Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Last Current Event of 3rd Quarter! Due: 3/18

This is the very last current event posting for 3rd Quarter...can you believe it? :) This week's posting should be on the topic of your CHOICE or in response to one of your classmates' posts from the last few weeks. There is a lot going on in the world right now from budget issues and locked state legislative bodies to international crises in Asia, North Africa and the Middle East. Be a good world citizen and stay informed. I look forward to reading your posts.


  1. Sam Freedberg
    6th Period
    The alleged gang rape of an 11-year-old girl has torn apart a Texas community, with some focusing on the girl and her parents as much as, if not more than, the 18 people accused of sexually assaulting her.
    "It is segregating our community," Brenda Myers, the head of the Community and Children's Impact Center in Cleveland, Texas, told HLN's Vinnie Politan on Monday. "There's a lot of anger, a lot of vicious remarks toward the little girl."
    This month, police said 13 adults and five juveniles have been arrested related to their investigation of an alleged rape late last year in Cleveland, a community about 50 miles northeast of Houston.
    Darrell Broussard, Cleveland's assistant police chief, said that the 18 individuals charged thus far are between 14 and 27 years old.
    This is one of the nastiest crimes I've read about during this quarter. What is scariest about this crime is that an 11 year old girl got gangraped by a group of 18 people. I actually read about this on a different site where it said they took her to an abandoned trailer in the woods and thats where they raped her. I find it astonishing that anyone could even believe this is okay. What's worse is that community activists actually spoke out against the girl. People said she "dressed like a whore" or "dressed like she wanted it". That's pretty hard to believe because as far as I know, no one wants to get gangraped by 18 people in a trailer. People even went as far as to blame the parents for not stopping the rape. Thats pretty harsh seeing as she got kidnapped and then raped. It's not like the parents could've done anything to stop it. The fact that some people have the guts to say these guys are innocent and that it's the girls fault are tearing the town apart. People are firmly on both sides of the case and some even think that the rapists should'nt go to jail. I find this wrong in so many ways, it's just astonishing that any of this could actually happen.

  2. Ryan hegedus
    Police: Gunman who shot 4 deputies, 2 fatally, is dead

    A gunman in Virginia shot four deputies, killing two of them, with all the shots coming from distance. The police report said the gunman was hiding in the woods when he shot the first two deputies, who were responding to a larceny call. Two more arrived on the scene to provide support for the first two wounded deputies. The second pair of deputies were shot and killed in the process of provoding support. Later the gunman was shot and killed by police. The town the police were shot in is having a candelight ceremony for the dead police.
    The article does not comment on the specific distance from which the shots were fired, but im assuming the gunman had experience with a rifle. Also, the marksman must have known he was going to shoot the police, because he was at a site where larceny had been called in. The gunman’s sniping spot must hav been a good one too, considering that he was able to remain undeteced for a long enough tme to shoot four policeman. However, the police must have eventually found him, considering the gunman himself was shot.


  3. Summary of Gavin Welch’s Article
    Shane Sater
    In a recent study at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, mice were genetically engineered to include a certain protein in the amygdala, a portion of the brain that is an emotional center. By “switching” the protein on and off, scientists could control the emotions of the mice: normally, they would cower in a corner when someone came by, but when the protein was switched they became totally unafraid.
    I think that, although undoubtedly scientifically illuminating, human applications of this research would be extremely controversial with good reason. First, such technology is at this point very tenuous and untested; any surgery involving alterations in the human brain would likely prove quite delicate, and even the occasional mistake would have drastic social consequences. Secondly, the issue is tied to genetic modification of humans, a practice that is thought by many to be unethical. Furthermore, if such emotion control was possible it could allow a degree of totalitarianism previously impossible - by turning emotions on and off at will, a government could theoretically control people in actuality instead of merely through indirect methods such as legal punishments and conditioning. Such a total control is depicted in literature with extremely negative connotations. For example, in Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, the populace on one planet is totally controlled by a malevolent machine consciousness that manipulates thoughts and emotions to “adjust” people who do not adhere to the mechanistic society’s rules. Also, in Isaac Asimov’s Foundation and Empire, a classic science fiction story, a person with the ability to manipulate emotions grows to control a huge empire of totally obedient, subservient slaves who lack any ability for their own conscious thought. As it applies to contemporary government, these concepts are likely stretched; however, with time and further scientific advancement, these scenarios are very possible. Popular input and independent thought are basic principles of democracy; to preserve a democracy, this technology should clearly be outlawed in humans.

  4. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/14/world/asia/14japan.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=japan&st=cse

    Japan is still suffering severe losses and aftershocks of the earthquake that hit last Friday and the tsunamis and damaged nuclear reactors that continue to inflict the Japanese people. The 8.9 magnitude earthquake is probably the most devastating event since Japan's involvement in World War II. So far, the recorded death toll exceeds 10,000 and thousands of survivors are low on the basic necessities such as food, water, heat, electricity, and shelter. The earthquake is straining not only the mentality of Japan, but its economy as well. Recently the Bank of Japan put $86 billion into the economy in hopes of laying a safety net for Japan when it rebounds. Those surviving and are still in danger are still evacuating out of the places predicted to receive the most aftershock.

    The catastrophe in Japan has induced a kind of incredulous surprise in people around the world. I think that a natural disaster such as this one can only be waited out until all the chaos has settled so we can better assess the damage and casualties. However, people should do whatever they can to donate money, food, and water to the survivors and the injured in Japan. I think this earthquake and the effects of the earthquake are horrible, but it is fortunate that Japan has a relatively uncorrupted and people-serving bureaucracy. I hope that the aftershock of the earthquake will be minimal and that Japan can rebuild whatever it has lost very soon.

    Jessica Gao
    6th Period

  5. http://www.cnn.com/2011/CRIME/03/09/illinois.death.penalty/index.html
    Kendall Simms 6th pd.

