maripau's space

Hi 2 every1!!! You have entered my would be great if u put a comment telling me what u think of my posts or recommendations or anything so... I hope u enjoy it ;)!!!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Hey what a project!!!

The Teen Life project was a great discovery for me. Not only I learned a lot but I had a lot of fun. I felt communicating with people around the world made a great connection. I liked learning about the thought of different people. Once I wrote to people of east Asia as pen pals, however I didn't really learned so much about them as I learned here, so that's something I liked a lot.

Somehow I learned about technology. For example the wiki. A LOT of times before I've used Wikipedia, however I really didn't thought why it was called WIKIpedia. That was interesting. Maybe the next time I enter there and I see an error I will have the opportunity to change it. I will feel I helped a lot of people. Another thing I learned is about Skype. I had used Skype before and had seen the thing that said to make a call, but I didn't really know how it worked. It was really interesting the day we did the Skype call. I talked and was really nervous but still it was VERY fun.

Another reason of why I had a lot of fun was because of the videos. On sixth grade I did a play for drama in video and I did a lot of editing which was fun. Since then I wanted to use those abilities again. When Mr.Hide told us we could use video I felt somehow excited. Of corse nervous because a lot of people will see us! But still very, very excited. The hardest part of doing the video was when we forgot what to say. We did a script, but we thought, "Hey! We know a lot of these. I mean, It has been a lot of weeks of researches! Why don't we tell what we learned and now almost know for completely?" and that helped me a lot!

The TLP also had its dark side. Or maybe not really, because working hard isn't bad. However it stressed me out. Sometimes so much I worked until very late. The other bad side of this project is that technology sometimes fails us. Many times we tried to save the video on a CD and on a US drive, but it didn't! So much that we almost got a bad grade on the report cards. However, the good side is that we finally learned how to safe the information correctly.

In conclusion, TLP was a great experience. I know many people must have said the most important thing of all is they learned a lot. But honestly, is true! One of the days of the project I was watching the news with my parents and there was a report about something that had to do with pollution in Asia. They were going to ask and expert about the problem, and before he had answered, I already knew the answers! That day I felt kind of proud of myself. Then I understood all those weeks were useful. Imagine how much I dedicated to this!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Pollution on Asia

As I told you in my last post, I'm going to research about pollution on East Asian countries. Why? Well, as I've research, the name of an Asian country is always there, especially China. Also, I've seen many modern things that say: made in Taiwan, made in China or made in Japan. In other words there is a lot of industrial work in Asia, which means there is a lot of pollution. For this reason, I thought I would find plenty of information about pollution in Asia so, here is my post. In ATM I found that almost 25% of the world's population lives in Asia. Also it is continually growing industrially and economically. ATM says, "This has been accompanied by a large increase in emissions of trace gases and ozone precursors". These gases come mainly from China, which even though has a lot of pollution, still is much lower in per-capital emissions than the rests of the world. Recently, Asian emissions have overtaken those from Europe and North America. It is expected that in the future it affects more the environment. Another reason is thought that Asia pollutes so much is that it is much more in the south, compared to Europe and North America. "This leads to faster chemical processing of pollution, and greater deep convection lofts this higher into the atmosphere, where transport is faster and the ozone lifetime is longer". China has a great economic boom that is making a great harm in the environment. According to a study, China is producing almost everything, depleting natural resources. This is what National Geographic says, "It remains to be see what long-term effects the Chinese boom will have on the world's raw materials", and I believe it is true, because even though China has evolved a lot, I don't believe it is stopping for now. China's natural resources are already suffering. Also, china is in the middle of the world's greatest rural migration. As more people move to urban areas, more cars and factories appear. At least governments agree that there is a real problem and they do something about it. The government has added strict fuel-standards that are new.

The pollution in Asia may also affect other countries. In New England, New Hampshire, for example, pollution of east Asia was found once by its East coast, according to NHPR .

Asia might violate new federal ozone standard. Daniel Jaffe, a scientist, went in a plane searching for ozone levels. According to Sdearth Times, they found by Washington an ozone level of 85 parts per billion in a certain height. this over passed that maximum the US Environmental Protection Agency says, that is 80 parts per billion. Also, an ozone level of 72 parts per billion was found in a height that is lower than many peaks by the Cascade range. It is thought that that pollution came from East Asia. Harisa, Arathi and Catrina from MKIS, hope you do some things on the wiki and you can leave a comment here. The same for Tyler and Lucas from Mrs. Baber's class. I know we are all going to do great documentaries.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Pollution on Colombian Rainforests and more....

Colombia, even though is very small, its the second country in the world with the greatest biodiversity. However many of their rainforests are disappearing, and not only because of cocaine production. Also I researched and found out that the results of pollution can be either physical or biological. Something extra other than the things I promised I was going to research of is how Mongolia is affected during winter because of pollution.

Researching I found Mongabay where I found information about rainforests in Colombia. “Each year Colombia loses nearly 200,000 hectares of natural forest, according to figures released by the United Nations in 2003” tells the same web page. Let’s start by telling the main reasons of how here in Colombia rainforests are affected. One reason is palm oil plantation. Another reason is gold mining. An estimate during the mid 1990’s told that gold-mining by itself cleared 80,000 hectares of rainforests and at the same time it polluted rivers with mercury and siltation. A third way rainforests disappear here in Colombia is by coca plantations, which affects the rainforests in two ways. One is that poor farmers clear a lot of rainforests to grow the plant. The other reason is that drug efforts spray herbicides in areas they suspect there is coca to kill it. However any other plant is also killed. Finally, let’s focus on how pollution affects rainforests here in Colombia. In my country there are gas and oil deposits. “Ongoing instability has somewhat limited potential development”, says Mongabay. Guerillas attacks and installations on Eastern Colombia cause oil spills. Obviously, this oil spills lead to pollution.

