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Una Carta para Ti

Sean’s Letter

¡Hola! Me llamo Sean Morris.¿Cómo estás tu? Me estás más o menos. ¿Cuántos años tienes tú? Tengo catorce años. ¿Cuándo cumpleaños es tú? Me cumpleaños es diciembre e diez. ¿ De donde eres tú? Soy de Filadelfia una ciudad entre la ciudad de Nueva York y la capital además es una ciudad grande y como si fuera poco. Se conoce como “la ciudad de amor fraternal.”¿ Qué tiempo hace tú allí? Me en aquí hace muy fresco. Me encanta ver la tele además me súper fascina ir al cine.¿Y a ti? ¿Qué te gusta hacer? Me también súper encanta buen vestido.¿Y tú? Soy alto, algo cómico, me moreno y soy más o menos inteligente. ¿Y tú? ¿Cómo eres? Bueno, me voy porque tengo que y estudiar. Responde cuando puedas. ¡Adios!

Con cariño,
Sean Morris
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Teen Driving : Distractions, Part 1

Teen Driving : Distractions
You and the World 2012


ABOVE : *Click image for full size* Image of a teen driving. (source

Hello, my name is Lauren Thomas. I am a freshman from Science Leadership Academy located in Philadelphia, PA. My english teacher, Ms. Dunn, asked the class and I, “Is there an issue in the world, country, or state that you would like to learn more about and act on?” There were plenty of ideas flying through my head on what to work on - gay marriage, animal cruelty, unemployment, teen driving or depression. I decided to choose teen driving because it seemed unique and looked as if nobody has researched this topic in past ninth-grade You and the World projects. 

I chose teen driving because now that I am in high school, I will soon reach the age where driving becomes a big stepping stone into the adult community. Many adults don’t drive; however, if our communities continue growing and expanding then driving will have to be a need-to-know skill. 

For the You and the World project I am going to be writing blog posts concerning my topic of choice - Teen Driving: Distractions. I am going to include statistics and visuals along with the different aspects of distractions while teenagers are behind the wheel.  

For teen drivers, texting is a main issue. Texting while driving veers your attention from the road, causing accidents because you are not paying attention. Another distraction is talking on the phone. Talking on the phone while driving can cause accidents too because the teen is not focused on the road and the task of driving.

This topic could be confusing because children are raised with the idea of no texting or talking while driving, but their parents may be doing the exact thing that is “illegal”. Click here to see which states have laws on cell phone use, both texting and talking. 

I know that my parents talk on the phone in the car. My mom would quickly call my dad to let him know she is almost home, or if she’s in traffic. I would call my dad when he’s driving home from work to let him know I got home safe. I think there are times you can’t avoid talking on the phone. What if your mom calls you when you’re driving? You may not answer and she’ll become super worried. Pull over and talk to her. But what if you can’t pull over? In my opinion, if you are a skilled driver and are not going super fast, then you could quickly inform your parent. However, if you use these as excuses for calling your friends about Friday night, then it’s wrong. 


*Click image for full size* A chart showing that if teens got their license taken away they would give up cell phone usage. (source)

Regarding the above image, teens said that they would give up cell phone use if there were legal prohibitions against and various limits on cell phone usage. Also, teens said if they got an insurance discount, they would easily give up their cell phone. When surveyed, sixty-six percent of teens said their parents could influence them in giving up their phone, whereas forty-seven percent said their peers could influence them to give up their phone.

I found this website very informative. It helped me understand the dangers of driving while texting. The site has a great interactive driving course that included driving while texting and much more challenges. In future blog posts I will take this interactive course and include my results and facts. It is an interesting challenge that will help me with my research and blog postings. 

Click here to view my bibliography and follow me on my twitter for alerts when I update.

Thank you for reading! My second blog post is found here. My third blog post is found here.


Una Carta para Ti

Querdido Luke,

¡Hola! ¿Que tal? Me llamo Eamon Kelly. Tengo quince años, y soy de Filadelfia. Es una ciudad grande. ¡El cumpleaños de yo es el once de septiembre! Soy de costumbre sociable, y más o menos timido. Soy simpático, creativo y bobo. Me gusta escribir, escuchar música, y pasar un rato con amigos. No me gusta nada leer y practicar deportes.

¿Y tú? ¿Como te llamas? ¿Cuántos años tienes tú? ¿Cuando es tú cumpleaños? ¿De dónde eres tú? ¿Qué tiempo hace? ¿Cómo eres? ¿Y Qué te gusta hacer? Responde cuando puedas.

Con cariño,
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You and The World: Blog Post 1: Food Labeling

My name is Zoe Schwingel-Sauer and over the past couple weeks in my freshman english class at Science Leadership Academy, I have been researching a prominent issue, in our world today. The issue that I have decided to tackle and actively contribute to is labeling in the food industry. Throughout my research so far, I have focused on antibiotics and Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). The predicament is that major food incorporations feed their animals antibiotics, and inject crops with GMOs, but they don’t say they so on the food package. In the past food labeling has been an underlying problem, but recently it has surfaced and people are beginning to take a stand.

