Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Sin Condomo

Here it is again, the shock. Now that we do finally have a German Pope, who not only was a member of the Hitler youth but also one who sets the right rules! On his first travel to Africa, Benedict XVI, declared that condoms are “the wrong tool to avoid AIDS.” In his experience taking cold showers help just as well, which is what our young Catholic Boy Scouts Campers are already learning. “Controlling oneself helps and abstinence is the surest way of protection.” Well, you may be very good at that Pope, but us common folks don’t really want to take cold showers, you know? Of course that caused quite a steer within the midst of our World of Media. “Wait, hold on did he just say…” “Yep, he sure did.” “Oh dear, I bet that’s not going to go down so…” “….Yeah, maybe someone should…” “Way no, he’s going to put us out of business!” Forget it, that’s my comment. And the French number one condom producer thought so too. Not too soon, what did we find on our condom packages? A lovely picture of Pope Benedict XVI in full glory, where every time you are about to use proper protection (heaven safe us) you first have to rip of his head (Amen). Sure is a fine way to make people use condoms (perfect advertising there pope!) but I don’t think Pope Benedict XVI is too happy about that. Since it’s a sin, it shouldn’t really display the Pope smiling, greeting the mass of faithful ones, yelling “I said NO!”

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Superlative Break

In the first week of the Easter Break I was having a great time between my sofa, bike, and pool. Most of the villagers in Pyrga were fast asleep or eating Suvla, thus no sound disturbed the beautiful bliss of the afternoon heat. One could have run around naked, nobody would have noticed. Hours spent on my bike allowed me drink in the green of the fields and enjoy gardens in full boom with varieties of flowers. Days seemed to melt into one another.
Around Tuesday my aunt and I dyed eggs, decorating the baskets they would lay in. We put up Easter figures such as chicks or bunnies. Even pots were graced with new inhabitants. One of the great things of Easter is the Easter hunt! I don’t think I will ever grow out of that. Searching for chocolate eggs, baskets of dyed eggs, chocolate bunnies, and books which I will be getting for Easter. I received five books which I quickly set out to crack, putting me into a profound trance of reading in an incomprehensible state for most of my family members.
In the second week I was quite annoyed at having no more books to read and thus I started to go online most of the time. By the end of that week I was superlative with Windows Vista and short-cuts on the computer. I even started to train my computer to follow my orders through speaking. It is quite fun and handy. Though after a while even the Internet became bored and my bicycle had a flat tire causing me to start active playing with my dogs. ‘Fetch’ became quite popular and sometimes all five dogs would bark at me incoherently that I could only guess what my dogs wanted. Usually it meant they were having fun or that they were irritated that I had stop running. Not often could I really figure out the meaning of their yapping but I found it rather amusing.
One thing I have to admit though is that sometimes quiet fears would creep into my mind that Mr.White might have posted some new homework on our class sites causing me to check these websites like a maniac. But all in all it was an absolutely perfect Easter Break.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Twister Deluxe

Twister is a catastrophe film produced in 1996, directed by Jan de Bont starring Helen Hunt as Dr. Jo Harding and Bill Paxton as Jo’s ex-husband. Both are storm chasers mostly focused on tornadoes. As one day Bill returns to Jo in order for her to sign the divorce papers he gets mixed up with the team of “storm chasers” for they want to try ‘Dorthy’ a machine the team had build after Bill’s design. Bill had actually stopped to be a storm chaser; he instead got a job as a weather reporter and wanted to marry his fiancée Dr. Melissa Reeves (played by Jami Gertz). But when Bill finds out that the well-funded and smirking rival to the team called Dr. Jonas Miller has built a almost similar device like his ‘Dorthy’ Bill flips out and decides to help the team get ‘Dorthy’ into a tornando so the censors inside her can pick up information from within the funnel of the tornado before Jonas does. Though the movie is a griping and well done hollywood movie due to its action and to some true facts, I, as a meteorologist must clear up some factors:

If one is trapped inside a F5 tornado it is very unlikely that you will not be killed. Inside the funnel parts of houses can be whirling around, objects as big as automobiles can be thrown 100 meters in each direction and sharp steel objects are shooting around. Not to be hit by them is what I must call sscientifically incorrect. One thing the movie displays well is the unpredictability of the tornadoes. Of course Jo and Bill are trying with their invention to make tornadoe warnings more advanced so the view of how helpless people still were/are against tornadoes is not over-shown. The scene which shows this very nicely is when Jo and the team rescue Jo’s grandmother out of her wrecked house and she says, “The warning only gave us three seconds.” One may find this an emotional sight but one as a professor sees the very truth which, once uttered, these words illustrate.

