Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Top Google Searches of 2014

          As the year winds to an end, many people are curious about what the most popular trends of the past year were. What made 2014 different than 2013? What were the biggest things to remember of 2014? Well, there is no better way to figure out what the buzz of the past year was than a list of the top ten Google searches of 2014.
          Before diving into what they were, take a minute to think about what you have Googled this year. Google has conveniently provided a list of the top 10 searches of 2014 already, so when you're finished brainstorming your own history, take a look at Number 1 below.
          Number 1: Robin Williams. There is no surprise with this icon ranking number one, especially due to the mysteries and conspiracies behind his death. He was a legend and his legacy now lives through his family and the incredible films he was in.

          Now, Number 2 and 3 throw me for a loop. Number 2 is the World Cup while Number 3 is Ebola. That'll tell you where Americans' priorities are! We evidently cared more about soccer than a deadly epidemic that was brought over to the United States on multiple occasions.
          I would like to talk briefly about 2 more that took me by surprise: Number 5 Flappy Bird and Number 9 Frozen. These two show how entertainment is so highly valued in our society. Shockingly enough, both of them made the top ten rank internationally as well. Now I'm sure you're saying, "Oh my goodness, I remember Flappy Bird!" But you'd probably forgotten it until just now. Yes, that insanely addicting game was a part of your daily, if not hourly, life not too long ago. The fact that most people have forgotten it, however, show how trends can come and go so fast. I will note that the declared hault in the selling of the addicting game shortened this trend's life, but fads and trends like this come and go all of the time. Yes, one day not too long from now, the addicting Trivia Crack will be history as well.

          To see the rest of the top ten Google Searches not only for America but internationally as well,  visit Top Google Searches of 2014.

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Year Of Mutts

Reading an article this week has got my full attention. According to science it is going to be a big year for mutts this year. In the article the author gave seven reasons to support why mutts are going to be the dogs of the year. Number one is that there is a new Annie movie coming out and the featured dog is a mutt. When a dog becomes popular on TV it will boost it's breeds popularity. The second reason is mutts are inbred and within this process it cancels out most health problems in dogs. Every dog owner wants the reliability of a healthy dog. The third reason is people are realizing the horrors of puppy mills. If you don't already know puppy mills are the puppies that get sold to pet shops. At the mills puppies are in horrible conditions and most owners treat the dogs cruel. Way to go America for starting to shut down puppy mills sneaky business. The fourth reason is how unique each mutt is. It is a trending factor to have something unique to yourself and these mutts are unique all over. The fifth reason is mixed breeds are already popular and celebrities are promoting it. The sixth reason is purebred dogs are extremely expensive. When adopting a dog it is much cheaper and you are doing a good deed. The seventh and last reason is technology has made it easier to search for adoptable dogs. All this news excites me. Saving a dog is an act that could leave you with a lifetime of benefits. Personally I love dogs. This article ironically relates to me. This Saturday i will be driving to adopt a new puppy. He is an all american mutt. I do enjoy how unique he is from pictures and I can't wait to save him.

To read the article click here


It's the most wonderful time of the year, only in some peoples eyes.  Others do not share the same Christmas joy. To me Christmas is the best holiday ever.  You get presents, get to spend time with family, get big meals, and decorate.  For others it is a reminder of there loneliness or money situation. Why can't we do something to spread the Christmas cheer? Little things can change someone's holiday season.  You could donate to food pantries, or even work at one.  Also you could donate gifts or money for kids.  Everyone deserves to have a great holiday. If you know someone in need help them out. It's really the simplest tasks that make people smile. Just making a desert for your local homeless shelter can brighten people's days.  If everyone  that is able to help by doing something small we could change the world.  No one would have to spend there Christmas in tears.  Also if you know someone who will be alone on Christmas invite them over.  It is the worst part of the year to be alone, I know you wouldn't want to be.  Don't be a Grinch be an angel and help someone out.   Christmas is about giving not getting.  Trust me you will make yourself happy also if you do something nice.  Spread the holiday cheer!

Is the Flu Vaccine Effective?

        Believe it or not, the seasonal influenza vaccination is nothing but a guess. Scientists in their laboratories predict which strand of the flu is likely to affect the majority of flu victims that year. Yes, it is a guess. Even worse than that, however, when they guess right--which they often do--it is still not effective. It is in fact proven that it most often does nothing to protect patients from the flu virus. Actually, it makes people more susceptible to the flu in many cases because it injects a dead or weakened strand of the flu into the body. So, if the body doesn't use the injection effectively to help fight off other antibodies, it does nothing to protect you and now you have the flu already inside you. Stats provide the staggering details of research that defends just how ineffective the flu vaccine is. It is more of a head game. People feel safer when they get a flu shot, and if they don't get the flu, they attribute it to the vaccine, when it is most likely just that odds had them as not getting the flu this year. In fact, many nurses admit to seeing increased virulence with the flu vaccination in their patients. This means more and more people are falling victim to the flu virus still infiltrating their immune system even with the vaccination. Due to the fact that the flu vaccination has been proven to often increase risk of contracting the virus, it also increasing the risk of further illnesses and has also been linked to death.
          So, how could all this be true and yet millions upon millions still get vaccinated every year? Well, simply, they either don't know about the research on its ineffectiveness done, or they choose to ignore it. As mentioned earlier, most people feel better once they have been vaccinated so they continue to do so. The information is available regarding the studies done to prove the ineffectiveness, but people must utilize it. Many people don't even think twice about getting a vaccination because they believe it must help in some way, and that it can do no harm, so they don't research it because it isn't in question to them. There is nothing controversial about it to them. In order to make society aware of the ineffectiveness of the flu vaccine phenomenon people have to start talking. People who know must spread the word so others research. The huge money making industry of vaccination must be put into question or they will never change.
To read more about flu vaccines and see the stats, visit Flu Vaccine, written by credible people of the health field. Also visit Vaccinations for more credible information.

