Friday, December 11, 2009

NYT 12/11/09 Quake Threat Leads Swiss to Close Geothermal Project

There was a $60 million dollar project to extract renewable energy from the hot bedrock beneath Basel, Switzerland however, it had to be shut down because it was generating destructive earthquakes. The project was led by Markus Haring and he is going to trial on criminal charges from the project. The hope for the project was to use geothermal energy to cut down on fossil fuel use. The Obama administration is also planning a test of advanced geothermal energy with the AltaRock project and is hoping for more positive findings. Geothermal energy might be better in a less populated area. I think it is great that researchers are trying to find alternative means of energy and hopefully they will have success without causing millions of dollars in damage.

NYT 12/10/09 3 Convicted in Plot to Blow Up Trans-Atlantic Passenger Jets

Three men were convicted of conspiracy to commit murder with a plan to blow up trans-Atlantic passenger jets using liquid explosives. Several others were convicted of assisting in the plot possibly without knowing the full plan but knowing that it involved murder. This terrorist ring was broken up by authorities in August 2006. It is nice to know that justice is served and that the authorities are able to prevent terrorist attacks from happening...makes me feel a little safer.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

NYT 12/1/09 Pirates Seize Oil Tanker, U.S.-Bound, Off Somalia

In Nairobi, Kenya, Somalia pirates have seized an oil tanker that contained $20 million in crude oil. It was only 9 pirates that hijacked the tanker and its crew of 30 people. In the past 2 months, 38 ships have been attacked and 10 have been hijacked. I just find it surprising that it takes so few people to hijack such a large ship with a much larger crew. I would think that the ships would be more prepared to handle this kind of situation if it happens so frequently or invest in some kind of technology that would alert them of approaching ships. It's sad that people resort to this kind of theft but I guess crude oil has become a very valuable product.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

NYT 11/30/09 A Priest's Son Who Told All Dies at 22

Nathan Habach told all about how it felt growing up with an absent Roman Catholic priest as a father. It isn't the first time that a priest has fathered a child and abandoned the child but it is a taboo to discuss. Rev. Henry Willenborg was suspended from his position after it was discovered that he had opted for an abortion and had relations with several women. He had been sent to a center that treated priests for sexual and alcohol addictions. The decision to speak out came after the Franciscans, who paid child support if they kept silent, refused to pay for the expense of a trip for cancer treatment. I just think priesthood and the whole culture around it is interesting and it's sad that they don't have relationships with their children if they father children.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Brainstorming Final Project

For my final project I am teaming up with Greg and Anita to make items based on the children's drawings from Greg's school to be sold at the school store. We are making a calendar, and ceramic tiles using the 12 best drawings. We are taking the calendar to kinkos to be printed on recycled paper and it will be available in the school store for the children to buy using their beaver bucks. For the calendar I thought it would be nice to include quotes about children and environmental choices as well as eco ideas for elementary aged children. Their drawings show that they are already thinking about the world around them and I felt that giving them things that they are able to do to make a difference in the world might interest them. I didn't really have to brainstorm much for the basis of the project because Greg and and Anita already had been doig that all semester. I just had to conceptualize the best way to present the children's pictures and the text to accompany them. I searched a lot of different websites to find the information I wanted but I wrote them down in my sketchbook. I'm looking forward to seeing the calendar when it gets printed!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

NYT 11/19/09 Oceans' Absorption of Fuel Emissions Is Slowing, Study Suggests

The Earth's oceans have been absorbing carbon dioxide from fuel emissions but recent studies have found that they are less efficient now. It started slowing in the 1980s but has become increasingly slower since 2000. The slowdown is due in part from absorbing the carbon dioxide which changes the chemistry and makes it more acidic and less able to absorb. There was some really scientific process on how they determined the absorbtion rate and Dr. Khatiwala's approach provides estimates on the ocean carbon storage from 1765 to 2008. Kinda sucks that the natural cleaners are becoming less useful at a time when we are increasingly contributing to the release of carbon emissions. Hopefully the chemical change can be reversed or improve if we are able to cut down on our carbon emissions.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

NYT 11/17/09 A Racial Divide Is Bridged by Hard Times

In the past it has been more typical for black families to have economic/financial problems and to need government assistance such as welfare programs. However, with the recession an increasing number of white families have been fallen on hard times and have also needed financial assistance. In McDonough, Ga. the racial barriers have been breached by the coming together of black and white families that are sharing the same struggles during these hard financial times. Families that have been through the process of recieving help before are now offering advice to both black and white families that have never had to be in the situation before. The racial barriers are not as strong as races bond and sympathize with each other over the hard times. I'm glad that some racial barriers are being broken but it sucks that there are so many racial barriers still in existance and that people can't overcome their differences. But anything that brings people together and creates less of a racial divide is positive in my mind even if it hard to be such devestating times to do it.