A big complication is that many people aren’t educated about antibiotics or GMOs in the food industry. Antibiotics are useful and needed for people to recover from illness. However eighty percent of antibiotics are being given/sold to farms to improve growth. Farmers feed their animals antibiotics to improve their growth and fatness. Say if a chicken was naturally going to be about five pounds, antibiotics could double or even triple the weight.
Meat that is marbleized is the meat that has been fed antibiotics. This meat is considered better quality because of the fat, therefore it is sold for more money. What’s the big deal with that? Well, most animals that are raised to be slaughtered, live in very horrid conditions. These feeding grounds make it perfect for the bacteria to become “superbugs.” These superbugs are eaten by the animals, and then consumed by you. Since you are eating these superbugs and antibiotics, your immune system can no longer be helped by antibiotics. Therefore, in the future if you are ill and the cure is antibiotics, the antibiotics cannot help you.

What are Genetically Modified Organisms exactly? GMOs are genetic engineering, basically combining organisms that don’t naturally go together. In farming, farmers tend to combine corn genes with each other. For example if one corn grows really abundantly, but doesn’t grow very fast, a farmer will combine the corn t

hat grows abundantly with a corn that grows very fast.




may seem ideal, but it is the opposite. When researching GMOs, scientists found that there was a connection between GMOs and various types of cancer, organ failure or destruction, and miscarriage. Also, while some of the GMOs are successful, many are not. This is very wasteful, and some of the GMOs end up being harmful. The USA is one of the few countries that has NOT banned the use of GMOs in food. All of Europe, Japan, and India have banned GMOs because the extent of the damage isn’t predictable or even fully known. GMOs are awful for people, and currently in the USA, food corporations do NOT have to put on the packaging label of a food product that it contains GMOs.

Recently California attempted to take a huge stand against food companies who falsely label their products. Proposition 37 also called “Right to Know” tried to ban companies from labeling foods with GMOs as “natural.” Even though Prop 37 failed to pass, this has sparked a food revolution! California would’ve been the FIRST state to force companies to label their products that have GMOs.


Throughout my research I hope to enrich my understanding of the food industry. I want to help make labeling food packages, with everything that is in them, including GMOs or antibiotics, required. I believe that everyone has the right to know what they eat. Major companies argue that labeling food packages with GMOs or antibiotics would cause unneeded panic, but people should be worried. In reality, only few people know exactly what they’re eating. In order to become healthier and stay safe, I feel that labeling food packages correctly is necessary.

Here is a link to my bibliography.

Thank you for reading! 

Below is a picture of what a chicken looked like in 1950 without antibiotics compared to a chicken in 2008 with antibiotics.

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Una Cara para ti

Querid@ ____________,
Hola, Saludos desde Filladelphia una ciudad de Nueva York y la capital. Soy Dylan McKeon de decendencia europea.¿Cómo te llamas? ¿Qué tal? Tengo 15 años. ¿Y tú? Soy de Filliadelphia. ¿De dónde eres? Aquí en Filladelphia es bastante frío. ¿Qué tiempo hace?
Me gusta mucho surfear la red cuando tengo tiempo libre. Me gusta correr solo tambien a veces. Me encanta ir a la escuela. Me encanta leer y jugar videojuegos los fines de semana. Uf, no me gusta nada practicar deportes ni nadar tampoco bailer. ¿Y a ti? ¿Qué te gusta hacer?
Soy por lo general inteligente. Soy más o menos alto. Soy a veces timido y un poquito serio. ¿Y tú? ¿Cómo eres?
Bueno, me voy porque tengo que comer y dormir.  ¡Adiós! ¡Qué le vaya bien! Responde cuando puedas.
Con cariño
Dylan McKeon
Aquí es photo
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Una Carta para Ti

Querid@ _______
¡Hola! ¡Saludos desde Filadelfia! ¿Qué pasa? Me llamo Kara. ¿Como estás? Cómo te llamas?  Soy de Filadelfia, es una ciudad grande. Y hace frio. ¿De dónde eres tú? Tengo catorce años. ¿Cuántos años tienes tú? Mi cumpleanos es el once de julio. ¿Y tú?
Me gusta pasar un rato con amigos, surfear la red, cantar, y escuchar música. No me gusta nada estudiar tampoco ayudar en casa. ¡Me encanta Justin Bieber y Marina and the Diamonds! ¿Y a ti? ¿Qué te gusta hacer? Soy cómica, más o menos alta, un poquito loca, y hablado. Soy algo perezosa y increíblemente divertida. ¿Cómo eres?
¿Qué tiempo hace hoy? ¿Cuantos años tienes tú? Bueno, me voy porque tengo que ayudar en casa. ¡Responde cuando puedas! ¡Adios!
Con Cariño,
Kara Eve Rosenberg
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Una para cara ti

Querdido ________,
¡Saludos desde Filadelfia!

     ¡Hola! Mi amigo! ¿Què tal? Me llamo Hikma Salhe. Yo soy catorce años, y soy de filadelfia. La escuela es SLA. ¡El cúmpleaños de yo es veintiocho de agosto. Soy de mas o menos sociable, y bastante habladar. Uf no me gusta nada, ayudar en mi casa, sin embargo me encanta me mama. Soy baja, morena, y loca. Y como si fuera poco, mi amigos son bastante loco, pero es por eso que me encanta ellos. Tengo tres hermanos, cero hermanas. Cuando tengo tiempo libre, me gusta cocinar dulces

      ¿Y tu? ¿Comó te llamas? ¿Cuántos años tienes tú? ¿Cuando es tú cumpleaños? ¿Y Què te gusta hacer? ¡Responde cuando puedas!

