Thursday, April 9, 2009

Outdoors Unlimited

post links to pictures for our brochure here

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Paper on Father Importance

Right now I am not entirely sure where I will send my paper yet. Right now I want to talk to one of my teachers who is in the School of Family Life to see if there is something there that I can publish it into. Hopefully it will end up being helpful to someone who reads it.

Once I had some background information gathered I really enjoyed writing this paper. It was hard and time-consuming but I really felt it was worth it. This semester has changed and imporved my writing ability tremendously to the point where I am amazed at my final projects. I came into this class with a lot of skepticism because all during high school I did terrible in english. I think that this paper, especially, really helped me to learn how to improve my writing. i really appreciate how much research we had to do because that will really help out in the future. Also, again I am happy that I spread the paper out over a few weeks so that i was able to really think about it. Overall, this paper was difficult but I am very grateful for what it taught me.

Last Paper

This paper obviously changed my life.  It made me become such a better writer/researcher.  I learned how to use many useful websites such as refworks.  That thing saved my life.  I think I'm ready to turn in my paper.  I have made a lot of changes and I hope they were for the better!

As far as submitting my paper I'm thinking about obviously facebook as the number one choice.  But Borrowed Earth, is an environmental journal.  So maybe they'd like to see something about outsourcing.  You never know.

Only One More Assignment Left

At last my paper is done. After many long hours of doing research, writing a paper that really expressed how I felt, and making sure that I cited my sources correctly so as not to plagiarize I am done with my issues paper. I really enjoyed writing this paper and feel as if it is the best one that I have written this semester. This paper has opened my eyes to the point of where when I become a math teacher in the future I will put these practices to work.

As far as submitting this paper to a journal I feel like I should however finding one was a little difficult. The paper we where given that had numerous different journals on it had not a single one that pertained to Mathematics Education. Due to the nature of this dilemma I needed to do yet another attempt at doing research and find a journal that would benefit from receiving my paper. The conference/journal that caught my eye the most is American Mathematical Society Committee on Education. I feel like here in the near future with a little more editing done to my paper that I could submit my paper and they will be greatly pleased.


I decided that I could submit my paper to Sigma, a journal for political science and international studies. My paper has a lot to do with politics and the constitutionality of laws and practices that are used today. Racial profiling is also a very international topic. It affects many countries. My paper is geared to this type of audience already and would go very well in this journal.

For the second part of this reflection, I would like to say that even though it was quite a pain to write this sucker, I am glad that I had the opportunity. It helped me to get more educated and involved in something that interests me. It helped me to see what is being argued and what different people think and feel about this topic. I now feel like I better know how to incorporate a mass of information into a logical argument. And I feel like after writing this paper, I know how important organization can be. If the thesis does not describe what your entire paper is about, then either your thesis or the rest of your paper needs a-fixin'. This is what I learned from writing this issues paper. Thank you English 150!


I could submit my paper to the American Journal of Public Health. This journal is devoted to finding the latest research on particular illnesses that plague the world. My topic was on AIDS so I believe my issues paper could be submitted to a journal much like the American Journal of Public Health.

I learned a lot while writing this issues paper. At first, my paper began as a bunch of random quotes and statistics thrown randomly together. However, after the conference I learned how to use the quotes and statistics to back up my argument. The hardest part for me was coming up with a thesis that was strong and specific enough.

Finally Done!!!

I think my Issues Paper--which is entitled, "Sweatshops: Are They Ethical? Are They Justified?--would best be published in the Aporia (a journal that specializes in philosophy). I think my paper talks a lot about the ethics of sweatshops and how people's basic rights cannot be violated merely to make a profit. The people that read this journal are most interested in arguing about ethical problems and dilemnas such as these. Hopefully, my paper will get people thinking about what they are purchasing and how it is produced. I hope that my paper makes people think of their own ethical implications as consumers. I think my paper is accessible to an academic audience because it has a lot of facts that I took a long time to research and make sure that they were sufficient, accurate, and relevant. I always hope that my paper sparks interest and thought reflection.
I learned a lot about the drafting process in this paper. I started with research, that research moved me towards an outline of ideas. From that outline I created a rough draft and revised that draft many, many times. I learned that writing is a process that cannot be done the day before. It takes time, reflection, and effort to produce a quality paper that you can be proud of. In the future, I will take this lesson into account and start my papers a few weeks early so that I can be satisfied with the final result.


A journal that I could submit my paper to is the Journal of Film and Video. Article features include film and related media, problems of education in these fields, and the function of film and video in society. Because mine has to do with film and society I figure that it would be a fit for the subject matter of this journal.

I still struggle with organization and flow. I changed the focus of my paper mid way through also so I felt that I was working on a somewhat shorter timeframe than I had originally planned and some of my thoughts didn't get fully developed within my paper. Overall I am pleased with my paper but if I had more time, I would have liked to have been able to polish it and perhaps to more research to better support my thesis.

Issues Review

I chose the journal American Economist as a possible journal to submit my essay to. It seemed appropriate to submit my essay on the subprime crisis to an economic journal. More specifically the American Economist focuses on "sustainable development and human well-being." My paper is about improving the education of our nation to prevent economic crises.

What I discovered in writing the issuse paper is that I am a very structured writer. I also learned that you need to write about something that interests you or make it interesting by the way you approach it. I began by just starting to write and did not do very well. I could not actuall write a good paper until I created a comprehensive outline and organized my research into it. I am pleased with my paper because it applies to what is happening now with our economy and I find it interesting.

Borrowed Earth

After writing my issues paper, i have decided that the best place to send my paper get published would be the Borrowed Earth or Sigma journals. These journals are all about issues with the environment and how we can better it and also the political side of the world and how we can better our relations to make the Earth a better place. My topic of nuclear power would do well in these type of journals. I talk about the environment and i talk about the effects nuclear power has on politics today. So i think it is the best place to publish my finding and I hope that it would a good enough topic with enough information to be accepted.

Through writing this paper i learned that it is hard to have proper organization when your are writing lengthy papers. I struggled to make an outline, so that could have been part of the problem. I believe that i use good information to back up my assertions and my paper makes sense. I used a lot of kairos when speaking about the environment today and the economy of late. It is good to talk about these issues because nuclear power will benefit these areas. Overall i think i wrote a paper that is both informative and poses great solutions for the future. I really do hope that nuclear power is expanded in the future!

Reflection: Crisis in Darfur

I could submit my issues paper to the Journal of Humanitarian Assistance. This journal publishes articles that are relevent to humanitarian policy and practice. My article tells of the lack of humanitarian aid that Darfur has recieved and also explains how the government of Sudan has recently expelled humanitarian aid. My paper has evidence of the lack of help that Darfur has recieved and will help spread awareness about the crisis. I think my paper would be both interesting and accessible to a general acedemic audience because it shows the importance of a serious problem that is currently occuring.

The issues paper was one that I really enjoyed writing and didn't have too hard of a time finding arguments and support for those claims. The outline for this paper was very effective. Because I made a very detailed outline that included all of the quotes I was going to use, writing the rough draft was easy. Also, Mrs. Cowley told us to just sit down and write our rough drafts, not worrying about making them perfect. I was able to complete my rough draft without all of the frustration and then go back and fix it after peer reviews. Splitting up the amount of time I spent on my paper and when things were due helped my writing be more effective. I also saw the importance of kairos in my paper since the crisis in Darfur is worsening everyday and I had to find articles that kept up with the war. Overall I think my writing improved a lot because of the detailed outline.

It's DONE!!!

An academic journal that I could submit my paper to is Business Economics. This journal accepts entries from a wide variety of subjects. As stated on its website, entries in this journal must pass the "So What?" test. In other words, how does this essay related to business both in the U.S. and abroad. My essay is all about business and the choice to implement sweatshops oversees. My paper would fit great in this journal because it discusses the economic benefits of sweatshops while also pointing out proper business ethics. My topic would apply to the audience reading this journal because they would mostly be business men and economists. Included in my essay are studies from economists that apply to foreign economies and how the actions of corporations can either hurt or help these economies.

From my first draft, I really improved upon presenting both sides of my issue rather than just my side of the topic. I learned that even though the opposing side is well-known and well-founded, it must still be included to avoid unintended consequences of appearing short-sighted and naive. Another important tool that I developed is keeping such a long paper organized. Something that helped my organization was to list the topics of all of my paragraphs and rearrange them in a logical, orderly manner. This eliminates some confusion on the reader's part and makes them more willing to continue reading. I am proud of the improvement I made between my first and final drafts. I really improved on appealing to all audiences rather than just those on my side of the issue.


One journal I could potentially send my issues paper to would be the Body, Mind, and Spirit student journal, which contains articles relating to health studies. My topic would best fit with this student journal because it relates with my topic, which is obesity and how it has become a global threat. My issues paper is adapted to this audience because I provide information that might be interesting to them, including statistics regarding the spread and prevalence of obesity in countries across the world. I hope that my paper would be interesting to the general academic public because I tried to incorporate new ideas and thoughts about obesity that would capture the reader’s interest.

