Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Tyler Stone's Global Awareness Exploration

The speech that meant the most to me was the Dali Lama's speech. this kind of thing always reminds me of what I should be trying to follow,  and how I should be trying to act and make a difference. Sometimes I can get a little heated when it comes to some topics, and I can let my mind wander and get a little too hyped up and irrational with my mindset. But when I hear people talk like in this way, it really calms me down and gets me to refocus on how I really want to act and think. The two main parts I took from the speech was the first part where he talks about equality, and near the end where he talks about human problems, and religion. He say "No matter what part of the world we come from, we are all basically the same human beings. We all seek happiness and try to avoid suffering. We have the same basic human needs and concerns. All of us human beings want freedom and the right to determine our own destiny as individuals and as peoples. That is human nature." I 100% agree with this. If more people could swallow their pride, and realise how the same we all really are, and put themselves in other people's shoes, the world would be a much better place. Near the end, he says "The problems we face today, violent conflicts, destruction of nature, poverty, hunger, and so on, are human-created problems which can be resolved through human effort, understanding and the development of a sense of brotherhood and sisterhood." Another thing I completely agree on. My only question is: When are these problems going to stop? Obviously there are always going to be these problems no matter what, but the levels they are in this current day and age is horrible. I also found it extremely interesting the part about religion. He says "Although I have found my own Buddhist religion helpful in generating love and compassion, even for those we consider our enemies, I am convinced that everyone can develop a good heart and a sense of universal responsibility with or without religion.
With the ever-growing impact of science on our lives, religion and spirituality have a greater role to play by reminding us of our humanity. There is no contradiction between the two. Each gives us valuable insights into the other. Both science and the teachings of the Buddha tell us of the fundamental unity of all things. This understanding is crucial if we are to take positive and decisive action on the pressing global concern with the environment. I believe all religions pursue the same goals, that of cultivating human goodness and bringing happiness to all human beings. Though the means might appear different the ends are the same." Now, I'm an atheist, I'm not a fan of religion, and in most cases I actively oppose it, but Buddhism... I absolutely LOVE buddhism. Buddhists have my utmost respect, and honestly I think are one of my favourite groups of people on this planet.

One country in the world I'm concerned about now is China. China has a horrible smog/air pollution problem, with a few recent stories i've seen recently, one about smog being so bad in one place that they started broadcasting the sunrise on a giant television, and another about people in another place getting "bags of fresh air" from the mountains hundreds of miles away, and how they sell cans of air in places in china. When you look at the map and AQI (air quality index) in china, the numbers are extremely high, and in the warning to dangerous levels literally all across the country. In some places visibility due to the smog is only a few meters, in many pictures you see people wearing masks to keep from breathing the air. Recent news of these drastic levels of pollution is causing people around then world to start taking notice, with experts, citizens, organisations, and the Chinese and other governments starting to take steps to combat this problem. I hope it isn't beyond repair, and although there's a very large footprint that has been made as a result of this pollution, I'm hoping that science can find a way to reverse and/or make a significant impact on this problem, and people in china can do enough to turn this around as quickly and significantly as possible.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tyler Hedge's last exploration

This post is pretty much a generalization about how saving money and having money is how you get happiness when compared to buying things. It almost feels like it is a summary for his entire blog but it really does give great points. I thought a great quote is when he says "The best way to get to the root of all this spending is to realize what we are all really trying to buy. In fact, it is the reason for every single action we take in our lives. It’s happiness." What this shows is how it really is not buying things that makes us happy when compared to having security. What I liked about this post is that he did not directly say "sell that expensive car" or something like that but rather he says that those types of things are not necessary and that youre better off and happier with a secure future. What I did not like was that there did not seem to be middle ground for someone that wants some of those luxury things but wants to cut back. This is defiantly doable with effort. I have spent a ton of money this year and not working during school has put me in a situation where I wish i would not have and am now more concerned and would be happier than i am from buying all those luxuries and spending on those things.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Julia Dettore - MMM Get Rich With: Scooters

1)This essay explains the practical usefulness a scooter or moped can offer it's owner. It shows us the importance of only using what we need, yet doing it in a practical manor. Mr. P. discusses how scooters more efficient than cars yet more realistic than cycling. He goes on to show that they don't necessarily deserve their girly and wimpy rap sheet. Though even if some aren't very macho they will help you save money in the long haul by reducing your insurance and gas bills, among other benefits.

