Monday, February 7, 2011

Current Event, 2/11

Great job with the posts last week, Civics! :) You are finding interesting and relevant articles and doing a great job with the summary component. Several of you need to make sure to relate the article to our class discussions/your own life. Don't lose points for deviating from the format. Keep up the good investigative work and make sure to check out your classmates' posts...they're really well written!


  1. Shane Sater
    Topic: Domestic News
    Thought by many to be artistic masterpieces, the Watts Towers is a little-known sculptural work in the Los Angeles area. This unique creation, made of broken bottles, pipes, and other castaway objects, was built over a 33 year period by Italian immigrant Simon Rodia. However, these eccentric towers, which draw 45,000 visitors each year, are in danger due to lack of funding. The sculptures are now maintained by the City of Los Angeles, and in the face of budget cuts, they are jeopardized. Due to concern that the sculpture is in need of repair, Los Angeles recently hired the L.A. County Museum of Art to restore it - a job with an estimated price tag of $5 million. Despite this commitment to their preservation, the fate of the 100 foot tall towers is still up in the air - literally. City officials report that the majority of visitors to this landmark come from foreign countries, an observation partly explained by the lack of publicity the Towers receive locally. An obstacle to tourism is the sculpture’s location - it is 13 miles from central Los Angeles, and is difficult to locate without a map of some sort. Because tourism is the only way to bring in revenue and keep the towers up, this lack of visitors (relative to nearby attractions) threatens the sculpture’s existence.
    I hope that the City of Los Angeles finds a way to keep these towers intact. It would be very disappointing if these treasures went under a bulldozer because of budget cuts after one person devoted over thirty years of their life to these creations. At the same time, I am astonished that it will cost five million dollars to restore these towers - it seems like a tremendous price, particularly after Mr. Rodia built these marvels with assumably no compensation. Hopefully, an article by such a well-known news organization as the New York Times will increase awareness of the Watts Towers, letting them provide enough tourist revenue to remain intact. Regardless of the issue of the Towers’ preservation, I am glad to discover an article that celebrates an artistic treasure instead of bemoaning a violent trend; since news is so largely disappointing, news of the Watts Towers is a refreshing change.

  2. This week my current event again is about Egypt. The vice president in Egypt does not think that the president of Egypt should resign, regardless of the situation. However the U.S. government is still trying to support Egypt. The Obama administration is doing all they can to try and support the changes going on in Egypt. Egypt officials are trying to slow the change process though so that it does not get out of hand and so that the change does not shock the people and cause more chaos. After the White House reviewed the views of the vice president of Egypt they were called unacceptable. It is clear that Egypt is not yet ready for a democracy which is why there is so much conflict happening now. People are very disappointed about how the government is being run. The article also states that they aren’t really sure how much control President Obama has over all of this conflict.

    I think that this situation is completely out of control at this point. It is going to take awhile to get Egypt restored back to its peaceful nature. All of their allies are going to have to bond together to help out Egypt and to make sure the people of that nation are satisfied with the government and how it’s run. It definitely is hard to make everyone happy, but there should be some type of compromise made in order to at least satisfy everyone. That way a type conflict or situation will never have to happen again.

    Kendall Simms 6th pd.

    The popular Chipotle restaurant chain was recently targeted for an immigration audit in Minnesota. As a result, several employees were fired for the restaurant’s hiring of illegal workers. The audit is supposed to reflect the push to crack down on the employers of illegal workers and not so much the actual work sites. In attempt to get a handle on the immigration issue the government is making sure that employers are only hiring authorized, legal workers. These new initiatives are being called “I-9 audits.” The increase of these illegal employees in local restaurants and businesses has taken a hard hit on the workforce. It’s causing a drop in wages as well as diminishing the number of jobs that under-skilled natural born citizens can get. All the added expenses of taking care of these illegal workers in terms of providing health care and public benefits is something that is having more of an impact on the state and local levels.

    In order to create more jobs and help stimulate the economy, corporate crimes such as the Chipotle incident need to be addressed, that’s a given. However, employers need to be better informed about the impact and potential consequences of encouraging the employment of illegal immigrants. I’m all for opening our borders to whoever wants to seek out a life in this awesome country but I think that that opportunity shouldn’t come at the expense of our legal, natural-born blue collar workers. Corporate crime is probably one of the most unnoted issues keeping our country in its current state. In order for us to get better we need to eliminate cases like Chipotle in Minnesota.


    Last summer there was a major push by illegal immigrant students to "come out" and admit their illegal status. This was part of a national movement to try and get a bill passed that would help them move towards legal residence. However, in December this so-called "Dream Bill" didn't pass in the Senate. Although Obama wants to work to get it passed within the year, it is unlikely that that will happen. Because of this, many students are stuck in limbo, wondering what will happen. Although they are not the priority for deportation, illegal students are still on shaky ground.

    I think its awful that the bill didn't pass. There are dozens of arguments for and against making it easier for immigrants to get legal status, but honestly I think that the biggest issue is the fact that it is so difficult to get a work visa, let alone citizenship. Now these students - many of whom have lived in the United States most of their lives - are stuck with few options. Even if most of them make it through college, their options are limited upon graduation. I think it is irresponsible of our government to not recognize how important it is to make it easier for these students to become legal.

  5. Logan current
    Connor Randolph

    Recently, a proposal to cut 76 billion dollars form Obama’s budget cuts for the current fiscal year. “Never before has Congress undertaken a task of this magnitude,” Said house Appropriations Committee Chairman Harold Rogers. House leaders plan to unveil the full list of cuts this Thursday but decided to release a preview Wednesday to calm the revolts made but conservatives who call the cuts too timid... The House consecutives where not pleased with the cuts but vowed to cut at least cut 100 billion dollars form the Obama tax cuts.
    I think that these cuts will help the general American public and the more cuts we make the better of the average citizen will be. I am outraged that conservatives do not want these cuts to be mad just because they might be a tad bit expensive. The general American public needs these tax cuts and the more cuts that are mad the more that we will benefit. The only reason that I think the conservatives want the cuts to be less is so they can put more money in there fat pockets.

