Thursday, May 6, 2010

Smithsonian March 2010

So I recently finished reading the Smithsonian Magazine from March. It had an incredible amount of interesting articles and I would like to share a couple with you. There is an article called "Welcome to Barrow, Alaska - Ground Zero For Climate Change". This was an incredibly eye opening article that takes place in the U.S.'s most northern point. Since Barrow is located close to, if not within, the Arctic Circle, they are seeing the climate changes firsthand, and at what seems like a faster rate than the rest of the world. Scientists have flocked to Barrow to set up buoys in the water to track water temperature changes during certain times of year and changes in the temperature of the sediment based on what it is supposed to be. These scientists are doing as much research as they can on the wildlife, the ice, everything. An example of the rapid climate change happening in Barrow -- the Northwest Passage (which goes from Baffin Bay on the eastern side of Canada, and zigzags its way above the continent over to Alaska) used to be so covered in ice, and thick ice at that, that it was an impassible way to get to Alaska. Now, boats are able to travel freely through the Northwest Passage. Many Eskimos in the area are worried that with more people traveling in the area (usually shipping boats) that it is going to have an affect on the wildlife that they eat. It's noted in here that "Packaged food is available, but costly. In one town I saw a 16-ounce jar of mayonnaise for $7. A gallon of milk cost $11." Climate change could change the lives of the people in and around this town forever.

Another interesting article that I found was titled "Going Home Again" by Joyce Carol Oates. She is a novelist that has written many pieces of work including "Expensive People", "You Must Remember This", "The Tattooed Girl", and "The Gravedigger's Daughter". In this article, she talks about the idea that home is "the repository of our deepest, most abiding and most poignant dreams, the landscape that haunts us recurringly". She talks about how home for her is where she grew up, in Lockport, NY. She talks about her childhood and how she became hooked on books. It's a wonderful, beautiful article that really made me think about my "home".

As always, my answers to last weeks question: What is the legal drinking age where you live? Do you think it should be higher, lower, or remain the same and why?

Answer: The legal drinking age where I live is 21. I think that in most places in the U.S., the legal drinking age is 21. I know that it used to be 18 back in the late '70's, early '80's. I don't know exactly when it was changed. I personally think it should just remain the same. I definitely don't think it should be lowered, because the even younger kids would be drinking. The way it is right now, there is quite a bit of underage drinking that takes place, so that might be a reason to lower the drinking age. But then I wonder if kids even younger would begin to drink. I don't think that it should be higher, because people already look forward to turning 21 to go out and party. I think that it should just remain the same.

Now my question to you all this week: Do you ever check out any sites that are devoted to books or reading? If so, what sites do you look at?

Peace and Love

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