From working on this paper, I learned what works and does not work in my writing process. I have learned how important it is to push past whatever might be holding me back in life in order to start and work effectively on school work and assignments. I learned that just getting started is the hardest part for me in writing, and how important it is that I get the strength and motivation to writing my papers. Looking back now, I can see where I could have worked better and how I could have improved, which I sense has been a very helpful experience for me. Despite all the setbacks I had in writing this paper, I found the most helpful aspect was going to the conference with Cowley. Getting feedback is the most helpful tool I can receive in order to improve my paper. In the future, I hope to let others other than my teacher read my paper to get the most feedback and see where I can improve. I am more or less pleased with the result of my final paper. I know I could have done a better job editing and revising, but the fact that I even managed to write this paper is huge for me. So I am proud that I was able to do that.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Worth the Time

So I decided to turn in my paper to Surfers against Sewage website to see if they want to publish my research. I think this is very beneficial not only to me (being a follower of the surf spots and fight against pollution movement) but to all those who sit down and read the extensive research on the effects pollution has on the human body. I know that most individuals across the globe figure pollution is bad, but don’t see the high risk and extreme dangers that follow it. It will be interesting to see what the website says to me in response for submitting my paper.

Overall, I learned that research papers in fact take a lot of time and consideration. In order to be successful and have a paper worth reading and worthy of fighting fir a cause, it needs to be planned out from the beginning in steps to truly in the end come out as a well written paper. Another thing I learned is to write a paper with purpose. When you get to right about a topic that relates to you, it seems to mean more to what you want the audience to get out of your work. I think this is the most important attribute I attained from writing this paper.

News For Nerds

I decided to submit my paper to a website called Slashdot. Their motto is "News for Nerds...", and if you've read my paper, well, enough said! They run news articles several times an hour about technology-related business events and innovations. From time to time they'll also pick up and run editorials and things like this. It's a good choice because it's a wide audience, and it's likely to be read by most of the people interested in the topic. It also happens to be the place where the argument I'm refuting gained a lot of popularity in the first place!

One thing I noticed this time around is the effect that my writing has on me while I'm writing it; I think paying attention to that can show me things about my writing I'm not aware of. I picked a topic that I had heard a lot about, was a big decision to be made by those in positions of responsibility, and something I really didn't know much about to begin with. My initial reading showed that most people familiar with the idea were strongly in favor of it. I disagreed, and so I assumed I was missing something important. The more I did research, the more I found that all the experiments and actual data were against the idea. It's a good sign that you've got strong sources and arguments when your research actually changes your initial perceptions. If it changes your mind, it can change someone else's too.

Student Journal

I have decided to put my paper in the Body, Mind, and Spirit journal because it focuses on health studies. Prostitution is a great health issue because it spreads disease through sexual intercourse, and drug use. In my issues paper I gave a great focus on sexually transmitted disease and how it is spreading rapidly due to prostitution. This is something that needs to be addressed, and through entering my paper to this journal I feel that it will help students become aware and take a stand against prostitution.

What I did learn about writing my issues paper is that I actually enjoyed parts of it and I felt as though I was making a small difference. Although only a few people may read my paper, I feel a great accomplishment and as if I have completed something of great value. This is an issue that really interests me and I actually enjoyed writing it. I know that I still need to strengthen my pre-writing, however, it has improved greatly. For this paper I had over 5 drafts, when usually the only draft I would have is the final. I now realize that it is really important, and your paper will be much better if you prewrite and take the time to get other opinions.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


After met with Mrs. Cowley I saw many flaws in my paper. These flaws can be corrected by me simply adjusting some paragraphs and adding a source or two. There is also one other way that i can make my paper that much better. If I tie back all of my sources and points back to my thesis so that I can have a more solid paper.

My Progress

I have made a lot of progress since last week. After meeting with Professor Cowley, she helped me to realize that the argument for my paper needed to be stronger. I was just kind of saying random things in my paper that didn't really apply to the argument. I am now making revisions to make my thesis connect to the rest of the paper well, and also to come up with better arguments for the topic I am writing on.

math teaching

As far as progress on my paper goes, I didn't spend much time over the weekend working on it. However I did fix most of my grammatical problems. In class today, I plan on working on my conclusion, and strengthening a couple of my paragraphs. I hope to get as close to a final draft as I can so that I will not have to do much work over the next two days for this paper.


One of the main issues that we talked about with my paper was making the thesis strong enough so that my paper could be more organized. If I can make a better thesis, then I will be able to focus my argument more efficiently. During class, I will work on coming up with a clear and strong thesis, then organize my paper in order to make the argument stronger.

Fixing My Mistakes

Over this weekend I haven't had very much time to work on my paper. I have worked a lot on fixing the small mistakes that I have instead of fixing the bigger problems that my paper has. During class today I want to address most of these problems. I want to strengthen my thesis statement first. I also want to build my credibility by using more sources and by giving background on some of the authors I quote. Several of my paragraphs just need to have their arguments pushed an additional sentence or two so that I can really make my point. Overall, in class today I want to work more on my argument than on the small mechanics.


With the new direction of my paper, most of the revisions are to the structure and reworking what is already in my paper to demonstrate this new position. This new angle about narratives and the cultural influences flows much more naturally than trying to debate about the globalization of film. In class today, I plan on re reading through my hard copy and writing in revisions and incorporating my new sources into the argument to make the paper more cohesive and clear about this new argument.

Issues Paper

At my conference on Friday with Professor Cowley we went over my thesis and how it needed to be strengthened and perhaps changed a little bit in order to fit the description of an issues paper. So... over the weekend I re-worked my entire paper to fit my new thesis on the prostitution debate. I believe that this has been a much better topic, and my paper has progressed because of it. Although it took an awfully long time, I think my paper is beginning to look more like an issues paper. From now until Thursday I am planning to go to the writing center and then critique and add a little more to my conclusion. In class today I plan to work on strengthening my conclusion and getting tips from some of my classmates about how I could enhance my paper.

Weekend Review

Since the conference on Friday I have read through the entire paper and fixed many of the grammatical errors. I corrected several paragraphs that were unclear to others reading my paper. Several problems with MLA formatting were also corrected.

In class I plan to spend most of my time correcting and rewriting my conclusion. I will also read through the entire paper again to ensure that it flows well. Where transitions and clarification are necessarry it will be added.

Between Then and Now

Between last Friday and today, I have mostly worked on my conclusion. I think I needed something more powerful and actually discussed how to do so with Professor Cowley. I went through my research and found a quote that I thought was powerful and really alluded to the influence of pathos. Then, I incorporated this quote into my paper. I think it serves as a powerful end to the conclusion; it makes it much more influential than just restating all of my ideas. Today in class I will be working on adding another paragraph to show how not much has changed in regards to sweatshops and that actions still need to be taken. I will also try to add another paragraph to show the next step in creating small improvements.


Honestly my paper for the most part was just off on the flow and transitions between paragraphs. I knew from the beginning I was going to have issues with transitions between paragraphs because when it came down to moving to the next paragraph I couldn’t really figure out what I was going to say. So I just started the new paragraph even though I knew it didn’t flow well. I’ve been making the simple corrections on ma paper and figure that tomorrow, if all is well, I can receive help and work on my transitions with my Professor. My goal tomorrow is to start my transitions and topic sentences to connect my paper together as a whole.

Monday, March 30, 2009

I'm fresh out of creative titles

Well so far I have been making corrections that you (Prof. Cowley) have pointed out in my paper and also I definitely needed to fix the voice in some parts of my paper. I have too much "I" voice and it is not good for this type of paper. Also I had some serious work to do on my thesis to make it more original, more of something that the reader can't find anywhere else, something new that I am bringing to the table. Tomorrow in class I am expecting to do a little bit more research about what has been said about racial profiling and how it relates to the constitution. I will also try to find more information regarding the history of racial profiling especially in the Immigration Era. Thank you.


My paper like many of ours, was basically torn apart in the interview.  Although frustrating I have really seen the problems that were pointed out and ultimately it's good to have that criticism.  Since friday I have done a lot of revision by changing one of my main points.  I not only discussed that low skill jobs were outsourced, but also that high skill jobs were too, if they were common.  I also worked on backing up a lot of my opinions.  I feel very strongly about this topic and sometimes it came across as an op-ed.  I tried to make sure that for any time I voiced my opinion I backed it up with a source.  By the end of class I hope to have my paper completely done as far as the information goes so that I can just focus intensely on revising the next two days.

Paper Progress

I've been fairly pleased with my paper and the progress I've made on it over the weekend. When finding quotes for my arguments I forgot to write down the page numbers for my sources so I think my most tedious task will be looking all of those up. I also need to get rid of some repetitive points in my paper and find a few more examples to back up arguments. Last, I need to condense my conclusion and rearrange the order of my thoughts in it. By the end of class tomorrow I hope I will have eliminated my repetitive paragraphs and found a few more examples for some arguments. I also hope to get my of the reorganization of my conclusion finished.

Paper Progress

I’ve had a really slow start on my paper. I went from half a page of my paper to 8 pages between Friday and this morning. In class tomorrow, I plan on going through my paper and start making some of the changes Cowley and I talked about during our conference today. This includes: creating a stronger thesis, going through each paragraph and tweaking it to relate to my new thesis and make the arguments stronger, possibly reorganizing different paragraphs, adding works cited, adding page numbers to citations where needed, find better sources other than relying too strongly on background sources, among a few other minor details. I will not have time to do all of these things in 40 minutes, but it’s somewhere to start.