  6. Republicans and Bernake in Argument over our Economy
    Eric Plevy

    The Federal Reserve chairman, Ben Bernake has come into conflict with Republicans over inflation. Bernake wants to balance our nation’s budget in different fields, but some Republicans want to focus completely on inflation. Some even want to strip the Federal Reserve of certain legal mandates such as creating more jobs and promoting price stability. Bernake claims that our nation’s inflation is indeed increasing, yet it is stable and will not start to produce major issues. Bernake claims that attempting to fix inflation will not do much since the overall inflation is “…still quite low and longer-term inflation expectations have remained stable.” However, his logic has not changed the wants of the Republicans, as they are still set on solely dealing with inflation instead of creating a balanced budget.
    In my opinion, this is yet another ridiculous situation. I happen to know that Bernake is a fairly bias government official, so his plans do not usually favor one political party over the other. I agree with Bernake because inflation is stable and low, so there is not much to really fix that will cause a significant change in our economy. At this point, it appears as if a balanced budget is vital. Focusing on inflation will only worsen our economic state because less money means more budget cuts to critical areas such as education and small business. Inflation is really not dramatically low nor is it unstable. I believe that it would be in our best interest to balance our nation’s budget since the state of the inflation is stable and, if solely focused upon, will potentially worsen the economy even more. This is important because our economy is systematic, and so are the steps to fixing its problems. You can not skip to step two if step one is needed to complete step two. This could result in a worsened economy if we do not make the correct choice in this situation. For example, we could see this outcome affect our own lives if the wrong decision is made because many teachers could potentially be fired due to a much weaker budget for the school.


    topic- science

    This article relates to the type of government known as dictatorship, and the likelihood of a revolution. The studies conducted by political scientists Timir Sheafer, and Shaul Shenhav at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, displayed a detailed survey of 90 different countries. The survay factors together variables such as freedom of press, free elections, and civil liberties on one hand, and the countries' history of repression and democracy on the other. As they crunched their numbers, they also measured whether each country's reality exceeded its citizens' expectation, or if their expectations exceed their reality. The scientists, at this time, are not revealing their 90-country scores yet.

    Many of the government around the world has had some kind of oppressive government at some point, and like many of them they all came to ruin. There can never be one ruler who could rule for a lifetime without taking into consideration the needs, and the wants of their citizens, because of this, the citizens pick up their arms and retaliate. This article is more of a warning to many countries such as Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and China, stating that if they the citizens to follow and support their government obediently, then they should support them too. Kingdoms fall and blood is shed to change the world but one thing will remain the same is that citizens need and want for freedom.


    New York's sewage creates not only the environmental pollutions, that it will produce foul odors and often contaminates in waterways, it seems to be a really serious problem, but the city starts the sewage treatment plants,sludge,and other components of wastewater as potential sources of renewable energy. New York has already begun to treat the waterwaste as a type of resource. Even Department Environmental Protection is more tend to use water as a daily-life sources rather than an energy producer. Heating fuel can be extracted from sludge and butanol,and alternative fuel to gasoline,from the algae generated by wastewater,via sewage treatment,the plants could sell methane gas to provide power to homes,this plan can annually save about $400.Through a partnership with National Grid that is already in the works,the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plan in Brooklyn is expected to add enough mathane gas to the city's natural gas network next year to heat 2,500 homes.

    I think it is a very great plan for saving and using energies properly.A lawyer with the National Resources Defense Council in NY who monitors the environmental agency, said that is you have got is lemon, then of course you try to make lemonade.Not only this can help New York to get rid of the harassment of water pollution from the wastewater by converting the components and byproducts from it.The burning of natural gas,methane,using up a lot of energy and reducing the amount of storage of energy.From the treatment sewage,we can provide more chances to use natural gas without reducing it from nature but reuse it from the byproducts.

    Jessica Yin
    7th. period


    Andrew Cohen 7th
    Topic: Economics

    House Republicans have released a huge budget proposal that would result in massive spending cuts to federal agencies and government services. The proposal names 70 specific cuts, including extremely large cuts for the Environmental Protection Agency and job training programs. The overall budget cut would be around $58 billion. Practically, the cut would be more like $35 billion because Congress did not pass a budget for the fiscal year 2011 and is still operating at 2010 funding levels. While the cuts do affect many agencies and government services, they do not affect education funding, due to the controversial reaction that would ensue if education funding were tampered with. The proposed cuts are not well received by everybody, Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer spoke out and said, "We need to cut spending, but we need to do it by focusing on waste. This proposal would get rid of cops that keep our streets safe, food inspectors that keep our food safe, and cut home heating oil for seniors."

    This event is important because it regards government spending, which is a topic that affects every United States citizen, whether they realize it or not. How the government spends their money, and our tax money, is an issue that ought to be debated so that the correct decisions can be made. This relates to what we have studied in class because the legislative process is involved. President Obama could veto this proposal, which would demonstrate another step in the legislative process. I think that the topic of government spending is very controversial and I know that politicians will not always agree on the topic. I believe that we have to start somewhere in the process of cutting government spending and this is not a bad place to start. It may be a little extreme, and Senator Schumer may be right that this proposal doesn’t focus on the right things. However, this proposal is a good starting point, and it will get people to start talking about government spending, which is a topic that must be addressed by politicians.

  10. Leila Doerfer
    Topic: Science

    In Michigan there was a study done, which involved over 1,000 sixth graders from different schools. The study showed that kids who regularly bought lunch were 29 percent more likely to become obese than kids who brought lunches from home. Another factor that increased obesity was spending more than two hours a day watching television or playing video games, but this was only by 19 percent. half of the children that were obese bought school lunches on a regular basis, compared to one third of the children that weren't obese being school lunch buyers. Dr. Kim A. Eagle, director of the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center says that school lunches contain high in energy but low in nutrition because it is cheaper. There was a federal law passed in December which limits the amount of calories served in school meals, and requires programs to offer a broad variety of fruits and vegetables instead of just corn and potatoes.

    I understand that many schools don't have as much money as they would like to have, but giving kids lunches that are high in nutrients is important. The way that the schools were feeding kids is the way that a farmer feeds his cattle, corn in almost everything. When five or six year old children are obese, they have a higher chance of health complications that could occur later in their life. Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the U.S. and it is often caused by obesity. I am really glad that the bill was passed and that children will be given decent meals at school.

  11. Stacey Cutrell

    New York City's Sewage Treatment Plant has been noticing several problems with the outcome of their system. They say to have an awful odor being released, and also there has been a report and water locating near being contaminated. As scientists have looked deeper into the situation, they have notice that the sludge, methane, and other gases being created are actually reported to turn into renewable energy. Most cities are doing the opposite thing though. They are trying to minimize the amount of systems being created for it can help decrease the cost and the amount greenhouse gases being put in the air. New York is now thinking that they can use this resource to their advantage. These gases like butanol and sludge can be a substitute for heating fuel in homes. If they begin to sell methane to people to use, it will lessen the cost of the $400 million they spent annually for these systems. 1,200 tons of sludge, which is now just dumped at the landfill, can go to use and use it as energy. A wastewater treatment plant has done the research and averaged that 2,500 homes will be able to use the amount of extra gases for next year. This discovery was such a good find, and it can save our plant and make something harmful useful.

