Seven Prospect Planets Discovered by NASA

Posted in Uncategorized on March 27th, 2017 by georgep

Forty light years away from our planet, NASA has discovered seven planets that are earth-like. These seven planets are small, rocky and just the right distance from a star that liquid water could exist on the surface. What makes this discovery so special is that this is the first time so many planets have been discovered around a same star. They also may contain some amount of liquid water. What this really means is there is a high possibility that there may be life on the surface. When NASA says life, they not only mean human-like beings but even plants, bacteria, insects, etc.

Out of the seven planets, three are habitable. This means water is likely to be present on the surface. Michael Gillion stated that one of the planets has a mass that suggests “a water- rich composition.” The other four may have liquid water as well. It all really depends on their atmospheric composition.

The location of these planets are in a completely different solar system, the TRAPPIST-1 system. All of these prospect planets orbit a dwarf star with the mass of the star being a tenth of the mass of our sun. To put the orbit of the planets in scale, their orbit is comparable to the distance of Jupiter and its moons. Size wise, the planets are rocky and roughly the same size of earth- no more than 10 percent smaller and 20 percent bigger.

How were these planets discovered? Astronomers search for a temporary dimming of a star. This indicates that a celestial body has passed in front of it. These seven planets are great candidates for detailed atmospheric study. Likely to launch in 2018, a telescope called the James Webb Space Telescope will be able to determine the chemical composition of their atmospheres. If they have traces of oxygen, ozone, or methane, life is likely to exist.

What really amazes me is that we have developed technology that has the capability to see millions of miles away without us even leaving planet Earth. And to add a cherry on top, we have developed a telescope that allows us to see the chemical composition of a gas millions of miles away. Molecules are extremely minuscule, so that must be one powerful scope.

Sometimes I say to myself that there are really extraterrestrials in space who tell astronomers about all these planets. Artists have already engendered their own perspective of how the surface these planets may look like. Since it is believed that the planets are so close to the star, each has a permanent day side and a permanent night side. If a person was to look up into the sky, the would see the remaining planets orbiting like moons.

Just by discovering this one solar system, it allows astronomers to look for life and refine their knowledge about planets in smaller solar systems. I believe deep space exploration is necessary because the way we are treating or planet is horrible. In a few years, it will be impossible to reverse the effects of global warming. This is a wake-up call to all of us.

NASA administrators believe they will find a prospect planet that will be able to sustain life. “Finding another Earth-like planet isn’t a matter of if but when.”- Thomas Zurbuchen. Personally, I believe there is some other human race waiting to be discovered. What are the chances of us being the only species alive in this universe full of hundreds of billions of galaxies. It just does not make sense to me how people are not open minded to the possibilities of extraterrestrial life.


Power Naps: The Solution

Posted in Uncategorized on March 21st, 2017 by georgep

Being a high school student means pulling all-nighters, receiving four to six hours of sleep, and tons of stress. All of these factors can easily hinder a student’s ability to retain information that is being taught to them. Since they are not alert and are not using their cognitive power to their fullest potential, their learning experience severely decreases. Studies have shown that taking short naps benefit adults who work high-performance jobs. NASA conducted research in which they concluded a twenty-six minute nap boosted airline pilot’s performance by 33%. Obviously, longer naps come with more benefits, but that is not what we want here. We are looking for a solution that is quick and effective- thirty minute power naps.

If schools allowed students to have a period in which they were able to nap, their performance in their studies would severely increase. In 2003, the National Institutes of Mental Health stated, “a sixty minute nap reverses information overload and allows the same improvement in visual learning as six hours of slumber.” Two test groups were assayed: One group had the opportunity to nap for sixty to ninety minutes. The other group did not nap at all. Results concluded that the group in which had a respite had better learning skills.

If all high school students napped at school, they would be more likely to pay attention during a lesson. Students who do nap at school usually sleep during a boring lesson or a documentary. Just because the lesson or documentary is boring, that does not mean it is not important. This is one factor in which students fail to perform at their apex.

Sara Mednick, a lead researcher on the NIMH study suggested that power naps are far more beneficial than caffeine itself. She juxtaposed results from test subjects who consumed caffeine and subjects who took an ordinary power nap. Mednick pointed out that the results showed those who consumed caffeine performed worse on a memory test than nappers. Harvard School of Public Health and Greece’s University of Athens Medical School assert that these power naps significantly reduce stress and heart disease. Who wouldn’t want a healthy heart? All they need to do is nap daily.

