking. When you have a problem, you normally fix it after the first time and then do a maintenance check of all your other machinery. To have so many problems in such a short period is kind of frightening.

    Jenny Vaughn
    Period 6

  20. Jay Htut
    6th Period
    Civics and Economics

    For these nine weeks, i will be focusing on CRIME/MYSTERY related stuff........

    Heres a weird one.
    Kyla Porter, a 19 year old woman, disappeared nearly 3 years ago. Kyla lived in Georgia. However, due to the jailing of her fiance, she decided to move in with her sister, who lived in Holiday, Florida. One night, when Kyla's sister came back home after working, she found that Kyla wasn't home. However, Kyla phoned her an hour earlier telling her she was at a party. After days of searching, the police pronounced Kyla missing. After 3 years, Kyla has still not been found, and her disappearance has had a drastic influence on her family, especially her mom.

    This is a very interesting case. How can a woman disappear off the face of the earth? In addition,i cant imagine what Kyla's mom would have gone through. Losing a child is painful, but not knowing a single thing about a child s whereabouts must be traumatic.

  21. What the heck, Basirul stole my topic!


    In Obama's State of the Union Address last Tuesday, he talked in depth about cutting back on unnecessary government spending. One of the more controversial areas he decided to cut spending in was the Department of Defense. Obama said that the secretary of defense and his generals have decided to cut tens of billions of dollars that our defense budget doesn't necessarily need. This has resulted in a backlash, particularly (or maybe exclusively) by republican members of congress.

    Honestly, I'm not sure how anyone can manage to harbor complaints about reduction of our defense budget, as the simple fact is that the United States is number one in military spending, with its yearly expenditures being, stupendously enough, greater than the next sixteen countries combined! There is no feasible reason for this incredulously large sum of money to be solely devoted to R&D of MORE arms for our troops, whose tech is already lightyears beyond that of those they are fighting.

  23. President Obama Praises Defense Cuts
    My chosen topic: economics
    Eric Plevy

    President Obama plans to cut our nation’s military budget to help save money. His plans were first stated in his state of the union speech. This is highly controversial since many people (particularly in the Republican Party) do not think this should even be in one’s thoughts. President Obama plans to cut over ten billion dollars in our defense. Of course, the generals and secretary of defense were in on this idea as well, and they as well believe that it would be no big deal to them. While this was given the approval by the generals and the secretary of defense, several congressmen still disagree on this budget cut. Even General Dunford agreed to these budget cuts since they would not cause any harm to our defensive capabilities.
    Honestly, I believe that it is ridiculous that congressmen are disagreeing, especially when the generals and the secretary of defense does not. It seems to me that the congressmen are simply disagreeing just to disagree. It will not cause any harm to our defenses, it will help to put money in places where it is critical, and it will help to better our economy, yet these reasons just do not seem like enough to get certain congressmen to agree. I personally believe this is a great idea since it could potentially benefit our nation greatly. For example, we are constructing aircraft and tanks that are unneeded, and this money could go to a much better use, such as improving education, or paying off foreign debt. The importance of this is caused by the better uses this money could go towards, instead of making unneeded war machines. Hopefully, an agreement will be reached so our nation can go through with these budget cuts.

    (I'm doing mine on crime)

    In Portland Oregon a Bulgarian man was sentenced to jail for stealing someone’s identity. Doitchin Krastev stole the identity of a young boy named Jason Evers who died at age three. Krastev recently apologized to the Evers family for stealing the boy’s identity, and his own for leaving them. He not only took the name of the young boy, but the birthday and social security number too. Krastev talked with the Evers family and apologized for his theft. Amy Evers, the boy’s sister, said that she thought the meeting helped, but wasn’t sure if the apology from Krastev was sincere. Amy Evers was only six years old when her younger brother Jason died. He was kidnapped from the YMCA and killed by a 17 year old boy who committed the crime for money to buy a car. Krastev is sentenced to jail for two years for stealing this young boy’s identity.

    I think that this situation is absolutely horrible. I think it’s so wrong that Krastev stole a young boy’s identity that he knew nothing about. The fact that someone would use the name of a boy who had something so horrible happen to him is just wrong. This young boy’s name should be remembered because of who he was, not because someone else stole it. This boy’s identity was stolen from him after he died and now when people think of his name they will think of the man that stole it. Another thing about this case that irks me is the way Jason died. To think a 17 year old boy would be selfish enough to take someone’s life for a car makes me so sad. To think that people put objects over other human’s lives really makes me question how some people look at life.

