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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Passion Project
For my passion project I am working with travel and other cool places.  My project is to pick 10 - 20 places that I would like to go and then do some research on each of them, but I am also going to add many pictures of this place which will be the bigger part of the project.  I will either have a city or a specific place.  So one of the main places could be Rome, and then get the highlights of that city or just focus on a specific place in that city like the Colosseum.  Hopefully this project will be interesting and full of pictures with brilliant images and bright color.

Renewable Energy Essay for Teen Ink
"Our dependence on fossil fuels amounts to global pyromania and the only fire extinguisher we have at our disposal is renewable energy." – Hermann Scheer, President of Eurosolar (The European Association for Renewable Energy) and General Chairman of the World Council for Renewable Energy.
"There is one forecast of which you can already be sure: someday renewable energy will be the only way for people to satisfy their energy needs.” – Herman Scheer

“Once the renewable infrastructure is built, the fuel is free forever. Unlike carbon-based fuels, the wind and the sun and the earth itself provide fuel that is free, in amounts that are effectively limitless." – Al Gore, Vice President to Bill Clinton.

Due to the growing issues with the fossil fuels we use today, many are considering and using different energy sources that are new, clean, and everlasting.  The popular forms of renewable energy today are solar, wind, and water (hydro).  These are the forms of energy that will support us for the rest of our lives.  From reading the quotes above many opinions can be taken, but one thing is for sure, oil isn’t going to be the answer to our energy necessities for much longer.  One day all of the oil is going to disappear and we are going to be forced to switch to renewable energy. To make life easier on future generations we should start moving away from oil now and towards renewable energy’s. 
One major advantage of renewable energy’s is that they are unlimited. They are therefore sustainable and so will never run out. They are unlimited because the source of their power is from nature which will be present as long as earth can sustain life.  A second advantage is because renewable energy is clean energy the equipment generally requires much less maintenance than traditional oil processing. Since there is no fuel involved in renewable energy it reduces the costs of operation.

Even more importantly, renewable energy produces little or no waste products such as carbon dioxide or other chemical pollutants, so it has minimal impact on the environment.  The elimination of these byproducts will lead to a cleaner environment and reduced global warming.
There is also a very big disadvantage from the use of fossil fuels, global warming.  Global warming is when the pollutants from our cars, trucks and any other engine reach the protective ozone layer that shields us from the sun’s harmful rays.  The pollutants break up and destroy this ozone layer letting those harmful rays through. Those rays then heat the earth and are now causing the polar ice caps to melt which can cause major global flooding in years from now.  This is also why 2012 was the hottest year ever recorded, on average, in U.S. history.

Through our experience with oil for the past hundred years it is now clear that an alternative source of energy is required for us to maintain our way of life.  Renewable energy is the best long term source for power because it is unlimited, clean and freely available all around the earth.  Renewable energy is the only hope for the future of the world and every single person that lives on it.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2012 Relfections
In 2012 I learned a lot about loss.  I learned how to get through it and help others when they are suffering from it.  I have to admit 2012 wasn't a very good year for me.  This is supposed to be such a wonderful country and yet we have:
March 31, 2012—A gunman opened fire on a crowd of mourners at a North Miami, Florida, funeral home, killing two people and injuring 12 others.
April 2, 2012—A 43-year-old former student at Oikos University in Oakland, California, walked into his former school and killed seven people, “execution-style.” Three people were wounded.
April 6, 2012—Two men went on a deadly shooting spree in Tulsa, Oklahoma, shooting black men at random in an apparently racially motivated attack. Three men died and two were wounded.
May 29, 2012—A man in Seattle, Washington, opened fire in a coffee shop and killed five people and then himself.
July 20, 2012—James Holmes enters a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises and opens fire with a semi-automatic weapon; twelve people are killed and fifty-eight are wounded.
December 14, 2012—One man, and possibly more, murders a reported twenty-six people at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, including twenty children, before killing himself.
(Just to name a few, there is a full list at  if you would like to see all 16 major shootings in the U.S.)
So I guess this wasn't that great of a year for lots of people, but it wasn't the only downs to the year, and I have a couple of personal downers too. First off my grandmom moved in with us, which I loved and I'm sure she enjoyed the company, but she, at the time,was struggling with cancer so it was very hard for her the year that she stayed with us until she passed away in the summer. There was also my grandpa who died earlier in the year in California.  Another was family friends parents died within 2 weeks of each other.  In addition some of my closest friends moved to places like Tennessee and Texas.  Loss is hard to live with but I think it has helpped me a lot throughout the year, made me stronger in a way.  But don't get me wrong the U.S. has had many great accomplishments like taking out Osama bin laden and ending the war in Iraq, but still I feel like the world is turning into one big battleground with all of the wars and deaths surrounding us.
I like to make new years resolutions, but I almost never keep them. BUT!!!! I will try this year so here they are:
  • Drop under 29 seconds in my fifty freestyle
  • Survive the next end of the world
  • Drop under a 1:09 in my  hundred freestyle
  • Follow my dreams
  • Go 2,450 yards or more in my 30 minute swim
  • Get better at the Tuba
  • Graduate high school and go to college
  • Don't stink at life
  • Take at least 2 honors classes
  • Solve world hunger