Paper Progress

Well, there were some obvious problems with my essay seeing as how it was torn apart on Friday, so I have done some intense revising to the first half of my paper because the original last half actually fits into my new approach and answers criticisms of my first draft. My paper is now sort of a 2-part research study on the economic benefits of sweatshops and how the morality of sweatshops needs to be improved. I have provided sources from both sides of the issue and proposed that a compromise of some sort be reached for the issue.

In class tomorrow I really want to make sure my essay is fluid and as smooth as possible. I am also going to eliminate as many "is" and "are" words as possible. I would love to have this draft read over again because it is very different from my first one, but I'll have to see.

The Post Formerly Known As Paper Progress

Since Friday, I've been swamped, so I haven't done much work on my computer. After my interview I gave my last printed draft another read through and marked out all of the areas that I wanted to change and what needed to happen. Like my interview, it was mainly focused on my transitions, and a couple of spots where my point and its relevance weren't clear. I also need to find a couple of citations that will nicely link my arguments with a logical progression.

By the end of class tomorrow I want to have made all of these corrections to my paper and found the necessary citations - this includes time that I get to spend between classes tomorrow morning. Usually I like to just spend the last couple of days constantly reading through and "ironing out" sentences that sound awkward.


This past weekend i made the changes i needed to from my conference and then i fixed a little bit of the organization on the paper. Some of my points wern't backed up well so i had to fix that. Organization was the big problem with my rough draft too, but with a paper that large is not that bad of a problem. I think everyone struggle with organization when your writing like 10 page papers. Tomorrow during the time allotted i will work more on the organization of my paper and make it look good. I should be almost done with it hopefully by the end of tomorrow. Wish me luck!!!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Racial Profiling

Racial profiling has become quite a catchy phrase as of late. It seems to come up often in political discussions. In recent discussions of racial profiling in law enforcement, a controversial issue has been whether it is constitutional or effective to profile potential suspects of crimes based on their race or ethnicity. Proponents of racial profiling say that it works. Obviously there is reason why our top law enforcement officers practice racial profiling. Should we really doubt their authority and knowledge when it comes to keeping the nation safe? They claim that some crimes truly tend to be committed by people of certain racial groups more often. In rebuttal to those ideas, opponents might argue that racial profiling is unconstitutional, and that police officers have no right to discriminate against individuals purely based on color of skin and ethnic background. They also argue that racial profiling isn’t even effective, because our views and even our statistics about crimes and who commits them are skewed. If the police stop more Hispanics than whites, then of course they’ll find more Hispanics breaking the law. This doesn’t mean that there are less whites breaking the law, it just means that less were stopped.

I would argue that racial profiling is unconstitutional and ineffective. Although in some cases, such as September 11, the attacks were clearly committed by people of Arabic descent, but this does not give us the right to discriminate against all people of this race. Although some might object that we could not have prevented further attacks had the police not practiced racial profiling in airports, etc, I reply that there were many more people that were discriminated against and humiliated that had nothing to do with the attacks. This issue affects us all. Whether we are the ones being discriminated against or the ones being protected by the law, we need to decide whether or not racial profiling is worth it.

One of the major issues has to do with police traffic stops and searches. According to a study done by the Steward Research Group and headed by a professor at the University of Texas at Austin “three out of every four law enforcement agencies pulled over blacks and Latinos at higher rates than whites. Once the cars were pulled over, six in seven agencies reported searching African Americans and Latinos at a higher rate. Statewide, African Americans were about 60% more likely to be searched than whites, and Latinos were 40% more likely to be searched.” The interesting thing is that most of the time this occurs in areas of the state where more drugs and weapons are found on whites. The study found that “less than 10% of Latino drivers who consented to searches of their cars were found to be ‘doing something wrong.’ ‘That means that 90% of them suffered the humiliation and demoralization that searches entail, but were innocent,’ [said Will Harrell, executive director of the ACLU in Texas]. ‘From another perspective, that means 90% of the time, police are wasting their time. It is inefficient.’” This study shows us that profiling plays a major role in law enforcement. Even one of the directors of a major law enforcement agency in Texas, Charley Wilkinson, admitted that “officers are taught--they are trained--to profile.” He goes on to explain that “it is unfair and unjust to paint them with a broad brush, [to say] that they are racist or act in a discriminatory way.” But even so, it occurs. And where do you draw the line?

This is what Professor John B. Quigley of Ohio State University asks. He mainly focuses on the screening process that the US government is trying to establish in airport security. He explains that “profiling would be difficult to implement. There are too many persons in whatever racial or ethnic category one might use to make checking sensible… Would it be persons who appear, by facial characteristics, to be Middle Eastern? Or persons whose names sound Middle Eastern? And what is Middle Eastern? Does it include the Indian sub-continent? The London underground bombers were of Pakistani origin, not from Arabic countries. Would persons from countries that are predominantly Muslim be included? That would encompass Indonesia and much of southeast Asia.”

Rachel Ehrenfeld of KRT News Service argues that we shouldn’t risk the safety of the majority of our citizens just to save a few of our citizens some embarrassment. She claims that “political correctness shouldn’t be a factor in assuring security.” But According to Quigley, profiling might actually make the threat of a terrorist attack go up. He points out the disastrous affects that this would have on all peace-making efforts with these countries that have been made in the last decade or so. Countries will not be very likely to cooperate with us if their citizens are being humiliated in our airports. “And beyond the terrorism realm, if ethnic communities are branded as dangerous, the chance for good race relations plummets.”

A Sense of Identity

Note: I've decided to rewrite most of the last half with a new analogy that will make my argument as a whole more unified. The idea is the internet is like New York City. It's all based on communities, that are extremely diverse, Homeless people and Wall Street experts sharing the same city. Everything has a systematic address, so to find something, you call the Directory Service. That's what DNS is. Once you have the address, you go. It's a very flexible and fast system. DNS-SEC aims to have that directory service send you a personal escort to confirm the address and your destination. Yeah, that's secure, but it would jam up the city. It wouldn't be flexible, and no one would be able to get anywhere fast. If there is a concept that I fail to explain, let me know specifically which word, phrase or concept is unclear, so I know to spend more time on it. Thanks!

Societies have always centered around a valuable commodity. Ancient Egypt flourished because of the slave trade. The robber barons of the twentieth century struck proverbial gold when they invested in the industrial revolution. Entire governments have risen and fallen because of diamonds, gold, and oil; he who controlled the source, controlled the world. Ours, however, is undeniably a society that thrives on the Internet, where the farmer, the miner and the merchant are merely supplying the day to day necessities of life and nothing more. These days, the man who controls the world is the man who controls information. Silicon valley gave rise to the most powerful corporations of today, and some of the most complex legal disputes. So the question ought to be asked, what changed the Internet from an academic research project into a way of life? The answer is two-fold: ease of use, and availability. The "dot-com" moniker strongly implies this convenience and customization. Names like Google, Amazon and MySpace have become household names around the world - leading users to expect such convenience, customization and speed from every service.
The Domain Name Service, or DNS, although practically unheard-of by the lay-person, was perhaps the biggest factor in bringing the Internet into the home and the workplace. DNS enables a user to refer to a computer or network with a descriptive name. Instead of having to type a numerical network address, a person can now simply type "" and get to where they want to go. This easily memorized system gave the Internet a sense of identity - which makes DNS a double-edged sword: a means of indentity theft. DNS was designed in a more trusting time, when identity theft was practically unheard of. There were hardly any threats to network security, now was the Internet used for such confidential, commercial matters. Furthermore, DNS is just one link in a long chain of systems required to make the World Wide Web function correctly, making speed the key issue. As such, DNS has several shortcomings when it comes to security. An idea known as DNS-SEC has been proposed, that is nothing more than a set of extensions to the DNS system. It provides for "digital signatures", or fingerprints between different computers of the DNS system, making it harder to carry out these attacks.
As is the case with many issues, people who are not completely informed on the topic are pressuring the government to get involved and enforce this system. Unfortunately, the government is all to happy to oblige, and is quite eager to make their mark. A small amount of government involvement is certainly good. Someone, for instance, has to govern the DNS system and regulate the registration of domain names. The Government is even partly responsible for the mere existence of the Internet and the infrastructure that makes it possible. So the Government is not without claim to authority regarding the Internet, but in this case it would be best if they were not involved. The best things in the internet have always been community based, leading to powerful flexibility and extremely effective applications. Furthermore, DNS-SEC does have drawbacks, and altshough these drawbacks have been partially overcome over time, switching to this system on a large-scale will simply not solve enough problems to justify the side-effects. DNS-SEC is not the best solution in every situation. Implementing DNS-SEC would be somewhat like putting a Band-Aid on a gunshot wound. Yes, it is a step in the right direction, but there are more serious problems that need to be addressed before progress can be made. For these reasons and more, other solutions need to be considered.
The best definition that can be given for the Internet, is a group of computers from around the world that have been connected in a network to enable communication, cooperation, and sharing. It just so happens, that that is a text-book example of a community. It's no wonder, then, that the Internet has always been primarily community-driven. The biggest names on the web are communities themselves: eBay, Facebook, YouTube, Craigslist. Almost everything to do with the Internet at least _supports_ the idea of a community: email, instant messenger, search engines like Google. Because the Internet is so community-oriented, it is best if it is governed by a community. Even the technical specifications that govern the Internet are based on a community - even DNS-SEC itself! Instead of a single body like the U.S. government presenting and enforcing a standard, documents known as "Requests For Comments", or RFCs, are released on mailing lists and web sites. They are drafted by experts and recognized authorities in the field, and then published so that other enthusiasts and professional can critique the plan; changes are made, security problems are found and reported, and the solution progresses. When a general consensus is reached, it becomes the de facto standard. To exemplify how effective this is, consider the Hypertext Transfer Protocol, or HTTP, that is the result of an RFC. Virtually any transmission between a web browser and a standard web site takes place using this protocol, hence the "http://" at the beginning of web addresses. On the other hand, the government has a history of making bad decisions in the absence of professionals. In all fairness, most professionals are in favor of the government adopting DNS-SEC, but adoption is not the only issue at hand; it's the continued maintenance of such a complex system.
Privacy concerns are also at stake whenever the government gets more involved with the Internet. It was recently discovered in the UK that the British government had been spying on it's residents by means of "deep packet sniffing", which is essentially collecting the raw data that gets sent over a network. Although very complex and hard to read, they were able to archive personal information about people based on the data. The more people rely on governing bodies to provide their security and confidentiality, and expect that trust to be fulfilled, the more they will be let down.
DNS-SEC simply does not provide protection against attacks to justify the drawbacks. The major concern about DNS-SEC is not how trust-worthy its operators are, but how much it slows a network down. Consider a locking door. A door with no lock can be used by anyone for any purpose. To make the door more "secure", locks can be added. Users may be required to use a key, or a combination. The drawback, however, is that the more secure the door gets, the longer it takes to open. Likewise, with DNS-SEC, exchanging the "digital signatures" takes time, and requires that more information be sent across a network. Only a certain amount of information can flow through a certain network every second. So if all the computers that manage the flow of data through the Internet around the world were to require, say, twice as much information before 'opening the door', the Internet would become extremely sluggish and unresponsive. Now that it's the backbone of our economies, that is simply unacceptable. Experts have predicted that the delay caused would be minimal under current situations, but growth is expected and will only exacerbate the problem.

