NRDC: NRDC provides facts and information on rising gas prices, gas supply and demand and the need for 60 mpg vehicle standards.
Courtney Burns's insight:
It is amazing how much gas and oil we use in the world. We are continually drilling to get more fossil fuel. We have even developed the concept of fracking, in which chemicals are injected into the ground in order to get the oil and gas from the ground below. Oil and gas are in high demand and we keep trying to find new ways and areas to get more and more of it. However what we aren't doing is trying to find a way to minimize our use of these products. This article provides some good ideas to take a step in the right direction. By putting money towards new ideas for better fuel effient vehicles or new transportation systems for people to be able to use as forms of transportation are both good ideas. If we can try to minimize our use of theses products we may be able to not only just save money on gas but better the environment in the process.
Before I looked at this map I was pretty excited to see what kind of things each country was good at. However looking at the different things each country was good at almost made me laugh a little bit. I couldn't really figure out if this was supposed to be a joke or not. For the U.S. it said the country was good at getting killed by lawnmowers. However places like Brazil is talked about FIFA cups, which I thought was accurate since they tend to have a successful soccer background. I think each thing is supposed to give a little bit of info about a country's particular culture, which is pretty cool. However I just don't know how serious and accurate this data is. What I did like and find intersting is that looking at this map you could break things up to see what countries are good at or even what they are bad at. The visual representation was something I thought was noteworthy in this article, and something that could show a lot of data if it were portraying accurate information.
Initially I wasn't really sure what I thought about this resturant. My initial reaction was that I hated it and thought it was a bad idea. I to seemed like we were supporting another country by serving their food. However there is a cultural experience involved when we go out to eat. Many people go out to italian resturants to get the experience of italy and etc. However after really thinking about it the US is typically in conflict with another countries government, not the people who live there. By selling the food of countries we are in conflict with almost gives us an idea about what exactly the culture is there. I think it almost educates people in such a way. I think that might be the purpose on the resturant. By eating at this resturant it opens peoples eyes to what people of that particular country are consuming on a regular day basis. That experience can be good or bad, but either way it still opens up peoples eyes to the type of world other countries are living in. I think by eating there you open yourslef up to a new cultural experience, which I belive is exactly the point that the kitchen is trying to serve. Even if it is through food.
According to a new report by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, more than 600 cities deploy more than 700,000 bicycles for public use.
Courtney Burns's insight:
Pollution is a huge problem in our world today. So what is everybody doing about it? Most places aren't doing too much. However there are some places such as Barcelona, New Mexico, Lyon, and many more who are trying to do something about it. They are using a bike system rather than driving their cars. The system basically rents out a bike until you return it to the next bike station. Your membership card is then billed for the amount of time you used it. What an efficeint way to help reduce pollution. These numbers are continuing to grow. There are more than 600 cities who supply more than 700,00 bikes for public use. By taking steps toward the "bike share boom" we may be able to greatly decrease the pollution in the world. However with the convience of cars today I'm not sure if our cities will ever reach this point.
This TV show is very different from something we would see here in the US. What was interesting was that the superhero in this video was fighting for education. The basis of the show was that the schools were shut down, and a superhero (a teacher) was trying to help the students and fight for education. This is a constant struggle for the people of Pakistan. They don't have education like we do. Their culture is much different than ours. We really take advantage of all the opportunities that we have in education. We don't need to have a "superhero" to save education in the US because we have education easily available to us, whereas the people in Pakistan do not. That is all they want. They want to learn new things and become educated. This TV show represents what the people of Pakistan want and want to fight for. I think ultimatley the show represents the culture they want and are fighting for.
It is crazy to think that alcohol is illegal in Pakistan. In the US is so easily accessible that I never really thoughout about it in other places. In Pakistan it is illegal to sell or consume alcohol. However this doesn't mean that it is not there. Selling alcohol is a very risky business. Getting cuaght with alcohol at the very least ends in a $350 fine or a police bribe. However this the minimum punishment. Many bootleggers have been shot and killed trying to sneak the alcohol in. This is why the risk is so high and many people try to keep their bootlegging to a minimum. Many of the men get upset when they get big orders becuase it means that there is more of a chance to get caught. They said a small buisness makes about $4,000 a year, which may seem small to us in the US, but it is 3 times the average salary in Pakistan. However there are some bootleggers who make up to $30,000. WIth this being said because alcohol is illegal and the business is so risky alcohol is not cheap, which means for the most part alcohol is mostly consumed and sold to the rich. However is it easy to find. Getting alcohol in Pakistan to bootleg was compared to ordering pizza in the US. But it comes at a price. It is amazing how their Islamic culture impacts them so much. One guy even said that he wouldn't tell his parents he drinks alcohol because in Islam it's basically considerd a sin. It is amazing how different things are. Throughout the video none of the men showed their faces, and were even scared that the camera was present. It is amazing to me how different things are in Pakistan, and that people risk their lives to sell alcohol.
