Tuesday, September 30, 2008

its jeff corwin day!

Today we will meet face to face at the dinner table. The dinner was enchanting. Food a delicacy. The man in real life. Down to Earth. (as expected) He answered questions about his young life where he took interests in all types of animals that he would bring home to his college years and life as an 'actor' and educator. He has had successes and failures but it has made him who he is today. Part of that is a great presenter as a naturalist and conservationist with his many nature shows. At the fine arts auditorium (which was half filled with kids! good for the community!) he presented as if he were filming an actual show. He showed an aligator snapping turtle, albino python, lizard, and a huge toad bringing volunteers on stage to showcase the lovely animals. Overall it was a great experience that I will never forget!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Sunday, September 28, 2008

listening to music...

but not all that interesting...school keeps me really busy...and work even more. should it be that way? well i choose it to be.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

ok here it goes....

its been a really long day. Went to HESTEC to fundraise which was definately worth it...however I am exhausted and still have some homework to do. I wish they had had more people present on stage this year. What happened to the mythbusters!? They were expecting more than 80,000 people (how do they even calculate this? statistics!?) and all I saw was less than that number scattered around. However, it was a good turn out SUE was in town...but was it planned out that way...or did she just happen to stop by and HESTEC thought it would be a good idea to include her in the itenerary...

Friday, September 26, 2008

Here comes.....HESTEC!!!

here comes the biggest event of the year...and yet I don't have enough time to visit more than a couple of the events. This week I planned to attend a poster session from one of our own from the REU program (who won 1st place!). I had class by the time she planned to present but was still able to see a student from the physics department present on optical chip technology. It was amazing to view the million dollar funded project funded by NSF be seen in action and awarded. The student was quite knowledgable and engaging in his presentation.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Viva la Vida

I've had this my song all day in my head...two morning exams...only 3 hours of sleep...forced food into my mouth..but its all over and I am choosing life. That is to move on and live another day to seek a lecture and learn! That is because that is what I strive for even in my most desperate moments.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

One Step at a Time....

Why is it that we can't use all the wealthy people's recyclables (the money made from it) to help with the economy. Why do we have to use more than a gazillion of our taxpayers' money (I do pay different forms of taxes) to help save a company that took our money in the first place. I don't understand where it all went. Did it go into the hypothetically "savings account" with hypothetical money???!?!!?!??!?!? I just don't like seeing such a huge number of money that could easily be lent out to help big companies. I understand that a lot of people have jobs with them but maybe they should all get worker's compensation. I wonder if calculated if it would be cheaper than the 75 million? billion? the government is freely "loaning" away.

Monday, September 22, 2008

You're So Good to be True...

..Can't take my eyes off of you. Oh how I enjoy hearing that song. But it makes me wonder how some things are too good to be true especially when it comes to hearing that something is FREE! I am even more skeptical when it comes to "doctor-recommended" or the "1-5 dermatologists" or even the "#1 product of America". I wonder what restrictions it has to be able to say that it is true. We probably don't notice but there is an asteric at the end of the statement that refers to some fine print in the back of the product that states that it was really a survey that gave the doctors unlimited samples of the product back in 1992. To actually believe the accuracy of the product use it would just have to be a trial I would conduct on myself. Do I like this product after using it for a week? maybe. But still there are the long term results I look forward to to really be convinced of its effectiveness.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Can I Get a Witness!?

If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it does it make a sound? Is this the most philosophical question asked ever? No, I don't want to think much about it. However, it just makes you think about the viability or research! Because as we learned in class if someone researches something and publishes a paper does it mean that it is correct. That no one should object it or choose to repeat the experiment? That would be the problem today with people arguing "Well I heard..." or "It was on the news" or "I read it in a blog". They don't question it or just believe whatever they first heard about it and then stick with it when someone tries to argue against them. I refuse to believe that medicine is the only way to cure someone (though it does "take away" the pain sometimes). Or that there is only one way to do something because then we lack innovation. It will be the person who is creative and intelligent that will look at something from a different perspective. It will be the years of work someone else has done that will prove NO IT DOESN'T WORK THAT WAY! Try another method! But still there is that last note hanging that if only they had completed one more step or pinpointed something in a repeated experiment that they found the solutuion. That is way accidents are a good thing.

