Discussion Post: Week 2

Hello, everyone! I hope you’re enjoying this Labor Day weekend. Did anyone go out of town over the three-day break?

As our first presentations approach, be thinking about how you can apply the lessons from the textbook to your own delivery. Are you thinking about trying anything different based on what we’ve discussed in class? What ideas seem best for your particular topic and audience — and what standards, if any, do you think you’ll want to break this time around?

Anyone here who is interested in astroaeronautics has undoubtedly been watching news on the recent Russian Soyuz rocket crash. In case you’re not up to speed on the issue, earlier this year NASA conducted its final manned space flights; that aspect of America’s space program has been shut down by the Obama administration. In its place, American astronauts were expected to have access to space through the Russian space program or private entrepreneurs. (The latter group has yet to start operating on a large scale.) However, a Russian Soyuz rocket carrying supplies to the International Space Station (ISS) crashed in Siberia on August 25, and the noxious fumes left in its wake purportedly causing a slew of health problems for indigenous Siberians and local villagers. Since the food and other supplies being carted to the ISS never reached their intended destination — and since Russia will surely ground its rockets until the problem has been resolved on its other Soyuz rockets — the ISS crew may be forced to evacuate, presumably leaving the outpost abandoned until October. Russia uses a similar Soyuz model to send astronauts into space, so the entire incident only highlights skeptics’ concerns about the idea of outsourcing U.S. space flights. What do you think about all this? Did the U.S. government make the right move in the midst of a budget crisis, or will we come to regret the dissolution of NASA’s manned space flight program? Will the outsourcing system be successful? How can future incidents be prevented, and what do such disasters say about space flights and their technology in general?

Those of you in my sections know that I’m a sucker for a good debate, so let’s tackle the climate change issue this week, shall we? I’d like to showcase two alternative views on the issue. The first, presented by Bloomberg, focuses on insurance pricing. As the business magazine’s editors argue, insurers already factor climate change into their models, and they “have no incentive to lie. If they are more scared than they should be in pricing risk, shareholders will punish them. If they aren’t scared enough, nature will do the job.” The article slams Republican presidential candidates for hesitating to concede what insurers have long since accepted as fact: that unless carbon emissions are curtailed, the temperature will continue to rise, which directly contributes to the sort of extreme weather phenomena like what we witnessed with Hurricane Irene last weekend.

As an indirect rebuttal, the International Business Times reports that a recent study by CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, shows such climate changes are not a result of human activities. The article, published in scientific journal Nature, suggests instead that cosmic rays and the sun are responsible for the recent temperature and weather shifts around the world. The article scoffs at recent charges by “Nobel Prize winner and leading climate change ‘alarmist’ Al Gore” that global warming denyers are “akin to ‘racists,’ and ‘pseudo-scientists,'” as well as his accusations that the media manipulated global warming evidence to cast doubt on the theories he supports.

What do you believe? Is either side right, or is there a third viewpoint that you believe is correct? How will domestic and international policies directed toward climate change develop in the foreseeable future? Just as importantly, what does this exceedingly public debate among scientists, policymakers, celebrities, and the world at large tell us about the state of scientific research today? Does this have any ramifications for your own work?

With the tenth anniversary of the September 11th, 2001 attacks looming next Sunday, it’s only fitting that we start considering the issue now. A number of the rescue workers at the World Trade Center and other affected areas have experienced an unusual degree of illness in the decade since, suggesting that they may have paid the price for their heroic efforts. One study indicates that firefighters exposed to the dust and smoke surrounding the terrorist attack have since experienced a higher incidence of cancer than their colleagues, as well as a slew of other conditions ranging from asthma and gastroesophageal reflux disease to depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. While local and federal programs have been established to help rescue workers and local residents, funding has been slow, and many still do not know about the program or believe that they escaped any ill effects from the airborne dust by waiting until the evening to return to their homes. What do you think about this unfortunate situation? What about the attacks themselves? Where were you when the World Trade Center was hit, and what meaning (or meanings) did it hold for the U.S. and the world then and today?

On the financial side of things, the U.S. created a whopping zero new jobs in August. Republicans jumped on the opportunity to criticize Obama for the weak jobs report, which left the unemployment rate stuck at 9.1%, while President Obama blamed Republicans for Congress’ unwillingness to accept his fiscal proposals. U.S. stocks plunged following the weak jobs report, and the White House predicted that the unemployment rate will remain high, averaging 9% throughout 2012. What are your thoughts on the economic crisis? Who do you feel is most at fault, and what needs to be done in the future to resolve it? More importantly, what will be done in the current political climate, and what will that mean for the U.S. in the future?

Let’s brighten up this post just a little bit. On Thursday, I promised one of my classes that I would add a specific article on the proliferation of gaming to this week’s blog post. It’s a much older article than others cited here (this one was published December 13, 2010), but it’s still highly relevant. Plus, you just can’t beat this quote:

The massive multiplayer online game World of Warcraft boasts 12 million registered users paying $15 a month to spend an average of 80 hours a month inside the game. Since the game’s release in 2004, users have racked up some 50 billion hours of playing time — the equivalent of 5.93 million years.

I shouldn’t even need to prompt you on that one. Discuss!

As always, any of the above or below articles is fair game, as is anything else that I may have missed this week. I look forward to seeing what you think!

Other articles of interest:
After 17 years, Germany OK’s sale of “Doom”
Sony’s new products doomed to mediocrity
Who released the trove of unredacted WikiLeaks documents?
Fraudulent Google certificate points to Internet attack
Federal Judge to Monitor Comcast Merger’s Impact on Online Video Distributors
Domino’s to serve pizzas on the Moon, apparently
Domino’s Pizza Moon Plan is All Topping, No Base
Time to think about cleaning up space junk, study says
Space junk littering orbit; might need cleaning up
New Mars samples ‘unlike any seen before’
Atom-smashing hype faces reality
Higgs particle could be found by Christmas
DePaul makes ACT and SAT scores optional for high school seniors
Obama halts controversial EPA regulation
Deadline for Libyan Loyalists to Surrender Is Extended
Forecasters: Gulf system could be next billion-dollar disaster
High cost of insomnia may be a wake-up call
Lizard Genome Promises Great Advances in Understanding Evolution
Suit charges Windows 7 smartphones track users
Apple Cited as Adding to Pollution in China


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49 responses to “Discussion Post: Week 2”

  1. James He (@He42) says :

    Lets not start pointing fingers at who is at fault for the financial crisis, because frankly all of us are and if we want to change anything we need to change ourselves. I remember the time when people had dreams of becoming stars and were motivated to achieve those dreams, but many people nowadays just want to “get by”. They will try to take every short cut possible because they are simply not motivated. Of course I would be a hypocrite to say I am not also at fault here for slacking off, but I haven’t met a single person that has a goal in life and tries to better themselves as well as achieve it every day. Too many people are simple too “lazy” in this day and age, because there are simply too many leisurely activities. Something that can motivate us to start trying again is the key to taking us out of the financial pits. The hard part is doing it at a national scale. How do we convince people to work hard even when times are hard?