Con coriño,
              Hikma Salhe

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Una Carta Para Ti


¡Hola! ¡Buenos Días! ¿Qué tal? Me llamo Mia. ¿Cómo te llama? Soy de Kentucky pero vivo en Filadelfia. Es un ciudad entre la ciudad de Nueva York y la capital. Se conoce como “La Ciudad de Amor Fraternal.” ¿De donde eres tú? ¿Cuantos años tienes tú? Tengo catorce años. ¿Qué tiempo hace hoy? Hace frío hoy en Filadelfia. Mi cumpleaños es primero de enero. También es el primero de años¿Cuando es tú cumpleaños?

Los fines de semana me gusta leer y cantar. También me encanta bailar y dormir. No me gusta nada ayudar en casa. Odio dibujar. Cuando tengo tiempo libre me interesante practicar deportes y cocinar. ¿Y a ti? Me gusta ir al cine. ¿Qué te gusta hacer?
Soy delgada y guapa y un poco alta. Siempre soy habladora y boba. Para nada soy tímida. De costumbre soy  inteligente y súper sociable. A veces soy perezosa.  Soy muy morena ¿Cómo eres tú?
Bueno, me voy porque tengo estudiar y ir a la escuela. ¡Responde cuando puedas! ¡Hasta luego! :)
Con cariño,
Mia Weathers
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Una carta para ti

Querdido (BLANK),

¡Hola! ¿Que tal? Mi nombre es Greta Haskell. Tengo catorce anos. Soy de Filadelfia. Filadelfia hace bastante frio. Mi cumpleanos es el 25 de febrero. Soy super baja y delgada. Soy mas o menos guapa tambien soy rubia. Soy de decendencia europa. Soy increiblemente loca. ¿y tu? ¿como eres tu?  Me gusta dormir. Me encanta pasar un rato con amigos. No me gusta nada estudiar. ¿Como te llamas? ¿Cuantos anos tienes tu?  



Es mi amigos y yo
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Una Carta para Ti

Querid@ ______
¡Saludos desde Filadelphia!

¡Hola! !Buenos Dias! ¿Qué tal?

Me llamo Alex. Yo Soy estudiante Science Leadership Academy. Soy tengo trece años. Me cumpleaños es el 14 de diciembre. Soy de Nueva york y como si fuera poco pero vivo en Filadelphia. ¿Y tú? ¿Cuántos años tienes? ¿Cuando es tu cumpleaños?

Cuando tengo tiempo libre me gusta jugar videojuegos y leer. Yo también encanta pasar un rato con amigos. A veces me gusta ver la tele. No me gusta nada ayudar en casa y correr. ¿Y a ti? ¿Qué te gusta hacer? Soy muy increiblemente inteligente, siempre simpático y un poquito timido. Pero ademas soy de decendencia polaco. Depende del dia soy cómico. ¿Y tú? ¿Cómo eres?

Bueno, me voy porque tengo que comer con mi familia y estudiar con amigos es por eso qué me voy porque. ¡Adios! ¡Responde cuando puedas!

Con cariño, Alexander Wroblewski.
Photo on 11-28-12 at 11.54 AM
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Una Carta para Ti


Querid@... ,
¡Hola! ¿Cómo te llamas? Cómo estas? Me llamo Micah Henry. ¡Estoy muy bien! Tengo catorce años. Soy de Filadelfia, pero vivo en Filadelfia. Hace mucho frío en Filadelfia. ¿Cuantos años tienes? ¿De dónde eres tú? ¿Qué tiempo hace hoy?
Soy talentoso, a veces serio, igualmente cómico. Soy muy deportisto, divertido, a veces perezoso, y muy inteligente. Soy más o menos alto, por lo general sociable, y más o menos delgado. Me gusta practicar deportes, me encanta futbol! Me encanta beisbol, y jugar videojuegos. No me gusta trabajar, estudiar, y dibujar. ¡Mi favoritos dormir y comer! ¡Adios amigo!

Con cariño,
Micah Henry
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Una Carta para Ti

Querido ___________,

¡Hola!  ¿Que tal? Me llamo Joie.  Soy de Filiadefia.

¿Cuantos años tienes tu? Tengo catorce años. ¿Cuando es tu cumpleaños? Me cumpleaños veinte cuatro de junio. ¿De donde eres tu? Soy de Filadefia. ¿Que tiempo hacé hoy? Hacé mucho frio.

Me encanta ir de compras. Me gusta comer. No me gusta nada leer .Me gusta cantar y baliar. ¿Y a ti ? ¿Qué te gusta hacer? Soy súper baja, increibenente guapa, bien boba ,  muy adorable ,y tambien intelgente. Soy africano- americana.  Tengo mucho de amigos, ellos son molestón. Me gusta bastante encanta Trey Songz. El es súper hermosa Soy un poquito loca y basante extraña. A verces soy dibujar. ¿Y tú? ¿Como eres?
Tengo que estudiar.  