It is amazing how much the location of where you live can influence your life. Thompson traveled all over the place and each place had a huge impact on his life. His whole life could have been different if he had lived elsewhere. For example if he stayed in L.A who knows if he would have ended up getting involved in gangs or even been killed like some of his family members. Then again if he hadn't lived in Bombay would he ever have found that motivation to work hard. He didn't think so. His area even had an impact on him being recruited, because not many people thought to recruit a kid from Bombay. The area you live in really can have a huge role in who you become. Fortunately Thompson was able to use his experience to change his life and even his families future for the better. Such an amazing story and it is all due to where a person lived.
Our culture has a huge impact on our view of this political cartoon. I don't necessarily think that it is due to male influence. In our society there is media everyday portraying what a woman "should" look like. There are messages everyday throughout the media influencing our decisions even if we don't think they are. I suppose it can be said that women dress the way they do because it is the social norm and the way we think men want us to dress. However I think it is more of a culture that we as a society have created. But when I look at the women completely covered in black I think about how that is the way men in their country expect them to dress. I supposed that this the same way they view us though as well. However my thinking that we are not a male dominated culture could be proving this cartoon right.
These apartments are so small! Hong Kong is a very widely populated area, but I never would have imagined that people would live in apartments like these. Some of the apartments didn't even have windows. In comparison to apartments in the U.S that room isn't big enough for one person never mind a group of people. I can understand trying to utilize space, but health wise it can't be the best situation for three people to live in such a tight space. Personally I think that I would feel a little claustrophobic living in an apartment like that. I would be interested to see what age range lives in these type of apartments, whether it's students, families, or etc. From reading the article is appears that these apartments are not cheap either!
We often talk about life expectancy data at the national level; this simplification has a great deal of utility but obscures regional distinctions within a country. Some counties in the United States have life expectancies on par with Japan (84), while the worst off counties are more similar to Indonesia (69). Even more startling, in 661 counties, life expectancy stopped dead or went backwards for women since 1999. This is a dramatic look at the importance of scale within any geographic analysis to arrive at reasonable conclusions. So let's start looking at local demographic data instead of just nationally aggregated data. For more on this press release, see: http://www.healthmetricsandevaluation.org/news-events/news-release/girls-born-2009-will-live-shorter-lives-their-mothers-hundreds-us-counties
Typically when I think about the average life expectancy today I think of how it has increased over the years. However I never thought of looking at it broken down into gender and area. When it is broken down the life expectancy of women is not increasing like it used too and in some places is even going down. In the graph it says that 54,000 women die every year because of excess salt. That stat is crazy! Even though that may not be a huge percentage of our population. It is something that can be monitored more and prevented. It would be interesting to see why people live longer in certain areas. What is it about specific areas that these people are living the longest? Even though the average life expectancy as a whole as increased I think we should look more into the decrease of life expectancy of women and why men's life expectancy's are increasing so much in comparison to women.
In sports we use statistics all the time. Whether it's football, basketball, baseball, or etc we constantly use statistics to help in our game planning. It is no surprise that the NFL is now implementing maps to view such data. Like said it says in the article we view football as a long passing game, however the shorter the pass the more effective quarterbacks seem to be today. Being able to view data in a map like this is going to make it easy for players and coaches to view the statistics they keep and help to create advantages for their team based on the data they collect.
"Private girls' schools are now allowed to hold sports activities in accordance with the rules of Shariah, or Islamic law. Students must adhere to 'decent dress' codes and Saudi women teachers will be given priority in supervising the activities, according to the Education Ministry's requirements. The decision makes sports once again a stage for the push to improve women's rights, nearly a year after two Saudi female athletes made an unprecedented appearance at the Olympics." This news comes at a time when Saudi Arabia has allowed women to ride bikes (sort of).
Tags: Saudi Arabia, culture, gender, religion, Middle East.
Sports are a huge part of my life. Everyday I'm doing something involving sports. Whether it's playing basketball, running, or lifting I'm always active. I never really thought about women's involvement in sports outside of the U.S. Watching the Olympics there are numerous counties competing for metals, and I never really thought that there may still be some places where women still aren't allowed to participate in sports. In Saudi Arabia women are just getting some rights to participate in sports, and it's only in private schools! Women are forced to wear long sleeves and sweat pants any time they are participating in sports, and they are not to be seen by men. This just blows my mind. Everyday I wear shorts and a t-shirt when I workout, and I usually end up working out with the boys in the gym. It's great that Saudi Arabia is finally giving women the right to play sports. It will probably still take a long time for sports to implemented to all women in Saudi Arabia, but it is good that they are headed in that direction.
