Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Don't Pick Up the Pho- LOOK OUT!

Don't Pick Up the Pho- LOOK OUT!

By Ethan Gantenbein

While it can be efficient for some people who are always in a rush, phone use while driving is dangerous. It takes your mind off of driving, doesn’t keep your eyes on the road, and makes you much more likely to get into a wreck.
First of all, you should not use a cell phone and drive because it takes your eyes off of the road. According to researchers at Oregon State University, taking your eyes off the road for just two seconds makes it 24 times more likely that you will get into an accident. Texting while driving leads to a 400 percent increase of the driver's eyes off of the road. Each time a driver takes their focus off the road they are putting their life and the lives of others in danger.  Research has found that texting causes drivers to take their eyes off of the road for 4.6 seconds over a six second interval. So, if a texting driver was going 55 miles per hour, they would actually travel the length of a football field without looking at the road. They might as well be driving with a blindfold on.
While texting a message, a person has to focus on what they are typing, not only taking their eyes off the road but their hands off the wheel as well.  The coordination it takes to type these messages forces you to keep your mind off of driving.  That is exactly what you don’t want to do on the road. People who text while they are driving spend about 10 percent of the time driving outside of the car lane that they should be driving in.
One of the first laws against cell phone use and driving was made for the obvious reason that a motorist should keep their hands on the steering wheel while driving.  Taking your hands off the wheel to text is a scenario that has caused a lot of car accidents. It is illegal to text while driving, but that does not seem to stop people from doing it. Texting while driving is one of the fastest growing causes of traffic accidents in the United States. This has resulted in thousands of additional road fatalities due to distracted driving. These are accidents that could have been prevented.
When you are texting, you are thinking about something else besides driving.  This makes driving safely impossible because your brain can only focus on one task at a time. Trying to multi-task while driving is hazardous. It is unsafe because if your conscious mind wanders off while trying to answer a text, your subconscious takes over the steering wheel. An emergency situation could jar you back into full awareness, but the reaction time and sense of perception will suffer when you’re not paying full attention to your driving. Your brain sorts through all kinds of thoughts and only allows the most important ones to become aware. For example, people do not notice what is in their peripheral vision except if something moves there.
Even though using a mobile device and driving is very dangerous, not all of the states have made it a law that it is illegal.  There are 43 states, plus Washington D.C., that prohibit texting while driving.  According to AT&T's Teen Driver Survey, 97% of teens agree that texting while driving is dangerous, yet 43% do it anyway.  Also, 19% of drivers of all ages admit to surfing the web while driving.
A report published by the National Transportation Safety Board says that it “is totally fine” and “not that big of a deal” to use a mobile device and drive if you have at least half of your attention on the road. Also, NTSB chairman Deborah Hersman said that this does not only apply to texting, but to calls, games, and even surfing the web.
However, distracted driving is more dangerous than drunk driving, and is now the leading cause of death for teenagers in the United States. That means that eleven teens every day die from texting and driving. Also, 13 percent of drivers age 18 - 20 involved in car accidents confessed to texting or talking on their mobile device at the time of the crash. According to David Strayer, a researcher at the University of Utah, just talking on a cell phone multiplies your risk of getting into an accident by four, about the same as if you were driving under the influence of alcohol. That risk actually doubles again by eight times if you are texting while driving.
In fact, studies show that 97.5 percent of people cannot drive safely while using cell phones. Texting takes a driver’s hands, eyes and mind off of driving safely.  Under no circumstances should texting and driving be acceptable.  An example of this is the story of a High School teacher in Dalton, Georgia who was heading from home to the High School.  She was texting and driving on a straight area of the highway, right when an 18-wheeler was coming off the breakdown lane back onto the highway and she hit his flatbed trailer.  She never even knew what hit her, never even hit her brakes.   Unfortunately she died in the accident.  It’s stories like this one that should make people stop and think about what they are doing before they make the decision to text and drive.
There is a lot of pressure in today’s society to read or answer a text message immediately.  A study has shown that 9 out of 10 teens expect a reply to a text within 5 minutes. I think there should be an App that can be downloaded that sends a text message reply that says, “Sorry I’m driving, I will get back to you later.”  That might take some of the worry off of people who feel the need to respond to a text right away.
According to my own observations, many people do not seem to take texting and driving seriously. Almost every day, I see people on the roads in San Luis Obispo that are texting while they are driving. This makes me feel upset that they are putting the life of me, them, and other people in danger. I hope that someday soon they realize what they are doing is wrong, and stop being unsafe drivers.  