¡Audios! Con cariño

Joie Nearn

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Una Carta para Ti

Saludos desde Filadelfia. ¡Hola, buenos días! Me llamo Jackie. ¿Qué tal? Tengo quince años. ¿Cuándo es tu cumpleaños? ¿De dónde eres tú? Soy de Filadelfia. ¿Qué tiempo hace hoy? Hace más o menos frío y fresco de Filadelfia.
Me encanta dormir, escuchar música, salir con mi novio, pasar un rato con amigos. Me gusta mucho practicar deportes, el fútbol es mi deporte favorito. No me gusta nada trabajar, bailar, estudiar, y leer. ¿Y a ti? Soy más o menos baja, morena, y ni delgada tempaco gorda. Soy deportista, simpática, extraña y boba, también habladora. ¿Cómo eres? Bueno, me voy porque tengo que estudiar y dormir. Adios. Responde cuando puedas.
Con cariño,
Jackie Middleswarth

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Una Carta para Ti

Querid@ ______

¡HOLA! ¡Saludos desde Filadelphia! ¿Qúe tal? Me llamo Jade.

Yo soy estudiante Science Leadership Academy. Pero vivo en Filadelphia, se conoce como “La Ciudad de Amor Fraternal”. Me cumpleaños es el 22 de julio. Me gusta musica y leer. Me encanta nadar, y comer. NO me gusta NADA ir la cine o hablar de telefono. Soy tengo catorce años. Yo soy boba, loca, y mucho mucho habladora!  Yo soy un poquito perezosa pero yo no soy antipática. Además yo encanta pasar un rato con amigos.

¿Y a ti? ¿Qué te gusta hacer? Soy inteligente y sociable. ¿Y tú? ¿Cómo eres?

Responde cuando puedas

Con cariño.

Jade Schweitzer*
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Una Carta para Ti


¡Hola! ¿Cómo estás? Soy Jada. Tengo catorce años. Soy de Filadelphia. Hace frio.Es una ciudad grande. Se conoce como “La Ciudad de Amor Fraternal.” Soy estudiante Science Leadership Academy.

Soy algo baja, delgada, guapa, bastante boba, sociable,cómica, divertida, inteligente, tambien, por lo general simpática. Me gusta comer, ir de compras, pasar un rato con amigos, cantar, dormir, bailar, escuchar musica, y hablar por teléfono los fines de semana. No me gusta nada ayudar en casa. También no me gusta leer pero cuando es necesario lo hago. Mi cumpleanos es cuatro de julio. (: Me encanta Kevin Hart, Lauren London, y Meek Mill.

¿Cómo eres tu? ¿De donde eres tu? ¿Cuántos años tienes tu? ¿Qué tiempo hace hoy? ¿Cómo eres? Bueno, me voy porque tengo qué ayudar en casa. ¡Buenas noches! ¡Hasta luego!

Con carino,
Jada Terrell ( :
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Una Carta para Ti

Querida __________,
Saludos desde Filadelfia.  Se conoce como “La Ciudad de Amor Fraternal.” Es una ciudad grande.

¿Qué tal? ¿Cómo te llamas? Me llamo Myrna Yousuf. ¿Cuántos años tienes tú? Tengo catorce años. ¿Cuándo es cumpleaños? Es el primero de junio. Soy de Filadelfia mi familia vivo Bangladesh. ¿Qué tiempo hace hoy? Hace frío hoy en Filadelfia.

Me gusta escuchar música, dormir, ver la tele, y leer. Me gusta estar de vago con amigos. No me gusta nada correr, estudiar, y practicar deportes. A veces me gusta bailar. Cuando tengo tiempo libre me gusta escribir y también leer. ¿Y a ti? ¿Qué te gusta hacer?

Soy asiática. Soy inteligente y perezosa. Soy extraña, y simpática. Soy más o menos loca y boba. Soy morena y un poquito baja. Los fines de semana me gusta dormir. ¿Y tú? ¿Cómo eres?

Tengo que estudiar. Responde cuando puedas.
Con cariño,
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Miley Cyrus

Se llama Miley cyrus. Tiene veinte anos, y es de California. Es muy guapa, divertida, bastante delgada, y boba. Le encanta cantar, bailar y correr. Te gusta reljar y dormir. No te gusta comer, y ir a la escuela. Miley cyrus es perfecta.
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Environmental Education: Too Green or Not Too Green

Humanity is young. While the fertile earth from which we sprang came into existence a colossal 4.54 billion years ago, the human race only reached anatomical modernity approximately 200,000 years ago. We began to muse over the more intricate concepts a minuscule 50,000 years ago, reaching a point archeologists describe as behavioral modernity. Only 12,000 years ago, we began to settle down and practice sedentary agriculture, then, beginning a mere 200 years ago, in the 19th and 20th century, we pulled forth from the stone of the earth a double-edged sword. Our double-edged excalibur? Fuel. 

Speedy scientific advances in the 1800s allowed humans to delegate unpleasant tasks to fossil fuels, and we began to innocently extract these resources from the earth in many different forms. There is a twist to this happy fairytale though. Human greed, lethargy and corruption drove us deeper and deeper into a spiral of addiction. We pillaged and plundered the very earth that provided for us. We grew fat, as individuals and as a race, creating unhealthy lifestyles and living conditions for ourselves. We have crippled the Earth, making it less and less supportive of life as we know it by spewing toxic chemicals into the air, destroying habitats and unbalancing ecosystems. The most impressive part? We have utterly redefined what it means to be a living creature by demanding that the Earth provide every little amenity for us at the lowest personal cost - all in the last 200 years.