Not only can riding a scooter be fun but it can save you a lot of money

2) I think Mr. P shows a couple examples of the benefits of a scooter best in the following statement "How much can you save? Well, I’m not a numbers guy, but it doesn’t take too many brain cells to realize that a gas-powered vehicle with an annual fuel cost of about $300/year is going to save a lot of money over a second car. Even a car rated at 30MPG in city driving is using 3x more gas per mile than a scooter. Repairs? Almost nil. Change the spark plug on a 50cc scooter and you’ve done a tune-up." People don't realize quite how much money you can save until you have one. Motorcycles and scooters can help save a lot of gas, reducing your carbon footprint, and they also save you a lot on repairs and gas. 

3)I really liked this post because it made a point to address the prejudice against scooters. So many people think they're wimpy and that they would never want to be seen on one. Though it made valid points about scooters I would have liked more facts about riding them than his various stories. In general I think people need to consider the many options in life and how they can help the world around them, this includes adjusting their ideas on transportation. I think riding a scooter or motorcycle is completely doable and good idea, if people got on board with this it could help us in a variety of ways. This includes everything from reducing the space set apart for parking to the amount of pollution our vehicles produce. The only downside I see to this is the potential dangers associated with riding. Recently I got my motorcycle temporary license and one of my biggest concerns is other drivers. Drivers don't look around thoroughly and can easily miss a rider and thus hit us. Before riding can become wide spread safety of riders on the roadway has to be improved.  

Ben Kim's Last Post

The topic "Your Money or Your Life", is based off of a book written by Joe Dominguez.  His purpose was to inform us about how corrupt society is and how we spend our money.  We work and earn it but we blindly spend it all and eventually "trash it" as Mr. Money Mustache says.  Joe Dominguez wants us to stay away from that habit and use money efficiently so that we can all live a optimum lifestyle.  "Americans kept working more so they could borrow more and buy more, we grew much fatter and less happy, and generally continue to live our lives in the most blind and inefficient way possible on average." This quote is pretty accurate because Americans, as consumers, are an easy target to get.  They are hard-working people but they spend their money inefficiently, for example eating out, upgrading cars, etc.  People need to invest their money and use it when the situation is important.  The thing I liked the most about this blog is that he is telling us the truth.  As consumers, we use our money inefficiently and it's a bad habit of spending money on things we practically wouldn't need.  I work as a waiter for my parents' restaurant and when I get paid, I would instantly spend all of it on food and clothes.  The things I want has constantly blinded me and it bruised my wallet quite a bit.  The only thing I disliked about this blog is that it was sort of biased.  It should have featured some opinions about why people spend their money.  In other words, I liked this blog and how it connected to my own life.  

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The 4% Rule: The Easy Answer to “How Much Do I Need for Retirement?”

1) This article set a basic and easy way to put a number on how much you would need to be able to retire. basically it said: Take your total yearly expenses, Multiply it by somewhere between 20 and 50 (he liked 25), and that's the amount needed. This pretty much says the amount you need to retire is the amount you spend per year, for X number of years after you plan on retiring. He suggests the best way to get this number to a small, manageable number is to reduce your spending per year.

3) This makes sense, and is doable, but I think is also sort of common sense at the same time. The purpose of retirement is to be able to have enough money to survive between the time you stop working, and the time you die. If you're able to spend less per year, you're going to need less money to get through that year. I like this viewpoint as it changes the view from the common "I need to get as much money as possible" to "I need to spend less than [#] in order to retire when I'm X years old." Definitely doable as far as consciously cutting back on expenses, and a good idea in practice. However, I personally think both viewpoints here are morally wrong. You shouldn't live your life trying to get as much money as possible, but at the same time you shouldn't try to squeeze yourself in order to retire.

On a personal and somewhat unrelated note, I'm very anti-money in the first place, so I think savings and things like retirement and investing and other things are morally wrong, and a waste of time and effort. people should be doing what they like to do, Period. And they should like doing things that can help people/society in some way. So I think it's sort of wrong that people "want" to retire, like working is somehow bad in some way, and retirement is some sort of reward people get once they've worked enough to be able to not work anymore. That mentality just seems so negative to me. you should get a job doing what you like to do, and not even think about retirement. Just do what you do, and want you want to do. I've put a considerable amount of thought into this problem specifically and although there may be things that could be done to make this better, It's generally not possible to create the ideal situation in regard to this in our country with our government, or with our economy. Unfortunately.

Mr. Money Mustache Why Should I be Frugal, When I’m So Rich?

