The World- Entry 5 (April, 25, 2013)

During this episode of The World I heard about how to fake an accent. Barbra Berkery, a speech teacher, spoke about the British accent saying that it was a part of who they are. “’The voice is so central to our being as a person that we resist any kind of change,’” says Berkery. I thought it was interesting that Patrick Cox, language editor for The World, said that he makes his accent thicker when he goes back to the United Kingdom. British people love to hear Americans do bad British accents according to Patrick. I think that I am on their side on this one. I think listening to people try to do accents and failing is funny. Faking an accent properly is very hard. What surprised me most was when Cox said that an accent was more than just something you can hear but also something you can see. I hadn’t really thought about accents in that way and now that I’ve heard the idea I totally agree with it. I can get an idea of what a person looks like just by hearing them. It may not always be accurate but I do get a mental image of that person.

I listened to the geo quiz segment of The World as well. The question was what park in Berlin do Nightingales visit for 6 weeks? I was unable to even fathom an answer but nonetheless I learned that it is Berlin’s Tiergaten that they visit. The forest park surrounds the Bellevue Palace. Nightingales have recently arrived back to Berlin. Male Nightingales sing at night to attract mates. They migrate to Berlin from North Africa just to mate. I am not much of a bird watcher but I do love to lie in bed and listen to them chirp in the mornings. I don’t think that I would like to hear birds at night however. I think it would make it hard to fall asleep.

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Country Profile

The Netherlands  By: Sarah PerryNetherlands [Image 1]

I. Location

The Netherlands is located in Europe between Germany, Belgium, and the North Sea. The Netherlands occupies just over 16,000 square miles. It is roughly twice the size of New Jersey.  Its capital city is Amsterdam which is located in the western part of the country. Other major cities include Rotterdam, The Hague, and Haarlem. [1]

[Image 7]

II. Economy

The Netherlands has free market economy. The Euro is the national currency of the Netherlands.  In 2011 the Netherlands had a GDP of 836.26 billion US dollars. According to EconomyWatch.com, “Almost 80% of Netherlands’ exports are to European nations and nearly 70% of its imports come from European nations as well” (10). It is this trade system that maintains a healthy economy in the Netherlands. Germany, France, Italy, the UK, and Belgium are the main export partners of the Netherlands. The Netherlands mainly exports food as they have a fair agricultural income. They also export fuel, machinery, and chemicals. The Netherlands imports a lot of machinery to process their natural resources. They also import clothing, fuel, chemicals, and transport equipment. Germany, China, Belgium, the UK, Russia, and France are the Netherlands main import partners. [8]

Netherland's Export Partners Netherland's Import Partners[Image 8]

III. Physical Geography

A. Water

The Netherlands has a great deal of water. In fact, 2,951 square miles of the Netherlands is taken up by water. The mouths of The Rhine, Meuse, and Schelde, three of the most prominent rivers in Europe, are located in The Netherlands. In order to regulate the excess water in The Netherlands canals were built. Most cities in The Netherlands are built around these canals; Amsterdam is a prime example of this.

Canals in Amsterdam:

[Image 5] [Image 4]       

Water has played a great role in the Netherlands history, economy, and culture.  It was a combination of rivers, the North Sea, and canals that allowed for economic prosperity during a time known as the Golden Age (the 17th century).  Much of the Netherlands wealth came from maritime trade, fishing and the hunting of whales as well as the trading of spices brought monetary affluence. Because of the amount of water the Netherlands has, beautiful canal systems were built for travel, trade, defense, and water management. The canals now are a large factor in culture as they are mainly used for recreation. Parades, tour boats, canoes, etc. can be found on the canals. Numerous of the Netherlands holidays and celebration occur on and around the canals. It is for all of these reasons that water has and continues to play a large role in the Netherlands.

