Sunday, March 30, 2014

Shedding Down The Belongings

When someone asks me, "What would you keep if you were to leave your place forever?" the main scenario that comes to mind is a natural disaster occurring and I have to evacuate and pack my most prized belongings. In the situation given, I would rid of a few constantly used items such as my computer, the PlayStation, and my phone, making me realize how much more free time I would have to myself if I were to not own those time consuming electronics. Personally, I would not be able to live without a basketball, obviously food and water, and most helpful of all a car. The car would assist in taking me from point A to point B, indicating it can be a beat down car as long as it works. Finding a job and acquiring one would involve using the car often, and the basketball simply demonstrates the passion for the sport. Walking on the street while dribbling a basketball everyday would be an amazing time consuming method for me and also keeps my mind off other unnecessary topics. The main objects that I have considered discarding are all electronics, which if I were to actually rid of them I would feel practically naked. It feels as if they have taken over my priorities, and writing about this has made me open my eyes and realize what they have truly done to my lifestyle.

Overseas Farming

"China looks abroad for greener pastures"
By: Barbara Demick
Source: The Los Angeles Times,0,5992574.story#axzz2xTh4RmOC
Ma Wenfeng grew up in the Chinese fields while his father was a wheat and corn farmer, earning minimal amount of money that his family had to eat mantou, a bread known as the poor's food. With the hardships growing up, Wengfeng would have never believed to become a farmer in the future, but with a slight twist. The Chinese are searching for rich agricultural fields, mainly in the United States, Chile, Brazil, Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, and Australia. Ma currently works as an analyst for CnAgri, a Beijing trading association, and said "We're the world's fastest growing economy, with a huge demand for agricultural products. When we look overseas, we see large tracts of land where you can operate a farm that makes sense economically." The Chinese fields have become beyond polluted to be used as farmland, so they target other countries to make up for it. Chinese companies have bought land around the world, such as 100,000 acres of farmland in Missouri, Texas, and North Carolina for pork at the cost of $4.7 billion. In Australia they acquired 200,000 acres of land for cotton plantations, as well as investing in farmland such as in Chile growing blueberries, kiwis, and grapes. Businessman Zhang Renwu stated "We want to bring American sunshine, land and water back to China,"This sounds more like an attempt to take advantage of other countries' useful resources because of a lack in China, but the process has been fairly successful.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

McConnelling At Its Finest
As many have done in the past, Mitch McConnell attempted to gain popularity with campaign ads. Unfortunately for McConnell, satirical genius Jon Stewart managed to ridicule his ad on the Daily Show by mocking his smile throughout the video, his action of disregarding what seemed to be an important document, and best of all, the various examples of songs that can replace the background music. Including a diaspora of songs such as "The Sound Of Silence", funk songs such as"Whatta Man", classical songs like "I Do It For You", and legendary songs such as "Baby Got Back". In order to continue the joke of the different background musics, Jon Steward proposed the idea of the audience themselves making their own versions of the campaign ad with a background song and to hashtag it saying #McConnelling. The satire assists in allowing people to understand the embarrassment of the campaign ad, and gives viewers an ideal source of entertainment. Personally, I believe the idea of "McConnelling" is hands down ingenious and hilarious. While watching, I was at the point of near tears from its humor and made "McConnelling" video myself with the Jurassic Park Theme Song. The Daily Show has a reputation for comedy, so people should not be offended by this and simply laugh it off, and maybe even make their own "McConnelling" video.