The first thing that I do when I get home is lie in bed and nap. This is especially essential if I have a plethora of homework that needs to be done. Instead of sleeping whilst doing my homework, I do it before. I have realized that my performance is substantially more productive and i end up with better results. My grades are proof.

Students would agree with this proposal, because who doesn’t like sleep? Whilst the students are napping, teachers can grade assignments, create assignments, or even read a book in that idyllic milieu. They can even nap with us if they wanted too! We won’t judge them. After all, if teachers aren’t well rested, their teaching will not be top notch, resulting in children receiving instructional time that is not top of the line. After all, we need more cardiothoracic and brain surgeons in this world.

Known corporations such as Ben & Jerry’s built nap rooms for their employees. No wonder why their ice cream is so amazing and expensive. All of the profits are funding these nap rooms. In my AVID class, an alumni came to talk about his university, CSUN, and how they built sleep-pods for the students. He explained how they conducted research in which the performance of their students increased dramatically due to these pods.

If schools opened their eyes and were woke towards this information, they would realize this is not all that bad. I would not see this harming our instructional time at all.  Students should have the opportunity to get their full nine hours of sleep, but if they don’t these naps will benefit them. Let’s not sleep on this. If Harvard said it’s beneficial, I think we should listen.

Make it Rain California

Posted in Uncategorized on February 21st, 2017 by georgep

I guess we can all say the weather in Los Angeles has been peculiar lately. It is also safe to say we received more rain in these two months than what have received all last year. California has been at great risk for flooding this past month due to a prediction every two hundred years. Scientist and researchers discovered between 1861 and 1862, there were events where biblical like storms occurred. Hence a great lake was created where California’s central valley is located. Although this is not the San Fernando Valley, there still might be some effects that come along with this.  Since California has been in a drought for five years- three in which were exceptional, all this rain seems paramount.

Approximately one hundred and fifty years have passed since the last “great flood”, which means the next one is around the corner. As I am writing this blog, it is currently drizzling outside. Thanks to modern technology, scientists were able to simulate this “great flood” by using a simulator called “ARkStorm.” From its predictions, roughly 300 miles long and 20 miles wide of the Central Valley will be submerged underwater. Small cities alongside the coast will flood as well. You are probably saying, “That’s it? Can’t we just get to higher ground?” As Donald Trump likes to say, “WRONG!” Winds are expected to reach between  60 and 125 miles per hour. Due to all the precipitation, landslides will make it almost impossible to travel anywhere else.

One thing that concerns the public is what the predicted death toll will be. Scientist predicted it will be in the thousands. Marty Ralph, a director of the Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes predicts the future storm will not be as severe as the simulator predicted. This is good news. Marty Ralph seems to know the cause of these severe storms. He describes it due to an atmospheric river- a massive ribbon of water vapor that flows off the Pacific Ocean and combines with low-altitude winds. When this atmospheric river hits the mountains of the coast, the warm air is pushed up where it cools and therefore condenses, forming rain clouds. On average about nine occur in California annually. Since October 1st, 2016 California has had 30. Marty Ralph says this will occur more often due to the climb of global temperatures. As the global temperature increases, it allows the air to hold more water vapor. The downside of this means atmospheric rivers will occur more often and so will flooding.

Due to all this precipitation, the mountains received over a foot of fresh snow and it seems like they will receive more. If more snow falls, it has rather better benefits than rain water. Since it is frozen, less will run off into streams and seep into rivers and creeks. In my opinion, all this rain is definitely needed and much appreciated. Rainy weather has always been my favorite type of weather because it gives me an excuse to not do things like going out. I would much rather stay indoors and read a book or binge through an entire series in one sitting.

Since this stormy season, Los Angeles has changed in it’s pulchritude. As I look far into the mountains, they are visibly greener than usual. It is as if they have resurrected from the dead. Each morning as I rode the bus to school, the Los Angeles river always caught my eye. It was drier than a popcorn fart. Now, when I am pilgrimaging to school, it is flowing like Willy Wonka’s Chocolate River. Just the sight of it give me a sense of relief that we have our water back.