    I think that this study has created a bigger outlook at what the possible things that Americans can do to save our planet. Instead of putting gas in the waste, scientists have proved a way to use it as energy. I think this is very big because reusing energy can both save a lot of money and also being more healthier for our planet. We need scientists today who can discover things that can save our planet. We are killing our planet putting all these horrible gases in the air, and I think that we should get everyone aware of the factors. Now that New York has seen a way to use waste for the good and other places can use this method too.



    Sleepovers and slumber parties have been brought to the spotlight by the author of "Battle Hym of the Tiger Mother", Amy Chua, who did not allow her children to participate in such events. Sleepovers originated in the 50s, primarily taking place in the suburbs. By the 1980's, they had become a staple event in every child's life. It is understandably stressful for parents to allow their children to spend the night in another family's home, abiding by foreign rules and adjusting to a new environment. The article states that children should take sleepovers in moderation. The families should know each other fairly well and have an understanding about any habits, such as sleepwalking or sleep terrors, both of which can be induced through unusual sleeping environments. It is also important to check one's child for head lice after each sleepover. Aside from physical health, factors such as bullying (referred to as "emotional bloodshed") and anxiety should also be considered. Bullying is a prevalent problem when allowing many sleep deprived children and teenagers(especially pre-teens)to congregate in one room together overnight. Children who are affected by separation anxiety should be expected to have some difficulty adjusting to sleepovers.

    I think that this article is making a mountain out of a molehill. I have never witnessed "emotional bloodshed" at a sleepover, and I do not anticipate seeing any such thing at any future sleepover. I agree that parents should moderate their childrens' sleepovers and begin participation at a reasonable age; however, completely abstaining from any sleepover is going quite overboard. If a child does not already suffer from occasional sleepwalking or sleep terrors, parents should not expect it to be a chronic problem. I think sleepovers are very fun and enjoyable, and will continue to be if they remain in a carefree light.

    Maria Yao, 6th

  13. Civics and Econ
    Basirul Haque
    Topic: mysteries, murders, death, bad stuff, crime, terrorism, point taken….

    A 40 year-old man named Daniel Patrick Boyd pleaded guilty on Wednesday to two terrorism-related felonies and could possibly get a sentence of jail for life. Boyd is a citizen of the U.S. He admitted to conspiracy to provide material to support terrorists, and to murder/harm other people. The article goes on to talk about how this case is in some ways, showing how the world is changing. “Terrorists are no longer only from foreign countries but also citizens who live within our borders,” said U.S. Attorney George E.B. From 2006 to 2009 Boyd was offering weapons, providing finance and help terrorists travel over seas. Sentencing for Boyd was set for May.
    This case gives me the chills. For one thing, Boyd lives in NC so that could possibly mean that the terrorists activities that he was plotting could be happening here. Next up is that the idea itself is scary that a U.S. citizen is helping other people destroy the U.S. by setting them up. It’s kind of like a virus, destroying the human from the inside. Hopefully this kind of thing won’t happen again, because what Boyd was doing was giving strength to the terrorists- that’s not a good thing.

    The background for the website is pretty cool.

  14. Riley Hutchison
    7th period
    Topic: Science

    There is a scientific law called Dollo's Law which states that when a species loses a certain trait through evolution it is impossible for it to come back. This law was created in the 1800's and has stood up until now. It explains why humans dont have tails and more, and why birds/turtles dont have teeth. One reseaher at Stony Broko University made the ovservation that frogs lost their lower teeth 200 million years ago there is one type of frog (the marsupial tree frog) that got its lower teeth back 20 million years ago. This has proved that the concept of re-evolution is possible. The huge time span (18 million years) clearly proves it possible. About 170 frog DNA samples were used to prove the dates that teeth were lost, and when they grew back. Today most frogs have upper teeth, which means that they posess the enamel, dentine and other stuff necesary for lower teeth as well. The main question being addressed now is why other frogs havent grown lower teeth.

    When i first saw the link on the New York Times page about frogs being able to regain lost traits i thought that it was some kind of joke. I have always thought that once an animal evolves it would have absolutely no need to go back to its "old ways". Evolution is selection of only the best traits, so why would a frog suddenly go back to a trait that it got rid of 18 million years ago? The fact that we have the technology to determine that frogs lost their teeth 200 million years ago and the fact that they got them back 20 million years ago. Thats a really long time! Re-evolution is a complicated topic, and one that makes my head spin honestly. I am just glad that if a trait is gotten rid of, it isnt necessrely lost forever.


    Heart and vascular problems are quickly becoming a much more serious problem. Lately, many people are having troubles due to many health hazards from numerous different intakes. Mainly, salts and other high - sodium containing products can impact a person's health negatively. One of these recently found products that harm people is diet soda. All though it sounds like something to help you greatly, it really is a problem. Studies have shown that people who drink diet soda have a much higher risk of stroke. This can very very dangerous and even deadly to a person's health. AS well, those who drink diet soda have a much higher risk of numerous types of heart diseases as well. One of these is called Metabolic Syndrome, which can seriously affect a person's health greatly.

    I believe that this study is extremely important. I think this because stroke and heart diseases are a major problem among much of the world. The problems occur rather often, and are very dangerous. Also, lately, soda has been getting more and more popular. By consuming these sodas, you are putting yourself at a higher risk of numerous diseases. This is not something anyone wants to do. It is important that these type of studies are going on so that the public can see the truth behind many products and everyday essentials. It excites me to know that scientists are looking out for my health and are spotting problems in many different types of products.

  16. Leah Whitney

    Recently a man in his early 60’s was to become a patient of a liver transplant. He had learned he had hepatitis B around 20 years ago. Even though he was becoming slower due to his disease he still managed to go to the gym as normal and go to the doctors and ask them thousands of questions to learn all about this surgery. But he feared that maybe he would experience death before he got that organ he needed. During one of his visits to the doctor he expressed that he had been really worried and was almost drawn to take his name off the waiting lists for the transplant. He contacted many patients and asked them how their procedures went and this helped him decide he would stay on the list and get the transplant.

    I believe this is a very touching story because just by talking to previous transplant patients he has gotten the effort to follow through with this transplant even though he may have some concerns. By just talking to these earlier patients he has grown to see that he is able to do this procedure and he is strong enough to do it himself, although for a while he was shifty on whether or not to have this. I think that more people should be open to tell their stories of their surgeries and injuries because it reassures others who are going through the same thing that everything is going to run smoothly.

  17. Jay Htut
    6th period Civics and Economics

    Medical examiner: Woman's death at Busch home accidental

    In Frontenac, Missouri, 11 miles west of St.Louis, 27 year old Adrienne Nicole Martin died of an oxycodone overdose at the residence of August Busch IV. Busch was a descendent of the founder of the famous beer company, Anheuser-Busch. Martin was a model and aspiring art therapist. She was friends with Busch, even though people claim that there was foul play involved mainly towards Busch. However, medical examiners have made it clear that the death was accidental and that there was no foul play.