Friday, September 19, 2008

go hybrids!!!

Hyrbids are everywhere! I am a form of a hybrid from my parents and they are each a form of a hybrid from their parents. Nowadays there is a variety of "hybrid" products out there. To not be as specific of the word hybrid I just think of it as a nontechnical form of two things that are put together. There is the 2-in-1 shampoo/conditioner, the old spice hair & bodywash (saw it on the commericial can't imagine using it myself), and the numerous amounts of hybrid cars! (of course had to mention those. Well right now I don't remember where I was going with this except that when I can afford to purchase a car (used) I want a hybrid!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

what did you say?

In class lectures sometimes it is hard to pay attention 100%. I suppose its the average attention span of a student. Even with the years (decades!) of school I have attended I have trained to pay attention for longer periods of time. When there is a subject I am very interested in it can still be challenging to pay attention throughout the whole lecture without having at least one distracting thought. What am I going to eat for lunch today? Or what do I have to study for this week? At least they can be productive thoughts of some sort. For the subjects I least like well... I thought I had gotten away from those since this is college and you are supposed to be studying the classes you want to for your MAJOR and usually refers to what you will be studying your entire LIFE! (reference to U-N-I-V but that was a really long time ago and you have to make the best of it). The classes that I do pay attention the most also tend to be the hardest ones because I don't want to miss a thing. The problem is that sometimes you don't even know what the heck you are writing down...but you learn to accept it and move on. Or go to tutoring, ask for help, ask the person next to you, or learn not to have signed up for the class in the first place. Sometimes I am afraid to be distracted in classes with the professors that I am deathly afraid of. These happen to be the more open minded ones (which really isn't so bad) but pick on you during class and there is no escape. But I learn a lot in those classes and never sign up for the professor again!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Fun in the Sun!

Fun in the sun! I went swimming the other day and had a wonderful time. However I waited about 20 minutes after putting sunscreen on to get in the water. I believed it was enough time before I got in but know that there should have been more time for the sunscreen to absorb into my skin. Sometimes I am parnoid about putting on enough sun screen. I always put it on when I know for sure that I will be exposed in the sun for a long period of time. Whether it is swimming, playing tennis, walking (did I mention that this is EXERCISE!), I will take the time to put on sunscreen. However on days when I walk around school from building to building I don't think of it much that I will be affected. But when you add up all the minutes of walking around and it turns into hours its pretty scary. Since thinking about it deeply and reading on SKIN CANCER I've bought moisturizing lotions with spf that will protect me more than not putting anything on.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

It's 16 de Septiembre

The Independance of Mexico! Today is the official day of independance for Mexico. Grito contests are held everywhere proclaiming the freedom of the people. I watched the movie La Misma Luna, or Under the Same Moon, which tells the story of a young boy who lives in Mexico with his grandmother while his mom lives and works in Los Angeles earning money to cross him over. Spoiler Alert!!!!! However, when his grandmother passes away one day he has no one else to stay behind with so he decides to cross the border to find his mother. He manages some how to cross but doesn't even know where his mother lives except in Los Angeles and his only source of information is the public telephone that is some corner next to a mural, pizza place, party story, and laundry facility. It is a very touching story that makes me think about the sacrifices and challenges for immigrants from anywhere that relocate their life to find a success in America.

Monday, September 15, 2008

quince de septiembre!!!

It is one day before the 16th of September! But that is besides the point. But it was a historical moment when the troops in Mexico gained their independance preparing on the eve of when it would happen. As we talk about independance I think about the government and wonder if we are really free. With the new technologies in today's lifestyle the government can tap into our phone or even recall calls from cells phones made years ago. The technologies can concentrate on security but for who? For the government to protect us or the government protects themselves from us. Meaning that whatever plans we make the government keeps close track so that they won't be hurt. Even it is by words written media that can turn an opinion and give an inaccurate account of a certain issue.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Baby Formula

