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The countries evaluated in this resource is comparison between the self-proclaimed arab state of Palestine and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Palestine was my assigned election country, which is combination of Jeruselum, the West Bank, and Gaza Strip. This area of the middle east is a self proclaimed state that for decades, since the establishment of the modern day Israel, has been fighting politically for land and independence. The Congo, politically recognized as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a sub-saharan African nation who for over the past 15 + years have delt with civil war and political un-organization. Though the government in the DRC has formed, the country still deals with a war on illegal mining of natural resources and mass poverty throughout the nation. In this presentation, I was able to directly connect Diamond's 5 Point Framework (Environmental Damage; Climate Change; Hostile Neighbors; Friendly Trade Neighbors; Society's Response to Environmental Issues) to the problems that these nations face. In the process, I took a more in depth analysis of how the influence of terrorism and propaganda taint the mission of Palestine, and can lead to their collapse before they're even established. I also drew connections between the deforestation of sub saharan Africa to outside nation's ability to trade freely through the region. I believe that this catalog can pose as a valuable resource for those wanting to know the severity of these issues within these nations. Although there aren't many connections between Palestine and The Congo, there are significant similarities between the current economic and environmental situations in these nations.
Imagine taking the odd mystery and dark filming tone of "Fight Club" and combining it with the fast pace action and dynamic characters of "Transporter", Nicolas Winding Refn's "Drive" is the outcome. Given the two films' reputation, one could infer that a similar combination of the two could result in an action packed, jaw dropping film, which "Drive" certainly provided; but one could also expect an original storyline and in depth characterization within the plot of the film, which it significantly lacked.
Ryan Gosling's "driver" or "the kid" or whoever his name really was, was an over-exaggerated an uncomfortably sporadic character. The opening scene set up what appeared to be a thrilling scene with a getaway driver who was skilled at what he was doing, but slowly faded into a boring conclusion as driver casually parked a car in a packed sports complex and walked out suspiciously, but with no confrontation from the police.
The one piece of positive feedback I will provide for this opening is the use of music and rhythm. The camera angles were very close up but often focused on the background of the shot as the police helicopter searched for the suspects. The synchronization of the final seconds of the basketball game complimented the urgency of driver to get away from the cops. However, the only table setting that this scene was successful for, was introducing the lack of good dialogue and dull characterization of the protagonist.
In addition, there was a huge overuse of gore in this film. I'm sure that all action movie watchers enjoy seeing some nauseating murder scenes or destructive montages, but there was absolutely no build up to the action in this film. As a viewer, it was difficult for me to appreciate the girl getting her head blown off or Driver's graphic stomping of the guy's face in the elevator, when there was no set up in the dialogue. The elevator scene could have easily shifted this movie from a forgotten piece of cinema to a work of art, if there were some compelling dialogue prior to it, or at least some deeper description of driver's character. Imagine trying to bring this scene up in a conversation to a friend 20 years from now:
"Hey, remember that bloody scene in the elevator… with that driver kid… yea I don't know his name, and there was no dialogue in the scene for me to jot your memory… oh well".
Cinematically this was a great movie, and a compelling scene. But the writing was horrible. The subplots were non suspensful. The characters had no depth, and worst of all, the protagonist didn't have a name. If your a future film maker, and are looking for examples of character development, plot structure, and diverse scene elements, "Drive" will successfully set you up for failure.
-Jason M. Davis
This bar graph compares my predictions of global poverty to class averages and real statistics. I was surprised to see that more people in the world live on more than 2 dollars a day than less, but after thinking more about it, I believe that this wasn't an accurate way of measuring poverty. Although the portion of the country that lives on less than 2 USD a day is small, I think that even if you live on less than 7 USD, your still fairly poor.
This is the comparison of Urban dwellers VS. Rural Dwellers. Initially I made the inference that more people would live in cities because the were so densely populated, but I didn't go with my instinct because I figured there is more rural land than urban globally. I was fairly off form the real data but I'm not entirely surprised.
Languages spoken was probably the most surprising data for me to analyze. I always thought that Arabic, English, and Spanish were some of the more spoken languages around the world. Although China is a huge country, I didn't think that the percentage of people that spoke chinese would be larger than Arabic or English. My class average showed that many of my peers believed English was the most spoken language.