Subprime Mortgage Crisis

Crisis has gripped the American economy. Currently it is spiraling into potentially the worst economic descent the United States has ever seen. The similarities between the great depression and the mortgage crisis now halting the economy are undeniable. The widespread destruction of the great depression will undoubtedly occur if nothing is done to curb the effects of fraudulent loaning practices, to regulate the way banks operate when selling loans to other corporations, and to stop the harmful practice of investing in the housing market on money borrowed from banks. It is hard to believe that no one had the foresight to discover what effects these practices have had. The collapse of an entire economy could have been prevented by better educating regulators of the dangers of subprime lending and consumers of why these subprime loans are less attractive than they appear at first glance.
Initially, subprime loans were seen as a blessing to the American economy. The amount of subprime mortgages had grown from almost zero in 1993 to 625 billion dollars in 2005 at the peak of the housing market. These loans, designed especially for low income families made up mostly of minorities, had increased the homeownership in America from 64 to 69 percent. The introduction of subprime loans caused the housing market to boom (Gramlich). Housing prices soared. For those lucky enough to ride the housing wave to its peak and estimate its collapse a fortune was made. But the case for so many others, including the poor minorities that subprime loans preyed on, the results were to come out homeless and in greater debt than ever before.
A subprime mortgage is a loan with high interest rates. These loans are designed for people who would not normally qualify for a home loan (Immergluck). The bank issues these loans knowing that they will be at high risk for delinquency in payments. Knowing this the bank takes several steps to ensure that they receive compensation for the loan it issued. High interest rates are put in place to regain as much of the assumed risk as quickly as possible. These rates are also adjustable and continue to go up as other market rates increase. Consumers could purchase these loans without putting a down payment on their house. This meant that they had no equity, or value, in their house. This means that the consumer was paying a loan for a home that was essentially worthless (Neal).
In 2005 housing prices across the United States began to drop. Those who took out loans of large amounts of money for a home that had little or no value in it saw difficulties when trying to pay their mortgages. When housing prices dropped homeowners began to pay more for their home than it was worth at current market value (Gerardi). The low intrest rate subprime loan that they had originally taken out in hopes to refinance two years later at a low fixed rate was now their only option. They did not have enough value in their home to refinance. They were now stuck in a high interest adjustable rate mortgage with no way out. These homeowners could not make the payments on their mortages and were forced to default. In Massachusetts 44 percent of 2006-2007 foreclosures were due to borrowers who had paid for their homes with a subprime loan (Gerardi). Current homeowners now faced even worse problems.

Where are all the Fathers?

In a time when there is more and more information being provided about the importance of strong families, it seems strange that many families are falling apart. Others are staying together, and yet the members of the family hardly spend any time with each other. This drastic change in family structure has brought about numerous studies done on the importance of fathers in a family. Do fathers really impact the development of children? According to these studies we find that the presence of fathers makes a great difference on the outcome of the children. The United States has been slowly recognizing this and so there has been a push for more active and involved fathers. Men are sometimes encouraged to take time off of work right after the birth of a child. Some experts are trying to raise the amount of time fathers spend with their children. This is very different in Japan. The drive for more involved fathers has just begun. There is a great deal of evidence showing that Japanese fathers spend much too little time with their children, and as a result the children are having serious developmental and emotional problems. The issue here is whether the outcomes are enough evidence to convince fathers to step up and be more active in their children’s lives or not. Even with all of this information, many fathers are choosing to not try to spend more time in their children’s lives. With the amount of information available to show the positive effects of father involvement, Japanese fathers should be motivated to get to the same level of involvement that the American fathers are on.

The word “Fatherlessness” has been coined to describe the increasing trend for fathers to not be in the home, and with good reason (Dermott 10). It is obvious that many fathers are not spending the amount of time at home that they should. Many fathers spend their time at work, and at bars and other clubs. Fathers do spend some time at home; however, much of this time is spend watching sports on TV or being alone in a bedroom or an office. There is a lot of information about the amount of time fathers spend with their children from an article by Ishii-Kuntz. Some have heard that the amount of time fathers spend with their children is increasing, but others say that “the level and rate of increase in men’s family involvement [is] greater than others have suggested” (Ishii-Kuntz 31). For people to suggest that the majority of people think men are becoming more involved than they are, there must be conflicting evidence about the amount of time fathers are spending away from home or not with their children. While the confusion about the actual amount of time spend occurs worldwide, there are some places where it is obvious that fathers are not spending very much time at home. This is particularly evident in Japan. Japanese fathers from single-earner households spend, on average, 3 minutes each weekday and 19 minutes per weekend day on family work which includes, “feeding, bathing, helping, and playing with their children” (33). Only 3 minutes each weekday! That is not even enough time to appropriately read a bedtime story to a child. Three minutes is an incredibly small amount of time, especially when Ishii-Kuntz found that 75% of the fathers she studies worked about 54 hours per week (33). Even if the amount of time spent with children by the end of each week added up to a full hour, Japanese fathers are spending approximately 54 times more than that at work. Japanese fathers spend way too much time at work and way too little time at home with their children. American fathers also spend a great deal of time at work, yet all the studies have shown that they spend more time with their children that the Japanese fathers do.

According to one study, during the week Japanese fathers spend 0.33 hours with their son. Compare that to the full hour the American fathers are spending each weekday with their son (Ishii-Kuntz 39). American fathers appear to spend three times more time with their sons than the Japanese fathers do. The difference is not as great when dealing with the daughters. On a weekday, a Japanese father will spend 0.4 hours with a daughter and an American father will spend 0.5 hours (39). This is much closer, and yet American fathers are still spending more time with their children in general than Japanese fathers. Based on this information, American fathers spend a half hour more each week with their daughters than Japanese fathers do. That half hour can result in a much stronger relationship with a more emotionally and mentally developed child. Some may say that there are always the weekends to spend with children. However, about 20% of American and Japanese fathers are “engaged in work-related activities on weekends” (41). And if the fathers are not working on the weekends, they may be doing other recreational activities – without the family. Weekend time is spent in very different ways in Japan and the United States. We see that “Japanese men spend weekends alone or pursuing their own hobbies, [and] American men spend more time…with their children and…with their wives” (41). Many Japanese fathers are not even reserving part of two days a week to spend with family. Clearly Japanese fathers are not spending adequate time with their children. Many children, especially American children, equate the amount of time their father spends with them with how much a father cares for them. When American fathers spend more time with their children, they are seen as “understanding and reliable” (41). However, this correlation did not seem to be evident in the Japanese children’s minds. Could this be because the children are not used to having their fathers around at all? Perhaps if Japanese fathers spent more time with their children collectively, this mentality would exist.

The Sweatshop Debate: Morals v. Economics

Please follow the link to my paper


I served my mission in Peru and found it to be a culturally enriching experience. Like many third-world countries, piracy of movies is very common. Due to this, the majority of people have extensive collections of a variety of movies and very much enjoy viewing them as we do. I love watching and discussing movies with people in order to understand what they learned or thought of it so it comes as no surprise that I would want to do this with the people I met in Peru. What I found was somewhat surprising to me at the time. Many people thought that what they saw in the movies produced in America is really how life is here. Many would ask if I had ever been to Los Angeles to which I would reply that I had; they would then proceed to tell me that Los Angeles is very dangerous and that every person that lived there was a gang member and had guns and would rob everyone and that the police had no control at all. I had to laugh when they would tell me this because I knew that it is not really like that. They would tell me that that is what they have seen in the movies where Los Angeles is featured. We also have preconceptions about how the world is outside of the U.S. based on what we have seen on the silver screen.