  25. Leila Doerfer
    TOPIC: Science

    Scientists have performed experiments to show that by altering the genes of a mouse, they can change social dominance in a group of mice. In this gene, the father or the mother's gene may be active but not both. This gene is called Grb10. Researchers have two methods of measuring social dominance. Mice with the gene turned off tend to do more social grooming, and they nibble more fur and whiskers than other mice. The other method was putting two mice in a tube and when they approached each other, the mouse with the inactive gene was less likely to back down and turn away. The inactive gene affects both male and female mice in the same way by making them more socially dominant. In the wild mice are not usually found to be dominant because the gene is usually active instead of inactive. Males can pass on this gene in different levels of severity in order to guarantee their legacy. This is because it's risky to set yourself up as the leader, so they need to spread the genes throughout their offspring. Humans also carry the Grb10 gene, and different versions of it can also affect dominance in groups of people.
    I think it's really cool that scientists have found a gene that is in both humans and mice, and plays such a big roll in society. When people are more socially dominant it can cause more violence. I think that if this gene is in humans and mice, it is also likely to be in other species.

  26. Ariel Gunn
    Period 7
    Topic: SPACE EXPLORATION (and sometimes the lack of space exploration.)

    The Hubble Space Telescope was renovated in 2009, giving it a more powerful lens, allowing us to see the Hubble Ultra Deep Field, a patch of sky in the constellation Fornax that was unable to be seen before. By measuring the length of wavelengths of infrared waves, we can study the "red-shift," which allows us to determine how far they have moved from us, and when the galaxy was formed. Until recently the oldest galaxy's we have found have been dated to have formed around 600 to 800 million years after the big bang. With Hubble's new lens we have found that in the Hubble Ultra Deep Field there is a galaxy that was created approximately 450 million years after the Big Bang. NASA hopes to launch the Webb telescope, to help find more galaxies such as these, although they must wait until their funding increases.

    I think that discovering new things in space is extremely awesome, especially when it helps us learn about how the universe we live in was created. I also think it's really unfortunate that Obama had big talk at the State of the Union of how we need to invest more in science and research, and that NASA's budgeting is making it hard for them to do much of either. I feel that especially since Obama was saying we needed to be researching like we did during the space race we should be putting money to things like NASA, so they can do things like research the Big Bang and getting man to other planets, not just the moon. I think that this new discovery is just another reason to give NASA their funding back.


    Studies show that college freshmen stress levels are at record highs. Data has been collected for twenty-five years from surveys of freshmen nation-wide. 200,000 students participated in this year’s survey. In the survey, students were asked if they thought their emotional health was above average. This year, only 52% of freshmen thought that their mental health was above average, falling from 64% twenty-five years ago. These surveys also show that women tend to be more stressed than men, although researchers say this may be because culturally, women can show their feelings of being overwhelmed more than men. Professors and counselors think that the economy may be having great impact on the numbers. Students are having a harder time getting jobs and paying off loans. They also know that they have decreased chances of getting a job once they graduate.

    It makes sense to me that stress levels are high. Our country is going through tough times and those who are about to be entering the job market are in a difficult position. I myself know that getting a summer job can be hard, but I don’t have to worry about supporting myself. Also, there are a lot of pressures around being a student. Many worry about getting top grades and ranks and there is a lot of competition. Hopefully when the eceonomy lifts, some of the non-student pressures will go away so students can concentrate less on trying to make enough money and more on their classes and the other joys of college.