    Laura wrote about an Illinois governor who repealed the death penalty in his state. He signed off on legislation removing capital punishment from the state’s array of criminal punishments. Naturally legal advisors and groups tried to fight the legislation claiming that the threat of a death sentence helped prevent crime. However the governor felt that the system had too many flaws. He felt that there is always room for error in that type of system. Which was as proven by a previous incident where 20 people received the death sentence and then were found innocent, post-mortem. The governor of Illinois believed that the best way to handle this issue was to throw out the death penalty all together. The maximum punishment now is life without parole.

    I agree with Laura in that getting rid of the death sentence was a good way to redeem the sate for wrongly killing 20 people. Also it does show that the justice system does have a few kinks it needs to work out in terms of being thorough with the whole legal process and especially with sentencing. Although I highly doubt there will ever come a time where the death penalty is completely removed unless there’s some amendment making it illegal nationally. After all, the South is a whole different animal entirely compared to the Midwest. However this is a sign of progress towards more suitable alternatives.

  6. Hannah Blackburn

    President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela spoke out recently against breast implants. This may seem like a crazy thing for a president to be worrying about, but maybe it is not so crazy when you consider that between 30,000 and 40,000 women have the procedure done every year. An opposition paper, El Nacional, compared the President with Col. Qaddafi. El Nacional said Mr. Chavez was reacting negatively to breast implants because he had an old, militaristic point of view. The newspaper said he was denying women the freedom to do whatever they wanted with their bodies.

    I would have to agree with President Chavez on this one. When I hear about poor women feeling inferior and being encouraged to spend up to $7,000 on breast implants, I get really mad at a society that does that to their women. I am also mad at women who believe they must change their bodies and sacrifice so much money when they have so little on pointless, artificial surgeries. Although it truly is a woman's right to have a surgery or not, the fact that society accepts this as normal and good is something the President can try to change. Half of the people on this planet are women, and while our societies still see women as objects to be used and owned we cannot hope to move forward.

  7. Like we now Japan has been hit hard. Its land has be targetted by eathquakes and trunamis and the effects of all of this is rising. peolpe are washing up to shore. Nuclear power plants are effecting everyone. This will take time cure but it will never be back normal. No one had it comming. But the whole world is helpping Japan out. With what ever they need. The emperor has made a histoic speech of hope, for its nation. The after math is what Japan is going through. Everyone is doing there best to help out anyone in need of help. I would like to help out as much as possable. But we can only do what we can, and I know its not much but anything counts.

  8. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/15/world/asia/15nuclear.html?_r=1&scp=3&sq=japan&st=cse

    This past Friday, a massive earthquake rocked Japan. Buildings were destroyed by the earthquake and the tsunami that occurred because of the earthquake. The death toll at this point is in the hundreds, and is likely to pass a thousand. Another troubling effect of the earthquake is the potential for a nuclear disaster comparable to Chernobyl. At the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, numerous reactor explosions have been reported. This is not good for Japan, because now these reactors are leaking extremely harmful radiation. Readings done around the plant reported a spike in radioactivity that shows that the leak is even worse than they originally thought. People living within eighteen miles of the plant have been told to not go outside too often, keep their windows closed, and to not use air conditioning, and engineers at the plant are working to stop the leak.

    This is really bad news for Japan. A leak of this magnitude could potentially have effect people for generations. Experts are comparing this leak to that of Chernobyl, which was an absolute disaster. Fortunately for Japan, strong winds have been blowing radiation over the Pacific Ocean, instead of over densely populated Japanese cities. Over the last week, Japan has had to go through, an 8.9 magnitude earthquake, a massive tsunami, and now a nuclear power plant disaster too? Japan has already had to deal with the horrific aftermath of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, so I just hope that they are able to stop this leak as soon as possible.

    Brady Strine
    6th period

  9. http://www.cnn.com/2011/CRIME/03/07/pennsylvania.church.lawsuit/index.html

    Kendall wrote about a church in Philadelphia that had lawsuits filed against it for declared sex crimes. The Archdiocese hid the past crimes of one of their priests, and created a fake sexual abuse victims help program. The law suit brings to trial seven priests for conspiracy to endanger children’s lives, concealing the crimes, and fraud. A former archbishop, Anthony Bevilacqua, has a history of camouflaging, and ignoring sex crimes occurring within the church. An example of this was when Bevilacqua was aware of sex offense in the church, failed to report it to the authorities, and had the criminal moved to another church as to not be investigated. The Archdiocese says that they removed this archbishop promptly after being informed of his actions.

    I agree with Kendall that it’s sad, and scary to see that even these men who are suppose to be the most holy and moral men, are committing such disturbing crimes. It s hard to know who you can count on now a days on account of having the church being sued. As Kendall said, this church did a good job of hiding their crimes; however this law suit will hopefully lead to other investigations in other churches.

    Laura Musalem
    6th period

  10. http://www.cnn.com/2011/US/03/15/california.student.japan/index.html

    Akiko Kosaka is a Japanese exchange student who is currently at University of California at Riverside. She is from Minamisanriku, a small fishing village, where more than half of its 17,000 residents are missing or feared dead from the tsunami. Her family still lives here, and when she heard that their mayor barely survived the tsunami, she lost her hope that her family may still be alive. However, she received an email that said that her little sister is safe in a shelter in her middle school. Then on Sunday, she received information from a friend in Japan that there is a Youtube video that showed her house and her sister. In the video, her sister shows signs that state their family name and says that they are all inside and safe. She tells the people filming that she is doing this to get a message to her sister in America. Kosaka sent a message to her family as well. There are 109 Japanese students currently at University of California at Riverside for English-language study or certificate programs as Kosaka is, and five of them have families who were affected by the earthquake and/or tsunami. However, Kosaka was the only one to have contact with her family members.