  2. kaileenkraemer says :

    The article at the bottom of the post about insomnia caught my attention. It is a brief article, but it is very interesting how much money people spend on treating insomnia when it seems like it would have such a simple cure without fancy medications or treatments. Not that insomnia is exclusive to modern society, but I think that it is an “illness” that is accentuated by our modern lifestyles. Some people may actually have a bad case of insomnia, other people are trained so well to multi-task these days that their brains never shut down for sleep. This all traces back to social media and the many ways in which we can access news sources.

    As for the article about DePaul not requiring test scores is interesting. I think that is perfectly fine, and it says a lot about the school trying to set themselves apart from the rest. In a way, it could make them a more prestigious school in the next few years as they will continue to consider GPA, essays and extracurricular activities more intensely. Students seem to be applying to more and more colleges when they are seniors to keep their options open, and I think DePaul adopting this policy will let these prospective students know that they have something different to offer.

    Last but not least, the article about the proliferation of gaming was very interesting. I would not have predicted the increase in sales of video games in general for 2012, because it seemed like there could be a decline in video games based off of articles I have read in the past. The article opened me up to a lot of surprising facts about gaming’s impact on society. It is true that gaming has reached a much wider audience than it used to have in the 1990s, for example. It would be interesting to read a very broken-down and detailed report on the reception of each and every genre and sub-genre of game.

  3. Chris Reed says :

    The whole idea of pizza on the moon to me is complete idiotic. Honestly to me i believe it will be 15-20 years before any private/gov’t based space program does regular trips to the moon, even then why would you want to build a Domino’s on the moon that will cost reportedly over 20 billion dollars. Right now that is not feasible especially in the current economic troubles.

    That being said I don’t believe the NASA program should have been shutdown. We have gained so much from the space program and it is stupid to have shutdown something so beneficial.

  4. gregalles says :

    I read the article mentioned in the links about DePaul not looking at ACT and SAT scores on college applications now. Kind of a crazy move in my opinion, but I can see where they’re coming from. I have somewhat mixed feelings about it personally, as I feel my SAT scores were a big part of what helped me get into college here at Purdue. My GPA coming out of high school wasn’t too great due to me slacking off too much, and that didn’t help my case when applying for college at all. So it makes me wonder what aspects DePaul will really look at now when accepting. Will it solely be dependent upon GPA, or are there other factors to be determined? Depending on how they go through with this, I could actually see it hurting some kids’ chances of getting into school there, but also at the same time it could benefit others. Regardless it is definitely a topic to look at, and keep watch on how other colleges and universities look at standardized testing.

  5. falkhali says :

    The disbanding of NASA’s manned space flight program can be seen as slightly drastic by many. Despite the fact that the US government is heavily in debt, NASA’s space program over the past few decades has benefited mankind in a number of ways, and advanced our knowledge of life beyond our atmosphere. It is good to hear however that Russia is continuing a manned space program and that they will continue supporting the International Space Station, but the recent crash in Siberia can threaten how the space station will continue to operate in the next few years. It will be interesting to see how the private sector will begin their own space programs, and how space journeys may be privatized in the next few years.

    • cengland42 says :

      There is a good incentive in the private sector to fund manned space missions. Just imagine the amount of companies that would want their logo plastered all over space shuttle and to have the option to boast that they explore the universe. I think it is a shame that the public opinion on manned space missions has diminished since the 60s, but how can our species even begin to contemplate visiting other planets and exploring galaxies when we can’t even manage world hunger and poverty? The human species will eventually explore the outer reaches of the universe if there are no hiccups along the way, it’s certainly inevitable, but we have a long way to go in shaping public opinion in favor of space exploration.

      Here is a quote from Carl Sagan:
      “Since, in the long run, every planetary civilization will be endangered by impacts from space, every surviving civilization is obliged to become spacefaring–not because of exploratory or romantic zeal, but for the most practical reason imaginable: staying alive… If our long-term survival is at stake, we have a basic responsibility to our species to venture to other worlds.”

  6. dparkerr says :

    At Purdue, I have met a number of people who have served or are going to serve in the U.S. military system. Coming up is the 10th anniversary of September 11 and reading a news report at http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2011/08/13/report-911-first-responders-not-invited-to-10th-anniversary-ceremony-at-ground-zero/ outraged me.
    This news report talked about the first responders of the 9/11 incident and how they are not allowed to attend the 10th anniversary 9/11 ceremony at Ground Zero due to “size restraints”. I find this very disrespectful to the men and women who risked their lives to save thousands of people. They have just a much a right to attend these ceremonies. Every day they put their life on the line for the citizens of the U.S. I think a better alternative would maybe be to have the ceremony outside, this way everyone that wants to attend can attend. I understand that many of these first responders have very fragile emotions about 9/11, but flat out saying they are not allowed is just causing more uproar of emotions. They weren’t invited to the September 11 attacked ten years ago, they showed up.

  7. rudyv12 says :

    I like the part about brightening up the post. It was very interesting to see how the gaming time was equated to years of life. It becomes shocking to imagine “losing” so many years of your life in gaming. Years of life that can never be regained. However, I have previously read articles in which some senior citizen homes installed various gaming systems, specifically with first person shooter games, in order to train the patients brain. An article in the New York Times, reported that the games “sharply improve visual attention skills.” According to Dr. Daphne Bavelier, an associate professor of cognitive neuroscience at the University of Rochester, “first-person action games increase the brain’s capacity to spread attention over a wide range of events.”

    All being said, I think there are always pros and cons that need to be considered. The options must be weighed and selected upon what is the desired result.

  8. mporter7 says :

    The fiscal debacle is something that I’ve been following for a while. To completely assign blame to one individual or party is bit foolish I believe. There is plenty of blame to be spread around the whole governmental system. I personally think Obama and the democrats are major contributors to our current situation but that doesn’t mean I would let the republicans completely off the hook. I think the situation with the debt is a major factor to why companies don’t want to hire right now. I think uncertainty in the markets make businesses tentative about adding people to the payroll. Healthcare concerns, union issues, and business regulations are other major factors that I think are contributing to unemployment. As a general rule I would say the government is getting in the way of allowing the free market to operate as it should.

  9. Derek Stewart says :

    As 9/11 approaches, it seemed like yesterday, yet its hard to believe the attacks happened over a decade ago and Americans are still recovering from the aftermath.It’s interesting to see videos and news footage, especially from a pilot’s standpoint. I’m sure pilots are always nervous about this reoccuring as the date approaches every year, but since then security has been improved and pilots I have talked to say that they feel safer than ever and have trained for situations such as 9/11. I had the opportunity to go to ground zero last spring break; the presense of standing right next the what use to be the Word Trade Center was surreal; I had difficulty accepting the reality of what had happened. I stood there thinking what was going through the minds of the people and victims of New York city that day; words can’t describe their emotions and feelings that day. On a lighter note, it is unfortunate NASA is shutting down their manned missions, but as a pilot I could have predicted that. More often than not, I read about UAV, unmanned air vehicles, replacing military aircraft. It’s only a matter of time they will be relacing commercial pilot’s jobs, which I don’t want to happen because that would mean my entire education would have been thrown out the door. Just ask yourselves, would you step on an airplane without anyone sitting in the cockpit; essentially your lives would be in the hands of a computer…scary thought! With that said, I do partially believe in globalization, carbon emissions as the culprit. According to CNN, airlines only contribute to 2% of overall carbon emissions. The carbon footprint of one passenger round trip from Hong Kong to London is 19,244 kilometers, or approxiamately 1.4 tons of carbon dioxide which is is surprisingly small compared to carbon footprint of a single driver for one year. Eventually, airlines will charge a fee for passengers, “making the polluter pay”, as stated by CNN. Asian airlines is already talking about charging passengers
    to pay an average of US$8 more for European routes due to taxes imposed to curb greenhouse gas emissions. Sounds crazy I know, but it’s only a matter of time before the U.S. imposes a similar tax!