Live Like a Minimalist Step 2.jpg
Life is complex enough as it is without having to add more objects to repair and maintain. Enough time is taken up by daily activities and entertainment that there is no reason to add more to deal with. Mr. Money Mustache is saying that even if you are making a seven figure income, why not try to decrease your spending from when you had a 6 figure income for fun, see how low you can go. Try to make your life as efficient as possible, "Another factor in happiness for me is the satisfaction that comes from efficiency. I love seeing things that are efficient, elegant, well-designed. And of course you’ve probably noticed my corresponding boiling rage for things that are not." He is obviously annoyed with things that make no sense for people to do due to their inefficiency. Other people have commented on the blog saying they miss how they tried to be efficient in college and miss it. one person said he lived off the equivalent of $5000(today's money) for a year and said that was the best year of his life because life itself became a game, rather than a challenge, he could have afforded more, but didn't. Instead of making life a challenge by getting more objects that would require more maintenance and repair, he chose to minimize any inefficiencies and make a game out of it by seeing just how efficient he could be.

This post basically says that you should try to be as efficient as possible with your spending regardless of income. People should always try to cut their spending even more if they can so that they can reduce their expenses, have more money freed up for retirement, and have more money to do projects and things to improve themselves and their community.

Overall I like the idea of this blog post, the idea that if an object has a possibility of inconveniencing your life, get rid of it. Once all of those inconveniences are gone, adjust your life to see just how much more efficient you can make it. The only thing that I would change or add to this post is that I think that once you make your life extremely efficient, try to make that efficiency more luxurious. I believe that at least, if you have a smaller dwelling, why not at least make it as nice as possible. When you look at homes and you see a 10,000sqft house with some decent landscaping and a decent interior, then you look at a 2,000sqft house with really intricate landscaping and a beautiful interior with all sorts of storage and efficient features you almost feel like the smaller house is more luxurious because the luxury is more concentrated. This lifestyle is totally doable and can be very entertaining when you try at it constantly, as soon as you stop, you start to feel depressed. I know this sounds weird but its true, even if it doesn't make sense.

Annie Stevens Mr Mustahe

A Side Dish of Free Data for your Cheap iPhone Plan

1.) I choose to read the article on $10.00 wireless plans because my family and I spend a ton of money on our cell phones. He takes the time to switch his cell phone to a plan through a unknown company called AirVoice Wireless. He also bought a device called a Freedom Pop which he hooks to his phone and it creates wireless hotspots pretty much anywhere. It cost $90.00 and you get 500 megabits of use per month.

2.) "When the expensive Airport Hilton tried to charge us $9.95 per night for internet access there, I simply powered up my middle finger, which I aimed at the Hilton logo before redirecting it affectionately to the FreedomPop’s power button – problem solved again." My husband and I have payed this fee time and time again. I never knew about any of this.

3.) Liked: I like the idea of the cheaper plan and the money it would save us.
Disliked: I don't really understand the terms and megabit usage. I would need to read up on that before I would switch. I tend to be forgetful so switching my phone to "cell data off" would worry me.


Maggie: Are you cleaning out your own wallet response

1) This blog post was about those people who NEED to keep everything super clean. He determines that since the 1950's housewives, we have been wasting our money on artificial cleaners that we don't necessarily need very often. He talks about his old roommate who use to do laundry after one use of clothing, almost like he was running an underground laundry mat. It talks about the crazy germ people that see a doctor for every sniffle, cough or sneeze. His doctor friend says "Yes! Exposure to bacteria and viruses in the environment educates our immune systems so they will be ready to fend off attack as we go through life and encounter real pathogens. Excessive avoidance of the normal bugs in the environment may leave you more vulnerable to infection. And, there are indications that kids who grow up in pet-loving households, likely exposed to more interesting molecules early in life, have lower rates of suffering allergies and asthma. A well educated immune system is a strong immune system–bring on the mud pies!" We should all consider not being so worried about germs, that exposing ourselves to them can actually be beneficial.

2) I think this is a reasonable post. I think some people over react at the very thought of a sneeze and rush to a doctor. Everyone gets a sniffle every now and then. I know personally from serving for a few years, that I don't get sick quite as often. I think it could be related to touching things after so many different people on a daily basis. Sure wash your hands after handling food, using the restroom, etc, but there is no need to go over board and become a crazy person about it.