Two ways in which the results of pollution are divided are physical results and biological results. One of the physical effects are oil spills. It is cause by ships collisions and other accidents. These oil spills coat everything they touch. Oil spills require expensive clean-up operations. “It fouls boat hulls, pier pilings, and shore structures; spoils the beauty of nature by killing fish and birds; and makes beaches unusable”, tells TPUB about oil spills. Another physical effect of pollution are air pollutants. Burning oil and coal produces sulfur oxides, which causes steel to erode a lot times faster than the normal. Also, when it mixes with other pollutants, sulfur oxide’s particulates cause corrosion at an even faster rate. Particulates by themselves damage soil materials and structures. I some way it destroys art because with some pollutants it erodes faster sculptures and buildings. The biological effects I also found them on TPUB. “The most serious result of pollution is its harmful biological effects on human health and on the food chain of animals, birds, and marine life. Pollution can destroy vegetation that provides food and shelter. It can seriously disrupt the balance of nature, and, in extreme cases, can cause the death of humans”, tells the same web page. Pesticides, that can be herbicides or insecticides, kill vegetation. These pesticides are meant to kill an specific animal or plant. However it isn’t selective so it also kills any other organism. The biological effect of water pollution is a great problem because it affects our water ways. It is caused by the widespread of pollutants such as oil and fertilizers. Since we need water to survive and water pollution put in danger our water ways, we are also in danger. Water pollution puts in danger marine life. Some water pollutants like oil that is a major one, kill surface-swimming organisms and sea birds. Also, when the oil sinks to the ocean floor, it also might harm shellfish and other marine life. The Navy is concerned because somehow they also cause pollution. The ships spill ship-wastes into water-ways. These wastes include oil, laundry waters, sanitary wastes, solid wastes, and different kinds of chemicals.

Mongolia is known because of its clear and blue skies. During winter, however, Ulan Bator, it’s capital, gets covered with smog on the sky. “The smoke can make it hard to breathe and it's affecting the health of Ulan Bator's burgeoning population” tells BBC News. Buildings might completely disappear from view because they get covered in smoke. In airports, international flights get delay or canceled because of the little view there is. Because Ulan Bator is in a valley covered by mountains, all the smoke gets trapped and preserved on the city.

I have some opinions after this research. I didn’t know how coca affected rainforests here in Colombia. Also, this is the first time I ever knew that gold-mining also affected rainforests. I got to know that guerillas here in Colombia also affected my country because it polluted the rainforests. Finally, however, I understood that pollution really isn’t the major way rainforests here in Colombia are disappearing, but it is a way. It cool to know that the effects of pollution are divided in two ways, physical and biological. Its sad to know that even though the Navy is so helpful, it pollutes waterways.

This research leads me to another way. As I’ve researched I found a lot of information, even though I didn’t write all of it. I’ve seen that every time I browse pollution, somewhere there is East Asia, especially China. So now I’m researching about water and air pollution on China and maybe other places in East Asia.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Some More About Pollution

On my last post I talked about two types of pollution which are the ones I'll focus on, water and air pollution. To continue my research about them for the Teen Life Project, here are some information and news about these types of pollution.

If you didn't know, pollution started way many years ago, but it actually did not do a great change on the environment.Wikipedia-Pollution tells that during the Iron Age there could be metal grinding. If this happened then particles of metal would fly into the air, polluting it, but just in a small amount. Also, maybe human wastes could have polluted rivers and other water sources. The same web page also tells, "The first advanced civilizations of China, Egypt, Persia, Greece and Rome increased the use of water for their manufacture of goods, increasingly forged metal and created fires of wood and peat for more elaborate purposes (for example, bathing, heating). Still, at this time the scale of higher activity did not disrupt ecosystems or greatly alter air or water quality".

BBC News- Polluted river in China tells that the clay wastes of a disused pit in China was poured into Bodmin Moor after a dam was breached. Imerys, which is the chinese clay producers that had to do with the accident, were helping a lot the Environmental agency because of the incident. Temporary measures are been taken to cover the gap from where the wastes were poured. The River Camel Fisheries Association says that this accident happened in a bad moment. A fisherman said that it will be uncountable the number of fish eggs killed.

World View says that Earth hasn't be this hot at least in 1300 years. Pollution can result into global warming. This increases temperature. The fourth report of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says that the only results of global warming aren't only increase in ocean water and in air. It also includes, melting snow, it affects salinity in oceans, changes in precipitation amount all over the world, aspects of extreme weather, and it affects the intensity of tropical cyclones.

In World View- tropics says, "For many years, it was thought that tropical rainforests were essentially unaffected by climate change. Now studies are showing that not only were they changed during past events like ice ages, but some areas are being affected right now by warming". An example this page gives is Monteverde Cloud forest Reserve, located in Costa Rica. There, clouds are forming a lot higher, drying up air. This causes a lot of it fauna and flora to die.

In my opinion, something has to be done about pollution. I already knew that pollution caused global warming which caused sea level to increase, however I didn't know the other facts, like it increases the amount of air, world precipitation and ocean salinity. Something that made me think how bad things are, are the pictures in the top of this post. I can believe that polar bear is actually in an artic area. I imagine he was accostumed to cold weather and snow, but constant pollution caused fast melting of snow. Then is the picture of the man walking in a dry area. Maybe what happened was that hot winds carried land leaving it dry. Or maybe clouds formed higher in the sky drying the surface, like happened in Costa Rica. Finally is the picture of the big wave. I never understood why sea level increasing was bad, not even when I read this information! But when I saw the picture I imagined what could have happened next than the picture. Houses might have been destructed and important objects mights have been carried away by water. This is my opinion about pollution.

