Thursday, September 30, 2010

Pogona Bearded Dragons, By Sharon Powell

                   Photograph Compliments of Rainbow Bearded Dragons

                   Publication:  Kid Headliner, Elementary Activity Reader

If reptiles are your favorite, then you will soon discover the Bearded Dragon to be one of the most unique and fun loving pets you could ever own. Like Sunny and Hypo pictured in this month’s issue, Bearded Dragons seem to possess a personality all their own, and can adapt quite well in captivity when provided adequate means of support. The vibrant orange-red and yellow tones found within many species makes them a pet everyone will admire.
Bearded dragons originate from various regions of Australia, and are considered gentle of nature. Only when the dragon feels threatened will they flee to safety.

Like most wild predators “Bearded Dragons are equipped with a set of teeth fused to both sides of their mouth. The Dragons front teeth fall out quite often and grow back on a regular basis. Only the back teeth remain intact and are used for cutting and slicing their food in order to promote a healthy means of digesting.
Bearded Dragons are also very good listeners, and possess two oval shaped ear openings on the sides of their head. If you look closely you can see the thin membrane inside the Dragons ear drum.  The tiny membrane is used to enhance sound waves within their environment.

Most all lizards are very small when born. The Bearded Dragon is less than 3” in length and weighs no more than 2 oz. Although they are less than the size of a pencil, their growth patterns are quick to change. Dragons grow an average of 2” per month, and will reach adulthood within less than a year. A full grown Bearded Dragon weighs approximately four to six lbs. and can range between eighteen to twenty inches in length. The life expectancy for the reptile is somewhere between ten and twelve years.

Some of the most significant features of anatomy belonging to the Dragon is their tail, eyes and support provided by their "stocky legs and claws." The Dragons tail is slightly rounded, and longer then the body.  The tail is commonly used to support themselves when sitting, or may be used as a weapon of defense against predators. The legs are also perfect for climbing and running at high rates of speed within a split second. Although the Dragon is quick to move, they are unable to run long distances. The claws are an excellent tool for digging and climbing, and to assist them when consuming food.

Skin Color
There are eight species of Bearded Dragon and all offer a rainbow of colors to choose from. The bright-orange reds are a favorite to many pet lovers, as is the brown, grey and yellow species. It is wise not to let their skin color fool you because Dragons are able to change skin tones when feeling threatened. Camouflage is a common defense mechanism many wild animals and reptiles possess and the Bearded Dragon will use it to intimidate predators.

The Bearded Dragon is a tough little creature, and their thick skin is proof that life in the hot sun is something to be taken seriously. All reptiles are ectotherms, or cold blooded animals, and require basking in the sun for several hours per day in order to maintain a comfortable body temperature of 85 degrees. Their thick layer of skin also acts as a protect ant from loss of moisture and injury against predator attacks. Although their skin is thick and rigid, it remains soft to the touch. Like most humans, dry skin is a condition some of us find overwhelming. Although humans do not shed large amounts of skin like the Bearded Dragon, we do experience flaking in dry weather conditions. The Bearded Dragon will shed their skin several times per year in order to maintain moisture by releasing the old layers. Shedding old layers of skin is a healthy part of molting and assures the reptile remains free of disease.

It may seem a bit strange to invite your pet Dragon to dinner, but this could never be farther from the truth. In fact, Bearded Dragons are omnivores and highly attracted to bright colored foods, such as the red and yellow types of fruits and vegetables. Besides enjoying a toss salad on a daily basis, they will also feast on a “chirping cricket” or slimy green worms such as meal, or the crawler types used for fishing. It is also important to provide plenty of vitamin D and Calcium powder for your Dragon to promote strong and healthy bones.

Bring along your favorite pair of sun shades when enjoying an afternoon of sunbathing with your Dragon. Although all reptiles are cold-blooded, they are able to control their body temperatures by moving in and out of the sun throughout the day. This allows the Dragon to maintain comfortable body temperatures. They will also seek comfort from a warm rock, or use the heat from the ground. When night falls, the Dragon is usually lodged between a rock or inside the bark of a tree to stay warm. The reptile will search for almost anything able to supply warmth, providing their survival is not threatened.

Now that you have learned some very important facts about Beaded Dragons you may decide that they are the perfect choice when selecting a reptile as a pet. To find out more about reptile species go to your local library or contact for a special purchase offer. Simply inform them you read this article and receive $15.00 off the purchase price of any Bearded Dragon in stock……...S. Powell, 2010

1.) Steve Grenard, Your Happy Healthy Pet, Bearded Dragon, (e.2), Wiley Publishing, & Howell Book House Inc., Hoboken, NJ, 2008.
2.) Manfred Au, Bearded Dragons, Barrons Educational Series, Munich Germany, 2008.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

History of Fort Quiatenon, By Sharon Powell

Photographs by: Sharon Powell

Established by the French in 1717, Fort Quiatenon was the first European settlement in Indiana. Located in West Lafayette, Indiana, the fort is a historical landmark and a significant part of America’s Heritage. During the 18th Century, Fort Quiatenon had become a major trading post and home to more than 3000 residents and several Indian villages. The land provided a hunting ground for both Native Americans and tradesmen residing within the area. Europeans had designated Fort Quiatenon a meeting ground, and resting place for wayfarers settling in America from England and Quebec. The French occupied the fort as a military outpost to prevent British expansion into the Ohio and Wabash territories.