B. Land

The Netherlands really means wetlands. Roughly 50% of The Netherlands lies below sea level and the rest is barely above sea level, rarely more than 300ft above (3). If it weren’t for dams and pumps the Netherlands would go from looking like this:[Image 2]

To looking like this:

The_Netherlands_compared_to_sealevel[Image 6]

C. Climate

Most regions of the Netherlands have similar climates because it is a relatively small country. The Netherlands temperature fluctuates from 62.6 °F –68.0 °F in the summer. In the winter the temperature is between 35.6 °F -42.8 °F. According to Weather Online, “The Netherlands has a temperate maritime climate influenced by the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean, with cool summers and moderate winters”.(5) The Netherlands tend to be humid due to its mass amount of water. It rains nearly every day, so the type of clothing that the Dutch wear is directly resulted. Many wear waterproof clothing and carry umbrellas. The weather in the Netherlands also affects their agriculture which in turn affects their economy. Like the climate in any place, the climate in The Netherlands has a major influence on the country’s culture and economy. [5]Utrecht [Image 3]

IV. Political History

A. How Were the Netherlands Founded

In 1648, The Dutch United Provinces obtained sovereignty from Spain via the Peace of Westphalia. They then became a leading commercial and maritime power throughout Europe during the 1800s, the Golden Age. At this time The Netherlands, “were considered a republic they were governed by regents, an aristocracy of city merchants, rather than by a king or by nobility. In principle every city and province had its own government and laws”. (4) It wasn’t until 1815 that the Kingdom of the Netherlands was formed after the decline of Napoleonic French control. Originally the country was made up of what are now The Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Belgium. Belgium and Luxembourg broke away from The Netherlands in 1830. It was at that time that the Netherlands took the boundaries that we know today. [4]

B. WWI & WWII

The Netherlands was neutral during WWI but were not so lucky in WWII. Germany invaded and occupied the country in May of 1940, just a year after the war began. Many Jewish people were sent from the Netherlands to concentration camps. Anne Frank and her family lived in the Netherlands at the time of the invasion and were able to remain hidden for some time there. “At the beginning of World War II around 140,000 Jews lived in the Netherlands. In the course of the war the Nazis succeeded in deporting approximately 107,000 Dutch Jews. Around 102,000 of them perished” (7). WWII ended in Europe on May 8th 1945. [6]

C. Government

The Netherlands has a constitutional monarchy. Queen Beatrix will be queen until April 30th 2013. She is abdicating the thrown because she believes that the thrown should be left in the hands of a new generation. Her son Prince Willem-Alexander will become King upon her withdrawal. The Netherlands adopted their constitution in 1815. Their national symbol is the lion. [1]

V. People

A. Ethnicities

80.7% of the Netherlands is Dutch. The other 19.3 % of the country is made up of people of the European Union (5%), Indonesians (2.4%), Turkish (2.2%), Surinamese (2%), Moroccan (2%), Caribbean (0.8%), and other (4.8%). [1]

B. Language and Literacy

The official language in the Netherlands is Dutch but many people can also speak English. Also, Turkish, Arabic, and Frisian are spoken. Roughly 2.2% of the residents in the Netherlands speak Frisian as their primary language. Of the 350,000 people who speak Frisian in the country most are located in the Northern Province known as Friesland. There it is recognized as an official language. Just like in the United States, 99% of the people over the age of 15 are literate in at least one language. [1] [8]

C. Religions

The Netherlands has no national religion. 42 % of people in the Netherlands are secular. The largest of the segments of religious people are Roman Catholics, which makes up 30% of the country. The remaining 28% of the country is made up of Protestants (20%), Muslims (4.8%), and other religions (2.2%). [1]

D. Population

The Netherlands has a population of 16,805,037 according to estimates in July of 2012 (1). It is the most densely populated country in Europe. It inhabits roughly 1,259 people per square mile. The state of Missouri has a population of 5,988,927 and a population density of 85.92 per square mile (2).   Basically the Netherlands is about 14 times denser in population than that of Missouri! For Missouri to become as dense in population as the Netherlands it would need to inhabit roughly 83,844,978 more people than it already does. Both Rotterdam and Amsterdam have a population of just over 1 million people each. [1]

