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Sociology: Current Events book

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FC: Sociology: Current Events book Jessica Halvorson Mr. Blough Sociology

1: Table of Contents: 1. Northeaster Minnesota mortality rate 2. Power outage in San Diego County (Sewage Spill) 3-4. Hooked on Gadgets 5. Graffiti Art brightens War torn Afghanistan

2: Northeastern Minnesota leads state in overall mortality rate: People living in Northeastern Minnesota are more likely to die from Alzheimer's than people living elsewhere in the state. People living in this area area also more likely to die of heart disease, more likely to commit suicide and most likely to die from cirrhosis. they are more likely to die as a result of unintended injury. Northeastern Minnesota leads the state in overall mortality rate- the chance that a given person will die of any cause during the course of a year. the findings emerge from a "chart book" on the health of rural Minnesotans released by the Minnesota Department of Health. the report, relying primarily on data from the Minnesota Center of the Health Statistics, compares health statistics in the rural and metropolitan areas of the state. It also compares statistics in six regions: Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, Southwest, Central, ans Metro.

3: The findings aren't entirely dismal for the region. the findings aren't entirely dismal for the region. Northeastern Minnesota has a relatively low rate of food- borne disease, it found. It has much lower rates of sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS than the metro region. "Minnesota is frequently ranked as one if the healthiest states in the nation, despite considerable differences in the health of Minnesotans in district regions of the state", the report said. The numbers agree. Northeastern Minnesota's overall mortality rate was 767 per 100,000. Thats below the national average of 804, based on 2007 data from the Centers for Disease Control and prevention. But it's higher than the state average of 678 and higher than any other region. (http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nfh&AN=2W61128381259&site=src-live) This current event is important because it shows that in any state there could be a lot of different things going on that we don't hear about that often, or pay attention to. This article is basically telling why and the statistics of the mortality rate in Northeastern Minnesota. I thought that this article was fairly decent and helpful, but there could have been more detailed explanations instead of jumping around from one subject to another.

4: SD power outage 2011: Sewage spill The wide spread Southern California power outage Thursday September 8, 2011 cut electricity to wastewater pumps and released more than 2 million gallons of sewage into the ocean, closing 10 miles of San Diego COunty shorelines. Beaches from the Scripps Pier in La Jolla north to Solana Beach have been posted with signs warning of sewage contamination and will be closed to swimmers through the weekend, county health officials said.

5: A pump station started overflowing after losing power about 5:50pm Thursday and spilled 1.9 million gallons of sewage into Los Penasquitos lagoon, emptying into the ocean at Torrey Pines Stare Beach, said Mark McPherson, chief of the land and water quality for the San Diego County Department of Environment Health. The spill was stopped 3 1/2 hours later when the power was restored. A second pump station failed during the outage and discharged 120,000 gallons of sewage into the Sweetwater River, which flows into San Diego Bay, McPherson said. Health officials have closed several swimming areas nearby and a public access area on Silver Strand in Coronado. The beaches will not be reopened until they test above health standards for at least two days in a row. "It's a pretty large dry-weather spill", McPherson said. Pump stations do not have back up electricity and have no capacity to store sewage that builds up during an outage, he added.The power outage caused an even larger spill south of the Mexican boarder, where Baja California authorities reported a pump station lost power and sent 3.8 million gallons of sewage into the Tijuana River. ( http://www.latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2011/09/power-outage-sewage-spill-san-diego-beach-close.html) This event is very important because it is letting everyone know that our oceans and beaches are now polluted with about 3 million gallons of sewage. But also that people have to now take the time to clean up this mess. It is going to restrict people from going to the beaches and surfing, and doing what they enjoy. I think that this article was very informational and it helped me understand why so much waist is in the oceans now.

6: Hooked on Gadgets and paying a mental price: San Francisco- When one of the most important e-mail messages of his life landed in his in-box a few years ago, Kord Campbell overlooked it. The message had slipped by him and amid an electronic flood: two computer screens alive with e-mail, instant messages, online chats, a web browser and the computer code he was writing. Even after he unplugs, he craves the stimulation he gets from his electronic gadgets. He forgets things like dinner plans, and he has trouble focusing on his family. His wife, Brenda, complains, "it seems like he can no longer be fully in the moment." This is your brain on computers. Scientists say juggling e-mail, phone calls and other incoming information can change how people think and behave. they say our ability to focus is being undermined by bursts of information. These play to a primitive impulse to respond to immediate opportunities and threats. The stimulation provokes excitement- a dopamine squirt- that researchers say can be addictive. In its absence, people feel bored. The resulting distractions can have deadly consequences, as when cellphone- wielding drivers and train engineers cause wrecks. And for millions of people like Mr. Campbell, these urges can inflict nicks and cuts on creativity and deep thought, interrupting work and family life. While many people say multitasking makes them more productive, research shows otherwise. Heavy multitaskers actually have more trouble focusing and shutting out irrelevant information, scientists say, and they experience more stress. And scientists are discovering that even after the multitasking ends, fractured thinking and lacking of focus persist. In other words, this is also your brain off computers. "The technology is rewiring our brains," said Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse and one of the world's leading brain scientists.

