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Every Animal Deserves a Home... Part 2

As said before in my previous post, my name is Ava and I am a teenage girl from Science Leadership Academy striving to make a difference in the world of animals. I believe anyone can make a difference, no matter how small of a voice they start out with, and that’s what I’m hoping I can do through this project... Make a difference.

With the start of a new year, there’s a new hope for animals across America. 2012 was an increasingly better year for the animals, and there have been many adoptions. Many shelters and organizations helped in the time of need when animals yearned for care during the stressful event of Hurricane Sandy. 

Hurricane Sandy was a devastating time for both humans and animals alike. Although according to the ASPCA, there were 129 happy pets that were reconnected with their owners.

In addition to the good news, an article published in December of last year talked about how more and more shelters are becoming no-kill. When a shelter becomes no-kill, they need to have a large amount of help in the process because it’s very difficult to have a successful shelter that doesn’t euthanize animals. In one shelter alone there can be hundreds of volunteers. Volunteers work at the shelter to help take care of the animals, but they do not get paid. Much of the success of the no-kill shelters is because of the wonderful volunteers who devote time out of their personal lives to go out and help the cuddly creatures!

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Click picture to be lead to site.

Through a recent survey I created, I asked several simple questions. Almost 70 people filled out the survey! I wanted to know if people had ever adopted a pet from a shelter, if they believed that animals deserved better care in shelters, and if they had ever been to a shelter. Most of the results surprised me. I didn’t expect as many people to say that they had adopted an animal before. It also surprised me that almost half of the people that filled out the survey had never been to an animal shelter.

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Click the picture and scroll all the way down for a bigger copy.

I believe that through this survey, I have learned that it would be in my best interest to educate more people about the shelters along with encouraging them to take a brief tour of one.

Through the research I’ve recently done, I think that my opinion is not as biased. Although I do believe that many shelters have terrible conditions, my opinion has shifted and I now reassuringly know that there are many people out there who do care about the animals and are willing to do almost anything to help them.

I’ve started volunteering at an animal shelter, and so far, the experience has been amazing! Every week I go to the shelter and walk the dogs there. It’s a great feeling to get to know some of the dog’s personalities, but also a little sad to see them go if they get adopted. I know it’s better for them that they have a home, so I’m glad to see them leave for a better life. Below is the logo of the animal shelter I volunteer at.


Click the picture for more information.

For another section to this project, I plan on collecting old towels. Shelters use towels for many things, and when they wear down, the shelter needs new ones. Collecting towels would benefit the animals there, and the shelter would have one less thing to take care of. 

We are their voice. Let us be heard.

To view my first post, please click here.

Click here for my bibliography.
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You and the World #2

Hello. This is the second post in my You and the World project. To look at the first one, click here. I feel the information I have gathered since my last post has been very valuable. Homelessness is a problem that reaches into many different sections of life. A Philadelphia man has been taking pictures of the homeless and talking about them on the internet. To look at the website click here. What this man is doing is really important. How many times have you passed by a homeless person in the street and just ignored them? I have done it too many times to count.

One homeless man, Lemuel, who was quoted on the site was talking about how he is homeless and people ignore him when he asks for money, but then there are people who ask him for change so they can pay the meter to park. I think this reveals the real problem. People are so self-centered that they do not realize the needs of others. When someone needs to pay the meter to park their car, that is all they think about. When they see someone with change they think “Oh, problem solved!” even if they are homeless. We all need to think beyond our own want and needs and think about this community as a whole. To back this up further, I would like to bring up my survey. I did a survey for this project to see how aware people were about the poverty and homelessness that surrounds them. Look at the graph on the right to see the results.chart_1 There were more people that got things wrong but the results were close to even in terms of how many people got questions wrong versus how many people got questions right. Most of the time when someone got a question wrong they thought there was more poverty. This leads me to believe that it is not a problem of awareness, but a problem of caring. Many people know about the poverty problem in Philadelphia but it seems that they shrug it off. I decided to volunteer at a homeless shelter in order to alleviate the amount of people who are hungry and homeless. However, through this whole experience it has become clear to me that this is not enough. I urge people to volunteer at homeless shelters (here is a list of homeless shelters), but also pay attention to what is going on outside on the streets. Homeless people who either choose not to go to homeless shelters for whatever reason or who cannot get into shelters are left out in the cold. We need to take care of them to. We ignore homeless people on the street often. At least most people I see do. I think that the first step to end the homelessness abundance is to recognize that there are homeless people. We should stop averting our eyes when we see a homeless person but look at them in the eye. If they are asking for change stop and say sorry I do not have any as oppose to ignoring them. I have realized all the wrong things I was doing and I am starting to make a change. There are some homeless people like Lemuel, who had a bad habit and now need help rehabilitating. I bet that being homeless does not help in this process. I think for the sake of homeless people, and even for our sake we need to end the over abundance of homeless people.
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"You and the World" Teen Depression Continued