VI. Culture

A. Queens Day

The National Holiday Koninginnedag or Queen’s Day is a nationwide celebration of the queen’s birthday in the Netherlands. It is basically a giant party which starts the night before and goes on throughout the rest of the next day. Also there something called an Orange Craze. According to the official queens day website, “Everywhere in the city you’ll see orange banners, orange coloered foods and drinks and… people dressed in Orange” (9).The color orange refers to the name of The Netherland’s royal family, The House of Orange.Queen's Day Amsterdam[Image 9]

B. Interview with Irene

Name: Irene Ruigrok

Age: 18

City: Amsterdam

Country: The Netherlands

Ethnicity: Dutch

Religion: no religion

Q- What kind of music do you listen to? Who are your favorite artists/bands?

A-     Alternative, pop, rap, hip hop, R&B, dub step. My favorite artists are Foster the People, Lana Delrey, The Fleet Foxes, and Lady Gaga. We listen to a lot of American music in Holland. The radio in the Netherlands is pretty much the same radio as here.

Q- What is the common cuisine in the Netherlands? What, if any foods, do you eat in the Netherlands that we do not have here in the US? How are proportions different?

A- We like easy, practical, and plain food in the Netherlands. We boil potatoes, have a lot of vegetables, and some meat. That’s about it. I was really amazed because here you don’t eat something if you don’t like it, but in Holland you eat things that you don’t like because they are healthy. It is the way parents raise their children. When a child doesn’t like say Brussels sprouts parents will say, “Eat it”. And the parent won’t stop making a certain food just because the kid doesn’t like it. Also there are no leftovers at my house. We make food every day and eat all of it, do the dishes and do it all again the next day. There really is not any food that we eat in the Netherlands that people don’t here in America, however we do eat a lot more fish. The proportions are way, way, way, way, way smaller. Your small drink is what we call large, your medium we call a bucket, and large is kinderbad, a child’s size plastic pool. I would say that we normally order drinks that are the size of your kid’s drinks here in America.

Q- Do you have any societal traditions in the Netherlands that we do not have here in the United States?

A- The only one I can think of offhand is that before we start eating we always say “eet smakelijk” (eat tastefully/ enjoy your meal).

Q- What sports are popular in the Netherlands?

A- Soccer, field hockey, and volley ball are very popular sports. My family members are all rowers, including me. We love to row on canals and the Amstel River, but most people do not row. Most people just love their soccer.

Q- Do you have different Holidays in the Netherlands than we do here?

A- Queens Day. People dress up all orange, wear stuff, and when you are older you get to party and drink on the streets. That is the only day you can have a huge garage sale.  So everyone gathers in parks, and neighborhoods and sells there trash. We never have garages sales any other time a year. When you are young you go to the garage.

Yard Sale Wares on Queen's Day www.adventuresinexpatland.com[Image 11]

St. Nicholas Day is December 5th and it’s really a weird holiday. In Holland you have St. Nicholas and he kind of looks like Santa. You put your shoes next to the fireplace, and the story is if you sing a song and write a letter of what you’d like, and you put an apple or a carrot for the horse (not a reindeer) St. Nicholas will bring you candy and presents. He brings helpers with him when he delivers the presents. The helpers throw your presents down the chimney. Also St. Nicholas is from Spain, he is very old and generous. He gives all the kids candy and presents. We celebrate Christmas as well so normally the presents are split between the two days instead of receiving them all at once. Western St Nicholas, Dutch Sinterklaas [Image 10]

Q- What type of recreational activities do people your age in the Netherlands enjoy?

A- I go rowing and I go hang out with friends. We never hang out at home we always go out. Friends do not go hangout at each other’s houses or have sleepovers in Holland. We go swimming, shopping, and picnicking. We don’t really go out for dinner a lot but we always find something to do.

Q- In what ways do people treat each other? Racism? Difference of Religion? Ages?