    This death is very unfortunate. Again and again, we see that more and more young people are dieing because of drug overdoses. It is really sad to hear of someone dieing, but it is even more saddening to know that Martin had a bright future. Concerning how the death happened, I dont think foul play was involved because Martin and Busch were friends.


    Surgeons have recently conducted studies in order to research fetal surgery. Based on the studies, they have concluded that fetuses with a disease, spina bifida, were likely to have less neurological symptoms after they had the surgery. This success could potentially lead to regular fetal surgery. Scientists hope that this study will allow them to safely perform fetal surgeries in hopes of curing diseases earlier. However, there are still many downfalls of fetal surgery. For example, mothers face more danger. Additionally, two babies out of two different samples of 80 died during the study. This advancement could potentially lead to higher fetal surgery success rates or could lower them.

    I thought that this article was interesting because fetal surgery is a very advanced concepts considering that internal organs are not necessarily fully developed. I am not really sure if this will be accepted in society since usually, the lives of the mothers are considered first. If this dangers mothers, then I feel that people will not accept this new technology. Additionally, the fact that two fetuses in each sample died kind of made me feel hesitant. On one side, two deaths out of eighty is 2.5%, which could potentially become a really high success rate. On the other side, though, I wonder if the surgeons just looked at the deaths and didn't think much of it and solely performed the surgeries in order to test this technology. In this case, I really don't agree with fetal surgery because they essentially killed four babies in order to perform research. Research does have it's consequences, but death should definitely not be one of them. Also, the deaths, in one perspective, could be considered to be abortions. I wonder whether the laws concerning abortion will apply to fetal surgery as well, or whether death via fetal surgery will just be seen as "death through surgery" or malpractice. In the future, I believe that fetal surgery will cause a tremendous amount of controversy, just as abortion and stem-cell research has.

    Nicole Chang
    7th period

  19. Topic: Politics

    On Wednesday, February 9th, 2011 New York's Republican Representative, Christopher Lee resigned from his House seat. He resigned because pictures were released of him trying to meet a woman online (Craigslist). He resigned at 5 pm on Wednesday causing the number of House members to be 434. As he resigned, he said that "the challenges we face in Western New York and across the country are too serious for me to allow this distraction to continue." Representative Lee is married and has one son. He was the representative of the 26th district (Western New York) which includes suburbs of Buffalo and Rochester. He was first elected in 2008 and won his re-election in November of 2010.

    I think that he was good in resigning because I think that it would have been hard for him to keep serving with everyone knowing what he had done. It would have been an embarrassment for him and his family if he kept serving. I find it terrible how many Congressmen, or politicians in general, cheat on their wives. It's ridiculous. If they have the time to do something like posting a picture of themselves on a site like Craigslist to find women, they should have the time to pass more legislations that would allow America be a better place to live for all of us living here. Also, if they are "dedicated" to serving us, they should be "dedicated" to their families as well. I hope that Representative Lee's resignation would allow him to make amends with his wife and son for his distraction and that everything will be back to normal in their lives.

    Jenny Jin
    7th period


    A man recently admitted his responsibility in the death of his toddler almost 40 years ago. In July of 1981, 18-month-old Bradley Cuturia died in a Medical Center in Columbus, GA. However, the death was never reported to police and the police had not been informed that the child had been treated at the hospital several times before for abuse. In early 2009, the child’s mother, Cheryl Cuturia contacted the police because she had always believed that the child’s father was involved in the murder. The investigator behind the case told the media that the child had been struck at least once in the head but the police had been told that Bradley had fallen down a step. Detectives tracked the father to a hospital where he was dying of cancer. The father admitted that he had punched the child because he wouldn’t stop crying. The father admitted quickly to the murder in what appeared to be an effort to clear his conscience. The father has died of his cancer since giving his confession.

    I know that dying of cancer is an awful way to die, but I feel that the father got off easy for what he did. The father murdered his child because the child cried, which is what a baby does. I hate that this father could live with himself for almost 40 years with the knowledge that his son’s death was his fault. Also, he caused everyone around him so much heartbreak. Although I don’t approve of the fact that the father only admitted to his heinous crime once he was safe from prosecution, I do think it was good that he did admit to his crime. He provided closure for the mother of the child, as she had believed that the father was involved in the murder.

    Zach Visco
    February 10, 2011
    Period 6


    It’s the time of year that a third of the class goes missing to a mysterious disease full of aching heads and sore throats. But to our surprise, a new competition has arisen in these sickly days. A science gallery in Dublin, Ireland has composed an experiment where you can duel your friends immune system to see whose is better. Scientists take a blood sample and remove some of the white blood cells (the cells that diminish pathogens). They then stain your white blood cells a certain color to help identify them. After that they turn your white blood cells against your friend’s white blood cells and see whose immune system is on top. If you win, you continue on to fight the next person’s immune system until finally they find someone with the strongest immune system. The whole experiment takes place inside of the public science gallery making it easily accessible to the population.

    I think that this is a really creative way to get people excited about science. Not only are you learning about your immune system and the ways your body fights off disease, you are having fun. The health department likes it because it is educating people on how to stay healthy and the kids love it to because you are having some healthy competition. The scientists love it because they are getting more publicity for their work and are getting some really beneficial questions. The fact that it is open to the general public makes it all the better because everyone can compete and learn more on how to not get sick in this vicious time of year. Overall, the exhibit benefits everybody.

    Jenny Vaughn
    Period 6


    Topic: Legislative Branch

    On Thursday, a 101 person bipartisan group of Representatives from the House are advocating for a bill to be passed pressuring the government to combat the low value of Chinese currency. This is the second attempt by Congress to try to fight off the problem with the Yuan, which is encouraging Americans to buy from the Chinese instead of domestically; however, last year the House passed the bill but the Senate rejected it. Last year’s chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee asserted that this bill would be like “adding weapons” to America’s fight against “currency manipulation.” It appears that senators this year are agreeing with the goal of the bill: Senator Brown of Ohio stated that when China “manipulates its currency, that’s not competing, that’s cheating.” The rate at which the Yuan is growing is still increasing, but not enough for the United States to be satisfied.

    I like that we are doing something about the issue of Chinese currency relative to American currency. However, I hope that it won’t affect the relations between China and America, as we rely heavily on each other the way that the economy has been progressing. It is certainly wrong for China to lower their currency value for their own benefits, and I hope the bill will mitigate some of the negative effects that it’s caused the American population. This issue is one that I can directly relate to my life. Whenever we purchase an item, there is a 99% chance it’s made in China. This means that companies in America have been looking overseas to find cheaper countries and factories to do business with---clearly taking away jobs from Americans who used to manufacture everyday items. If the value of the yuan rises, then more companies will feel the incentive to bring jobs back to the United States. I, and others, will definitely feel more patriotic when we buy something that’s finally made in America.

