Florida School Shooting Hero

February 14th, 2017 was the day of the Parkland, Florida school shooting. On that day, 17 students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School died, while many more are still injured. It was a day of loss and trauma for everyone. However, on that day heroes were recognized. Below is the story of Peter Wang who sacrificed his life for the lives of his fellow peers.

Peter Wang was a junior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and he was part of the American Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC). One of his future goals was to attend the The United States Military Academy in order to serve and aid his country. However, his life soon came to an end before he got the chance.

At the time of the shooting, Peter was holding open a door for students to pass through and he even helped push students out to safety. Instead of scrambling himself to safety outside, he sacrificed himself for the safety of others and was soon shot by Nikolas Cruz, the shooter.

Today, we remember Peter Wang as a hero to the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and we appreciate the sacrifice he made in order to protect his fellow peers. To honour Peter, The United States Military Academy recognized him with the Medal of Heroism and awarded him with a posthumous acceptance letter to the school.

 

Sources:

https://media2.s-nbcnews.com/j/newscms/2018_08/2335301/180220-peter-wang-jrotc-uniform-ac-448p_5c56e1de2527feb9eec389b279f277e5.nbcnews-fp-360-360.jpg

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-43132215

https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/22/us/parkland-shooting-conspiracy-theories-trnd/index.html

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/02/22/florida-school-shooting-timeline.html

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-23/florida-school-shooting-armed-deputy-failed-to-engage-gunman/9477644

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/22/us/nikolas-cruz-florida-shooting.html

 

Winter Olympics 2018 (Day 11)

On February the 9th,  the winter Olympics ceremony kicked off with Kpop performances and the traditional Parade of Nations. Winter competitors from 92 different countries have all traveled to Pyeongchang County, South Korea for this major event. For a first in Olympic history, North Korea and South Korea will have a unified women’s hockey team. Talk about a major event bringing people together, right? Anyways, so far, Canada has 6 bronze medals, 5 silvers and 7 golds from long track speed skating, figure skating, luge, bobsled, curling, hockey and more. Max Parrot and Mark McMorris won the first medals of the winter Olympics for Canada in the men’s slope style. Canada is currently in 3rd place and will hopefully beat their record from 2010 of 26 medals.

 

Here are the current number of medals won by the top 10 countries:

 

  • Norway: 29
  • Germany: 23
  • Canada: 19
  • Netherlands: 14
  • France: 13
  • U.S: 12
  • Sweden: 7
  • Austria: 10
  • South Korea: 8
  • Japan: 10

 

 

The Olympics are always an exciting event, especially since they only happen every 4 years, bringing people together to compete against or with each other. Fingers crossed for Canada!

 

To read more about this event, click on the links below.

https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/winter-olympics/winter-olympics-2018-live-updates-results-and-medals-on-day-three-in-pyeongchang/news-story/92d2ce98c0ace11a180189b194bc8922

https://hellogiggles.com/news/how-to-watch-the-2018-olympics-opening-ceremony/

https://www.reuters.com/article/olympics-2018-medals/olympics-complete-medals-table-on-day-11-idUSISS893171

https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/19/sport/olympics-2018-live-results/index.html

 

Snow in Europe sets seasonal records

Lately, the snow has been starting to melt here in B.C, but snow storms have been setting records in parts of Europe. A rare snowstorm in Rome brought many opportunities for skiing, sledding, and building snowmen in parks and piazzas. Their schools were closed and even the trains, planes and bus services were slowed down. In fact, the army was even called by Italy’s civil protection agency to help clear the snow covered streets! All the snow was melted by noon, though freezing temperatures may cause the closure of schools for a second day on Tuesday.

Dangerously low temperatures were set by the storm elsewhere in Europe. Officials in Lithuania reported that the temperature dropped down to as low as minus 24 degrees Celsius and the storms were to blame for the deaths of at least three people over the weekend. People are currently being treated for frostbite and hypothermia at hospitals in Lithuania and Latvia. Germany’s temperature dropped to as low as minus 27 degrees Celsius and nearly minus 20 degrees Celsius in Moscow.

There were many snow related car accidents including one with the prime minister of Sweden. Luckily, he was uninjured. Hopefully, not too many other people were injured either.

About 1,000 soldiers in Croatia joined the clearing operations in the worst affected places where there were over 1.5 meters (or even 5 feet) of snow.

This huge snowy weather has been dubbed “The Beast from the East” by the British, saying that the source of these freezing temperatures was the Siberian Arctic.  

Climate researchers and scientists claim that the “Big Chill” in Europe is partly caused by the cold winds “locked” over the Arctic, spreading over Europe, releasing it’s icy blasts. The temperature in the Arctic have gone up and been unusually warm these past few weeks. The sudden drops in temperature may become more frequent as global warming saps up the icy winds around the pole.

