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.
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
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 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.
Amsterdam celebrates their 18th annual Gay Pride Parade this year in combination of the 400th anniversary of The Netherlands canal system. It is the only Gay Pride celebration that occurs on the water in the world! The event hosts about 350,000 people yearly, “45,000 visitors during 4 days of street parties – 98 outdoor bars – 200,000 beers – 4 football pitches of dance floor – 10 outdoor stages – 3,000,000 beats – 120 different events in 9 days”. The Netherlands is known for its acceptance of the LGBT community. According to the article, “The first gay bar opened here in 1927 (Café ‘t Mandje, still open today at Zeedijk 63) and the planet’s first gay marriages happened in Amsterdam’s City Hall in 2001. The COC Netherlands has been advocating the rights of lesbian women, gay men, bisexuals and transgenders since 1946, and is one of the few LGBT organizations that enjoy special consultative status within the United Nations”. I am very supportive of the LGBT community. I think the fact that The Netherlands has legalized gay marriage says a lot about the mindsets of its citizens. It shows a cultural acceptance toward people that are different. I really love this about The Netherlands. I wish that America was more like The Netherlands when it comes to this issue. I feel that it will take more time for us to reach this level of approval here in The United States.
The Joao Havelange Stadium in Rio De Janiero has been closed due to safety problems. The stadium, that is only 6 years old, is in danger of losing its roof according to the episode of The World that I listened to. This stadium is supposed to be the home for the 2016 Summer Olympics track and field events. What is worse is that the contractor that built the stadium wrote in to the contract that they would not be legally responsible for any problems that the stadium encountered after it was built. Because of this the contractors are not liable to rebuild or fix the roof and the government of Rio De Janiero will be financially obligated to fix the stadium before the Olympic ceremonies can commence. From the way the broadcaster and his guest were talking this is a pretty tall order for such a short time frame. They were also saying that the stadium was in very rough shape aside from the roof. I will be interested to see how the stadium will look in 2016.
Joao Havelange Stadium
Canadian Biologists believe that plants that are from the same parent (sibling plants) are actually accommodating each other in respects to light, root placements, and nutrient consumption. Anna Rothschild says that at McMaster University scientists are doing some experiments on plants and their siblings. A graduate student by the name of Amanda File thinks that the plants are not doing this to be “nice” to one another but mainly as a way to insure their genes are passed on. While it is still unclear how the plants can determine which other plants are related to them, it is interesting to hear that they have the ability to alter their behaviour. It is hard for me to believe that they have this ability. I know that plants are living, but I guess I don’t really think of them as alive the same way as I do animals. I feel that it would be exciting if this researchers examined this information thoroughly enough that it could be put in to school books and taught to children at a young age. I wonder if it will change future generation’s views on plants and how we treat them. I feel that it changes my thoughts on plants. I hope to learn more as scientists continue their studies.
Roughly 50 million dollars’ worth of diamonds were stolen at an international airport in Brussels, Belgium. What really surprised me was the amount of time it required. It apparently only took the thieves 11 minutes to steal the diamonds and leave. The burglars cut a big hole in a fence and stole the diamonds as they were being transferred on to a plane. They were heavily armed and held hostages at gunpoint while looting 120 parcels from the plane’s cargo area. The exact value had not been determined at the time that the episode aired but it is estimated to be worth about 50 million dollars. According to The World this was one of the largest known heists to date.
Another topic on the show was about the mistreatment of workers employed by Amazon. The producer of a documentary on the incidents said workers were brought in from countries such as Spain and Poland for the seasonal positions. Once there they encountered intimidation from security and found that they would be paid less than advertised. They underwent frequent intrusions in there temporary houses, where the guards searched through their possessions. What’s more some of the security guards were dressed in Neo-Nazi attire. Amazon hired a different company to run the security when the harassment of these workers took place. After the documentary aired on public television Amazon terminated their working relationship with the security company involved. At the time of the broadcast Amazon had not made a formal statement about the documentary or the incidents.