By Rosanna Zhao, V Form, Mary Hoffman, VI Form, and Claire O’Brien, VI Form
Hypoxia: The Forming of Dead Zones
A “Dead Zone” is a region in the ocean in which oxygen concentrations are too low to support healthy marine life. This phenomenon of insufficient oxygen levels is known as hypoxia. Hypoxia is associated with the overabundance of algae which can lead to oxygen deficiency when they cover the water surface and disallow photosynthesis to occur within plants beneath the water. Once a vast body of water becomes hypoxic and oxygen levels drop below 2 ppm DO, a dead zone is formed.
Dead zones occur near coastal regions because the cause of formation is primarily linked with eutrophication. Eutrophication is defined by an excess of nutrient pollution in an open body of water, causing death of animal life due to a deficiency of oxygen. Although nutrients are good for fertilizing plants, nutrient pollution is detrimental to the ocean because it causes chances in the marine ecosystem, resulting in deaths of animals. During the spring and the summer, heavy rain washes nutrients containing nitrogen and phosphorus that farmers use to fertilize their land into streams and rivers. Once these nutrients flow into coastal areas, they stimulate the growth of algae. (more…)
By Matthew Gates, V Form
The Reach for Perfection in the Jacksonian Era
Although Andrew Jackson, the seventh President of The United States, only held office from 1829 to 1837, he made a profound impact on American history. During “The Jacksonian Era,” (1816-1841) the economy boomed, technology advanced, American borders expanded, but most importantly, the common man gained a sense of importance, and American optimism and patriotism were “unbounded” and “infectious” (Remini 108). It was a time of “passionate commitment to democracy” (Remini 122).
In response to the boom in the economy and the growth of industry and materialism in America during the Jacksonian Era, the theme of Culture and Society is evident throughout the Transcendental Movement. This movement, which originated in Massachusetts, emphasized the divinity of man and his connections to God and stressed the beauty in nature in a society preoccupied with materialism. Transcendentalists such as Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson encouraged Americans to live more modestly and enjoy the simplicity of nature. Emerson referred to the growing obsession of the American people to gain wealth as “‘the demon of reform,’” thereby proving that the emergence of the Transcendental Movement was necessary to respond to the expansion of American industrialism and materialism (Remini 73). Even today, there are still Transcendentalists who believe in the importance of living humbly and recognizing the beauty in nature in daily life. (more…)
By Lora Xie, IV Form
Reflection on Wedding of Zein by Tayeb Salih
Both Haneen and the Imam are important religious leaders in the village’s spiritual life. While Haneen, a Sufi master, represents the mystery of Islam, the Imam represents the traditions and doctrines of Islam. However, both of them bring God into the village life.
Haneen enjoys unanimous respect from the villagers because he is ascetic, enigmatic, and accredited with the year’s miracles, the most prominent of which being stopping Zein from killing Seif ad-Din and turning Seif ad-Din from a wastrel to a pious Muslim. Haneen also correctly prophesied Zein’s marriage with “the best girl in the village” (64). The marvels’ magic cause even the secular people, such as the “gang,” to admire in awe. Through his unpredictable, spectacular, and uplifting miracles, Haneen gives the humdrum village life a heart-warming magnificence that can derive from nothing but a loving and powerful superior. He strengthens people’s awareness, appreciation, and awe for God by becoming a vessel for the higher power’s love and greatness himself. (more…)
By Jenny Tang, IV Form
An Argument for Utilitarianism: Omelas
By Nick Hallal, Niki Klodowska, Alex Jeong, VI Form
The Psychology of Lowering the Drinking Age
While researching the effects of alcohol on the brain, our group plans to concentrate on the effects of alcohol on the adolescent brain. We plan to research the neurological effects it has on the adolescent brain, the short and long term effects of alcohol consumption, and the psychosocial aspect of underage drinking. Through our hypothesis, we seek to understand why the legal drinking age is still set at 21 years of age instead of 18 years. We hope to understand why there is such a large problem with underage drinking, and we will determine if our hypothesis that lowering the drinking age would help with the problem. (more…)
By Mo Liu, VI Form
Blade Runner: A Bipolar Fantasy
When Ridley Scott released his original Blade Runner in June 1982, the United States had just arrived at another peak of tension with the Soviet Union. Ronald Reagan had recently become President, and he denounced the policy of detente that previously dominated the U.S. foreign relations approach and wanted to re-establish the United States’ fierce international appearance. Reagan devised an ambitious plan to actively contain communism that historians would later refer to as “Reagan’s Second Cold War,” in which he called for an overt attempt to destruct the Soviet Union. After a short time-out, Americans once again found themselves in the war of tug with the Soviets, watching out for Soviet spies and waiting for the siren to alarm them of an approaching nuclear warhead. (more…)