Tuesday, April 27, 2010

PLN 30

I just read "Midfielder Deco reveals Chelsea summer exit plan" in the BBC News sports edition. This story is about how Chelsea's Portuguese international Deco plans to leave Stamford Bridge in the summer to go back to his native Brazil to help run a school he has founded. The 32-year-old Brazil-born midfielder earlier said that he will quit the international game after the World Cup this summer. Deco joined Chelsea from Barcelona in 2008 and told the Sunday Times he would be "nostalgic" when he left the club. Deco was born in the Brazilian city of Sao Bernardo do Campo and moved to Portugal at the age of 19, becoming a Portuguese citizen in 2002. He said it had always been his intention to go back to Brazil to work with the poor, but he gave no hint about whether he planned to play for a Brazilian club once back there.

This matters to the soccer world because Deco is a world class footballer and will be missed a lot by the Chelsea supporters, the Portuguese supporters, and football enthusiasts around the world alike. At least he is leaving the game to go help the poor and to run a school and not just because he is tired or something like that. He is leaving before people start saying that he can't play like he used to. This matters to me because I am a big fan of Deco and I will miss seeing him play on the pitch, no matter what team he is with. This also matters to me because I would like to play professionally someday. Any professional athlete must always have in the back of their minds: What do I want to do, or what can I do when I can no longer play? Many players don't have a "Plan B". I am still working on "Plan A" right now!

PLN 29

I just read "2txt? Or Nt2txt?" in The New York Times, by Garrison Keillor. This article is about how Keillor travels a lot, and in his traveling he has found that too many young American men suffer from lack of social skills. The Pew Research Center tells us that 75 percent of the 12-to-17 crowd have cellphones, and more than half of them text 50 messages a day on average, but many of them text a hundred or more. Three hundred is not unusual. The study by Pew says, "If you sit in the library after school, text-messaging to people across the room (“Hey, whassup? RUOK? :-) L8R”), you have successfully eliminated 98 percent of the nuance of face-to-face dialogue, the delicious nuance and also the awkward stuff, like when you send a big textual hug (“((H))”) to people you've never actually put your arms around — you have skipped some essential steps in gaining intimacy". Keillor says that "if you don’t pick up the fine art of small talk — those little jokey exchanges with the bus driver, the security guy, the cleaning lady, the newsstand guy, the waiter, the bartender — you’re missing one of the pleasures of life". If you e-mail for difficult communications you are ignoring reality, and this only has a bad outcome. You will learn nothing from it. "Women are wired to form close interpersonal relationships as a step toward romance, intimacy, a stable family life within a tight-knit support system, and men wired to beat other men senseless with clubs." Keillor's concern is that electronics, which seem to open up new worlds, may be shutting us down. "Put down that cellphone, good sir, and look me in the eye and tell me something."

This matters to the world because almost everyone in the world has a cell phone and probably uses it on a daily basis. Many people cannot function without them. This matters to education because in school, sometimes I see kids texting in class and a lot of kids are texting in the hallways. They have become a problem that we aren't' really sure what to do about. This matters to me a lot. The only reason I have a cell phone is so that when I travel I can keep in touch with my parents. When I go to Argentina I will be contacting my parents a lot and I will be attached to my cell phone letting them know what is going on. Since I am part of the group Keillor is talking about I really don't see a "change" in people. My parents tell me constantly that people, teenagers especially, have changed a lot, so I guess there is a problem. They point out examples to me all the time! Too many people have come attached to their cell phones and that is their only way of communicating because when they try to talk to someone face to face, they can not do it.