War Obsession

"Dad From 2150 Can't Get Enough Iraq War Documentaries"
By: Anonymous
Source: The Onion,35514/?ref=auto
The war in Iraq had nearly the entire United States protesting to end the war, but not for 22nd century military fanatic Myron Orkney. Owning a box set of nine neocortex insertion discs which contain archives from the war as well as letters from the soldiers themselves, Orkney can watch documentaries about the Iraqi war day and night. Orkney gave his personal opinion about the war in Iraq, stating "It certainly was a different time back then. Not only did they have troops who were actually physically on site during battles, but a lot of those guys went into combat without limb-regeneration technologies or even body armor. Can you imagine that? One of these days I'm going to take the whole family to the Holy Islamic Caliphate of Iraq so we can tour all the historic battle sites." As people can tell, Orkney is truly obsessed with the war in the past which is currently our present... Unfortunately Orkney did not explain the difference between the wars occurring during his time and the one he cherishes that occurred in Iraq. Also, he is quite the opposite of his wife, who enjoys romantic period dramas, and it would be a hassle for his wife to visit the places her husband wants considering their difference in interests.

Sunday, March 9, 2014


The economy is a nationwide factor that affects citizens of all ages, whether it is directly or by chain reaction. In my life, the economy plays a significant role, in this situation by chain reaction. I go to a private school and play multiple sports, all of those requiring my parent's hard earned money, with them working more than one job at a time. If the economy begins to go down and leaving my parents unemployed, not only would I have to give up athletics but school as well, moving to a public school. The direct way for the economy to affect me has not occurred yet, considering the fact that I do not own my car which would be affected by high gas prices and I do not have a job as well.
My entire immediate family currently lives in Chile, therefore we yearly travel or vise versa. The economy's factor in this situation would be that the combustion would rise, causing air fare to rise and complicating the visits both ways. With higher combustion prices, that also means imported food's prices rise, of those being fruits. The majority of the fruits sold at supermarkets are imported, and my family makes sure to buy fruits every time to stay healthy. Therefore, as a good friend I please ask the economy to stay on its improving rate throughout many decades to come.

Jobs Coming Our Way

"As Job Creation Increases in February, Economists See Signs of Spring Thaw"
By: Nelson D. Schwartz
Source: New York Times
In the past three months, jobs have been increasing at an outstanding rate in the month of February. During the span of the months of December and January, experts concluded that the mediocre creation of jobs was due to the hard winter, not a fundamental downshift. Although during the month of February employers hired 175,000 workers, it is still far from returning to the economy to full time employment, but it was double the amount hired in December. Barclay's chief United States economist Dean Maki said, "The report showed solid job growth in February despite clearly negative effects from the weather. It suggests that the job numbers should improve as the weather gets better." Although the unemployment rate rose 0.1 percent leveling out to a 6.7 unemployment rate, economists are optimistic about the upcoming weather hoping for jobs to keep coming about for those and gradually lower the rate. At the beginning of 2013 the unemployment rate was at 7.9 and dropped to 6.7 to this day, but other factors remain unconvincing, such as the level of long-term joblessness and the proportion of Americans in the work force. At this point, being optimistic about the unemployment rate improving is the way to go, even if it is based on the weather.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Rain? In LA?

"Rainstorm could be Los Angeles' wettest in 2 years"
By: Rong-Gong Lin II
Source: Los Angeles Times
After having what feels like a lifetime without rain, Los Angeles' drought problem may be lessened with the upcoming two storms coming this way. The first storm is predicted to strike Wednesday evening reaching up to a quarter of an inch in rain, with a larger, even more ferocious storm making its appearance on Friday and lasting through Saturday with about one to two inches of rain. Last time this much rain had fallen in Los Angeles was on March 25th, 2012, when 0.91 inches of rainfall fell. The lasting amount of rain throughout the span also means a plenty amount of snow in the mountains, reaching as low as 5,000 feet by Saturday. Temperatures will without a doubt drop as well from the constant seventy degree span to a lower mid sixties, which Los Angeles citizens consider cold. The second storm is predicted to cause floods and powerful mudslides with debris included in wildfire struck areas. Since July 1st, Los Angeles has received a low 1.2 inches of rain, with the average amount during this time of year to be 10.45 inches. LA, keep the umbrellas handy because from Wednesday to Saturday there will be a high chance that those fancy hairstyles will get wet!