Archive for October 2009
2000 years ago in todays Ireland, the United Kingdom, and Northern France, the celts would celebrate their new year on November 1st. They had believed that this day was the end of summer and the begining of a new dark and cold winter. They thought that the winter time was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night of OCtober 31ts, they would celebrate Samhain, believing that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. During the celebration the celts wore costumes sometimes waring animal heads and skins. I think that most people now days have forgot the purpose of halloween and it has evolved into something different, but it is interesting to know the origin of halloween.
First quarter is over? Crazy how fast it went by. It is just the beginning of IMG. We are all worn out, exhausted and having a hard time keeping up. But recently I had a close friend of mine tell me that you only live once. I thought about this, honestly it is hard to do the something day in and day out. But don’t get stuck in the routine, you can only live once. Today is gone and tomorrow is coming, so enjoy the moment now. I personally was in the same routine, now I look back on the first quarter and can’t believe how fast it went by. So do not get stuck in the regular routine of IMG and enjoy the moments you have.
Many of us soccer fans crowded around the TV on Monday afternoon to watch the World Cup soccer game. This game was intense from yellow cards to Spain playing a man down. Unlike many fans, IMG students know the USA national team on a first name basis. It was exciting to see some of our competition and friends on the big screen. Both teams played very well. The final score gave Spain the win, that does not mean that the US did not have any chances. This Thursday the US is also playing against Malawi. Not sure what the final score is yet but as of this moment right now it is 1-0, US. Wish them luck.
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Hana Hajjar, a cartoonist for an English-Language newspaper in Saudi Arabia, has gone against the social norm and has begun criticizing her native country’s social policies. Hajjar’s cartoons often center around her ideas of gender inequality in her homeland. Hana Hajjar has said “I think men have put women in an unfavorable position in this part of the world. They’ve put women in an oppressive situation.” Hajjar also tackles issues of political policy and rites for Palestinians as well as the roles of the sexes. She is very careful, however, not to push it too far as she as quoted as saying “I like to draw thought-provoking and argument-provoking caricatures. I like to see how much I can push people to think, but am mindful never to cross societal red lines.” In recent years, Saudi Arabia has made small strides towards gender equality and freedom in general, and with bravery like that of Hana Hajjar, it can be assured that it will continue to progress.
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There is an island building up in the pacific ocean made up of an uncountable plastic bottles. Plastic doesn’t biodegrade, so all the plastic that has ever been made–excepting the 5 or so percent that has been recycled–still exists somewhere. The issue centers around the fact that it costs about 100$ per ton of plastic to recycle the products into usable material. Luckily, the environmentally conscious company Envion is preparing to release their first commercial plastic-to-oil converter. Thus far, all attempts to separate the different components of plastic back into their original forms have been either very costly or very inefficient, but each Envion unit is now able to process 6,000 tons of plastic annually, at a cost of only 17$ a ton. In addition, it costs about 10$ to obtain a barrel’s worth of oil from plastic products, white the current cost of oil per barrel is 70$. Even more exciting is that is the fact that the oil generators are even more cost effective than land fills, which cost around 70$ per ton. Envion seems to be made out of the right stuff to spread worldwide, promising a much greener tomorrow.
Everybody at school suspected that Charleeni Ferreira, a 10-year-old girl from Philadelphia, was being beaten or abused in her own household. Every time the subject of injuries was brought up to Charleeni’s parents, they often told contradicting stories that seemed to be pre-planned. Some of the most common stories included “She stabbed herself with a pencil in the dark,” “A pipe fell on her foot,” and “she accidently tore her toenail.” Charleeni ended up being killed last week and the death was classified as torture. Her father and stepmother are the accused. Her dad hung himself earlier this week while facing jail time for beating his daughter to death. It is a shame she had no one to turn to and authorities couldn’t get to the family before it was to late. The big question behind the case now is, why didn’t anyone know of these beatings or the abusiveness of this family? Charleeni had reportedly visited approximately 8 doctors of the past few years and had been involved with the Department of Human Services, but somehow no one ever concluded that she was being beaten. After all the people who have been involved with or seen her over the past three years, it took an elementary school nurse to detect the problem. This is a tragedy that we all are sorry to read about an it brings sadness to our hearts. It begins to make us wonder, what is going on behind closed doors at nights, especially in big urban cities were crime and danger lurk at every corner. We can only hope that after stories such as this that people recognize the threats and terrors out there and make better decisions themselves, or be cautious of others around them.