Archive for Uncategorized

Solar Panels getting a makeover.

When you think of solar panels, you probably think of those bulky unsightly eye catching panels that you got introduced to when you were younger. They seemed like a thing of the future that doesn’t really fit in with modern day technology. Hearing about solar powered cars and houses powered by solar energy use to be a thing of the far future. Thing is, things have changed, and so have the appearance of Solar Panels.

As stated by Stephanie Rogers from MNN, “The next generation of solar panels will bear little resemblance to their predecessors, at least on the outside. Companies like SRS Energy, Kyocera and Suntech Power are working with building suppliers on alternatives to clunky solar panels that will satisfy the demands of picky property owners, creating products like solar roofing tiles that blend in with the traditional clay versions found on many Southern California homes.”

At the moment, people do have the ability to choose to switch to solar powered energy sources, but with that it brings a lot of problems and incontinence as they have to deal with a gap in energy provided to the house, and often they are displeased with the end appearances of the solar panels. In the near future, Solar powered houses will be an option in real estate. It will make people be able to choose an environmentally friendly option for their energy source, without sacrificing the looks of a normal suburban house. For right now though, this new innovation is in its early stages so real estate buyers will have to hold out for a few more years before this is on the market.

-Tiffany Thai

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Fate of the world

Now the question is, how do we educate a younger generation about the importance of our planet and cause them to want to apply themselves to protecting our planet? Well of course we’re going to have to make it fun, we’re going to have to hit them in this generation’s home element, technology. Well let’s be more specific, we’ve got to find a way to infuse educational values into a technological game play. This is exactly what Fate of the World is.

Fate of the World is a game created in England that was released in November. It’s a role-playing game that allows kids to make the executive decisions for our planet’s future. The game gives the players a 200 year time line where scenario  are decided upon their choices.  As stated by Nina Chestney, “‘Fate of the World’ puts the Earth’s future in players’ hands, placing them in charge of an international environmental body which could save the world from the effects of rising greenhouse gas emissions or let it perish by continuing to rely on emissions-heavy fossil fuels.”  At the moment this game is only at its trial phase, but the full version is to be released in February if feedback deems positive.

-Tiffany Thai

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it’s a pillowpet world

http://vimeo.com/23059558

Kerr Speech and Debate recently finished up compeating in the yearly The People Speak Competition.We have been participating in this competiton every year and it has been extremely successful every year. The people speaks is a program that raises awareness for students around the world about what is going on in their world. one of the activities that some of our students participated in were PSA’s. These are self made public service announcments that are left up to interpretation by the students. One of our students that particpated in this was Tam Tran, a freshman. Her video takes a comedic approach to the issue this year of immigration and intergration. Instead of using real people, she uses an attention getter by incorperating some of the most trendiest toys on the market today, pillowpets, as her main character. She uses a variety of different animals to represent how in the future how intergration will result into a wonderful melting pot of different cultures. She uses typical racial sterotypes portrayed by different animals and through this comedic video she further shows how interesting it could be to have a future where cultures are mixed and interacting with each other. Though this PSA makes the viewers entertained comediclly, it still holds many educational values that pertain to migration and how it is a positive change.

Tiffany Thai

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Koffing and Weezing.

Currently, policy analysts are arguing for a reduction of restrictions on air pollution because society has made so many developments in reducing the impacts of air pollution. However, even though there has been significant process, it doesn’t mean the problem of air pollution is eliminated altogether. Granted, we have been able to reduce outdoor air pollution, we have not eliminated the problem. High concentrations of air pollution still kill people and cost lives. We continue burning coal which emits pollutants and still rely on fossil fuels as an energy source, so until we find alternatives to all of these problems, we will continue to have problems of air pollution. Also, diseases are said to be linked to air pollution such as a high exposure or concentration of nitrogen oxide, but because nothing concrete has been found, regulations should be reduced too. Although we haven’t tracked nitrogen oxides as the root cause of some diseases, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it isn’t the cause of it either. There is still the high possibility that they are related. I don’t think the regulations should be relaxed or tightened because neither side can be proven, but we can’t rule out any possibilities so we should just keep policies the way they are. A significant step forward is not a signal to stop, but to continue stepping in the right direction.

-Nicholas Chan

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Electronic disposal

As we all should know, electronics have to be specially disposed of. Now, the question is, how many people actually do that? I’m pretty sure many people have been guilty of simply throwing a battery or two straight into the trash simply because the trip to your local recycle plant wouldn’t be very convenient. In this new more eco-aware time and age, disposing electronics have become a much simpler task when it comes to the smaller items like print cartillages and cell phones. Those recycle boxes are everywhere. I bet all of you have seen one or two of them every now and then. They’ve come to a point where most office supply stores and schools offer then at their entrances. Now, what about the bigger electronics? broken laptops, tv’s, stuff like that? Well that still remains an issue. The group called Electronics TakeBack Coalition has been trying to steer companies to making the option avalible for consumers to return products to them for disposal. Sadly, it is stated in mnn, “Most companies, got big fat Fs — like Brother, my stereo maker Sony, and my camera maker Canon. Interestingly, a good handful of these flunkies actually have take-back programs! It’s just that these programs are (intentionally?) tough to use for average consumers…” It seems that we’ve still got a long way to go to advocate the proper removal of our electronics.