  10. rotosteckel says :

    I think it’s really sad that they’ve shut down the space program. Optimistic me would’ve wanted them to do a “temporary hiatus”, but I realize that’s not really possible considering the amount of people that a decision like that would sort of screw over. They wouldn’t want to go looking for another job because the one they love will be coming back “in just a little while.” Of course, it would always be “just a little while”, the situation makes me think of puppies in a pound or orphans. I’m hesitant about using Russia’s shuttles since, you know, one just FELL OUT OF THE SKY.

    As for global warming, I remember reading somewhere a long time ago that the Earth does naturally go through warming and cooling stages (hey guys, remember that thing we called the ice age?) and that we just so happen to be in a warming stage that’s getting a bit uncomfortable. However, I’d be very surprised if that’s the only factor and I fully believe that we are augmenting whatever is going on with the changing weather and warming.

    September 11 gets stranger and stranger for me every year. I was 11 when it happened and, although I understand the tragedy that it is now, I still have some of that leftover…ambivalence?…regarding the situation due to how young I was when it did happen. I think that there are relatively few people in my age group who don’t have a “happening to someone else” feeling regarding looking back on that incident unless it smacked them across the face (such as having a family member who was in the WTC when it happened). Our youngest adults at 18 year old were 8 back when this happened. I don’t know about you, but when I was 8 I definitely didn’t have a sense of the world or have any informed political savvy as to what was going on outside of my little bubble that was school and play. Truth be told I have a hard time being savvy about politics now because of the Iraq war and 8 year Bush Administration tenure. I’d be lying if I said that it hasn’t made me bias.

  11. jamoliah says :

    Geez, whenever I hear about politics I can’t help but let out a exhausted sigh. Its like watching a car be driven by a thousand drivers all at once, each wanting to reach their own destination. Whenever anything is achieved it isn’t long before its spun to paint Senior Chairman So-and-so in a good light, even if he was decrying it only a week ago. And its even more amazing when things go wrong! Everyone seems to point fingers faster than Old West quick draw champions.

    But, I guess that is the essence of democracy. Its just hard to believe that giving people the right to share their opinion could turn into something so destructive. But then again, its generally not the sharing and listening to of opinions and ideas that causes problems.

    • abemccullough says :

      I like the car analogy. It always amuses me when two sides get in a fight, each proposes an ‘alternative solution’ and they end up compromising and getting the worst of both sides. Congress somehow managed to forget that politics is not about a side being stronger than the other or getting more bills passed but about what is best for the people. We need congress to realize “Yes, those are both ideas, but we are only going to do one.” Healthcare, budget deficit, NASA you name it we keep messing things up by trying to do both.

      Its like college. Studying, social life or enough sleep. Pick any two but not all three.

  12. jordanthielker12345 says :

    I will be honest, I am an avid gamer. I have an Xbox 360 that I play games on and I play World of Warcraft. I really don’t mind paying that 15 bucks a month for a game that has continuously delivered amazing content. To be honest, people look at me and are shocked that I play video games since I go to the gym 5 times a week and I don’t have the “gamer” look. I have a blast playing games but then again, I enjoy a game that tells a story and the more people that play the same game makes the experience last a long time. World of Warcraft started back on CD-ROM when I was growing up. It was 3-discs and I was excited to hear that the story was going to continue online. Obviously, Blizzard (the company who makes World of Warcraft) has done something right to get millions of users to pay that much. Not to mention that every Tuesday you have to download free content that fixes the game from bugs or adds new areas. As we get older we start to get mixed up in various activities and our free time goes down. I’ve noticed that I am starting to lose consistent gaming time on World of Warcraft because my friends don’t play as much. That is, until a new expansion to the game comes out. You show me another game that can have 1-person, 5-people, 10-people, 25-people, or 40-people complete a common mission. There may be a few but do they update their content to improve game-play? I think not. Fifteen bucks for that many hours of fun? Count me in.

  13. Chelsea Berryman says :


    In regards to the Windows 7 lawsuit about smartphones powered by Windows 7 software noted the whereabouts of users even if they didn’t want to be tracked. This is a huge issue with privacy laws and contract laws between Microsoft, the customers, and the cell phone service providers.

    It’s a great technology where you can see the geographic location of your whereabouts, but with your consent. This needed to be followed up with proper user consent, and the fact that when they pushed ‘cancel’, it was not canceled.

    When you are telling your customers, ‘when you press this button you will be able to…’, the company should hold up their end of the promise, and by that, canceling the location service. Microsoft should be held responsible and follow through with proper arrangements.

  14. bcozza says :

    Lost amid the noisy argument between supporters and deniers of climate change is a less divisive and more relatable conclusion, I believe. With supporters focused on compiling mountains of data and deniers concentrated on discrediting such information, it seems as though we have lost sight of the more fundamental, personal, and unifying need for clean air. Whether or not the noxious pollutants discharged into the air that we breathe by vehicles and industries are responsible for climate change, their adverse health effects have been well known and even more well documented for several decades. With a clearly established link between air pollution and such ailments as asthma, why not unite behind the common cause of cleaner air? If achieving this objective also reduces the threat of climate change, great, but regardless, all of us will benefit from having cleaner air to breathe.

  15. wreckedher says :

    WOW. It is funny how the game is coincidentally so consuming that it boasts combined playing times equatable to Queen Elizabeth’s actual age, and its short name is “WOW”. Now, all jokes aside, lets dive into a larger point here, the $15 monthly fee. Regardless of where the money comes from–parents (because we know that at 80 hours a month leaves no time for anything but Facebook, let alone a job)–it is being spent. All totaled and based on the old figure, that is $180 million monthly, right? Surely that number has grown since then. The extra money requirements must also be taken into account. These extras include but are not limited to: internet, computer hardware, money exchanged in game for fake money, and Mt. Dew. So let us do some comparing and contrasting. Money is pumped into the economy from this fantasy world and its dark vortex of spoiled children; however, if these kids had their own jobs, the economy would be further stimulated and the value of money may be instilled upon them. The latter part of the previous sentence could be pedestals on their own. I just finished a Tucker Max book. I tried to not be too harsh.