    Chiara Salemi

  28. Geoff Thomason
    Period 7

    The Petra Solar company, a company that makes Solar Panels in New Jersey, has always considered production to be their biggest issue. They now wonder if there is a more important issue to deal with. It is possible for some of the panels to become “saturated with solar energy.” When “saturated,” these panels can acquire enough energy to wipe out the electronic grid. This is a very serious problem and Petra Solar cannot afford to overlook it. Recently, this company has agreed to supply New Jersey with 200,000 solar panels, 75,000 of which are already attached to telephone poles around the state. Since they are scattered across the state, they don’t make much of a difference in the overall flow of electricity. It’s also a good thing they are separated, because if enough of them were concentrated in one small area, they could produce more energy than neighborhood power lines could handle. It is becoming a very dangerous and complicated plan, but if all goes well, solar panels will make up to 7 or 8 percent of New Jersey’s electric currents in 2020.
    I think it is a wonderful idea, but it is too risky at its current state. If Petra Solar can continue to develop more efficient and safer ways to harness the solar energy, then they might even be able to set up twice the number of solar panels that they originally wanted. I also think that other alternative energy sources could help out as well. If they could set up large quantities for multiple energy absorbing devices, then the 7 or 8 percent could rise much higher. Wind turbines, and geo-thermal energy are two of many other efficient energy sources. I also think that other states should take a look at New Jersey’s plan and develop a similar one to be used for themselves. If every state got 7 to 8 percent of its electricity from solar panels, then that would seriously increase our energy efficiency, and help us get on the right track to a bright, clean future.


    Today it was announced that the federal goverment spending for this year has hit 1.5 TRILLION dollars. Estimates show that every dollar the goverment spends, 40 cents will have been borrowed. The social security system is in jeopardy because taxes no longer fund it. Blame is placed on the Bush tax system and a slow economy. They hope to push yearly debt down to 551 billion dollars by 2015.
    I think it's ridiculous that the debt is that high. Even though we borrow like there's no tomorrow, we have to pay it back eventually. And with unemployment hitting 9% in 2010, there is no sign of it stopping. Hopefully the goverment has every thing under control by 2015. If not, then that places more pressure on taxpayers to pay everything back.


    The Republican and Democratic parties agreed to a stalemate, where both parties will abstain form filibustering when a case is lost. this will allow congress to move on through the year and pass more legislature without having to wait and wait and wait for a single bill to pass. It was noted that it will now only take 51 votes rather than a 60 vote majority. Republican majority leader promised to show similar hospitality should his party take control of the senate. another part of the package allows key vacancies in the white house to be filled without senate confirmation, reducing the work load of congress. Still, both sides stated that there will be harsh differences, and some will use every procedure allowed to stop a unwanted bill from passing.

    I think the steps made to close the gap are staggering, yet not completly unexpected, as our nation was practically tearing itself apart and into to countries, red and blue. Im excited to see progress, it shows the willingness of a new set of senators and representatives. I hope that further agreement continues to take place, and that our nation becomes increasingly unified.

    Ian Hill

  31. Thomas Nguyen
    1.27.10 Period 7
    Topic: National News(this includes politics as well)

    According to new congressional projections, benefits for the retired, disabled, and survivors will be gone in 2037. The finances of Social Security are becoming more horrible. Also contributing to the decline of Social Security is that baby boomers are ready to flee their jobs and head into retirement. Social Security is projected to collect $45 billion less. That is without the tax cuts. The $45 billion is expected to significantly increase to $130 million with the one-year payroll tax cuts. Social Security has payroll taxes falling behind and an increase of applications for benefits give the Social Security a bleak future. That is not the only bad news. The budget deficit will skyrocket to $1.5 trillion because of the slow economic recovery and the tax cuts enacted to help people. In order to save the Social Security, President Barack Obama has suggested the idea of a continuous increase in the retirement age, higher cost of living, or possibly an increase on the threshold on the amount of income subject to the Social Security payroll tax. At least 54 million are benefited from Social Security and they receive about $1076 each month. Since the 1980's Social Security has collected $2.5 trillion in extra money. That money could disappear in 2037.

    I think this is a seriously bad issue right now. We have at most 26 years to fix it, but we may have less time because more people are opting to retire now. By 2015, baby boomers will represent about 35% of the entire US population. By raising the retirement age, more people work their jobs and it saves Social Security about $12,912 a year per person. I think raising the retirement age is both a good and bad thing. It is a good thing because it saves a lot of money for the government because they are still working and not applying for benefits from Social Security. It is a bad thing because depending on your job and as you get older, your chances of getting hurt increase and that might force you into retirement. Increasing the cost of living generates more taxes, and more taxes means more money will be used for Social Security and other government programs. I don't understand the threshold on the amount of income subject to the Social Security payroll tax, but I think it has to do something with the amount of money the elderly, disabled, and survivors receive.

  32. Gavin Welch
    Per 7

    A cache of Ancient tools has been found on the east coast of the Arabian Peninsula. This discovery has reopened an important question of how the modern hummans escaped from their homeland in Eastern Africa. A Modern opinion on the matter is that Modern day humans were thought to have left Eastern Africa around 50,000 years ago.
    Hans-Peter Uerpmann led an archaeology team to the discovery site just south of the Persian Gulf. These tools that were found were aporx. 127,000 years old. Jeffery Rose, an archaeologist at the University of Brimingham in England commented on the disovery made. “This is a huge milestone, but unfortunately it raises more questions that it awnsers.