Since my first blog post,"You and the World" Teen Depression, I have found out that more teenagers are depressed than I thought. The statistics have sown outstanding numbers. On this site the numbers are plain and simple and that is only in the girls! Some of the things that they mention on the page are that the number of female that are depressed triples from the age 12 to 15. At 16 it still increases by almost a whole percentage. Then when the girls at different went to get help with their depression there was an ten percent difference between the girls that were 12 and the girls at the age of 17. I also found out that it takes about a month to get an appointment for help with your depression. Then when you are prescribed with depression meds it takes another month for them to work or even have any effect on you. I learned that many teens know many others or are those others that have gone through some form of depression. Most doing things such as cutting.

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​​These are the charts on the site mentioned before.

To add to my research I created a small survey. The survey asked questions like Have you or anyone you know gone through depression? Did you try to seek help for yourself or your friend? What did you try to do? If you have been depressed or know someone who was depressed did they do self harm? What kind of self harm? To take the survey yourself you can go to this address. I also interviewed a friend of mine who I knew went through some things that caused her to go to some drastic measures with herself. In the interview I asked some of the same questions as in the survey and let her tell her amazing story.
Like I said before this made me realize that more teens are depressed than I thought. When my interviewee was telling her story she said her best friend was someone who also had problems of her own. Her friend instead of telling her that this may ruin her life or even urge her not to do it, never told her anything to stop her or even anything about her own experience with the issue. My interviewee thought that this was very confusing and she never got why her friend didn't tell her anything. She had confided in this friend and told her everything and she didn't try to help her. Another thing that I found out was that bullying is a HUGE part of teen depression. When she was in the eighth grade my friend got bullied and two words stuck with her until high school those words were “loser” and “fat”. One thing that she truly thought was that the things were homologous. She thought that if she got to be skinny then she would be popular and if she was popular then she automatically would become skinny. That is all that was on her mind then, to become the most liked person in her school. I learned that depression has many side effects. Some being harmful to your physical body like cutting, burning, scratching, starving, drugs smoking and the list goes on. Some being mental. I did not realize how horrible your mind can get messed up from other people’s untrue words.
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This is an original piece of art. The idea came from the old bullying commercials. The words that are around her neck are in the shape of a person's hand. the hand is choking and hurting her. it represents how the words make her feel and how they affect her emotionally. the words on her arm are words that she cut into herself. you may notice that they are the same words that my friend was told most and didn't like most. That is because she inspired me.

Now that I have my research I can honestly say that if you know someone going through any form of depression then you should get them help or even help them yourself. my friend is now clean for over six months and that is because she got the help that she needed. If I were to say anything all I would say is help. The thing about people who are depressed though is that they don’t want to help all the time so it can be hard to get them the things they need, I know that but you still need to try. Talking about their feelings is actually good for them and all you have to do is be there to listen. It is very hard to help someone who is in that state of mind but you have to go through with it.
I still wonder why the girls are the main teens who are depressed. I wonder if it is because of the monthly or just the fact that we are girls and we show our emotions more that we are more likely to get depressed. Another theory is that maybe girls like to show their emotions more, so we find out about the girls rather than the guys. Guys don’t like to show their emotions so they never really get noticed when they do the same things that the girls may do, maybe even worse stuff since they bottle up their emotions. Now this may be getting a bit on the stereotypical side but for many cases this is the case. Even when you search anything simalar to “Teen depression” or “Depression in teens” most of the sites are geared towards the teens statistics in the females rather than the males.
For my agent of change part for Blog #3 I am thinking of doing a box or a posting of something for anyone to give in a submission for what they might be going through and I can reply to them with advice. I will need the help of someone who more experienced in this field of work to help me with what advice to give. In what they write to me they will write how I should get back to them whether it be via email, in their locker, or to a teacher however they want me to get back to them I will do that.