Kaylah's Last Exploration


In the blog post Getting Rich: from Zero to Hero in One blog Post, Mr. Money Mustache explains how to save half of your income and retire early.  According to the newspapers and magazines, life is hard and therefore people need to keep working hours upon hours, clipping coupons, and doing everything possible to save money for their kids' college education.  On the other hand, Mr. Money Mustache says, "Almost all of that is nonsense."  He explains that the middle-class life is an "Exploding Volcano of Wastefulness," and by accepting that, people will be able to save a lot more.  The world teaches us that we need to have all the latest fashions, such as cell phones, purses, and 70 inch plasma TVs.  By cutting all of those extra expenses out, you will be able to save over half of your monthly income, leaving you with more money to put towards your retirement fund. 

One thing that I especially liked about this blog post is that he teaches us that we need to stop focusing on what other people think/teach are happiness and start "focusing on happiness itself."  Yes, life is fun when you have all the luxuries of new clothes, jewelry, or even video games, but none of that stuff is necessary.  I also really liked how Mr. Money Mustache basically gave his readers a checklist of things to get rid of in order to start saving.  Most people don't know where to start when trying to "clean the house" and start saving, so I thought it was cool how he walked us through it.  I think that by following the steps that Mr. Money Mustache gave us, saving half of our income per month is very possible.

Umer Haider: Luxury is just another Weakness

In Mr.Money Mustache's blog post he talks about the issues with having luxurious goods. Many of us, even me want the best things, so that we can live "comfortably". People slowly start taking out loans on there credit cards in order to get something that they cannot even pay for. "When you borrow money to buy a consumable product, you are instantly teetering atop the ultimate house of cards." It is a big financial decision to borrow money for something that you don't even need, but something that you want. By borrowing, the consumer puts their financial security at risk. What if you buy a new car you, and you can't pay a bill? What happens if the economy collapses?  All of these issues can lead to you going into debt or even worse becoming homeless and on the edge of living. In his post he describes luxury as being a drug. Like any other drug you get such a good feeling that you don't want to stop. Having a nice car, might lead you to buy another one because they are just so fun. Luxury is a dangerous drug because it can put you on the streets if you can't afford it. It also makes you become too dependent on certain luxuries that if you were to go out and try to live a regular life style you couldn't. Some people have the luxury of having air conditioning. Imagine trying to live in a place that didn't have A/C! It would be extremely difficult because you have not been accustomed to it. Luxury isn't always bad, but too much of it can change your life for the worse, especially if you can't afford luxuries. I enjoyed this blog, because I will be honest I try to get things I do not need/afford. I keep eating out when I am just a broke college student living off financial aid and his parents. This is a conflict I have with myself to spend less. If I stopped spending money like I do, I might be better off in the future and not so dependent about things that I don't need.

On the bottom is a picture of a leather car with heated seats and a nice interior. Cars are one of the biggest ways Americans waste their money. There are so many other forms of transportation that may be cheaper. I mean you could get a car that may not even be as expensive as long as it runs. By buying these expensive cars that look nice you are just wasting money for the looks. Ninety percent of Americans buy cars on loans. By doing this you are making a big financial decision that could ultimately put you in debt. I know I like nice cars, but I have slowly stopped myself for wanting a new one. Debt is a scary ordeal, and can change your outlook on life completely.

Picture of a leather car

Nikhil Last Exploration

How to Fix a Car

1) A lot of the time getting your car fixed at a dealership or car shop can be very over priced. Most of the time you can fix your car yourself. It all starts with research, research the problem you are having with your car and there are plenty of videos out there to show you how to fix it. Once you've gotten the steps need to repair your car and the parts you can have a friend help you fix your car and you are good to go. Just follow the steps you learned from your research.

2) "There was a scary moment where I wondered if my van would be stuck in the parking lot behind his apartment building with a missing wheel forever. Then I took a deep breath and remembered that this is not the first time this procedure had been performed on Earth, and if others had done it, I could surely do it too"

3) I liked how the blog broke the steps down easily, and the motivation it gave. Just like the quote from above things won't go perfectly, but just keep working at it and eventually it'll work out. It was nicely written for normal people that don't know much about cars. The problem with the idea is sometimes the research does not work out and you are just stuck at the beginning. Like if you don't know how to search the symptoms your car is having or you get a wrong diagnosis then there is going to be problems.



Tyler's Global Awareness

The speech that meant the most was The Revolution of Spirit speech. What really made this stand out from the rest was the fact that she directly did so much and was still fighting for it when she got the nobel prize. Her son spoke for her at the acceptance of the award, and because she was still dealing with the issues! Even though she was not there, it felt as if she was by the speech her son gave. This woman and her family are extremely caring and can be talked about as complete humanitarians and this is for many reasons but one of which is the way they accepted the award, claiming his mom would want to accept not for her but for the people still fighting and making sacrifices. "I know that if she were free today my mother would in thank you also ask you to pray that the oppressors and oppressed throw down their weapons and join together to build a nation founded on humanity in the spirit of peace" (597). This shows how she doesnt care about self achievement but more about the well being of the people of this situation. 