    It's wonderful that she was able to have contact with her family. It's stories like this we need during this time of disasters. It's nice to know that we can have such happy stories of survival and reunion during these harsh times. It must be so relieving for her to know that her family is still alive. I know that if I were her, I would be doing everything possible to get some news on my family. It's just terrible that three horrific things could happen all at once for one country. I hope that their nuclear plants problems along with radioactive snow and rain problems cans be fixed soon. I hope that Japan will be able to get through this disaster soon and be able to become a stronger country afterwards. I wish for the best for the Japanese people, and I hope that other Japanese students, currently in the US or in other countries, with families affected by the earthquake and/or tsunami, be able to have contact with their families soon.

    Jenny Jin
    7th period

  11. With the recent meltdown at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, debates have arisen as to just how dangerous this explosion is. According to Gregory Jaczko, the chairman of the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission, it might soon be impossible to continue the “backup backup” cooling functions for the nuclear reactors. These emergency actions are being taken as a last resort to prevent a truly massive meltdown. According to the Japanese the radiation is currently not a huge threat; they have advised anyone within around 12 miles to evacuate. The US advises differently: anyone within 50 miles should evacuate in case of potential radiation problems.

    Although the American Nuclear Regulatory Commission could possibly be suggesting measures that are overkill, I believe in the principle of better safe than sorry, especially in the case of something like this. If the US is wrong, then no one gets hurt, but if Japan is wrong then there could be some extremely serious damage to anyone too nearby the power plant. Japan seems to not be taking this matter quite as seriously as it probably should: this is the biggest nuclear meltdown since Chernobyl. Granted, it is nowhere near that tragedy in size, but that doesn't man that it could do serious damage. On a more global note, this event will likely lead to numerous discussions over the next few months as to whether the benefits of nuclear power outweigh the risks. I personally think so, if they are built in safe places, but it's tough to say, especially with what's going on in Japan.


  12. Connor Randolph
    Current event

    This week Japan started to face to reality of the problem on their hands. Many followers of the Japan earthquake have known for years that Japan was not ready for a national disaster on this scale. The Japanese government has responded to this crisis by delivering misleading information to the public and has been proven inept. If the government had a hold on what was happening at the Fukushima nuclear complex, of been true to reporting it, than they might have been in reach of international assistance more rapidly. The U.S. has expressed how the Japanese government could have deal led with this better and evaded a posible “ dead zone” in the north eastern part of Japan that has been there for decades.
    I think it is fair to blame that the Japanese government partially for the happenings in Japan but not entirely. The government could not have totally prevented the earth quake and in it no way their fault that north eastern Japan has not seen help sooner. Take hurricane Katrina for example, the us government did the same thing to New Orleans so we can’t blame Japan for doing the same thing.


  13. Norman Archer

    Topic: United State Congress

    Fight Waged With Forks Is Rejoined in Congress

    Among the turmoil between Republicans and Democrat this week in Congress, a hot topic was the dinning utensils. During the years in which Representative Pelosi was the Speaker of the House, Democrats incorporated a several initiative within the capitol building, including compostable cups and utensils. Theses new additions were meant to show our legislators concern for the environment and desire to be “green”. With new Republican leadership, the cafeteria is back to plastic and Styrofoam. Although many enraged Democrats have expressed their beliefs to Speak John Boehner, they have been told that the eco-friendly changes were costing the government to much.

    In my opinion (which is all that this paragraph is about), this is a very petty and immature move. It isn’t about how much it cost or how effective is. It is about send the American people a message that they need to be conscious of their carbon emission. Our leaders need to lead by example. In the words of Drew Hammill, a spokesman for Nancy Pelosi, “This decision really embodies the new G.O.P. majority.”

  14. http://www.nydailynews.com/lifestyle/health/2011/03/17/2011-03-17_americans_hoarding_potassium_iodide_pills_due_to_radiation_fears_pills_protect_t.html
    Alex Grosskurth
    6th period
    After the threat of nuclear meltdown in Japan many Americans are begining to think about what would happen if the meltdowns happened here. To counter nuclear exposure, potassium iodide pills are a good source because of the ways the chemicals react with eachother. Americans have begun hoarding these pills in case there is a similar threat here. These pills help primarily against thyroid cancer, but they help against other cancers as well. Other drugs work well too, but since this is the least expensive its what many people use. The government also has stockpiles of these anywhere within a ten mile radius of the reactor so they can dole them out if they're need. There are problems with this potassium iodide because it cant keep radiation out of your body, only help you some once its been ingested.

    I find it interesting that instead of searching for solutions to make nuclear power safer, we just stockpile drugs to save ourselves. The Japanese plant thats in peril wasn't up to par on its safety inspections which is one of the main reasons this is happening. If they had followed safety standards then maybe this crisis wouldn't have happened. If we increase safety standards and reasearched nuclear power then maybe there wouldn't be this much fear. Things are bound to go wrong, but we should do our best to make sure that nuclear power is safer.

  15. http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/03/17/adoptive-parents-missing-colorado-brothers-appear-court-theft-forgery-charges/

    58-year-old Edward Bryant and his wife, 54-year-old Linda Bryant were the adoptive parents of Austine Eugene Bryant and Edward Dylan Bryant, two boys who were recently discovered to be missing for almost a decade. Edward Bryant and Linda Bryant failed to report their disappearances and continued to collect $175,000 in government payments, resulting in theft and forgery charges. Their bails have been set for 1 million dollars each. The couple told the authorities that the boys had run away in 2003 at the ages of 7 and 11. Spokeswoman Lori Steven claims that the boys had been enrolled in school but were taken out to be home schooled. They have not been seen for at least ten years. The authorities are most interested in the reasons behind why Edward and Linda Bryant did not report their disappearances.