    I Believe that this is an incredible finding that we have made. To know that we have tools that our modern day human ancestors have is a pretty incredible thing to think about. This also really makes you think about our ancient Ancestors and how they lived and expolred. This discovery implies that Aprox. 127,00 years ago people from african began to explore the world.

  33. Riley Hutchison: Science
    7th Period

    In Denver Colorado researchers at the Colorado State University are developing technologies that will enable plants to change color when subjected to explosive material. When the plant detects TNT it has been redesigned to drain of all chlorophyll, giving it a white appearance. This method had to be simple, so that everyone would be able to recognize it. The plant color change research has been published in the PLoS One, which is a science journal mainly funded by the Departments of Defense, and Homeland Security. These plants are far more efficent that drug dogs, and can identify amounts of TNT that are 1/100 anything the dog can detect. The plants still need to be fast enough to catch the materials passing through. At the moment the response time is a few hours, but we need it to be cut down into minutes. This goal is attainable, but could take 5-7 years to figure out how to work. The military backers are pushing for 3 years, but that goal doesnt seem reasonable. Some scientists believe that this technology isnt as accurate as it has been said to be, but it is a very interesting topic, that could develop into something very real.

    I am extreemly surprised that we can "train" our plants to detect potential bombing materials. This could make our security systems more efficient, and possibly a lot quicker. These plants could make our daily life much safer, and make it harder for bombs to get into bery public places such as an airport, mall, or any other major area. The fact that we have the technology to alter the genetic make-up of plants truly shows how advanced our nation is, and how wealthy we are. I am all for technological advances, but im not sure if we really should develop these plants. It seems like too obvious of an identification system, and im sure there are ways to get around it. Since this information is very public, the criminals who would want to sumuggle TNT will have knowledge about these plants. Im just not sure if this will be as efficient as it has been said to be. If concrete evidence is put forth proving that these plants will not fail, i would say to go on with the research and development, but if not I think the research should be put on hold.

  34. Science

    The Hubble Telescope located in space has recently detected and found galaxies never revealed before with the furtherest distance from Earth. It is said to have existed around the time when the universe was 480 million years old. For 13.2 billion years, it has been setting off light to us. This galaxy has not yet been said to be real, but information like this can bring the scientists into a deeper way of learning. For proof of its existence, the James Web Space Telescope will confirm that the "galaxy" is real. This telescope has not yet been built because of money, but the purpose of this telescope is the find hiding galaxies like this one.

    I think it is very good news that astronomers are finding more and more important information about galaxies and stars. The more we find out about these things, the more and more we can find to be well informed. As society is advancing, the technology is also advancing. It is nice that scientists have such nice equipment to help them with their studies. I think it is important for our society to know more about the universe. We will learn more about black holes and their significants, and things that could possible happen to us in the future. We need many highly educated scientists in the world willing to learn more about the huge universe we're living in.


    In 2009 in Pennsylvania, an 11 year old boy, Jordan Brown, was accused of murdering his father’s pregnant girlfriend. The boy’s attourny asked the Pennsylvania court to discount the lower court’s decision o try him as an adult. Lourdes Rosado, one of the judges, appealed this decision. This young boy now faces life in prison, with no parole. Brown was accused of killing 8 month pregnant Kenzie Marie Houk. He was charged with “charged with one count each of criminal homicide and homicide of an unborn child in the death of Houk, 26.” Officials say he shot her with a youth model 20-gauge shotgun, in her farmhouse in direct range. This gun id designed for children and belonged to Brown. The boy’s attorney wanted Brown to be tried in juvenile court (because the punishment would be less severe). However judges ruled based on the evidence and the severity of the crime. Also the Pennsylvania law says that “Anyone older than 10 who has committed a murder or homicide is automatically tried as an adult” The punishment was given on Tuesday, January 25, 2011. As stated by the Amnesty International, Jordan Brown is the youngest person to ever receive a life sentence in prison with no possible parole.

