Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Should you live on or off campus?

It took only a couple weeks of living in freshman housing before I started thinking and talking about living off campus next year. The freshman dorms seemed so overly controlling at first that I was looking foreword to getting away from all the rules. Since the first few weeks, my attitude has changed about moving off campus for a number of reasons. There are definitely advantages to living off campus mainly freedom, but there are also a number of reasons to stay on. The CollegeBoard provides a pro/con list of moving off campus.
- It can be cheaper than University housing
- Greater independence, privacy, freedom, and often space
- Usually quieter and fewer distractions, better for studying
- A good way to build a rental history making it easier to obtain housing following graduation.
- You can make your own meals
- No more community bathrooms
- Hidden costs such as security deposits, first and last months rent, utilites, furnature, appliances, and other miscellaneous items needed for living can actually make living off campus more expensive than living on campus.
- You have to pay for your own internet and cable
- Chores
- You have to spend time commuting.
- More responsibilities and liabilities.
- You may need to find a sub leaser in the summer
- You have to find a place
- Financial Aid may not cover the move off campus.
- May feel isolated from campus
Living off campus as opposed to staying on campus depends largely on personal preference and current financial status, there really is no right or wrong answer here.


Energy is a term often used but rarely defined. It appears to have many definitions because it is used in such a broad variety of contexts. The word energy comes from the greek word energos that means "active, working". Lets take a minute to address the different situations where we here the term energy used:
1. In science class: When the word energy is used in science class, we may be talking about kinetic, gravitational, electrical, magnetic, mechanical, heat, nuclear, light, or chemical energy. In addition to these types there is also potential energy, which is the untapped energy that could "potentially" do work. Energy in a scientific concept is defined as "the capacity or power to do work, such as the capacity to move an object (of a given mass) by the application of force. Energy can exist in a variety of forms, such as electrical, mechanical, chemical, thermal, or nuclear, and can be transformed from one form to another."
2. At the doctors office: When the word energy is used at the doctors office ("how has your energy level been as of late?) the energy being discussed is the "capacity for vigorous activity, available power". The energy for human beings to perform is largely determined by diet, exercise, and amount of sleep. Energy in this context also means the capacity to do work
3.In athletics: Sportscasters with often say things like "you can feel the energy in air" or "look at the energy of the defense." Energy used in this context is defining "the exertion of power".
4. In politics: The phrase "energy policy" comes to mind. Energy policy is a set of rules and regulations used to govern our sources of power. Once again here, energy can be defined as the capacity to do work.
5. In the New age movement: The new age movement is notorious for its overuse of the word energy. The entire movement seems to be based around the idea that there unseen sources of energy all around us. In the new age movement, they of discuss psychic energy, which may or may not exist, this form of energy has been though to be what consciousness is fueled by. Their is always the discussion of bad energy versus good energy in the new age movement as well. Bad energy fuels negative thoughts and emotions, good energy fuels positive thoughts and emotions.

Energy is used in hundreds of other contexts. It seems that the general definition of energy is the force that allows for work to be done. E= MC2 defines energy as mass times the speed of light squared. In the end, it is difficult to really define what exactly energy is.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Family is a western term used to describe a domesticated group of people linked together by descent. Todays American family is much more egalitarian than families structures of the passed. Women enjoy a position of respect higher than ever before. Families today are typically started as a result of two people meeting informally and then eventually going through the courtship process and getting married. This was not the case in ancient Rome. Rome was an extremly Patriarchal society, males had all the power. In Rome, families were second to a persons role as a tax payer and citizen willing to die for the empire. The purpose of the Roman family was to carry on the family line so the spirits of the dead could be honored. To strengthen and form political alliances, Roman men with fertile wives would often divorce their wives and pass them on to an ally to be remarried to father his children. Slaves were also part of the family household. The oldest male member of the Roman family was called the pater familias and the younger male members of the family had to do business with his name unless they were emancipated.
In China, the family was seen as a core aspect of the culture. To this day, the Chinese exchange family name ahead of first name when introducing themselves. Chinese families are also Patriarchal, however when the oldest female member is widowed, she enjoyed a position of power. Daughters were often sold into slavery in poorer Chinese families.
In Japan, Family was thought of existing unceasingly, regardless of birth and death. The family existed in the past and it will continue to exist in the future. Members of the family think of each other as sharing a bond, not in blood, but as partners in a shared responsibility of maintaining the family as an institution.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Oral Roberts

