Monday, April 22

Happy Earth Day!

Earth-Day-Dana-Gray
Times are tough with everything that’s going on in the world but I still have a simple belief that we are on this planet for more of a reason then just destroying the planet and each other. I think one of our best hopes for a united Earth effort begins with the astronaut's vision of the Overview Effect. Once the movie “Continuum” comes out the general public will get their first look at an overview, our history and everything they didn’t know about our little blue planet.

“On the outside, in-between all of us and everything else.” Chris Hadfield

I wanted to do something different for Wonderland so I wrote this poem beforehand and now I want to share it with you. It encapsulates my feelings about this day and the Earth. I hope you like it.

Believe


Believe that things can get better
Believe that the earth can be clean
Believe that no person goes hungry
The future remains to be seen.

Believe there's an end to extinction
Believe that the forests stay green
Believe that the garbage gets picked up
The future remains to be seen.

Believe there's a better tomorrow
Believe that the earth is pristine
Believe there's no war in all counties
The future remains to be seen.

The future is ours so let's grab it
Let's clean up this world that we trash
We need to quit wasting resources
The future remains and must last.

© Bekkie Sanchez 2013

Take care and may your view today on Earth Day be an Overview.

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Friday, April 19

Guns For All The Wrong Reasons



The military needs the right tools for the job and I don't have a problem with them having the guns they need especially during war although I'm against violence. I have 2 uncles whom were proud Marines so I know what they went through and I respect the military because of them. Unfortunately even military weapons of all types have filtered down to be had by the general public through illegal means and that includes sniper rifles and automatic weapons. President Kennedy's death comes to mind and he isn't the only one to die from a sniper's bullet

All you have to do is look at the news reports. Guns and the stupid people using them are causing more deaths of innocent people in the U.S. than ever before. Most states are practically handing them out to the public and countless non-military people even obtain permits to carry that gun until it is pried out of their cold dead hands. Even if you don't own a gun I bet you know someone, a family member or friend (not in a job that requires a gun) that does. There are more guns than people to shot them.

With a permit to carry a person can take their gun on airplanes, buses, trains anywhere they go in this country in any public venue. All they need is their gun and a permit to carry. Don’t fool yourself when you get on an airplane there are more people carrying guns then the cop on the plane and it’s all legal.

I personally know too many gun-toting Americans including people in my own family. Not only are they proud of it they have more than one gun to their name and a lot of them have never gone to a shooting range to practice shooting these guns.

My father was killed by a handgun in 1990 in my hometown. Right after my father was killed the Indiana police were quick to hand that same gun over to my brother who took it back to Florida. The Indiana police should have destroyed that gun. If a gun is just handed over to another person where is the gun control there and this was a murder! The cops do this all of the time when someone dies with a gun and TV lies.

Criminals have been caught with all kinds of illegal guns with silencers and guns that have been altered. The police (who are sometimes the problem) can't keep up and the murder rate caused by guns has gone up alarmingly. Handguns can be bought very cheaply on the street with the serial numbers ground off, ready for a new crime.

After the parent’s of the children killed at the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School petitioned the government to support common-sense legislation to reduce gun violence. Despite a 90% backing of this legislation, it was voted down by the lawmakers this week. Now children in grade schools will need armed guards because the government is afraid to go up against the NRA lobbyists giving them even more power than they had before.

They should be ashamed of themselves. At least the parent’s from Sandy Hook tried and they have a lot of courage to have gone through what they did and then have this happen.

We must not forget the 20 first- and second-graders at Sandy Hook Elementary School, along with six of their brave educators, who gave their lives in the Newtown Shooting. Change must happen to honor their memories! In tribute to them, and to the many other individuals who lost their lives in other horrific mass shooting in America, we are inviting our members and friends to take an active role right now in the battle to secure common sense legislative solutions to growing gun violence in America. We will deliver this petition to leaders in the U.S. Congress and to the Governors of all 50 states. Your contact information will not be shared publicly. Please forward to your friends and invite them to sign as well. Now is the time for action!

My father was one of these gun enthusiasts who always said his guns would protect him. He had been a champion tag-team wrestler in his time and got killed in his own home while sleeping on the couch with his own handgun. I was outraged at the time and the police were no help. If there were no guns allowed in this country he’d still be with me. Those kids would still be with their parents.

Gun laws vary widely by country. The UK and China both ban private ownership of guns. Many other countries enforce laws that make it extremely difficult to own a gun, especially if you have a criminal record. Some countries with strict gun control include Australia, Japan, Singapore and Canada.

In Canada for example, "handguns must be registered and potential buyers must undergo training, a personal-risk assessment and a criminal background check; supply two references; and have their spouses notified before purchase" (Source: Washington Times)

In the United Kingdom, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law. Police in the UK don't generally carry a gun. In the UK, citizens are "not allowed to possess semi-automatic and automatic firearms, handguns or armor piercing ammunition"

There was a plan to stamp serial numbers on bullets for more control that would make it harder to commit crimes with all guns. I think that's a great idea. 

Better yet, if there were no guns allowed then people would have to fight hand to hand which I feel would be a lot fairer. If someone attacks you without a gun at least you have a better chance of survival. People might think twice about attacking one another and deaths caused by guns would go down. Or maybe I'm just dreaming of a better less violent world without guns?

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Thursday, April 18

Cell Phone Facts To Consider


cell-phone-booth

Cell phones are so convenient, what would you do without one? They let you make those important on the spot calls and important text messages during the day.

What a lot of people don’t know, and cell phone companies have been keeping from the world is that a cell phone is nothing more than a radio. It is a complex radio, but a radio none-the-less. Let’s take a look at a brief history of cell phones.