-Tiffany Thai

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Kerr High School – TPS Public Debate – Part 1

As part of The People Speak competition, Kerr High School hosted a debate over migrant rights. The following videos allow all visitors to view the opposing sides within this in a standard Public Forum style clash. We hope you will enjoy it.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

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Being Eco-friendly while having fun

When going to a party, having a night out, or having a relaxing night in, the environmental probably would be the last thing on your relaxed mind. The thing is, there are so many things that can be done that not only helps out the environmental, but it helps out your wallet also.

  • Movies. When you want to have a day in watching a movie, instead of buying a movie, you can rent it. thousands 0f DVD’s are trashed every year and instead of throwing out the movie, you can rent it. Also, an average DVD costs around 16 dollars, where as you can rent a movie for a night for only one dollar!
  • Ordering drinks at restaurants. Instead of asking for bottled drinks, take the tap. It honestly doesn’t taste much different, and you reduce the bottle usage. Also, most of the time, tap drinks are much cheaper than the bottled version.
  • Turn off the games. Most of the time game stations like wii and ps3’s normally have three settings, on, off, and stand-by. When most people turn the console off, they hold the button down too short, hence putting it on stand-by instead of fully off. Eliminate this mistake by watching until the power light turns red. With this, you save energy and your console doesn’t over heat !
  • Read your news on the internet! You can now subscribe to a greater variety of news on the internet. With this you save paper, and you get a bigger variety of news, plus a lot of it is available for free if not for a small subscription rate.

-Tiffany Thai

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Adopt-A-Beach Clean up

Have you heard of adopt a sibling? what about adopt a pet? YOU HAVE TO HAVE HEARD of adopt a street! Okay so maybe these programs have nothing to do with each other, but their goals are pretty much the same. You take something , and you make it your responsibilitiy to make it better! That’s exactly what the Adopt-A-Beach program is. Every year, students, volunteers, and just regular people go out to the beach and do their best to clean it up! Kids miss school days to have a day on the beach with their peers making the beach a better place. This year, the emphasis was on Texas. It was stated that this spring’s event with take place at sites up and down the Texas coast. Anyone needing to make arrangements to stay near the coast during the event will be happy to know several hotels are offering special Adopt-A-Beach rates. The Texas GLO encourages anyone interested in the coast or environmental issues to participate. However, they do recommend volunteers take a few common sense safety precautions. Anyone interested in going above and beyond the normal volunteer duties, is also welcome to apply to be aBeach Guardian and help nurture a stretch of beach year around.If you are interested in this or any other programs similar to this, talk to your city and orgainze your own beach “Adoption” program!

-Tiffany Thai

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Save the Sea Cows

Earth day was a few weeks ago. What did you guys do for it? I know I took pride in the hourly get out and play thing, and a lot of other stuff. What about you people who want to do more than just simply recycling and turning off a light, what did you guys do? What about animal relief? Well, Apparently, there is this program called “Keep Manatee Beautiful” Yes this is talking about the beach, but it’s also the beach where a lot of Manatee come to rest. We need to keep these beaches clean so the Manatees have a home! Apparently this past year, The haul last year totaled 48,833 pounds of trash and 17,864 pounds of recyclables. In all, volunteers cleaned up 264 miles of roads and 223 miles of shore. They also scrubbed 75 graffiti sites and planted trees and flowering shrubs.The annual attention to all that debris pays dividends, with volunteers hauling in less and less from some locations. It has gotten some attention as media has taken interest in it also! Apparently, it’s gotten the whole community working to stay clean as people are becoming much more aware of cleaning up after themselves and if they see trash. It’s a great day to save the Sea Cows guys.

-Tiffany Thai

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Music under the sea

Humpback whales are some of the biggest and intriguing  animals of the ocean. From their size to their look to their grace and their friendship with each other and with other creatures, it’s hard to hate these beautiful whales. That is, if you aren’t one of the poor creatures that get sucked into their mouth. But that’s a different story. One of the coolest things about these whales that have been studied for decades are their means of communication. Whales make pulse moaning sounds that are able to travel over 4000 accross the sea to other whales. Apparently, “The level and rate of change is unparalleled in any other nonhuman animal, and thus involves culturally driven change at a vast scale.” This is where the idea of whale music derives from. Since 1998 until present day, scientists have been recording the sounds of whales for research. These sounds seem a lot like songs as they are heard by now not only the whale population but by our scientific population also. It takes about two years for a song to cross the Pacific, most likely transported either by small groups of wandering minstrels, or by whales in neighboring groups that hear the new songs as they swim together. The songs move eastward because the largest humpback populations live farther west, giving them more cultural sway over their less populous cousins to the east.  The question is why do they have these songs in the first place? Well same reason why humans do we believe, because it makes them cool. 🙂

-Tiffany Thai

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