A country that I am concerned for is Syria. This is because of the brutality of al-Assad along with the potential to what could happen if Russia helps them prevail. Could this lead to even more Russian and communist take overs? Right now there is not much being done besides hands off assistance and isolation. Such as cutting of economics to Syria by the U.S. and its allies.

Shannon Sundry- Wealth Advice that Should be Obvious

Wealth Advice that Should be Obvious is basically a list of advice that seems pretty obvious to follow but surprisingly people fail to follow this advice all the time. Some of these tips include don't gamble all your money away, don't spend money on things you don't absolutely need, save your money, don't go out to eat all the time, and stock up when things are on sale. My favorite point he made was don't spend money on things you don't need. I feel that people, including myself, do this all the time, making it very difficult for them to save their money. In order to decide if you really do need something he said to consider this- "Every material object must be looked upon as a lifelong burden. Will its benefits outweigh the lifelong burden? Consider carefully.". This is important when thinking to buy something because chances are if you ask yourself if buying this object will have a huge impact on your life, the answer will most likely be no. The advice that he gives in his blog is definitely doable and is a good way to save money. Although for most people it will take some practice to follow these rules correctly. I know for myself it would be hardest to follow the rule that says don't spend money on things you don't need because I love to go shopping and buy things that I am not in need of. I posted the picture of people gambling because most likely the people in that picture are spending tons of money that they don't have to begin with.

Maggie's Reading Response and Global Awareness writing exercise

1) The Revolution of Spirit stood out the most to me. This woman had been incarcerated for 15 years and chose to give up her family to not be exiled from her country. She stood up for peace and practiced non-violence and received the Nobel Prize while being incarcerated. She says "The quest for democracy in Burma is the struggle of a people to live whole, meaningful lives as free and equal members of the world community. It is part of the unceasing human endeavor to prove that the spirit of a man can transcend the flaws of his nature." She was released from detention in 2010 and now aims to become the president of post-reform Myanmar.

2) Malaysia airlines flight 370. The plane went missing last month after what is thought to be the pilot signed off and said good night. It then went off course and still today hasn't been found. Currently they are having planes and ships and now subs going down to the Indian Ocean floor to try and pick up pings from the box before the black box runs out of battery. Nothing has been detected yet. My hope is that they will find this plane and have some information that may help the families of the passengers get some closure. We should care because these are people we are talking about, we should care about all man kind and their well being. It is our allies out there attempting to find this missing plane. America should do it's part and aiding the victims of this tragic accident.

Last Exploration: Mr. Money Mustache reviews

Here are the links for your Last Exploration:

The Last Exploration Assignment:

Read through the titles for blog posts found at the link above.  Skim ones you think you are most interested in, and write down some titles.

Come back to this post, and in the Comments section, tell me which blog post title you are going to read and write about.  This way we WILL ALL TAKE A DIFFERENT BLOG POST to respond to.

Write a review of this blog post. Do the following:

 1) Summarize the main contents of post and tell us what it is about.
2) Use a direct quote from the blog post somewhere in your summary.
3) Analyze this blog post and tell us what you liked and disliked.  Is it doable?  Is it a good idea?  Why or why not?  Connect it to your life!
4)  Include an image in this blog post that helps us understand what it is about.
5)  When you are finished, post your Exploration as a New Post on our blog.
6)  Read other student posts and write comments to three other writers in the class.

This is due by Monday, April 21 at 1 p.m.

Have fun and remember: Every chance to write is a chance to write well!
Annie Stevens Response and Global Awareness
1. I choose to respond to Inner Peace and Human Rights (1989) The Dalai Lama has shown that not giving up on your beliefs really can make people listen. I like how he says the "Peace can only last where human rights are respected". He also points of mental peace. I agree with this because no matter how much you want to be an advocate for peace it truly starts within or you will never be able to keep up with the criticism you may receive if you truly don't believe it yourself.  