Oral Roberts, a Christian televangelist and self proclaimed faith healer may be one of the most successful frauds ever. With a university to his name, Oral Roberts has been cited as a major leader of the Charismatic Movement. Ironically, Oral Roberts became a faith healer after dropping out of college. The Charismatic Movement is an evangelical movement that focuses on the gifts of the spirit: speaking in tongues, faith healing, and other abilities that are allegedly supernatural. Faith healing was popularized largely thanks to Oral Roberts 1950s televangilizing.
Roberts has told of and acted out several fraudulent "faith healings". In his biography, Roberts claims that he was healed of tuberculosis by a traveling preacher, and he even provides evidence by showing medical records of his healthy lungs, unfortunately he never showed any documented evidence that he had tuberculosis. In another instance a women appeared on Robert's show claiming to be miraculously healed of cancer, apparently she wasn't because she died less than 12 hours after the taping. They same thing happened again when a women with spinal cancer claimed Robert's had healed her on his show, only to die three days later of the disease.
Oral Roberts clearly is not a gifted faith healer. He has shown no actually ability to heal the sick, and he has been publicly exposed several times. The fact that this man has a University named after him displays that people will believe anyone if they want to, no matter how rediculess the character is. Unfortunately this is not always comical. In 1959, after hearing Roberts speak, diabetic Wanda Beach threw away her insulin. She was dead within hours. At another Roberts rally, three people reportedly died from similar circumstances.
The listed examples are deaths that are directly tied to Roberts preaching. The belief that prayer and meditation is a better cure for severe illnesses than western medicine is a dangerous one. Who knows how far Roberts has spread that belief, Roberts may actually be indirectly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of people. Now thats what I call preaching the word of Jesus.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The ACLU and Torture

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is a coalition of lawyers that focuses on protecting the civil rights. The ACLU both acts as lobby group and as a non-profit litigation. The also ACLU focuses on represents groups of the population that are often denied their rights. The ACLU has taken several steps to raise awareness torture and also hold those accountable who are responsible for torture that violates the Geneva Conventions and the constitution. The ACLU recently released a book entitled Administration of Torture. The book details accounts of prisonor abuse at Abu Ghraib and Gauntanomo Bay. The purpose of the book is to expose elements of America's methods of combating terrorism that need to be further questioned on their ethical consequences, effectiveness, and the violation of human rights.
The ACLU has been aggressive in their assertion that U.S interrogation tatics violate the Geneva Convention. Here is what the ACLU says about torture:

Torture threatens our most treasured values and it is wrong:

    Torture is illegal, banned by both domestic and international law.
    Torture doesn't work. The information elicited is inaccurate; torture victims themselves tell us they have confessed to crimes they did not commit in order to end their suffering.
    Torture puts our troops at greater risk, increasing the chance that, should they fall into enemy hands, our servicemen and -women will be tortured in kind. Countries around the world have already begun citing the United States when justifying their use of cruel and unusual punishments - most recently the Junta in Myanmar.
    Torture tarnishes the image of the United States abroad. Torture degrades the rule of law and puts the core values of our democracy - the belief that all men are created equal and have the unalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness - at risk. It not only creates new enemies abroad, but is damaging our relationships with long-term allies.

Albert Porta and The End of the World

In 1919, Albert Porta, a well respected meteorologist concluded that the December 17th conjunction six planets would lead to the end of the world. Porta stated that the conjunction of the six planets would "cause a magnetic current that would pierce the sun, cause great explosions of flaming gas and eventually engulf the earth". Albert Porta's bold prediction cost him his reputation and his career. When the end of the world failed to arrive, Porta lost all his credibility in the field of meteorology. He spent the rest of his life working for a newspaper.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Edgar C. Whisenant and the 88 reasons the world didn't in 1988

Edgar C. Whisenant was a bible student who was relativily unknown until he decided to predict the rapture. Whisenant studied the bible and concluded that the world would end somewhere between September 11th and 13th of 1988. Whisenant went so far as to publish and distribute 2 books entitled 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Could Be In 1988 and On Borrowed Time. Whisenant best his reasoning on calculations gathered from a collection of dates and history in the bible. Whisenant was so convinced that he would even bet he stated he would bet his life on his claim. "[I]f there were a king in this country and I could gamble with my life, I would stake my life on Rosh Hashana 88." Many leaders discounted Whisenants prophecy but the Trinity Broadcast Network did not. Between the dates of the 11th and 13th, the network ran tapes instructing non-Christians on what to do in case their Christian friends and relatives disapeared leaving them in a world thrust into tribulation. When the world did not end, Whisenant warned that the rapture was coming on the September 15th, and then October 3rd, and then he realized he had made and error citing a fluke in the gregorian calender stating that the rapture was actually coming in 1989. Whisenant continued his warnings publishing The Final Shout--Rapture Report 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, etc. Whisenant finally gave up after the continued to disappointment. The absence of the rapture has landed Whisenant in good company among the thousands of other failed prophets, though Whisenant did sell 4 million copies of his book.