To learn about what a vaccine really is, read Vaccine Basics, which also provides a counterargument to vaccines being ineffective. Read both sides, then formulate your opinion.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Why Do Birds Have No Teeth

While playing tug-of-war with my dog earlier this week outside in the yard, I noticed something. While we got distracted by a bird hopping around trying to find something to eat, I questioned why didn't birds have teeth. It didn't come as a surprise, I knew that they did not have them, but it's not an everyday thought and I'm sure a few people look over that fact. Dogs, cats, rabbits, most animals have teeth. Yet the ones we see everyday flying around don't. Looking up some facts online, it seems that the reasoning behind this is due to their genes. Today, birds have curved beaks and digestive system that makes it easy to break down their foods. it is suggested that birds descended from reptiles that contained teeth; such as theropod dinosaurs. While there is no main reasoning behind why they don't have teeth, there has been thought that maybe beaks were much better than teeth. It wasn't because they could fly also, as some scientists believed to be the case. Some scientists believe that there was a mutation in their genes that the enamel covering their teeth was lost around 116 million years ago, which caused the birds of today not to have any teeth. I find it really interesting that no one has ever really noticed that birds did not have teeth, even though everyone sees at least one bird every day.

Here is information on the topic if you're interested in more:

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Money Pit of Oak Island

In Nova Scotia, there is a place named Oak Island that is shrouded in mystery. One day a teenager , Daniel McGinnis, found a depression in the area of land surrounding a tree. This phenomena made Daniel want to return to investigate because he had heard of pirates being in the area, so he thought maybe they hid something ( this was in 1795 ). Daniel and his friends worked on that whole, digging and digging, to reveal many layers that were separated by logs. This got even stranger when at 60 feet down, they found coconut fibers. If anyone knows anything about Nova Scotia, they sure know that there are no coconut trees around there. Plus, at 90 feet, they discovered a stone with unrecognizable inscriptions on it:
Drawing of Inscription on Stone found at 90 feet
Those are the characters that can be found on the stone. It was later translated to say, "Forty feet below two million pounds are buried."

The hole was dubbed the "Money Pit" because so much money has gone into trying to excavate it. The deeper it was dug, the more problems were faced. The hole flooded and caved in many times. The flooding is due to a booby trap built that connects the hole to Smith's Cove, a nearby coastline, and this connects it to the water. 

The newest excavators are the Blankenships, and their journey is documented on the show called The Curse of Oak Island

There are many theories pertaining to the reason and origin of the Money Pit at Oak Island. Some even say the Holy Grail or Arc of the Covenant can be at the bottom, or works of Shakespeare. I encourage you to read more about the mystery here

Memory- H.P. Lovecraft

Short stories, in order to be effective, must give us enough details to understand the picture the author is trying to paint in few words.  This story gives us the bare minimum, very few details, and uses this to its advantage.  

The only characters of this story are a demon and a genie.  This demon lives in a valley that has dilapidated stone buildings and the disgusting River Than that flows through it.  A genie visits the demon, asking who made all of the ruins, and the demon replies:

"I am Memory, and am wise in lore of the past, but I too am old. These beings were like the waters of the river Than, not to be understood. Their deeds I recall not, for they were but of the moment. Their aspect I recall dimly, it was like to that of the little apes in the trees. Their name I recall clearly, for it rhymed with that of the river. These beings of yesterday were called Man."

The genie then flies away while the demon looks over to an ape that lives among the ruins.

This story ends here leaving many questions, making it an effective horror tale.  All of the information that we are given is that humans are no more, and that we were insignificant, only existing for a moment.  The story makes the world a desolate place whose only inhabitants are two mystical beings and a lone ape.  Lovecraft let’s our minds create the horror, making it infinitely scary and unique to the whole audience.

If you want to read this story, here is a link, it’ll take only two minutes to read:

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Is the Internet a necessity?