Thanks for reading guys! see you on the next blog post.


Finding Your Way Home


 Hello, and welcome to the 2nd edition of my “You in the World” blog. Just incase you didn’t read my first blog(Blog#1), let me recap. The worldly issue I am focusing on is the issue of adoption.  It is my belief that there are too many good kids out there that need a home. Yet they are being denied those homes, because they do not met a certain criteria. Because they do not fit into whats cool now days. I think it is always cool to make a child's life better. For this blog I went out into the world and decide to interview someone who has had the pleasure of giving a child a new home.

Q. Did you always want to adopt?

A.  No, it was never my intention to adopt.  My adoption became necessary because my mother in law had a foster child who only knew my husband’s family since he was 3 months old.  He reached age 5 and the state insisted we adopt or he would be removed from the home.  This would have been tragic for all because he only knew our ‘family’ as his family.  

Q.Why did you decide to adopt?

A. There was a great desire to help a child and keep a small person safe from harm and a more disruptive situation.  It also satisfied the need to help the family stay together.  

Q.How did the child a just to living in a new place?

A. He suffered separation anxiety and was later diagnosed with ADHD and depression.  We placed him in intense therapy and began to homeschool him from age 7 to 12.   

Q. How did your family adjust to the new person in the house?

A. My family had to relearn their relationship to our new family member.  My daughter now had a brother that was once considered her uncle.  My husband had a son that was once called his brother.  The adopted child now had a mom he only met three times before I agreed to be his mom.  

Q.Did you have to make any changes to your daily home life to accommodate the child's?

A. Yes, I became a homeschooling parent.  I made sure our home was a sensitive loving place for him to adjust even better.  We went very quickly from having one toddler to having a school age child with developmental delays and various personal needs.  

Q.Were there any problems that arose during the adoption process?

A. Yes.  The state, his custodian for 7 months, was very demanding for us to abide by their rules as foster parents.  We were limited as to the decisions we made while he was in our home under foster care.  

Q.Most people who adopt say that the child ends up teaching them something, do you agree? If so, what did your child teach you?

A. I do agree.  The bonds that grew from the adoption became just as strong as having given birth to the child.  How that child got to the family was no longer the issue.  How we would move forward as a family was our focus.  

Q. What would you say the best thing about adopting was?

A. A child was given a second chance at having a prosperous life.  

Q. When do you feel the child stopped being an outsider, and started being part of the family?

A. He became more acquainted with our family after about 5 months.  He really needed to test limits and get accustom to our home life structure.  

Q. Would you adopt again?

A. Yes, I would, if it means saving a young life, most certainly.  

Q. What advice would you give to anyone thinking about adopting?

A. I would suggest that you do your research on the special needs that foster children and adoptive children may have.  It is important to keep an open mind and heart.  

Even though this interview is just from one person’s point of view, this is what most people feel to be true. So I have researched a few other interviews of adopters and adoptees alike so you can get a feel of others experiences. 