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So what do we do to fight this massive, ever-growing problem? With an issue as pervasive as this, simple taxes and bans will never get to the heart of the problem. Our greatest tools in this oncoming struggle are our minds. The issues of global climate change, pollution, overpopulation and non-sustainable fuel are issues of science and behavior. So how do you fight an issue of behavior? How about an issue of science? The answer is through education. The only way we can change the actions of the human race as a whole is to educate the human race as a whole. To slow the additional injury to our planet that is caused every minute, we must spread the word. It also can not work to confine this knowledge to the select few who can include higher education in their lives. The range has to be far and wide. 

To me, it makes perfect sense that the group we need to focus on educating first and foremost is children. This generation of kids will be among those facing the most drastic human-caused changes in our world that we have seen yet. It seems natural that these people should know the intricacies of sustainable living by heart. It should be their first instinct. Despite this, environmental education is still lacking severely in public school systems in high schools, let alone in middle schools and elementary schools. The EPA has given out more than 3,500 grants for environmental education programs since 1992, a nod in the right direction, but one organization giving out grant money can not turn the tide of a massive country like the United States. What we need is a revising of our priorities. Environmental education programs should not be optional individual programs, they should be mandated and integrated into schools of all economic or racial statuses. As of 2007, only 12 states require integration of environmental education and environmental literacy programs in K-12 schools. This cannot be accepted. Its time to spread successful environmental education to every corner of the United States, before its too late.

An ongoing bibliography


North Korea's Dictatorship: Blocked From the World (yatw blog post prt.1)

I am Ameer Holmes, I'm currently a 9th grader who is very concerned about the effects of dictatorship. I don't think the systematic properties of dictatorship is for the well being of people in general. It may run effective at times, but it usually becomes accommodating to the dictator to the point where everything done is for him, his fun, his wealth, or his ideals. North Korea is a dictatorship that is slightly on edge right now, and it's harming the people of North Korea, and the views of the children in it. 

North Korea has an area of 122,762 sq. km with  24.6 million people in it. That means 24.6 million people are affected by what their government (or dictatorship) does to them. In North Korea education is run by the state, and 8% of the learning is of communist morality and reverence to their dictators. North Korea is also a communistic dictatorship, like the soviet union. North Korea's current dictator, Kim Jong Un is 28 or 29 years old. Kim Jong Un is married to a pop-star (supposedly, because it's hard to get any news from North Korea), and is the dictator because the previous dictator was his father, and he died.

 This is what America has done to help the people of North  Korea according to Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs.

  • North Korea agreed to freeze its existing nuclear program and allow monitoring by the IAEA.
  •  Both sides agreed to cooperate to replace the D.P.R.K.'s graphite-moderated reactors with light water reactor (LWR) power plants, by a target date of 2003, to be financed and supplied by an international consortium (later identified as the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization or KEDO).
  •  As an interim measure, the United States agreed to provide North Korea with 500,000 tons of heavy fuel oil annually until the first reactor was built.
  •  The United States and D.P.R.K. agreed to work together to store safely the spent fuel from the five-megawatt reactor and dispose of it in a safe manner that did not involve reprocessing in the D.P.R.K.
  •  The two sides agreed to move toward full normalization of political and economic relations.
  •  The two sides agreed to work together for peace and security on a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.
  •  The two sides agreed to work together to strengthen the international nuclear non-proliferation regime.
However this has been in affect since October 1994 according to Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs.

Dictatorship in North Korea has spun out of control. North Korean citizens are not allowed to leave North Korea, only a few amount are allowed to enter North Korea, and North Koreans aren't allowed to even communicate with the outside world. People who have lived in North Korea for decades are arrested for speaking out on the dictator. Starvation to the point of death has effected a large number of North Korean citizens. Many things can be said about the affairs of North Korea, but one thing for sure, it isn't working (as a community). 

This is s CBS video -Does North Korea leader Kim Jong Un's marriage and fresh image mean change is coming?

Don't pay attention to the marriage, look at all of the other things going on with North Korea's dictatorship.
Pay attention to the
  • Nuclear missiles, Rockets
  • Food shortages
  • Being cut off from the world
  • People being unaware of who was leading them

(if there is no video above go here) 

The picture on the top of the page is from and shows how North and South Korea differ. It really shows how North Korea and everywhere differ.

For references look at
>> Bibliography 

Something Fun
>>"Kim Jong Un sexiest man alive"

World Hunger and Homelessness

The world’s population is approximately 7 billion and counting. About 5 people are born every second and approximately 2 people die each second. In addition to that, there are about 925 million people on the planet who go to bed hungry every night. And over one billion people are homeless, not having adequate housing. As part of the You and the World Project, I want to go on a crusade to seek an end to these epidemics. 