    Jessica Gao
    6th Period

  23. Gavin Welch
    Per 7
    Agence France-Presse retorted that diet soda drinkers have an increased risk or a having a heart attack or a stroke than those who do not drink soda. A study looked at 2,564 people in New York and found that those who drink a diet soda every day had a 61 percent higher risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Acording to the research presented at the American Stroke Association International Stroke Conference, evidence back up the past discoveries. If future studies are parallel to this evidence than that might be good enough proof that diet soda’s may not be the best substitute for a soda.
    I believe this evidence very much so. Diet sodas have very much affected my family. My grandmother is currently recovering from a stroke that she has had previously in the past two years. She has also had at least one diet Pepsi a day. The chemicals that are in a diet soda that replace the sugar can be very harmful. These chemicals are not should not be naturally consumed by our body on a constant basis. I strongly suggest that no one shoulddrink diet soda on a constant basis.


    In the House of Repersentatives the Republican leaders are promising a 100 billion dollar spending cut from what Obama had asked for in the "Pledge to America" speech. It has not been all at once, as they decided on adding 26 billion dollars to the cuts today. Pepersentative Harold Rogers (R-Ky) said the downside is there could be massive layoffs in the FBI and less money for student loans. Since the bill funding the money expires March 4, they've had to squeeze in all the budget cuts in a seven month period, making it extremely tough to get everything in on time. This has many drawbacks, as Healthcare will probably take a cut and the FBI won't get the 4% increase they were promised.
    First off it's ridiculous the United States spends that much money. Also it's suprising the House didn't give themselves more time to cut spending. Plus the bill goes against what Obama's asked for and could result in more peope getting laid off. I don't know if the potental fall out is worth the bill getting proposed. This is a huge risk, either it fixes part of the economy or destroys it. Hopefully the result is the economy gets partialy fixed and the United States can get back on track with the economy.

    Mark Stouffer
    Period 7


    Topic: Murder

    In 1971, the police broke into an Upper East Side apartment to find a dead woman lying against an overturned bed, with a rope tied around her neck and a bite mark on her breast. The lead investigator on this case, Frank Donnelly, examined fingerprints and compared impressions of suspects’ teeth to a mold of the victim’s breast. He looked for clues in other murder files, and even interrogated the mailman. But while no real evidence was found, the case went unsolved. Then last month, almost 40 years after he was assigned to the case, Mr. Donnelly, heard for the first time the name of the man believed to have raped and killed Ms. Crilley. He is Rodney Alcala, a photographer and a one-time contestant on “The Dating Game” who is on death row in California for murdering five people in the late 1970s. Mr. Alcala, 67, has a record of violent offenses dating back to 1968, when he kidnapped, beat and molested an 8-year-old girl in California. He fled from California after that crime and was on the FBI’s most-wanted list. He lived in New York in the 1970s under the alias John Berger. In 1978, Mr. Alcala was “Bachelor No. 1” on an episode of “the Dating Game.” He has been in prison since 1980, when he was convicted of murdering a 12-year-old girl. Since then, he has been convicted of murdering four other Californian women in the late 1970s.

    Usually, I don’t believe in capital punishment, but in this case, I think it is the right thing to do in order to keep our society safe. People who are able to murder multiple human beings obviously have deep issues, and should not be allowed out in public. Although this is a horrible crime and most of us would rather forget that it ever happened, I am glad they re-opened this case and finally convicted Alcala of his wrongdoings. Also, I’m sure Mr. Donnelly is very relieved to see that after 40 years, his case ended in justice. It’s good to see how far technology has come in the past few decades, and it makes me feel a lot safer to know that almost every case can be solved today with modern technology and smart detectives.

    Cerys Humphreys

  26. Norman Archer
    Topic: Egypt/Middle East
    Mubarak Refuses to Step Down:

    Today President Hosni Mubarak delivered a 17minute speech in which he stated that he would not step down as the country’s leader. This statement enraged thousands of protesters who have been in Tahrir Square, Cairo for three weeks. Although Mubarak did “delegate authority” to Vice President Omar Suleiman, y the Egyptian people were not satisfied. Many protesters, including Nobel laureate Mohamed ElBaradei have suggested that the military step in and take control. Several Generals of the Egyptian Army have made speeches at the square, telling the protesters that their demands will be met. In his speech Mubarak said, “We will not accept or listen to any foreign interventions or dictations.”
    I think that Mubarak needs to leave. The president is the most important part of the government, and when he or she is rejected by the people then it is his or her time to leave. By refusing to step down, Mubarak is stating that he is indeed a tyrant. A president needs to be in touch with his people, and Mubarak is anything but. Not only is Mubarak disregarding the Egyptian people, but all other foreign nations as well. This is the 21st Century, an age of globalization and intense foreign relations. At no other point in time has the world been so connected. To refuse this link is to completely isolate oneself from the rest of the world (ex. Iran, North Korea). What Mubarak is doing is stupid and it is only a matter of time before his power and position are vanquished.
    This article can be related to our talks about crime and punishment this week in class. What the president is doing her may not be a crime by definition, but his is definitely doing a bad deed (the people fighting protesters have been linked to Mubarak). From a small scale, I can begin to understand how the protesters feel. Dealing with a corrupt system is hard because what you are fighting doesn’t play by the rules. I know that it can seem like an impossible situation but I am glad to see these people fighting for their rights. I just hope that others countries will do more to help out these people in need.


    President Obama traveled to Marquette, Michigan in a remote corner of Michigan on Thursday. There he made the case that expanding wireless access is critical to the nation’s economic recovery. “It’s about connecting every corner of America to the digital age,” the president said. Obama called for securing high-speed wireless coverage to 98 percent of all Americans within five years.

    This plan sounds like a very good idea to me. This will truly connect America and will let people in rural and remote areas know what is going on in this country and be informed. This will also boost the economy according to the article. This plan could “raise $27.8 billion in revenue over the next decade.” It sounds like there are no major downsides to this plan, so I believe that we should follow through with it.

    Chris Barth

  28. Thomas Nguyen
    2.10.11 Period 7
    Topic: National News

    Numerous hospitals and medical businesses are deciding to turn away employee candidates just because they smoke across the US. Hospitals and medical businesses want to cut back on health care costs, promote a healthy life and boost the productivity at work. They are warning people by putting up signs that says "tobacco-free hiring" as well as submit a sample of urine to test for nicotine in it. The punishment for smoking at hospitals is termination. This move has not only drawn criticism from the pro-tobacco groups, but as well as anti-tobacco groups. The anti-tobacco groups claim that banning smoking workers is invading the private lives of people just to ban a habit that is legal within the US. Hospitals in Georgia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and other states have already banned smoking. More are expected to follow them. According to federal statistics, about 20% of Americans still smoke and cost businesses about $3391 for health care.