Now that I am back in the United States and continuing in my studies and interest in film and the media arts, I have come to some interesting conclusions about how they affect not only us in the U.S. but the rest of the world also. Some would argue that the film industry needs to be more politically correct and present more balanced and honest views of the world. By so doing, this could help the United States be seen as less “culturally imperialistic” and overbearing. On the other hand, many would say that this would take away from the creative voice of those involved in the production of the film and thus limit the very essence of it. Film exists as a means to tell a story or call attention to a subject. A film, in itself, is not going to change the world. It can however cause and individual to change his or her perception of the world and cause a change within them but this change comes from personal choice, not because one is forced to. My own view is filmmakers should be respectful to not grossly misrepresent something but at the same time not change their own ideals to appease the world. I recognize that films can cause exaggerated perceptions of reality, but I maintain that it is the responsibility of the audience to reach their own conclusions.

Around the world, there are thousands of movies made every year. The number of produced movies in the western world (US, Australia, Japan, South Korea and Europe include Russian Federation) for the year 2007 was around 2500 with 453 of those being made in the United States. The number of produced movies in former third world (rest of Asia, Mexico and South America, Africa) is comparable in 2007 with around 2400, 1164 made in India (WikiAnswers). It is apparent that world movie production is not entirely concentrated in Hollywood. In fact, the majority of films produced annually are from Asia. India alone produces an average of 800-900 commercial films annually while the U.S. has an average of 250 annually. Tyler Cowen, author of the article “Why Hollywood Rules the World (and Should We Care?)” explains that “The United States has at least one natural advantage in moviemaking—the largest single home market for cinema in dollar terms.” And also that “Total attendance but not revenue is higher in India.” This suggests that our culture is one dominated by moviegoers, a fact confirmed when compared to movie going trends of Western Europe in 2001.
272 million vs. 366 million
Cinema tickets sold
1.48 billion vs. 805 million
Number of screens
37,165 vs. 23,168
Frequency of film-viewing
5.37 times a year vs. 2.2 times a year
Inhabitants per screen
7,334 vs. 15,821

I still have more to do on this third paragraph, but I would like to have some feedback on it before I continue so I can see if I am headed in the right direction.

Sweatshops: Are The Ethical? Are They Justified?

This is what I have so far:

Robert J. S. Ross paints the story of a young mother working in the garment industry:

You arrive at work in a cramped and mean little shop at seven in the morning. The boss has told you not to punch in until eight. He or his wife screams at you all day—“Hurry up, you idiot!” “Can’t you sew a straight line?” “You’re as clumsy as a dog.” At five he punches out your time card, but you work until six or even later past evening and into the night. Paid by the piece, you have been a bit slower today, bothered by a puncture from a needle last week. If the multiplication was done you did not make the $5.15 an hour that is the legal minimum wage—though the official records will show you did because two of your hours are not recorded. The work is boring, repetitive, extremely uncomfortable, but it requires absolute attention. (2)

Just like the young mother in this story, those that work in sweatshops are often exploited, abused, and even withheld much of their pay (meager as it may be) because of the greediness of their employers. Employers take advantage of the desperation of their workers to earn money and support their families. Because of this, money is often said to be “sweated” from the workers to the employers and ultimately to the multinational companies that are behind the sweatshop industry itself. In this sense, a sweatshop is defined as a factory that takes extreme advantage of its laborers financially, physically, and ethically.

It is a well-known fact that sweatshops exist overseas. Third world countries such as Bangladesh and China have many women, and in many cases even children, working under the conditions defined for sweatshop labor. However, many people do not realize that sweatshops, as defined above, are often found in the United States—a country that prides itself in upholding the rights and liberties granted by humanity. In 1996 President Clinton addressed the press about a garment factory in El Monte, California that was forcing undocumented immigrants to work in “virtual slavery” under “deplorable conditions”(Clinton, 1389). These immigrants worked under much of the same conditions as the young mother in the story above. It was Clinton’s conclusion that, “Our Nation has always stood for human dignity and the fundamental rights of working people…Human and labor rights are not brand names. They are the most basic products of our democracy” (Clinton, 1389). As Clinton points out, fashion cannot put a price on people’s basic rights. It is the responsibility, maybe even the duty, of America and Americans to protect these most basic and precious rights.

There are many difficulties in totally eliminating sweatshop labor. The economic problems it would cause, both for the workers and the companies, are too important to simply overlook. However, something still needs to be done about the issue of the exploitation of rights and thus, the answer lies in small improvements and regulation rather than a complete overhaul of the entire industry. We have a moral responsibility to look out for the welfare of others; it is our obligation to make sure something changes. The rights of others cannot simply be overlooked and put on the back burner. “In New York and Bangladesh, in Los Angeles and Managua, hearts starve for the finer things in life as we slaves to fashion reap the product of those enslaved to fashion” (Ross, 3). This can no longer be the case.


Fever, headache, sore throat, swollen lymph glands, rash; symptoms of the common flu. However, unlike the common flu, a person infected with the HIV virus will soon be the victim of several worse symptoms, and possibly death. In years past, AIDS was never a big concern for many countries. However at this time, AIDS is becoming more prevalent in more countries. Lack of education and health care systems in developing countries compared to the ample supply here in the United States, provides for one reason as to why it has become such a common disease in developing countries. Due to the fact that this problem is becoming more common throughout the world, it is important to realize that this is an issue that the world needs to be aware of and involved in.

“You get up in the morning and eat breakfast with your three kids. One is already doomed to die in infancy. Your husband works 200 miles away, comes home twice a year and sleeps around in between. You risk your life in every act of sexual intercourse. You go to work past a house where a teenager lives alone tending young siblings without any source of income. At another house, the wife was branded a whore when she asked her husband to use a condom, beaten silly and thrown into the streets. Over there lies a man desperately sick without access to a doctor or clinic or medicine or food or blankets or even a kind word. At work you eat with colleagues, and every third one is already fatally ill. You whisper about a friend who admitted she had the plague and whose neighbors stoned her to death. Your leisure is occupied by the funerals you attend every Saturday. You go to bed fearing adults your age will not live into their 40s. You and your neighbors and your political and popular leaders act as if nothing is happening” (McGeary, Johanna). (I will not be using this whole quote in my paper, but I will have a portion just to show what it is like in certain developing countries when they have little health care provided.)

HIV is known a human immunodeficiency virus. A person becomes HIV positive when the virus attacks their T cells, which normally fights against illnesses and protects the immune system. However, if a person has HIV, it does not necessarily mean they have AIDS. A person is diagnosed with AIDS, or Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, when they become infected with a disease that is linked to HIV, such as pneumonia. A person can live a long life without problems if they are HIV positive; however, once they are diagnosed with AIDS, it becomes much more difficult, because at this point they will have diseases that cause fatalities (Global Health). Although this virus is becoming more common throughout the world, the knowledge of how it spreads is not known to many. Popular misconceptions on how the virus spreads include: through coughs and sneezes, or holding someone’s had that has HIV. However, these are absolutely false. One way HIV can be spread is during sexual intercourse if one is infected with the virus. Coming in contact with an open sore or cut on someone that has HIV is another way that the virus is spread, or through sharing needles that have punctured someone with the virus. A mother with HIV is also very likely to pass the virus on to her baby while she is pregnant, when the baby is born, and even through breast feeding, the baby is likely to be infected (DiPentima, Cecilia). This simple knowledge of how HIV and AIDS are passed from person to person is not known to many countries around the world. It is important for everyone to be educated on this issue in order to stop the tremendous rate at which it is spreading.
Collin Omundi, a twenty-eight year old Kenyan man has experienced the brutal effects of AIDS on his family. Over the past eleven years, Omundi has lost his parents, seven of his uncles, six of his aunts, and five of his cousins to AIDS. This young Kenyan “is a member of the Luo ethnic group, whose men have one of the highest AIDS death rates in Kenya. Twenty-four percent of Luo men are infected with HIV” (Bristol, Nellie) and experience the same tragedies that Collin Omundi has dealt with. Currently, there are approximately forty million cases of HIV/AIDS throughout the world. However, two-thirds of these cases are in Southern Africa (Bristol, Nellie.) In 2006, three million people died from this particular disease, but even more shocking, seventy two percent of those people were African (Bristol, Nellie). One may ask why so many tragic cases take place in countries in Africa, compared to the United States of America. The reason for this problem is due to the lack of health care and health education throughout the countries of Africa.

Although, many countries give money to developing countries such as Africa, what they really lack is health care systems and the knowledge about the virus. The effects of this particular virus are the worst in Africa, with a twenty-four percent rate of people with the virus. However, even with this large percentage of infections, only three percent of global health care workers help with this epidemic, and only one percent of the world’s physicians are caring for these patients (Garret, Laurie). With this minor number of healthcare workers providing help in Africa, they cannot assist many people that are infected with the virus. Only a small number of Africans receive the medical attention that they desperately need. An example that proves this is the leading causes of death in particular countries. In high income countries, AIDS is not even one of the top ten leading causes of death. In contrast, low income countries, which include most of the countries in Africa, suffer HIV/AIDS to be their third highest leading cause of death (World Health Organization). This proves that due to their lack of wealth, they cannot afford the health care systems that they should have.