Finally, this information leads me to another part. The rainforests here in Colombia may be affected by pollution. I could research about it. Maybe, for the Teen Life Project someone from other country may research about rainforests there too. Another thing is that if I found out more ways pollution affects Earth now than last time, maybe thereare still more effects that I could research about. I'll see what I can find for next week.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Pollution: A Problem for EVERYONE

There are six types of pollutions: air pollution, water pollution, radioactive pollution, land pollution, noise pollution, and thermal pollution. However, I'll focus more in water and air pollution. During my research I learned many things like that pollution affects your heart, specially a woman's heart. I also learned that it affects the lung development of a kid. China's water and air are one of the most polluted ones. Things like one single car accident around all the world may affect the pollution of a river, like happened once in the United Kingdom, by the Cledwyn River.

Let's state better what water pollution is, according to Think Quest-Water. Water pollution is the contamination of water by foreign matter that makes water bad. Water pollution can happen on body of waters like bays, streams, underground water, oceans, and rivers. Pollution in water is involved with release of toxic substances, pathogenic germs, substances that require much oxygen to decompose, easy-soluble substances, radioactivity, etc. that are deposited on the bottom of a body of water. Water pollution can lead to eutrophication: lack of oxygen in a water body caused by excessive algae growths because of enrichment of pollutants. The major sources of water pollution are petroleum products, synthetic agricultural chemicals, heavy metals, hazardous wastes, excess organic matter, sediment, infectious organisms, air pollution, thermal pollution, soil pollution

Think Quest-Air says, "Air pollution is indication of disturbances to the composition of compounds in the atmosphere, as it may be summarized as shown:excess emission of gases/vapors into atmosphere, saturation of chemical, compounds/particulates, rate of dissipation < rate of absorption through various cycles (i.e. carbon and nitrogen cycle), emergence of new chemical reactions of reactive and non-biodegradable compounds". Some results of pollution are global warming, acid rain, smog, ozone, and depletion. Some sources that produce air pollution are motor vehicle exhaust, heat and power generation facilities, industrial processes, auto manufacturing, fertilizers plants, building, demolition, solid waste disposal, solvent evaporation, volcanic eruption, fuel production, roadway construction, electrical components manufacturing, extraction of metals, and forest fires.

BBC News/Health says, "Air pollution increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. Researchers studied 66,000 women in and around 36 US cities, finding pollution levels varied between four to nearly 20 micrograms per cubic meter". It's not sure if women’s hearts is more sensible that men's, but women's coronary arteries are smaller so this gives them less defenses. There was a study with women from the Women's Health Initiative ages 59-70. It took about 9 years monitoring them to see which of them went on to suffer a heart attack or stroke, undergo bypass surgery, or die from cardiovascular causes. 1,816 women had cardiovascular problems.

Other things I learned doing this is that pollution affects the lung growth ok a kid. The study is with kid ages 10-18. Kids that live 500 meters away from a main road have much less developed lungs ate 18 years old than kids 1500 meters or more away from them. BBC News/Health-UK tell what the University of California authors warn on The Lancet, "Many children live and go to schools near to busy roads and could be at risk". Also I read that Jilin Petrochemical had to pay a fine of 1m Yuan ($125,000 dollars) because it spilled about 100 tonnes of carcinogen benzene on the Shongua River, cutting water supplies to the city of Harbin and also affecting Russia. One more that I read about is that a truck in UK went to close to a street in development, so a bump made it fall and roll by a slope. That is sad, but at the end it felt by the plain of the Cledwyn River, and it started spilling a lot of oil. It was polluting so much the river that Emergency Services had to work A LOT to prevent more oil to spill. BBC News-Wales even get to say the river was threatened.

Finally, all this leads me to another path. I'm a woman, so I'm really scared. Also, something big is that I live in the city, and I study in one of the very few schools in Cartagena that are in the middle of the city. I've notice that what people are really concerned in school areas is to remember drivers that students might be walking by. But, what about our lungs? I'm also concerned because maybe I might have eaten seafood from polluted waters and haven't noticed it. So, If you are a women, what do you feel after having read this? Aren't you concerned, and even in the deepest, aren't you scared? If you live in the middle of the city, how do you think it affects you? Hope you leave a comment answering these questions and giving you opinion about all this.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Concerns and Free Time ...

In response to Shyla's Blog from Mr. Fisher’s Class, I made this post. She wrote about what kids their age do there but she also wrote about her concerns. Shyla says that there, in Snow Lake, isn't really not a lot of things to do and that most of the time they go to a place called the Youth Center where kids ages 6-12 go there to play air hockey, ping pong, darts, pool, and football. She added that there are also very good magazines and board games. Shyla, there things are great compared to this! There's not a single place in which we can do all or most of the things you said on weekends here in Cartagena. On School we had air hockey and ping pong for school hours but now we don't have them at all. Places were you can play darts and pool must be a lot, but you have to be over 18 to go over there. Club Cartagena, for example, has a little room where adults go play pool but kids can't.

The only thing we can do here in Cartagena is hang out and eat. If you ate at home there's not really a lot to do, if you are a kid our age. The only place we can go and the only thing to do isn't eat and hang out is El Campito. There people play micro-soccer and baseball and people can watch them play. Also very good milkshakes, threshed corn and pizzas are sold there. The following places are places in which we only go to eat and hang out: McDonald’s, El Otoyal, Crepes & Waffles, El Corral, and Club Cartagena. Believe me, we would do anything to have a Youth Center here, or at least a little bowling center!

Shyla said that some of her major concerns affect places all over the world, not only Canada. And it’s true. Garbage and Global Warming. If you have seen other posts in my blog, you might have seen one in which I answer Dustin's question that asks if global warming affects my environment. I said yes and explained that because this city is too small all the pollution from the new and old buildings and the old cars and the new ones that come because of the people that move to new buildings get all concentrated in one place, which increases temperature. So I agree with Shyla because I believe pollution is a major problem all over the world. This might sound stupid because I'm not doing nothing about it, but I thing all humans are responsible for this.