    This issue will be a debate for many years. Lots of unemployed people smoke and they might not find a job at all. It is ironic that the anti-tobacco groups do not support the various hospitals' decisions to "give the boot" to people who smoke. This won't affect me because I do not smoke. A lot of Americans still smoke and if all states banned smoking within hospitals and medical businesses, unemployment could jump by 20%. Right now, I don't have an exact opinion on the issue, but sooner or later the federal government will pass a law that determines if smokers can smoke at hospitals. I think a better solution to the problem is to allow workers to smoke only during their lunch break.


    Michael Swanson, a 17 year old from St. Louis Park, Minnesota is being charged as an adult with murder. The 17 year old was suspected to have killed two convenience store clerks. The boy is charged with robbery and murder. The defendant’s excuse for the murder is that he was insane. Apparently, since there were two murders in different counties, there will be two trials. Michael’s attorney asked to combine the trials to take place during the summer. The case will not be held in juvenile court and Kenville didn’t say any more on the matter.

    I think that this case is very interesting because we just finished watching a movie on teen crimes in class. This case is very similar to the ones in the film. A teenager under the age of eighteen commits murder, and is tried as an adult. I also find it very interesting because it is a lot like the episode of Law and Order we watched in class today. This teen has been accused of murder and robbery just like in the episode. I am really scared that Michael will be sentenced to life in prison. This is a kid about my age and I can’t even imagine being seen as an adult in front of the court. I think that life in prison is wrong for anyone under 18 because I think that they should have another chance at life. Of course what he did should not go without punishment, but I think the court system is a little too harsh sometimes. No one knows what this kid may be going through, especially if he really is insane. I think that this case needs to be deeply thought into and I hope the court makes the right decision for Michael.


  30. Kate Boyd
    7th pd
    topic: technology

    Obama just gave a speech in northern Michigan further going into detail about his plan to make sure at least 98% of all Americans have high-speed internet access. He plans to spend several billion dollars on this. Around $3 billion would go into new research for wireless technology, and the rest would go to getting and installing equipment for people in rural areas. He says that this is important for our economy, and would further connect our country. This would help all people have an equal opportunity to spread their ideas, and would make it easier to communicate in the case of a national emergency.

    I believe this is a great idea. I think that everyone should have access to the internet, as it has helped our society advance in so many ways, and it's not fair that only people in urban areas should have reliable access. I don't really know what they're going accomplish in their research, but I suppose it's a good use of money anyway. I'm also not sure how they plan on getting equipment to people, and I feel like that will cost more than Obama has predicted. I would really like to see this accomplished though, as I know a lot of people want home access to the internet, but unfortunately can not afford it.

  31. Kim Rubish
    Period 6

    At the Science Gallery in Dublin, Ireland, a new exhibit by Kathy High has surfaced. This exhibit, called "Blood Wars", basically pits immune systems against eachother to find the strongest. Samples of people's blood are taken, and they are spun down to extract the white blood cells. Next, those cells are dyed a different color (to improve visibility), then the cells of 2 different people are let loose to attack eachother. The last blood standing goes on to the next round, leaving the other in the dust. This exhibit is basically the pro-wrestling of the science world.

    I think this is absolutely amazing! I'm not much of a science person, but this interests me so much. With so much sickness going around school right now, it would be really cool to see how my immune system stands up in comparison to my classmates. This exhibit is not only a really great way to get people thinking about science, but it also helps people to be aware of the germs and diseases going around (especially if their immune system is on the weaker side.) I hope something like this comes to America one day so I can see if my immune system could be the last one standing, or if it would fall victim to white blood cells of another.

  32. Last year, the Muslim Student Union at the University of California, Irvine staged a protest at a speech of the Israeli ambassador to the United States. Individually they stood up and shouted complaints about Israel. The result of their actions was that the Muslim Student Union was suspended for a quarter. Last week, however, harsher actions were taken. The District Attorney filed misdemeanor charges against the eleven who stood up for disturbing a public meeting and conspiracy to do so. This has brought the issue to the surface again. There are many strong feelings on both sides. Some feel that this is a direct violation of free speech, while others feel that the protesters should have chosen a different way to express their feelings against Israel. One woman even went so far as to compare the situation to the Klu Klux Klan trying to silence a speech by Martin Luther King Jr.

    I think that the protesters should have chosen another way to protest. The ambassador was not the one responsible for the things they were complaining about. I do think that they had the right to free speech, but this was not the right time or place to use it. The ambassador almost had to cancel his speech because of the interruptions, and that is in some ways taking away his right to free speech. I do think, however, that this controversy is going too far. People are now accusing each other of helping terrorists. The tension is building up in our country against Muslims and it needs to stop before any more people get hurt. There have already been hate crimes and outcries for Muslims not to be allowed certain places. I am speaking of the center that was trying to be built in New York City. These sorts of things will happen again if we do not find some way to simmer down the fear and distrust that creates them.

    Chiara Salemi

  33. Hannah Blackburn:
    Social Injustices

    South Sudan is the officially proposed name for the new country being formed in southern Sudan. The region will most likely become independent on July 9th this summer, when a Peace Treaty between the North and South expires. Of the 3.8 Southerners who voted, 98.83% voted for independance. Thankfully, the current President of Sudan, al-Bashir, accepts this decision. He says it is the will of the people and he will honor their vote to secede from the North. The vote was mostly peaceful, with only 50 dead in a scuffle between Northern and Southern soldiers in the weeks following the referendum vote. Things look up for South Sudan becoming a country, but nothing is final until July. Al-Bashir has been in power 18 years and is wanted by the International Criminal Court for the genocide in the Darfur region.

    I find it incredible that al-Bashir is still in power. If he is wanted for genocide, why is he not brought to justice? To me, it seems the International Criminal Court must not hold any true power if nothing has been done about these charges. My middle school ran a fundraiser for Darfur when I was in 6th grade. Seventh graders came into my social studies class and told us about what was happening in Darfur. We bought t-shirts for $10, and the money was sent to a group helping out in Darfur. It is fantastic that South Sudan is so close to its goal, and if al-Bashir does anything to stop South Sudan's formation, I hope the US and the UN will step in and stop him.