In the early 1950’s cell phones were called Radio Phones, in select urban areas, there were large central antennas that were specifically allocated for these radio-phones. Since radio technology itself was only in the building phase, only about 25 channels were available for private use. So basically only 25 people could be talking on their radio-phones at the same time. It wasn’t an efficient system to say the least and a better system was needed so they came up with the cell approach.

The cell approach divided each city up into small divisions, or "cells". The technology behind cells has changed dramatically over the years, just as cell phones have, only now most standard cells are about 10 square miles large. They are usually in the shape of a hexagon. Nowadays, every individual cell has its own base station, rather than only one for an entire city.

Now modern cell phones (meaning they were created in the last 20 years or so) are made to be low-power transmitters (either 0.3 watts or 6 watts), which is much lower wattage than in past decades. This means that the same frequency can be used in the same city, at the same time, but in different cells. This is what makes our current system what it is today.

I got my first cell phone in 1998 and at the time hardly anyone had them that I knew. They were simple but they did the job with very well with an antenna that you pulled up when you used it. It had an old style (green) digital screen with no pictures or texting but it’s convenience was obvious! They were really cheap to have in 1998 but I didn’t have it for long and I wasn’t to buy another one until 2007.

In many ways, cell phones do make our lives better and more convenient. Let’s face it, what can’t the smartphones do? Big Brother and sharing personal information just seem to be growing at a faster rate, whether we like it or not.

Just consider how much personal information you put on your cell. Losing it is one thing, but all the applications you put on your cell use your personal information to some extent. Next time you download an application take the time to look at how much information you're sharing with it. That would normally be a lot, from memory to your images. It usually lists this information after it tells you all the cool things the application can do for you and how you can’t live without it.

Cell phones that have internet can give you the same problems that you encounter on your home PC. Better have a virus checker on that cell, most people who have cell phones don’t think they need them. Always run a virus checker to keep an eye on your naughty apps too.

I’m on my 3rd cell phone and my first “smartphone” and I love my phone. There, I finally said it. Me, the person who always said; “Why do I need a smartphone when I have an awesome computer at home?” The Android cell phones cannot be denied, I have an Evo5 4G with a 3D camera.

To top it all off now there are studies that say our cell phones are possibly carcinogenic causing brain tumors and cancer.
Just lately the World Health Organization put out a new classification for cell phones. The new classification indicates that there is some link between cancer and radiofrequency electromagnetic fields that are emitted by cell phones, but extensive study is still necessary. The panel found that the evidence that cell phone radiation was linked to one type of brain cancer was “limited” and the disassociation with any other type of cancer was “inadequate.” According to the report, the “limited” classification is just one step above the “inadequate” classification.

The problem is with the antennas or certain circuit boards in the cell phones. Holding them up to your head while you talk and exposing this directly next to your brain is what causes these tumors or serious problems. Using your headphones while talking or anything that keeps your cell phone away from your head is the best way you can protect yourself from these problems. Don't put cell phones in your bras women!

The panel that did this study consisted of 31 scientists pulled from 14 different countries that reviewed two large studies that found a relationship between cell phone use and Glioma, a form of brain cancer. The scientists reviewed those studies and other scientific literature for eight days at a meeting in Lyons, France.

There’s no doubt in my head that using cell phones, especially as much as we rely on them now is not a good thing for us. Just consider how many minutes you use yours a month and how you use it. You might be concerned by the answer you come up with!

Here are some cell phone facts:
  1. About 20 percent of teenagers have cell phones, many of whom are girls.
  2. About ¼ of all Americans have cell phones, but nearly 2/3 of all Europeans do. There was also digital phone technology in Europe about 10 years before there was in the United States.
  3. In 1994, 16 million Americans were subscribers to a major cell phone service. Today, more than 110 million Americans currently subscribe. 1.2 billion people are estimated to be subscribers by 2010.
  4. There are also disposable cell phones. They are available online and only cost about $12.95.
Whatever your opinion on cell phones it’s hard to live without the convenience of having them. The fact that they are incredibly useful and fun means they will be around for a long time until the next thing comes around to take their place.

This has been updated in 2017 and cell phones have changed even more. I now have a Samsung Galaxy s7 and I love it! Soon, I'll get an s8.

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Monday, April 8

Overview Imagined

bekkiesearthandstars

Overview Imagined

I wish that I could see the earth from space
free from the trappings of my life and gravity
my imagination might free me from this plight
so I fancy myself an astronaut on my way to the moon.

Acceleration pulls at me as the rockets propel me forward
I feel another stage release and I clench my teeth as I pray
general confusion and dizziness fill my mind as I try not to be sick
then we are in orbit and I’m floating in my seat.

I slowly move to the window with great expectations
searching the bright dots I find the small ball of pale blue
it looks so peaceful and pristine, just hanging there
everything else fades away as I savor the sight.

Earth, without the complications of being there
a gorgeous living and breathing planet covered in life
no borders just land masses divided by blue waters
surely a paradise to those who live on the surface.

I realize I am seeing Earth as a whole for the very first time
and I feel completely different than I ever have before
witnessing the overview effect for the first time in my life
fills me full of hope as I re-enter the atmosphere…

…finding myself earthbound in my living room.

© Rebecca Sanchez 2017

“When we originally went to the moon, our total focus was on the moon. We weren’t thinking about looking back at the Earth. But now that we’ve done it, that may well have been the most important reason we went.”— Overview Institute co-founder David Beaver, retelling what one astronaut has said.

If we imagine the Overview for ourselves, forget our petty differences, self-importance, love of money and understand how fragile our existence is on the earth we may yet have a chance to fulfill our promise to keep it healthy. 

© Bekkie Sanchez

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