Interview#2 Interview#3
What I feel the most important thing to take way from any one of these interviews is that adoption is not opening your home to a stranger, but giving a home to a lost family member, who just did not find there way conventionally.
Adoption Heart
Here is the link to all of the online source I used for my research
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You and the World: Bullying in the USA

In this post I wanted to not talk about the dynamics of bullying but stories from my classmates and my personal story. My story does include bullying but also circles around depression and why it started for me.
The worst of my bullying started in third grade I know third grade doesn’t sound like it could be bad and it was nothing compared to what I would have to deal with in the next few years. Four girls invited me to play with them, I had a blast. The next day when I expected them to play with me again they didn’t. They said that I wasn’t cool enough to play with them, and I was devastated, because I had no friends. That day I had no one to sit with at lunch, so I sat with the girl no one else would sit with because she was a “loser”. She ended up leaving the school after that year because girls were so mean to her, but to this day we are still great friends. I couldn’t believe they had driven away my only true friend.  I felt so alone and sad and in fourth grade my depression began.  In fifth grade I made new friends, they were the best friends I could ask for, they were, kind, thoughtful, and they listened to my problems. It was getting better for me and I was happier. One day after the school play I was walking out  after I had performed when I saw my parents standing by the door, they stopped me and told me I was switching schools next year, to a school that I dreaded.
The next year as soon as we pulled up in the car I said the words I always said “welcome to prison” that year went by and I only had three friends. These girls lived in big houses weren’t very smart and well to say the least they were the complete opposite of me, and by the next year I fell deeper into my depression. That year though, I made some amazing friends, and for the first time in two years I felt happy again, that happiness continued. I was friends with everyone in the school they all knew my name and on top of that I was getting straight A’s.
When eighth grade came around I was flying high out of my dark hole, until the night of October 26th.  That night my dad died. Almost at once I fell back into depression, One day after it happened I went to school. It felt nice to have all my friends hugging me and telling me how much they loved me, but it seemed like there was a black hole inside of me sucking up all the happiness in my life and turning it into depression.  For two weeks I stayed home with my mom, and when I got back to school I was suddenly an outsider. My friends stayed by my side but only about ten stayed as true friends. I feel terrible about it now, but I was pushing away my oldest friends in that school. I was being mean to them, and telling them to leave me alone. I didn't want them in my life, they didn’t understand. I thought my bullying was over, not quite yet. It began again in February when we went on a school trip to Wyoming. It was along the lines of embarrassing me, making fun of my body and continued until the end of the year. It was done by one girl, Hallel Raphael. She tormented me that year, not physical bullying at all but it was very discrete and sometimes it was over the facebook. By the end of that year I was so excited to be leaving, I had amazing times there but also too many bad bad memories.
Bullying is a huge teenage issue that needs to be addressed as a more serious issue across the US. Twenty-two states out of fifty states only have one law passed for either cyber bullying, or cyber harassment.
According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control) 4,400 people a year kill themselves due to bullying. Over 14% of high school students have considered suicide and 7% have attempted suicide. According to studies done by Yale University victims are between 2 to 9 times more likely to commit suicide than non-victims. Girls from ages 10-14 are more likely to commit suicide due from bullying in their schools. 30% of kids of students are either a bully, or a victim, and 160,000 students are staying home from school from fear of bullies.
If it’s gotten to the fact where students don’t want to go to school, get an education, and have a successful future, they would rather kill themselves. It needs to stop, from me being someone who was bullied and know other girls and boys who are bullied, it’s painful, and everyday more kids are sinking into that black hole of depression.
Some people expect parents to jump in and help, but some kids don’t feel comfortable telling their parents because they are so afraid. Kids need to know that when they are at home they are safe, and if they are being cyber-bullied, tell your parents! They can try and stop the kids who are being cruel, and help their child from killing themselves. If parents don’t know what to do then to start they could remove any violent weapons from their home, and if their child has been cyberbullied then a parent can remove computers from their childs room, or put on passwords and website locks to ensure their safety.
I conducted an interview with Angelica Owens because she has become public about her middle school bullying experience.
Interview with Angelica Owens

When did your bullying start?-
My bullying started at pre-K.
Did it have an effect on you?-
It affected me a lot and made me have low self esteem

Do you have any idea why you were bullied?-
I don’t know why i was bullied. they never really told me why
How long did your bullying continue?-
it continued until 7th grade
Are you still haunted by it?-
I am still very haunted by it
How did you get bullied?-
I got bullied by getting dragged across the floor, kicking, punching, called names, and emotionally
Can you describe your self harm?-
My self harm made me feel like i was bigger then the world and I would cut myself with a sharp edge with my nail clipper but it would never bleed through.