A- We are kind of racist as a country towards Moroccans. Moroccans are our problem group. If something bad happens we always say that it is the Moroccan’s fault. There is this very stereotypical image of them as being bad people. We are also very selfish. When it’s bad weather which it usually is people are kind of crabby. There are a lot of people who have no manners. Like when we go through a door we don’t hold it open for the person behind us. We just let it close and let them open it themselves. But for the most part the majority of people are tolerant of each other. We pretty much speak the same way to all people regardless of their age. The only difference when talking with people of different ages is the way you say you. If it’s formal like when talking to a grandparent you say “u” pronounced “ooo” and when it’s informal like to a friend it is “jij” pronounced “yie”. I personally like to speak more respectfully to my elders but the language is essentially the same.

Q- How do you think that the freedom of gay marriages affects the views of people in the Netherlands? Are the majority of people accepting of the LGBT community?

A- I would say a lot of people accept it. There are actually a lot of gay people that come to live in Holland because it is so free and it’s accepted. There are only a few that don’t accept it because we don’t have a lot of religious people that live in Holland. It’s only old people that are religious. Like if you go to church there are hardly any people my age there. Also they are still even more liberal so even some of the people who are religious accept the LGBT community.

Q- How do you think that the low drinking age effects people’s actions in the Netherlands?

A- When you turn 16 you can buy alcohol. They were thinking about rising the age to 18 but I haven’t seen if they decided to do that are not. In America when people turn 21 they go out and get shit faced. That doesn’t really happen in Holland because you are allowed to drink for the most part before you turn 16 anyway. Like your parents will give you wine or something when you are younger and the law isn’t as strictly enforced as it is in America.

Q- Tell me about gun laws in the Netherlands? How do you personally feel about them?

A- Guns are illegal in Holland. We don’t have any guns that are legal. Police wear guns but that’s it. There are some people who have illegal guns. I love that guns are illegal. We don’t have the crime that you have here in America. Nobody goes in to schools and kill our children. It is just safer without them.

Q- Do you feel that women are treated equally in the Netherlands?

A- For the most part it is about the same as it is America. I would say that we have a very emancipated society because when you think something you say it, you just scream it out loud. When you don’t agree with something you let people know. So in most ways we are treated pretty equally. The only thing I can think of that is unfair is that women don’t get paid the same amount for the same job that guys do. But I think that is a worldwide problem, not one limited to Holland.

Q- At what age do most people in the Netherlands get married?

A- I would say about 30. I was very shocked about people here saying, “Well I’m getting married at 18!” That’s when our life hasn’t even started yet. I think that we are very smart by waiting. Also most people live with their spouses before they get married.

Q- Are there arranged marriages in the Netherlands?

A- No.

Q- At what age are people considered independent/adults?

A- We are considered independent at 18. We usually stay with our parents for a while after that. Our houses are very expensive and we don’t have enough houses because there is not enough space for the amount of people we have in the country, and now there are so many immigrants coming in as well. So we normally stay at home until we can afford to move out for good.

Q- Have you been to the red light district?

A- Yes, it a very big tourist location. But I think in some ways it’s educational as well. I remember my parents took me when I was very young. We don’t have any taboos. It’s all pretty open so it would be normal to see a sex shop or a prostitute when you are young.

Q- You were in Boston during the bombing a couple days ago. Do you think that anything would ever happen like this in the Netherlands?

A- We have a very safe country. We don’t have any guns, we don’t have any terrorist. Because, I was thinking about that when Boston was bombed. I think because America is seen as such a wonderful, strong, powerful country everyone wants to attack it. It gives terrorists a sense of power to do something like this to America. But in Holland, what is Holland? You can barely see it on the world map! Nobody knows where it is, so we don’t get attacked!

VII. Sources

4 “A Brief History of the Netherlands.” N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2013. http://hollandmvp.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/a-brief-history-of-the-netherlands.pdf.

5 “Climate of the World: The Netherlands – Weather UK – Weatheronline.co.uk.” WeatherOnline. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2013. http://www.weatheronline.co.uk/reports/climate/The-Netherlands.htm.