Today in the news China recalled hundreds of millions of baby formula. Lab results showed that some form of toxic chemical was present sending a dozen babies to the hospital and killing one. However, this was not believed to have been an accidental contamination. The numbers in high quantity show that it was purposely put into the formulas to make it meet certain food standards. The formula was diluted with water but for it to contain a certain amount of nutrients the chemical was added which in small does for an adult it would not be damaging. However the amount found in the formula was enough to make kidney stones and cause other complications in the infants. The formula's company maker announced that those involved with the contamination would be found and would pay the price. As more cases were popping up across China the recall was mandated and even announced overseas. The recall would account for a large number of product to be returned as controversy struck in. The known dilema was said to have been discovered as early as August however the markets that sold the product were said they did not want to return it if it were recalled allowing people to easily become affected.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Aftermath

Hurricaine Ike has already landed and hit Texas. The aftermath begins. The electricity is out. Clean water is scarce. Water isn't though since many of the infratsructure is flooded. It will take a little longer than expected for the area to recover. At least people were evacuated and those who stayed behind and then tried to leave were being rescued. The Texas bay area has been greatly affected but not to overshadow the hurricaine from the week before that hit Lousiana. For the weeks to follow we won't have to hear how the situation could have been prevented or how someone is to blame. Now people will have to argue with FEMA or their insurance policies to see what really was covered by life, flood, disaster insurance. It is a different story but still with problems. What can we do to prevent a hurricaine? I say we should protest! The scientists who can use technology and predict their presence should be in charge of getting rid of them. Its like if we close our eyes maybe its not really there. It would save a lot of trouble.

Friday, September 12, 2008


This is what we breathe in. But what is the purity of it? If people from 100 years ago lived today in the cities they lived then would they have breathing problems? I remember from the Beijing games athletes were being sent back home because they were having breathing difficulties. When I watched the men's beach volleyball team (which was awesome! we won the gold!) they were sweating ridiculously. They had to take out their lenses from their sunglasses because of the humidity but left the frames in because of sponsor issues. They were able to adapt! Or were quite creative in fixing their problem because they were there to fight for their Olympic dream. So does that mean the people of China have adapted to the air they breathe. I would believe a lot people would naturally have asthma problems and the air pollution would increase it otherwise. I read somewhere that Beijing had to close many of their factories 6 months before the games begin to reduce some of the '"air pollution". I wonder how much difference it would make if the U.S. shut down part of its factories...or maybe even the ones that NAFTA created. hm....

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Things that fly...

Too many mosquitos live here in the Valley. They have a pernament home in our homes since they replicate out of the blue. Every time that it rains out of the smallest idle puddle their nest is harvested and hundreds upon thousands invade the local community. Though some actions are taking to destroy the nests and fumigate the nearby areas the mosquitos still survive. It is like what I saw on a souvenir at the local super market, "Edinburg, Texas: Texas State Bird" and at the bottom of it was a huge image of a mosquito. When I last purchased a bottle of mosquito repellant I invested in the DeepWoods Level IV (which doesn't smell that bad) and it worked! I noticed something also that I hadn't seen on other bottles. It said "Can repell mosquitos that may carry the West Nile Virus". Talk about being scared (or at least for the moment very scared). This virus is quite serious and has taken the lives of people every year here in the U.S. and unfortunately even more overseas. Now the precautions are being made more aware for people to take action but more information and other types of preventative care is necessary.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Given Enough Time

Procrastination...how long should you wait before you evacuate your house because a huge hurricaine is headed your way? Since reading the news from Corpus to Galveston people are being evacuated and actually some are residing here in the Valley. This is the first time that I can remember that people are being evacuated since I have been in Texas. I don't know if that is a good thing or not because action is barely being enforced or because the severity of the weather has been at its most severe. How organized is it for people to leave their belongings and take the bare necessities to travel to an unknown place or be fortunate enough to stay with family. Due to the most noteable amount of hurricaines hitting out of the Gulf of Mexico in a while you wonder what kind of factors have been affecting that outcome. Global warming is a given (or at least for those who believe it is happening). The pollution from the East is affecting the air and adding particle by particle to the weight of wind and thereby contributing to the direction. Fog and smog formed becomes thicker or it seems like that. I wonder if the government has some type of "weapon" that they could use against a hurricaine. Just blow it out of the way. For sure that would be powerful and then it could be used for other things. But of course would they actually be interested in saving people like that. It would save a lot of money from rebuilding the infrastructure.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Land Farm....Ocean Farm