2.I am very concerned with the countries Congo, Somalia, Rwanda and Serra Leone of Africa. War lords and military militias are so inhumane in these countries. The come into villages and destroy them. Innocent people are killed for no reason. They rape women and children and burn their homes. I can not imagination living in constant fear many of these people have everyday. There lives can be turned from peaceful to complete devastation in a moment. I hope one day that a positive leader can come into power and show that peace is really the best way. It affect American because of the influx of refuges into our country. Also shipping and the diamond trade. Diamonds are a huge start to the greed and power struggles in many African countries. Shipping is affected because ships must go many miles out of their route to avoid the East coast of Africa for safety reasons which in turn causes prices of goods to increase. We can respond by educating ourselves about the diamond and shipping industry. Not buying diamonds from countries controlled by warlords. I am guilty. I love my wedding ring, to think someone could have been in slaved or died to find the stone in my ring makes me really think.

Julia Dettore Response and Awareness

I chose to talk about Inner Peace and Human Rights, I really liked this essay because it brought to light how important it is consider different ways to prove a point. It discussed how Dalai Lama was able to prove his point showing that we need to figure ourselves out instead of being so dependent on things for our satisfaction. He said that "In some countries too much attention is paid to external things and very little importance is given to inner development. I believe both are important and must be developed side by side so as to achieve a good balance between them."

Madagascar has been facing great government corruption, which resulted in a few large conflicts between the government and the people. Finally a coup in 2009 overthrew the President Marc Ravalomanana and replaced him with Andry Rejoelina. Though this issues haven't been solved, with about 70% of the population living below the Madagascar's  poverty level at 45 cents a day. Other issues this country faces includes a very high infant mortality rate, being the 4th most corrupt nation, and finally they've destroyed 75% of their forests in 1994. My hope for this country is that they can pull together to form a true republic, in which their votes can actually be counted instead of falsely being represented. I also think that this country will need help in preserving their resources, they are rich in many things, but if not careful they will soon be corrupt and without goods. This effects us because we have given aid to Madagascar, we should keep an eye on the countries we invest in and try to encourage their growth, instead of just throwing money at a bad situation. In response to this situation you can become more aware of the issues these people face and support them in responsible ways. Madagascar exports many metals and jewels, but they also have a large wildlife black market. So as you shop be aware of what your purchasing and where it's coming from. If you can, purchase Fair Trade products which make sure that a fair portion of the profits go to those who made the product.
Photo of the protests during the 2009 coup.

Erica's Global Awareness Exercise

The reading that touched me the most was the speech in honor of Aung San Suu Kyi. She was put on house arrest but still was making strives towards a more fair country. She took the leadership role of the opposition party as a female who was willing to stand against much scrutiny. I love how so stood for non violence and pushed to ensure that all of her followers did the same. When she was place on house arrest no one gave up hope. Al continued to fight and continue to fight for a more democratic system of government. She is a great inspiration to never give up and always fight for what you believe in. Suu Kyi stated "To live the full life, one must have courage to bear the responsibility of the needs of others... one must want to bear the responsibility." This quote really stood out to me as she is willing to give up her own freedom in order to fight for everyone.

Currently in Burma, there is still much fighting and actions against innocent people. Barack Obama recently visited Burma in 2012 and said "there is no excuse for violence against innocent people". After 167 people were killed when Buddhist mobs drove Muslims out of there homes, leaving over 100,000 homeless. The controversy over how Burma is to be run is still an issue. Although 9 out of 10 people in Burma are now all Buddhist, the fighting continues.


One country that concerns me is Brazil, specifically the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest.  There is much controversy over the effects of deforestation, but one thing known for sure is that is it not benefiting our environment for the trees to be continuously cut down and removed. The wildlife there are suffering as well. Money is the driving force behind cutting down all of the trees due to the fact that there is much to be made in that industry. It affects the U.S because the Amazon Rainforest provides over 20 percent of the worlds oxygen. Without which there would obviously be no life. From an environmental stand point they are also not doing us any good. The Rainforest creates a stable ecosystem and they are destroying it.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Ben Kim Global Awareness

The most influential person, in my opinion is Aung San Suu Kyi .  She is a political activist that fought for her beliefs.  At that time, the long-term military leader, General Ne Win, stepped down. She started rallies that addressed half a million people, calling for a democratic government.  Instead of Burma leaning towards a democratic government, the SPDC took over power.  Influenced by Gandhi, she tried to fight for democracy through non-violence.  She entered politics to work for democratization, but later she was put under house arrest.  She was offered freedom if she left the country but she never left and that to me takes dedication.  Her speech meant the most to me because she is fighting for something she believes in.  Even though her son addressed the speech, you can feel the emotion and passion she has to bring democracy to Burma.  "To live the full life, one must have the courage to bear the responsibility of the needs to others... one must want to bear this responsibility."  This quote struck me because she is speaking towards the people of Burma and it shows how much she cares about the country.  Her selfless actions has brought her the Nobel Peace Prize and I believe it's well deserved.

