Executive Branch

April 13, 2022

Since 1789, when George Washington became our first president, Americans have been electing or re-electing the president and vice president every four years

Heart Health

April 13, 2022

The heart starts to beat practically at conception and continues it’s life-sustaining role for a hundred years or longer.

Electricity

April 13, 2022

Electricity

Electricity is the activity of electrons. They’re found orbiting the nucleus of an atom and they’re one of the smallest particles in the known universe.

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Human Connection

As the dust settled in the aftermath of WWII, the destructiveness and futility of war was being witnessed on a global scale. World leaders recognized that the effects of modern-day warfare would undeniably have a worsening impact on the environment and on living standards around the world. They began to talk about establishing a lasting peace.

When the United Nations was founded in 1945, the UN Charter was written to explain what the UN’s role is in regards to protecting human rights. To further define the concept of what “human rights’ really are, the  International Bill of Human Rights was created. The IBHR contains two legally binding treaties along with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

meditating-bear

The 30 Articles of the Declaration outline in general terms that humans of every race, color, sex, religion, and political affiliation are equally protected by international law. It’s considered a human right to have a nationality and to travel freely from place to place. Every person deserves to have educational opportunities and to contribute to a society. Freedom of “thought, conscience, and religion” are protected as well. Cruel and inhumane treatment, invasion of privacy, and slandering the reputation of others are things that are not just prohibited, the Preamble of the Declaration suggests that these should outrage “the conscience of mankind”

The ideals of the UN and specifically within the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are meant to transcend cultural differences

I Should Care?

Looking back through the 20th century, our lives have changed for the better in many ways but it hasn’t been a steady climb upward; more like the ups and downs of a rollercoaster. Competitiveness has resulted in the mindset of “survival of the fittest” and we often struggle against change until we suddenly realize that we’ve crossed a line somewhere. 

These things seem to take time. Whole generations, in fact. Making forward progress might simply be the result of remembering where we’ve been in the past and to continue talking about the best qualities we share as humans.


OIP

The Planet We Share

The Earth was a mass of molten rock and metal for about a billion years, spinning and becoming denser and hotter within its core. Heat from the iron core convected through a surrounding layer of molten rock where it interacted with metals in the earth’s crust, creating a magnetic field that spans from pole to pole.

This magnetosphere began to shield the planet from the harsh solar winds as water vapor from the burning crust evaporated and cooled, forming the oceans.

The Earth rotates on its axis once every 24 hours and orbits the sun in 365 days. It’s 23-degree axial tilt means that there are seasonal changes in parts of the northern and southern hemispheres

And Then ...

As Earth’s outer crust began to cool down, molten rock erupted and flowed beneath it, creating “plates” of land masses that continue to shift and reshape the surface.

Among the first organisms to evolve were bacteria and plant matter that began photosynthesizing carbon dioxide into oxygen. As the atmosphere filled with a nitrogen-oxygen ratio of about 3:1, aerobic life began to evolve, first in the oceans and then on land as the ozone layer protected the Earth from deadly levels of the sun’s ultraviolet radiation.

The Earth’s distance from the sun, its composition, size, and temperate regions are factors that have allowed life forms to thrive in a way not yet observed anyplace else in the universe.

palm trees blowing in a hurricane

Mother Nature at Her Deadliest

Storm systems are formed when warm air rises and clashes with cold air, resulting in precipitation and heavy winds.

Hurricanes and Tornadoes are made of the same elements of air and water as regular thunderstorms, but they have the potential to grow in size and build up a rotational velocity that allows them to cause short-term but devastating destruction to anything in its path. 

These types of storms spin simply because the earth is spinning. Meteorologists explain that a phenomenon called the Coriolis Effect causes wind and precipitation to arc toward the right in the northern hemisphere, creating storms that rotate in a counter-clockwise direction, and toward the left in the southern hemisphere, resulting in storms that spin clockwise.

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Spin Cycle

“Tornado alley” in the mid-western United States sees more tornado activity than any other country in the world.

Cold air from the Rocky Mountains collides with warm air from the Gulf of Mexico, and winds begin to spin unpredictably. Wind direction within a tornado spins chaotically both in a circular direction and vertically.

High in the sky, they’re usually connected to a dangerous cumulonimbus cloud while they touch down on earth, sweeping up anything in a pathway of destruction that could measure up to two miles wide and many miles long.

Tornado alerts sound in regions where storm activity is likely, but a tornado isn’t classified until after it dissipates, allowing scientists to observe the damage it caused and place it on a scale ranging from F0-F5.

Eye in the Sky

Hurricanes, in contrast, form in the ocean during the summer and early autumn.

They gather speed as warm water evaporates and rises, clashing with cold air higher up in the atmosphere. As the water cools, condensation begins to form, creating torrential rainfall that contributes to coastal flooding as powerful storm surges flow inland.

Hurricane winds mostly blow horizontally, and for this reason “hurricane hunters” have been known to safely fly a plane through the center of a storm, dropping instruments into the winds to measure speed and precipitation.