Syed Karim speaking about technology and media.
I recently read an article on, titled "'Malnourished minds': Why it matters that 4.4 billion people don't have internet," by Syed Karim. The title sounded interesting so I went on reading. The basic purpose of the article was to make a case that people who don't have access to the Internet, aren't receiving valuable information. The problem with this isn't so much about people not getting the information, it is about the people distributing the information. When responsible for the distribution of information, your job is to get it to as many people as you can. People who don't receive this information, are seen as having a lack of knowledge, therefore having a "malnourished mind." So much information is available via internet, and it may not be available to those who don't have access to it.

Monday, December 8, 2014

If The Earth Stopped Spinning

Everyday I seem to drop something I do not intend to. A glass, a basket of clothes, a crayon that then rolls underneath the couch. Sometimes I wish gravity was not a thing, that things just floated. It would save a lot of things from slipping and falling to their doom from my grasp. Thinking more into that, I imagined what Earth would be like without gravity, which somehow turned into myself questioning what happened if the Earth stopped spinning. Apparently, if it did stop spinning, all of the things that were not attached to something would be uprooted, meaning cars, buildings, trees, pets, and people. They would be thrown into the atmosphere faster than the snap of your fingers. Another thing that would happen would be we would gain a lot of weight, but we would not notice it because we would be tumbling like tumbleweeds in a harsh wind storm. A lot of things would go wrong near the equator, because that is where the Earth rotates fastest. If Earth stopped spinning, the entire planet would spin out of control. It’s frightening to think of a thing, but scientists have said that the probably of it happening in the next billion years is not even plausible. It’s fascinating to think that just by one thing changing the reactions it would cause.

Here is a link to the one of the articles I read about the topic:

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Does Cold Exist

          A couple of years ago I was told by a fellow student that cold doesn't exist. "What?" I questioned in a rather doubtful tone, thinking the statement to be ridiculously false, because if anyone knows about cold, I'm sure to be one of them, as circulation is an issue of mine. Anyway, I proceeded to hear the argument of the student, because I always like to hear people's explanations when they say something. I do this all of the time, with anyone. Even if I'm more than one hundred percent certain that they are wrong, I like to know what led them to believe what they are saying. I guess, in other words, I like to find the source of the misinformation. The student's response was short and sweet.
          "Cold is just the absence of heat," they said. That's all they had for an explanation and the conversation switched topics after that.
          However, the topic didn't escape my intrigued mind. I rolled over the thought in my head for days, even weeks perhaps. Then after a considerable time of thought, I came to a general acceptance of it. It sounds like it could make sense, because what could produce coldness? The sun produces heat but what gives off coldness? The answer is nothing. So why, you may ask, am I bringing this up now, two years later, to validate? Well, I still think about it now and then and it bothered me that I didn't know the answer. Today, I was really interested to find the answer because I'm rather affected by this mysterious concept of coldness on this day, as our furnace stopped working so it is currently a balmy 51 degrees in my house and dropping fast. "That's it!" I told myself today, I'm going to find out about coldness.
          After researching the topic for quite some time, it became strikingly clear to me that "cold" does not exist. The student was right. Coldness is the absence of heat indeed. In fact, this applies to many situations in our daily life. For example, what happens when ice cubes are put in a glass of room temperature water? Does the coldness of the ice transfer to the water? Does the heat of the water transfer to the cubes? Or, is it a combination of both? Scientifically, cold doesn't transfer at all because it is the absence of heat so it is the heat of the water that melts the ice cubes. It is weird to think about, right? I still have trouble wrapping my head around it at times.
          This concept may lead you to think about other situations. Why is it that when you are wet and step out into the air that is the same temperature as the water, it feels colder? The answer to this question and more can be found when you visit Energy Theories: Does Cold Exist.

20 Years

Earlier this month marked the 20th birthday for the Sony PlayStation.  Originally released in its home country of Japan on December 3, 1994, this system was the first successful use of CD-Rom technology in the home, not only revolutionizing video games but technology as a whole.  With this new technology, much more content could be stored for a much cheaper price compared to cartridges or cassette tapes.  Other CD-Rom based systems had existed before the PlayStation, but none were commercially or critically successful.

With the ability to create large 3D worlds thanks to the CD, the PlayStation could make video games atmospheric and tell very expansive stories with characters that you cared for.  Horror games such as Resident Evil and Silent Hill could drop you into horrific worlds inspired by Romero and Lovecraft.  Fantasy worlds like those of the Final Fantasy series could be explored thoroughly.  What is arguably the most influential story-telling game of all time (and one of my personal favorites) is Metal Gear Solid.  The game's creator Hideo Kojima took his passion for movies and put it into this game, creating a wonderful mix of Japanese and Western story-telling.  By offering a cinematic experience unparalleled at the time, this game paved a path for new types of video games.  Now, games could be made with Hollywood-level writing and acting which could not have existed without the PlayStation.

Renowned by many as the best video game system of all time, the Sony PlayStation sold more than 100 million units in its life cycle, a span of more than ten years.  This console had a very wide variety of games, from World War II shooters like Medal of Honor  to light and colorful music games like Parappa the Rapper.  The system holds seven spots on Metacritic's "Top 100 Games of All Time List" and its successor, the PlayStation 2, is the best selling game system of all time, with more than 150 million units sold.  Sony's PlayStation is, undoubtedly a very influential and notable piece of technology.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

How much would you pay for a slice of cake?