3 “Geography of the Netherlands.” HowStuffWorks. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2013. http://geography.howstuffworks.com/europe/geography-of-the-netherlands1.htm.

7 “The Killing Machine.” Holocaust a Call to Conscience. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2013. http://www.projetaladin.org/holocaust/en/history-of-the-holocaust-shoah/the-killing-machine/deportations.html.

11 “The Netherlands.” 2013 Index of Economic Freedom. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2013. http://www.heritage.org/index/country/netherlands.

“Netherlands.” Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2013. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/409956/Netherlands.

8 “The Netherlands.” British Broadcasting Corporation. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2013. http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/european_languages/countries/netherlands.shtml.

“The Netherlands.” Encyclopedia of the Nations. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2013. http://www.nationsencyclopedia.com/economies/Europe/The-Netherlands.html.

“Netherlands- Location, Size, and Extent.” Encylopedia of the Nations. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2013. http://www.nationsencyclopedia.com/Europe/Netherlands-LOCATION-SIZE-AND-EXTENT.html.

10 “Netherlands Trade, Exports and Imports.” Economy Watch – Follow The Money. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2013. http://www.economywatch.com/world_economy/netherlands/export-import.html.

6 “The Netherlands in World War II.” The World War II Multimedia Database. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2013. http://www.worldwar2database.com/html/netherlands.htm.

2 “Missouri.” USA.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2013. http://www.usa.com/missouri-state.htm.

9 “Queensday Amsterdam 2013.” Queen’s Day Amsterdam. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2013. http://www.koninginnedagamsterdam.nl/queensday.html.

1 “The World Fact Book: Netherlands.” The Central Intellagence Agency. N.p., 16 Apr. 2013. Web. 20 Apr. 2013. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/nl.html.

VIII. Images

[1] https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/flags/flagtemplate_nl.html

[2] https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/maps/maptemplate_nl.html

[3] http://www.weatheronline.co.uk/weather/maps/city?WMO=06260&INFO=0&PAG=0&LEVEL=160

[4] http://www.europeportreviews.com/Amsterdam.htm

[5] http://heritagentourist.blogspot.com/2012/02/venice-of-north-is-named-of-amsterdam.html

[6] http://thefinchandpea.com/2013/02/26/science-tourist-water-engineering-part-1-cruquius-museum-and-amsterdam-ordnance-datum/

[7] http://wwp.greenwichmeantime.com/images/europe/the-netherlands.jpg

[8] http://www.economywatch.com/world_economy/netherlands/export-import.html

[9] http://www.dutchamsterdam.nl/78-queens-day-in-amsterdam

[10] http://www.stnicholasinstitute.org/st-nicholas-of-myra.htm

[11] http://www.adventuresinexpatland.com/wp/2012/05/03/fijne-koninginnedag/

Final Reflection 2

Dr. Medeiros,

I really enjoyed my Geo Journal experience.  I felt loved the freedom that you gave us to complete things on our own time. That being said I do not think that it would be easy for a freshman to manage his/her time wisely. I feel that I wouldn’t have been able to manage my time as well as I did when I first started at Flo. I found that it was easiest to break the workload in to parts by doing the reporting on the world and the reflections on The World sections little by little. Stringing them out over the weeks made it more relaxing for me. I liked the Anthony Bourdain episode I watched. I think that I would maybe have students do two of them and one less of the reflections on The World. I would do this because they both give you an understanding of countries (other than the main country you learn about) but I think that the Anthony Bourdain episodes are more interesting. I like the visuals that you get watching the episodes better than just listening to The World. Also I wished that the Latin America section would have been earlier in the semester so that I could have completed the film review on The Motorcycle Diaries sooner. I feel like breaking up the entries on The World and the newspaper articles kept me motivated but then when I ran out of other activities I was less enthusiastic about my Geo Journal. I really liked that you gave us almost all of our Geo Journal activities the first day. For next semester I would suggest that you post the Moroccan Short Stories at the beginning on Black Board. Not only will students be able to access them sooner but you will also save paper! I feel like posting in a blog was a really fun way to do the Geo Journal. It allowed me to be more creative and add pictures to enhance my topics. I had never used a blog before but I found it easy to get the hang of it. I really had a lot of fun with this Geo Journal.