    I think that Edward and Linda Bryant are definitely involved in the disappearances of their adoptive sons and I highly doubt their story of the boys running away. I cannot fathom why they would allow the boys’ disappearances to go unreported for the last ten years. The subsequent forgery and theft makes the situation even more suspicious. I am glad that they each have extremely high bails and I hope that authorities are able to properly charge them. The whereabouts of the boys are currently unknown and may shed more light on the situation.

    Maria Yao, 6th

  16. I am writing in response to Sam's current event this week. In a small Texas town this week an eleven year old girl was raped by eighteen males. Thirteen of the men were adults and five juveniles. The town has been torn apart by this itu people standing firmly on both sides with people saying hat he rapists do not deserve any punishment. Many say that this is one of the most horrid things they have ever heard of.

    This is one of he craziest things I have ever heard and believe the men should be punished harshly. To kidnap a young girl is absolutely awful but to also rape her with eighteen males is even worse and should be punished to the fullest. Saying that she had it coming because of how she dressed is a terrible excuse no one deserves such an awful excuse because of their clothes. I don't think the men should get away with this and I dont see how anyone could defend them as innocent. I am glad Sam brought this to our attention as this young girl needs all the support she can get right now and these men need to be punished well.

    Jackson wright

  17. This week my current event focuses on the health aspects of Americans. We spend lot of time worrying about health care reform, but aren’t really fully aware of all that it covers. Many Americans are very unhealthy and without knowing the risk of the lives their leading they won’t be able to change it. My article talks about obesesity and the risk that comes with it. It also talks about how the shape of your body and how fat deposits around your body can determine your health. Heart disease is one of the major risks of being overweight and unhealthy. A study was conducted and it showed that out of 220,000 Americans with an average age of 58 nearly 14,000 suffered a heart attack or stroke.

    I think that many people aren’t aware of how their everyday choices are affecting their lives. There are so many easy and convenient choices such as fast food that will and can cause heart disease. It would be better if there were more accessible resources on how to live a healthy life in order to reform health in America.

  18. http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/asiapcf/03/17/japan.nuclear.reactors/index.html?hpt=C1

    Attempts to cool down the nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi have been "somewhat effective". However, experts believe that the steam rising out of the reactors may be depositing radioactive particles into the atmosphere. Reactor no. 4 is believed to contain very low amounts of water, if not no water at all. This means it is emitting very high levels of radiation, which obviously isn't good.

    This situation in Japan needs to be managed because if things are allowed to spiral out of control, then things in Japan could become much, much worse. This situation shows the danger of nuclear power plants in the event of natural disasters and other catastrophic events. They require too much maintenance to be safely run, not to mention that their waste products--extremely dangerous radioactive materials--will continue to emit radiation for thousands of years to come.

  19. A Yale University lab technician pleaded guilty Thursday to murder and attempted sexual assault in the killing of graduate student Annie Le in 2009. Raymond Clark III will be sentenced to 44 years in prison as part of the plea agreement.In court Thursday, prosecutors described injuries to the victim and evidence of attempted sexual assault. Le, 24, was strangled to death. She had a broken jaw and collarbone, the prosecution said. Clark's DNA was "all over" the crime scene, including in her underwear, the state charged. Le's body was discovered inside a wall of a Yale lab building four days later after an extensive search by the FBI and police. Clark,26, admitted the facts as the prosecution presented them but pleaded guilty under a legal precedent that allows him to do so while still officially protesting his innocence.

    I think that they should have sentenced him life without parole or death. He is an adult in the court system and murder is a class A felony. There are juveniles who have gotten more serious sentences than this man has received. I believe that even if someone pleads guilty they should be sentenced the same as if someone who had not plead guilty.

  20. Leila Doerfer
    Period 6

    I am responding to Brinklee's post. It talks about how people that are obese can have fat deposit in different areas on their body. Those whose fat deposits are in their mid section, "apple" shaped bodies, are at a greater risk for heart disease than those who have a body shaped like a pear. "Pear" shaped bodies have fat mainly in the thighs and below the waist. Brinklee talks about the studies that they did following 220,000 Americans and more than half had a stroke or a heart attack. There are many risks that come with being obese and heart attacks and strokes are just a couple of them.

    I agree with Brinklee that people should take note on how their living their lives. For most people being obese is a style of life that they could have prevented. If one eats healthy food and exercises regularly they should have no problem staying healthy. I also agree that more resources should be accessible to Americans. The reason many people eat fast food so often is because it's cheap and even though they want to eat healthy foods, they can't afford to. I think if more resources were available for Americans, less people would be obese and they would be able to live a healthier lifestyle.

  21. Recently there has been a lot of conflict in the region of Libya. The fighting between many people in increasing. Among this, four journalist had gone missing. They were on their job trying to report all the struggle there lately. The names that were released are Anthony Shadid, Stephen Farrell, Tyler Hicks and Lynsey Addario. New York Times lost contact with these men on Tuesday. The information is not determined, but many people are thinking that the government forces from Libya had come and taken them. Officials are doing the best they can to uncover any information on their location, but it is very hard to find discoveries like this because they have no evidence to go off of. A journalists' safety is endangered in those countries. Reports show that they have been assaulted and killed regularly. It is scary for these people, and they should be sure to be very careful.

    I think it is important for people to know stories like this. It is hard to follow the conflict over in Africa right now, but reading stories like that really gives people understanding about how people are treated. These journalists aren't even involved in the conflict between all these people, and they are also being attacked and killed. This shows how serious this issue actually is. There is nothing we really can do to stop the fighting especially from so far away, but I think that it is important for as many people to read articles like this. I makes people more aware of situations this serious. I hope that they are going to be able to settle this struggle very soon, so people are able to feel safe in areas around Libya.


  22. In response to Maria Yao’s current event:


    A 60-year-old Laysan Albatross by the name of wisdom recently hatched an egg. This is to be her 31st chick she has raised since being banded in 1956. Wisdom has exceeded the average life span of an albatross by more than twenty years, yet scientists have observed minimal changes in her physical appearance and mental capacity.