 

Because of all this happening around the globe, we, as the main species on Earth, have to really start to be more aware of global warming and its effects. With melting glaciers, cities could be swallowed by the water, the Earth will become dry and many more terrible things could happen. Global warming is a terrible thing and we must all be aware of it and help slow it down!

 

Solutions to global warming:

https://thisspaceshipearth.org/get-involved/acting-as-crew/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIitqTuqLF2QIVTZV-Ch3McQXfEAAYAyAAEgIJAPD_BwE

Citation(s):

https://townhall.com/news/world/2018/02/26/rare-snowfall-blankets-rome-closing-schools-n2454293

 

Tsunamis, NAFTA, and Moons in the World Headlines!

Current Events

#1 Tsunami?

On around Tuesday 1:00 am, January 23, 2018, a 7.9 magnitude earthquake hit Chiniak, Alaska. When tectonic plates collide with enough force or a pressure build-up causes a sudden release of pressure, it can cause a violent movement and vibrations.

What are Tsunamis?

Earthquakes can generate waves, huge ones that are known as Tsunamis. Tsunamis are caused by the water displacement that can result from the shifting of tectonic plates. When the wave nears the coast, the water becomes more and more shallow. Since a wave isn’t just a flap of moving water, but an extended “column” of moving water molecules when the wave nears the shore, the energy is condensed, and a wave is formed. This is because the wave no longer has to travel through the entire depth of ocean water, but rather only the depth of the coast. The water will get pushed upwards to create what we traditionally call a wave. The energy to push the water molecules upwards is taken from the total speed of the wave. If the wave is not fast enough, the “top” of the wave will collapse, and the wave will “break”. How high a wave reaches when it nears the shoreline depends a lot on how fast it is moving.

What role do earthquakes play?

The sudden jolt an earthquake makes can create extremely fast waves, some of which can be moving faster than a commercial jet. When the wave reaches the shoreline, it can become a towering wall of water. And since the tsunami wave will displace water, when the tide retreats and the tsunami are over, it will draw in anything or anyone that is not in a safe area.

Even though the shockwave was from the Alaskan coast, it could still cause tsunami waves that are meters high when it hits the coast. And since the tsunami travels so fast, the distance will hardly slow it down.

Supposed danger zone

So what happened?

So why did we not hear breaking news about a tsunami that devastated coastal settlements? It turns out that the Earthquake was not the type that could have caused tsunami waves. Even though the earthquake had a high amount of energy, the tectonic plates did not slide vertically, but they moved more horizontally, not creating much of a shockwave. We were lucky this time.

The megathrust earthquake on the left would have caused a lot of water displacement, and thus a tsunami

Bibliography

https://www.quora.com/Oceanography-Why-do-waves-generally-tend-to-rise-near-the-shore

http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/bc-tsunami-warning-1.4499877

 

Recently there have been many talks in the news about NAFTA. We have been so tied up with our IDS and Science Fair projects and might have lost contact with the “real-world”. So I decided to dig out more about NAFTA. What is it? Why is it important to Canada? What is happening now? What is next?

What is it?

NAFTA stands for North American Free Trade Agreement. There are three members in this agreement: Canada, United States and Mexico. It was established 24 years ago in 1994. The economic size of NAFTA is significant. It was estimated NAFTA GDP (Gross Domestic Product) was about 21 Trillion USD in 2016 (about 20% of the world’s GDP). This agreement allows free trade among the three member countries by eliminating the trading barriers.

Why is it important to Canada?

Canadian economy heavily relies on trading. It does not matter we like Trump or not, the most important trading partner of Canada is our southern neighbour, the U.S. Maintaining a free-trading environment in North America will benefit Canadian consumers and suppliers in many aspects. As consumers, we could get access to cheaper products as these products could be imported to Canada without additional customs fees. Also, it means we could get a wider variety of goods produced in the U.S. and Mexico. For Canadian producers, we could get access to the larger market outside of Canada with low exporting fees. With the free trading agreement, it could also attract investment from the U.S. For general Canadians, NAFTA means more job opportunities in the U.S. and Mexico and allows people invest freely in the U.S. and Mexico.

What is happening now?

Trump administration had initiated a renegotiation of NAFTA shortly after the election in July 2017. The goal of U.S. in this negotiation is to reduce the U.S.’s trade deficit, i.e. increase the amount of U.S.’s export value and reduce its imports. Since then, there have been many intense negotiations andat times the U.S. threatening to walk away from NAFTA.