    I think that this is a pretty harsh sentence for a 12 year old boy. I do agree that the crime he committed was severe, but it’s sad that he has to spend the rest of his life in prison. However, if this case was taken lightly, it would not teach people that even young people who commit bad crimes will be treated just as equally as an a adult who committed the same crime. Therefore, I agree with the court’s ruling, even if it is harsh.

    Laura Musalem
    6th period

  36. Kate Boyd
    Topic: technology

    Sanjit Roy has started a school known as the Barefoot College, where he teaches women to maintain solar power in their villages. He recruits them, brings them to the school in India, teaches them for six months on how to install solar power, and then sends them back home. They've trained women from 28 different countries and have provided electrical power to about 10,000 houses. The people who run this tend to be older women, because they have 'roots' in the village and will not leave to go find a job in the city as soon as they graduate. The classes are taught mostly in sign language and using color-coded circuits, in order to overcome the language barrier, as the women all come from different countries.

    I believe this is a great idea. Barefoot College is using education to help villages be self-sufficient. After teaching one person in the village, that person is able to teach more people and pass their knowledge down. Solar power is independent, so they don't need to bring in power from a city or from a remote place. They can maintain it by themselves, and own and control all of the technology needed to run it. Solar power is also good because it doesn't pollute like other energy sources. I think it's interesting that they chose older women, but apparently all of the men they tried to train ran off and left their villages and tried to use their new education to get a job in the city, while the women chose to stay with their village.


    Topic: Politics

    Rahm Emanuel is now on the ballot for Chicago mayor. According to Illinois state code, candidates for mayor are required to live in Chicago for at least a year before Election Day. Emanuel went back to Chicago from working for President Obama in Washington in October of 2010. He argued that he was still a resident of Chicago even though he was working and living in Washington D.C. It was a unanimous decision that Emanuel could run.

    I agree with the decision made. I believe as long as a person lives in the city at the time they are running for mayor of that city, they should be allowed to be on the ballot. It’s not like he came back from a different country or anything. Also, “he owned a house here, paid taxes here, voted here, and left his most cherished possessions in the basement of his house here,” so I believe it should be fine for him to run for mayor.

    Chris Barth

  38. Alex Grosskurth
    subject: Human Rights
    For this third quarter i've decided to do my current events on human rights throughout the world. My article this week discusses how the UAE has started limiting their citizen's rights by censoring their internet. They've blacklisted certain sites that encourage freedom, freedom of thought, and political rights. They've begun using internet firewalls to block these "undesirable" sites. Some of the sites that they block include skype, a site where you can call people and video chat them, and websites that criticize islam are also blocked. However on a brighter side the UAE has passed a new labor law that says "recruiting agents who entrap foreign workers could face fines or jail time." This is good because it advances the rights of many living in the UAE.
    I think that the first part of this article was astounding. We live in the 21st and governments are still trying to censor their people through the internet. We live in a country that had a site that released classified documents that virtually no one in the world was supposed to see, and we have a country that is censoring skype, which is a pretty harmless website. This really shows that we haven't advanced as far as we claim that we have because we live in the 21st century, not much censorship goes on in our eyes. The second part sort of helps though because it shows that they're at least trying to give their people some basic rights, especially as workers. This is good because giving people reasonable working conditions is the first step towards them gaining greater human rights.


    Stone tools were unearthed in an Arabian Peninsula rock shelter that proved that humans left the continent of Africa about 65,000 years earlier than previously thought. The stone tools that were found at the rock shelter are sharpened points and cutting implements that have been found at East African sites from around the same time period. Previously it was thought that humans migrated out of Africa because of the eruption of a volcano 74,000 years ago that caused a “volcanic winter,” which made the continent uninhabitable, forcing people to migrate out of the continent. Now, because of this discovery, it is thought that due to low water levels and warm conditions, it was easier for people to travel across the, now shortened, Bab Almandab Strait that separates East Africa and Arabia.
    In my opinion, this is a huge discovery for scientists. This completely changes everything about how we thought humans migrated from Africa. This discovery is a major milestone for the understanding of the human story. I feel that many more break-throughs concerning the migrations of early humans will follow this discovery. This could lead to the re-writing of history books and a whole new understanding of early humans.