    I am completely and utterly dumbfounded by this scientific discovery. I find in unbelievable that that an animal can go almost 60 years without aging. I agree with Maria when she said, “Many humans would deeply envy this bird's self-preservation and ability.” It’s a very true statement, but I hope people don’t endanger this specie by trying to scientifically emulate Wisdom’s desirable trait.

    Cerys Humphreys
    7th period

  23. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/17/us/politics/17compost.html?adxnnl=1&ref=science&adxnnlx=1300400494-By2fcvFsFD1wVTlnacQF9A

    The Republicans and the Democrats have something new to argue about: disposable forks. While the Democrats had control of the House, they instated compostable utensils and cups in the cafeteria. However, the Republicans, who are now in control, opted to return to the former plastic utensils. Both sides have brought up reasonable claims. For example, a Democrat representative claimed that "none of the best companies are questioning composting and recycling." To counter, many Republicans have voiced their opinions that the compostable utensils are inefficient and do not make a significant enough impact to be kept. The final decision will ultimately leave one party unhappy.

    When I first read the article, I thought that this argument was a bit juvenile. However, in another respect, I felt like the Democrats were just looking for an outlet from which they could argue with the Republicans due to their unhappiness of the outcome of the recent elections. It would be great if the two parties could come to a compromise, but if not, I feel that the Republicans are entitled to their opinions, and therefore, can enforce their ideas. If only one car's worth of carbon emissions is being reduced because of these utensils, the Republicans are justified in their decision as well. However, I believe that the Republicans should look into the emissions of the House and find different ways to reduce them.

    Nicole Chang
    7th period
    March 18, 2011

  24. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/as_japan_earthquake;_ylt=Ah.28EipQtKm6qaI.zG76mWs0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTNqZmFncG1jBGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMTEwMzE4L2FzX2phcGFuX2VhcnRocXVha2UEY2NvZGUDbW9zdHBvcHVsYXIEY3BvcwMxBHBvcwMyBHB0A2hvbWVfY29rZQRzZWMDeW5fdG9wX3N0b3J5BHNsawN3b3JrZXJzdHJ5dG8-

    Japan is trying everything to control the nuclear disaster but they're not sure if it has any effect. There is already a 50 mile evacuation zone around the reactor. The time to get the complex under control could take weeks. If the clean up is not somplete, it could lead to a much larger meltdown later. Radiation has been detected well beyond Tokyo.
    I like that the US is trying to help Japan when they need help really badly. I can tell that Japan, the US, and other countries are trying to help. It shows the world can unite in a time of crisis. Hopefully the mess can be controlled before it gets out of hand.

    Mark Stouffer
    Period 7

  25. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/8335282/Modern-women-not-as-shapely-as-they-like-to-think.html

    Topic: Strange study

    Britain recently released a study asking 3,000 women what vegetable or fruit they thought best represented their body. They answered and then provided their body measurements to this group. They were allowed to choose from butternut squash, pear, apple, aubergine (a fruit in the eggplant family), carrot, or broccoli shaped. Twenty-seven percent told the researchers they thought they had the butternut squash figure, Twenty-one percent said they had a pear figure, twenty-one percent of women said they believed that they were apple shaped, sixteen percent described themselves as an aubergine, while the remaining fifteen percent said they were carrot-shaped. In reality, more than half of the women were apple shaped and researchers say that is due to a more stressful lifestyle. Women these days tend to carry fat around their waist/middle instead of their hips like in the 1950’s. The body releases energy in the form of fat when we are stressed to prepare us for “battle” or “fight or flight”. The overall truth is that women have severely distorted ideas about their own body image.

    I think it is really sad that women have such distorted ideas about their body and I think that it is kind of ridiculous that researchers would use vegetables and fruits to determine this. When I first heard this on a program in npr, I laughed out loud in shock. Apart from learning about how women view their bodies and why their bodies are that way, there is no real point to this article. While it is interesting, I feel that researchers should focus on other things.

    Jenny Vaughn

  26. Ariel Gunn
    Period Seven


    Spring arrives one Titan, Saturn's largest moon, and with it it brings spring showers. Of course, these showers aren't of water like ours are. Titan has liquid methane rain, that changes the surface of the moon. NASA has finally gotten pictures of these showers for the first time, receiving them from the Cassini spacecraft. Titan has very Earth-like weather patterns, just with methane substituted for water.

    I find it really surprising that there are weather patterns that are Earth-like on another astrological bodies, let alone on one so far from the sun. It makes sense though, since methane would just have to have a low freezing point. I think it's really cool that we have proof of it now, since it may allow us to learn more about liquids on other planets.

  27. http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/03/01/diet.soda.health/index.html?iref=obinsite

    Recent studies show that many people are feeling the need for an excessive amount of diet soda drinks. Ellen Talles doesn’t go a day without a honking cup of diet coke with ice. She stated, “I crave it. Need it.” It sounds a bit like the average person’s coffee cravings every morning, doesn’t it? But some people actually feel like they’re addicted to the sweet stuff. If you swap out a proportional amount of diet coke for cigarettes, she would be smoking two packs a day! Ellen says when the supply of coke is down she even feels panicked! This “addiction,” (if one at all,) can be blamed for the caffeine. Another reason for this addiction is very mental. Many people tell themselves that they can drink as much as they want because it is a “diet” drink.

