Sunday, October 23, 2011

Ocean Pollution: Let's help in the solution and not be the problem

For my Project Censored story I chose to research #12, about the Pacific Garbage Dump. I remember hearing about this for the first time during my first year of college and I remember how shocked I was when I saw the pictures⎯a mass of trash that is twice the size of the state of Texas. Unfortunately, the heap that lies in the Pacific Ocean is merely one of the five “trash islands” that have formed in our world’s oceans.

Essential Facts concerning this story:

1. The 5 different gyres (spiral/vortex) are located in the North and South Pacific, the Atlantic, and Indian Oceans.

2. There is an estimated 315 billion pounds of plastic trash in these heaps.

3. The trash ends up in the ocean because people are careless when it comes to disposing of their plastics. Much of the plastics consumed in the world do not get recycled and in turn they end up in the ocean, which carries them in the currents to one of the five heaps.

4. The pollution in the ocean has a negative effect on both marine life and the human race.

5. estimates that there are 46 thousand pieces of trash floating in each square mile of the world’s oceans.

This is a YouTube video describing the size, location, etc. of the Pacific Garbage heap. In addition, it depicts a wide variety of pictures.

Project Censored 2012 cites oceanographer Fabien Cousteau as a source of information for this topic. His video is shown below.
Fabien is highly informed on this issue and very passionate about it as well. He points out how important it is that we clean up our world's oceans in describing them as our "circulatory system" because the ocean is the home of 99% of the world's biodiversity and 95% of the world's life.

"We have to start seeing human beings as the potential solution and not just the problem... We need to educate, and empower and have us restore the health of our one, and only, life support system." - Fabien Cousteau
For my LexisNexis search results I got a total of 999 topics that relate to the Great Pacific Garbage dump in one way or another. I believe that in terms of censorship, this topic is not being talked about enough. There are certainly plenty of things to read and consult online about the topic, but not much is being covered by the news media. There are dozens of commercials and television programs that discuss the number of plastic bottles that are thrown away and new products that are supposedly biodegradable. My question is how do we know that any of this information is true? Is there any way that the trash can be eliminated? Will we ever stop using plastics? My hope is that we as a race take into consideration the words that Fabien Cousteau has said on this topic: be the solution, not the problem. We have to promote the awareness of this serious pollution problem or there will never be enough action to stop it. I do want want to live in a world, or my future children, grandchildren, etc., that is polluted to the extent that it is unsafe to be outdoors.

Some other sources of information on this topic are the following:
1. The 5 gyres project.

2. Mother Nature Network

3. Tracking Ocean Debris

4. Pollution of the Marine Environment

5. Leatherback turtles

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


I’ve known a lot of people who say, “I love all kinds of music… except country.” I laugh about it now, but I used to be one of those people. I would go off about how country music is all twang, honky tonks, and whatever nonsense the artists cared to sing about. One of my good friends is an avid country fan and I ended up listening to the music while with her. This is when I started listening to country⎯really listening. Country is some of the most heart-felt, down to earth and soulful music I’ve ever heard. Listening to this music is like getting a shot of endorphins; so much of today’s popular music is full of negative subject matter and country is full of the simplicities in life that make living a beautiful thing.

My name is Kaisa Jarrell and I am a country girl⎯A damn proud country girl at that.

This summer I watched a show on CMT (Country Music Television) that did a countdown of the top country artists: Top 20 Guys and Top 20 ladies. So I decided I would list my Top 5 of each.

5. Lady Antebellum – Hillary Scott She's got a voice like American honey.

4. Carrie Underwood Though I can not do her justice by singing along to her songs, Carrie Underwood is the epitome of girl power music. Her song "Undo It" is my personal favorite.

3. Sara Evans Like Carrie Underwood, Sara Evans is definitely about the girl power, but she has a softer side to her style⎯her voice and music are perfect for a sunny day drive. Born to fly is a good one.

2. Sugarland – Jennifer Nettles She is Sugarland's lead singer. Her song "Stuck like glue" is what originally got me started on my country kick. Her voice is twangy, but she's full of soul and I love her for it.

1. Miranda Lambert is my girl. Hands down she is my favorite female country artist. I can listen to her music no matter what kind of mood I'm in: happy, sad, angry, whatever. There's a song for everything. Some of my favorite songs are "Heart like mine," "Famous in a small town," "Kerosene," and "The House that Built Me."

And now the guys...

5. Chris Young - strong and deep. His song "Voices" is the one I like best because it makes me think of my family.

4. Brad Paisley - The first time I ever heard him was when the song "Whiskey Lullaby" was released several years ago; it is a beautifully tragic duet with Bluegrass singer Alison Krauss. He also does a duet with Carrie Underwood called "Remind Me" which has a similar quality to the duet with Alison Krauss.

3. Josh Turner I loved his before I loved his genre. I think that's because he has a blue grass feel to his songs, but regardless he made it to the top five. My mom is the one who introduced me to him. The song "She'll go on you" has become our song. It takes you through the stages of life; a tear jerker for sure.

2. Jason Aldean His song "She's Country" is one of my all time favorites. All I want to do when I hear this song is drive really fast with the windows down.

1. Blake Shelton - He is married to my favorite country girl Miranda Lambert and is also one of the judges on the hit NBC show The Voice. Watching him on this show made my love for him increase so much more because he was such a great coach throughout the season. His song "Who are you when I'm not looking" was one of the songs that got me into country. Lastly, I love his ability to blend with other genres of music. The following video is a perfect exampe:

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Artsy Fartsy!

I mentioned in my introductory post about how I love art. Well it’s still true. I am madly in love with art.

This semester I’m taking Intro to Drawing with Professor Geebo Church. As a senior design student I would normally not be taking this class now, but I kept pushing it off semester to semester and landed in it now. But honestly, it’s the best class I could possibly be in right now because with capstone and all of my other 300/400 level courses, ART 110 is like a breath of fresh air⎯and sanity!
Painting is a fairly new endeavor for me. My comfort resides in pen and ink drawing, photography, collage art, etc. But now that I’m doing it in class I feel much more comfortable with it. I’ve been doodling with card sized paintings and a few on a large scale.

When I paint I think about my friend Kaisa-Leena. She is a family friend from long before my time. Both my Uncle Bill and my mother spent time in Finland during their early twenties and Kaisa-Leena is a mutual friend of theirs as well as me. We share a name and a passion for art. The first time I visited Finland a year and a half ago she taught me a little about watercolors; she taught me that you use the water to control the paint and a little paint goes a long way. I know I still have much to learn, but I’m having a great time while doing it.