Sex Slavery

As known by many, prostitution is the oldest profession in the world. It has progressed from the stone age and is still used today as a ways of making a living for many women, however, it has lead to the event of sex slavery in which women and children are innocently forced against their will to participate in sexual behavior in exchange for money. In some cases these women go innocently thinking that they are going to be a stripper, sometimes they are kidnapped, and many times they are preyed on and psychologically threatened. Throughout the world there are those who believe that this is not a problem and should in fact be legalized, but for every minute that they sit and have this attitude an innocent woman or child is trafficked for sex. (Kara, 2009) This is a 12-billion dollar a year market, with 800,000- 900,000 affected in the U.S. alone. (Masci, 2) Every year millions of women and children are forced into this practice, and not only lose their sexual freedom but their entire life.
Although we may not be directly faced with it everyday, sex slavery is all around us and is taking the lives of young women and children everywhere. It leads to not only sexual exploitation but also the spread of disease, violence and drug use. Through these aspects, it is obvious that sex slavery has a destructing effect on society and is hurting both those directly and indirectly involved. Some have stated that sex slavery is a choice and that many times these women knowingly put themselves in these situations, however, many innocent young women are forced into sex slavery against their will and although there are those that participate for their own agenda, too many of the innocent are effected to let it continue. Something must be done to stop this, whether it is through education or penalization to those involved, we as a people need to take a stand and help the innocent.
In the just recent movie “Taken” it tells the story of two naive young girls that go to Paris for the summer to follow U2 but are instead kidnapped, drugged, and trafficked for sex. This movie shows how many pimps imprison their women by providing them with hard drugs such as cocaine and heroine and then after they are hooked make them have sex with strangers to receive more drugs. Throughout the world pimps use drugs as a way of imprisoning their women to stick with them and not runaway. Once the women are hooked they present addiction both when they are working as a sex slave, and also after they have been released. One girl states, “ Even after I had been released I suffered years and years of drug addiction in which it ruined my body, and my life. I relapsed from rehab twice and after the third time I have been able to remain clean for 3 years,” (May, 2). Other forms of drug use are also common; many pimps force these women to use illegal abortion drugs that can eventually destroy your reproductive system so that the women do not become pregnant. In ‘The Girls Next Door’ the story is told of four girls in a suburban New Jersey home that had been forced for years to be sex slaves. In a way to keep these girls from becoming pregnant the pimps used illegal and legal abortion drugs such as, “Morning after pills, isoprostol, etc.” (Landesman, B12) Due to the nature of these drugs, and the fact that the women were forced to take them everyday, they may never be able to have children themselves. In the article, “Prostitution Debate,” it is stated that, “ More than 90 percent of street walking prostitutes used illegal drugs.” Many girls have stated that these use these drugs to ‘enhance’ their performance, because on certain occasions if they are not ranked well enough by their ‘john’ they will be beaten by their pimp. Girls have also said that they use drugs as a way out. One girl that was lifted by the police in Northern California stated, “ I used drugs so that I wouldn’t remember all that was happening to me. When I woke up I was sick and I didn’t have to think about the terrible abuse that was being done to my body.” (Clemmitt, 2) These are the types of acts that are happening right outside our doors, and these are only the ones that are reported. As it stated above four girls were held in a suburban New Jersey home for years until police were notified of suspicious behavior. This type of behavior is leading to drug abusers and is threatening not only the lives of the women involved, but also the lives all around us. When a person is on drugs they are unaware of their surrounds and many times they participate in lucid or erratic behavior. It is obvious that this is affecting our society, not only is it putting women in danger but the entire community. It is not these women’s fault t hat they are subject to this drug abuse, many of them are innocently addicted to these substances and it is up to us as a society to help stop sex slavery in the first place and therefore diminish drug addiction as well.
To the pimps these women are just a business in which they are an item to be bought and sold; this therefore makes them modern day slaves. This also provides them with reasons to abuse them, because they do not view these women as a ‘human beings’ but rather as an object they feel that they have the right to dominate and control. Many of these women are therefore subject to great violence and abuse and suffer each day. A report from Scotland states that, “Many of the girls are virgins when they arrive and the crooks gang rape them to ‘break them in’… rape is also used as a punishment for those who disobey or do not make enough money for the day.” (Elias, 2) These acts of violence are physically and psychologically hurtful and many times the women are left bruised and sore, and many times internal organs can be damaged. In severe cases women have been subjected to violence so much that they have either been murdered, or committed suicide.

Coastline Pollution

In San Clemente California, a local and global coastal icon was endangering from human expansion. The targeted beach was known as Trestles. A world class wave for surfers and a large carrier to marine life in South Orange County shorelines. This great beach paradise was in jeopardy of yet another human development. The project was to build a toll road that extended out into the ocean through Trestles and take course back inland. Construction of this mini freeway would not only destroy the waves to local surfers, but create a danger to all those linked to the coast from the most common marine killer, pollution. Pollution in the ocean comes in many different forms. From sewage to human waste, the ocean is polluted by civilizations that seem to not be checked in any way from government. Battling development with coastline environment is not only taking place in California, but across the globe. “In fact over 80% of all marine pollution comes from land-based activities and many pollutants are deposited in estuaries and coastal waters.” (Environmental facts1). In the world, 38% of the population lives 100 km from the shoreline (Small and Cohen 2). With such a large population located near the beach, pollution should from development should be limited and even put to a stop in certain coasts across the globe. By limiting shoreline development, coastlines across the globe will be cleaner and more sanitary for marine and human life.

Unfortunately, pollution in the ocean is not limited to just a few resources. In fact, humans have been polluting the ocean in almost every way. Most common types of pollution are from polluted runoffs. These are storm water or preemptive due to rain (Stoner 4). Another strong from of pollution is the ecological damage from nutrient pollution. “ Nutrient over-enrichment has a range of effects on coastal systems, but in general, it brings on ecological changes that decrease the biological diversity-the variety of living organisms- in the ecosystem” (Howarth 2). Adding to the nutrient crisis and bacteria issues from runoffs, sewage is a large factor is bringing toxic waste into the marine ecosystems. Many ask how such massive amounts of deadly toxins can and health risk bacteria are lead into the oceans coasts? The problem lies within the government itself. “One of the reasons that the water pollution problem is so severe is that it is not actually illegal to dump pollutants into water bodies” (Sea Pollution 3). The largest issue concerning pollution is it can’t be stopped with no limit upon it. Without any interference from the government, individuals and companies from coastline developments can pollute as they please threatening not only marine ecosystems, but human health as a whole on the globe.

The Technological Cure for Poverty

Cheap, efficient, and renewable; these are the words that seem to be flying around the most these days. They have proven to be the standard by which the energy and transportation industry have consistently had to measure themselves by. The trifecta standard for making something cheap, renewable and efficient have not only been used in commercial industries, it has also been the drive for many new technological advances. Some are made in the name of science, others in the name of convenience, but for a small village in Africa that received a merry-go-round that produces electricity, the justification for what they received as poverty relief can be described as a combination of both. America in general, has been a force for good in the lives of many who live in impoverished nations. Just as the new age dawns so do the methods and tactics of relieving poverty. If other countries would follow America’s example and involve technology and its advances to help alleviate poverty, technology’s true potential for good would be realized.

Poverty has been an increasingly interesting and controversial topic around the globe. Even definition of poverty itself has seen its share of debate. Some even wondered why some people are born into poverty. To some that can be answered with the explanation of geography has set us to a disadvantage (Diamond). Others simply think that it is just upbringing that sets the unfortunate one to be subject to poverty. And yet there are some that place the blame solely on the combination of government corruption, poor economy, and legislative policies. Be this as it may, it is the general understanding that poverty is the lack of essentials, such as food, water and shelter, that cause the standard of living to reach that of what has been deemed in which ever country you are in as so. Countries around the world like Africa, India and a whole list of other South American countries have been affected by this problem. Some countries like America, who has seen their share of troubled economic times in the past, are now experiencing this obstacle once again due to a rough economy. After hearing about all of this the following question would probably pop up in the reader’s mind, “What has been done to help alleviate poverty?” This question is a perfectly understandable question due to the frequency of it being asked by those affected by it the most. It seems that to some not enough is being done while to others, less should be done to contend with this problem. Both sides of the argument have their own sets of legitimate claims, but those who apply the advances that technology brings coupled with the need to do more in the field of alleviating poverty are entitled to a more successful experience.
In 2004 the United States spent 19 billion in foreign aid, a number that doubled its closest runner up, Japan who came in just short of 9 billion with 8.9 billion. Interestingly enough though the United Nations goal of a certain percentage being donated to foreign aid was not meet by America in said study. In fact the U.S. was second to last out of the top five wealthiest nations who were surveyed. This is because America donates less than a tenth of its national income (Katel). America leading the way in alleviating poverty has been the common trend throughout the rest of the following years. Be this as it may, there is much progressed to be made in the field of technology combined with a country’s/government’s involvement ending poverty. For example, if a country was to fund research on new technologies that are on the brink of a breakthrough and use it to help an impoverished country it would unlock new possibilities for said nation. Another way that countries could get involved in helping countries in need is by changing policy that is in their government. Some very influential people, from possible aiding to needy countries, place restrictions on giving aid to needy counties. This can be from the leaders of that nation observing that, due to corruption, unequal distribution, and a whole list of other reasons, giving aid to impoverished nations is a waste of time, effort and money. In the end of the day though, we will only be left with what has happened and what will happen. So as we look back to our nations past we see people who have went out of their way to help a country in need and the fruits of their labor have produced a great harvest.

