Happiness and Capitalism

A history of happiness explains why capitalism makes us feel empty inside written by Sean Illing is a short transcript between him and Carl Cederström. They talk about happiness and how society promotes “a culture of extreme individualism and extreme competitiveness and extreme isolation” with capitalism. I was intrigued to read this article because of how relevant the contents are, because they talk about the society that WE live in. The human condition that this article addresses is is emotion obviously because it is about happiness. I enjoyed the rich vocabulary in this article because it forces you to be a little more engaged to understand its contents. This article is connected to pretty much every capitalist country and is definitely worth a read because of the insight it gives into your own life that you may not have realized yourself.

My Brief Thoughts on Black Hawk Down

The story Black Hawk Down written by Mark Bowden, is a non fiction story about the battle of Mogadishu, a conflict between Somali militias and the US army. I was intrigued to read the story because I have already seen the movie already and I wanted to see if the story gave any additional insight to the battle. The story did give more insight than the movie in fact, there was some perspective from a Somali civilian which I enjoyed reading and was insightful. The fact that it is also a true story that happened not that long ago also makes it more interesting. The language in this story is super descriptive. Here is just one example from the first page, “Hanging from a hovering Blackhawk helicopter, Eversmann was a full 70 feet above the streets of Mogadishu. His goggles had broken, so his eyes chafed in the thick cloud of dust stirred up by the bird’s rotors. It was such a long descent that the thick nylon rope burned right through the palms of his leather gloves.” This story has lots of imagery which comes from the very descriptive texts. When the author is telling the story I can easily imagine the corresponding scene from the movie. A text to world connection is that this really did happen in Somalia in 1993, the event was known as the battle of Mogadishu. I recommend checking this story out, as it is a very good read.

Environmental Ethics

What is an article that affected my environmental ethic and how has it effected my actions? An article that really stood out to me is https://www.smallfootprintfamily.com/why-plastic-bottles-are-bad-for-the-environment, an article obviously against disposable / plastic water bottle usage. The points in this article that really stand out to me are: bottled water is not worth the convenience (price wise), and the plastic is bad for the environment (obviously). My actions have changed in the way that I now use a re-usable, metal water bottle daily, drastically decreasing the amount of plastic I put out into landfills / the environment. Refilling a metal bottle with tap water also saves you a ton of money, which is cool too.

Cascadia Subduction Zone Response

According to a BBC documentary titled “Cascadia Subduction Zone,” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VR95-T6DvQM) we in North America are at risk of having a mega thrust earthquake of a huge magnitude. The evidence is quite convincing. It all starts with the native legend of a Thunderbird causing a massive earthquake, scientists wondered if this was not only a fictional legend but it was also documenting a REAL event that really took place. In the year 1700 Japan was hit by an orphan tsunami, meaning that the earthquake was absolutely massive and very far away. There is evidence that the earthquake that caused this orphan tsunami that hit japan took place in NA by the Cascadia plate. There is a “Ghost Forest” near Cascadia that is full of dead trees with no definite signs of what killed them, a scientist concluded the trees died around the 1700s, an earthquake of huge magnitude was suspected to have killed the trees and cause the orphan tsunami in japan. One of these pieces on evidence is not enough because they are required to be put together in order to draw a connection. For example what in the world does the tsunami in japan have to do with us in NA? But using the other piece of evidence we can connect an earthquake in Cascadia to japan. The impacts of a mega thrust earthquake would be catastrophic to Vancouver. Older, Brick and mortar buildings would almost surely collapse, newer and extremely well engineered skyscrapers would sway side to side but in the worst case scenario a skyscraper could totally collapse which would be terrible. Vancouver would have a super long rebuilding process and the economic effects would be pretty terrible as well.

My.St. Helens interview

I interviewed my father about what he remembered about the mount saint helens eruption way back. It went a little something like this.

Q: so what do you remember about mount saint helens?

A: I don’t remember much besides the ash fall in Vancouver

Q: how did that effect you

A: well it made a huge mess

Q: ah ok thanks

Volcano Lab

In this lab we created a miniature volcano of our own, as seen on the picture below.

Q #1 the pyroclastic flow, otherwise known as the lava flowing down the mountain looked a little anticlimactic on our created volcano. It went down about 9/10 of the mountain super fast but also stopped right there super fast as well.

Q #2 How did the eruption of mt kilauea effect it’s surrounding landscape? The lava flow pretty much just turned the landscape black everywhere it touched, aka burned everything. The lava also flowed kind of like a river.

Q #3 Why is volcanic activity important to Hawaii? Hawaii was literally built on volcanoes, underwater volcanoes formed Hawaii and volcanoes on Hawaii keep expanding the island when lava flows into the water.

Q #4 How did the residents respond? People were evacuated from their homes.

Q #5 how would you respond to a volcano erupting nearby? if a volcano nearby to me erupted I would also have to evacuate because it is impossible to stop a lava flow. I would go somewhere where the lava flow would not go. We don’t really have much of a choice in what we can do in most natural disasters.

Mt. St. Helens blog post

NBefore the eruption the volcano was a super popular place to ski, hike and even swim in the glacier fed lakes below. Scientists were using lasers to find out how much the mountain was moving each day. They found it was moving up to 5 ft a day. After the blast people spent 6 years planting trees and the results were great. Spirit lake memorial highway built. Some of the new bodies of water that could hold life were used to catch fish.

Geography in Action

Geography in Action 

Even though Hawaii is known for being a beautiful vacation destination it is also a major hotspot for volcanoes. Hawaii is home to one particularly active volcano, Kilauea. Kilauea is a shield volcano, which is only explosive if water gets into the main vent, otherwise it erupts by magma overflowing out. Kilauea has been continuously erupting since 1983. On May 3rd, 2018, Kilauea had a massive eruption. After the eruption a magnitude 6.9 earthquake hit on May 4th, hitting the south flank of the volcano, the most powerful earthquake to hit the island since 1975. The volcano also opened fissures into the Leilani estates. The lava usually flows into the sea from the subterranean channels but in this case the lava poured into neighborhoods, consuming entire blocks. At least 1700 residents were forced to leave their homes and 700 homes were destroyed on the east rift zone of the volcano. This effects humans, animals, or anything that is in the path of the lava flow. The eruption affects us because you can’t just move your house out of the way, there will be no remains of your home if it is in the way of the lava flow. The lava flow also destroys power lines, so major power outages could occur. The same goes for trees plants, and everything that can’t move. Fortunately, the lava flows at a turtle’s pace, so it is unlikely the lava will catch up to you or most animals. How do the geographical spheres come into play in this unfortunate event? First, the lava comes from the lithosphere from under the ground, when the lava is underground, we call it magma instead. When Kilauea first erupted in 1983 it showed no sign of magma stopping the flow out ever since. This has had a great effect on the biosphere because instead of nice-looking trees and all the nice thing’s nature has to show us there is only scorching hot rock now, which kind of looks cooler in my opinion. How are people responding to the eruption? There is really no way to stop a 1500-degree Fahrenheit river of molten rock so peoples only option are to get out of the way or abandon their homes. Same thing with looking for solutions, there is just no stopping the lava, all you can do is protect yourself as best as you can. Organizations can help house and feed people who have lost their home and have nowhere to go. This situation makes me feel very bad for the people that lost their homes. I feel the absolute worst way to lose something is off bad luck, such as your house just happening to be in the way of a lava flow, it feels unfair, but you can’t do anything about it because we will never control mother nature. A solution I would propose is to help by donating food, water and giving the victims some type of comfortable shelter. Unfortunately, like many natural disasters we cannot do anything about prevention, we can only prepare for the aftermath.