Prince William and Duchess Kate Middleton's wedding cake
On Friday, a slice of fruitcake sold for a whopping $7,500! This is no ordinary fruitcake, it's Prince William and Duchess Catherine Middleton's wedding cake. The eight tiered cake took the baker five weeks to make! The wedding was in 2011, so it is crazy that a piece of the cake still exists! This isn't the only ridiculous piece-of-cake sale that has occurred in London. Several years before this, Prince William's mother, Princess Diana, and her husband Prince Charles' cake slice sold for $6,000. Some of Princess Diana's dresses were also featured at the auction, and were sold between $60,000 and $100,000 each. The total dress sales were about $458,000.

What if the President gets Ebola?

Recently on the news I heard that President Barack Obama had a visit to the hospital, for I believe acid reflux. He is getting plenty of testing and EXTRA testing because, well...he is the president. Anyway, I was wondering...what if he got Ebola???!!! I mean think about it, one of the most powerful men in the world, a world leader of a powerful country, hit with a deadly virus. It is present in America, it's highly unlikely but not impossible. Would the government try and keep it a secret, or would it be breaking news the next morning? 

*Sits down at kitchen table with coffee and the morning paper, and turns the news on...*
BREAKING NEWS: President Obama has Ebola!

America would erupt in chaos...what happens next?

Just a thought....

Oh, another thought is why do we keep allowing people to travel to and from places that Ebola has out broken? Wouldn't it be easier to control the amount of ebola cases in America if we stopped letting people come into the country with it?! I don't know, I wonder if Americans are even advised about those places...

Protests Erupt in NY

Ever since the Ferguson decision, race tensions have been high and police officers have been put on full blast. Whether you are for or against it, you see the impacts all around you. A new video has recently been released of a man, Eric Garner, being "choked" by NY police officers. The video showed Eric Garner resisting arrest and then being forcefully brought to the ground by numerous officers. This sparked more protests, relating to the Ferguson case in Mississippi of a white police officer shooting and killing an unarmed black teenager. But I bet you already knew about all of that.
On August 11, a black police officer shot and killed an unarmed white adult named Dillon Taylor. The media didn't publicize that case. There is a mindset in people today that it is a race issue. IT IS A RACE ISSUE, because look at the case of Dillon Taylor. Sadly, most of society believes that only colored people can be victims, this is not true. Because the case of Dillon Taylor had a white victim, nobody even heard about it. This is not meant to change your thinking and beliefs, but to make sure you keep an open mind.

media bias

To read more about the protests over Eric Gardner:
To read more about Dillon Taylor:

Friday, December 5, 2014

Radiation hits the Pacific Ocean Hard

Fukushima had a nuclear destruction on March 11, 2011. Three years later the side affects of radiation are still hurting the world. Reading an article this week I came across the devastation of 500 sea lions found dead washed on Peru's beaches. At first I was shocked by this and wondered what could be the cause. The cause was the side effects of the nuclear destruction three years ago in Japan. In recent years this has happened before according to local government officials. It was blamed on the fishermen who was claimed to be poisoning them. Orca (an environmental protection group) stepped in and said the actual cause was due to oil. Besides all claims the most significant claim is due to radiation left in the Pacific Ocean from Fukushima. Other animals deaths have been reported for this cause. It is horrible to see the radiation taking over the marine life in the Pacific Ocean. It is killing more than sea lions and will have a huge effect. It breaks my heart to see marine life dying due to radiation.
To read more on the article click the link here

Who's the real victim ?

A crocodile had a killed a man recently, is this the man or the crocodiles fault?  The man was at the golf course digging his hand In the water for golf balls.  The water is the crocodiles habitat and the man has seen crocodiles there before.  If you know there is crocodiles in there why would you take the risk?  After the man was killed, they killed the crocodile.  Did the crocodile deserve to die? He was just protecting his territory. Crocodiles are made to kill, so why would you take the risk?  The crocodile is the real victim here.  Animals get killed all the time for  what people think is bad behavior.  But they are animals and they don't know better.  Especially wild animals.  They are just doing whatever it takes to protect themselves they don't know any better.  You wouldn't go up in a lions den right? So why would you go in a crocodiles waters? It does not make sense. Many animals are being killed due to people's stupidity. The animals are the real victims here.The real threat is humans. For every one human killed by a shark, there are approximately 25 million sharks killed by humans. This proves animals are the victims, we are intruding into there habitats.  The killing needs to stop before all animals go instinct.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Most Influential Bands of All Time (In my honest opinion)

Music, artists, and bands we listen to today always have their own roots. Almost all of them were inspired by preceding musicians who today have played a huge role in shaping what music is today. Now in my honest opinion, I think there is 10 really inspiring bands who've shaped what music is today. Let's countdown...