A good example of this is can be seen in the rural community of Essam, Ghana. Because much of that area has no electricity what so ever, schools and homes in Essam where without light. Once a BYU team of engineers decided to do have their capstone project involve this little community in Ghana, it was only a matter of time before those schools and homes that were dark would now have light. The capstone project included installing a merry-go-round that, when used, creates electricity for the schools and also for lanterns inside some home. This would finally lead to the children in that rural community being able read at night. The merry-go-round that was sponsored by Empower Playgrounds, Inc was such a big hit that the Ghana Ministry of Education would like to have six more merry go rounds placed in the area (Walker). Because early education is the foundation that is needed for even the most obscure chances of success later on in life, children of any impoverished nation with a possibility of an education helps their country rise above that which they have been so set at. It all was started by the simple question of, “what can we do to help?” If the countries that choose to not donate to impoverished nations would follow the lead of the BYU lead team of engineers and colleges, the nations that are needy would finally be able so see the aid of a country with out it completely contradicting the legislation that prevents them form doing so completely.

Genocide in Darfur

The crisis in Darfur, Sudan is a continual debate on whether the international community should intervene or not. The war started in 2003 when Darfurian Rebels attacked and fought against the Sudanese government. Government and murderous Arab militias known as Janjaweed have struck back sending more than two million refugees into camps set up by the UN. The United Nations estimates that 450,000 lives have been lost due to malnutrition and combat (Murphey). This atrocity is worsening everyday and the international community does not feel obligated to act unless this crisis is defined as genocide. My own view is that the crisis in Darfur is genocide and that there is a lack of international help. Though I concede that classifying this crisis as genocide is a heavy assertion, I still maintain that the war is a racial cleansing and needs international aid. For example, the Sudanese government supports the raping and killing taking place. Although some might object that this makes these killings genocide, I reply that thousands and thousands of lives continue to be taken simply because of a person’s ethnicity. This issue is important because if the international world will declare Darfur as genocide, then their help will be a priority, which is exactly what Darfur needs. Although labeling the crisis in Darfur has been a controversial issue, the international community needs to define it as genocide and make up for their negligence by taking immediate action.

The biggest debate concerning Darfur is whether or not genocide is taking place. Webster’s Third New International Dictionary defines genocide as, “The use of deliberate systematic measures (as killing, bodily or mental injury, unlivable conditions, prevention of births) calculated to bring about the extermination of a racial, political, or cultural group or to destroy the language, religion, or culture of a group.” This definition perfectly describes the mass killings in Darfur; one race/ political group (the Arabs) is bringing about the extermination of the black Africans. Prunier emphasizes the reality of the genocide, “The attakers were shouting that “the black” had to go, that “the land now belonged to the Arabs” (Prunier). This shows the intent of the militias and further places the Arabs at fault for the ethnic cleansing taking place. In addition, Marquand describes the current situation in hopes that the world will open their eyes and except the reality of the sitituation, “Darfur has spawned a dynamic in which Arabs are killing Africans, and lighter skinned and darker skinned groups are set against eachother. …A confession by a high ranking Sudanese official isn’t needed to prove genocidal intent. It can be shown via a common standard of “practice and pattern” of crime” (Marquand). Although making these assertions brings on a huge obligation to the internationally community, we should not sit back and deny that facts of this crisis, because it would require intervening. Children, wives, and families have been raped and murdered while the government either turns their cheek to the situation or supports it. Millions have been forced to abandoned their burned villages and now reside in camps that aren’t much safer. Moszynski shares a story of Dr. Bashir who became a victim herself, “[She] knows better than almost anyone the horror of the crimes committed in Darfur. She not only witnessed them first hand and treated the survivors but was arrested and gang raped by members of the security forces for speaking out” (Mozynski). It is unethical to know that security forces are involved in these malicious acts and still the only help sent internationally has been humanitarian aid workers. I leave you to ponder the question Marquand asks, “So is Darfur a genocide? A US Holocaust Memorial Museum committee and Colin Powell have said it is. So do at least two human rights reports. One French expert, Marc Lavergne, calls it “worse than a genocide” since mass killings are not done out of racial hatred, but because Darfurians are simply “in the way” of Sudan’s plans to control land” (Marquand). The internationally community cannot let the situation in Darfur continue to get worse because they refuse to except that it is genocide.

On the contrary, many will not except or assert the deaths in Darfur caused by government and militias to be genocide. However, is it ethical to wait until the situation can be labeled as genocide for the community to take action like in Rwanda? Often times genocide is hard to convict until after it has occurred, but this is the perfect situation to stop it “before” it occurs. Marquand simplifies the reason Darfur has not been labeled a genocide on an international level, “Yet prosecutors and world courts are even more cautious about leveling the charge, even when it may apply – since it raises a requirement to intervene” (Marquand). Nations have taken on a responsibility to protect if the case of genocide arises. Nations are failing to do this, because they are too worried about finding reasons to prove that genocide is taking place. If it is not taking place now, it will be in the future. Intervening with another country can be a sensitive and overwhelming situation, but if aid is not given thousand of more lives will be lost. The word genocide brings many connotations and is a politically sensitive word. So even if many do not want to define the crisis in Darfur as genocide because it brings back images of the Holocaust or shows how terrible the situation has become, someone needs to take action and the people of Darfur deserve international help. We have an opportunity to potentially stop genocide and save lives of thousands; let’s not pass this up because it is not yet and international obligation because many oppose that genocide is taking place.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Nuclear Power of Doom!!

In an era of economic decay and increasing global instability, changes in suitable energy must be made to secure a bright future for the coming generations. With over 5.3 billion tons of carbon pollution emitted annually from burning oil and coal, there has been a push to discover a cleaner, more environmental friendly form of alternative energy (Science News 191). Many forms of energy such as hydro and wind power have been utilized, but none even come near to the efficiency and power of nuclear energy. Even with the fact however, nuclear power has been met with strict criticism of its safety. As scientists began to learn how to use nuclear power to its full potential in the 1950’s and 60’s, the increased fear of radioactive poisoning resulted (Lake 14). The main cause for fear was in the accident at Chernobyl, Ukraine nuclear plant in 1986 (Wheeler 8). Similarly in the previous decade, in 1979, the Three Mile Island nuclear plant had a partial meltdown cause much concern in the US (Weeks 24). These early concerns with nuclear power have caused nuclear power to dwindle in productivity to being only used for 8% of the total US, energy (Cooper 3). Even so, with these major drawbacks, new regulations have made containing nuclear waste safer, decreasing safety threats and increasing efficiency. Thus, vastly increasing the number of nuclear power plants in the US during this next, half century will enable the US to become self-reliant from Middle Eastern oil, and employ nuclear power as the major energy source, relieving possible fear of energy shortages and environmental destruction.
The overriding concern for most anti-nuclear activists that have thwarted major increases of nuclear power in the US is the resulting of waste produced. Yucca Mountain in Nevada has long been the major controversy (Weeks 2). With five miles worth of tunnels, holding over 42,000 metric tons of nuclear waste, people fear that this large of an amount of waste could cause major disasters. The reality is that even with this large amount of waste nuclear power incurs, it poses little threat to the environment. In its contained state, nuclear waste emits one ten-thousandth of the radiation natural sources give off (Douglas 4). Also, with new forms of “breeder reactors” are able to salvage uranium that is worth trillions of dollars (4). What this means is that nuclear waste is safe for the public and that waste can even be modified to make profit. Opponents of nuclear power need to realize this fact and accept nuclear power expansion in the US to help increase that amount of power produced and increase the efficiency. In turn, moving away from coal and oil forms of energy will help clean up the environment and atmosphere.
What all anti-nuclear activists need to realize in regards to nuclear power is the sheer power nuclear plants can produce. There have been great advancements in the capacity and safer of plants built in the past two decades (Taylor 8). With the Advanced Light Water Reactor (ALWR) productions can be from 1,000-1,200 megawatts (8). Not only is this form of reactor thirteen times more powerful than previous models it is a lot safer. These new reactor are, “incorporating innovative passive (gravity and pressurized gas) emergency core and containment cooling systems has also been developed. These passive systems replace the electrically or steam-powered pumping systems used in the conventional plants” (9). This shows that with these new models of reactors, more power is created and they are safer too. If the US would build many more ALWR plants than nuclear power production would become the fore front of electrical power. With this move away from oil, natural gas coal than the US could focus on other issues rather than environmental problems. Pressing issues such as health care and immigration could be dealt with whole heartedly.
Another problem that nuclear power activists face is the problem of nuclear proliferation. Many fear that if nuclear power is increased to if full potential and becomes the dominant energy source, than the possibility of nuclear materials falling into the wrong hands could increase. The fact remains that the technology and materials used in creating nuclear weapons is virtually the same in nuclear power plants. Thus, there must be regulations be put on such increases in nuclear power so that terrorists and other radical groups don’t have the capability of making nuclear weapons. The only option is to create international centers that can retain used plutonium so that these materials can’t be taken and used to make nuclear weapons (Abrahamson, Swahn 4). Also restrictions on making weapons usable materials should not be allowed outside of these international facilities (4). Thus without the employment of international center to hold potentially dangerous materials, not large expansion into nuclear power will or can be made. The previous fear will always be prevalent and they will remain until the said centers are built.
What many people need to realize is that nuclear expansion will not happen quick. Building plans take time and money and new regulations such as the ones proposed must be put in place to have unanimous support. Without the majority of the population supporting expansion, opposition, will cause the process to move even slower. However the end result of nuclear expansion will quickly realized and the environment will benefit also from this shift. Coincidentally, with becoming nuclear power dominant, the US will no longer need to be at the whims of Middle Eastern countries for choosing oil prices. Dependence will lower causing the US government to be able to face problems such as the latest recession.