Another issue that Shyla talks about is littering. I hate littering because all the streets are horrible. I feel very bad if even by mistake I litter. By the Paseo Peatonal, a little "street" where you can go exercise and that borders the bay, has a lot of trash cans. However, I think there shoul be more trash cans. Also, I think something that would help and that anyone could help with is that in every 2 corners of every block there is a trash can so people that are lazy going by don't throw their trash on the streets. This takes me to another place. I think one main reason there is so much littering is because people are so lazy to keep their trash until they find a garbage can that they through them anywere. In the bay here in Cartagena people throw strange things. I think everyone that leaves here has found at leats one sandal floating in the water! But the worst is when people throw garbage, putting the lives of the fish in more risk than they are because of the pollution. Littering is bad not only because it makes cities look and smell bad, but because it is dangerous for animals.

In conclusion, I can tell that are a lot of reasons to believe littering and global warming are two major problems here in Cartagena. Also, I can tell that even in the most smallest and remote city in the world, there is something fun to do on your free time. If you son't believe so, ask anyone that leaves here!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Global Warming in my Community

This post is in response of a question that Dustin, from Mr.Fisher class made on the Teen Life Project wiki: Do you think that global warming will harm your environment? (Dustin/Mr. Fishers class).

I believe global warming is a major problem here in Cartagena even if other people think there are a lot worst issues. To prove that global warming is an issue in Cartagena there are some things we should think of. One is the size of the city. This city is very small and this could be a disadvantage. Another thing we should think about is the amount of buildings here. A third thing you should count on is the temperature here. It is very hot and humid. These three things can make a great problem out of global warming in Cartagena.

The size of Cartagena affects global warming. Some people may believe that this city is very small to have global warming as a major problem. However, being small is actually a disadvantage. Because it is very small, the most minimum of pollution gets all concentrated. With time this pollution won't be the minimum but it will be a large amount. Because a large amount is concentrated in only one place, temperature will rise more than normal which is, obviously, global warming.

Second disadvantage is the amount of buildings in Cartagena. It rise a lot and still more are being build. You might be thinking this is only a problem because it doesn’t look nice, but because on homes there could be pollution, this is also a global warming problem. More people are moving here, or at least that is what all these buildings show. This means there are going to be a lot more refrigerators and tons more of air conditioners, which give out CFC’s. Also there would be a lot more computers which are bad for the environment, too. If more computers, refrigerators, and air conditioners are in Cartagena, the more it will get polluted. The more polluted it is, the worst the global warming is.

Finally, I could tell the original hot and humid temperature in Cartagena is also a disadvantage. I say the original because with time it has gotten warmer than what it was because of global warming. I believe this temperature indirectly pollutes because people like to stay fresh. For example, every night I turn on the air conditioner. If not I can't sleep because it is so hot. Also, sometimes I come so hot from school because I just had P.E or simply because the day was so hot that I turn on the air conditioner right away instead of waiting until night. Another example here are houses that have the central air conditioner on all day long. This gives out a lot of CFC's.

If we mix together all this the result is obvious. It's hot so the already existing homes and the future homes will have air conditioners. Also, in such a little city there are already a lot of cars, plus the ones that will come because of the new buildings. So much gases and CFC's produce damage to our ozone layer. So yes, absolutely, global warming will harm our environment.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Teen Life Project Introduction ;)

Hi to everybody that is checking out my blog right now. My name is Maria Paulina and I live in Cartagena, a city with a climate hot and humid on Colombia. Sometimes I love Cartagena because sometimes I have a really good time in places like the Rosario Island, which are about 40 minutes away from Cartagena in a motor boat. There, water is very transparent and clean, which makes it perfect for water sports and diving. However, I don’t have such a great time in the beaches of Bocagrande and Castillogrande, two neighborhoods in Cartagena. There water is very dirty because of the water it receives from one of the major rivers in Colombia, the Magdalena River. Focusing more about me, I’m telling about my family. My parents are Alonso and Maria Pia. I also have a sister called Isabella which is 18 years old and has done one semester in college. They all were also born in Cartagena. I have some hobbies, like playing soccer and basket. Even though I’m not very good in them, I have fun playing them. I also like watching TV, chatting in MSN messenger, and hearing music. My favorite music is reggaeton. In this post I’m talking to you about two issues people my age think about. Drugs and buildings in Cartagena.

Buildings in Cartagena are a problem for people living here. First of all, they are not nice for your view. This are projects that take a long time compared to the results. Let me tell you from my own experience, buildings under construction are pretty ugly and specially if you have to see them for so much time. This is also a problem because all the big and beautiful houses are being destructed to make all these buildings making Cartagena look like a little Manhattan, but a lot more ugly. Finally, this causes a problem that people that really don't care about the view, will care in the future. Cartagena may sink in the future, because here we have a bay that receives all the bathroom water. However, the pipes are not so prepare for so many toilets, so when the bay doesn't resist more, all the water will enter the streets. Sure more people will leave here, but for such a little city, over-construction of buildings is no good.

The second Issue I would like to talk about, are drugs. Drugs are a significant problem for Colombia, because, even though I hate to say so, we are known for giving the cheapest and best cocaine. This really hurts because we are always almost cruelly treated on airports whenever we go outside Colombia. They asked us a lot of strange questions and they look all over our suitcases... even in the underwear!!! Some people use drugs to be "cool". Others to be rebellious. Others just want to feel good or want to have a way of feeling free. Some are just curious and end being addicts. Drugs are not only illegal but one of the greatest harms you can do to your body.