A detail that I find must be mentioned is that even though all the tornadoes were shown as big black ugly movements of air, there are tornadoes who turn out red or white depending on what they have picked up. Different soils can turn the tornado different colours. A key point which was unresponisble not to put into the movie is that the dimension of a torando does not show the intesity of it. A big tornado could only cause a few chimneys to rip off while a small tornado can be ever so violent like an F5. Thus tornadoes are no measured by their size but by the damage they have caused. After a cyclone has passed the National Weather Service office send professionals to survey the area. A few factors the experts look at are:
- How walls and floor are attached to the foundation

- If there is mortar in between blocks of cinder

- If there are still reinfrocing rods sticking inside walls of concrete or conder blocks

- How the roof is attached to walls and rafters

Like I describe in my book, The Alley of Knowledge:Twister Deluxe tornadoes form from thick cumulonimbus clouds and are mostly found in spring and early summer. A perfect scenario for a tornado to form is when the ground is dryand a warm, humid air mass (maritime tropical) meets a cold, dry air mass (continental polar) forcing the warm air upwards forming a cold front. The warm air flows into the cumulonimbus clouds causing pressure where it then begins to rotate within the cloud. Soon after a funnel reaches down from the sky. Climate regions were tornadoes occur are areas such as humid subtropical, humid continental, and sometimes semiarid. Tornado Alley in the United States is a very likely place for tornadoes to from including the five states: Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, and Iowa. With the cold front, clouds form which can most likely cause up to 10 or more tornadoes. The scale which used to be utilized to measure the force of a tornado was called the Fujita scale (F-Scale) . Nowadays we used the Enhanced Fujita Scale (EF). The force of a twister is found by calculating mostly the damage they have done as one can see on the chart which was helpfully provided by my partner Professor Alfred Morgenstern Morschbach. The Fujita scale was invented by Dr. Fujita (Mr.Tornado) and his colleague Allen Pearson. Looking at the chart there are specific compensations which mark each tornado. Since we are already on this topic let me mention that if you follow this scale there is no such thing as an F6 tornado.
- This chart was provided by Professor Alfred Morgenstern Morschbach.

What is perfect in Twister and makes me support this movie is that Bill’s ‘Dorthy’ is based on an experiment done by NOAA (National Severe Storm Lab ) with a mechanism called ‘TOTO’ (TOtable Tornado Observatory). In the movie, Dorothy collects data by releasing sensors into the funnel of a tornado but in real life this is close to impossible, were both Don Burgess a retired National Severe Storms Lab meteorologist and I agree on. While TOTO did have a few sensors they could only measure temperature, wind speed, pressure, dew point, and other atmospheric qualities but unlike ‘Dorthy’ it does not have thousands of high technical amazing sensors. One thing that is very common about the two instruments was that both were bulky, heavy and not easy to manoeuvre. One of the main problems was getting tornadoes to actually go right over TOTO which is the same thing with ‘Dorthy’ in the fil. Another similarity that the devices have is that both were named after one of the main characters in the Wizard of Oz. Though TOTO was not a great success it leads to its follower VORTEX 1(Turtles).

One may not notice that the movie is giving you hints of were you can find safety but in parts of the movie many times families run for the basement of a well built building or a storm shelter. Tying yourself to a pipe which goes very far down is not an idea I find should be tried or practice for most likely the strings will break or you will be hit by objects being released by the tornado. Seeking something lo-lying and well built is more the way to go.