    A grand jury on Thursday accused the Archdiocese of Philadelphia of failing to stop the sexual abuse of children more than five years after a grand jury report documented abuse by more than 50 priests. The new report said a senior church official charged with investigating allegations of sexual abuse by priests had in fact allowed some of those accused to remain in posts that gave them continued access to children. It charged him with endangering the welfare of minors and accused three priests and a teacher of raping two boys between 1996 and 1999. Investigators do not think these are the only two victims, but they are the only two being used as evidence. At least 37 priests who are subject to “substantial evidence of abuse” are still in roles that bring them into contact with children, the new report said, and 10 of those have been in place since before 2005, when the last grand jury made its allegations.

    The Rev. Edward Avery, 68, and the Rev. Charles Engelhardt, 64, were charged with the rape and indecent assault of a 10-year-old boy in St. Jerome Parish in Northeast Philadelphia in 1998 and 1999. The teacher, Bernard Shero, 48, was accused of assaulting the same boy in 2000.

    I think this is seriously wrong. This is like the worst possible abuse of power in the world. These guys mean everything to these defenseless little kids and then they rape them. These guys are seriously abusing their power, not to mention 10 year-olds. What's even worse is than 10 years ago, these guys all got caught doing the exact same thing and were punished. The Archdiocese was told to get rid of them, but instead, he did nothing. He let more than half of the molesters stay in their positions and have access to young children. This is one of the reasons I'm not religious. All these religions have major problems. In this, it's that young boys are being raped my old men and no one is doing a thing about it.

  35. In Dayton, Ohio a VA clinic had over 500 veterans coming in contacted and being exposed to hepattitis and HIV during a dental routine. The dentist admitts to not washing his hands or changing gloves between patients. The VA clinic has contacted 436 of 535 patients by phone, letters, and visting shelters. The VA clinic is offering free test and treatment to the veterans. The dentist is still currently working but is doing non- clinic work.

    I personally think this is so disgusting. 535 veterans were all at risk of hepatitis and HIV. I appericate that the clinic is taking responsibility for a unsanitary dentist. I personally think this dentest should be fired and not be to wrok as a dentist again because he is disgusting!

  36. Teachers fail to teach evolution
    Maria Miggs

    A recent survey proved that Biology teachers are failing to teach evolution to their students. Instead they teach creationism or don’t teach anything at all. Only 28 percent of the teachers are directly followig their designated lesson plans by teaching evolution. The survey found that 13 percent of teachers admit to teaching creationism in their classrooms. This startling data sheds light on the fact that many young students aren’t getting proper educations. Time and time again the teaching of creationism has been ruled unconstitutional yet it still goes on.
    If this many teachers aren’t teaching the proper material, then there are many students who are receiving false information. I believe that everyone deserves the same education and this survey proves that some aren’t getting it. In this day and age, you would think that the startling evidence for evolution would be exhibited in teaching of the youth, but it continues to be a problem.


    A 40 year old North Carolinian, Daniel Patrick Boyd, pleaded guilty on Wednesday February 9th, 2011, to two terrorism-related felonies. Boyd went to a federal court in New Bern NC, and pleaded guilty to plotting to provide items of terrorism that would be used in acts of violence to people of other countries. "Today Daniel Patrick Boyd admitted his role in a multiyear conspiracy to advance violent jihad by recruiting and helping young men travel overseas to murder, kidnap, maim and injure persons," said David Kris, assistant attorney general for national security.” Boyd was arrested in 2009, and his indictment stated that Boyd had traveled to Pakistan and Afganistan somtime during 1989 and 1992. It said that while he was there he received terroristic military training. Boyd and other defendants provided weapons and financing for the kidnapping, murder, maim, and injury to people of foreign countries. They also aranged trips overseas to revieve training and supplies. Boyd’s sentencing will be set in may and his consiring actions could possibly land him life in prison, but his support with materials could land him only 15 years in prison.

    I think this is a scary situation to know that we were living so close to a possible terrorist. One of the US attournies talked about how much the world has changed. Not only do we have to worry about terrorists from other countries, but we also have to worry about terrorists in the US. Eventhough this crime happened a while ago, it still has a major impact on national security today. I think Boyd should be sentenced to life in prison because he was planning to purposfully injure others, and because he was conspiring against his own


    Dolla’s Law states that once a species loses a gentic trait, it can never be regained. This law is supported by the fact that humans no longer have tails and snakes still do have not regained limbs. It was also thought that frogs were another example of Dolla’s Law, because they lost the teeth on their lower jaw bone, but a recent analysis has shown that a particular type of frog, called the Marsupial Tree Frog, has regained those teeth on its lower jaw. It is obvious that this is in fact re-evolution, because frogs lost the lower teeth around 200 million years ago, and the Marsupial Tree Frog has regained the teeth over the past 20 million years. Scientists believe that the Marsupial Tree Frog has been able to regain its bottom teeth because frogs already have upper teeth, so all the dentine and enamel is there in the mouth. The only thing scientists are wondering is why can’t all frogs grow teeth on their bottom jaw?

    I think this discovery is fascinating. Dolla’s Law had previously been something so set in stone, but now this finding forces us to question the law. Can all species re-evolve certain traits once lost to them, or is this just one particular situation? This finding also makes me ask, why would a species regain a trait it had lost through evolution million years ago? Isn’t the point of evolution to shed off undesirable traits in a species? This discovery brings up many questions and it will be interesting to see if scientists find anymore evidence further contradicting Dolla’s Law.

    Brady Strine
    6th period


    This week a 40-year-old North Carolina man pleaded guilty Wednesday to two terrorism-related felonies that could get him a sentence of life in prison. Daniel Patrick Boyd, a U.S. citizen, appeared in federal court in New Bern, North Carolina, and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists and conspiracy to murder, kidnap, maim and injure persons in a foreign country. Boyd admitted his role in a multiyear conspiracy. He recruited young men to travel overseas to murder, kidnap, maim and injure persons," said David Kris, assistant attorney general for national security.
    In my opionion I really think that people that do this ir not right to do. Half of the world is tring to stop thiswhile the other is killing childrend, separating familys. I really think this men should resive the death penalty of lithel injection. Its not right to go aroun the world killing peolpe.


    Around 10 minutes before the posting of this current event, president Hosni Mubarak of Egypt stepped down. After about two weeks of protest by the Egyptian people, Mubarak has turned all power over to the military and left his Cairo home. This is only after nearly 150 Egyptian citizens have died at the hand of Mubarak's people during the protests. The Egyptian people have been under Mubarak's reign for over 30 years, and not much positive has come out of it. With over 25% unemployment rates the people were ready for a change and with Mubarak stepping down they have finally achieved success.

    As you could tell by my current event last week, I was very in favor of the progressive mindset of the Egyptians protesting Mubarak's rule. So I am very pleased that Mubarak has stepped down so that the Egyptians can finally make their way back up. I hope that this gives the country renewed hope and helps their relations with allied Israel.