    I think that this frenzy over diet sodas is truly an addiction. I think that people are legitimately addicted to soda over the caffeine, sweeteners, and psychological reasons. I think that it’s sad that so many people have this addiction because though not as bad as others like smoking, it’s still not healthy. I think everyone should just drink water and be healthy!
    Tristin Van Ord

  28. Geoff Thomason – Period 7 – 3/17/11

    Hawaii has always depended on tourists for its income. Now their profits are taking a serious hit. Even before Japan was hit by an earthquake and a tsunami, Hawaii had been struggling with a budget issue. This problem is actually pretty serious for a state as small as Hawaii: close to $1 billion over two years. The recent ‘Japan’ catastrophe could take an all ready bad situation, and turn it in to a major crisis. Tour services and hotels began receiving cancellations and notifications in just a few hours of the earthquake, and they haven’t showed the first sign of letting up. Hawaii is very dependent on the Japanese tourists who willingly make the 9-hour trip across the Pacific. Japanese tourism has recently hit a major drop-off: Last year, 1.2 million Japanese visited Hawaii, down from a peak of about 2.2 million visitors in 1996. Since the disasters, they haven’t had half the number of normal visitors.

    This whole article and the all of Japan’s problems depend on their decisions of how to clean up and how to re-build their country. They have to be extra cautious, and make sure they do the right thing. The connection here is clear: as terrible as this is for the state of Hawaii, the mess in Japan takes priority. If we are lucky, a successful clean up in Japan will lead to a successful profit for Hawaii.


  29. Civics and Econ
    Basirul Haque


    While rescue workers continue to search for human survivors in Japan, animal welfare groups are working to rescue Japan’s animals. Due to the massive terror caused by the earthquake and tsunami, many people are leaving the country, and are leaving their animals behind. So this group is working to take care of those animals. The goal is to get as surviving animals as possible and to do the best that they can to reunite them with their owners.

    First of all, I would like to say that my heart goes out to all the people who are victims to this disaster. What this animal group is doing is respectable and very selfless. I think that the human victims spirits would be raised a bit if they had an animal to accompany them through this tough time. Pets are very meaningful to people and Japan is no exception, so this is a great gesture by the world vets.

  30. http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2059408,00.html

    Julie Wulforst, 6th Period

    The catastrophic 9.0 magnitude earthquake that devastated Japan on March 11th, is now also affecting the US. Since the quake, four of the five nuclear reactors in Japan have gone up in flames, posing dangerous health risks. In Japan, they are performing various radioactivity screenings on citizens to check them for increased amounts from the explosions. At first when the world discovered that the potentially toxic winds would be blowing out into the Pacific, they were relieved. The eastward winds would likely prevent more harm from happening to the earthquake-and-tsunami-battered region. However, now people on the west coast of the US, specifically California, are terrified that the toxic winds may effect them. There's now a run on Potassium Iodide, tablets that help block the absorption of radioactive Iodine. This rush has created a backlog at all the companies that produce them, although The California Department of Public Health and the California Emergency Management Agency have urged citizens not to consume them due to the negative side effects. Scientists have claimed that by the time the winds reach the West Coast, the radioactive material will be in very-low concentration and doesn't pose a threat, yet Californians aren't risking it. The cost of a bottle of Potassium Iodide tablets has sky rocketed from $6 to $140.

    How could they not be scared? All over the newspaper, television and magazines we're hearing all about the devastation in Japan, seeing horrifying pictures and hearing terrifying stories. It's better to be safe than sorry. The Californians are more worried about the radioactive material rather than an earthquake or tsunami because the radioactive material is less predictable, less treatable and somewhat of a "ghost." You can't really see it coming. It's mind-boggling that the price of the tablets has increased $134 in only a couple days. Another earthquake in California is long over due, so they better brace themselves and prepare for the worst.

  31. Leah Whitney

    Early in pregnancy women often take many pain medicines such as codeine, oxycodone and other opioid pain drugs to help suffice the pain for a whole. But studies have shown these can cause major birth defects in the children. Although the percentage was rater small some children developed spina bifida, where the backbone and spinal canal do not close, or also they could develop a rare disease in which the left side of their heart doesn’t develop directly. Of the 17,449 mothers who had used major pain killers a month before pregnancy about 454 of them had birth defects. These pain killers were shown to be “growth regulators” which therefore explains why some of these mothers had children who didn’t develop properly.

    Although this information may show that only about 2.6 percent develop a birth defect that is I still a large amount. People these days sometimes don’t have the resources needed to be able to take care of a handicap person. Although they will still love them the same even if they don’t develop like normal families still have a hard time dealing with a child that has a birth defect. Also I think that there has to be some other way to get rid of the pain for these expecting mothers without putting their children in harms way. With all the technology and money spending on medicine you would think that there is some way to figure out how to make a pain medicine that doesn’t hurt their children.


  32. Thomas Nguyen
    3.17.11 Period 7

    As the unrest continues for the Japanese government to prevent a nuclear meltdown, people who were trying to cool the fuel rods made little or no progress according to US government officials. The water cannons or the firefighting helicopters missed the target which was the reactors. The Japanese besides cooling the fuel rods also have to restore power to the nuclear plant so that more water can be used to cool the fuel rods down. Gregory Jaczko, the chairman of the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission said that this crisis will take weeks to remove the heat from the reactors and the spent fuel pool. On Thursday the Japanese began to restore power to the nuclear plant. Both the US and Japanese governments decided to work together to solve the crisis. Drones and U-2 spy planes, normally used to monitor North Korean nuclear weapons, were flying over the plant.

    I think it will definitely take at least 2-3 weeks before the plant returns to normal functioning. This includes the damages repaired, removing the heap of heat accumulated by the fuel rods, and cooling the fuel rods before the earthquake. I think by next Thursday, the majority of the power of the nuclear plant will be restored and people can get rid of the heat. This nuclear crisis has alarmed us that the US needs to check all nuclear plants and make sure they are malfunctioning. We have a nuclear plant nearby, Shearon- Harris. If it were to malfunction, we would have to leave to avoid radioactive contamination.