First run through: Outsourcing

Outsourcing has become a very prominent issue in today’s world.  With the problems already existing in the economy the effects of outsourcing are magnified.  Some say that this is unfair, others argue that it is necessary for our world to function.  Outsourcing is neither inherently good or evil, but that there are reasonable arguments for and against it.  

Outsourcing is essentially obtaining goods or services from an outside, often foreign source.  This includes products but also for the purposes of this paper, actual jobs may be outsourced.  There are a variety of reasons that companies might choose to do this.  Often times people fail to recognize these other causes and tend to believe that it is always for cheap labor.  In an article by Natalia Levina it is stated that, “only 54% of the [outsourcing] agreements realized expected cost savings.”  In other words, of all the outsourcing agreements made in this case study just over half actually reduced their costs.  This tells us that there must be other legitimate reasons behind outsourcing besides to save money.  However, it is admitted earlier in this same article that “the leading reason behind outsourcing is the need to reduce and control IT operating costs.”  This may sound bleak for those trying to defend outsourcing, but right after this line comes, “followed by the need to improve management focus and access technical talent not available in-house.”  This means that the second most prominent reason behind outsourcing is the fact that people in other countries are simply more qualified.  How can you argue with that?

The main argument against outsourcing is that it takes away jobs from US workers.  Many people agree that this is detrimental to our economy because it puts people out of work.  When people aren’t working they aren’t making money.  If they aren’t making money, they aren’t buying anything.  If people don’t buy anything, nothing needs to be made.  If nothing needs to be made, more people will be put out of work, etc.  While this comes across as nerve wracking we must also consider the contrary.  If indeed the main reason for outsourcing is to cut costs on production, then prices for goods should be lower.  Companies function by selling their products or services for more than it takes to create them.  Sure if companies didn’t outsource, more US workers would have jobs.  This means however that the costs of production would be greater and in return companies would have to charge more for the same thing.  This raises probably the main question of debate: are more expensive goods and services worth the loss of some low skill American jobs?

One of the main effects outsourcing has is on the wages of American employees.  The pay differential has been getting bigger and bigger over the years between low skilled and high skilled jobs.  According to Catherine J. Morrison, “Trade and outsourcing are... alleged to have increased the earnings gap.”  We can already see a widening of this gap so outsourcing is just adding insult to injury.  These low skilled jobs and goods are being shipped off to other countries leaving the pay differential between low and high skilled jobs increasing evermore.  In the United States the distribution of wealth is already so skewed that it is daunting to think about the richer getting even richer, and the poor even more poor.  

Well how many jobs can you actually outsource?  Will this just continue to take place forever until all jobs and products are delt with in another country?  Obviously this seems quite ludicrous.  Exaggerated yes, but maybe not so much to Daniel W. Drezner.  In his article, The Outsourcing Bogeyman he says that, “The McKinsey Global Institute estimates that the volume of offshore outsourcing will increase by 30 to 40 percent a year for the net five years.  Forrester Research estimates that 3.3 million white-collar jobs will move overseas by 2015.  According to projections, the hardest hit sectors will be financial services and information technology (IT)... 1 out of every 10 IT jobs will be outsourced overseas.”  Outsourcing has become very prominent today and is quickly becoming just a way of doing business.  This is bad news for many US employees and sadly it will affect a lot of different people, especially low skill workers.  In the quote though, we also see that about 3.3 million white-collar jobs are projected to be sent oversea.  This means that outsourcing does not only affect low skilled workers.  There are negative affects for both skill sets.  

We can agree that outsourcing has a very negative effect on those low skilled workers trying to live in the United states, but we have not looked at how this affects other jobs.  The movement of low skilled jobs overseas, according to Feenstra, “has contributed to an increase in the relative demand for skilled labor in the United States.”  he goes on to say that, “This feature of globalization- the fragmentation of production into discrete activities which are then allocated across countries- has received little attention in the literature.”  This is true.  The majority of articles on outsourcing tend to focus on the fact that so many jobs are exported overseas and that it is so detrimental to our economy.  What they have failed to realize is this causes a greater need for high skilled labor in the United States.  This is the reason that the United States is the most wealthy Nation in the entire World.  This is what our country was founded upon.  The ideals of capitalism and the notion of, “survival of the fittest.”  It is also understood that this nation was founded upon equality.  But I don’t think the founding fathers were thinking about economic equality.  We all have the right to the pursuit of happiness.  The problem with that, is our society believes that money is in fact the only way to find true happiness.  The fact of the matter is that’s not the case and you do not have to live in the United States to be happy.  Economic quality is not a guaranteed right or privilege otherwise how we would we convince doctors, lawyers, and business men to go to so much extra school?  

Math Education Styles in US and Japan


Teaching is a very valuable resource that very few individuals actually consider doing. There are two different types of teachers; those that relate to the student and the teacher that just teaches to get the paycheck at the end of the day. The thing that sets the first apart from the latter one is the fact that the teacher alters his or her style based on the type of student he or she is teaching. This is what makes the teacher and educator. Several individuals do not see the need to change your style based on who you teach. However, my own view is that you need to change styles based on the fact that people around the world speak different languages and have different learning abilities; therefore if you want to be a successful teacher you must adapt your teaching style towards the different individuals. Though I admit that sometimes it is hard to change styles once you have been teaching a while, I still maintain that in order to be a teacher that the students love and remember in the future you must change your style. The educator needs to teach different subjects differently based on the nationality, sex, age, and other numerous things that differ between individuals.

In this paper I will focus on the nationality particular American and Japanese. Instead of exploring all subjects I will focus on Mathematics, and what makes a math teacher a math educator. It is apparent the need to switch while in a different country, but the fact remains that there are several schools in the United States that have multiple nationalities and it is the teachers job to switch their outlook on teaching so that they can become an educator. This is done by really focusing on the individual instead of the whole class.

For example, I had a math teacher in eighth grade that really changed his style to help us that where more advance than his previous classes, because he did this I have always remembered him, and he is one of the main reasons that I decided to become a math teacher. Although some might object that having effective teaching styles are not important, I reply that think of your favorite teacher and imagine if he or she had not spent the time to really think about the best way to teach that particular subject to you and your peers. This issue is important because everybody needs to learn math and things are continuing to change. We also need to be aware of the effect that we as future teachers have on our students.

What is Mathematics?

According to Webster’s Dictionary mathematics is defined as the science of numbers and their operations, interrelations, combinations, generalizations, and abstractions and of space configurations and their structure, measurement, transformations, and generalizations. Math is used all day everyday by everyone. Due to this nature it is very important that all individuals know the basics of math, this is why we need to make sure that our children are getting the best education that is possible. Explaining the need to make sure that the teachers are making sure that their style of teaching is what is best for the individuals they are responsible for teaching.

What is Education?

There are several different types of education found within the United States. There is elementary or primary education this includes kindergarten through about 8th grade. The next step in ones education is secondary education. This is often referred to as high school which consists of 9th through 12th grade. The next step and for most people the final step in their education is post-secondary or higher education, otherwise known as college or university. Now that your mind has been refreshed regarding math and education it is time to get into the paper.

Mathematics in the United States

Teaching math in the United States just like any other country takes talent. It is important to develop a good style that helps your students to do well on standardized test. According to the Third Inter-national Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) that was conducted in the years 1995 and ’99 the U.S. did not do very well compared to other countries (Hiebert 114). In the year 1995 the U.S. scored the lowest with a 492 the next lowest score was produced by Australia with a 519 (Hiebert 114). The next time this study was conducted, 1999, the U.S. improved their score by ten points however they still produced the lowest score of the seven countries that participated in the experiment. It is also important to help the students to continue to have a desire to further their education in that subject. One of the most common ways of teaching math in the U.S. is teaching the material first and the working on the application; this includes quizzes and test (Hennessy 700). When the teacher chooses to teach in this manner it tends to limit the amount that each student can participate in while attending class. This is due to the fact that when you teach the material in a lecture-like manner the teacher is responsible for leading the class through several examples and making sure that they understand the subject matter (Hennessy 700). Another aspect of education that sets the U.S. apart for Japan and other countries is the fact that a classroom in America tends to be interrupted quite frequently for various reasons. When a teacher is interrupted and needs to take a break from teaching so that the conflict may be resolved the students tend to forget what was being taught at the moment of the interruption, therefore the teacher needs to spend time to go back and make sure that the students understand.