Hunger according to the Oxford English Dictionary 1971 is the want or scarcity of food by someone or some where.  People may associate the main cause of hunger with the shortage of food supplies, but the leading cause today of hunger is poverty. According to the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), 3 billion people, almost half the world lives on less than $2.50 a day, and nearly 8 million people die each year because they can’t afford to stay alive. The largest poverty stricken regions of the world are Asia and the Pacific, then the Sub-Saharan Africa, next Latin America and the Caribbean, the near East and North Africa, and last other developing countries.

* Picture of a girl from Sudan trying to crawl towards the United Nations feeding center with a vulture waiting behind her for the right moment to attack.

Homelessness is the state of not having a constant and adequate home or nighttime residence. Homeless people may take refuge on the streets, in shelters, cars, abandoned buildings, or with friends or family. According to the National Alliance to End Hunger, roughly over 640,000 to 2.5 million people experience homelessness in the U.S., let alone 100 million and counting are homeless in the world. And of the U.S. of the homeless population, 40% are families with children, 1.37 million of the population are under the age of 18, 41% are single males, and 14% are single females. Shockingly, of the homeless population, veterans make up 40% it. The greatest cause of homelessness yet again is poverty. The other leading causes are lack of affordable housing, unemployment, substance abuse, and mental illness. In America, Alaska and California have the highest rates of homelessness. But in the world, India, Nigeria, and China have the largest homeless populations. 

* Everyday, more than 100 million people face the reality of being homeless.

There are many organizations out there to help put end to the homeless epidemic, such as the National Alliance to End Homelessness. This organization is one of the leading alliances to committed to preventing and ending homelessness. Other organizations such as Project H.O.M.E., is a Philadelphia based organization that empowers communities to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty. The Just Life is another organization that aides the homeless. It is a Christian organization that is committed to being agents of social change by living out righteousness and justice in the world.

* Homeless shelters offer a warm place for the homeless.

An organization the have been founded to aid the hungry is the World Food Programme or the WFP, which was founded by the U.N. is the second largest humanitarian organization is the world that adresses world-wide hunger. The Hunger Project is also a charitable organization that is dedicated to an end in world hunger. And Bread For the World is a Christian organization that urges our nation’s decision makers to end hunger. 

* Organizations are available to feed the poor.

Homelessness and hunger are urgent issues that should be tackled. So make your voice known. Petition the Congress to pass legislation to aid the hunger and homeless, volunteer at local homeless shelters and food banks, donate to these causes, listen to the cries of the victims impacted by these issues, just do something to make a difference. They need your help.

They Need Your Help!

Food Deserts: Part 1

            The importance of eating well is an issue that resonates with me and is of importance to a big part of the world.  Whether it is because of how food tastes or because of the healthfulness of what we eat, but all of us take seriously what we eat and it concerns us that not everyone in America is able to do so.  This is why for my You and the World project I will focus on the problem of the lack of access to healthy foods experienced by different segments of our society based on socio-economic standing.  These areas of low access to healthy foods are called “food deserts.”  The US government defines food deserts as “a census tract that contains concentrations of low income people in which at least a third of the population lives more than a mile from a supermarket or large grocery store.” (Bornstein) Some people blame this lack of availability of good food for the obesity crisis in America especially in poorer urban neighborhoods, while others assert that this lack of accessibility is overstated. I will attempt to make sense of these arguments.

            People have been talking about the problem of “food deserts” in low-income, inner city neighborhoods for over a decade now. They are considered to be the byproduct of the abandonment of these neighborhoods by the major supermarket food stores in the later twentieth century and their replacement in these areas by the proliferation of fast food chains. For many people in these areas, it is simply too much of a burden to have to travel over a mile to the nearest grocery store to by fresh fruits and vegetables.  It is even more difficult considering that most of these people don’t own cars to transport their goods in, or are elderly, or have small children to look after. Instead of eating fruits and vegetables and in general eating well, people living in these “food deserts” are living off of processed foods high is sugar and fat and washing this stuff down with a soft drinks that are mostly sugar.  The problem is that junk food is extremely cheap and readily available, while healthy food is expensive and hard to find.  An additional factor complicating this issue is that while sweet and salty foods clearly taste good, they equally as clearly are destroying the health of people living in these areas.

            A major question, however, is how real is this concept that equates the relative poor health and high rate of obesity in poorer neighborhood due to the lack of accessibility?  Until recently it was accepted by most people that the presence of food deserts was the major contributing factor to the relative poorer health of inner city inhabitants, but recent studies have raised doubts about this correlation. (Bornstein)  Other issues, such as income, education, or culture may be even more important factors, but no study can deny the obvious importance that the scarcity of well-stocked supermarkets and other groceries has on the lack of healthy foods.

people affected by food deserts in chicago(1)

Graph of citizens affected by food deserts in Chicago here

That is why efforts to offer more food possibilities to these neighborhoods are so worthwhile.  Something has to be done to offer more choices other that expensive, hard to get healthy food and cheap deadly junk food.  One of the suggestions for reducing this problem was having “Mobile pantries”, which is when they open up a stand of boxes of different types of food. These foods are donated for this purpose and they are given out for free to everyone who is there with no proof of need being required.  Mobile pantries, however, have many faults. Since it is expensive to provide free food for so many people it takes a while to gather the amount of required donations, which leads to food distribution being less frequent than people need it to be. There are so many people in need at these mobile pantries that the line is tediously long leaving some wondering if it is even worth the wait.  