I am going to confess I usually take a shower that lasts about 30-35 minutes daily. With all this water we now have, I will not feel as guilty. Many people have the mentality where they say, “You don’t pay for my water, so why should you be the one to tell me how to use it?” Well, from what I learned in AP Environmental science, this is a scenario of tragedy of the commons. It is where inhabitants of a certain community completely use up a common resource available for everyone. By learning this, I cut down my showers from one hour to 35-30 minutes. You can say great improvement and I feel I have room for more.  I just hope it keeps raining until May so that we can have fresh water available for use all year round.

Is Trump’s Presidency Coming to an End?

Posted in Uncategorized on January 23rd, 2017 by georgep

Recently, we swore in the forty-fifth president of the United States of America, Donald J. Trump. He was not most favorited being of 2016, and that is likely to span until 2020. With him being a Republican and a strong Conservative, he shares different beliefs than liberals. In one case, he wants to defund Planned Parenthood throughout the nation. As a result, millions of people gathered to peacefully protest. Not only was this political movement for women’s rights, but for immigrants and minorities being ridiculed by Trump. As a result, women all throughout the country have stood up and marched for their rights. Aside from the United States, Donald Trump’s view on female rights had triggered political protests throughout the world.

The most prominent protest was in Washington D.C., blocks away from the White House.  Partakers in this protest want to be heard because they  feel that Donald Trump is belittling immigrants and minorities throughout the United States. In Washington D.C., over one million people gathered to protest peacefully, alongside with Los Angeles, Chicago, New York,  and even all the way to Melbourne, Australia. Mona Osuchukwu stated, “ We just want to make sure that we’re heard.” She protested alongside her daughter, making sure she is not deprived of her rights as a woman when she is older. As a response to all of these protests, Donald Trump responded on Twitter, “Watched protests yesterday but was under the impression that we just had an election! Why didn’t these people vote? Celebs hurt cause badly.” A short while, he released another Tweet. “Peaceful protests are a hallmark of our democracy. Even if I don’t always agree, I recognize the rights of people to express their views.” Personally, I think this has no effect on Donald Trump. As a president, he should listen to the voice of millions, where they are protesting loud and clear that they disagree with his views. As a nation, it is our duty to come to a consensus, and as president, it is his duty to make sure peace is kept between both political parties.

I find it amazing how millions can come together in less than 24 hours, organize peaceful protests, and not get arrested. Usually, hundreds would be arrested, or detained, sometimes even suffering police brutality. Women are joining together to make a mark now so that their daughter’s and future granddaughters will not need to live in an oppressed world. Female is the future, and they must be treated equally. Many people think this protest was only about the feminist movement, but in reality, it is about human rights. Just because a majority of the partakers were female, does not mean it was only about female rights.

If I could list what some of the posters said, I would, but some are inappropriate. Other’s consisted of famous memes and had relations to known movies. I found them all truly entertaining. At some of the protests, many celebrities marched in the crowds. They did not have their own stage where they stood and repeated the same thing  but actually marched alongside thousands. Some included Madonna, Ariana Grande, Scarlett Johansson and etc.

I believe these protests will not end until Trump treats everyone equal, ceases to make racist remarks, and eases on his harsh policies. If Democrats and Republicans work together, come to a consensus on ideas and pass laws that will benefit the society as a whole, tension between both parties will settle. The fact that the biggest political movement in U.S. history occurred in my lifetime, it has been a true honor to be part of this movement. We as Americans have the right to express our boiling feelings so that we are heard loud and clear. 1,000,000+ voices beat one. It is time for Donald Trump to hear their roars, because females brought him into this world, and females will take him out. With his actions, there will be consequences in which he will have to pay. He cannot silence us and he will not. It is time to stand up towards a racist, prejudiced, xenophobic bigot. Love trumps hate. Build bridges, not walls. Let everyone have a chance to experience the American Dream.