The traditional farm we view has the red barnhouse with cattle surrounding it. There are acres of grass with corn, wheat, and cotton growing as far as you can see. There are even "water farms" where fish are bred and grown in a man-made lake. But when you hear a wind farm what comes to mind? Just an empty field with wind blowing in all directions...maybe a tornado or cyclone? Now in parts of the world countries are aiming to begin wind farms. Denmark currently has an offshore wind farm where tall "wind driven turbines" are built far in the distance off the coastline to help provide as a power source for energy. Goals for Delaware to make one of the first wind farms in the U.S. are in the process. Wind farms will most likely be built across the Atlanic coast since other parts have a low ocean floor already not so far in the distance. I found it interesting to see how the future of our electricity may be dependant on a more "ocean farm". It seems like an exciting idea since we are spreading out to use even MORE of our natural resources by destroying part of the ecosystems in the ocean. There is a significant number of species in the water than there is on land. To what extent would it affect the marine life if this supposed eco-friendly system. I do believe that wind farms, from what I have seen and read (not much to tell the truth), are a better alternative than digging much for coal and oil. Hopefully by the time we become too dependant on this offshore wind farms they will think of another alternative. But that is what they probably are thinking about oil. Just to use up all the oil resources we have now because when we run out they will have another alternative. But that is also a different story.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Gamers Beware!

Or should I say NON-gamers! There has always been controversy over how some video games contain violence in the virtual world and how it is transferred into reality. Imagining that you are part of a surreal world and spending time fixed upon the t.v. screen to help you imagine that world doesn't seem like a bad thing. However when it is more than 3 or 4 hours each day and you stop eating or doing work or even taking on responsibilities then that is something to question. If you are exposed to some sort of violence each day including through video games does that transfer through a person to have a violent attitude? It may not be the real thing with the physical and emotional aspects in real life but in the virtual world you can emotionally get attached to the game and a physical stress can occur on your body. The arguement comes up with if it is a learned act due to other factors before or besides the video games. The other is that because of the video games a violent act was learned as a result from excessively using them. You ask what part the brain takes in translating the information seen on the screen and the imagination if it has anything to do with going to the next level. Whether that level is just compartmentalizing it or thriving on it to use it in the "real world". I suppose you just have to decide for yourself when you play video game that can be as exciting as stealing and beating up people or just moving on with your life.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The new fashion design

Today I was thankful enough to have extra time to sleep in. One of the projects I have for today is with a group of friends to make a banner decorated with recycled materials (but using a used bed sheet as the background). It was quite challenging since I haven't made a lot of crafts using the basic scraps of recycling materials. However the draft will have the Earth made out of Capri Sun cardboard boxes since they are green and blue, then for the parts of the land they pieces are flipped over. The we make out the word 'Recycle' in brown hemp to look earthy. The name of the building the banner for will be written out at the top. We made the lettering first by taking off all the labels of plastic bottles that were already in the recycling bin and also cutting up some of the food cardboard boxes. We flattened them out and taped them to each other in order of color. Then we traced out the word and cut them out. So far it looks good and its taken longer than what I thought it would. This week we'll finish it up and I'll put up a wonderful picture!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The Secret Ingredient

I like to bake! From cookies to cakes to brownies...baking is fun for me. When I'm by myself I cheat through buying a packet only adding the basic ingredients to make a delicious snack! However, when I am with my mom I allow her to do all the work and create a tastey homemade work of art from blueberry muffins to wheat almond waffles that last no more than five minutes til they reach my digestive system. It just takes that special ingredient (and love) to make something extra special. Thats right it a small addition, any individual, can make a difference to change things for the better, a big difference! That brings me to think about CONSERVATION! That is trying to conserve energy because even leaving that one light bulb on overnight may not make a difference in your light bill it DOES make a small but powerful dent in the energy usage. If you acculmulate all the light bulbs left on in the county in the state in the nation it makes a significant contribute to energy usage. Just think about that the next time you can't fall asleep because you are afraid of the dark just read or do homework and you'll fall asleep just fine!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Do YOU Really Know????