    Jackson Wright
    6th Period


    This week in Kabul a conference call was held by Afghanistan’s Intel service to raise awareness of two Taliban cells. It was reported that a man named Talib Jan was leading a group of Taliban from his jail cell. The first ring was lead by a man who instructs a ring of suicide bombers from the city’s main jail while the other cell fed drugs to men from religious schools and got them to do monstrous things. The conference call was not a successful one, as it raised many questions. One frequently asked question was how Jan managed to run a whole cell from a maximum security prison. It has been said that most of the attacks in Kabul were planned by Jan. Jan was responsible for the attack on the supermarket two weeks ago. There is a video taped confession but there is no way to actually verify them. The second cell was made up of eight people; five of the members confessed their roles in a news conference. This cell was planning attacks on American bases in Afghanistan. Both cells were part of the Haqqani network.

    I think it is sad that Jan was able to run such a big organization from a prison. Especially a maximum security one! Jan should get a longer sentence and have his rights taken away for awhile. The second cell is scary too, though. They were planning to attack US grounds and it is a good thing that they were stopped. Both of these cases are shocking to me because no longer is prison a place where terrorist attacks against US land or even our country are safe. It makes me question whether or not prisons should have even higher security. As a member of the country Taliban seem to be targeting so often, I say there should be more security, but I would feel bad for those who are innocent.

    Jessica Batson

  42. Jose
    6th p.

    Cairo's president finally quits after a long three decade of unfairness and authortarianism. the president of egypt has had 30 years tearing this countries peoples apart and messing up the country. now he throws in the towel with no one to take the placee.

    i think its not cool that he gets to messup all he wants and then just quit all of a sudden, sorta like bush.

  43. Ryan Rainey

    Gabby gifford asked for a piece of toast in words the other day. She is making progress every day. It is remarkable. The ironic thing is no one expected this type of recovery. What people dont know is that Giffords was interested in running for senate if she could. She wanted to but she was shot in the accident a month ago. She wanted to take the spot of Jon kyl. Kyl did not decide to re run so it would have been the perfect situation for Giffords. Giffords had political circles discussing her potential run. She did not want this information out in public but now being running is imposible it is information that people have told news articlists.

  44. Ryan Hegedus
    N.C. man admits planning 'violent jihad'

    A North Carolina man was arrested on two counts of terrorist-related crimes. He pleaded guilty and now faces life behind bars. Daniel Patrick Boyd was proven in the court of law that he organized and trained a group of people and planned to commit crimes such as rape, murder, and kidnap, among other things, abroad. Boyd had received training in Pakistan and Afghanistan that would help him commit acts of terrorism. After he returned, the record shows Boyd and the others accused were providing support for terrorists who were in need of weapons training, money, and transportation overseas to complete their training. A comment on the case stated that times are changing, because terrorists are no longer ju8st from other countries, but our own as well.
    I think that this man was disturbed. The article does not say which country he planned to terrorize, but I believe that there is never good reason to commit acts of terrorism. This is because the victims of terrorism are innocent people, regardless of what their country has done. Another fact to support my point, although not stated in the article, Boyd’s children were also in the “jihad” mindset. This proves that Boyd has brainwashed his kids into believing what he believes, because they are too young to have an idea of their own about the actions of other countries and its inhabitants.

  45. Julie Wulforst
    Period 6 Topic: The Middle East

    Today, Friday February 11th, Egypt's President Mubarak resigned. The people of Egypt who have been protesting for weeks now, erupted in joy as they heard this news. Mubaraks three decades of rule was ended by 18 days of protesting, and he handed his control over to the Egyptian military. New Agency stated that some people passed out from joy and some even had heart attacks. Opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei says, "For the first time, Egypt has a chance to be democratic, to be free, to have a sense of dignity, of freedom. So it's amazing. It's just like something we never experienced in our lifetime."

    I'm happy for Egypt. All this time they've just wanted Egypt to be democratic, and to have a sense of freedom, and all their hard weeks of protesting paid off. Although I don't agree with the violence that took place at the protest, I think it was a necessary factor in them getting Mubarak to resign. I hope that Egypt has the strength as a nation to remain united and focus on the future, not the past. With thousands dead or injured, it was a tragic yet liberating sacrifice.

  46. Tanner Gardner-7th Period

    New methods of creating energy are evolving every day, as can be seen with New Energy Technologies Inc.'s prototype called SolarWindow. This invention is a spray-on material which acts as a solar-panel. What makes it different from its predecessors is that it dries clear when applied at room temperature, allowing light through while still extracting energy. The company boasts a 300% increase in energy, and the film is even one-tenth the thickness of current solar-films (that's 1/1000th the thickness of a human hair!) Former models are expensive and laborious to manufacture, requiring high-temperature and high-vacuum production. This product is indeed a novelty: the individual solar cells (the part of the panel that absorbs the sun's energy-) is smaller than 1/4 the size of a rice grain. Because each cell is so small, enough light passes between them to leave the window transparent. As Meetash V. Patel, New Energy's president and CEO put it, "The importance of this breakthrough cannot be overstated."
    This is exactly the kind of thing Obama was talking about in his State of the Union Address: people taking it upon themselves to invent economical and innovative ways of procuring energy. Such an invention could be installed easily, and more importantly anywhere there are windows: everywhere. There are so many applicable situations for this product. And it is entirely clean-the greatest perk of all. This alone could save us from drilling unnecessarily until we squander the last of our finite resources and pollute every liter of air. Just imagine what a slew of inventions could do.

  47. Geoff Thomason – period 7

    New York City recently started drawing up new ideas for ‘Sewage Treatment Plants,’ because of the massive quantities of ‘wastewater.’ Sludge and Methane gas are just two of many different types of byproducts of wastewater in the sewers of New York, and this poses the question; Can Sewage treatments become potential sources of renewable energy? As of right now, their sewage is a major problem, due to horrible smells, contaminated waterways and high expenses. New York’s ‘Department of Environmental Protection’, has previously focused on the multiple complexities of water: cleaning it, re-using it, ect.. So switching their focus to renewable energy will require a big shift and a lot of support. The theory is that by simply heating the wastewater and the algae, the proper fuel will be produced, and will only need to be extracted from the sludge and butanol. If the NYDEP’s plan is successful, then sewage treatment plants could sell refined methane gas to provide power to homes.
    I think that this is a brilliant idea, because not only does sewage treatment need to be refined, but it’s a truly renewable resource, and could also help resolve the fuel issue. If this plan proves effective, then I honestly think that the entire United States population should pursue this method of alternate energy, in ADDITION to solar, wind, geothermal and more types of alternative power sources. The combination of these renewable sources of alternative energy should help us greatly in making a switch from oil based machinery. I also believe that this idea may prove to be better than the woodchip idea that I studied last week.