    Brady Strine
    6th period


    Kim Rubish
    Topic: Science

    This Wednesday, researchers at Colorado State University released an innovative new technology to find bombs. The researchers have redesigned a plant to turn from green to stark white when exposed to even very minute amounts of TNT (which is found in bombs) in the air. These ingenius plants have been said to be able to sense emounts of TNT up to 1/100th of anything a bomb-sniffing dog could sense. The military hopes that these plants could be used practically to prevent attacks within the next 3 years, but researchers say that 5-7 years is a more practical goal. This is because the project still needs a lot of work. The plant needs about an hour to fully react to the TNt at this point, while it would need to react in about a minute to be of much use. While this project will surely have it's ups and downs, it seems to be an attainable goal.

    I think this is absolutely amazing. Obviously, the plant needs a lot of work, but still, this is incredible. Instead of having random (and invasive) searches, bomb dogs, and other forms of bomb protection, one day soon maybe we could just have a nice garden. I'm interested to see the extremity of the difference between the green and white shades, and I'm wondering if the colors will be different enough to provide a clear result. Another problem I can imagine is that even if the plant has turned white, how would you know who had the bomb, or where it was? These things could pose problems, but that doesn't make this project any less innovative and amazing.


    For the first time in US history, an openly gay man could potentially serve on the federal bench. Nominated by President Obama, J. Paul Oetken has the chance to become a federal judge in Manhattan. He is a 45 year old lawyer who isa senior vice president and associate general counsel of Cablevision. Senator Charles E. Schumer recommended Oetken for the job, claiming that he has all three criteria to deserve the nomination: legal excellence, moderation of views and diversity. Another openly gay man, Daniel S. Alter, a former assistant United States attorney in Manhattan, was also considered for nomination to the same court, but ended up not being nominated.

    When it comes to selecting new federal judges, the most important thing is obviously ability. However, there are many able people in this world, so other factors must be considered. Diversity is key in the court system so that there is fair representation of the population and therefore limited bias. Moderate views are also important so that there isn't a prior guarantee of what that person will vote for, just a guess. Once again this leads to variety and diversity. If Oetken has the credentials, I say give him the job!

  42. Jessica Yin
    7th. Period
    Topic: science & health medicine
    The solar energy is mainly used and concerned in the use of energies nowadays, but our system has already been saturated of solar energy that sometimes the electricity is destabilized. There goes a New Jersey plan to deal with this problem, the Petra Solar company produced a technique, that is under contract to supply 200,000 panels that Public Service Electric and Gas will attached to utility poles around New Jersey, the panels make 225 watts instead of 200 watts so that one would be able to feel meet the energies of an entire house in the daytime in a mild day; the additional panels would bring more energy that one needs a day. Because there is electronics bolted to the bottom of the panel, it prevents a solar power overdoes. New Jersey is getting itself set up for high concentrations of solar power in distributed locations, its current plan is that by 2020, it must have 22% of its energy generated from renewable sources, and for total consumption, there must be 2.5% that come from solar, which manes that to reach this number, solar will have to be 6 or 7 % of the total amount of power generated.
    I think that is really a good plan, solar energy is indeed a renewable energy, but the overflow of the utility will decrease the balance of using the energy, it can bring the impact differently based on the geography and climate of the states. The panels that Petra Company is using produce more energy that is enough for one to use, which decrease the additional using of solar energy, it is considered the using of green techniques, and since it is renewable energy, it becomes popular in our society. However, the flaw of this using of solar energy of Petra Company that I recognize is that people definitely need a lot of energy to support their houses, buildings, etc. the more energy they need, the more addition of the panels they would be provided, would it eventually become the overuse of the panels, which also might cause the overflow of the solar energy. I still give more expects to other states for more solutions.

  43. Stacey Cutrell
    Perios 7

    A new galaxy has recently been found through the Hubble Telescope located in space. The galaxy is not yet completely discovered yet, and they have to use further technology to tell if this discovery is real. Its characteristics are that it is a tiny fraction of our Milky Way and it has been here since our universe was 480 years old. The light that is traveling to Earth has been traveling to us for the past 13.2 billion years. The galaxy will need to be looked at by the James Webb Space telescope. The purpose of this telescope is to find these primordial galaxies and discover new things hiding in our universe.
    I think it is very important that scientists are staring to make more and more discoveries like this. We need to learn things like this to make our community more informed too. As our society has been developing, our technology has also been developing into better studies. Our scientists has been able to find more things in our universe that we would never think we could find. Right now we need to start making students interested in things like this, so in the future we can find more information so we know what could happen to Earth later in life.