Last week there has been a week-long negotiation at Montreal. The most crucial resource for B.C. is probably the softwood lumber import duty. As for me, dairy products are the most important. The U.S. proposes to end the limits of Canadian imports on dairy products (milk, cheese and poultry).

What is next?

According to the experts, the U.S. is unlikely to walk away from the NAFTA entirely, although there could be potentially significant changes.

Also, Tuesday last week (Jan. 23), Canada, together with other members of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), agreed to move forward with revising TPP agreement without the U.S. TPP is a trading agreement with 13 Pacific countries. TPP helps opening new markets, although geographically far from home. TPP allows Canada rely less on NAFTA. Maybe I will write something about TPP the next time something comes up.

Bibliography

http://thechronicleherald.ca/canada/1540666-nafta-a-summary-of-where-talks-stand

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_Free_Trade_Agreement

https://www.sunlife.ca/ca/Learn+and+Plan/Money/Financial+planning+tips/NAFTA+What+it+is+how+it+benefits+Canada+part+1?vgnLocale=en_CA

https://globalnews.ca/news/3981394/canada-revised-trans-pacific-partnership-agreement/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trans-Pacific_Partnership

Once in a Blue Moon

Tomorrow morning (January 31), we will have a “once in a blue moon” opportunity to see three moon phenomenon happen at the same time: a Supermoon, a Blue moon, and a Blood moon. Last time this happened was in 1866, 152 years ago. So this is a truly once in a lifetime event.

What is a supermoon?

It is a full moon at a point in its orbit where it is closest to Earth. This point is called perigee. When this happens, the moon could appear up to 14% larger and 30% brighter compared to the usual moon. People call this larger and brighter moon a Super Moon. On a contrast, do you know there is a term called “micromoon”? This is when a full moon at a point where it is furthest to Earth. This point is called apogee.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

 

What is a Blue moon?

There are an old and a new definition. The older definition of a Blue Moon is the third full moon in a season which has four full moons. Now the commonly acceptable new definition is the second full moon in a calendar month. So a Blue moon has nothing to do with its color, and it would look the same as usual.

What is a Blood moon?

A moon during a total lunar eclipse would look red and is called a Blood moon. During an eclipse, Earth blocks the sunlight to the moon. Theoretically, the moon will be invisible. However, the Earth’s atmosphere filters the sunlight’s green to violet portion and passes through the reddish light. The reddish light is bent twice (when enters and leaves the atmosphere) and illuminates the moon. This is why the moon looks red.

Photo of the Dec. 20, 2010 total lunar eclipse from Cochranville, Pa. taken by Kevin R. Witman, using a Meade LX50 10″ Schmidt Cassegrain telescope and a Canon XS DSLR camera. Credit: Kevin R. Witman

I’ve already had my telescope set up to watch this event assuming I could wake up around 5 am. But with the unpredictable weather we have, the moon might not be visible at all. So our best bet might be watch livestream at NASA Television https://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html#public.

Bibliography

https://qz.com/1192904/super-blue-blood-moon-how-to-watch-it-from-anywhere/

https://www.space.com/34515-supermoon-guide.html

https://www.space.com/15455-blue-moon.html

http://earthsky.org/space/why-does-the-moon-look-red-during-a-total-lunar-eclipse

https://moon.nasa.gov/news/29/teachable-moment-whats-a-supermoon-and-just-how-super-is-it/

 

The Women’s March

2018 Women’s March

The 2018 Women’s March took place on January 21 on the anniversary of the 2017 Women’s March. This powerful event attracted hundreds of thousands of participants, in hundreds of cities, towns and suburbs all over the world!!!

Women protested against President Donald Trump and addressed women’s rights, health issues, equality, diversity, and the inclusion of everyone. They rallied voters and candidates for the upcoming midterm elections in the United States with the new movement “Power to the Polls”.

Power to the Polls was launched this year as the new agenda of 2018. It carries a new message with a goal of increasing voter participation and encouraging more women to run for office as strong advocates for women’s rights. A national voter registration tour has begun and will target swing states to gain new voters, engage impacted communities, and bring in a leader that will reflect everyone’s values and elect more women to the office.

Many strong and influential women shared their personal experiences and took part in events.

Actress and producer Viola Davis delivered a fantastic motivational speech urging women to continue supporting each other and never become submissive.

“I am speaking today not just for the MeToos, because I was a MeToo. But when I raise my hand I am aware of all the women who are still in silence, the women who are faceless.”