Do I really know any scientist...that aren't dead? Besides all the fabulous ones such as Albert Einstein, Louis Pasteur, Marie Curie who have helped shaped the ways scientists think today (that is think differently as in what has not been thought so that some time of formula for the cure can be found) who are the up and coming scientists of today. I personally cannot think of someone off the top of my head. Besides seminars and presentations I have attended I have not immersed myself much in the scientific world. I suppose it is something I should take more of an initiative on because research is part of what I plan to do in my career. I would chose to follow in the foot steps of a female researcher that has a passion for research but also has a heart for family. Hopefully I can fulfill those shoes one day.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

interesting science

The world is coming to an end! A piece of an iceberg in the Arctic the size of Manhattan broke off adding to the sea level that is increasing every year. Usually when a piece of ice would break off the sea salt would thicken and freeze to accumulate back on the iceberg. However, with the current climate conditions the possibility of that consistently occuring in a short period of time is unlikely. This is contributing or is a result of the claimed "global warming" literally by the sun's rays. The researchers that noticed that piece of ice missing saw that it "disappeared" over a month of fog and mist. Who knows how much of the iceberg will be missing over the next season of fog.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Allergic to Life!

As far as I know I am not allergic to anything...except sometimes I feel allergic to life. I believe that I have control over my lifestyle due to the decisions I make and how my behavior affects the outcomes of situations. I for the most part also decide what I want and don't want to eat and drink. Except for the times where my mom makes me eat all my vegetables! ekk! I dislike carrots...maybe if I ate more of them I would have better vision but so far it hasn't been that troublesome. I have several friends that are allergic to chocolate, dairy, peanuts, dust mites, to mosquitos! Then it makes my wonder for the ones allergic to certain nuts and dairy how accurate are food labels to identify that its product may be made in a factory that uses peanuts. The FDA at a public hearing plans to bring up those specific issues where food labeling to the extreme has become confusing to many people with food allergies. In the past even more products have been labeled with warnings to certain allergies leaving little choice for people even though the percentage of any contamination is quite low. I question if it would really make a difference if the FDA regulated the food labels to be clearer for others. If that were the fact then there should be stricter guidelines in the restaraunts as far as what ingredients are used before hand so customers have more options and not be questioning the waitress who has to go back to the cook and find out. oh well i guess it makes life easier not being allergic to food...imagine if i had no buds to taste food...but thats another story

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Ecosystem We Live In

We may live in buildings which are up to the city's housing codes but even to those standards are we really living in a safe environment? For those who are gearing towards greener buildings not just in office buildings, schools, your local store, and even the city's infrastructure what more is there to do. One of my favorite things to do (but honestly I haven't been faithful to it) is take a canvas tote bag to the local supermarket instead of using plastic bags (which can also be recycled!) and place my purchased items in it. However it is not as common in this area for people to use a substitue bag. For those who by frozen/refrigerated items there are special bags that have a thermal lining that can help in maintaining the items cold for about 3 hours. Another thing that excites me is how Edinburg has signed up to dedicating itself to become a "Green Cities" advocate, one of the first cities in the RGV to sign up. I have read about different communities, commonly up North (besides the fact that everything in the U.S. is North to us), that built eco-friendly housing along with other facilities such as a common house, office building, a farmland, and nearby walking trails. They sound like peaceful environments secluded from the busy industrialized world. Sounds like a nice vacation (but I do appreciate the indoor plumbing/electricity/internet/air conditioner).

Monday, September 1, 2008

Its the hurricaine!

It seems every year there is an increase in the number of natural disasters...from earthquakes to hurricaines to tornados with the explanation that the earth is getting older and we aren't taking care of its health. It's all summed up into two words: global warming. Hurricaine Gustav made landfall in Louisiana with the category 5 hurricaine and already was causing trouble by overflowing the levees. However it didn't break them at first so that is good to hear. I can only wonder what other kind of damage it will cause.