Posted in Uncategorized on October 24th, 2016 by georgep

Imagine saying “yes” to every question, demand and thought for a whole year. Shonda Rhimes, creator of Grey’s Anatomy, How to Get Away With Murder, and Scandal decided to say “yes” to everything for a whole entire year. This woman considers herself a titan. Not because she produces for hit television shows, not because she is a workaholic, but because she can multitask many things on her plate without showing a single stressful emotion. She works arduously, pleasing millions of people with her creative mind. Shonda Rhimes describes herself as a person who loves her job and loves all the hard things that come with it. If I was in her position, I would have had a plethora of mental breakdowns, because I can only process so much at a time. She is expected to produce seventy hours of television and please millions. Seems easy to her, but to me, it sounds like mission impossible.

Shonda Rhimes refers to her daughter as a southern waitress because instead of calling her “mom”, she calls her “honey”. One day Shonda was running late to work and as she was about to leave, her daughter asks her to play with her. Unable to say no, she keeps her promise and says “yes” to her daughter’s request. When mentioning her love for her job, she refers to the euphoric feeling as a hum. A hum constantly ringing in her head. This is the hum that Shonda Rhimes strives for. She then goes on about this euphoric hum and how it is her motivation, but the message that she is trying to relay is to strive for what makes you happy. Strive for that hum.

This hum can be spending time with family, reading a book, or simply spacing out. The whole point is to strive and reach greatness and avoid failure. She also asks “when the hum stops, who are you?” And that is a good question. In my opinion, when the hum stops, it means you have stopped giving it your all and no longer aspire for greatness. I see the hum as a sign that lets you know if you aspire for greatness, and if it is not heard, strive until it is heard.

Shonda Rhimes found an alternative source in achieving this hum besides working. It is with her children. Her kids fuel her hum. But children aren’t the only source of achieving this hum. Joy is the fuel. She decided to “play” as a way to relax from her job, and she seems to like it. She is still able to run her world without anything hindering her from being productive. She seemed to notice the more she plays, the better mother she becomes. The more she plays, the better she works. And lastly, the more she plays, the more she hears her hum, because playing is her joy, and her joy is what fuels her hum.

I can relate to her, but when I do things that bring joy to my life, I personally do not hear a hum. Instead, I feel the hum. I feel a euphoric sensation that I do not often feel, and I constantly strive to achieve that feeling. I would say that you are lying if you never feel a euphoric sensation when accomplishing something great. Maybe you are just blind to happiness and have a cold heart. Who knows? Shonda Rhimes has always been one of my favorite producers, because her ideas come to her naturally, just like the way she spoke. It as if her speech was an episode by itself. She seemed to paint a vivid picture in my mind, using many emotional appeals to support her thesis.

Without joy, people would be lugubrious and depressed, but Shonda Rhimes seemed to inspire me into achieving greater things more often. To strive for that hum, to play more often, to find my joy. And I believe everyone should find their joy and share it with the people, just like Shonda did with us. It needs to be spread more often, and thus people will be joyous. I believe joy exists in many forms, not only in work or work-related tasks. If we share our joy, that joy might inspire another person or even help them find their hum, and from thereon, it is a domino effect, affecting everyone in its path. We need to say yes to less working and more playing, just as Shonda Rhimes, stated in her exodus. So, who wants to play and find their joy? The answer should be, everyone.

Don’t be Clownin’ Around on Halloween

Posted in Uncategorized on October 12th, 2016 by georgep

In the recent month or so there has been a new trend striking social media. A new “killer clown” prank has been spreading like wildfire throughout the nation. Not only is it present in the United States, cases have been reported in England. Many people go along with the joke, but younger children seem to not understand it as a joke, but as their worst nightmare. I personally do not have a fear of clowns, but when people have reported them with actual knives and machetes wandering around in the middle of the night, it is no longer a joke.  Walking around with a knife or any deadly weapon is not only a safety hazard to the public, but the jokester as well.

           If a clown was spotted in the south, where people are hostile and serious about threats, there is a high chance that the clown might get shot and even killed. For example, a clown might think it is funny to trespass on someone’s farm or land at the crack of dawn. And the property owner seems to not be alert of the whole entire prank situation and ends up shooting the clown or even killing him. Going back to the weapon situation, many people might actually believe it is a threat and call law enforcement. Not only will it be an inconvenience to the police officers, but it will be an inconvenience to the clown for wandering around with a drawn weapon, and therefore being locked up in the back of a police car.