10. David Bowie - The funny thing about the impact of Bowie is that many of the people that originally influenced him were also later influenced by Bowie's own work. Even stranger is the fact that many of the artists that were initially influenced by Bowie (The Pixies, Morrissey, Nine Inch Nails) would also influence Bowie's own later work as well. Always reinventing his appearance along with his musical styles, Bowie never could actually stake claim to any of these movements. But he put his own stamp on them anyway and somehow conned us into believing that it was his idea all along. Even glam rock, which Bowie's alter ego Ziggy Stardust is often thought of as its messiah, was started by cosmic imp and metal guru Marc Bolan. None of this matters, though, as nobody steals better than Bowie.

9. Joy Division - Joy Division formed a way forward from the increasingly boring and pompous prog rock institutions which had become completely disconnected from the personal experiences of most people, and punk, which came across as powerful and irreverent - an energetic outburst of anger - but also, ultimately, limited. The kinetic bass, machine-like drumming and crisp, glassy guitars offered by Joy Division coupled with Ian Curtis' emotional, lonely lyrics resulted in a dystopian sound that stood apart. Unknown Pleasures sounded fantastic on the car radio sets and stereo systems of the time due in large measure to the brilliant and unorthodox production techniques of Martin Hannett. Bernard Sumner began using a synth in Joy Division tunes, a development that he brought to creative fruition in New Order. Although the band was active for only a short period, Joy Division created a compelling sound that informed the work of other musicians in the eighties and onwards.

8. Ramones - A group of "brothers" from Forest Hills, Queens, the Ramones helped invent punk rock by mastering a simple but extremely effective sound — a combination of speedy grooves, sing-along tunes and deadpan lyrics that achieved a kind of boneheaded genius. The sound influenced thousands of bands, and proved so durable that the Ramones more or less stuck to it for their entire career.

7. Devo - The New Wave band, along with bands like Kraftwerk and Talking Heads, Devo ushered in a new era of electronic and sonically futuristic compositions that set the trajectory for much of modern music. Today the band sounds ’80s-nostalgic, but digging into LCD Soundsystem, Radiohead, even Arcade Fire, you frequently find strong traces of Devo. Influenced to seriously pursue music by the Kent State shootings in 1970, Devo was launched into national attention in 1979 after a spot on “Saturday Night Live,” performing a characteristic cover of “Satisfaction,” just a week after the Rolling Stones played on the show.

6. The Byrds - The Byrds, American band of the 1960s who popularized folk rock, particularly the songs of Bob Dylan, and whose changes in personnel created an extensive family tree of major country rock bands and pop supergroups. It wasn't anything like todays country rock, but a different and more unique sound.

5. Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath is credited with creating heavy metal. The success of their first two albums - Black Sabbath and Paranoid - marked a paradigm shift in the world of rock. Not until Black Sabbath upended the music scene did the term “heavy metal” enter the popular vocabulary to describe the denser, more thunderous offshoot of rock over which they presided. With their riff-based songs, extreme volume, and dark, demonic subject matter, Black Sabbath embodied key aspects of the heavy-metal aesthetic.

4. The Stooges - The Stooges created punk-rock well before the genre even had a name. The leader of the Stooges, the legendary Iggy Pop, has been hailed as the “godfather of punk.” Between the work of the Stooges and the subsequent solo career of Iggy Pop, the punk-rock sound and sensibility were devised and deļ¬ned for all time. This high-energy quartet has been reviled and revered, but there’s no denying the contributions they’ve made as prototypical punk-rockers.

3. The Velvet Underground - While The Beatles were busy telling the world that all we needed was love, Lou Reed and The Velvet Underground were singing the praises, and pitfalls, amphetamines, leather bondage and other deviant urban subversions. Grating guitars, droning vocals and dirge-like drumming only helped solidify how much these NYC minimalistic hipsters stuck out in a world stoned on peace, love and grass. Brian Eno wasn't too far off when he claimed that "only about 1,000 people ever bought a Velvet Underground album, but every one of them formed a rock 'n' roll band."

2. The Beatles - The start of modern pop rock as we know it today, and as we'll probably always know it. From infectious melodies of innocent love to introspective Middle Eastern influences, psychedelic musings and talk of revolution The Beatles were the house band of the 1960s, paralleling, and at times even spearheading, this turbulent decade.

1. Chuck Berry - The Father of Rock N' Roll. Many people confuse this title with Elvis Presley. Mainly because Elvis was white and Chuck being black didn't get much praise till today. Chuck Berry conceptualized, composed, and gave Rock & Roll guitar identity. His song Johnny B. Goode's guitar riff is the most copied guitar riff in Rock & Roll history. “If you had to give rock and roll another name,” John Lennon once said, “you might call it ‘Chuck Berry.'”