Click here for my annotated bibliography

You and the World: Internet Privacy

I'm Toby, and this is my second blog post for my you and the world project. Since I last posted, the ITU meeting happened. Many of the governments present refused to sign the treaty, and the conference ended at a standstill. So for the moment, the internet will stay as we're used to. A petition has also been listed on to defund the ITU. I suggest you sign it.

Since the ITU meeting is over, I'm changing the focus of my project to privacy on the internet. According to Wired, the FBI is pushing for legislation for requiring devices to be easier to wiretap. Not only could this cause privacy concerns, it could also make it easier for criminals to listen in because of the backdoor that the FBI put in in the first place! In happier internet privacy news, Michigan recently passed a law that would give citizens the right to withhold their social networking username or password from an employer or parent who requests it.

I've also done some original research, creating a survey that people at SLA took. It asked questions about how anxious people were about internet privacy, what sites they were worried on, and why. A total of 40 people took the survey. Most people rated their level of anxiety at about 4 or 5, as seen here.


The site most people were worried about their privacy on was Facebook by a vast majority of 65%. 30% of people said they were not worried about their privacy on the internet.


For the last question (If you have ever been worried about your privacy on the internet, why were you?), responses varied. A number of people expressed concerns about colleges and future employers seeing their posts on social networks, while others were worried about stalkers. Other people were worried about people they don't know finding out their identities or seeing them in the wrong way. One parent (and IT professional) said they were concerned about SLA's SLATE blog being too open. They did not like the fact that student's identities and images (although there is no default profile picture and most students leave it blank) and said it should be on an intranet (private computer network) behind a firewall. Additionally, if you are not signed in as a student, you can only see the name of the instructor when looking at the public feed for a class. However, the names can be seen as the author of a blog post, even when signed out.

What I can conclude from this research is that most people are not too concerned about internet privacy, but many of the people that are concerned are especially concerned, worrying about their privacy even when their content is private. This correlates with the news article mentioned earlier about the FBI pushing for devices that are easier to wiretap. People that said they are worried about what colleges and future employers can see can rest a little bit easier because of the law Michigan passed mentioned above. Hopefully more states will follow suit.

I think that the FBI's suggestion for devices that are easier to wiretap is not a good idea. As Wired says, backdoors open the path to hackers. On the other hand, I do think that Michigan passing a law that gives citizens the right to withhold their username or password is a good thing, as it makes social networks a bit more private than their current state. Based on my survey, I think that Facebook's privacy policy should be changed, as it would explain why most of the people surveyed were worried about privacy on Facebook. Facebook's privacy policy states that Facebook may collect data about you while you are browsing in order to give you more relevant information, including your location. You should be given the option to turn this off. Also, since most people may not read the privacy policy, the fact that Facebook collects this information should be displayed in short form somewhere conspicuous. Another way to solve the problem would be to show a condensed version of the privacy policy when users sign up. This is because Facebook's privacy policy says that they will not collect information without telling you about it first, such as in the privacy policy. The privacy policy is linked to on the sign-up page, but just like license agreements, only a few people will ever actually read it. Not just Facebook should do this, but any digital service that requires you to read a long agreement.

Another concern expressed about Facebook in the survey was hacked accounts. Facebook has a feature, similar to Valve's Steam Guard, that would require you to enter a verification code when logging in from a unrecognized browser. This means that if a hacker managed to guess your password, they could not get into your account unless they entered the verification code sent to your mobile phone. Instructions on how to turn it on follow.

1)Mouse over the gear and then click Account Settings or Privacy Settings.


2)Click Security.


3)Find the setting that says Login Approvals. Click it. Check the box and click Save Changes.settings

4)Click Set Up Now and follow the instructions onscreen.
set up login approvals
This is a good feature, and should be enabled by default. However, mobile phone may not be the best way to deliver the security code. Phones can be lost or stolen. A better way to do it would be to send the security code to the user's email, in the style of Steam Guard.

After all my research, I'm left wondering why the people who are worried about internet privacy tend to be unnecessarily paranoid about it. For my agent of change post, I am thinking of presenting to advisories about my issue. You can view my annotated bibliography here. Thanks for reading!


