Saturday, April 5, 2008
If you talk on the phone while you are driving you are not only putting yourself into a very dangerous situation, but also everybody around you. Most people think "I'm not really talking so much on the phone, I just answer text messages here and there. That's not a big deal". Well guess what? Yes it is!!! If you write or read text messages you are not paying attention to traffic and this could cause an accident within seconds. You have to take your eyes of the road in order to read or write the message. Some studies even show that the driver who just wrote/read a text message or who answered the phone is not paying attention to the traffic a hundred percent even after they are done with reading/writing/talking since their mind is still occupied with the information they just got or the conversation they had. For this reason it is just as dangerous to use the blue tooth headsets than talking on the phone while holding it in your hand. Your mind is occupied with anything else but the traffic.
For me the worst of the "talk and drive" people are the ones who make a turn and can't use their turn signal because they don't have a free hand to turn it on. One hand is holding the phone, the other is holding the steering wheel (if not a cup of coffee, sandwhich, lipstick or whatever), so there is no hand left to turn on the turn signal. And this can become a big problem if you are going 70mph on the high way and are switching lanes. Not very safe, is it? Is it really necessary to have the government put high fines on "talking on the phone while driving"?
Guess what my voice mail says! "Sorry I can't answer right now. I'm probably driving, so just leave me a message and I'll get back to you as soon as I get out of the car." That solves the problem. It is that easy! Just don't answer the phone while you are driving. And trust me, the world will accept that they couldn't get hold of you for 5 minutes.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Barack Obama starts his speech in Philadelphia with this meaningful phrase, which was written by the Founding Fathers of this country.These words describe also why Barack Obama is running for president. Because he believes in America to come to a point where this is possible. Moving on from the problems we have been dealing with for the past decades and starting to work together in order to make a better America for the next generations.
The major reason for Obamas speech on such a controversial issue as race is clearly the videos of his pastor Jeremiah Wright, which were viewed on youtube.com over and over again. In these videos, the pastor uses very concerning language. We can see him blaming the happenings of 9/11 on the American Government, saying "Not God blees America. God damn America." These controversial statements have thrown a shadow on Obama's campaign since he is seen as having a strong relationship to the pastor of his church, he has been visiting for more than 20 years. In his speech, Obama tries to clear these accusations up with claiming that, although he had heard the pastor speek about controversial issues he had never agreed with him and had let the pastor know about his disagreement.
He goes on with the statement that race is an issue this country can no longer afford. "The fact is that the comments that have been made and the issues that have surfaced over the last few weeks reflect the complexities of race in this country that we've never really worked through -- a part of our union that we have yet to perfect." Obama explains, there is an anger towards whites from the side of members of the black community, but the same thing exists on the side of whites who are dealing with an anger towards blacks.
"This is were we are right now" Obama states in his speech. He describes our society to have staled on this issue and we are far away from moving on. Strongly believing in being able to change this he says "We can move beyond some of our old racial wounds", if we work together.
When Obama says "It requires all Americans to realize that your dreams do not have to come at the expense of my dreams; that investing in the health, welfare and education of black and brown and white children will ultimately help all of America prosper." it reminds me about what was said to be one of the major strenghts of the Athens back in ancient times. To educate for the public good and make the public good the most important thing for every citizen. And I agree on what Obama says here, I think this is what America needs to move on: not worrying about how I am deprived of something that someone else got, no matter which race. If we keep on doing this, always blaming other races for our lack of something, whether it is jobs,security, social security benefits or even just an opportunity, we will never be able to change as a society.
Obama concludes his speech with saying "I would not be running for president if I didn't believe with all my heart that this is what the vast majority of Americans want for this country. This union may never be perfect, but generation after generation has shown that it can always be perfected."
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Friday, March 7, 2008
Friday, February 29, 2008
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Now how can the golden ratio be rhetorical? First of all, it is literally EVERYWHERE. From the Mona Lisa to the Great Pyramid of Giza. We can even find it in music! The french composer Debussy used the golden ratio (which is roughly 1.618) to compose accords for his music.
But the most fascinating thing about the golden ratio is, that we can also find it in nature. The seeds of a sunflower are arranged based on the golden ratio. The nautilus shell looks almost exactly like the golden spirale, which again is based on the golden ratio. The golden ratio even appears in the proportions of the human body. Try it out yourself! Meassure the length of your leg and divide it by the length of your arm. You will see, it commes very very close to 1.618 !
So the golden ratio is one of the best number mankind has found so far to describe nature. Many artists used the golden ratio for the proportions of the face they were painting, to make it as close to reality as possible. Many things that we find aesthetic or beautiful relate to the golden ratio!
By making it possible for us to describe reality (the nature) with the golden ratio, it also creats knowledge. We can understand how things are constructed, why they appear beautiful to us.
Math can be more interesting than you would think, and I will show in my research paper that it is also rhetorical.
Friday, February 15, 2008
Most of the people who were asked by NPR if they belive America is in a recession, answered yes or that they weren't sure how to answer this question because they are not sure how exaclty a recession is defined. It turns out that a recession is very hard to define and that most of the time a recession is declared after it is already over. For example, in 2001 we had the last recession. It took 7 months until economists from Harvard declared it as a recession. By this time the economy was already doing much better.
But are we really in a recession? Or is all the talk about it causing the recession? Could it be that the fear of a recession is stoping us from buying ends up driving us really into a recession? With the housing market still being a mess, the first loss in jobs in years and gasoline prices continuing to rise it is evident that if we're not in a recession already we are going into one without short cuts.
We will have to see if the lower interst rates and the stimulus plan can save our economy- and how fast...
Friday, February 1, 2008
My heart is breaking when I see the horrifying pictures of Kenya. Having family in Zimbabwe, I was hoping that if things got worse there under the dictatorship of Mugabe my family could flee to what seemed to be one of the most stable and promising countries in Africa: Kenya. As the Newsweek Magazine puts it, the star of Africa is fading and with it my hopes for Africa.
Since the election on Dec 27. two tribes in Kenya , the Kikuyu and the Luo, have been fighting each other bitterly.Homes have been burned, women and children have been burned alive and the death toll has reached 1000 people in the last weeks. The election that made Mwai Kibaki President of Kenya has been called, not only by the oppostion but also by international leader, a flawed election and the outrage over this unfair election has caused the Luos (the ribe of the oppostiotion leader Raila Odinga) to massacre hundreds of Kikuyus (tribe of the elected President Mwai Kibaki).
More than 200.000 have been forced to leave ethnically-mixed areas. Jendayi E. Frazer calls it a "clear ethnical cleasing" and many feel reminded of the horrors that happened in Rwanda, where hundreds of thousands had been killed.
Kofi Annan, the former United Nations secretary general has been brokering political negotiations between Odinga and Kibaki for the last week, but the riots don't seem to quiet down. Two oppostions leaders have been assasinated in the last days and the murdering in the slums of Nairobi and other parts of the country continues.
With the international eyes being on Kenya for the last weeks, and many experienced leaders supporting Mwai and Rodinga on their way to finding a solution, all I can do is hope for things to settle down fast so we don't have to count more deaths in Kenya.