  16. vsabatel says :

    I would like to comment on the pathetic unemployment number that came out September 2nd for the month of August (9.1%). The unemployment number for the month of July was also 9.1%, so the actual unemployment percentage remained the same despite all the criticism and action (or lack of) taken by Obama. 9.1% is a high unemployment rate, but what was so significant about this figure is that the United States did not create any new jobs in the month of August. That hasn’t happen in decades (once in the 80s I believe) and was never expected to happen again. I had an Internship at the Chicago Board of Trade this summer and I could imagine how crazy and out of control everything went when they released that number at 7:30AM (unemployment number comes out the first Friday of every month). I don’t know the steps that need to be taken to help resolve this issue but I do know that something has to be done fast. The economy needs to be a bigger priority in the Obama administration. Without getting into the whole political aspect of this, I do believe the first and most important step is to appoint someone (President) who has a strategy and knows how to handle these particular situations. A 9.1% employment number is disappointing, but the number of jobs created last month (0) is just embarrassing and almost distracts from that fact that the unemployment percentage is still high.

  17. brad5627 says :

    I think outsourcing spaceflight to a different country is a horrible idea, especially to Russia, which, in aviation, is notorious for having a spotty safety record. Just today they had a plane crash, killing 43 out of the 45 people on board. Russia operates an aging fleet, thus lacking technology that makes flying safer. It can’t be cheaper to outsource, and the US definitely had a lot of pride in our space program and the advances in technology it has provided. We’re always going to need to go to space… it would be beneficial and make the US look stronger if we could go to space on our own accord instead of hitch-hiking with Russia or China. It just doesn’t reflect the strength of our country… Not that it’s as strong as it was before, but eventually we will rise back. A space program shows how powerful and technologically forward a country is.

    I agree that we needed to cut spending in some places, and that the fiscal return on the space program wasn’t the best, but to scrap the space program all together… It’s just sad. Spaceflight is cool, and it brought the country together on numerous occasions… I hate to see it go… for now.

  18. brianbritt says :

    We’re moving right along, with some more great commentary this week!

    James (He), it’s interesting that you mention the classic “American Dream.” I read an article yesterday talking about a group of teenage basketball players, most of whom came from overseas, who were drawn to a fake prep school and siphoned of much of their money in pursuit of that same ideal. (The con artist was a former college hoops player, himself, who has been in plenty of legal and financial trouble in the past.) Even if that dream has faded a little among U.S. citizens, it’s still prominent abroad — at least, for now. I’m inclined to agree with your assertion, echoed by Micheal, that a number of individuals and groups are responsible for the current financial disaster. There’s a lot of uncertainty in the market, and everyone is more inclined to play the blame game than to solve the problem, as James (Lesniowski) indicated, it’s difficult for the situation to improve. It’s frustrating to see that no headway has been made in the past month, as you noted, Vince. Maybe we should just be thankful that existing jobs were relatively stable — the unemployment rate didn’t increase, after all — but I think everyone can agree that the current status quo is unacceptable. Something needs to change.

    Kaileen, you bring up a good point about the insomnia article. Scholars of psychology and communication have done a fair bit of research about this issue, and many people believe that our inundation with technology is a contributing factor. When our minds get stuck on our need to constantly check our cell phones, our Facebook profile, our Twitter messages, our multiple E-mail accounts, the forums in which we interact, and so on, it’s difficult to shut down. There’s almost a jittery base state that develops, since we’re so used to bouncing from one communication medium to another. Not to mention those individuals required to keep an open phone line at all times, even while sleeping (think: police officers, firefighters, doctors, military personnel, computer technicians required to respond to emergencies, etc.). When you can’t sever your connections with the outside world, even for an evening, how are you possibly supposed to shut down?

    You also made some good points about DePaul, Kaileen. It’s certainly within the school’s right to do so, and it may serve to increase applications, especially if it makes the university more of a “safety school” among those to which high school seniors apply. Of course, one has to question whether that’s what DePaul executives actually want, or if such an outcome would diminish the value of the degrees that former DePaul graduates hold. A number of studies have shown minimal correlation between ACT/SAT/PSAT/PLAN test scores and college performance, but the same thing could be said of the relationship between high school and college GPAs. Perhaps they’ll focus more on essays in their admissions process? In that instance, they might actually get fewer applications — I remember being aggravated by the essay questions when I applied to college (as well as to graduate school, quite frankly), so that could make their application process more selective, not more open. We’ll see how all this affects DePaul in the future, as well as whether other schools decide to follow the trend.

    Gaming has certainly expanded in the last couple of decades, Kaileen, especially with the introduction of motion-control gaming for home consoles. (Technically, you could do this on the EyeToy and other devices, as well, but the Wii was really the first big success in that regard.) A tremendous amount of time has been spent on gaming, but it’s fair to say that there are some benefits to be found, as Rudy noted. Some studies (though not all) have suggested that the Wii might help people control their physical health, and there’s also evidence to suggest that games can sharpen our mental abilities. I recall, around 15 years ago, reading an article in 3-2-1 Contact magazine that discussed how crane operators who had played video games as a child were far superior in their work to those who had not, and it speculated that video games might be used for training employees or testing candidates in the future. Lo and behold, we now have simulators for everything from flight and combat to athletics and social interactions. …Well, maybe the last one isn’t a great example — I doubt we’d learn much about proper human behavior from The Sims. Still, as Jordan mentioned, games do provide great opportunities to interact with others with whom we might not normally connect. Some have even met their spouses on games like World of Warcraft, although I have no data on whether those marriages lasted. As Corey noted, though, a lot of time and productivity is lost on such games. Granted, we need some form of release from the pressures of day-to-day work and life, but some may take that a bit too far. Would players like “Raptr,” who once played World of Warcraft for 149 hours in a week, devote such time to a different leisure activity? It’s food for thought.

    Chris, I agree about any serious ideas about space pizza in the near future. I imagine this is little more than a publicity stunt, but it’s still funny. The end of NASA’s manned space flight program is a serious move. We may argue that it was necessary in the midst of a financial catastrophe, but it’s still depressing in light of everything the program did for us over the years. The idea of unmanned flights having the same benefits has ramifications across a range of industries, as Derek argued; for as long as I can remember, companies have been toying with the idea of self-driving cars, too. Imagine, a few years from now, hopping into an automated taxi. It’s a little disconcerting that the remaining options are flying a rocket by remote control or riding one that, as Steckel said, “just FELL OUT OF THE SKY.” I wasn’t familiar with Russia’s aviation reputation, Brad, but that certainly casts the outsourcing plan in an unfortunate light. Perhaps that just goes to show the nature of our economy these days: we’re constantly importing other countries’ goods rather than producing them ourselves, so why should space flight be any different? Of course, buying flimsily-made shoes from overseas is a bit less hazardous than getting on a foreign rocket that’s about to take a dive….