Monday, May 4, 2015

My Grandpa Bill

My Grandpa Bill


During my interview with my Grandpa Bill, I found out that he had some pretty interesting stories. I did not know that he had been on so many adventures in his life, and lived in so many places. The interview took place over the phone because he lives way out in the Sequoia National Forest, and that was the only way I was able to interview him.
    My Grandpa Bill is over six feet tall and is very strong for his age of 65.  When he was a kid he was a towhead with naturally curly hair, but now he’s bald, has a white beard, and smells like fancy aftershave.  He has tan skin and clear blue eyes.  He talks like John Wayne, and does a great impression of Forrest Gump.  His hobbies are building Harley Davidson motorcycles and fishing.  As for his attitude, he tells it like it is, and if it people don’t like it well that’s just too bad. Mainly he is always saying funny stuff like, “It ain’t no step for a stepper.” He also likes to strike up conversations with people everywhere he goes.
One place that he has gone to in South America was the East coast in Salvador Bahia, Rio.  When he was there he stood at the base of the giant statue of Jesus, right at it’s feet.  He got a flying pass for a month for $200 and flew all over the country of Brazil just looking for stuff to do.  
    Another adventure he experienced was what he described as “the most hostile environment he’s ever been in.”  That would be when he crossed the Arctic Circle in Alaska.  He and his friends couldn’t walk alone outside because they had to watch each other’s faces for frostbite.  He took a helicopter 60 miles out from Prudhoe Bay and watched polar bears attack baby seals.  One night in his cabin, one of his roommates was going outside to empty the trash, and they had to tie a rope around his waist so he could find his way back in through the terrible blizzard.  His roommate was taking too long, so he pulled the rope back in only to realize that his roommate was no longer attached. All that was left was the bloody end of a rope.  A polar bear had gotten him.  Alaska was harsh, but one of the things that was most amazing was sitting underneath the Northern lights in a pick-up truck.
One of my Grandpa Bill’s greatest accomplishments was when he caught a 220 pound Marlin while he was deep sea fishing somewhere in Mexico with his dad.  He wanted to hug all the people on the boat because he was so happy about it. He was also happy on that trip because his dad, who had just lived through triple bypass surgery, got to go with him.
    Grandpa Bill has had many adventures, but he also had many different jobs which allowed him to travel around. He’s worked in Texas, Alaska, Oklahoma, Brazil, Arizona, and many places in California.  Some of his jobs have been managing the clean-up of oil spills in the ocean, building a pipeline in Alaska, and doing construction management.  His last job was owning an engineering company in San Diego that built cell phone towers for Sprint.  He even invented a specialty lighting fixture that is on every cell phone tower that Sprint has.
    He was one of the first people to construct cell phone towers, back before most people even had cell phones. When he was a kid cell phones didn’t even exist. When I asked him how else the world has changed since then he said, “People have changed.  People used to be more caring of each other back then.  If someone had a flat tire on the side of the road people would stop and help them.”
    My Grandpa Bill has had more cars, homes and jobs than he can even remember.  He’s had more adventures in his life than most people as well.  I learned a lot more about him that I didn’t know through this interview.  I knew he was awesome, I just didn’t know he was this awesome.   

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Maze Runner: The Letters on the Maps

The Maze Runner: The Letters on the Maps

In the book the maze runner, Minho tells Thomas and Newt that the maps weren't burnt, but instead they were downstairs. Thomas felt relieved because he had an idea of finding that the maze was trying to spell something out. I think that this is a good idea because they were trying to look for patterns instead of putting them all together and that this could work. I think that they will figure it out.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Maze Runner: The Maps

The Maze Runner: The Maps
In the book the maze runner, after Gally was shouting about how everyone will die, he rips a hole in the homestead and blazes out of there, into the maze holding on to the back of a griever. Then Minho bolts after him, disappearing into the maze. Then Thomas remembers that Teresa is in the slammer and he has this conversation that the maze is trying to spell something out. that was my theory the whole time! Then they see some black smoke coming from the map room and they realize, someone burned the maps. I think that gally did it to make people stop trying to find a way out of the maze.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Maze Runner: One a Night

The Maze Runner: One a Night

     In the book the maze runner, they are all in the homestead when they hear noises outside. Then when the door opens, Gally comes in. He starts yelling about how every night they will kill one person from the glade and it got me thinking, why only one person instead of all of them? It seems too suspicious to be that way, maybe the creators are giving the gladers a chance to escape.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Maze Runner: Fear the Grievers

The Maze Runner: Fear the Grievers

     In the book the maze runner, everyone is scared that the walls are open. They can all hear the grievers but they can't see them. Now they are staying in a group in the homestead every night. Then one character in the story stands up, and says that he will go stay out in the maze. The charcter does this with one other person who agrees to do it with him. They want to take the leader with them as well, but he is on the fence about it. The leader decides that he will go even though it is at night. Nobody goes out into the maze at night alone because they are afraid of what is out there in it. The leader hasn't come back yet in this chapter. I don't know what will happen to him. I'm guessing that he returns, but my guess is as good as yours.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Maze Runner: Beyond the Open Walls

The Maze Runner: Beyond the Open Walls

     In the book the maze runner, the walls are starting to stay open through the night. The supply box never came back up again which is bad. It is bad because that is where almost all of their resources come from. I think that these things are happening because the book is getting close to the climax. My theory is that the maze is a test and they need to find their way out quick. It is getting close to do or die time.