Watch her speech here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=10&v=mM5ONxQxQu8

Actress Natalie Portman spoke of her first encounter with objectification at a very young age. “I opened my first fan mail to read a rape fantasy that a man had written me. I understood very quickly, even as a 13-year-old, that if I were to express myself sexually, that I would feel unsafe. And that men would feel entitled to discuss and objectivity my body.”.                                               

Watch her entire speech here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=37&v=tXWHO14c88c

The Women’s March continues to inspire and change lives. Let’s keep updated on the upcoming 2019 Women’s March and hope that it is as successful as the first 2. On behalf of everyone involved in the 2018 Women’s March, “Look Back, March Forward”.

 

China declares to build a Polar Silk Road to Canada

As part of the Trillion dollar plan called the Belt and Road initiative, China recently unveiled its Arctic strategy. China plans to build a Polar Silk Road, sending freight to Canada’s northernmost borders. A government official document declares China as a near Arctic state and plans to ship through an ice free Arctic. Shipping through the Arctic saves 20 days as opposed to shipping through traditional routes.

In September 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Kazakhstan and delivered a speech at the University of Astana Nazarbayev, pointing out that the Silk Road connecting Europe and Asia across the East and West will forge different races, different beliefs and different cultural backgrounds of the countries and bring peace and great development of the new Silk Road. In fact, China has been trading overseas with Southeast Asian countries since the Song Dynasty, the Ming Dynasty, the Zheng Dynasty and the treasure voyages.

A month later, during President Xi Jinping’s visit to Indonesia, he further proposed to build the 21st century Maritime Silk Road cooperatively. From building ports in Pakistan, high-speed railways connecting Sri Lanka to East Africa and gas pipelines through Central Asia, China plans to invest over 1 Trillion USD in the Belt and Road initiative, making it the largest investment action taken by a single country in history. When completed, it will be covering 4.4 billion people, accounting for 63% of the world’s population. It will operate with 21 trillion US dollars, which covers 29% of the world’s economic scale and accounting for 23.9% of the world’s total exports of goods and services.

With the original intention of building infrastructure to promote trade, the plan will be based on two routes: a route roughly along the original the Silk Road, from China through Central Asia and the Middle East to Europe; the other through the sea from Southeast Asia and Eastern Africa. Based on the news, an additional polar silk road will be added as well.

Since 2013, the Belt and Road initiative has been extended to projects ranging from New Zealand, the UK and even the Arctic. China has listed 65 countries that will be included in the development of hundreds of projects. In 2014, China’s sovereign wealth fund announced the establishment of 40 billion US dollars for the Belt and Road Fund. In 2015, China and other countries had set up Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, with an initial capital of $100 billion. The fund is expected to be used for all over the country. In the same year, China allocated another $82 billion US dollars to three state-owned banks in support of the project.

China’s policies are appreciated by liberal Arctic powers as it takes up responsibilities in sustainability, Indigenous peoples’ rights, as well as protection of wildlife.  Soon the Arctic region will become a multi trillion dollar region, the world’s hotspot for resources and trade. By establishing these powers early on, China is securing a spot in the Arctic region as a powerful player.

North Korea and South Korea agree to march under same flag

On January 17th, 2018, North Korea and South Korea agreed to march under the same flag at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. This comes after a historic reopening of a diplomatic hotline between North and South Korea and days of diplomatic talks. This decision still needs to go through some minor logistical and bureaucratic obstacles before it is set in stone, but for all intents and purposes it is decided. This comes amid a joining of the North and South Korean hockey teams.

This has positive implications as it may be a precursor to peace talks between the two nations. It also provides a vector for negotiations between the U.S. and North Korea. However, judging by history and its tendency to repeat itself, this may not last: the last two times this sort of event occurred, the situation degraded after the sporting events ended. It is not likely that Kim-Jong Un will allow peace talks with the U.S. even if they speak through South Korean intermediaries, and even if they do, it’s not likely Trump will be able to successfully disarm North Korea through diplomacy: if he truly wants North Korea out of the picture, he’ll need to use “aggressive negotiations” to get rid of North Korea.

From a sports perspective, it may prove interesting to watch and see how the players from rival nations cooperate in competition. This may also be able to give us an idea of how hard it will be to get negotiations going. However, because these aren’t democracies we’re talking about here, the inherent cooperation may not matter as the leaders can veto their own populous and have powerful propaganda for their subjects to prevent the need for persecution.

Citations:

(citations generated by bibme.org)

“North Korea and South Korea agree to march under same flag.” North Korea and South Korea agree to march under same flag [Burnaby, British Columbia], Global News, 17 Jan. 2018.

Russia’s Rosneft wins gas licences in Venezuela

 

Article Author / Source:

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-42388488

Summarize the article.