The country I am concerned about is Haiti.  According to Fox Business, it is the poorest nation in the world with a poverty rate of 77%.  With the recent earthquake in 2010, the country suffered a lot of losses.  The death toll of 80,000 and the damages costing over $8 billion, the unemployment rate is at 40%.  More than half of the population makes a living of less than a $1 per day, 80% of the population makes a living of less than $2 per day.  I hope in the long-run, this country continues to strive and rebuild to benefit the people living there.  It affects us because even though they are in a different continent, we unite as one, helping others out.  We should care because we have morals, which is to take care of one another.  In response to all of this, we can make simple donations to help the country rebuild, providing for families and victims to create a better atmosphere for them

Chase Global Awareness

My favorite speech was the Humanitarianism speech about how a group of doctors named MSF goes around providing aid to those that don't have the resources needed to get help. With as much conflict as there is in the world anyone or group that is willing to help bring happiness and peace to people without asking anything in return is something I've always enjoyed seeing. Along with Nikhil's quote another that stuck out to me was, "Wherever in the world there is a manifest distress, the humanitarian by vocation must respond." I thought the use of vocation really showed what the group was about and rather it being something they just chose to it was almost a calling to them.

A country that concerns me is the unrest over in Ukraine and Russia. With a lacking system of government in place in Ukraine and Russia mobilizing troops and entering Ukraine territory it has caught enough attention of The United States. Because the U.S. and Russia have opposing views, resulting sanctions between the two countries have been put in place. I hope that it doesn't become drastic enough to where the U.S. and Russia engage in war.


Umer Haider Global Awareness

The strongest speech out of the three speeches would have to be The Revolution of Spirit. In the speech Aung San Suu Kyi a political leader/activist was done many injustices in her fight for a peaceful and democratic Burma. In this totalitarian regime Aung San Suu held her own no matter what occurred. She saw the death of her fellow party members, she was separated from her loved ones, yet she still kept moving. Even though her sons spoke for her it seemed as if she was actually there. They spoke as if she was not accepting this award for her, but the people who continuously make sacrifices for a free Burma. To her it is something that she must do in order to bring peace to this country. "the concept of perfection, the urge to achieve it, the intelligence to find a path towards it, and the will to follow that path if not to the end, at least the distance needed to rise above individual limitation..." (pg. 597) This quote spoke to me because no matter what happened she would follow through until she died. It was her duty as a person to rise above and make an impact. "It is part of the unceasing human endeavor to prove that the spirit of man can transcend the flaws of his nature."(pg. 598) is another quote that hit hard because it is our job as people to fix the problems in our society we have to work toward it to create a movement and change. Her speech meant a lot to me because it is our jobs as humans to make better lives for each other and correct the mistakes we make. The democratic revolutions that are happening all across the world such as Egypt are perfect examples of how humans were ignited with motivation to change their lives for a better. Not just theirs, but others around them. "Let us hope and pray that from today the wounds start to heal and that in the years to come the 1991 Nobel Prize for Peace will be seen as a historic step towards the achievement of true peace in Burma."(pg. 598) This Nobel Prize was not given to Aung San Suu, but everyone who made sacrifices for a better Burma, that will eventually change to democracy.

To me the most concerning country that directly affects me is Pakistan. Having relatives who live their scares me because of what the country has become. Almost all the politicians in that country are corrupt, and are not concerned about the well being of the country. Any one there can be paid off, and it is slowly becoming worse as terrorists invade the place. Eventually tension between the United States and Pakistan will get worse, since Pakistan has not tried to deal with the terrorists in their country. This will eventually pose a threat to the people around us, because we could be bombed and killed through terrorism. It is so obvious that the politicians are paid off and all they want is money even if it means going to war. War is something that costs lives and money and should be avoided completely. The only way problems like these could be solved if there was some way the UN could impose laws on Pakistan to stop with its shady business. Sadly we won't be able to do much, but let the Pakistani citizens fix the problem. Protests need to happen like in Egypt or other countries to fix the corruption and terrorism for a safer United States or world.