    Derek (Parker), I was shocked about the 9/11 invite story, too! One would think that, financial crisis aside, the government could afford to rent a halfway-decent venue for a day so that rescue workers might attend. (As a point of comparison, a nice wedding venue often costs a few thousand dollars for a day’s rental. There’s a big difference between that and the multi-billion dollar programs that have been proposed and implemented recently.) Government officials claimed that they found no credible evidence of an impending attack, the last time I checked relevant news reports, but it still has to be scary to fly on 9/11’s ten-year anniversary, as Derek (Stewart) explained. I haven’t visited Ground Zero myself, but that must have been a mindblowing experience, Derek. As for feeling ambivalent, Steckel, you’re not the only one. Remember when Osama bin Laden was taken down a few months ago? A number of Twitter posts popped up in the hours that followed, like “Who is Osama Bin Laden and why should I care?” and “Who is Osama Bin Laden? Is he in a band aswell?” There’s a difference between ambivalence and ignorance… it certainly fills you with hope for the younger generation, doesn’t it?

    As for global warming, I’m curious about the tax you noted, Derek. I’ll have to look into whether the U.S. is already taxing companies based on emissions. If they’re not, and if they begin doing so, I’m sure airlines will add extra charges in a heartbeat. There tend to be enough little additive charges, after all. (It’s possible that they’re already doing so — I’ve never looked into the itemized calculations for the price of an individual plane ticket, so it’s hard to say.) Warming and cooling cycles are cyclical, Steckel, as you mentioned; if temperature didn’t behave in a natural cycle, then when we hit ice ages in past millenia, the weather never would have warmed afterward, and vice-versa. That’s a large part of the debate right now: how much of the change is part of the cycle, and how much is due to those “other factors” you mentioned? Still, as Brad rightly noted, we do need clean air. That’s similar to an argument I’ve made about hybrid cars. If hybrid sellers focused more on the money that purchasers would save, they’d capture all consumers who care about their wallets, not merely those who believe in climate change theories and the related “green” movement. Perhaps promoters of the movement believe that concern over global warming/climate change is just as widespread as individuals’ desire to breathe unpolluted air, but a quick glance through some of our blog posts would indicate that acceptance of their theories isn’t quite as unanimous as they might believe.

    Finally, I agree with you about the Windows 7 lawsuit, Chelsea. There are a lot of issues with privacy these days — think about how often Facebook changes their security settings, and you’ll get the picture. The notion of “consent” has been used quite a bit in recent years, as well as the distinction between implicit consent and explicit consent. Do Microsoft’s terms of service permit this tracking feature? For that matter, even if it isn’t outright mentioned, does the use of Microsoft’s hardware imply consent for Microsoft to use the same device as it pleases, too? It’s a thorny issue, to say the least, and one that keeps recurring. I doubt it will be resolved across the industry any time soon.

    It’s always great to see such detailed comments. Keep your posts coming!

  19. rachkennedy says :

    In regards to the article on DePaul no longer requiring ACT scores, I fully support this idea and wish that other private schools would adopt it as well. This notion is a bit more personal for me. Granted, I love Purdue, but I did not get into my dream school because of my ACT scores. I took accelerated and AP classes throughout high school and had a rather high GPA, but my ACT scores were not anything to write home about. I took the ACT three times and on my best attempt, I scored a 34 in the math section, but only a 24 in the reading section. Colleges only look at your compositie score and we not able to see that I accelerate in one major area. With DePaul requiring supplemental questions as a replacement to ACT/SAT scores, admissions gets to see that the students have a high potential and goals rather than the fact that they were able to do well one one test. Being from the Chicago area, I know many people who go to DePaul and I can tell that they don’t accept just anyone. With the credentials of the students who are submitted, I can imagine that many are turned away even though they have the potential to strive amongst the students who score well on standardized testing.

  20. begardner says :

    Following up on the CERN study that “shows such climate changes are not a result of human activities,” I have read additional theories that all of the nuclear arms testing conducted from the end of World War 2 up through the Cold War may also have contributed a large amount to the climate change. Between the US and Soviet Union, thousands upon thousands of nuclear tests were conducted anywhere from underground to the exoatmosphere, or above the atmoshpere. The largest nuclear bomb ever detonated was done so by the Soviet Union. The bomb was named Tsar Bomba and had a yield of 50 megatons. The US was also responsible for detonating some similarly large bombs at high altitude. Even in the 1960’s when many of these tests were conducted, there was concern that they might “blow a hole in the ozone layer.” It seems like this would warrant some further studies.

  21. khabenic says :

    On September 11, 2001 I was sitting in my 5th grade classroom at the age of ten. I could tell that something was wrong by the way my teacher was acting and so could the rest of my classmates. Our teacher, Mr. Bower turned the news on even though the teachers had been directed not to. As I sat there and watched the first of the twin towers smoking I remember thinking how sad it was that the pilots and all the people on that plane had died. I thought what had happened was an accident, and at ten years old I didn’t really understand what the word terrorist meant.
    I was watching the news yesterday and they were doing a feature on 9/11. As they showed the pictures and video of what happened that day it brought tears to my eyes. My heart aches for the victims and their families as well as all the heroes of that day. They did a segment that talked about flight 93 that went down in a field of a little suburban town. It breaks my heart to think about the fear those people experienced and how they overcame that fear so no one else would be hurt. I think it’s horrible, as a human race, that we find it to be okay to take the lives of innocent people to make a point.
    Reading this blog was the first I heard of the rescue workers from the World Trade Center experiencing an unusual degree of illness. As if they didn’t risk enough, now they have to deal with depression, PTSD, asthma, and even cancer. It baffles me to hear that funding has been slow for the local and federal programs created to help the rescue workers and residents. Are you kidding me?
    The victims of the Indiana State Fair stage collapse will receive $5 million from the state of Indiana and another $800,000 from a separate relief fund. I want to point out that I am in no way showing disrespect for the victims of the stage collapse. I was at the concert that night and it was the most horrific thing I have ever witnessed, the victims and their families deserve every bit of that money. I would just like to point out that this money was raised and put together in roughly 18 days. Why is that 10 years later the rescue workers from the World Trade Center have gotten little help with the issues they are still facing today as a result of 9/11?

  22. thecatherinesondgerath says :

    One topic that has been beaten to death is Global Warming. Yes, it does exist. But, is it caused by humans? Definitely not. Global warming is a natural process that cannot be prevented. I would say it is possible that our impact on the environment may speed up the process but it is definitely not the cause. According to the Mayan Calender the Earth’s cycle is about to start over in 2012. If you know anything about the Mayan’s, you should know that they view time in cycles rather than in the linear view we use today. So basically, you can look at the weather cycles over long periods of time and tell that the Earth naturally heats up and cools off (i.e. the ice age).

    When the world trade center was attacked I was in my middle school art class painting. Our principal walked in and announced to the class what had happened that morning. The rest of the day our teachers kept the new on. A girl in my Science class lost her father in the attack and left school early. It was a pretty depressing day. Many people I went to high school with among others, joined the military because of this event. The attacks changed our nation’s policies, spending decisions and administration.

  23. Chris Gerber says :

    With the 10th Anniversary of 9/11 this weekend, we have an entire nation thinking back to that day. I was taking the ISTEP Test in 6th grade when teachers started to become weird. Not one, but 2 or 3 came into our room during the test and whispered somthing to Mr.Summers. They were all ghost white but trying not to say anything. Then we saw the television. Ten years later, and he we are, as strong as ever as a nation and not tolerating any form of terrorism. There is a reason I am in the Navy; it’s to keep it that way. This weekend Purdue University will be dedicating the new Freedom Square Memorial for all 9/11 victims, their families, and all of those who served in the war following that day. Please come out and honor all of those who have fallen before us this Sunday at 2pm out in front of the armory.