PLN 28

I just read "Our boys are falling behind in education" in The Denver Post, by Dottie Lamm about how over the past 30 years, the world has become more verbal. Yet, on average, that part of boys' brains do not develop until fourth or fifth grade. Reading was once a first-grade challenge; now schools expect to see beginning reading skills when a child enters kindergarten. This push has hurt boys far more than girls. Well-meaning parents and teachers who push boys to read and write too early may see their efforts backfire. Some boys lose interest in learning, and that limits their efforts later, when their brains catch up with their bodies. An example of this is that, boys are more likely to be held back in fourth grade and again in ninth grade; this promotes a suspension rate for boys that is twice as high as that of girls. This leads to a male dropout rate of 32 percent compared to 25 percent for females. Some feminists do not agree that boys need to be taught in different ways because "males still rule the world". Others are asking if we need a "boys movement" like the "girls' movement" of the 80's and 90's. It goes on to tell some examples of certain schools and how they are handling boys' education. The schools are different but all are learning, being physically active and have strict discipline and caring adults helping.

This matters to all boys in the world! Boys develop motor skills faster than girls, but I agree with the fact that girls develop mentally faster than boys. I know lots of boys that have lost interest in learning and school in general. I guess men still rule the world because eventually they do catch up, and when they do, they are more motivated to learn. This matters to me because this past year I have been taking an all-boys English class my freshman year. Today we had to act out the Prologue to Act 2 for Romeo and Juliet. Me and my group did an awesome job and were very creative. I do not think that if we were in a regular class we would have been able to do what we did because it would have been uncomfortable. It was just guys being guys without having any outside pressures. I think this class has helped me a lot this year in focusing just on the class. Boys do develop differently, and if we need "different" classes to help us, then we should take advantage of the opportunity, unless you are one of the ones who just don't care anymore.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

PLN 27

I just read "Suspect arrested in iPad theft" by Kirk Mitchell in The Denver Post, about a man who allegedly mangled a man's pinky during an iPad theft so that the finger had to be amputated was arrested early Saturday morning. Brandon Darnell Smith, 20, was arrested at 1:14 a.m. during a traffic stop in the 3000 block of North Monaco Street. Smith is being held for investigation of second-degree assault and robbery in the April 15 strong-arm robbery of Bill Jordan, 59, according to Jackson, Denver police spokesman.

Like I said in PLN 26,
Jordan previously told a reporter that he had just bought the iPad for a friend in Canada and was near the parking lot when the suspect struck. The suspect jerked so hard it stripped the skin on part of Jordan's pinky to the bone. At first he took off running after the suspect but saw blood on his hand and went for medical attention instead.

This matters to the State of Colorado because people can feel better that the man who did this has been arrested and will not be robbing and/or hurting anyone else. It is nice to know that the police are not as incompetent as sometimes some people make them seem!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

PLN 26

I just read "Man who lost pinky in ipad theft: 'It hurts a lot'" in The Denver Post by Kieran Nicholson. This story is about how the skin was stripped off a man's pinky when a robber grabbed an iPad from him while inside the Cherry Creek shopping center in Denver. The theft happened Thursday afternoon and the man was taken by ambulance to Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center, according to a Denver Police Department report. Fifty-nine-year-old Bill Jordan said he'd just purchased Apple's, the iPad, and was near the parking garage when the robber struck. Jordan had the bag containing the iPad "wrapped around his left hand and he was holding on tight," he told police. The robber jerked so hard that it stripped the skin on part of Jordan's pinky down to the bone. Paramedics who responded to the scene described the pinky as being "degloved - the skin was peeled off." After the robbery, Jordan, sitting in an ambulance with his hand wrapped in a bandage, told police he couldn't fill out a report because he's left-handed. Doctors amputated most of Jordan's finger. On Tuesday Jordan, at his Aurora home still recovering from the surgery, got a first look at his pinky after bandages were removed. Denver police are searching for the robber and released a surveillance video and photograph in hopes that the images would spark tips. The robber is described as a black man, about the age of 25 with medium build and clean-shaven face. At the time of the robbery, he was wearing eye-glasses, dark blue pants, and a long-sleeve, dark blue shirt. He had a satchel bag with a white strap over his shoulder.