  33. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/18/world/africa/18nations.html?_r=1&hp

    The United Nations Security Council voted Thursday to authorize military action. This includes airstrikes against Libyan tanks and heavy artillery and a no-fly zone. After days of often acrimonious debate, the Security Council authorized member nations to take “all necessary measures” to protect civilians. The vote came after rising calls for help from the Arab world and anguished debate in Washington. It left many critical questions about who would take charge, what role the United States would play and whether there was still enough time to stop Colonel Qaddafi from recapturing Benghazi and crushing the rebellion. Colonel Qaddafi said on a radio call, “We will come house by house, room by room. It’s over. The issue has been decided,” offering amnesty to those who laid down their arms. To those who continued to resist, he vowed: “We will find you in your closets. We will have no mercy and no pity.”

    The United Nations has definitely made the right decision. We must protect these civilians from harm. Although Qaddafi is fighting for his country against the rebels, he should never treat civilians in the way he described in the quote above. He should not force them into submission by harming them. We cannot let his troops get close to these civilians, so authorizing military action was the only choice that we had to protect them.

    Chris Barth

  34. Riley Hutchison
    Earthquake in Japan


    The earthquake in Japan has sent almost eveything into dissary. The earthquake has killed 5,692, and 9,506 people have been reported missing. Several indivduals have stated that simply livind day to day is a struggle. Some towns have recived supplies such as instant rice and diapers, but everyone is running out. Japan is a very wealthy country, and the estimated cost of rebulding could be up to 150 billion dollars, and they havent requested any financial assistance. Everyone has been affected by the japanese living in the area has been affected by the radiation from the nuclear plant within 12 miles have to be evacuated, within 18 miles are told to stay indoors, and any Americans within 50 miles away have been evacuated. Flights coming back into the united states have been found to contain traces of radiation, but they arent found to be harmful. Flights will continue, and the military says that they can evacuate 10,000 people every day, and they wont stop until everyone is out.

    I find it crazy that one earthwuake in japan can have such a big impact on America. Typically we hear about something that has happened, and just offer to lend our aid, but this time we have to figure out what to do. We have people living there, students in college, and military bases to worry about. This may have been an isolated event, but it sure seemed to effect a ton of people. I am impressed at how this situation has been handled so far, and it seems like we have the situation under control, but there is always more to do. Japan had a disaster happen and they didnt just sit there, they took action. Although there were some minor setbacks, such as the nuclear problems they handled the situation extremely well

  35. Kim Rubish
    6th period


    For the first time in Angola, a dinosaur fossil has been discovered. Not only a dinosaur fossil, but a fossil completely undocumented and seemingly belonging to an entirely new dinosaur. Scientists have observed that this long-necked dinosaur may be one of the largest dinosaurs to have ever walked this earth. This new species is now know as Angolatitan adamastor, and it has been theorized to have been swept into the sea and killed by sharks.

    I think this discovery is truly amazing. Any time a new fossil is discovered, the world gains an irreplaceable opportunity to learn new information about the planet we live on. It is amazing to me that even though we have been finding dinosaur fossils for years and years, we are still not done discovering. Hopefully this new fossil will help human kind to learn something new about the world we live in, and not be the end of our inquisitions.

  36. http://www.cnn.com/2011/US/03/17/louisiana.new.orleans.police/index.html?hpt=Sbin

    Andrew Cohen
    7th period

    The Justice Department announced Thursday that the New Orleans Police Department has engaged in patterns of misconduct in violation of federal law. It was found that the police department has used excessive force, made unconstitutional stops and searches, and illegally profiled people based on race, ethnicity and sexual orientation. Some believe that the police misconduct can be attributed to failed systems for recruiting and promoting officers, poor training and lack of supervision. These violations were found through a federal investigation. The federal investigation was announced last year because the newly elected mayor, Mitch Landrieu, was concerned with the notoriously bad New Orleans police department. This investigation was not only carried out with the support of Landrieu, but was also supported by the police superintendent of New Orleans.

    This is important because it regards the misconduct of law enforcement officers in New Orleans. If citizens can’t even trust their own law enforcement officers, chaos will ensue. It’s great that the mayor of New Orleans realized there was a problem with the New Orleans Police Department and did something about it. It is always nice to know that our government is trying to improve itself, even if it is just on a local level. This relates to what we have studied in class because the New Orleans Police Department is a local government department, and we have studied local governments.

  37. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/18/science/earth/18scientists.html?_r=1&ref=science

    With the nuclear industry of Japan is facing the scrutiny after the enormous earthquake, the nuclear industry of the U.S is also spotted highly with regulations and scrutinies.The Union of Concerned Scientists,an environmental and nuclear watchdog group based in Cambridge,of Mass.,accused the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission in a report of allowing companies that operate plants to ignore and delay the repairs of leaky pipes, as well as other electrical malfunctions and other problems,they said that this delay will bring more serious problems.This report has got a lot of concerns and echoes in Congressional hearings. The report examined 14 instances in 2010 in which significant problems at nuclear power facilities set off special inspections by the regulators as "near miss".Responding to the report, a spokesman for Progress Energy, said that they have the highest safety standards for their nuclear plants and their employees, and they work constantly to improve safety.
    As the earthquake happened in Japan and caused the leaky nuclear in their industry, it is indeed necessary to make a serious and detailed scrutiny in the nuclear industry of the United States as well.The scientists that concerning on the delay of repairing our own energy problems in our nation,have pointed out that the thing that is happening in Japan is a severe warning not only to America but the entire world, I believe that the America has very high level and quality of protection and safety for the workers in the industries, however, we still need to be more focused and very careful about every step we take.
    Jessica Yin
    7th period

  38. The United Nations Security Council voted for military action in Libya. This will include airstrikes and a no-flight zone. Reports say that the attack would start just a few hours after the decision had been made. Officials are trying to move as quickly as possible to help the rebels because Qaddafi’s forces are moving ever-closer to Benghaki, the center of rebel resistance. The decision to help was a difficult one for many countries. Germany, Russia, China, Brazil, and India all decided not to participate in the attack. The United States, after much deliberation, also decided to participate in the action because it is believed that not only is Colonel Qaddafi threatening the lives of the citizens of Libya, he is also threatening democracy. The UN is trying to get the Arab League involved in the action as well.