Homelessness Rates

blog #2 Bibliography:

Writing about a topic like homelessness can be fairly tricky, it is hard for a student to get solid first hand information. This may just be because I am not that talented at talking to people, let alone strangers. The difficult part is differentiating the people who have just been exposed to series of unfortunate events and are still hurting, or the people who have sunk into their own failure and ended up victims of their own collapse.
Much of what makes these victims fall into this spiral is based on how people think of them. There are many people who will judge a person on the street at first glance. This may be unjust due to the fact that there are many homeless people that could potentially be dangerous or mentally unsound. Four thousand, that may not seem like an amount to warrant any infatuation, this is the number (approximately) of people who do not legally have homes. This is a number that should be lowered, drastically. One way to help is, instead of giving charity and walking away feeling like a great person as many people seem to have done,,) going to a shelter to help out. The shelters need assistance to stay sustained, most of the shelters seem to close during the summer causing many homeless people to relinquish their constant source of nourishment, shelter, and home. Going to a shelter is not a thing that everyone is obliged to partake in, there are many other ways to try and mend this cause. Many local establishments offer food drives, sandwich making, and other things that can really help. Homelessness has been on a steady rise in cities like Philadelphia, much of this is due to the scarcity of reasonable health plans. Many people who need health care plans will run out of money on insurance that should ease worrying, not cause more. In the past year the rate of homelessness has been up and down; generally falling steadily, there is no way of predicting where we will be in a few years.
Good ways to help out include, helping shelters with supplies or even making food to send on the weekends. I have seen many schools and other public locations offer food drives and things of that nature, and frankly these things are exactly what we need more of in this city (Philadelphia).
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Alienation of the Elderly Pt. 2

For this second blog post, I gathered information based off of the real world. I looked at a care facility near me. I was able to gather data in how well people outside our monitored. I think there are grounds for concern that relate to my issue to be found here. In the past there have been some incidents and trouble caused by some of the people there. (Urination in incorrect places, trespassing etc.) There are many people there who are perfectly sane and fine, however there are others who have been reported to cause trouble due to some mental issues. This is no fault of those living there, but in fact fault those who should be monitoring people who need supervision.

I did some observation on how many staff there were versus how many clients outside of the building at certain given time periods of the day. I was not surprised and found it quite fathomable that someone without the best grip on reality could wander off and put themselves or other people in danger. This is somewhat disheartening. 

I did less overall research in this round of researching. I tried to focus more on what the average care facility looks like. I wanted to be able to relate my research to the actual life scenario that I had seen. In order to say that something doesn't look right, you need to have a pretty good idea of what that thing is meant to look like in its best form. The research that I did from looking online and reading books, of a personal care facility in its best state, did not seem to describe the one that I monitored when doing my real world research. This means that there have been things going wrong on one side of the research, and I place a fair amount of faith in those who are choosing what the standard for personal care should look like.

Obviously this is an issue that requires some addressing, otherwise I would not have chosen this topic. To me, it really is something that takes priority over some of the other issues. It seems all too likely that someone will accidentally prematurely end their own life due to them not being looked after well enough by people who's job it is to do this. The issue now becomes what we can possibly do to remedy this issue. To find that, we need to know the specifics of the problem. There are a few possibilities on why some personal care facilities have issues like this. I am sure that the root of the issue differs throughout each facility, and that is one of the things that makes issues like this difficult to solve with one thorough strike. Some issues need to be addressed on a very individual and personal basis in order to ensure the best results and lack of waste in resources. This issue is most certainly one of the above. 

I still wonder about ways that this issue can be addressed. I also wonder what it would be like to live in one of these places. I think that for my third blog post I want to do something that provides entertainment for people in a home. I am thinking about  playing music for people in a home. Whatever I end up doing, I hope that I can make a difference in some way.

CLICK ME for a bibliography.