Sarah Perry

Final Reflection 1- What I Have Learned in Geography

  • Diaspora means the forcible removal of a group of people from their homes.
  • I learned a lot about the Netherlands.
  • I learned about Islam.
  • I learned the locations of countries in Europe, South West Asia, North Africa, and South America.
  • I learned the difference between cultural and physical geography.
  • I learned how geographical obstacles can effect a civilizations ability to thrive.
  • I learned about Egyptian cuisine.
  • I learned about Moroccan ideas, family structure, and racism.
  • I learned about many different current events throughout the world.
  • I learned about Zionism.
  • I learned about how Europe influenced the world.
  • I learned some more European history.
  • I learned more about global warming.
  • I learned about inaccuracies with maps.
  • I learned about the Neolithic Revolution.
  • I learned about the Columbian exchange.
  • I learned about trade workers in Europe.
  • I learned about the founding of Palestine.
  • I learned about the physical, political, and cultural geography of Latin America.
  • I learned about the indigenous people of Latin America.
  • I learned about poverty in Latin America.
  • I learned so much about the Netherlands it’s crazy.
  • I learned how to use a blog.

Critical Film Review: The Motorcycle Diaries

  1. The Motorcycle Diaries, Walter Salles, 2004
    1. Director Information: Walter Salles was born in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. He has been a director since 1986. In that time he has directed 22 films including On the Road, Dark Water, Behind the Sun, Midnight, and Paris, je t’aime.  
  1. The Motorcycle Diaries is a movie about two men who go on an expedition through Latin America. The main characters names are Ernesto and Alberto. Ernesto is a doctor who seems genuinely good-hearted. Alberto on the other hand tries to swindle people frequently to try to pay for their trip. The men are on a motorcycle and it consistently breaks down until they sell it. During their journey the two witness the inhumanities that had been occurring throughout the continent. They met people who had lost everything they had to the white European settlers. Many were so poor they couldn’t eat and were without homes. Ernesto decides by the end of the movie that he would like the continent to be a pan Latin continent.
  2. The Motorcycle Diaries was set up to provide a narrative of the journey that Ernesto and Alberto shared. I don’t know if the director attempted to tell the story with absolute accuracy or if he took license to embellish the story because I do not know enough about the life of Ernesto Che Guevara or the events that took place during this trip. I believe that the movie was probably pretty accurate. I think this because at the end the director gave us facts about the life of Ernesto Che Guevara. The film was not a documentary style film I don’t think. I feel like the film told a story of the past and it is for that reason that I think this film would be classified as both a biography and a historical drama.
  3. I thought the film as a whole was rather good. I think that the best features were the acting, the scenery, and the reality of the film. I think the director did a marvelous job of showing Ernesto’s views change over time. I feel that this change had a smooth transition that seemed very natural and believable. I watch a lot of foreign films so the fact that the movie was in another language did not bother me. I loved that the film showed much of the places that they went. It was nice to be able to see the physical geography of Latin America. I really liked the actors in this film. I feel like they did a great job, especially the actor who played Ernesto. I think that he was really good at having asthma attacks. I feel like that would be a hard thing to act out and it was very convincing. I can’t think of anything from the film that bothered me.
  4. I think that the director was attempting to convince people that Ernesto Che Guevara was not just a crazy murderer but that he had good intentions in doing what he did during his life. I don’t know that the film convinced me that he was right in murdering people but I do believe that he had a worthy cause. I feel that if I lived in a place where poverty, hunger, and disease were the norms I would want to fight those in power as well. He started a revolution. Unfortunately he didn’t start a peaceful revolution. So in some ways the director proved his point but he did not change my beliefs overall.
  5. I learned about the physical geography just by seeing what they saw on their trip. I got to see Macchu Picchu and the Amazon River up close. I learned about the political geography by witnessing the way that the class system affected people’s daily lives. For example, when people traveled on the river that the rich would ride in the nice big boat and the poor would travel on the small crappy boat. I learned how lepers were kept on an island away from the healthy people. I thought it was awful that the nuns would only provide food to those who attended mass. Talk about taking advantage of people! I learned about the political geography during the scene where the couple tells Ernesto and Alberto how the police helped the white people throw them out of their home. I learned about the cultural geography of Latin America too. I found that soccer is a big sport in South America, that Latinos really enjoy dancing, and that most of the architecture that was built by the indigenous people of Latin America has since been tore down and replaced with unattractive cities.   