We used Joe Biden's speech on technology and combined it with a music video for a song mentioning governmental struggles and societal issues. I believe that it was a strong mean of communicating the topic in a creative way because it uses a common american style of music to convey it to certain audiences. The different angles and video transitions allowed us to emphasize different aspects of both the song, cspan footage, and styles of the video.
If I were to do this again, I'd try and use different environments for our music video. Although I liked that we were able to project video footage on his body which showed our creativity, however I think if we used more diverse amounts of footage, then the topic may have been stronger.
The School District of Philadelphia has faced a lot of challenges in 2011. From the mass budget cuts of the spring, to the firing of Superintendent Arlene Ackerman in the summer, there has been massive reform and lack of organization in the district. My in depth studying and lobbying of education reform has led me to study closer to the local acts of legislation that effect education.
The most recent act of legislation in the Philadelphia area that captured my attention was Councilman Bill Greens proposal to pull the SRC (School Reform Commission) in order to allow successful Philadelphia public schools to enhance their education without having to deal with the restrictions of the School Reform Commission.
Since running for City Council in 2007, Councilman Green has been a strong proponent of improving public education in Philadelphia. He has proposed a number of different pieces of legislation with regards to Philadelphia Eduction, including a policy outlining over 30 different recommendations to help fix Philadelphia Schools in the spring of 2010.
After hearing of this, I chose to use him as the legislator to reach out to for my lobby. After having trouble getting a hold of him at his city hall office by Phone, I decided to send a letter by mail with hopes that it will receive close contemplation. The letter included a praise of his former legislative moves in city hall, followed by introduction of who I was and why I was writing to him in regards to education reform. My focal concern was on his recent push against the SRC. I expressed my support for his decision but questioned the specific policies he was concerned about. And what was the ultimate factor that made him decide to make this move. It'll be interesting to see his response (If I get one) to my letter. Hopefully It will give my a more hands on look as too how legislators go about making their decision process.
We chose Welfare. The process of this including researching the qualifications for our state and filling out different paper work regarding our employment situation, marital status, and citizenship. The paperwork was fairly straight-forward, however it can tangent you in many different directions depending on your information (as seen in the flow chart). I would change the convenience of it. I understand that the information needed for this is important, however for people who are applying to welfare who may not have a high education or a disorder, it can be a very difficult process.
This has been a active year for education reform lobbyist, with the recent rise in charter school funding, discourse in congressional budgeting agreements, and growing concern of America's education race. An example of some of these committees are the 'Democrats for Education Reform" or "Stand For Children", who recently spent over $75,000 each on their respective campaigns. The groups most recently expressed their policies to the Denver School Board earlier this month. Denver teacher's union president Henry Roman expressed concern over the issue, saying "its becoming high stakes" when you have "groups out their that can write checks for tens of thousands of dollars".
On the contrary, there are a number of different political figures on the state level that has expressed urgency regarding education reform. In 2011, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie outlined a new agenda regarding education budgeting and curriculum reform. Other politicians in city councils in cities like New Orleans and Nashville have pushed for large scale reform, but federal acts like No Child Left Behind still linger in the mist of the argument.Because it is such a wide scale lobbying topic, it is difficult to pinpoint specific officials to reach out to. In my research, there are many examples of politicians that are fighting on both sides of this battle. Locally, State Rep. Ronald G. Waters is a good example of someone who has advocated for the Philadelphia Community is his efforts with the Dream Act , Kensington CAPA school, and the There Ought To Be A Law contest (along with Sen. Anthony Williams). The city council of Philadelphia has recently funneled more money into after-school programs in an effort to keep more students in school. However, it will be interesting to see how this evolves with the recent elections.
US. Vs Jones argues whether the use of a GPS tracking device without a warrant on a respondents vehicle to monitor it's movements is constitutional. The amendment argued in this case is the 4th.The FBI placed a GPS device on a suspect's car -- a Jeep belonging to D.C. nightclub owner Antoine Jones -- and used it to track the car for a month, without a warrant. (In fact, a federal judge had authorized the use of the GPS device, but the device wasn't installed until a day after the warrant expired.)
The placement of the GPS e system is the result of an ongoing case dating back to 2008, where Jones was convicted to life in prison for conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute five or more kilograms of cocaine and 50 or more grams of cocaine base.The D.C. court of appeals then overturned the ruling, saying that it violated his 4th amendment rights. The case is now being argued in the supreme court because the D.C. courts claim Jones had no fourth amendment rights after being convicted.