This matters to the state of Colorado because we do not need people afraid to go to the mall for fear of being robbed. We need the big social places in our state to be as safe as they can. This matters to me and my family because sometimes we go out to the Cherry Creek Mall to shop and look around. This does not make me feel safe going there because now I know that something bad has happened, not that this couldn't have happened anywhere. Pretty soon we won't feel safe anywhere anymore. Everyone in the state of Colorado needs to help each other to catch this guy and make sure that this incident was a one time deal.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


I just read "Europe's airlines and airports question flight bans" from the BBC News - Europe. This story is about several airlines from Europe that are questioning why they are still not being allowed to fly. Most major airlines have done flight tests and say that the planes, "showed no obvious damage after flying through the ash". They are accusing the aviation safety authorities of needlessly grounding thousands of flights because they do not see any passenger safety issues after their test flights. The weather experts say that the cloud being made from the volcano isn't going anywhere anytime soon. The wind patterns over Europe right now are close to nothing so the ash has nowhere to go.

This matters to the entire world a great deal. I can't even imagine how many people this has effected so far. This is the most the airline industry had been effected EVER, including 9-11. Major things like the funerals for the Polish President and his wife down to little things like someone trying to get home after a business meeting are being effected. There was a guy who was training for the London marathon here in Boulder and could not fly out to London to actually run the marathon, and he is from London. This matters to me because I am now wondering if my trip to Argentina in two weeks will be effected. There is very little wind in Europe right now, but in two weeks could it shift enough to cause problems for other parts of the world too? I don't think I would even want to get on a plane right now with the possibility that something could go wrong. These people who are complaining should just sit and wait until it is considered safe to fly.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

PLN 24

I just read "Niwot High evacuated in asbestos scare" in The Denver Post, by Monte Whaley about how students and staff were evacuated from Niwot High School today when work crews discovered material in the girls' locker room wall that might be asbestos. The evacuation was done as a precaution, said St. Vrain Valley School District spokesman John Poynton. Air quality tests at the school will be done throughout the rest of the day to determine if there was any contamination. St. Vrain Valley School District spokesman John Poynton said that, "Hopefully, everything will be fine and we'll be on a regular schedule tomorrow, but we haven't gotten that green light yet." The suspected asbestos was discovered during a $20 million renovation which included work on the boys' and girls' locker room.

I know that this is a short article, but this is important to the community because we do not need schools putting kids' health in jeopardy. Plus, Niwot is a big school with a lot of students, so we are not just putting a couple of kids at risk, we are putting thousands of kids at risk. This is important to me because a teammate of mine goes to Niwot High School. If something happened to him, our whole team would be upset because we all care about him, and he is a really good soccer player. This matters to the whole state of Colorado because when construction is done on older schools, we need to be aware that running in to asbestos is always a possibility. All the staff and students need to be on alert at all times because you never know when something like this might happen.

Monday, April 12, 2010

PLN 23

I just read "Emmanuel Adebayor retires from Togo international duty" in the BBC News about how the Manchester City and Togo striker, 26 year old Emmanuel Adebayor, has announced his retirement from international football (soccer). His decision comes three months after the attack on the Togo team bus during this year's Africa Cup of Nations. Three people were killed in the gun fire. A statement from Adebayor: "Following those tragic events... I have made the very difficult decision to retire from international football. I am still haunted by the events I witnessed on that horrible afternoon. I have weighed up my feelings in the weeks and months since the attack. We were just footballers going to play a football match and represent our country, yet we were attacked by people who wanted to kill us all. It is a moment I will never forget and one I never want to experience again." Adebayor has represented Togo for nine years and has both great memories and bad ones, including the incident in Angola. This is what he had to say about the coach, "The people who were on that coach together will forever be joined by a special bond - we are all brothers." Two Togolese officials and an Angolan bus driver were killed in the attack which prompted the Togolese government to pull their team out of the event. This led to Togo being handed a four-year ban from competing in the competition, a sanction over which they are currently in an appeal process over.

This matters to the world of sports because Adebayor is a top class footballer and he is walking away from representing his country and captaining his team. Not only is it important to honor your country and play, but to be a captain for your country is a huge opportunity and a once in a lifetime chance. This matters to me because I am a big fan of Adebayor and I just do not think someone as young as him should be walking away from the game you love. He is basically walking out on his country and I do not think that this is a wise decision by him.