 

The World- Entry 4 (April 19, 2013)

The people of Boston were told to stay indoors Friday, April 19th, as a massive manhunt occurred. Police searched for a surviving suspect of the bombing that happened Monday at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. The suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, had not yet been found at the time of this broadcast. His brother had been killed in a shootout with police early Friday morning. Police were able to obtain Dzhokhar later Friday evening, after this broadcast. I am glad that they were able to get justice for the people who were hurt and injured. My Uncle was running the marathon on Monday. Fortunately he runs very fast. He finished and made it back to his hotel with his wife and two foreign exchange students before the bombs went off. I feel that this attack really affects people throughout the country because people from all over went to run that marathon. I feel that we were lucky that more people were not hurt or killed.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev & Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

My Uncle

Dzhokhar wasn’t a violent or angry person according to one of his classmates. She said, “He was always, a nice, funny guy…He never seemed like the kind of person that could do this”. The cynical side of me always thinks it is amusing that these types of people who are capable of this heightened level of violence are always so good at hiding it from the people around them. Most of the time the news reporters say that these types of people had higher than average IQs and were geniuses.  I find myself wondering how much these intelligent individuals could accomplish if they were interested in making the world a better place rather than wanting to destroy it. Could they have invented a dish washer that actually cleaned the dishes during the first washing? Or maybe been able to find a cure for the common cold? Is there something wired wrong in these types of peoples brains at birth? I feel like medical science is going to improve within our lifetimes and this question will be answered. Part of me hopes this will happen and the other part does not. I think that if scientists could prove that certain people were more likely to commit these types of offences that the whole nation would be tested and many people would be persecuted for actions they haven’t committed. On the other hand if that happens events such as the Boston bombings would not be likely to occur. Anyway it’s just speculation.    

 

 

The World: Entry 3 (April 11,2013)

The bird flu virus has claimed the lives of ten people in china. China is having a hard time counteracting the virus as it is hard to tell which birds are contaminated. Birds show no symptoms of the disease. Fortunately the disease is only spread from animal to person not person to person. According to the World, “Chinese officials are reporting 3-5 new human cases a day. Not everyone there believes in those statistics but challenging can land you in jail…some who question the tally are being detained”. I don’t personally believe that China is trying to cover anything up by detaining these people. I believe that they are trying to reduce panic. I feel that if this were happening here in America the government would be attempting to control any information that could not be verified as well. I think that the Chinese government is doing everything they can to contain this virus and prevent fear in its citizens.

Scientists have created new systems to help in the early stages of preventing a pandemic. Mappy Health is one of these systems. It scans Twitter statuses searching for key words that relate to disease. With these tweets a map of where certain outbreaks of disease are occurring and to some extent how many infected there may be. Another system is Google flu. This program counts the number of Goggle searches containing the word flu and gives an idea of how many people may have the flu in a particular area. While I think that this is a wonderful use of technology, some question the accuracy of this information. I feel that even if the information is somewhat in accurate it is at least a start for preventing an epidemic. Using tools like this decreases the amount of time it takes to discover an outbreak according to a study by a Harvard epidemiologist. I am comforted by these new ways to tackle diseases early on. I am happy to live in a time where the world has intelligent scientists to create vaccines & cures, and also utilize technology to assess the general public’s health.