  44. Topic: Murders

    Last month, swimsuit designer Sylvie Cachay, 33, had been strangled and drowned, her body was found in an overflowing bathtub in the Soho House hotel in Manhattan shortly after she and Mr. Brooks had checked in. Nicholas Brooks, 24, the boyfriend of the swimsuit designer has recently been charged with second-degree murder of Cachay, for which the maximum charge is life in prison. Mr. Brooks’s lawyer, Jeffrey C. Hoffman, said on Monday that although he had not yet seen the papers stating that his client had been charged, Brooks planned to plead not guilty.
    I think it is cowardly for Nicholas Brooks to plead not giulty when it is obvious he was the murderer in this case. He need to fess up to his crime and accept the punnishment he deserves. If he had the will to kill a woman with his bare hands, he should be locked up in prison for the rest of his life to keep society a safer place. Also, I would like to challange the conscience of the lawyer representing Mr. Brooks. How can he stand by Brooks knowing what he has done and try to deffend him? I don’t understand how someone would be able to live with themselves knowing that they are trying to protect a murderer, putting society in danger.

    Cerys Humphreys
    7th Period


    An explosion in Kabul, Afghanistan killed eight people Friday afternoon. The attack took place in a popular supermarket in the Wazir Akbar Khan neighborhood, one populated by diplomats and foreigners and often frequented by western security contractors. The supermarket was also near the British, Canadian, and Pakistani embassies. Zabiullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesperson, explained the target was the head of a private security company called Blackwater (now called Xe Services.) The Taliban took responsibility for the suicide bomber who carried out the act. The western contractors that frequent the store were Blackwater’s people. Two people seen videotaping the explosion and watching the store before it and one other person were detained.

    This is a sad day for America and Afghanistan alike. Considering that it is a Holy Day for Afghanistan I think it is especially devastating. The Taliban have no boundaries and have a very one-sided view of things that allows them to not feel regret, I think. I’m glad I picked Afghanistan as my topic for these nine weeks because there is always information coming from there and it is always interesting. There is more information in the article about personal stories that is very sad and touching. I am glad that the people seen videotaping the attack were taken in, that was a very sick thing to do, and maybe the families whose loved ones died can find a little redemption in that.

    Jessica Batson


    These on going nine weeks I am going to talk about investigations and crime the happens to young children. Like in this case that happened like 23 years ago, To a young girl in Harlem. She was taken to a hospital because of a high fever, and was never seen again. She always knew she was not apart of her family. After looking at some articles from '87. She can across a picture that looked the same as her 5 year old daughter. So she was the one that contacted her mother. Later to find that she was going to get united with her mother again. Right now they are looking for the mother that raised her. Not found get.

    I really feel bad for both the mother and the child. It was not her mother falt that she was taken form her. But all the time they have lost will take time to get use to. It is not easy to have lived with someone that you consider to be your mother and turning out that she is not your mother. knowing that this happens a lot in the us.


    Subject: Economics

    Andrew Cohen 7th

    In President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday night he mentioned the topic of cutting government spending. The topic, in general, was well-received by the crowd. However, when Obama mentioned holding up cuts proposed by the Department of Defense, he received mixed results. He said that the Secretary of Defense agreed to cut around 78 billion dollars in spending. Most of these cuts would come from EFV military vehicles that are used to carry Marines from ships to the beach during attack. Several Republican leaders were especially upset about the proposed cuts in spending for the Department of Defense. California Representative Buck McKeon said that he “intends to pursue the impact of this decision by the administration.” Obama also received positive feedback on the proposed cuts. Democrat Adam Smith of Washington said, "There's no place where you're going to save money where somebody isn't going to complain about it."
    This event is important because the country’s budget problem is a big one and needs to be addressed by our government. However, this is not an easy problem to solve and that is why the topic received mixed results at Obama’s State of the Union address. I think it is good that all of Congress doesn’t agree on everything. If that was the case, then the other side of the story would never be discussed. I think that budget cuts in the Department of Defense are a good idea as long as national security isn’t being compromised. I agree with Adam Smith that anywhere you cut the budget, some people will be upset. We have to start cutting our budget somewhere, and this doesn’t seem like a bad place to start.

  48. This article talks about how Obama feels about education and his education reform. He encourages parents to “reinforce the importance of education” to their kids. In the recession some states have had to cut teachers and classes and increase class size. The author if this article said “there is no reason to believe that simply by raising standards, academic performance among students will increase, followed by higher graduation and college attendance and graduation. Many students don’t believe that a good education can get you a well paying job.

