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Now because Old Dominion University is located in the city of Norfolk, we are all aware, for the most part, of the lack of environmentally sustainable buildings located throughout our neighborhoods, community centers and even downtown. I believe Norfolk has great potential to change for the better and if the citizens of this city put in the time and effort, great things can happen. In order for Norfolk to become a “city of the future,” I believe major changes need to be made in order to rid this city of its dependency on non renewable resources.

Growing roof top gardens on many of the skyscrapers located in Norfolk would have numerous benefits. These benefits include, but are not limited to, better air quality, cut energy costs, waste management, and an overall reduced carbon footprint for the city. Other ideas that could possibly flourish in Norfolk include redemption centers, bike share programs and the placement of solar panels throughout the city. This is just the beginning of what Norfolk could accomplish, many great ideas are still out there waiting to be discovered!

Prezi presentation!

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  • How many people does Steffen estimate we will have living in or near cities by mid-century?

8 million people

  • Explain how you agree or disagree with Steffen’s point that our energy use is “predestined” rather than “behavioral”.

I slightly disagree with Steffen’s point that our energy use is “predestined” because there are many different types of people who live though out cities. Some people live sustainable lives trying to help conserve our natural resources while others use large amounts of energy without a care in the world.

  • What correlation does Steffen make between a city’s density and its climate emissions?

The correlation he makes is that larger cities with more people create more harmful emissions from cars and other means of transportation.

  • What are the “eco districts” that Steffen mentions? How you see these as feasible or unfeasible in a city like Norfolk?

Cities and communities that use sustainable buildings and services. I believe this could be feasible with support from Norfolk’s residents.

  • Explain how you agree or disagree with the “threshold effect” that Steffen discusses related to transportation.

I agree with the “threshold effect” because if you provide public transportation that reaches every aspect of a city, people will start using their cars less and less due to the fact that they won’t have to deal with traffic or parking.

  • What does Steffen mean by the idea that, “…even space itself is turning into a service…”? Can you provide any examples that you see here in Norfolk or elsewhere?

Steffen means that now, even vacant spaces are being used for services that benefits the community in multiple ways. An example of this would be the YMCA in Norfolk because this one spaces provides the community with different programs such as child care, art classes and physical fitness programs.

  • Describe your understanding of Steffen’s argument that, “…it’s not about the leaves above, but the systems below…”.

With this, he is trying to say that you can’t just make a city environmentally sustainable by adding greenery and parks. To make a city sustainable you have to make operational systems that provide main functions to the city environmentally friendly to conserve the our natural resources.

  • Finally, overall in what way(s) do you see Steffen’s ideas working / not working here in Norfolk? Spend time with this question!

I believe that Steffen’s idea would highly benefit and provide many opportunities to the city of Norfolk, but I do not think it would work at this time due to the lack of enough positive support though out of the community. I think if eco friendly service and buildings were slowly introduced into the city, then more of the residents would become aware and concerned with protecting our Earth.

Golden, F. (2001). What’s next? It could be smallpox, botulism or other equally deadly biological agents. Time, 158(20), 44-45.

This Article describes how future Terrorist attacks may lean towards the use of different types of viruses and bacteria in order to cause mass population reductions. This biological warfare is a major threat due to its easy accessibility into our food, air and water supply. This article not only focuses on current concerns such as E. coli and Botulism, but past health terrors like smallpox and the plague. These are considered highly dangerous because our bodies have lost immunity to these dormant diseases and only a limited supply of vaccine remains.   Golden grabs the viewer’s attention by describing many different scenarios of how these deadly agents could possibly contaminate our resources, and how to prepare ourselves for these hypothetical outbreaks. Golden makes his article believable by using information given out by credited sources and people. This article stirs up a fear that lies within the back of everyone’s minds and makes it a possible reality. If Terrorists come up with new technology that makes the production and transportation of these microorganisms easy and fast, then nuclear weapons could become a part of the past.

I enjoyed reading this article because I found all of his scenario’s interesting, but scary at the same time. This article should open up people’s eyes to these possible threats that our future nation could in fact face. Technological advances occur everyday, so it is very possible that in the near future terrorists will be capable of  spreading deadly bacteria and viruses throughout a population, causing widespread destruction.

It’s crazy what people can come up with these days!

CES – Samsung’s Smart Window

My relationship with technology can be described as somewhat complicated. I love all that it does for me, such as keeping me closely in touch with family and friends. Posting a comment on my friend’s Facebook wall or calling my mom on my cell phone are just a few forms of technology that keep me in touch with society. Although I enjoy this easy access to humanity, it sometimes confuses me. Texting, for example, makes it particularly hard to interpret what the sender is trying to express. I also think that texting is one of the many reasons for why our societies’ communication and social skills are declining by no longer forcing people to have face-to-face interactions. Another reason I feel that technology complicates things is because it makes my various tasks much more simple and fast, while also simultaneously making me dependent upon it. When I drive to a new location, I simply turn on my phone’s GPS for directions; because of this, I barely remember how to get places on my own and find it more difficult to use a map. Although technology complicates things, life would be very hard without it. I am very interested to see where technology may take us in the future, but until then I will try to keep my relationship with technology at peace:)

My first post!

Glad to be starting my first blog! This is an exciting day:)

Hello world!

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