7: More broadly, cellphones and computers have transformed life. In 2008, people consumed three times as much information each day as they did in 1960. Computer users at work change windows or check e-mail or other programs nearly 37 times an hour, new research shows. The nonstop interactivity is one of the most significant shifts ever in the human environment, said Adam Gazzaley, a neuroscientist at the University of California, San Francisco. At home, people consume 12 hours of media an a day on average, when an hour spent with, say, the Internet and TV simultaneously counts as two hours. That compares with five hours in 1960, say researchers at the University of California, San Diego. Computer users visit an average of 40 websites a day, according to research by RescueTime, which offers time-management tools. As computers have changed, so has the understanding of the human brain. Until 15 years ago, scientists thought the brain stopped developing after childhood. Now they understand that its neural networks continue to develop, influenced by things like learning skills. Going back a half-century, tests had shown that the brain could barely process two streams, and could not simultaneously make decisions about them. But Mr. Eyal Ophir, a student-turned-researcher, thought multitaskers might be rewiring themselves to handle the load. In a test created by Mr. Ophir and his colleagues, subjects at a computer were briefly shown an image of red rectangles. Then they saw a similar image and were asked whether any of the rectangles had moved. It was a simple task until the addition of a twist: blue rectangles were added, and the subjects were told to ignore them. The multitaskers were shown to be less efficient at juggling problems. Other tests at Stanford, an important center for research in this fast-growing field, showed multitaskers tending to search for new information rather than accepting a reward for putting older, more valuable information to work. Researchers say these findings point to an interesting dynamic: multitaskers seem more sensitive than non-multitaskers to incoming information. A study at the University of California, Irvine, found thats people interrupted by e-mail reported significantly increased stress compared with those shown to reduce short term memory.....

8: There is a vibrant debate among scientists over whether technology's influence on behavior and the brain is good or bad, and how significant it is. "The bottom line is, the brain is wired to adapt," said Steven Yantis, a professor of brain sciences at Johns Hopkins University. "There's no question that rewiring goes on all the time," he added. Researchers worry that constant digital stimulations like this creates attention problems for children with brains that are still developing, who already struggle to set priorities and resist impulses. The ultimate risk of heavy technology use is that it diminishes empathy by limiting how much people engage with one another, even in the same room.

9: Graffiti art brightens war torn Afghanistan: Kabul: A new Afghan art collective called Roshd or "growth", has brought srteet art and graffiti to the conservative capital of Afghanistan, starting with a ten feet high mural on a wall in an industrial park, the group seems to be painting sense of expression. The artistes eventually wanted to take their creativity and commentary to the dusty city centre, where blast walls, scrawled advertisements, political propaganda ans armed guards tend to be the norm. Ommalbanin Shamsia hassani, 22, who si due to start teaching fine arts at eh Kabul University, paints a burqa-clad group in oceanic color's on the streets at Kabul to reflect the pure essence and subservience of women in Afghanistan. "Water is always associated to cleanliness and I want to be show that women are clean too", said Hassani. "It was the first time I was painting a big wall, I have always painted on small pieces of canvas and now I have become very tired because the wall was much bigger", comments Hassani, after completing her first wall graffiti. Hassani and the other artistes have been working with British graffiti artist Chu who came especially from London to conduct a one-week workshop in Kabul. Chu has been painting on walls for almost 30 years and has completed several major projects including painting an entire train; his presence has been a great source of inspiration I will never forget and that was the concern for being paintings that come with the possibility of being disturbed. I told them, 'that's the point'," said Chu.

10: While a group of women in barqas rise from the oppressive seas to symbolize cleanliness, a male artist Farid Khurrami uses art to bring attention to Afghanistan's war-torn appalling public transport. "People are suffering very much in Kabul," he said. "People will be very surprised by this new form of art; its a much better way to communicate with a broader audience". Chu leaves Kabul hopeful thats his students will continue to paint more graffiti. "The more graffite the better, Afghanistan will rock," he said.

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