There are many people out there that could help him try to get over this event or at least become more comfortable with it. It doesn't seem to me that he is really trying to get help. However, in the end it is his life and his choice. If he doesn't feel safe enough to play in his own country, and feels that strongly about it, then how can we judge.

This also reminds me of my Dad and what he and others went through at Columbine H.S. There are not many teachers left that were there that day because they also couldn't handle it. Those that are left will also have that bond that Adebayor talks about.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

PLN 22

I just read "Hernandez gets 60 years in ice-cream shop crash" in The Denver Post by Carlos Illescas about how a 25 year old male named Francis Hernandez was convicted on 19 counts because of a crash that killed three people at an Aurora ice cream shop. He was sentenced yesterday to 60 years in jail. A father of one of the victims, 3-year-old Marten Kudlis, was upset that the sentence was little more than half the 108 years Hernandez faced. On Sept. 4, 2008, the Suburban Hernandez was driving at 80 mph hit a small pickup that was turning into a strip mall. The collision sent the truck, driven by Patricia Guntharp, 49, careening into the store. Guntharp was killed, as was her passenger, Debra Serecky, 51, and Marten Kudlis, a little boy who was in the shop with his mother. Before he was sentenced by judge John Wheeler, Hernandez took the stand and read a letter begging for mercy and apologizing to the families of the victims. "I know this has been very, very hard for you and me." He choked up as he noted that although he had been called a baby killer, he has children of his own. "I have two little girls who need me," he said. "I have to go home." An Arapahoe County jury convicted Hernandez, who is in the country illegally, on Feb. 23. After the conviction, the family of Marten Kudlis filed a civil suit in Arapahoe County District Court, seeking damages from Hernandez and his family; the family of Guntharp, who was high on methamphetamine at the time and several police agencies that had arrested Hernandez before and did not report him to federal authorities.

This matters to the world because we don't need people who aren't supposed to be in our country to be driving illegally and killing innocent people. This matters to me because a lot of my friends are starting to drive and it scares me. I don't turn 15 until this summer and my parents have told me many times that I will not get my driving permit when kids my age usually do because they think it is too early. I would be scared to get in a car with some of my friends, they are not responsible enough to be driving!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

PLN 21

I just read "Restaurant owner with connections gets 18 months in prison" in The Denver Post, by Felisa Cardona. This story is about how a Thornton restaurant owner, Dan Tang was ordered Wednesday to serve 18 months in prison for funding a major marijuana growing operation. Chief of U.S. District Judge Wiley Y. Daniel decided Tang's crimes were too serious to grant a probationary sentence requested by his attorneys who said his mental and physical ailments were mitigating factors. Tang, the 47-year-old owner of the Heaven Dragon restaurant cried throughout the hearing and looked regretful as he addressed the judge in both English and Cantonese. In November, Tang pleaded guilty to money laundering and was ordered to forfeit $1 million to the government. In exchange, prosecutors agreed to request a sentence of 11 to 30 months, which is below the guideline range for his offense which could carry a term of 70 to 87 months in prison. Two police officers from Northglenn and Thornton have sued their chiefs and supervisors on the North Metro Task Force because they said they were retaliated against for cooperating with the DEA's investigation into the leak. After psychiatrist Dr. David Kan testified about Tang's depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder and physical problems - including hepatitis B and psoriatic arthritis - Daniel asked whether the Bureau of Prisons could handle his medical needs. A medical director for the BOP testified those conditions could be managed within the prison system.

This matters to the State of Colorado because we do not need restaurant owners, or any kind of business owner to be involved in this kind of stuff. When people passed the bill to legalize "medical" marijuana, what did they think was going to happen? Marijuana is a drug and should be kept that way. There are many other problems (money laundering) and doors that can be opened that go along with the whole marijuana "businesses". When this gets out, you will be a little scared because you do not know if the owner is putting a little something extra in your food or not!