Storms

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Exhibit A: Picture of a microburst.

I was standing in front of the window of our small apartment. I could barely see it at my height. Perhaps it is one of my first memories. The sky was a purple and pink hue. It looked so pretty but Mom said there was a storm. You shouldn’t stand near a window in a storm.

A microburst is like a reverse tornado. Wind from a thunderstorm rushes down and out. In scientific terms, “air can rush towards the ground at speeds of 60 mph before impacting the surface and spreading out in all directions”. Three people were killed by the 1998 microburst in my hometown and ten were injured, primarily at the New York State Fairgrounds. News casts reported, “winds were 115 mph in the most seriously damaged areas…tens of thousands of trees were blown down. Damage was estimated at about 130 million dollars”.

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The local university buildings were torn.

While storms help the environment by monitoring atmospheric temperature and wind patterns, transferring sediment, and providing the ocean with fresh dissolved oxygen, extreme weather can be deadly to humankind. Global warming has been linked to a rise in both frequency and intensity of various kinds of storms. All one has to do is turn on the television to be reminded that droughts, wildfires, floods, and hurricanes are becoming more prevalent as time goes on. It is important to remain alert. Radio, television, and newspaper all communicate when danger is near. Those who sought cover underground during the microburst, like my sister, mom, dad, and I, were unscathed. On the contrary, the NYS Fairgrounds were particularly dangerous because of the flimsy infrastructures.

I would like to end this post on a positive note. While extreme weather is another confirmation of global climate change, it also should be motivation to halt negative impacts on our environment.

Facts from: Storm DataExplaining Microbursts, Why Hurricanes are Good, Climate Change

Guilty Confessions

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Microbeads are banned in some states.

Environmentalists like to act high and mighty sometimes, like earth goddesses destined to restore the ecosystem and punish those who harm it. Labor Day Weekend I was feeling determined. I ran two miles to watch Suicide Squad at the theater, and ran back. How environmentally conscious, right? I know I seem perfect, but I have some confessions to make.

  1. I leave my laptop to charge overnight. As it only takes my baby two hours to charge, I’m wasting that extra electricity. I’m just too lazy to wake up at midnight.
  2. My face wash contains micro-beads. I’m sorry, really. All the creams at my local store contain these tiny plastic pieces that usually end up polluting the ocean. They work wonders for my pores but I know I need to find a new product.
  3. I don’t recycle right. I don’t have a car so I can never take used batteries to a proper recycling location. In addition, when I’m cleaning my apartment sometimes I’ll throw recyclable things in the trash.

What are your guilty confessions? Do you take regular plane trips? Do you love long showers? Share!

You Can’t

I’ve shared plenty of sweet remembrance on this blog and my memoir “All I See Is Green”. The truth is my journey to getting my degree has been bittersweet. With just a few semesters left I am reminded of student debt, the need for employment, and many other crucial life choices I need to make.  It’s a feeling reminiscent of high school graduation. You can choose to graduate or continue. You can choose to move out or stay home, get married or adventure, just like Game of Life. This post goes out to everyone faced with those decisions right now.

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On Water

The following was my submission to Kelly Engineering Services for an annual scholarship. Although I was not the winner, my essay had a strong message. I titled it: “On Water: The Social Complexities of a Simple Molecule”

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Water surrounds us; it is in our showers and baths, it washes our hands, cooks our appetizers and entrée. With it, we continue living like nothing ever happened. Without it, the most basic forms of life could not exist. Although water encapsulates seventy percent of our planet, there are people struggling to find it. I believe that engineers have a responsibility to protect humanity; to share knowledge of technological advances with the world, and correct their mistakes in social and political aspects. As of late, issues such as the Flint water crisis and Porter Ranch methane leak reflect engineering at its worst in the US. However, I still hold true that engineers are capable of so much more.

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Bioluminescent Algae

I went to see Moana with my family shortly after it came out. My sister will tell you that I keeled over laughing at the part where the crab says, “Oh I see, you used a barnacle covered in bioluminescent algae as a deception!” I can’t tell you why I cracked up. The truth is I’m not really sure why. Maybe I was surprised that a crab recognized the bioluminescent algae and barnacle as part of his environment, or that he pronounced algae the same way my biology professor did all semester.

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Running Water

For my friend James, running water is a soothing noise. For me, gushing water is the definition of aggravation. I can’t help but think of all the other uses for clean water besides going down the drain, while someone brushes their teeth in the mirror. But all this talk about water brings back a memory…

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Group Work

Every college student to date will agree with me on this: Group projects are THE WORST. If a professor wishes to single-handedly destroy the relationships between his students in one day, he will assign a group project. If you see someone’s phone buzz thirty times in a row? Probably a group project. Group chats, google docs, and “Reply-all” emails are just the beginning.

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