On Tuesday November 8th, the case was argued in front of the Supreme Court. Midway through the case, Justice John G Roberts stated that such a right may exist, which may trump the fact that it was in public. In this case, the latest in a continuing series in which the Court examines potential constitutional limits on police use of new technology, the federal government is relying very heavily upon the fact that the GPS technology it wants to use is carried out only when the cars or trucks to which such a device is attached are going from place to place on public streets or highways.
I believe that Waters would be an appropriate legislator because he has shown efforts in the past to fight for opportunities for children, and has been very involved in his community. His resumé includes the "Ought To Be A Law" contest, in which 3rd graders around the state submit papers to their district representatives on topics that they believe affect them the most and ought to be a law. Recently he has backed up the 'Dream Act', a piece of legislation that fights to insure the opportunities for children of ilegal immigrants to receive higher education.
Other influential officials include Janie Blackwell, who is the councilwoman of my district on the city level. Although my lobby is one that appeals to the views of American's nationwide and target the federal level, legislators like Blackwell have recently taken part in campaigning for the reform of education in the Philadelphia area. Anthony Williams, another resident of the West Philadelphia area, as state senator may also pose as a direct connection to the federal level.
My presentation format seemed to be the most straight forward way to present my research while still using creative graphics. At first the process was difficult because I had to find who was involved in proposing the bill and what outside influences were involved. If I were to do this differently, I would try and use more sources for info to diversify my research. However, while researching the process, I was able to closely analyze what it took for the bill to be proposed. The fact that a business group who had been pushing for educational reform since the 80's were the main supporters in the cause. And even after being backed up by the president, it was not signed until a year after it's proposal. I believe that because it was a federal law, it was easier to research than that of the state or city level. Nonetheless, it was an interesting process in which I think I gained a lot of information from.
Over the years, writing has evolved into a major aspect of my life. As a young child, I would look at books and newspapers, astonished with the amount of words that one had written. Initially I couldn't understand the significance of writing so much. Why do the writers of textbooks care so much about the information it contains? How do authors of novels not get tired of writing so much after 100 pages?
These questions weren't answered until I began to explore writing in my own way. I often found myself digging deep into my imagination when i read stories. Looking at some of my favorite story lines like "X-Men" and "Star Wars" and thinking about how I could develop my own. I would then take those concepts to write alternate story lines for some of the stories I read, and even incorporate my own ideas. This process revealed the captivating aspects of writing and built my confidence in the subject.
In my teenage years, I found myself approaching writing from a different perspective. Instead of writing the fantasies in my imagination, I wrote more about the reality of my life. I discovered music as being an effective outlet in my life. Being able to turn my thoughts into lyrics and then mix them with other melodies. It's like being able to manipulate the thoughts that you can't control in your brain into a product that you know like the back of your hand.
Writing has changed me as a person, but more importantly, has allowed me to change it, morphing language into my own thoughts, and my thoughts into something tangible.
In addition to the countries economic struggles, there is key aspect of the social spectrum that is currently tainting America's system, the youth. While the reasons for this is widely debated, a highly expected contributer is the current economic system. In my lobbying topic, I choose to take the side of the struggling youth in this country, who have fell victim to the incompitence of the adults who make decisions on that political stage that have effected our education.
Education reform and public education, in the role of the fight against standardized teaching, is a widely liberal approach. Liberal believes tend to favor he idea of public education, because it supports all children in the U.S. Recently, many movements have pushed towards the reform of public education because many believe that the people making decisions about the curricullum and standards of schools do not represent education in all parts of the United States.
Many people, both liberal and consertive approach education in a more standardized way. These create specific standards for students in specific grades, which is sometimes viewed as treating students as if they are all the same. Educators around the country are pushing for reform in the system which has resulted in some political effects. On a national level, the most recent legislation has been the addition of secondary standards to the "No Child Left Behind Act" which was signed into law in 2001. These changes have been minor, but show examples of the voices of these lobbies being heard.
Producing sound in a flute mainly depends on the size of the diameter of the wholes in the flute. To change sound a note, you have to cover other wholes with your fingers, and use the uncovered holes to make alternating sounds and notes. A flute is a cylinder shaped object that uses wind to manipulate its sound. This can connect to other wind instruments as well as brass instruments, as the are designed in a similar way.
Link to my building history project about General George A. McCall and McCall Elementary School.