A lot of people don't know how much of an influence these bands and artists played, but they all have played huge roles in shaping our music to what it is today.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Music That Doesn't Get the Correct Credit

I was listening to a song today called "The Last Time" by the Andrew Oldham Orchestra and something about it made me think. The opening of the song sounded just like the opening to one of my favorite songs by The Verve called "Bittersweet Symphony". The thing is, Bittersweet Symphony was released in 1997, and The Last Time is over 30 years older than it! Now why would one of my favorite bands take credit for something they didn't do? I searched more into and also figured out that Mick Jagger was involved in this! So what it said, although the song’s lyrics were written by the Verve vocalist Richard Ashcroft, it has been credited to Keith Richards and Mick Jagger after charges by the original copyright owners that the song was plagiarized from the Andrew Oldham Orchestra recording of The Rolling Stones’ 1965 song “The Last Time”. Originally, The Verve had negotiated a licence to use a sample from the Oldham recording, but it was successfully argued that the Verve had used ‘too much’ of the sample. Despite having original lyrics, the music of “Bitter Sweet Symphony” is partially based on the Oldham track (the song uses the sample as its foundation and builds layers upon it, though the prominent violin melody is Ashcroft’s creation) which led to a lawsuit with ABKCO Records, Allen Klein’s company that owns the rights to the Rolling Stones material of the 1960s. The matter was eventually settled, with copyright of the song reverting to ABKCO and songwriting credits to Jagger and Richards.
Thankfully this was already settled before I knew more about it, but both songs are still great tracks to listen too. Listen to how alike the songs sound in their openings with the string instruments playing.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Getting the Last Drop

A student who was studying at MIT, Dave Smith, came up with a product that can literally get all of the ketchup out of the bottle: LiquiGlide. On a molecular level, he created a substance that is permanently slippery. Actually, it's two layers of substances; the first solid layer designed to hold the second liquid layer. This is simply inserted to any container. By having this second liquid layer always be on the inside of a container, the product, such as ketchup, would always be moving.  

This technology can be used on other products, such as hair gel, mayonnaise, tooth paste...pretty much anything. Subbaraman even says, "All the coatings are extracted from edible products you encounter in a grocery store." This make it safe, because the material in which the coating is made of is edible, so if it gets into the product, it won't be detrimental to the consumer's health. 
LiquiGlide can also be applied to airplane wings and power lines and can prevent ice from forming. So, not only is this invention one for casual ketchup problem, but can also help society's safety.

MS is a harsh disease.

 MS standing for multiple sclerosis, is a disease that affects many  humans. It touches home because my cousin deals with the disease everyday. Though it should hold her back it doesn't. She has went on to accomplish being the fastest woman on a motorcycle! Her efforts inspire me. When reading an article on Kayla Montgomery it reminded me of my cousin. Kayla is an incredible runner, she is one of the top ranked young long distance runners in the U.S., which is amazing. After every race Kayla collapses due to MS. The disease leaves her unable to feel her legs at the end of the race. Kayla story has been documented on ESPN. Her story is touching and it reminds a person that you can accomplish anything. I enjoy the fact Kayla and my cousin both don't get down about their disease, they don't let it define them. That is an inspiring message. To read more on the article click the link below.

How Dogs Understand Us

I don't know about you, but I love teaching my dog new tricks. Usually she picks up on them very quickly, but there are some that she doesn't seem to enjoy, like rolling over. While teaching her how to high-five, I remembered back to when I was a child and I thought it would be very cool to talk to animals and for them to talk right back to me. Yes, my dog could pay attention and learn what I was saying to them, but how did it actually work? An article that I found told me in a journal Current Biology, it was reported that dogs do pay attention to our words. They process what we are saying in a different part of the brain than where they comprehend emotional parts of speech. Studies suggest that a dog's brain breaks up how they hear us into two parts; the meaning of words and the emotional tone. It's interesting that dogs can actually learn many different words, either by the word itself or by the tone in what we say it in.

Here's a link to the article I found if you're interested in learning more:

Monday, November 24, 2014

Buffalo snowstorm

As many people know there has been a hug snow storm that had happened in Buffalo New York.  It has cause quite the catastrophe in Buffalo.  Inmates have been helping the police officers load sand bags to help with the ice melting.  Also the national gaurd had been doing the same thing. Car were left on the free ways during the snow because the weather was so bad.  Fire fighter have had to ride around on atvs to help people out and make sure everyone is doing alright.  They were not very prepared for this snowstorm at all.  People have been shoveling out there cars because the snow was so deep.  One persons car got filled with snow it was that bad. There had also been an evacuation from a health center and the patients had to be evacuated out.  This snow storm had caused a log of bad things.  Sick people were moved from there care. Any roofs had caved in, people have had to shovel off there roofs to prevent damage or further damage that could be done.  One man carried he's grocery a in a sled from the grocery store because it was so bad.  Rescue boats are ready in case of flood. This snow storm was very serious for people's safety. They need to be better prepared next time.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