The perfect solution to this vexing problem of the limited availability of healthy food in poor neighborhoods is still waiting to be tried.  It will most likely take a combination of both public and private efforts, but what we need right now is the conviction that food deserts are a serious problem needing an immediate solution. 

Map of access to grocery stores here

    Annotated bibliography here

"You and the World" Teen Depression

Many of us as teens have heard the stereotype that all we care about is what we look like who we talk to and what is going to happen next for us. Essentially the adults in the world put us in one big box labeled teenagers and let us fight for ourselves through the 3 years of middle school and the 4 years of high school. These seven years in our lives are the ones that shape and mold us. We are transitioning in our lives from children to adults. We also are experiencing many new things that stick with us for the rest of our lives. Whether it is good or bad it stays with you and affects you in some way. Sometimes it affects you in the short term and you make some decisions that aren't the best for you or the people around you. Those decisions are made based on many things that happen in these seven years or even earlier. The decision may also be based on depression and teen depression is a little special compared to other depressions.

The things that influence our decisions in life can be from something so small like someone telling you that they think you should do this or that to something as a person who is very close to you dying. The decisions make us the way we are and when you are depressed your mind isn't in the correct mindset for you to be making big decisions. If you are depressed and you are a teen it can make your decisions a little more rash than one of an adult. The Facts say that self harm is most common in Girls From ages 15 to 24. Thats is what makes it interesting though because if you just search Anything with self harm in teens the search automatically goes to teen depression in girls and those are all the suggestions too. One statistic on teen suicide, I found that is very interesting is that boys are 4x more likely to die from suicide than girls. However, the girls are more likely to attempt suicide. So the boys are more likely to complete a “successful” suicide than girls but the girls attempt more times than the guys.

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Some numbers for you to see how big of a problem this is becoming are:

  1. 20% of teens will experience depression before adulthood
  2. teens with depression usually will suffer from more than one episode within 2 years (episode can last up to 8 months)
  3. 70% of the teens will have more than one episode before adulthood.
  4. Dysthymia is type of depression that 2% of teens will go through. This type of depression is mild but long lasting.
  5. 15% of the teens with depression will develop the bipolar disorder
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One Girl who committed suicide one month after this video was posted. This is a subject that is very close to my heart because I saw so many of my friends go through some of the self harming decisions and I saw how much they were upset afterwards when they realized what they had done. I have always wanted to make people happy and I hate to see people sad and this you and the world project gives me the opportunity to put a smile on people's face and help them realize that they can be happy if they look at their situation from another point of view. Some effects of depression in teens are pretty extreme for many of the causes. some of the causes can make you have the effects of harming yourself in a way like you can cut yourself you can make yourself throw up or not eating hurting yourself in any way have consequences to the people around you. choices this big will always affect the people you love and who love you. I think that when us teen are thinking about these decisions we only think of what relief it will get us. I don't think we think of the consequences for those around us. I think we are bit naive in that way and we need a little guidence from our elders in that way.
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​Things people need to survive; for a good life many teens need to know these things so they know how much they have and what they need so they can get those things and make themselves content.

Entry #1 — Music Education

Blog Entry -- Wilson Biggs

Music education.

I bet you hear about that a lot. Whether it’s that a school your child goes to is getting rid of it, or a news article about a school district that’s fighting to keep music education alive, the question always stays the same: will it survive this era of budget cuts and bankrupt school districts, or will it ultimately get cut and wither away?

My name is Wilson Biggs. I’m a freshman at Science Leadership Academy. The contents of this article are not guaranteed to be bias-free, as I am an aspiring electronic musician. However, take everything I say seriously: I have experience in music education and growing up making music.

I, for one, can tell you that music education should begin when you are in preschool. One study conducted in 1997 showed that preschoolers, when taught how to play “Ode to Joy” on the piano, improved their spatial-temporal reasoning skills, which is the ability to mentally manipulate 2- and 3-dimensional objects. In addition, Richard Gill, in a TEDxSydney talk, made points as to why children should learn about music in their younger years.

Music is important for the following reasons. It is abstract. It doesn’t mean anything outside itself. [...] Music does not describe. Music does not tell stories. Music evokes. Music suggests. Music implies and opens up the mind of a child in an extraordinary way.

        That’s not the only point he makes during his talk, however. He believes that in order to get into the real deep and creative part of music, children must create their own, not just reproduce others’. He states that “the power of creative thought is transfreerd from music to all other areas of learning is hugely potent. [...] Music is worth teaching because it empowers children spectacularly.” From my own experience, when children get the opportunity to make music, they get particularly excited about it. Not because it’s music, but because it’s creating.

When kids are enthusiastic about learning something, they tend to excel in it. And that’s why, in order to cut music costs and to boost how well students do in music classes, technology should be implemented in music programs. In 2005, the International Journal of Education and the Arts published a paper outlining why technology is important in music education. The paper describes the current state of formal music education as “elitist”, and proposes an informal music education centered around computers.

“[A] cross-disciplinary or multimedia approach to musical composition may well engage and motivate pupils more successfully, as well as facilitate the development of their broader creative skills. I have certainly found this to be the case in the three case studies[.]”