  24. mfbecks says :

    I think that the outsourcing of the space flights and travel to the Russian space administration was a step backwards for the United States. NASA has always been on the forefront of space flight and technology and research and development. I think it limits our full potential to explore the universe by limiting NASA and its plans to move beyond what they have already discovered. So much has been learned from our space program and in a way we give that up when we yield to the apparently cheaper Russian space taxi service. It is clear that their program is not kept up to the standards that are practiced at NASA and who knows how much longer the Russians will continue going into space since the crash of their Soyuz rocket. I think that it’s safe to say that we are now in a tough place with no clear way to get to space at the moment and are regretting the dissolution of NASA’s manned space flight program.

  25. spkuo says :

    September 11, 2001. I was in 5th grade at the time. Even though I only remember certain events from back then, this particular event is still clear as ever in my mind. My classmates and I were coming back from P.E., which let out way earlier than usual that day. We were told to go to homeroom instead of to our next classes. None of the teachers told us why except for us to be quiet. It wasn’t until 15 or so minutes later did the intercom come on and the vice principal announced for a moment of silence. He also did not explain anything, all he said was “teachers and students, we will now take this time to have a moment of silence within the school.” Usually, everyone in class would be whispering and gossiping to one another ignoring the announcements, but that day, I remember very clearly that for some reason, no one in my class uttered a word. I guess you could say that we all felt something was wrong, but just didn’t know what. After the intercom turned off, our teacher went outside closing the door behind her. Through the window on the door, my friends and I were able to see our teachers talking with one another. A few minutes later, our vice principal came into our homeroom with our teacher following behind him. They walked over to the television and turned it on. The first thing I saw was the words “Terrorist Attack” flashing across the bottom of the screen with the twin towers in the background.

    Being young at the time, I honestly didn’t think that it was such a huge deal. It was like gossip spreading across school but then dying down a couple of weeks later. It wasn’t until I got into high school did I learn more about it in depth. I did a lot of research and read articles on it. Why do we only come together as one when something like 9/11 happens? Does it take innocent lives of many to prove something? However, being able to see that our nation has grown so much stronger since then is a good thing.

    Last Wednesday while I was in lab for another class, which ended early, I was browsing some news and came across an article about how Gwyneth Paltrow finds out that she saved a woman’s life on 9/11. Even though this was something minor, Paltrow was still able to save that woman’s life, whether she was one of the courageous rescue workers from the WTC or not. When I was reading through this blog on the section about how the rescue workers at the WTC and other affected areas have been experiencing an unusual degree of illness in the decade since and how funding has been slow for them, I was surprised and intrigued. Why is funding slow for these people when it was specifically created by the local and federal programs to help them in the first place? It has already been 10 years since the collapse of the WTC, why are the rescue workers who are suffering not being taken care of better? They never hesitated to come and help out when we needed them, so why aren’t the local and federal programs working harder to provide them with the funding they need?

  26. moormanja says :

    I think that it was a bad idea that they shut down the space program. When I was a kid and I’m sure it’s the same with a bunch of other people, they loved watching a space flight or even hearing about what they were doing. I had such an interest in it that I visited the space center in Florida and took an all day tour of the area and it was incredible to learn about all of that. With them closing down the space program these young kids today really cannot learn anything about space besides what has already been discovered. No one is going to be going out wishing to become an astronaut any more because its not there. Even though there is a budget crisis right now I think they should have just temporarily shut it down not get rid of it completely. We lost even more jobs because of this area being shut down and we have also lost the lead in the space race again because we gave all that power back to the Russians. Some people may not see this as a big deal, but if we ever want to send a man in space we now have to go through them in order to go up there. I understand that almost everything has been discovered in space, but how can we ever discover anything new if we don’t take the chance of letting Americans go into space to discover these new things and exploring different parts of space?

  27. Shelby Foster says :

    As a 10 year old boy I had the pleasure of taking a trip to Disney World in Florida, but with everything I got to do there, the most memorable part wasn’t Mickey Mouse or Space Mountain, it was going down to the beach to watch a NASA rocket take off. Something about that night has stuck with me more than anything else there, so of course I’m going to be upset to hear the NASA space program is being shut down. While I understand that we definitely need to make budget cuts in this economy, lets not forget all the great thing that have come from NASA’s research that now impact our everyday lives. All sorts of technologies have been developed, from the smoke detectors that are now legally required to be in most buildings, to the ballistic rocket parachutes that all of Purdue’s Cirrus aircraft have equipped to save our pilots in the event of some sort of catastrophe. While space travel may seem very unnecessary at the moment, NASA’s space program means much more than that.

  28. greene4 says :

    When I think about September 11th, its like a horrible nightmare. It’s hard to believe our world had to experience such a devastating event. I remember being in the fifth grade and my teacher stating to our class that America had just been attacked. Back then I didn’t realize what was going on because our teachers couldn’t really go into depth of what’s just had happened. I knew it had to be horrible because my mother had to come get me from school since she worked down town Chicago by the Sears Tower. After actually watching the attacks, I remember crying and asking my mother why would someone do such a thing? I really believe that that was the first time I was seeing how cruel things can be in this world sometimes. My heart still goes out to all of the families that had to experience that. I could never stomach the feeling that they had seeing what happen to their loved ones.

  29. fiddlestix22 says :

    In reply to the climate change debate, I think that it is hard to deny the facts that strongly suggest that climate change is happening. The effects of climate warming is most evident in the northern climates and polar regions where glaciers, sea ice, and even the polar ice cap are shrinking or even disappearing altogether. These alone have all sorts of implications felt the world over.

    However it must be said that our recorded data of these regions is only about 50 years old. And recorded human history in general is only about 5000 years old. There is much research going on studying the history of Earth’s climate, but we still have a long way to go in understanding the “normal” fluctuations in temperature. This climate change could possibly be a “normal” cycle in our climate as thecatherinesondgerath mentioned above. Much more research must be done in order to determine this.

    As far as our impact on the current climate change, I think we definitely have had a hand in that, but it is debatable on how much is caused by us. I have not been convinced as of yet by any research either way. Regardless, we should still make responsible decisions. We shouldn’t take the stance that global warming is a natural cycle, and therefore it’s okay for us to release emissions into the atmosphere with no restraint. To quote my favorite author, “It is not our part here to take thought only for a season, or for a few lives of Men, or for a passing age of the world.” We must still make responsible decisions, if not for us, but for future generations that will have to deal with the consequences of those decisions.

  30. zjaw3150 says :

    In a field where redundancy is king, I feel it was foolish for both the U.S. and Russia to agree on reducing transportation to the ISS down to one mode. It’s going to be a major setback if the occupants of the space station have to evacuate. I am glad that there is signs of growth and development in the private sector, but in the interim we’re stuck with no ride of our own, and I think that will prove to be a big problem.

