Tuesday, April 27, 2010

PLN 26

One of the most shocking events to a teen is learning of the attempted or successful suicide of another student. It is difficult to fathom someone taking their own life, especially at such a young age. The effect of a teen suicide is incredible. The wave of shock can be felt for days and even weeks. Sadly, one suicide can seem to lead to another. The pressure and expectations of growing up in the 21st century can be too much for some to handle. Peer groups may be an effective way to help students cope with the issues that may lead to suicide. There is so much to live for each day. If we can help even one student, a peer group would be a success.

PLN 25

This past weekend saw the NFL draft wrap up in New York. The biggest headline in the draft was made by the Denver Broncos selection of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow. The Broncos drafted Tebow 25th overall in the first round Thursday. This was a shock to almost everyone as Tebow was projected to go much later in the draft. This is a huge gamble by the Broncos, as Tebow has many flaws in his throwing motion that will make the transition from college quarterback to NFL quarterback very difficult. However, Tim Tebow has many intangibles such as being a great leader, a hard worker and a great role model. Many will argue the choice of Tim Tebow as the 25th pick in the draft, but few will argue that this draft pick will generate incredible interest in the 2010-2011 Denver Broncos football season.

PLN 24

One of the sports world’s most famous athletes, Ben Roethlisberger will not be tried for sexual abuse on a college student earlier this year. The alleged situation occurred at a Georgia night club. This is another example of an athlete getting in trouble with the law. In years past, athletes were upheld as role models for children and adults alike. They presented an image that a child could aspire to imitate. Now athletes are often viewed as prima donnas who are above the law. Many athletes use poor judgment in their personal and professional lives. If someone was accused by their employer of breaking the law or a code of conduct at their office, they would often be immediately fired from their job. High paid athletes are given second, third and even fourth chances to continue or resume their careers, with little or no repercussions. It definitely makes me appreciate the athletes who are truly role models like Joe Sakic and Chauncey Billups.

PLN 23

One of the most amazing videos I have seen is of the recent eruption and ash clouds produced by Eyjafjallajokull, the volcano in Iceland. It is amazing to not only see the size of the cloud, but to see how this event has impacted much of Europe. The dense black clouds in Iceland were causing severe respiratory problems for people and animals alike. Thousands were stranded as planes could not fly through the ash cloud as it could cause engine failure in a plane. Although the volcano ash cloud has gone down, it is still causing problems in Northern Europe. The ash cloud could drift as far west as the east coast of North America. This year sadly, has already been memorable for the number of natural catastrophes.

PLN 22

The State of Arizona recently passed a new law on illegal immigration that is causing protests throughout the state. The new law will give police the ability to ask for immigration papers if there is a suspicion of that person being an illegal immigrant. If a person was unable to provide immigration documents, they could be arrested, jailed for up to six months and fined $2,500. People believe this would give police justification for racial profiling and lead to discrimination towards Hispanics. Illegal immigration in the US has become a very difficult issue. On one side, America has always been the land of opportunity for immigrants from all over the world. Entering the US legally can take years and thousands of dollars which many immigrants do not have. However, the strain illegal immigrants can place on the US economy costs taxpaying citizens of the US billions of dollars every year. If the law passes, it will be closely watched by many other states including Colorado.

PLN 21

Sadly the Colorado Avalanche were eliminated from the NHL playoffs Saturday night. However, this has been one of the best seasons for watching hockey due to the Avalanche overachieving in the 2009-2010 season. The Avalanche had a new coach with no NHL coaching experience, and a roster filled with several rookies. The experts thought the Avalanche would finish last in their division and maybe last in the Western Conference. But the team exceeded all expectations and made the playoffs after a two year drought. They even gave the number one seeded San Jose Sharks a scare by going up in the series 2-1, before losing the series 4 games to 2. The future looks very bright for the young and very talented Avalanche.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

PLN 20

Recently, the NHL implemented a new rule making dirty head shots and head checks illegal. There has been an increase in severe head injuries in the NHL due to the increase in dirty head shots. There are three situations which a penalty is called for an illegal head shot; a player is trying to make a play and is attacked buy another, a player has his head down and is attacked by another player, a player has hot head down and is it and his shoulder or head hits the board because a dirty check. These dirty head shots are going to result in high fines and multiple game suspension. If a player is called for this infraction multiple times, the result can be a season long suspension or even being kicked out of the league. This is a good rule that will trickle down to youth hockey making this sport safer and more enjoyable for everyone to play.

PLN 19

Recent attention has been focused on the distractions caused by cell phone use by drivers. The number of accidents caused by cell phone use is staggering. Sadly, the number of accidents is increasing every year. Nearly 6,000 people are killed every year by teen’s texting while they are driving. Many states are considering bans on texting and talking on cell phones while driving. Colorado recently passed a law making texting while driving illegal. This is a law worth supporting because it will help protect the lives of drivers in Colorado. Expanding this to a national level would be an important step to making roads in the US safer.

PLN 18

Sharing vs. your privacy on Facebook
In the April 1st article on CNN.com, author Doug Gross shares how the information posted on Facebook pages are creating privacy and safety issues for Facebook users. Because the content posted on Facebook is not monitored, many people provide too much information on their Facebook page, allowing people to gain important and valuable information. In addition to issues of safety, Facebook pages invite the potential for computer hackers and viruses to attack your computer. The article explains how to use privacy settings to your Facebook page safer. This article is important to students since so many are active on Facebook on a daily basis.

PLN 17

It is easy to take the weather we have in Colorado for granted. Over the past several days, the Northeast United States has experienced severe weather that we never experience in Colorado. The state of Rhoad Island has received over 60 inches of rain and the whole state is experiencing severe flooding. Officials are estimating that it will take several weeks for the water to subside and that damage will cost millions of dollars.

PLN 16

This is an amazing time of the year for sports fans. The NCAA basketball tournament, spring training for baseball and the push for the NBA playoffs are all happening at the same time. The best action is in the race for the NHL Stanley Cup. This year’s playoff race is one of the tightest ever. The Hockey News is predicting that a team could reach 100 points and still miss the playoffs in the Western Conference.

The pressure to make the playoffs is incredible. This is also true at school as we get closer to finals and the end of the school year. There are bid assignments, projects and tests that impact a student’s grade in a big way. This pressure can be difficult to handle, in a very similar way to the pressure of professional sports and the goal of winning the Stanley Cup.

PLN 15

I watched the most amazing music video I have ever seen; “This Too Shall Pass” by the band Ok Go. The video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qybUFnY7Y8w) depicts a “Rube Goldberg” type machine at work. The machine used in the video was built in a two-story warehouse from over 700 household objects, traversing an estimated half-mile course. The machine was created by a group of 55 to 60 people from Syyn Labs, the California Institute of Technology, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and MIT Media Lab.

This type of machine would be a fun and unique project for students at Arapahoe. It combines math, science and art into one project. This would encourage teamwork and combining the abilities of students with different backgrounds.