EU Data-Protection Legislation

euArticle Summary:

After recent allegations of US spying by Edward Snowden, the EU has proposed a draft of regulations intended to protect citizen’s digital data. Specifically the legislation would prohibit companies from sharing citizen’s data with a non EU country and impose limits on the use of personal data by companies. In order to implement such a wide ranging piece of legislation, many companies would need to purchase data-protection professionals. However, one French company points out a number of significant loopholes in the legislation that will allow some companies to easily escape the consequences, or may damage legitimate uses of online personal data.

New York school bans all balls on playground

school playgroundArticle Summary:

CNN reports about a middle school putting restrictions on the playground equipment for its students. The school in Long Island, New York banned almost every type of ball from recess. This included footballs, baseballs, soccer balls, lacrosse balls and any other hardballs that could injure a child. The main question is if this action is necessary or if it is going too far in trying to protect children?

China city shutdown due to smog

china smogArticle Summary:

On Monday, smog levels in Harbin, China reached remarkably dangerous levels, forcing the city of 11 million to shut down. The Global Post reports that indexes measuring PM2.5 reached a reading of 1,000 in some parts of the city—any level above 300 is considered hazardous. The crisis forced roads, airports, and schools to shut down for the day, as visibility was reduced to 10 meters. Although this particular crisis may be short-lived, the larger problem of pollution in China has yet to be properly addressed.

Is Kobe Bryant’s Career Over


kobeArticle Summary:

Last season Kobe Bryant suffered a serious injury: a torn Achilles tendon. According to the American Journal of Sports Medicine, only 44% of NBA players were able to return to the NBA and play for more than one season after having surgical repair.  The other 56% either never returned to the NBA or were forced to give up the sport due to pain or other complications.  Bryant has told fans that he “shattered” the normal timetable for recovery from his injury.  Three-and-a-half months post surgery and Bryant can walk perfectly fine, an accomplishment that takes most NBA players, 5-6 months to recover. Bryant is predicting that he will be back on the court before Christmas.  Is this possible?

Government Shutdown


Government-shutdownArticle Summary:

The New York Times reports, due to the government shutdown the families of the four soldiers recently killed in Afghanistan this past weekend will not receive death benefits. Death benefits usually include $100,000 paid to each family, a 12-month housing allowance and compensated burial services. The article articulated the outburst of anger this caused among members of the senate, members of the house and everyday American citizens.  The House Appropriations Committee is now moving to get a bill to the floor to reinstate these death benefits, despite the government being shutdown.

Alex Rodriguez and Performance Enhancing Drugs


alexArticle Summary:

Bloomberg BusinessWeek recently delved into the crossroads that Major League Baseball, Alex Rodriguez, and performance-enhancing drugs have met at recently, with enough information provided to show what the best course of action is to take. On one side of things, punishments are in place for players caught using these drugs: 50 games, 100 games, and lifetime bans for first, second, and third offense respectively. Though these penalties seem harsh, they may fall short of deterring players from using performance-enhancing drugs, since attempting to control a community rarely works as intended. These penalties are incapable of being harsh enough considering how much some of the latest users to be caught make in salary; even suspending Alex Rodriguez for 211 games only loses him 1/3 of the remainder of his contract ($32m out of $93m). This offense coming right after that of Ryan Braun shows that the 50 game threats is not enough to deter these players, but what is the best punishment?

World Trade Center first responders related to cancer

 911Article Summary:

Heidi Evans, New York Daily News editor, reports on the current total of World Trade Center first responders from 9/11 that currently have cancer due to the high level of carcinogens at ground zero. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health 1,140 people have been diagnosed to have “World Trade Center-related cancer” and reports have shown that the numbers are expected to grow. Were the possible health risks of being a first responder on ground zero predictable?

How Time Flies as We Get Older!

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64 year old Diana Nyad finally accomplished swimming the 110miles between Cuba and Florida in 52 hours and 54 minutes. This was her 5th and final try as she had failed four times before. “You’re never too old to chase your dreams”, Niad said to the crowd as she emerged from the water in Florida. The long swim has been attempted many times before, often causing swimmers to get jellyfish stings, sunburns, blisters and hallucinations. The last successful crossing was 22 year old Susan Maroney, who used a shark cage to cross from Cuba to Fl in 1977.  When Nyad was asked why she attempted such a dangerous feat in the first place, she responded “I am stunned, at age 61, at how fast it all flies by,” explaining her motivation to keep going. “My mom just died. We blink and another decade passes. I don’t want to reach the end of my life and regret not having given my days everything in me to make them worthwhile.”