    I think it is important to help out countries whose governments are not working for them. Colonel Qaddafi was acting as a dictator. He is now trying to repress the will of his citizens for a democratic government. Many of the people who will be killed by him can be saved if we help them. I do think that it is important to be sure of the decision before going into a country, but I think that in this case, the decision the US made was the right one. I also agree with their decision not to send in ground troops. The US is already struggling from the results of two other wars in the Middle East. It would be better to not get pulled under by another one.


    Chiara Salemi

  39. Kate Boyd
    7th Pd

    The nuclear crisis in Japan has risen from a 4 to a 5. A 4 is like the incident at Tokaimura in 1999, while Chernobyl was a 7. 5 is the same as Pennsylvania's Three Mile Island situation, which is considered the worst in US history. A 5 means that there is damage to the core, release of radioactivity, and several deaths from it. The head of the UN atomic agency pushed the prime minister to speak about this at a meeting, and to release more information to the public about what is going on. Many emergency workers are feeling that they don't have enough information about what is happening.

    This is really awful news. While I don't completely understand the scale, it does put this event in perspective in relation to other nuclear meltdowns in history. Already Japan is facing worse than the US ever has. I'm glad that the prime minister says that he is willing to talk about it. I hope that authorities are able to distribute better information to the public. Part of the reason it's probably so difficult to inform people of what's going on is because of all of the chaos. I hope that Japan recovers from this as soon as possible.

  40. Maria Miggs

    Response to Jessica Gao's article:

    Last Friday, at 2:50 p.m. a massive 8.9 magnitude article hit the coast of Japan. Following this disaster was a tsunami that left thousands dead and millions in Northeastern Japan without water and resources. As Jessica mentioned there are also complications with the nuclear power plants. As the uranium cores are overheating, hydrogen is being released into the atmosphere and causing explosions of the plants. This releases reactive materials into the air which could start affecting the population.

    This catastrophe has affected thousands of people and will continue to take lives. It's important that we give money to any tsunami relief groups and do all we can to help those who are suffering.

  41. http://www.cnn.com/2011/CRIME/03/14/texas.alleged.rape/index.html
    (Article used by Sam Freedberg 6th Period)

    "It is segregating our community," claimed Brenda Myers who works as the boss of the Community and CHildren's Impact Center in Cleveland, Texas. This comment came in response to the "alleged gang rape of an 11-year-old girl". According to the girl, she was kidnapped and raped by 18 people in a trailer in the woods. Many people think that the girl is at fault and that she should be punished for not trying to preven the rape and that her parents as just as much at fault for also not doing anything to stop this horrific event from happening.
    I agree with Sam Freedberg that the girl should in no way be faulted for this as she was (albeit allegedly) kidnapped and I'm sure this means she did not go willingly. I think the activists have no right to blame her and think the rapists should go free. I can not add much more to what Sam said about this artciel but to agree with this.

    Jacob Harris 7th Period

    P.S.: I accidentally chose an article used by somebody else from THIS week as opposed to previous weeks. 'Twas an accident but I still did my current event!

  42. Gavin Welch
    Per 7

    This week NASA's messenger space craft was the first ever to succecfully orbit Mercurey. ON March 17th the spacecraft came into orbit and pictures of mercury will be beamed back to earth my April 4. The craft flys a little over 200 Kilometers from Mercerry's surface. Scince it's launch in 2004 Messanger has traveled over 7.9 billion miles. IN order to reach into mercery's orbit you the caft has to slow down tremendously to one kilometer per second so that it won't burn up.

    THis is exicting for any one intrested in outer space. learning about a new planet can be intresting and can be benificial to us if we can learn how to use it. THis is another step america is taking to exploring outer space.

  43. http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/71327/description/MESSENGER_eases_into_Mercury%E2%80%99s_orbit

    sorry ms Logan heres the link

  44. http://thechart.blogs.cnn.com/2011/03/17/hiv-transmitted-in-donor-kidney-screening-changes-urged/

  45. http://thechart.blogs.cnn.com/2011/03/17/hiv-transmitted-in-donor-kidney-screening-changes-urged/

    When put in the situation needed to donate an organ, many people step up. However, some are not able to proceed in this because they are not healthy. Organ donation has been around for a long time. However, screening for these organs has not been around nearly as long. This screening is becoming much more routine as well as difficult to pass. These organs being doinated must now go through numerous tests to ensuren they are healthy.

    I feel that this is very important because it is necessary that we give those in need healthy attention. If we are attempting to help them, and end up doing something worse, then that is no good. I believe it is very important theat we are screening much harer now. This shows we really do care about the health of othesr in our community. Also, it shows that our standards have improved greatly. Now that we are paying more attention to things like this, it shows us as citizens our government is looking out for our best interest.

    Cole Shoup

  46. Tanner Gardner-7th Period
    @Alex Grosskurth

    A law was passed in Chechnya that decrees all women MUST cover their heads and the majority of their body. In 2010, dozens of women who did not comply were shot in the head with paintballs. President Kadyrov of Russia praised the paint ballers because this helped put the women "in their place" according to the law. The Human Rights Watch claimed that this was an atrocity and that this law makes it easier to put down women.
    I'm guessing Chechnya doesn't even have laws stressing the separation of Church and State, or maybe Islamic ideals are so well engrained in their society as to let such a law come about with little to no protest. I agree with Alex on these three points: "Laws that support a religion in a non-secular society shouldn't support a religion, and people shouldn't be assaulted because they didn't wear something on their heads. Governments should never condone open violence like this." Being shot for not wearing something just because of your gender is an outright infringement of your human rights.