Over-construction in Cartagena and drugs are serious subjects people my age discuss about. We like showing our point of view on everything. In the over construction problem, we know that time will pass and the view will be better, but then bathroom water will be the problem. I know we should have hope, but I really think that the drug problem can't be solve completely, even though I think it could be solve partly or most of it. For me, this two issues are some of the ones I like discussing the most. Hope things get better for Cartagena and Colombia.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Changes of Halloween in Cartagena

Let's remember Halloween here in Cartagena about 7 years ago. In those times I still made part of the children that when out for candy. Everything was very safety. A lot of kids dressed up with bags that later they got full of candy. You could hear many people, that's right, not only kids, singing "Trick-or-Treat". Maids and moms were with their kids and some kids walked by themselves. Oh! And that's right! There were a lot of decorations. Now, I think, Halloween is no more a day for little kids in Cartagena.

I don't know what's happening but I've seen less kids Trick-or-Treating. Off Course some kids have stopped, but what about the new kids that trick-or-treat for the first time? This last Halloween I saw very few kids asking for candies. I saw a few families walking around, but the rest of families were in their balconies or something. But I think I know the reason where most kids had gone. This reason is also another change of Halloween.

Another big change of Halloween in Cartagena is that it is not very safe. There are a lot of kids throwing gunpowder in the streets. It was impossible to pass by there. Kids and teenagers become crazy there throwing flour, eggs, and gumpowder to the cars, constructions, houses, and to each other! One friend of mine got a burn. There was an adult woman that I heard calling the police. She seem scared.The police had to pass by many times. However, the police was very violent with the kids.The friends of the kids taken by the police threw gunpowder to them and yelled them bad words. I think safety is the greatest change.

I think it is good to have Halloween spirit and dress up, even if you don't go out. However, in such a day that it is so dangerous for kids to ask for candy, everyone lose the spirit. This brings to another change, decoration. People are not happy anymore. This makes them stop decorating because they are not interested in Halloween. In conclusion, Halloween has changed with the pass of years and people have lost their spirit, but that doesn't mean you can't have fun. Go out or stay in your house and spend time with your friends like that you can have a good memory.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

My Response To Monsters Are Due on Maple Street

The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street is a story I read in my class and that has a clear message. There are two figures at the end of the story: Figure one and figure two. They say something that lets me think that the author, Rod Serling , is talking by them. They say that the people in Maple street try to find the most dangerous enemy which is actually themselves. The figures say this because they see the people being very violent, attacking each other... even making Charlie's head bleed! Also they say that Maple street is not unique because there are a lot like that in the world and that wherever they go they'll find these Maple Streets, and this is because of the people's attitude that is very common.

This is the message because I think that what the author is trying to outstand in the story is the atitude of the people and the way they respond to their problem, which is very common to the way many other people would have respond. In life today, that is very common. In many groups, like in the family, in the classroom, with your friends, this happens. There is a problem that nobody is sure how started. Nobody is going to be calmed unleast there is a good answer to their questions. This frustration to get your questions answered may even take you to ridiculous answers, like happens in the story. In conclusion, I can tell this message still is important today because I've live it and I know much other people live it, because some places I go I see conflicts just because people are trying to find out who is guilty.

"Monsters are Due in Maple Street" or "The Twilight Zone", is a story from 1960. I would change some things to make this play more modern. The author should consider that some places have electric plants. Something more is that if other equipment, other than the electric, should be affected by the blackout. For example something with battery like a cell phone,an ipod, or a videogame. This would make the story more modern. Also the setting could be changed. If the events happened in a city more people would be affected. More places like stores and restaurants and more sources or transportation like buses would make the story more ineteresting.If the first man would have got to the moon in the time Rod Serling wrote the play, more things of outer space would be known by Tommy and he wouldn't have thought of the alien thing.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

A Scary Story

In spanish class, my teacher asked me to bring a book to read it. I was going to check out a book on the library but I forgot to do so. because of this, I had to chose a book from my house. But most of the books in my house are very boring. However I found a book that b elonged to my sister called "obesesion mortal" or "Mortal obssession". From what I read, I think this book is very interesting.

Everything starts when the main character, Nicole,starts having a series of problems. one problem is that her parents are always controling her without giving her liberty. This makes her feel like a baby even though she is seventeen. another problem is that her boyfriend, david, is not being honest with her. He is never finishing conversations okay so she doesn't trust him anymore. Finally, another problem, is that she is failing a subject in school. If she doens't get this subjects better, she is not graduating. But things get worst when she tells her problems to her best friend Lucy.

Lucy tells her to change bodies with her and live some days like that. This is possible in Terror Street by jumping from a wall. They did it and it worked. When nicole, in Lucy's body, went to lucy's house, she saw something horrible. Lucy's parents death, all covered in blood!

First, nicole runs to her real home but there was nobody. Then, Nicole starts running to the house of Kent, Lucy's boyfriend. She tells him all. At first he seems to believe her but when he went to the kitchen for a glass of water, nicole heard him talk with the police by the phone. he thought nicole (lucy) killed her parents! She escapes of Kent's house and ran back to Lucy's house, trying not to see the living room were Lucy's parents were. She went to Lucy's room and there she found a note from the real Lucy that confessed she had killed her parents! But nicole
is going to stop Lucy and not let her escape as a criminal in Nicole's body!

This book has been very good, even though I've not finished it and i'm just by the start.

I think that book is not scary. Until now, it seems more about suspense. Maybe it is about terror because some people think blood is something very, very, scary. But I don't, specially when I'm not really looking blood. However, sometimes I think blood is very disgusting.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Lights Off, Fun On!

"It's is Michelle's turn. Please don't throw the pieces all over the room. Remember I will be the one to organize this. Huh. Next time let's not meet on my house. Hahaha!" said Amanda, who was having a tough but fun time playing Monopoly in her house with her friends Michelle, Danialle, and Sophie. They were having a lot of fun, but then Michelle said, "I'm kind of bored. Let's do something different. I brought a CD of many great singers I love! Let’s hear it!"

"Ok. But I'll bring some snacks first. What about some Doritos and Coca-Cola?" asked Amanda.