Media Manipulation, continued

Media Manipulation: A Growing Threat to National Safety Part 2

When I ended last time, the conclusion I came to was that we have to find alternate sources of information that aren’t controlled by biased corporations, which led us to the internet. Internet news was our next big problem. When you look online, you have large amounts of inaccurate sources to choose from.
As previously stated, the cause of this inaccuracy is open content. The media and information generated online is created by a limitless number of individuals. I conducted a survey asking students from my school if they had ever received and used incorrect information that they found on the web. 67% of the 27 polled responded yes. Of that 18, seven said that they used answer sites like and yahooanswers or wikipedia. These are all sites where the content is user generated.
On the other side of the argument, other large information sites have been becoming more incorrect over the years. As you can see in this 2009 graph from the Pew Research Center for People and Press, people are becoming more and more critical of the accuracy of large corporate news sources.
You can find the entire article here.
Finding information is up to you. You want to find unbiased sources when doing your research, from respectable organizations. Some good examples of information sites to use are PBS and BBC. According to, the ways you can look for unbiased information include looking for the amount of corporate ownership of the organisations, the diversity, whether it is ethnic, gender, or cultural, and to observe who the information is coming from.You can read the entire article here.

The way I see it, we as a population have a responsibility to do one of three things. We need to report the raw facts, without trying to defend our ratings or image, if we are in a position where it is of the concern. We need to have unbiased and accurate information if we are trying to spread knowledge. Fair is a website actively supporting accuracy and unbiasedness on the internet. Finally, it is our personal duty to know how to detect fraud on the internet. I plan on creating a video documenting and providing help with internet research. Thank you for your time and interest, and I hope this article has been helpful.

For my entire annotated bibliography, look here.

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Litter: Part 2

By Zack Hersh
“Travel and Leisure” recently named Philadelphia the sixth dirtiest city in the United States in 2012. While this is progress since being named the second dirtiest city in 2011, our city still has a long way to go.

Since my last blog post, a lot of new information on the topic of litter has emerged. Some of it confirms that we are starting to move in the right direction, but some also shows us that litter is still an ever present problem at a local and national level.

Plastic bags are a terrible form of litter. Animals may mistake them for food and eat them. They fly everywhere, get stuck in trees, and you never know where they could end up. In an attempt to reduce the number of littered plastic bags, many cities and countries, including San Francisco, Mexico City, and Ireland have put a ban on the distribution of plastic bags in some way. This may be a tax on plastic bags, or a regulation on how many plastic bags shopping centers may be allowed to have or distribute. This should help to reduce the amount of littered plastic bags or plastic bags in general, and deter people from using them. Most people are supportive of a ban.

To get a more personal level on the issue of litter, I conducted a survey as original research. This also justified that while litter is still a big problem, we are starting to move in the right direction.

Out of the 52 people that took the survey, only 31% of them have never littered in some way. And only 33% of the people that took the survey said that they never litter! While this isn’t good, if you know that you litter, you can try to stop. Nobody said that they litter all of the time, but 9 people admitted to littering sometimes or often. However, what was really astounding is that only 10 of the people that took the survey didn’t know somebody who litters.  That means that 42 of 52 people know at least one person who litters! Of those, 8 people know a teacher who litters! Teachers are supposed to be our role models, and if they are littering, then we have a real problem.

Probably the most important question I asked on this survey was what people thought should be done to fight against this problem. The number one response was “put in more trash cans and recycling bins”, over “organize pickups” and “raise awareness”,

and I can relate to this on a personal level. On a walk to the Franklin from SLA one day, I had a piece of trash in my pocket and I was looking for a trash ca to throw it out, and for the entire walk, I saw only 1 trash can, and it was right outside the Franklin. I definitely agree that adding more trash cans and recycling bins could reduce the amount of litter in our city.

After this survey, I still don’t understand people’s motives for littering. On my survey, 12 people said they thought that raising awareness was the best way to help with the problem, and I agree here also. I think if poeple who litter knew how bad it was, they would think twice befor littering.

As for my agent of change, I have many ideas for things that I could do. I’m thinking of doing a litter pickup, but I also think that raising awareness, or raising money for organizations, or for the city could be equally effective.

But you can also do your part. Talk to people you know that litter. Pick up litter when you see it. But most importantly, don’t litter in the first place.

For my bibliography, click here.

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