MS Doesn't Hold Her Back

         Eighteen year old high school senior at Mount Tabor High School in Winston-Salem, NC, Kayla Montgomery, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) three years ago. She has since turned herself from a lagging junior varsity runner into one of the fastest young long distance runners in the country. Not letting MS hold her back is not easy. MS is an incurable disease that attacks the nervous system and spinal cord. For Kayla, it starting with numbness in her feet while playing soccer. Then, it escalated to the loss of feeling in her entire legs, particularly in the presence of heat. So, as she runs and warms up her legs go numb. This leads to many struggles as a runner.
          Due to the fact that she cannot feel anything below her waist while running, Kayla cannot pace herself like other runners. Many people think she has an advantage because she can't feel her legs, but she certainly feels all the other pains of running include fatigue. She also cannot control herself when she's trying to stop once they've gone numb. Therefore, as she crosses the finish line, her coach Patrick Cromwell, must catch her as she collapses and carry her off the track. He and her parents immediately put ice on her legs to cool them down so she can regain feeling. Kayla hates the attention and wishes no one saw her need to get carried off. She's been called a wimp for it, but she doesn't let insults hold her back.
          As soon as she found out that she had MS, she was determined to become the best runner she possibly could. She had to give up soccer due to it being a contact sport, but she now can focus solely on running. People often asks why she runs if it ends so badly, but she does it because she loves to run and doesn't want the disease to hold her back. She feels good running, and to her it is well worth the crash. She doesn't know how much time she has left running, as the disease will have her wheel chair bound eventually, but she wants to run until the day she can't anymore.
          Kayla Montgomery's story is truly inspirational and it shows how you can't take anything for granted. It also shows the power of the mind over the body. You can do anything you set your mind to. It is your mind that sets your body's limits.
Watch her cross the finish line:

To learn more about her story, visit Kayla Montgomery.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Philea Mission

On November 12, 2014, the European Space Agency's craft, Philea, landed on comet 67P. After being released into space 10 years prior, the ESA's goal seemed extremely difficult, but that didn't have any affect on the way the mission was carried out. Philea made a solid landing after a few slight hiccups, to the joy and celebration of the ESA.
The mission of Philea is to trasmit data back to the ESA to gather information about what the chemical composition of the comet is.
When the craft first touched the comet, it bounced, then bounced again (due to the harpoons on the craft not
firing to secure itself against the comet), but all in all, it was a success!
To be honest this is just amazing to me, It's unbelievable, maybe in the future there will be space tourism! We could go up there whenever we pleased, and explore the far reaches of space.

This is the comet 67P, what is also very interesting about this comet is that it emits a sound that cannot be heard by human ears.
Although if you raise the frequency to levels that the human ear can hear, it sounds like a soft and quick clicking noise. Here is a clip of the sound wave.

Trouble in Jerusalem

Two cousins in Jerusalem attacked worshipers at a synagogue with meat cleavers and guns during their early morning prayers. This is just one of the many terrorist attacks Jerusalem has had recently. The attack left five dead, one being a police officer. The others were rabbis, three with dual citizenship to the United States and one to Great Britain. Tensions have been rising in Jerusalem, however, not only on this occasion. Violence has erupted in the country over a "key holy site revered by the Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and Jews as Temple Mount. The violence was traced back to when a Palestinian teenager was burned to death by Jewish assailants which was revenge for the abduction and deaths of three Jewish teens by Palestinians in the West Bank. President Obama spoke publicly about the attacks saying that they have gone on for far too long and that it is unfortunately not the first incident of lost lives in the dueling countries. The attacker's homes were immediately demolished after the attacks, yet the attacker's families have spoken out that they are angry about what people are saying about what they did and that it was a valiant act for what they believed in.

To read more:

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Country Awaits the Verdict

     On August 9, 2014, a young African American male, Michael Brown, was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. Officer Darren Wilson was responsible for the shooting of this boy. Following the shooting, violent protests and riots broke out all over the city, and lasted for quite a  long time. Today, the governor of Missouri declared a state of emergency in Ferguson, and called in the National Guard. The upcoming jury verdict has people in Ferguson, and people all over the nation on edge, and the governor wants to make sure when the verdict is read, the city doesn't erupt in chaos.

     Shootings like this one are becoming more and more occurring, and it's a big problem. In February 2012, a young African American teen, Trayvon Martin, was shot and killed by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman. Just like the Ferguson case, riots and protests broke out all over the country about this, and even more occurred when Zimmerman was found not guilty. There needs to be stricter protocol, because both males were unarmed, and yet they were both shot dead without a chance. More regulation on gun control, and also law enforcement regulations, need to be adjusted, so tragedies like these won't occur.

Save them!

Many species are on the verge of going extinct. A number of species have been added to the endangered species list including recent ones such as many types of butterflies, exotic fish, an snakes.  The polluting of earth and killing animals are causing many species to be on the verge of extinction.  Without these species the ecosystem would be complete ing off balance.  The dying out with one species can affect a whole food chain including ours.  By killing animals that are endangered you could be killing yourself.  There are 22,000 animals species that are on the endangered species list.  That is way to many.  Over fishing is one big problem in the ocean ecosystem.  Over fishing is hurting species of fish from tunas to eels.  We need to increase the number of protected areas to help the endangered species.  The reason we have hunting seasons is to make it so we do not kill off all the animals such as deer.  Many people do not abide by the rules though.  There are severe consequences to not following the hunting rules. Many people should try and help all of the Animals endangered or not.  If a hand full of people try to help out with the cause it can make a difference.  Even little things like not littering could mean life or death for an animals. Start helping and you will see a difference.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Goldfish Crackers?