Just on Saturday, December 16th, 2017, the Venezuelan president, Nicolás Maduro, has awarded licences to  Russian energy giant Rosneft to develop two offshore gas fields. This deal is allowing Grupo Rosneft to operate, and export gas that is produced at the Patao and Mejillones fields in the Caribbean Sea, for the following 30 years. The contract was signed by Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin, who is a close ally of Putin, as well as a Russian official. For the next 30 years, Russia will now be allowed to sell and export all the gas and fuel that is made there, this includes liquified natural gas. Right now, Russia needs to show off their base projects and get approval from Venezuela before they can start anything though. Russia is currently trying to build a better relationship with Venezuela, so they will be able to make more of an impact in Latin America. Rosneft provided the Venezuelan state energy company, PDVSA, with $6 billion as an advance payment, in August. The total reserves of the two area fields, are estimated at around 180 billion cubic meters of gas. Russia has also stated that they are planning to extract around 6.5 billion cubic meters of gas per year, for 15 years. Currently, Russian companies are already involved in multiple joint projects with Venezuela, and currently, they have access to fields that are estimated to hold more than 20.5 billion tons of oil. At the moment, Venezuela owes an estimated amount of of $140bn to foreign partners and creditors. Russia has been helping Venezuela with their finances, and helped them after their oil-based economy crashed. The deal is allowing Venezuela to make small payments to Russia over the course of the next 6 years.

Why is it important (impact)?

I think that this is important, as Russia is a growing country that has made large impacts in the way the world is shaped today. This deal is allowing Russia to grow more and more financially and since it has a new business partner, Venezuela, they will only proceed to grow more, unless like something bad happens to their oil supplies. Russia is a country where when the oil prices drop around the world, they will suffer from a loss of money. 30% of Russia’s GDP relies on oil and gas prices. Between June and December 2014, the Russian currency, the ruble, dropped in value 59% relative to the U.S. dollar, because there was an oil price crash. Anyways, Venezuela suffered a loss as well when their oil prices dropped, since they too, have a large part of their economy focused in the production of oil. Russia has helped them in the past when they were in a bit of a mess, so the least Venezuela could do is to slowly pay them back through various offers and accepting trades. I wouldn’t exactly say that the Russians “took advantage” of Venezuela, but they definitely saw an opportunity to grow, and took it.

Aviation: Testing Artistic Skills

On December 13, an Airbus A380-800 drew a Christmas tree in the sky. The Airbus A380-800 is the world’s largest passenger jet. It is built by Airbus Industrie. It is so big that people refer to it as the Superjumbo jet and the King of the Skies. It is also one of the safest aircraft in the skies, right behind their new Airbus A350-900 and A350-1000. Airbus was conducting flight test on the A380. Before a plane is delivered to an airline, it must undergo some flight tests to verify that it is in a safe and working state. However, instead of just doing a few laps, Airbus spent hours, creating a precise flight plan. It turns out, this flight plan was in the shape of a tree. The Airbus took off from hamburg, Germany and began flying the flight plan. It landed back at Hamburg. It took the Airbus pilots 5 hours to create this masterpiece. This was a very festive flight test on the Airbus A380, the largest jumbo jet in the skies.
FUN FACT: On the original jumbo jet (Boeing 747-100), Heavy was used at the end of the call sign to represent that the plane was a big, heavy jumbo jet. It continued on to the Boeing 777 family, which I talked about in my last post (check it out), the Airbus A340, some Airbus A330s and some Airbus A350s. The Airbus A380-800, however, is so big that they use Super at the end of the call sign to signify that the plane is a gigantic Superjumbo jet.  

Aviation News!

On Saturday, December 2nd, at Toronto Pearson International Airport, EVA Airways flight BR35, onboard a Boeing 777-300ER, was getting ready to taxi to the runway. The 777-300ER is the longer version of the 777-200ER and 777-200LR. It is also the biggest twin engine aircraft in history. The flight had just departed the gate when the pilot made a strange decision to de-ice the aircraft before takeoff. There was no worry. Better safe than sorry right? However, shortly after the start of the taxi, people onboard heard a series of bangs. The pilots announced that they would inspect the plane. They said that inspection would take less than 5 minutes. But guess what. Time slowly kept ticking by. Eventually, the plane taxied back to the gate. At the gate passengers started hearing the news. The pilot of the Boeing 777, had driven the 777 into a pole at Pearson International. The pilot didn’t even know until ATC told the pilot that he was dragging a pole halfway through the wing. Firetrucks had to surround the plane because of the jet fuel that was leaking from the wing. Eventually, all of the passenger got onto a new plane. One that was not the victim of bad driving. A picture of the plane in question is below. That is it for this week. See you next week with more shocking aviation news.