All in all Twister is a very good movie. Scientific facts here and there are a litle bit shaky but the idea was caught just right and the struggle of these people trying to understand a tornando is something any meteorologist or storm chaser can relate to. What annoys me a little is that the sound of the tornado was produced by recording a camel's moan and slowing it down which saddens me that people do not then really know the actual sound of a tornado but that can not be helped. Cows flying within the twister is something that could happen though I do not think it would still be alive so this part of the movie is heavily over done. But there was once a tornado who picked up 3 horses up at a farm and 12 miles away set them down unharmed. There are miracles even with tornadoes, though many siecentists argue this.

Professor Dr. Sarah Barbara Schönborn Pross is a highly known meteorologist with a master degree at the University of Heidelberg. She has written many sicentfic books including the famous book The Alley of Knowledge:Twister Deluxe, The Unpredictable Funnels, and Rolling Dice with F5.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Arranged Marriages

Throughout the World different cultures handle marriage differently. Arranged Marriages could be defined as a marriage organized by parents of the couple instead of the couple falling in love. There are advantages and disadvantages to this. Arranged marriages still exist in South Asia, Middle East, and Africa. They were once taken in by many Aristocratic Families in Europe. Though arranged marriages are viewed as a terrible thing they can not be confused with forced marriages. While arranged marriages have both children fully obey their parents, forced marriages are done without the will of the participants. There are many different types of arranged marriages such as shotgun marriages, forced marriages, and child marriages.

Since arranged marriages have been done since generations there are many variations such as a shotgun marriage, child marriage, and forced marriage. While an arranged marriage focuses on finding the perfect match for their daughter in forced marriages the main motivation is to get more social or economic standard making family and society the supreme factor. Even though a forced marriage is uncommon in the West it is not so in the rest of the World. The brutal thing about this type of marriage is that to make sure the children do as they are told, they are often threatened with either a penalty or even sometimes disinheritance and death. A child marriage is between two children of even babies who are married. These two children often live apart in their own families until after puberty when they are brought together. These matrimonies are done for political or financial purposes. Of course women are often required to bring along a dowry especially in India were this also supports the man dominance. A form of betrothal called a shotgun wedding is when a bride gets pregnant and the groom is forced to marry her. These types of marriages even still happen in America and it are classified as forced marriages because the groom has to marry the bride.

When the parents chose the spouse of their daughter or son many factors are considered. Though in each country there are some things still left open for the children like first meeting each other before the wedding day most parents though rely on some main points. First of all the reputation of the spouse’s family has to be good. The occupation of the person also is highly regarded. For a groom, jobs which pay nicely are in preference meaning professions like accountant, lawyer, doctor, scientist, or engineer. For a bride, the vocation is not so important but liked careers are a teacher, doctor, or lawyer. Often two people who have the same job are matched in arranged marriages. The wealth of the families also matter. A noble family would want their child to marry another rich family. A factor which comes into play when the parents are looking for a bride or groom is their religion which is a very large issue. Since a couple would join hands, they would have to join hands in their religion as well. Not to forget that when you have a religion such as Hinduism, vegetarians often do not marry omnivores. Some features which seem to be used in matchmaking are height and age where both times the groom should be taller and older which seem quite natural. When choosing, language is often a barrier for the bride and groom must have the same mother language which can sometimes get quite tricky. When a family has a deformity or disability they often match their son or daughter to a person with the same problems which makes everything more easy. Though subjects like city of residence, educational level and other such things are considered they are not as significant as the horoscope. In India the position of the stars when the child is born are matched with the bride and groom to see whether they fit which often comes with a percentage of match.

Though arranged marriage is seen as a bad thing by most non-participants there are arguments for these kinds of weddings. Arranged marriages are good in a way because your parents like the person you will have to marry and they also like his/her family. If your parents did not liker your spouse, the marriage with him will be noisy, annoying, and depressing. People also believe that a couple in love can not make the right choices for they are too blinded by their affections. It is also said that while betrothals may be not welcomed at first, they are still more stable than love marriages. A factor that makes arranged marriages bad is that you maybe would not like the person you are being wedded to but you would still have to live with him/her which would make you unhappy. Having a say who you would marry while your parents had only a little bit of influence would make everyone quite content. Though arranged marriages may seem normal to some countries, in the West it is considered to oppress humans and their rights. The UK even banned it from being done in Britain. For there is a saying that says “A person may find themselves stuck in marriages with persons decidedly not of their own choosing... whom they may find personally repulsive”.