When Anum Hussain heard about the Boston Marathon bombing, she immediately panicked, worried that the culprits would be like her. The 22-year-old Muslim was in the offices of Hubspot, the Cambridge marketing-software company she works for.
Being from around the area and listening and watching the tv during the boston bombings all I really thought about was how the city and families were effected by the tragic event. However I never really thought about how it impacted muslim people in the area. For people to put a blame on all muslim people is not right. We are not all the same, which means not all muslims are the same. Some muslims have lived their whole lives in the US and for people to catogorize them all as terrorists isn't right. All people should be treated them same way. It is sad to read the article and think that some muslims in Boston walk around in fear of being beat up or killed just because of their culture. The bombings effected an entire city and muslim people people should be able to mourn with the rest of the city. They grew up there just like we did. So what makes them so different from me and you? Not all muslims are killers like the two boys from the bombings. It is really sad to me that they have to live their lives in fear everyday in a place that they call home, just because of their culture. No one deserves to live like that. I can't even imagine how difficult it is for muslim people in Boston.
Personally I think Gerrymandering is unfair and should not be allowed, because it gives a political party to much of an advantage over the other. It really is of no surprise that our government finally shut down. By packing certain states and restructuring districts to create more of an advantage for your political party is corrupt. How are we supposed to run a successful government when we are altering districts and packing districts to favor a certain party? That is unfair and shouldn't be allowed. After all these years we should have some system in place to make government election as fair as possible. But by allowing parties to set different districts we will never reach that point. Gerrymandering is destorying our government, and we can see that from the most recent government shut down. There needs to be some changes made.
McDonald's, Burger King, and Taco Bell all agreed last week to promise to stop using ammonia-treated meat as more and more people learn that this "pink slime" is an earlier version of their finished product. This meat has been treated with Ammonium Hydroxide, is no longer good enough for our fast food restaurants—but it IS still good enough for our schools (they don't need a PR slogan to sell).
I have heard many things about the "pink slime" , but everytime it was talked about it had to do with fast food resturants. I never thought this would be an issue within our school systems. There is so much talk about schools banning candy, soda, ice cream, and other junk foods because kids schould be eating healthier. We want our kids to eat healthy yet we are given them lunches with foods that contain this "pink slim" substance. That is almost more health threatening than the sugar we consume. Why is it ok to put such a substance in school lunches when the big name fast food resturants such as McDonalds has to ban it. Why are school systems going this route? My guess would be that it is a cheaper option. That's why fast food went that route. If we banned it from fast food we should allow our school systems to use such products. Some kids have to eat school lunch and it is not an option for them. At least before you made the choice to eat fast food with such substances, but sometimes kids can't make that choice. It is unfair and unhealthy to have kids consume this substance in their lunches. It should be banned worldwide.
I have eaten McDonalds fries and bunch of times and never thought about what 'golden standard" actually meant. McDonalds like it says in the article is one of the top potoate buyers in the world. I'm sure most other fast food places aren' too far behind. However since McDonalds is one of the top buyers of potatoes farmers much make sure they produce enough of the potatoes that McDonalds sells. However it doesn't stop there. Not only do farmers have to produce enough potatoes, but they have to produce quality potatoes. All of McDonalds fries look exactly the same. You never really get a french fry that looks extremely different. That is done on purpose. McDonalds only purchases potatoes that meet their "golden standard". This makes you think how much goes to watste. Farmers are probably discarding "bad" potatoes all the time that don't meet the "golden standard". Does it really matter what the fries look like, if they taste the same? There are people in the world who are hungry, yet we waste food like this all the time. I really don't think it is that big of a deal if not every french fry looks exactly the same. We should make an attempt at trying to limit our food waste.
It really is amazing what this girl has done. It is crazy to think that some women today are not allowed to get an education. For Malala to risk her life for her education and the education of women is truly amazing. I can't even imagine growing up in a country where men will shoot you for wanting an education. I think by standing up and fighting for what she believes in might actually help create a culture change. However with this being said it won't be easy. They have such strong cultural beliefs that women and education shouldn't mix. But I do believe that one day Malala's battle might one day change things for women in education.
I found this video to be very interesting. The video talks about Berlin's signature dish the currywurst. Currywurst is one of most well known dishes in Berlin, and is a dish the natives say every tourist should try. What was interesting to find was that the dish had elements from a few different places. Currywurst is made of pork sausage which and fried and cut into pieces. Pork suasage is a very widely used and popular meat that have in germany. However on the curry worst dish they put ketchup, which is very american like. They also sprinkle it with curry, which comes by way of India from Great Britian. It is amazing ti me that a country's signature dish has ingredients from two other countries! You would think that a signature dish would be made entirely of ingredients from their homeland. However the country is becoming more and more like other country adding sushi bars, soup kitchens, fast food, and etc. It just goes to show how much things have changed. Before country's were trying to use their own products as much as possible. Now we have such good transportation systems that people are moving to new places and food is being transported all over the world. Now we are at a point where even a country's signature dish uses products from many different country's. We have almost completely eliminated folk culture. It is almost sad in a way.