  31. han39 says :

    I knew there are so many people who playing online games, but I did not know that many of people spent that much of their time into the single game. In my own experience some of games have some playing time limit for the single day. If you log on over 6 hours in a day, game server send you warning and ask you to do move player’s character to the safe zone and log out. If player do not follow they just force to log out. But players came up with the other way around, simply making another account and play another 6 extra hours. Those who playing game furiously, they are very creative to achieve their goal. What I think is they should’ve used their talent and effort to something better. I know that game industry is not a small but this is just too much.

  32. bmasuoka says :

    When I look back to the day of 9/11 I remember being in 5th grade and going to lunch and hearing it from one of my friends at the lunch table. However, at that age I didn’t really put it all together of how big of a deal it was until I saw it on television that day and talked to my parents about it.

    When you brought up the problem of some of the firefighters and all the people who were in the danger zone helping evacuate people who are now having sick illnesses I believe its quite ridiculous that they aren’t getting much help from the government. How about the government takes a few thousand dollars from the billions we use on wars that don’t even exist and give it to the people that now are sick??

    Lastly, i just hope this attack brings America closer together through the tough economic time we are having now so we can get out of it as fast as possible.


  33. jgebuhr says :

    First I will discuss our space program. It does not make sense at all that we should cease manned spaceflight, since we are a country that in the 1950s and 1960s developed an incredible vehicle. This vehicle, although it was never built, could have reached any point in the solar system within a week or two, with a max speed of 10% of the speed of light. It was called the Orion and was powered by firing nuclear explosives out of the back of it and using massive shock absorbers to protect the crew. It could have been built large enough to hold thousands of people, but the treaties with Russia put an end to our ability to build a nuclear spacecraft. In my opinion, we should already have stations on Mars, the Moon, and many of the moons of outer planets to continue our research.

    Now for global warming – I believe that 90% of it is natural. Yes, as humans we may be slightly speeding it up, but we can never stop it. How on Earth can we reduce carbon dioxide emissions to 0? When we breathe we are emitting CO2. Rock weathering, a natural process, as well as volcanism contribute almost all of the greenhouse gasses. Looking at ice cores it is clear that the Earth has gone through tons of climate changes, so we just need to find a way to work around it and hopefully prevent massive problems. Windmills and solar panels would have to cover the entire continent to power it, so my opinion is that the best form of 0-emission, self-made energy would be nuclear power plants.

    Finally, I am not at all a fan of World of Warcraft or any other expensive online role-playing games. I had a good friend addicted to it in high school, so he spent many nights up all night “questing” or whatever and ended up graduating with a 1.5 GPA. After high school, he stopped playing and his GPA at Ivy Tech went to 3.0. Not only do these addictive games ruin people’s performance, but they are also the only known cause of caffeine-induced deaths. Some kids will take an entire bottle of caffeine pills to game all night, and that is a lethal dose. In conclusion, these games need to be avoided like the plague, as they often empty the wallet, and can ruin or end one’s life.

  34. melvinallen says :

    Sorry I’m a little late, had some problems accessing the blog. But now that everything is fixed, I feel its only appropriate to comment on the events of 9/11. I feel that 9/11 still and always will impact the U.S. like it did that very day. I also find it unfortunate that the heros who helped with the rescue and evacuation of 9/11 have been subject to and are more at risk for diseases such as cancer. I also was unaware of the lack of funding for the programs dedicated in aiding people with the aftermath of the horrific disaster. I find it quite disturbing that some victims of the disaster don’t even know about some of these programs offered.

    With today being the actual day, my heart and condolences go out to anyone who was greatly affected by 9/11. My only hope and wish is that the local and federal programs are doing all that they can to accomodate the victims and people who were effected by the tragedy.

  35. Logan Byers says :

    With the 9/11 anniversary today, it’s hard to believe it’s already been 10 years. Most of us remember it like it was yesterday and can recall every detail of where we were and what we were doing at the time.
    I was in 8th grade at the time and remember a teacher from another class coming in, crying. We turned on the tv to see only the north tower of the WTC burning. Shortly after, our principal came in and told our teacher to turn off the tv. At that moment, we didn’t know the full extent of the attacks.
    In addition, I lived at Shaw AFB, South Carolina. The base immediately went into Fort Protection Delta, the highest level of security. Getting onto base, normally a quick check from a security guard, turned into a full search of random cars. With my school off base, buses were delayed by a couple of hours each day.
    Probably the scariest personal moment came a couple weeks after 9/11. While waiting for our bus, an F-16 (the fighter plane model stationed at Shaw) made an extremely low pass over the base housing area where our bus stop was. The first thought in my head was: “where have the terrorists attacked now?”. Luckily, the plane’s fly-by was only an exercise maneuver.

  36. Shawn Farrington says :

    Did anyone else watch Obama’s address? Well, I did. I am not a very political person, nor do I pride myself on my political knowledge. But, if there was one thing I didn’t understand about his address was: How on Earth are you going to create jobs if there isn’t a demand for your product or service? Small businesses can’t just hire people and get money from the government without gaining revenue also. The amount of money the government gives versus the potential business a company does is not compare. So as long as you don’t sell more things that say “Made in America”, companies won’t hire new employees.

  37. jkinnamo says :

    I feel that with today being the 10th anniversary of 9/11 it is right to discuss how far our country has come since that day. The impact of 9/11 is one of the biggest disasters and one of the most memorable events in many of our lives. I remember exactly where i was when it happened and i know many others do too. I was in my class room when someone came in and talked to my teacher. I remember the school trying to keep the event quite and not talked about and just remember the news replaying the crash over and over. That whole week was sad and you could see our country’s spirits were down. After the event though are country was able to rally back going to war and have increased airport security in which had many flaws that had never been looked at before. This year on the day Osama bin Laden died, you could feel the joy in the country and the patriotism that had formed over the past 10 years since the 9/11 attack. Since the attack i feel our country has gained a strong patriot spirit and have become stronger as a whole. This country will remember the events of 9/11 forever and remember those who were lost in the tragic events that happened that day.

  38. Mike Tuccori says :

    For the presentations, I believe it is advantageous for everyone to incorporate the topics from the book and the topics discussed in class into their presentations. I don’t think it would be a good idea to stray too far away from the teachings taught as they have provided some of the basic, foundational techniques for giving an effective presentation. In regards to topics appealing to their respective audiences, a topic that is primarily relevant and then interesting suits an audience best. Relevant before interesting because relevant will appeal to a large number of people. A relevant topic is one that most people are aware of. Interesting follows because interesting falls into a category of opinion. An interesting topic is one we can only hope for and that the audiences will find.

    Global warming is a controversial topic. The reason being is because there is a lot of data supporting both sides–for and against. In addition to that, the data that is presented is subject to manipulation on both sides; and therefore, skewing the truth and ultimately confusing the public. Some motives behind skewed data contribute to politics and the almighty dollar. Global warming has become a very political issue that has significant influence on major policies. Policies established for or against will put or take away a lot of power in one hand or the other. This drama has affected the issue of global warming and whether or not it is an issue that can be backed up by science and facts.