Pakistan map with ethnic groups
Here is a map of all the areas where terrorism in Pakistan is taking place

Kaylah's Reading Response and Global Awareness Exercise

1) The speech that meant the most to me was "The Revolution of Spirit (1991).  I thought that it was really interesting that Aung San Suu Kyi chose the personal sacrifice of being separated from her family in order to help Burma towards being a free country.  I also thought it was really cool how she was able to win the Nobel Prize for Peace while she was incarcerated.  One of my favorite quotes in this essay is towards the end when Suu Kyi's son quoting something that his mother had said before.  He said, ""To live the full life," she says, "one must have the courage to bear the responsibility of the needs of must want to bear this responsibility.""  This stuck out to me because Aung San Suu Kyi was not just speaking these words, it was something that she was actually acting upon.

2) Something that I am concerned about is the missing Flight 370 in Malaysia.  There were 239 people aboard that plane that have disappeared, all from 14 different nations.  As of now, there is a submarine being sent out that will scan for 16 hours and give us a readable report all within a 24 hour time period.  This report will tell the scientists whether or not it has picked up a signal or any trace of the missing flight.  They are hoping that it will get us one step closer to finding these missing passengers.  We should be concerned about this because these are real people.  They deserve a chance of survival just as much as we do.

Global Awareness

My favorite speech was the Dalai Lama speech. I really liked the message he portrayed and all of the points that he made. He talked a lot about peace and how it benefits ourselves and others as well. I liked how he made it clear that it is not a specific leaders responsibility to maintain peace, but rather the people of the community. It is so important to have a community of people that are willing to help each other so that we can grow as a whole. He remained positive about being in exile by the Chinese. He said there is still time to turn around and make a change. My favorite quote that he said is "If you have inner peace, the external problems do not affect your deep sense of peace and tranquility." I think this reflects his attitude toward being in exile and he is saying that he has inner peace so the external problems, such as being in exile, is a problem he can deal with and fix.

A country that I am worried about is Syria. They are having a civil war against their government and their people. It had lead to riots and tons of violence. There has been use of chemical weapons as well. Innocent people are dying and getting their homes and families destroyed. I hope that Syria can end its civil war and create a stable government that makes the citizens happy. This doesn't directly affect us but their use of chemical weapons is dangerous and we should care about the lives of the innocent. I don't think the U.S should necessarily get military involved but we could send aid to the innocent people who are losing their homes and families.

Nikhil's Global Awarness Exercise

1) The Humanitarianism speech meant the most to me, because I believe there are people every where in this world who are not being treated the right way and MSF is fighting that issue through medical help. Being in school to become a doctor I can relate to the efforts that MSF is working towards. The issue happening in this situation is many people are not receiving the humane help they deserve, "A rape is a rape, just as a genocide is a genocide. And both are a crime. For MSF, this is the humanitarian act: to seek to relieve suffering, to seek to restore autonomy, to witness to the truth of injustice, and to insist on political responsibility".

2)  Being Filipino, the typhoon that hit the Philippines not too long ago still concerns me. The typhoon affected 14 million people, leaving many people homeless and completely destroying the infrastructure in some areas. Some things being done to restore the country are female caregivers of infants are attending counseling for appropriate feeding, vaccinating young children, restoring clean water and sanitation. My hope is that with relief efforts, the product will not be to restore the islands back to normal, but to leave it more sustainable than before. We should care because the Philippines is a third world country that was affected very heavily by a natural disaster, and they cannot recover alone. Without our help many people including young children are going to suffer more than the losses they already have. I hope to go out there soon and help rebuild houses and buildings or just give medical aid. Although most people cannot do that, people can still donate money to organizations that are out there rebuilding.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

From Mike: Reading Response and Global Awareness writing exercise

•       All this semester, you have been reading and hearing stories of people who have faced many challenges but yet find a way to have a positive vision for the future.  You have seen so much creativity and heart at work!  At the very least, many of them are joining the fight to work together and create a better world. I hope these stories have inspired you to awareness and action as well, as I truly believe one main goal of education is for us to better be able to do our part.  Our country and this world certainly needs us to make use of the privilege that education is.

Toward this end: In this Lab writing exercise, please create a New Post on the blog, and I ask you to do two things:

1)  Write a
response to one of the readings you did for today.  Which speech meant the most to you and why?  What is happening in this situation now?  Use one direct quote from the essay in your response.

Awareness. These essays promote a worldview and make us think outside our American experience.  This is very needed in a global society.  We must come to understand other countries challenges, cultures and strengths as well.

Therefore, write about a country you are concerned about now.  Tell us what is happening there and what is being done.  What is your hope for this situation?  Why does it affect us?  Why should we care, and what might we do in response?

--Required: Use an image in this blog post, and provide a link where we can learn more about this situation. 
After today's reading, this should mean more to you. .