TIME International's cover story this week delves into the looming crisis facing China as its population grows old before it grows rich
Courtney Burns's insight:
It is no seceret that China is the most populous nation in the world. This is what lead to their passing of China's one-child law. The one-child law stated that couples were only allowed to concieve one child, and if it was a girl the child was aborted. Men were at high demand in China, because they were needed in the workforce. However now China is faced with a large imbalance of women to men. There is talk about the one-child law being lifted, because of this ratio. Now 1 milllion families each year are allowed to concieve two children. What is really amazing to me is that the government has so much control over the cities population. Usually when you think of a country's population you don't think about the government as well. This is a natural process that the government is taking over and they shouldn't be allowed to. They thought they were helping when in the long run they hurt the country because the ratio is so unbalanced right now. It is amazing to me that in todays world there are countries where the government controls the birth rate! It seems ridiculous to me.
Seeing the damage done to all of these homes and communities is devastating. You see all the destruction in different areas on TV, but looking at it from a maps perspective is so much different. Seeing how it was and then looking at it after is unreal. The damage that is done to so much land is saddening. Then to look at the map of all the tornadoes since 1950 was eye opening. I never realized that there was so many tornadoes that occurred throughout the U.S since 1950. It was also shocking to see that there had been a huge tornado in the Boston area that took peoples lives. Usually when I think about tornadoes I don't think about them in Boston, Connecticut, or New York.
International adoption system: a mass of red tape, abuses and need for reform.
Courtney Burns's insight:
Personally I don't believe that international adoption should be shut down completely. I think that there are a lot of children who are given more opportunities through adoption. However even if there are lots of cases where children are placed in great homes, we have to be aware of those children who aren't placed in such great homes. With adoption I think you always run a risk of a child being placed in a bad home. However I think that if there is enough research and monitoring done with the family they are being placed with those type of situations can be decreased or even prevented. There are too many children who benefit and lead better lives throughout international adoption that I think it would be a shame to get rid of it completely.
Twitter is something that is becoming widely used, and is something I usually check everyday. I never really thought of twitter beyond advertising and communicating. It is amazing the kind of data that can be extracted from peoples tweets. In the soda vs. pop argument I would say soda which makes sense since the data shows that people in the Northeast refer to it as soda. Twitter is so current that you can actually get some current and accurate data just from reading the hash tags in peoples tweets. It's amazing that such information can be extracted from all around the world.
The first of two posts on helping biracial kids develop a healthy identity.
Courtney Burns's insight:
I really enjoyed this article. I think that the world today is becoming so much more racial diverse than it was before. Kids today will experience a lot more Raical diversity in their schools than their parents did when they were in school. Being aware of that and explaining such things to kids really helps with their understanding of racial identity. A lot of people can have negative opinions and we don't want kids grabbing on to those negative thoughts. By supporting Healthy Racial Identity I think it will allow children of all Racial Identities to get a better understanding of how and why things happen so that their is not confusion and kids can focus on just being kids. One thing that I do think is awesome about having such a diverse classroom is that students get to learn about many different cultures and traditions, which is exciting in my mind.
Venice, by virtue of its geographic situation will always be sinking as a course of nature. A research team from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the UCSD has recently concluded that Venice is sinking 2 millimeters per year...not catastrophic on a single year basis, but threatens the long-term viability and sustainability of the location.
Urban ecology: what economic forces created the rationale for building Venice? What environmental factors are currently threatening it? Will economic or environmental forces win out? Location: do the economic advantages of a location outweigh the environmental liabilities of the location? How do these competing factors influence the development of a city? For additional information on this story see: http://www.physorg.com/news/2012-03-venice-hasnt.html
This summer I visited Venice for the fist time. It was an amazing experience, and by far my favorite city in Italy. To think that one day the city will be completely under water is unfathomable. Thinking about it 1.5 inches every 100 years doesn't really seem that fast when we talk about it.
Even though it will take a very long time for the city of Venice to be completely submerged under water, it is crazy to think that one day people will not be able to visit this city. Hopefully the city isn't sinking five times faster than we thought. The new study in the article suggests that Venice will sink 7.8 inches every 100 years. The two researchers should compare data to see how there can be that drastic of a difference in their findings. Hopefully someday we can come up with a solution to slow the process of submerge.
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