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March 13, 2007

enviro issue

A few days ago I was at Hiller’s Market, in Ann Arbor, checking out at the cash register, when I saw a line of people waiting to use the convenient recycling machines that the grocery store has. I actually stopped to watch because it was so fascinating. I have never seen these modern machines with circular holes that produce change for each item recycled. I have never even seen so many people waiting around, anxious to recycle. In Cleveland, where I am from, I hardly ever see people throwing a can into a recycling bin. It is usually careless tossed into the garbage can along with everything else. The next day, as I was drinking a can of Diet Coke, I looked at the top to see what states accepted the five cents in exchange for the cans. Ohio was clearly not on it. However, Michigan was. It continues to surprise me how important recycling is in Michigan, specifically, Ann Arbor.
Especially in our society today, we have become extremely wasteful. We don’t always give throwing out a bottle of water a second thought. But recycling is actually really important. Many items that we use can be reused or made into new materials, and recycling reduces energy usage. When I looked into the recycling concerns in Ann Arbor, I was not shocked to see so many places to drop off recyclables, specific instructions as to what can be recycled and how, and dozens of groups that hope to make a change. One of these non-profit organizations, Recycle Ann Arbor is trying to improve the “environmental quality” by recycling. Thus, they have set up a ReUse center is a place to resell donated materials for a lower cost. However, since the citizens of Ann Arbor are such active recyclers, it filled up so quickly that they had to physically expand the size of the building. This information, found on http://www.recycingtoday.com really tries to encourage the citizens of Ann Arbor to increase the amount of materials that they recover and reuse. It then gives a list of materials that can be recycled.

Posted by abmann at 12:14 AM | Comments (0)

March 12, 2007

Public Posting

Throughout the 2006-2007 school year, blue Mflu.org posters have been spotted around the dorms. These posters are offering money incentives to students who sign up to participate in a weekly online survey about their hygiene habits. The goal, as stated on http://www.mflu.org is to find out the “effectiveness of non-pharmaceutical interventions in preventing the spread of influenza” since the flu vaccine is not always available or one hundred percent accurate. Ironically enough, you are actually paid extra if you do have flu symptoms. Students will be awarded an extra $25.00 to have a throat swab taken when they have the chills, aches, or a sore throat.
This study, conducted by two doctors, is really important since the flu vaccines are not always available during a flu outbreak. Not only are college students (who are usually known to be broke) making money, but also, they are helping to do significant research. It is very common for the flu to viciously spread around college campuses since teenagers who are living in the dorm are among so many other students all the time. Thus, the questions are specific to college life. For example: Do you wash your hands after riding on the bus? Do you wash your hands when returning to the dorm? Hopefully, the doctors will find helpful results for the future of students.

Posted by abmann at 11:38 PM | Comments (0)

March 06, 2007

Social Phenomenon

In a time when the internet has become a large method of communication among my generation, people are spending more and more time searching random websites on their free time. One of the most popular websites on the internet today is www.youtube.com. On this website you can upload your own videos for free or watch other people from all over the world’s videos for absolutely no cost. You can easily search through the thousands of video clips by typing in a subject in a search box or browsing through a simple list of categories. After viewing a video clip you can leave a comment for the author of the clip to respond to.
This website, which is rapidly gaining popularity, is an easy way for anybody to get a message across a large audience without having to pay. Small, unknown bands can use it to promote a concert. Artists and actors can use it to display their work. Striving film producers can use it to gain recognition. Additionally, perhaps what is the most interesting is the fact that the 2008 presidential candidates are now using YouTube as a campaigning device. In an article on www.foxnews.com, Jim Kuhnhenn explains that it is such an important election that the candidates are trying to go beyond the traditional methods of reaching voters. Not to mention, the ads broadcasted on cable TV are extremely expensive where as YouTube is one hundred percent free. In a poll that was recently conducted, it was found that YouTube is so beneficial because it reaches two main audiences: younger viewers and journalists. Since it has always been difficult to convince younger people to become involved and vote for elections, this could hopefully help encourage them to become more active! Also, it might be interesting to see if and how the candidates respond to any comments left on the video clips. This interaction could possibly affect the outcome of the election.

http://www.foxnews.com/wires/2007Mar01/0,4670,YouTubePolitics,00.html


Posted by abmann at 09:27 PM | Comments (0)

Monument M Blog

Located on the side of a street on central campus stands a monument of a sitting man with his head bent into the crook of his arm, shielding his eyes. Beneath the monument one can find a plaque dedicating the site to “the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust”, “the millions more destroyed by prejudice and hatred during World War II”, and “those righteous and courageous few who risked their lives to save the victims of Nazism”. This particular monument honors University of Michigan alum by the name of Raoul Wallenberg. After helping to save tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews who were in danger, Wallenberg was taken by the Soviet forces and has been missing ever since. Thus, this bold monument hopes to remind all of the people who pass it by to take a moment of their day and remember the sad events that took place between 1933 and 1945. It also shows our appreciation towards the selfless individuals whose courageous acts make a difference in society.

As I am Jewish and have been raised Jewish for the past eighteen years, I am very sensitive towards the subject of the Holocaust. Throughout the years of attending Hebrew school, my teachers have instilled into my mind how important it is to remember the harsh and saddening years where half a million Jewish children were murdered among the six million Jews. I have been taught that if we forget and ignore what happened during the Holocaust, then it is only more likely to happen again. The statue in honor of the Swedish diplomat, Raoul Wallenberg, forces us to recognize the Holocaust each time we pass it. It forces society to thank those who put forth an effort to help those in trouble when a majority of the world was silent and ignorant. Because of the controversy always surrounding us as to whether or not the Holocaust actually did happen and how much of the information we receive is actually true, The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation at http://www.raoulwallenberg.net hopes to educate the public. It strives to encourage civic courage and public awareness among society. It offers hundreds of articles to help the public understand how important the Holocaust is, even today, so many years after it happened.

Posted by abmann at 03:12 PM | Comments (0)