    I agree that education is very important and students don’t realize that, which is ashamed. I think that a good education can get you a good job because I don’t know that many well paying jobs hire people without a high school and college degree. I also think that not every student gets the same education. If you live in a poor neighborhood in a small town, your school isn’t as good compared to a student that lives in a nice neighborhood and goes to a school that’s top in their state.

  49. Tanner Gardner-7th Period
    In his State of the Union Address, President Obama set forth a pretty weighty goal of generating 80% of US electricity from clean energy sources by 2035. He listed solar, wind, clean coal, nuclear power and natural gas as possibilities and encouraged bipartisanship on the topic, saying, “To meet this goal, we will need them all and I urge Democrats and Republicans to work together to make it happen.” Clean energy advocates were dismayed at his inclusion of clean coal and nuclear energy however. “I do not agree with the president,” said Scott Sklar, president of the Stella Group, a Virginia-based clean energy consultancy. “The president is bending to the realities of politics.” President Obama also said that he wanted 1 million electric cars on the road by 2015. If this goal were to be reached, we would be the first country in history to do so. There was more praise for Obama’s goal of putting a million electric vehicles on the road in the US by 2015, particularly because he asked Congress to help pay for this goal by eliminating billions in taxpayer dollars given to oil companies.
    Clean coal is a dirty lie and nuclear energy has far too high of a risk of radiation exposure to those surrounding it, even without a critical meltdown. Obama may be sheltering these industries for now, but we need to move towards the two most abundant resources of all, the ones that have always been there: the sun and the wind. These aren’t some new, alien technologies. We should be utilizing them as they are completely free and eternal. I think the reason that wind and solar power haven’t been given any attention is because oil companies have been placating politicians for the past half-century at least. These corporations have our so-called representatives in their back pockets, and that’s why we see the government not lifting a finger to stop these monopolies or hinder pollution. As long as the cash keeps rolling in, bureaucracy won’t give a hoot. I sincerely hope that Obama will stick to his aversion to oil, for it will surely be better for us in the long run.

  50. Ryan Hegedus
    Police say mother admits killing teen-aged children for being "mouthy"
    In Tampa Florida, two teenage siblings, 13 and 16, were killed by their mother. She killed her 13 year old son Beau while she was driving him to soccer practice and then returned home to shoot her 16 year old daughter Calyx in her bedroom. Police found the mother in a blood stained shirt on her porch while looking into a phone call made by the one of the mother’s concerned relatives. When the mother was asked why she killed her two children she told the police they were “being mouthy.” The mother was being held in jail by the police until she was moved to a mental hospital to treat an already existing condition. The town held a candlelight vigil in memory of the two children.
    I was under the impression that my parents were very strict at times until this article gave me some perspective. This mother, while obviously mentally ill, had no right to commit such a terrible crime. She took not one, but two lives because they were talking back to her. The fact that she had a preexisting mental condition this serious should have been grounds to keep her in a mental hospital before something like this happened. Instead, she is allowed to be a danger to society and in this case to her children. In my opinion, if she was healthy enough not to be locked up in the first place, she is healthy enough to go to the same jail as everybody else, and maybe even to receive the death penalty. There is no sense, however, in putting her in a mental hospital now when it is too late.

  51. sorry i couldnt have this in by saturday i was still feeling really sick

  52. Jose

    Many men in cairo are protesting the fact that the United States Of America is rushing egypt to transform into a democracy that theses people dont want.


    Last month, Leah wrote an article on the possible harmful effects of cell phones on the body that I found really interesting. 47 people were studied and it was found that in less than an hour’s time of talking on the phone, brain activity speeds up 7% around the area of the brain closest to the antenna. It is not known if the effects cause real harm, but researchers are questioning whether or not radiation emitted from cell phones is causing serious harm. Again, they do not know whether cell phones are good or bad for you although some studies have shown a link of usage to a rare brain tumor. It should also be stressed that there have been no studies that link cell phone use to cancer.

    I picked this article because it sounded cool, and when I got a chance to read it deeper I actually found it pretty fascinating. As Leah pointed out, so many people these days are basically attached to their phones and if they are really harmful we should know about it. It’s nice to know that cancer has not been shown to cause cancer! I think researchers should commit time to finding out for sure if these daily staples are hurting our bodies and our minds.

    Jessica Batson