"Yes! I'm hungry! I love Doritos!" the three girls answered. In five minutes Amanda was back with the snacks and they started hearing the CD. They were dancing and singing. They liked so much the CD that they heard it all twice. But suddenly, Amanda turned off the music. "Hey!" Sophie exclaimed.

"Aren't you kind of bored of hearing this CD?" Amanda asked.

"Well, yeah, kind of.” Michelle agreed.

"Okay. Let's watch T.V. then” Said Sophie. They were watching a T.V. show called "Next". All the problems started when the fan, the lights, and the television went off by themselves. Nothing creepy, just that the electricity had gone.

"Gosh! What are we doing now? You know my life is like a marathon and I've got to be doing something always."Danialle said.

"Don't worry. Let’s go outside and play with the ball. I wish I could play soccer or basket but I lost both balls in the park. But we can play with a normal ball on the parking lot." Amanda said. They took the ball and went to the parking lot.

First, they played a game they called "Paredon". After that they started playing four square. But then they played to pass the ball by kicking it. First, everyone kicked okay. Second, it was okay, too. But at the third time Danialle kicked it so hard that it went to the other building. She didn't noticed what she had done so she laughed. "So you did it on purpose?" said Amanda.

“What?" asked Danialle, surprised.

"You threw the ball away! If it wasn't on purpose, you wouldn't be laughing." Amanda said angrily.

"No! Really not! Is that I didn't notice I had threw it away! You have to believe me! Please!” Said Danialle, worried.

"However, you had to be careful with it. You knew it was my only ball left” said Amanda.

"Amanda, I understand that you are angry because it is your only ball, but you have to understand that she didn't throw it on purpose." Said Sophie, trying to help.

"Yeah. I was being careful, just that not enough..." said Danialle.

"Okay. You both are right. Sorry to start fighting for something as dumb as a ball that can be bought again.” Amanda said. They had nothing to do so they just stand in the parking lot.

"There it goes!" they heard someone yelled. Then the ball flew back from the other building.

"Thank youuuu!"Amanda exclaimed. They were very happy the ball was back but they couldn't continue playing because it was so dark they could barely see their hands.

Then, they went upstairs and Amanda turned on a lamp because there was no electricity yet. "Well, the only thing left to do without electricity is to talk. How was your cousin's party yesterday, Michelle?". Said Sophie.

"Well, actually it was kind of boring. I didn't know most of my cousin's friends so I was very lonely and shy." Michelle said.

"I'm so bored! If there was electricity I would be in MSN or playing on internet!" Said Danialle.

"No! You know I'm not very good with computers and you know that I don't like them so much. I've got a normally, perfect, easy life without them and..." said Sophie and they continued talking for a while until Michelle took the lamp and started checking the room with it.

"Amanda, you should organize your room. Your closet is amazingly messy! What about if we helped you organize it?” Michelle said.

"If you want. I don't mind". Said Amanda, and they all started cleaning and organizing the room.

Later, Sophie stops and said, "Hey, I’m going to the bathroom.” She went and when she was back she looked nervous. "Um, girls, I think I saw something moving by the kitchen when I was coming back from the bathroom. But maybe is my imagination. You know me". Said Sophie. They laughed. Then Michelle said she needs to go to the bathroom too. When she was back she seemed scared, too.

"Hey Sophie, It wasn't your imagination. I saw something moving in the kitchen!” exclaimed Michelle.

"Oh! In days like this, when I was a little girl, I would think it is a ghost. However, it obviously isn't a ghost. What about if it is a thief? A drug addict!" said Sophie.

"I don't know but someone has to go check what it is and that someone isn't me!” said Danialle.

"Me neither!" said Michelle and Sophie at the same time.

"Well, someone needs to go check and.... I think I have to be that someone since I'm the one who lives here". Said Amanda, and she left with another lamp.

Waiting for Amanda, the other three girls started talking. "Why is she taking so long?... Maybe what was moving was a murderer and killed her.... don't say things like that!... we should go check..... Noooo!..."These where some things the girls talked about. Suddenly, everyone heard Amanda's voice saying, "Oh my god!". When the girls heard that, the three of them ran to the kitchen to see why her friend yelled like that. When they got there, there they found her, lying in a corner with that something-that-moved, in top of her... bitting her, licking her...

"A cat? What are you doing lying there playing with a cat?" said Sophie.

"Well, this is Rupert, the neighbor's cat. He is that something-that-moved". Said Amanda.

"Oh! So he escaped from his house and entered by your kitchen..." said Michelle.

"Exactly. This has happened a couple of times before. I'll call his owners later” Said Amanda.

“But then, why did you yell 'oh my god!'?" asked Danialle.

"You three were so scared that didn't hear the rest. I yelled: Oh my god! You are so cute. What are you doing here Rupert?” said Amanda.

They all laughed and started playing with the cat in the kitchen. They served him milk. Minutes later, the electricity came back. But they continued playing with the cat in the kitchen because they were having fun like that. Later, each girl when back to her home. They left very happy, because they had finally had fun even though normally they got bored when there was no electricity.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Sea Accident

About a couple of years ago I was going to the Rosario Islands with my family. We invited a French far familiar called Beatriz. We were in the boat perfectly until suddenly it stopped. I saw forward and saw to men. First I thought they were swimming and thought they were crazy to be swimming so far away from the coast! Then I thought they were selling something. As we got closer I noticed there was a LOT of people including little children. They were tourists which were in a small boat that had been broken by a big wave!

Our boat had already a lot of people so we called for help. Another boat came and took some people to a small cruise near by. I imagine that was the only thing the tourists were happy of! Nobody got hurt in this accident. But now we had to take the people that came to help us to our island because the tourists had borrowed their boat. Everybody was very nervous, including me. I was dizzy because when a boat stops, it is more sensitive to big waves. However, I got better.

In the island we gave the people some food. My grandfather and my dad started calling in radio to see if they could find people that were going to the same destiny that these people. Finally, all the people were send to their islands. After that, everything went well in our little trip to the islands.