           Some states have even taken this situation seriously, fining people up to $50,000 dollars. I think a bit absurd, but they get what they deserve. I have had friends who have seen these clowns wandering in their neighborhoods. One local incident was posted on twitter where a Killer Clown was reported being seen on Sherman Way and Woodman in Van Nuys, California. The scariest part about this frenzy is some are violent, jumping on cars and chasing elderly people just to name a few of their actions. Don’t believe me? Go on Twitter and watch the thousands of videos of Killer Clowns all over the United States terrorizing neighborhoods. Referring back to the inconvenience to law enforcement, many officers have stated that it is using up their resources that could eventually be used in actual emergencies.

           Officers have claimed children are attending school having a fear of being murdered by these Killer Clowns. Wouldn’t you be in a state of trepidation sending your children off to school with these killer clowns on the loose? I sure would. For all we know they can be sexual predators!! With this becoming more viral, there should be actual laws about this whole situation. Someone can catch a case and end up with a lawsuit for harassment.  My fear is for Halloween this year. Even though I am already too old to go trick-or-treating, I am fearing for the little kids who are trying to enjoy this fun holiday. Too bad that will not be possible since there is an epidemic of clowns.

           On Instagram, there are hundreds of pages dedicated to these killer clowns. Some are even threatening to attack local high schools and kill students by stabbing or shooting them. Instead of paying attention to the calls of them wandering the streets, more attention should be focused on these imminent threats. With all these massacres that have happened in the past, we cannot afford to disregard these threats. There is always someone whose mind is not in the right place, and are willing to commit a heinous act like this.

           Many of my friends have told me that their schools are prohibiting students from dressing up as clowns on Halloween, and if they fail to comply to these rules, it will result in an automatic suspension with serious disciplinary actions.  I just hope that kids are alert on Halloween and to always be with a big group. These clowns have been reported to be seen in large coteries, so the larger the group, the lower the chances of them being chased down. I believe after Halloween, this will all die down, simply because it won’t be the right time anymore, also it will repetitive and annoying.  

Do Students Have it Easy?

Posted in Uncategorized on September 20th, 2016 by georgep

Many teachers do not take into consideration that students have several other classes that need to be focused on as well. I came across an article where a teacher was in the shoes of a student for two whole days. Alexis Wiggins has been a teacher for fourteen years and was wondering on how she may improve student learning. She started off with how this experience was eye-opening to her. She regrets on not doing this the first year she became a teacher because she believes many things should have been changed. Alexis was in the shoes of a sophomore and a senior and described it as strenuous.

Her first observation was, “Students sit all day, and sitting is exhausting.” Personally, I agree with her on this one because it is very rare for students to get up and walk around the classroom when they please, without being told to sit down. In many of my past experiences, I have had many teachers who disliked their students to walk around during instructional time and often prohibited us from walking around. To find a solution to this problem, Alexis decided that she would implement a mandatory stretch halfway through the class. Aside from that, Alexis also decided to implement hands-on activities that result in the students to move around and be active instead of sitting in their seats the whole period. I believe that this should be implemented in every classroom, aside from science, simply because it keeps students alert and active. If this were to be implemented into an English class, such as AP Lang, rhetorical devices can be presented in a creative manner such as a play. In History, the class can reenact an entire battle to get the point of view of a soldier. It is all up to the teacher on how they prefer to present the material.

Alexis’ second observation was that majority of high school students are passively sitting and listening ninety percent of the time. Being a high school student myself, this is debatable. In every class, there is a student who is introverted and prefers to be passive and listen the whole entire time. There are also complete opposites who actively engage in all class discussions, revealing their insight on the topic. Eventually, student’s get extremely tired and shut down towards the end of the day.

In many classes, students prefer to be passive because they feel extraneous to the discussion, thinking that they lack knowledge about the certain topic. The majority of the time, students shut down because the teacher keeps on rambling about a boring topic that no one is interested in. To find a solution to this problem, Alexis decided to have a timer each time she discussed a topic or lesson. After the timer went off, she was done and the remainder of the time was for the students. I personally think this can only be implemented in regular and honors classes, whereas in AP’s, that is precious time being squandered. In AP classes, I believe the teacher should use every single second of that period to cram our minds with the essential information we need in order to pass that exam in May.