          There has been many times in my life where I have overlooked something, whether it's because I think I know what it is, or I just think it is a waste of time and I don't need to take a closer look. But with something you buy on a regular bases and feed to the children you babysit everyday, it gets you thinking. A simple question from the kids made me do some research online about how many flavors of Goldfish crackers there were. I got more than what I was looking for. I had always thought that the Goldfish crackers were a light cracker snack you could eat on the go. What I didn't know was that the crackers were actually soup crackers, and to make matters even worse, on the packaging itself it even says "Baked Soup Crackers." And why wouldn't they, I mean, Goldfish swim, right? It makes you wonder about all the things that you don't see, yet you have looked at for hours.

Here is a link to the article I found if you would like to read more.

Big Old Bears

                         In a new introduction wildlife program brown bears are being introduced to new wildlife habitats. These bears are being reintroduced to western parts of Europe.  Though this program is suppose to be helping the bears, citizens of Europe have complaints. Bears are attacking farm animals and have also had incidents with humans. Families now feel scared to walk in the woods, they are unfamiliar with the animal and they don't trust it. These citizens believe the bears don't belong there because it is to heavy populated. Maybe these people should reconsider their complaints. These bears use to roam all of Europe and North America at a time. Due to human expansion bears have been driven out of their homes. Without space to live the bear species is decreasing in population. Acts such as this, to introduce the bears to their old environments, are only trying to save the bears. They are a beautiful animal and deserve there space in nature as much as humans.
 *To check out more on the article click below:

Rosetta Mission

NAVCAM top 10 at 10 km
View of comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko taken from Rosetta

On November 12, the Rosetta mission landed on the comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. The signal that let Earth know of the landing's success was confirmed by many sources all over the world; from Madrid in Spain to Cologne in Germany. This Rosetta mission was funded and made by the ESA, European Space Agency, but has had contributions from other space agencies of the world including NASA. Rosetta will be the first for many space adventures, including this list from the ESA's website: 

  • Rosetta will be the first spacecraft to orbit a comet’s nucleus.
  • It will be the first spacecraft to fly alongside a comet as it heads towards the inner Solar System.
  • Rosetta will be the first spacecraft to examine from close proximity how a frozen comet is transformed by the warmth of the Sun.
  • Shortly after its arrival at Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the Rosetta orbiter will despatch a robotic lander for the first controlled touchdown on a comet nucleus.
  • The Rosetta lander’s instruments will obtain the first images from a comet’s surface and make the first in situ analysis to find out what it is made of.
  • On its way to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, Rosetta will pass through the main asteroid belt, with the option to be the first European close encounter with one or more of these primitive objects.
  • Rosetta will be the first spacecraft ever to fly close to Jupiter’s orbit using solar cells as its main power source.

Due to the surface of the comet, landing is of course a little difficult. Rosetta has already had three landings, and one final landing is being planned. 

Steins in 3-D
The asteroid Steins taken by Rosetta

The name of the mission comes from the Rosetta stone, which helped translate Egyptian hieroglyphs. This mission aims to see if comets can help us determine the origins of life and/or the solar system. By studying this comet and determining its origins, we may unlock some of the questions we have about our own. 

To keep up with the progress of Rosetta, go to NASA's website here

Ebola Survivor Reunites with Her Dog

          Dallas nurse Nina Pham was the first person to be diagnosed with the deadly virus Ebola on American soil. Eight days after she was declared to be free of Ebola and released from the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, she happily reunited with her two year old Cavalier King Charles spaniel, Bentley, who'd been in quarantine since she left him three weeks prior. The reunion occurred on Saturday, November 1.
Nina Pham reunited with her spaniel Bentley.
          Pham contracted the virus while caring for patient Thomas Eric Duncan at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. Sadly, Duncan passed away from the disease in October. A second nurse also contracted the virus from this patient. The second nurse, Amber Vinson, was released from Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia after being declared healthy.

Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan from Liberia, who passed away on October 8, 2014.
          This story proves hope exists for those who still struggle with the virus today. It is now a fact that people can survive the virus. The big question remaining is whether or not to continue bringing over patients infected in Africa to treat them in America. Yes, we want to save their lives but Americans say it is putting the nation's health at risk for one person who is likely to die from it anyway. The controversy is likely to continue as long as America continues to bring infected patients over for treatment. The only thing I wish for is that we here more stories like Pham and Bentley's from people everywhere than of disheartening deaths.
To hear more about Pham and Bentley, read Ebola Survivor Gets Her Dog Back.
To find out more about Amber Vinson, read Nurse Amber Vinson Free of Ebola.