Beatriz had a video camera. She had taken a video of all the people yelling and crying in the water with all the belongings and shoes floating. Also, she filmed a man that was the most useful because he helped the people to hop from the water to a boat or from one boat to another. However, Beatriz couldn’t film the people when they entered the boat because maybe they got offended. If she had done that, this is something that would have appeared: a women crying and very nervous yelling, “My son! Please, my son!”. Finally her son got into the boat. Unfortunately, a problem in the computer didn’t let me show in this post this video that even appeared in the news!

The sea accident was a very different experience. It was very excited but scary because imagine yourself on the position of the tourists! Something good about this is that this made us feel like the heroes. Who knows when the next boat would have passed by? I think the sea accident is something I’m never forgetting.

Friday, October 13, 2006

My Weekend's Ups-and-Downs

Last weekend was a little bit different from the rest. Good things happened and bad things happened. I got sick and went to a bad party. But also, I had fun with my family. All this things made this weekend different.

First I'm telling you the bad things in my weekend. First was that my ear hurt a lot on Friday. However, I went to a party with my friends. That party was horrible. We were very bored so we left early, but everyone was there so we thought it would be boring going anywhere else. Next day, the ear ache was worst. I couldn't even swallow okay. I got body pain and fever. I couldn't go to have lunch with my grandparents like I do every Saturday. I couldn't even go out with my friends. I was very upset with that weekend.

However, on Sunday, things changed. I felt a lot better but I had to get up early because I had no internet in my house and I had to publish, before 7, a post I had written the night before. I thought my Sunday was going to be bad because of that, but no. My grandmother invited us to have breakfast in a hotel called Santa Clara. It was delicious! Then we went to the airport because my sister was leaving to Bogotá. That was something sad of that day. Then we went to have lunch at McDonald’s. Then, the day continued neither good nor bad, but okay.

This weekend was different from the rest. I got bored and also had fun. I got sick but also got better. I spent time with my family but also said bye to one member of it. Even though this weekend had good things, the bad things make me not want to repeat a weekend like this ever!

What a Horrible Fourth of July!!!

A couple of years ago, I had a a horrible Fourth of July. 1)Food, health, and fights were the main reasons to make this holiday so bad. My sister, which is older than me, and I were the ones that suffered the most. We were in vacations in my aunt's house on Pembroke Pines. 1)All the problems started when I got to my aunt's house and she told us the rice, meat, and potatoes resulted bad.

2)The food was smelly, old, and due. We had to go to a store 30 minutes from there because she bought the food in the three closest stores so we couldn't buy bad food again. 3)But finally we had gone to the stores, bought the food, and were heading home. 4)On the way home, my sister told us we should buy fireworks. 8) "No,we shouldn't buy fireworks because it is to late". I told her. 5)After that, we started arguing all the way until we arrived home because we were very tired to continue.

When my aunt was serving dinner, I started feeling dizzy. I felt so bad I ate none of the food that caused me so much trouble! I had to rest on a bed while my parents took care of me. Suddenly, my sister screamed so both my parents left the room. 7)Waiting for my parents, I was thinking my sister only screamed to get my parents' attention. But when my mom was back, she told me my sister got burned while using the fireworks.
2)Affortunately, it was just a little, not-serious, and unimportant burn in the finger, because she got burned with the matches not with the fireworks (which would had been a disaster!!!).

6)My sister and I were bored, but we found things to do.While we felt better, we watched television, we heard music, we received medicine, and later we ate dinner. I just ate a little. This made us feel a lot better. 4)Even though this was a very bad holiday, it had a good resolution.I felt better next morning and mi sister's burn lasted only a week. I prefer no to remeber this holiday, but right now it is a interesting experience to tell.

  1. series of objects
  2. series of modifiers
  3. series of phrases
  4. series of independent clauses
  5. introductory prepositional phrase
  6. introductory participial phrase
  7. introductory adverb clause
  8. introductory yes, no, or interjection

Friday, October 06, 2006

Albania Games!

Have you heard of a town called Albania here in Colombia? It is located in the Guajira department. There is a school, called Albania too. Every year this school makes a sport event called Albania Games. I’m in the soccer team so I went to play there. This was a really interesting experience I will like to talk about.

In Albania there is a kind of camp called Mushaisa, where the school, the houses, and small buildings are. There are no hotels so a girl that live there called Wendy lodged me. I became friend of her and of other of her friends: Liz, Verena, Jessica,
Natalia, and Claudia. We all went to a party in honor of the carnival of Barranquilla called the Guacherna. There, we threw flour and bags of water to each other. It was very fun.

Even though this trip was very fun, I also lived a very bad experience. In the airport I took my wallet out to buy some food. When they asked me for me I.D, I noticed I had lost my wallet! ALL my money was in there. I never found it, but luckily I didn’t need it so much, because I always ate at Wendy’s house, and the only thing I buy was a Coca-Cola in the Guacherna with 1000 pesos (about 50 cents) that my friend Juliana lend me. Later in Cartagena I got another I.D and the money, well, if it’s lost its lost.

Now, let’s talk about sports. The good thing is that our team won first place! Wo-hoo! The bad thing is that there were only two teams! Ha Ha Ha!!! Some teams couldn’t go so we were only the Cojowa team and the Coalba team. I didn’t play very well because I played a position I had never played before. I could have done a lot better but I had very little confidence because of this. However it was okay. I’m not going to die because of that. After all, later I learned to play that position better.

Albania Games were very fun. First of all, I got to know a knew place. I had to do a project about Guajira, so that trip helped me gather information. Second, the experience of losing my wallet was a mistake and from every mistake, you learn something knew. Third, I also learned to play a new position in soccer. And last but not least, I made new friends, which I hope to see soon again in the Cartagena games!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

A Problem I had

Every human and I think also animals have or had problems in life. Nobody can say he has never had one because it is a lie. I've had tons of problems. Most of this problems, I think, I deal with them not very good. What happens is that I'm a person that gets stressed very easy, so with GREAT problems I lose control of me! This is a bad habit because when I turn like this I may say rude things to people. But with other problems I deal good and calm.