From a teacher’s perspective as a student, Alexis observed that she started to feel like a nuisance all day long. Alexis observed that a few students were repeatedly told to pay attention throughout the span of class time. This is simply because we are exhausted of sitting down in two other classes, listening to a teacher lecturing us about a mind-numbing subject. I am extremely grateful that this teacher decided to conduct an experiment like this one. Many teachers forget that students need a break once in a while, but instead, they decide to bury us under many assignments that need to be due in a very short amount of time. Alexis realized that students have it tougher than the teachers themselves because we are conscientious beings. With college around the corner, I feel that this needs to be conducted at our school where every teacher should spend three whole days as a student. If this were to go right, I believe all teachers would have a different perspective on the life of all students. It should be eye-opening because we really work hard, and the majority of us are involved in extracurricular activities.


Can We Predict the Future for Ourselves?

Posted in Uncategorized on September 5th, 2016 by georgep

Many of us are constantly planning for the future, preventing things from going south. The one thing most of us forget is what is now, in present tense. Through my experience of watching ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix, I overcame a quote that really dawned on me. It was stated by Meredith Grey, the main character of the show. Meredith stated,” We spend our whole lives worrying about the future, planning for the future, trying to predict the future, as if figuring it out will cushion the blow. But the future is always changing. The future is the home of our deepest fears and wildest hopes. But one thing is certain when it finally reveals itself. The future is never the way we imagined it.“(Meredith Grey, Season 5, Episode 23)

This quote is something that I can personally relate to. As a person who is always worried about the future, I don’t spend much time thinking about what is occurring in the present tense. Many cases in which we prepare for the future may include studying for tests, doing assignments ahead of time, or simply packing up materials that are essential for future moments. All those actions have outcomes that are foreseeable, and not surprising. Cases in which us, humans, cannot predict the future is when there is a myriad of factors that can potentially affect the future that was initially predicted. For example, in Grey’s Anatomy, there are many cases in which a patient comes in with a simple, common illness. The doctors pin the problem, asses it with proper care, and eventually suppress the pain. But the doctors do not know how the patient may react to the medication that he or she received. If this is the case a series of new complications may arise, making the conditions of the patient worse. When Meredith stated that the future is constantly changing, I agreed with her. I live by Newton’s first law, that every action has an opposite and equal reaction. An example of this law in play would be karma. If I helped a person in need, and that action came from my heart, eventually in the future I would receive help in a time of need. Life throws many obstacles at s, but it is our duty to overcome them and figure a way out to prevent that from occurring again.

The future is a place full of fear and uncertainty, but that is okay. It’s okay to be afraid of the future, because not knowing something is always frightening and can have a great toll on the psychological factors of a human. When I am not familiar with a subject or situation, it has a great toll on my emotional state because I become nervous. I am that type of person that always needs to know a little bit of background information before I engage in a discussion. That’s why when it comes to class activities such as philosophical chairs or a Socratic seminar, I tend to be introverted. The future may also be full of wild hopes because I hope for the future that I predicted. No one wants a future that will potentially cause harm to themselves, so they hope for a positive outcome in the future. Sometimes our hopes for the future are outrageous and illusory. When I commit an action that I know I will be punished for, I hope there will be no consequences. But, as I stated earlier, that’s unrealistic because for every action, there is an opposite and equal reaction.

It is impossible to prepare for every future because not all futures are as predictable as others. The only way we can actually “prepare” for the future is to predict outcomes and figure ways out to cope with that outcome. As Meredith stated, “the future is never the way we imagined it.”, meaning there is probably a high chance that the future predicted is completely wrong. In my opinion, I believe the outcome was meant to happen so that we can learn from our mistakes, and better ourselves as a human being. Life needs to be slightly surprising because who wants to live a boring life? Life is too short for us to ponder on the past and reminisce about our actions. We just have to focus on what is going on now because the actions that are committed in present tense may somehow be tied to the future. We pave and guide the road for ourselves, leaving the responsibility and burden of any future emotions on us. If you aspire to live a positive, bright life, the future holds great rewards for your hard work. If you tend to live a negative, lugubrious life, don’t expect much in the future, simply because you chose this path for yourself and expected things to be given to you. Always remember that you have slight control of the future, and it is up to you on how you use that control.

Posted in Uncategorized on August 18th, 2016 by georgep

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