This isn’t the only paper that suggests that technology in music education is beneficial; another paper, written by Takako Mato, describes that “there was a significant increase of basic knowledge of  the note writing and reading skills necessary for composition in class A [with computers] over class B [without them].” It later describes the results of a test conducted by the Yamaha Corporation, which found that “Long and short term music achievement is significantly increased when compared to traditional approaches and methods.”

For new music programs, incorporating technology shouldn’t be a huge challenge, as either the teacher usually owns a computer or the school district provides computers to the school. A computer, a projector, a small keyboard, and some kind of MIDI sequencing software are all that are needed to implement technology into music programs. I intend to bring music education and technology to schools throughout the school district and possibly to surrounding districts.

Image-Line, the company that publishes FL Studio, might give discount prices for their software for schools that use PCs. All Macs come with the free software Garageband, which works well enough for schools.

To see my bibliography, click here. I hope you will support me as I fight to bring music education and technology to the school district.


Animal Vehicle Collisions

My name is Des O’Donovan and I am a freshman at Science Leadership Academy. For English class we had to do a you and the world project. For this project we had to pick an issue that we cared about. Then we had to create a blog post about the issue. Then we have to actually do something about the issue.

My issue is Animals getting hit my motor vehicles. I want to try to prevent animal getting hit by vehicles. Many animals are struck and injured or killed by cars in the United States. I want to try to make it safer for animals, and try to prevent animal vehicle collisions.

I am interested in this issue because I think that it is tragic that innocent animals are hit by cars. These are car accidents that happen all the time. I live in north west Mount Airy near the Wissahickon valley park. There are a lot of animals that live there, including an over population of white tailed deer. There are some busy roads near the park and animal vehicle collisions are common. Animals are struck by cars and often killed. Within less than half a mile of my house I have seen many animals that have been killed by cars. These animals include grey squirrels, toads, frogs, snakes, songbirds, birds of prey, small rodents, opossums, raccoons, and deer. Seeing this is what got me interested in this issue.

This year near in the park near my house an unidentified hiker was walking in the woods with their dog. The dog was not on a leash, which is against park regulations. Many hikers in the wissahickon do not obey leash laws. The leash laws are put in place so that dogs don’t destroy plants, erode trails, and harass hikers and wildlife. This dog got away from it’s owner and chased a full grown male white tailed deer across the busy road of Wissahikon avenue where the deer was hit by a car. It is unknown if this deer is still alive. Dog's harassing wildlife is one of the reasons that they run across roads and get hit by cars. click here to view article

In the united states many busy highways go right through areas of wilderness. animals that live in these areas need to cross these roads. but with so many cars going at speeds of 60 miles an hour or more it is very difficult for them to make it across without getting struck by a car. Most animals just get run over when they get hit and die. Others manage to make it off of the roads and then die from internal injuries. Some animals may go for days, weeks, or months of suffering from injuries before they finally die. Some people may ask who is to blame for all of this. Well it depends on a number things. Sometimes it’s because drivers are careless, and don’t pay attention when  they see an animal crossing sign. But most of the time it’s simply because there are too many busy roads going right through animal habitat, and the animals have no way of getting across without risking injury.

Some species that get hit by cars are endangered. In 1998 in the Florida Key Islands a recorded 134 endangered Florida key deer ( an endangered white tailed deer subspecies) were killed by cars. Also endangered Florida panthers ( a critically endangered Florida mountain lion subspecies) are often hit by cars on highways going through the everglades. These endangered cats are disappearing quickly, so the Florida department of transportation built passages under highways for animals to safely go under. Panthers, along with many other Florida species have been recorded using these passages. These passages are also being used in Arizona. Migratory animals such as pronghorn antelope are often hit by cars in Arizona. So the Arizona department of fish and game built these highway passags for animals. If more of these passages were built there would be less road accidents with animals.


Endangered Florida panther using passage under highway in Florida

to learn more about animal crossing passages click here

Animal vehicle collisions are dangerous for animals, but they are also dangerous to people. When larger animals are hit by cars they can cause serious damage to them. These accidents can injure and even kill people. There are an average of 1.5 million collisions with deer and elk in the u.S each year. One year in Arizona there were 10,00 injuries resulting in 150 deaths. White tailed deer are often hit in Pennsylvania. They are found all over the state and they can weigh three hundred pounds. In more northern areas collisions with moose are common. This often can result in serious injury or death of the driver. Moose, and elk have been known to actually charge at cars. moose can weigh 1,800 pounds and elk can weigh 1,100. Animal vehicle collisions are dangerous for both people and animals.

for information about deer collisions in PA

Pennsylvania is ranked third in the nation in collisions with deer. Due to the lack of natural predators, and ideal deer habitat the state has an over population of white tailed deer. And the population is growing. The collision risk rose 14.975 between 2002 and 2007. The risk of deer collisions is three times higher in fall because fall is deer hunting, and mating season. Deer are traveling more to escape hunters, and to breed. They are more focussed on breeding then safety, and are more likely to carelessly walk across roads. Most accidents happen in the evening because thats when deer are most active. Drivers should be especially careful when driving in areas where there are deer.

I want to find out what people in our state are doing to prevent this. I want to learn more about animal collisions in Philadelphia. I want to focus on deer because collisions with them seem to be a major problem. I want to find out what we can do to prevent these collisions.