When I have a problem under pressure, I think I never finish with the problem perfectly because if I do things fast and finish, its hard to do it neatly, but when I do things neatly, maybe I don't finish. My strategy is that if its important to do things perfectly neatly, better do it like that even with the risk of not finishing. If it’s not important to do it neat, go fast! If you have plenty time take your time, and do things neat and nice!

When I was in fifth grade, I had to deal with a problem. I had to do a project with some friends: Lisette, Suad, and Cristina. It was supposed to be a newspaper. I had a new camara so I was very happy to use it to take the pictures. However there were many problems. The camara got a lot of damages, we didn’t use time wisely, and information got lost. All of these things made us a big change in mood.

In this project, every thing was going okay. We had taken tons of pictures, but we had not loaded any of them. With less than a week before the project was due, I was going to load them to the computer, and print it to paste the in the newspaper. But I had some problems and the pictures didn't load. I called my dad and told him to help me. He worked a little while I was in the kitchen for a juice. When I was back he told me all the photos had disappeared and they were neither on the camara nor the computer! Next day I told my friends and they were going to turn crazy, because not only the pictures disappeared, but the pictures lost were great!

Another problem is that the camara felt, was hitted by a ball, and many things more that were damaging it. Also, every time we met at my house to work on the project, I admit, we were irresponsible and didn't work until the last day. That day I was so stressed that I told something rude to one of my friends. However, minutes later, I knew I had done something wrong so I told her sorry. After all, it was the fault of all of us to be late in this project, not only hers. At 9:00PM, we were still doing the project as fast and as nice we could. We were hearing a funny song because it seemed it relaxed us. Try it! It works! Finally, we were done.

Next day, we felt sad because we saw that the other newspapers were nicer. After we presented, we were sure we were going to receive an F or something like that. But No! We got a B+! This was one of the best grades! After this experience, I promised myself I was going to give all of me in the projects from the day my teachers gave it to me, to the day the project was due.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

My Friends

I am going to tell you about four of my best friends. Their names are Natalia, Juliana, Sara and Nora. Their personalities and most of their likes are very different like the sports they like. But also they are alike in some other ways for example the music we like.

First, I'm telling you the things in which they are different. First of all are sports. Juliana, Sara and Nora like soccer and assist to practices. Natalia also likes soccer but doesn't assist to practices like the rest. She prefers tennis and hopes to be a professional. Juliana also likes basketball and goes to practices, which makes her different than the rest.

Second way they are different is the way of dressing up. Naty likes a lot to wear sport clothing. July and Sara prefer and informal and a little elegant clothe to go out. Nora is using clothe that is the very fashion. By the other side she also wears retro clothing.

Now I'm telling you the way my friends are alike. They all like the same music. We all think reggaeton is the best! Also we like the same type of food. Some examples are the crepes of a restaurant here called Crepes&Waffles. Finally, another thing is that we are friends of the same people, other than the five of us.

In conclusion, my friends and I have more different things than similar things. At least, I can tell more details about our differences than our similarities. These differences sometimes make us argue. However, if were more alike, we would be a lot less friends than we are now.

Friday, September 29, 2006

How I Feel About My Blog

What I expected of my blog is very similar to what I feel about it now. What I expected about my blog was that it would be fun and interesting. I thought that it would be interesting to edit my blog changing the settings. I also thought it would be fun receiving and making comments, and writting about my thoughts.

Making a web log was harder than what I expected. When Mr.Hide, my teacher, told us that we were going to do links, I got excited. However, when he explained us what we had to do to open other windows, to show the words we wanted, to make the link blue and underlined, I thought I was never going to understand! We had to write a lot of symbols and be very careful with what we wrote and where we did so. It took me time but now you can see the results (that at first view seem simple but aren't) in another of my posts.

What I feel of my blog now is that I now understand more things. I learned how to work with technical aspects. First of all, like I just said, are the links. I still think they are hard but at least I know how to work with them better than before. Settings are technical aspects that I like a lot because in the setting you can make your blog look prettier or more interesting.Another thing that I feel I understand a lot more is the publishing. At first I got zero in some work because instead of publishing it I saved as a draft but that happens no more.

I'm surprised of many things of blogging. First is that it is very similar as if you were writting in Microsoft Word. Second is that I can do spelling check so my posts seem better. Last thing that surprised me is that I thought that my blog would be a lot like a MSN space but it is much better.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

"Three Skeleton Key" Was OK!

"Three Skeleton Key" is a story by George G. Toudoze that I liked in some ways and disliked in another. I'm starting by telling the things that I liked.

"Three Skeleton Key" was a good story in some ways. I liked that the story had a lot of suspense. Also I thought it was good that the setting was well described because like that I can get a mental picture of most of the things. It remind me of "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi", which is another story, because I also got a mental picture of the setting in that story.

I also think that this story was bad in some ways, for example, one of the problems in the story: rats. Rats are this horrible animals that I think nobody likes, but in the story, they are mentioned a lot, and to make it worst, it has a lot of pictures of them. "Three Skeleton Key" is very similar to a culvert because it has rats, smells and strange noises.

Another reason I didn't like this story is that it was supposed to be scary but it wasn't. I can't understand why the author thought that rats driving a boat was something scary. It is mostly funny! I think that if someone reads this story, he or she will think that it is a normal story making fun of scary story, like happens in "Scary Movie". This is a problem that happens in most stories that try to be scary.

This story was okay. It will never be my favorite because it has bad things. But it also had good things so it wasn't so bad. However, if someone asks me for a good story to read, I will never recommend "Three Skeleton Key".