In the Western World people always follow their love, marrying whom they want and please. Dating is also no problem while in countries with arranged marriages it is forbidden. A factor that sometimes causes problems after the marriage is that the parents had not fully looked into the medical condition of a spouse. After being married it is close to impossible to get out of the marriage and their may not be any legal way to do it. This often leads to honor killings. Arranged marriages are betrothals that somehow lay waste to what an individual wants and only focus’ on the family. Even if the couple does start to love each other after the wedding (in which case it was a well match) the probability is low. But one can always hope that the traditional arranged marriages lighten up and leave more freedom for the children to find their own partner.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Shabanu Anticipation Guide

1) It is possible to experience love at first sight.

I disagree with this statement for first of all one could not fall in love with a person by just setting eyes on them. A person could find them attractive (and even get a crush) but one could not feel love. People of can through the beauty they see, find a character very like their own or to their liking so thus they would start to love this person. I have read in several books how “Love enters by the eyes and also leaves by the eyes” but this does not mean to me that falling in love can happen at “first sight”. It seems impossible to me. Loving a person indicates that you know their defects and characteristics but you can not identify these things through mere appearance for looks are deceiving.

2) Two complete strangers stuck on a deserted island could learn to love one another (and yes, stay with one another after being rescued).

I agree to this declaration since on a lonely Island you depend on each. The man needs the skilled hands of a woman and the woman needs the brutal strength of men. Also, after a while a place without anybody else makes you focus on the other person and soon you will start loving. Even if this is not very likely I still find it can happen for the reason that these two strangers could not be so different from each other. They might even be attracted by each other the first time they see one another. Who knows! But even after leaving that deserted Island you would be attached to one another. Hardship and tough experiences had been shared which could brand one another into each other. Love is a tricky thing for it is very hard to predict.

3) It is a good thing to sacrifice your happiness for the desires of others.

I disagree; happiness in life is needed to keep you going and make it more joyful. To sacrifice your enjoyment is making you neglect yourself. How can you live without bliss? The desires of others (or their hopes) may be important but it will not be them who have to live your life. Let’s take an arranged marriage for example; your parents chose the perfect man for you in their eyes, marrying him would make their day but would they have to live with him? Talk to him? Serf him? Bear him children? It is not right to give up something so little but yet so important. Of course there is an exception. If a sacrifice would make another person glad and in the long run makes you therefore happy then this would of course be a good surrender. For you would not really sacrifice your cheerfulness since you would gain it back soon with their contentment.

4) Women in your society are free citizens.

I disagree with this announcement for if you look here in Cyprus, it is a very man dominated world. Woman nearly are never respected here for even if they say something intellectual their man will still scorn them (either for speaking or thinking I’m not quite sure yet) and woman are often just oppressed. Also here, I don’t think one would really vote a woman as president (even if our Cypriot classmates do not support this theory). Another thing in Cyprus which is also does not support this statement is the treatment of the Asian and Philippine people. A Chinese woman is not paid the same fee as a Cypriot woman to clean a house (a Cypriot woman wouldn’t even clean the house in the first place) and sometimes these fees are so low it’s unbelievable! At Frederick University a Philippine woman who cooks there for Mr. Frederick is paid 1 pound an hour. Also immigrants here are oppressed too (woman or man) which totally makes the woman in my society not free citizens.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Real and Fake Emotion Show

I like the book more than the movie. First of all, the book gives you more information and a feel for the characters while the film doesn’t even introduce each character, leaving you… I also found that while the book’s scenes flowed, the movie snapped from action to action, never really letting you know where you were right then. For example, I didn’t like how one second Johnny and Ponyboy were on the train and suddenly they are in the old church. Also when Johnny and Ponyboy are originally in the burning church but abruptly they are in an ambulance makes it all choppier. A fact that’s frustrating is how everything is so well painted out in the book while the movie is a hollow frame of a great story. What annoyed me the most was that the film makers left good and important scenes out like the reporters at the hospital- which gives us a very colourful image of Sodapop’s personality-, Ponyboy being jumped, Ponyboy being sick, the trial, and when he is told off by his teacher. These scenes all gave me a better hold on the story and connections with the events. The main reason why I like the book better is the fact that we know Ponyboy’s thoughts and feelings whereas the movie is like a person showing you snapshots of a tragic story. The Outsiders movie is sometimes like a sculpture, cold; unemotional. In the book, the Greasers are tuff and real hoods.