    For the gamers out there, I feel that 5.93 million years of playing time on World of Warcraft is not exactly an accomplishment. However, a fine accomplishment for the creators of the game—well done!

    I was in grade school, in church, when the World Trade Center was hit. In the middle of the procession, my principal walked up to the podium and revealed the world-changing event to us. I did not understand the magnitude of the situation, and I didn’t have any idea that it would have such a long-lasting effect on the future of our country. That act of gruesome violence and terrorism ripped the country’s heart out and made you feel ashamed to live in a world where something like that had to happen, but it is the world we live in and we must deal with it.

  39. stlbirds says :

    On the September 11th attacks I was in 5th grade. I lived down the street from my grade school and I always went home for lunch to eat. My mother was home and had the news on and informed me of what happened. At first I was confused and shocked (who wouldn’t). At this time of the news, things were still unclear about what actually happened, but could tell that we were attacked and we were going to go to war. While talking about the benefits given to the firefighters, policemen, and many other aid groups. There should be no question that these men and women deserve medical aid and benefits. These groups could not of worked harder and handled it any better than they did. Americans came together and worked around the clock to help victims. These men and women deserve our full respect for what they did.

  40. Teju Shyamsundar says :

    I though the article about the proliferation of gaming was interesting. As new technology emerges it year, it makes sense that the amount of new video games with different features will increase as well. I agree with the comment that many more people play video games today when compared to the late 1980s and 1990s. This can probably be attributed to the fact that people are introduced to technology at much younger ages today. Video games can be viewed both positively and negatively. The most common argument you will find is that they are both distracting and a waste of time. While this is true to a certain extent, video games can also be beneficial to people who plan on using their experience with video games to crate their own game. This process is very educational and takes a good amount of effort.

  41. Colin Patterson says :

    I remember hearing about the firefighters from the 9/11 attacks having a lot of health issues due to the amount of residue that they inhaled while trying to save people from the rubble. I also remember a detail stating that some of them were not covered by their health insurance to compensate for the treatment. I can’t even believe that insurance would be an issue in this situation. These men risked their lives to save citizens and they’re not even being covered? That’s appalling to me. I hope they were able to get their treatment paid for.

  42. jkambic says :

    In response to the topic of the budget cuts with respect to NASA, I think it was an absolutely horrible idea — there are plenty of other areas which could be cut. without getting too political, consider the fact that some of the most amazing technology of the past 50 years has come from or as a result of NASA. technology, R&D, and investment are a large part of what has made and kept America as a world leader and a world power. The progression towards privatized manned space flight presents some added diversity and perhaps a good turn in the industry, but considering it’s currently fledgling state of development makes the alternative of outsourcing the only viable short-term solution, this is unacceptable. Outsourcing means we have no control over the safety protocols or procedures in place and considering our safety standards are amongst the most stringent world-wide, it almost seems irresponsible on the part of our government to allow or condone this.

    just my thoughts I suppose.

    link to a gizmodo article siting some of NASA’s contributions:


  43. abemccullough says :

    As I write this blog post on 9/11there are several things that weigh on my mind. America has suffered great wrong and loss and we have been forever changed as a nation. The damage done to us by extremists will take a long time to heal. That being said, please understand the perspective of the rest of this post. We are not the only people to have been damaged by the events 10 years ago.

    I grew up overseas in a small Arab country called Yemen just south of Saudi Arabia and east from Africa. I was back for the summer at my grandparents in Columbus Indiana when the towers were hit with Arab hijackers at the controls and was unable to return to Yemen the following year because of political unrest caused by America invading sovereign countries in the middle east. The embassy decided that it was ‘unsafe’ for us to return.

    10 years later I can tell you the world has changed in more than a few ways. Living in an Arab country as an American, people are more hostile and assume things. In America sadly it is not much different. I know many Iraqi refugees living here in America that have been mistreated simply because they are Arab. There is no easy or simple solution to the fact that a lack of knowledge will always breed fear. This lack of understanding of other people and culture has always been around and can only be solved by getting to know people of other cultures. Don’t know where to start? Try Cafe Royal by the McDonald’s on Northwestern across from Armstrong. Last time I checked it was owned and run by a Palestinian.

  44. bmonroe16 says :

    The thing that I think really keeps people into games like World of Warcraft is the fact that you never really win. There’s sooo much content in World of Warcraft, that you need to continuously play for hours on end in order to see it all. Most people that play games have more than one game. This is because the person beats one game and moves on to the next. This is usually once every month or so. That’s 60 bucks a month. World of Warcraft accomplishes the end result of having new content to play, and only costs $15 dollars a month. Another huge factor is the people. They give the gamer an ever changing experience with familiar concepts and they provide real, lasting connections with other living people. But, what has kept gamers interested in WoW for this long is definitely not the good content. At this point, Blizzard doesn’t care if what they’re putting out is complete rehashed crap, because they know that their customers will gobble it up without asking what it is. This game won’t die off on it’s own. Something else is going to have to come out to take away Blizzard’s client base.

  45. vmgray says :

    September 11th is a day that I will never forget. I was in the fifth grade and I can remember the fear in my teacher’s eyes. I remember being escorted to the library to watch as the news reported this horrible attack. For my area, people were very frightened because we were so close to Chicago and didn’t know what could happen next. Even though this was a terrible event, It brought together Americans all over the world.
    It is sad that these people are still suffering from this situation. I really wish that it was more that I or America could do to help these individuals. Sometimes, we get so busy helping everyone else that we forget to help our own. I hope and pray that everyone will get the help that they need to live a more peaceful life.

  46. davidjames1187 says :

    I found the article about gaming quite interesting. I guess the first thing I would say is that I am in no way against gaming, but I do find some of the statistics about how much time user’s spend playing games a little pathetic. Also, to say playing video games is beneficial cracks me up. Like are they trying to be serious? I think it’s all a Japanese scheme to raise our youth to be overweight and unemployed (sarcasm). I would like to seriously see how many resumes include gaming hours, because that is all these kids will have to put on there. Yes video games could improve decision making, vision, and hand-eye coordination, but those are all things that going out and playing a sport could do. Don’t get me wrong, I love killing some noobs here and there, but there is a huge issue with parenting kids to think it’s okay to spend so much time playing video games, instead of getting some exercise or getting an education.

  47. bkershey says :

    I have been watching 9/11 documentaries for the past week and a half and I continue to be blown away by what I keep seeing in these reminders of history. In some of the docs, the focus has been on the firefighters who have been suffering from the ill-effects of being exposed so the grey ash/dust that hung around the WTC area for weeks. It is an extremely unfortunate scenario. The EPA reassured the firefighters at the time that the air was clean and safe. Government officials also made public and private comments reassuring that there was no danger in the air.

    Years later we now know there was certainly dangers present. The combination of toxins from bodies, glass, ligthbulbs, lead, fuel, etc. have caused cancers and diseases at alarming rates to the heros of that day.

    The men who have died in the years since because of the exposure have truly become the forgotten souls from 9/11 and it is a shame more wasn’t done then to protect then and now to honor them.

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