Friday, January 9, 2009

The Day Einstein Came Back

In Ulm, Germany a ghost was staggering about. According to a Professor at the University of Ulm he saw Albert Einstein walking around late at night. “He was just wandering around murmuring something about how the world had changed or he would ratter off a formula without even missing a beat”, said Professor Schneider. No one is sure where the phantom Einstein has gone now (or even if he was ever there) but chemicals have gone missing from the University and smoke puffs sometimes rise out of a cellar. Maybe it’s just an oven or the famous Einstein has come back to dazzle us some more. Welcome Albert Einstein to the year 2009!
Albert Einstein can be recognized by his white, fluffy, crazy hair. He pretty much looks like a scientist whose experiment just exploded. If you sight a man as such please report right away to the Daunting News or the police.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Obama's Podcast

Title – Barack Obama AV Podcast
Episode – Audio; Barack and Michelle Obama Victory Rally
Date – May 20, 2008
Time – 25:07
Website - http://podcast.com/

Description of the Episode (from the producers): “Barack Obama's life and times presented in both Portable mp3 Audio & Portable mp4 Video formats. Mastered In High Definition.”

Ever since Barack Obama started running for president elect, the whole world seemed to be turned upside down. America was screaming for change and Obama was just what we all had wished for. I never really watched the news or when some else did I never listened but the moment Obama appeared I was always watching CNN. Before Barack Obama I hated politics. It’s really amazing what just one person can do and that’s why I chose this podcast. In the podcast a woman named Candy Schmieder experienced the same thing as me only many miles away. While I sat staring she took action. In the podcast the opening speech is given by her and gives you a good image off how excited America is and was. Candy says she never could believe that she would be picked to help in the campaign staff for Barack Obama since Candy Schmieder was a normal woman under 30 years old, married, 3 children, and never finished college. Before Obama she was just like me. Candy didn’t like politics, she thought that politicians made it more boring than aught to be, and therefore totally ignored anything happening in Washington; until she heard from Barack Obama. When Candy heard of him, she couldn’t imagine that she would actually be walking around to talk to people, even volunteer in the first place, represent Barack Obama, make phonecalls, donate, or be their on June 14th. The whole reason of Candy doing this was Obama; she was inspired by his words and policy. With that Candy finished her college degree and became an active member in politics. She like many other people in the world also thought of Obama as the perfect next president of the United States of America.

Listening at first to this podcast I though that all I was going to listen to was some lady’s thoughts on Obama. Of course I agreed with her but when she introduced Barack Obama it became great!

Obama coming back to Iowa gives a full speech for all the thousands of people who came out that night, often raising cheers, “Yes, we can” chants, and banging on about change. One of the expressions I like which he used was that it was and had been a long road with bumps along the way, where he had made some mistakes but they had stood by his side, and with that he had thanked so many people for their support. “It’s the same vs. change, the past vs. present” was Obama’s message in that speech giving America its dream: hope.

Many times I had caught glimpses of Obama’s speeches on BBC, CNN, or even on ZDF/ARD but I had never fully heard one of his speeches and just hearing one not as important unlike others still made me aware and amazed me of just how good a president Barack Obama will be. Though there were many stunning things Obama said one other great one was off how he described what change was founding.
“It’s this change which may students stuffs envelopes and knock on doors, made grandparents sit all day and phone with perfect strangers, made woman and men who hardly can pay their bills dig into their saving and write 5 dollars or 10 dollars checks, and letting young folk hope, for a better future and America.”

I encourage anybody who like me never really was interested in politics to have a go at Obama’s speeches for you sure will be standing in your room screaming “Yes, we can!”