Industrial Revolution
Throughout much of the 18th Century Europeans and British policies governed early colonial settlers. The British and French Revolution paved the way for the establishment of civilized colonies and lifestyle changes due, in part, to the impacts of the industrial revolution. Canals, railways, steam-powered engines and machined tools began to change the shape of American lifestyles. During this time, Native Americans were also being affected by the changes, including British policies and monarchy confining all trade to posts while prohibiting the traffic of liquor and other products into the area. British policies forced negative changes for many Native Americans, leaving them feeling threatened and inconvenienced by British rule. In addition to being a military trading post. Fort Quiatenon was also home to many Indian tribes, including the Wea, Miami, and Fox tribes who depended heavily upon the resources of land and animals. Bison, Buffalo, Beaver and fur bearing animals were plentiful within the area and provided the resources for surviving the socioeconomic trends and ruggedness of colonial lifestyles. A small number of Miami Indians still reside in Indiana today. Approximately 2500 Native Americans help preserve the history of Colonial America.

British Tax on Colonies
British policy was often difficult for Native Americans to follow. The French and British military conflicts made life difficult for area residents. British soldiers were engaged in battle against Native Americans and French soldiers until the conclusion of the French and Indian War in 1759 when British General James Wolfe captured Quebec. The victory allowed the British to begin taxing colonist to help pay for the losses incurred by the war while placing additional hardships onto Indian nations. Native Americans fought to defend their right to land and began joining forces in an effort to eliminate the rigid confines of British rule.

Chief Pontiac
A surge of Indian villages and uprising began to escalate after the conclusion of the war. Indian tribes settling near the banks of the Great Lakes Region and Ohio River, joined forces with various tribes residing along the Tippecanoe and Wabash Rivers. It was during this time that a major revolt involving Fort Quiatenon occurred in 1763 by an Ottawaian Indian Tribe leader known as Pontiac. Pontiac’s Rebellion against British forces took control of Fort Quiatenon, transforming the land into meeting grounds for raids against Kentucky settlers. Chief Pontiac forged ahead, taking control of several outposts during the uprising while establishing him-self as a threat to military leaders. The rebellion was a controversial issue for military leaders and it was not until the Supervisor of Native affairs, Sir William Johnson appointed Deputy Colonel George Croghan to negotiate a peace treaty with Pontiac, ending the uprising. Chief Pontiac was later assonated by an Indian tribesman’s for organizing hostilities among the Illinois Indians.

Abandoned Fort
Military forces declared Fort Quiatenon useless due to the attack and allowed Native Americans control up until 1791. Indian revolts on area residents continued to escalate causing military forces to engage in heavy battle. Kentucky Militiamen, General Charles Scott was in charge, and later instructed to burn several Indian villages along the Tippecanoe and Wabash Rivers. Fort Quiatenon was not spared and the settlement was soon abandoned and suffered decay.

Contemporary Celebrations
One hundred thirty-seven years passed before a physician relocating to Lafayette, IN purchased the land in 1928. Recognizing the historical value of Fort Quiatenon, Dr. Richard B. Wetherill constructed a replica of the blockhouse trading post pictured above. Indian Hogan’s and replica of a colonial oven used during the 18th. Century is also pictured and remains a significant part of America’s heritage.
Fort Quiatenon was rich with artifacts and became a historical landmark and county Park in 1968. During the fall of the year, The Feast of the Hunters Moon is celebrated. Annual gatherings are formed in an effort to preserve American heritage and the historical value recognized within the fort. Local residents share recreations of 18th Century trade and lifestyle. Music, Dance, Colonial and Military costumes and artisans continue to pay tribute to the historical value of the fort.

1.) Robert M. Taylor, Jr., Errol Wayne Stevens, Mary Ann Ponder, Paul

Brockman, Indiana: A New Historical Guide, Indiana Historical Society, 1989 2.)'s_War


4.) (searchengines)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The High Cost of Prosperity for a Dictator, By Sharon Powell, 2010

The High Cost of Prosperity for a Dictator
By Sharon L. Powell, 2010

A perfect race. Human lives without the flaws of nature were beliefs Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party supported. Those disencumbering society of decay chocking the nation had somehow justified the murders of more than six million Jews during World War ll and became a shocking political movement supported by the German government. According to Matthew Seligmann, John Davison, and John McDonald, Daily Life in Hitler’s Germany, more than twenty million German citizens perished during Hitler’s reign.

Sadly enough, there are less than 200,000 holocaust survivors remaining today who helped to fill library shelves depicting horror stories of the holocaust and Nazi reign. Today more than any other time, students and those valuing human life remain mystified by Hitler’s Marxist ideology and hate for Jewish beliefs driving his mission of death. Hitler claimed his goal was to acquire more land, while relieving the overcrowding and shortage of German resources was imperative to the future of Germany’s survival.

Born to Alois and Klara Hitler on April 20, 1889, Adolf Hitler, and his family resided in a small farm community nestled between the borders of Austria and Germany. Hitler’s father worked as a “Customs Inspector” for the German government and was considered a tyrant who could lash out in a drunken rage at his children and spouse. His mother was a dedicated homemaker, who, for the most part was an optimist and Adolph’s closest ally. The family moved several times during his father’s drunkenness, which may have been a significant factor in Hitler’s discontent for life and bitterness towards others. Hitler was said to be a lonely man, self-centered, and depressed, while possessing a fixation on his own dreams but unwilling to do what was required for achieving success.

As a bitter man, and deeply disappointed by the outcome of life’s events Adolph saw only obstacles and hostility in life, According to Earle Rice, Jr., Adolf Hitler, and Nazi Germany. Hitler’s family enrolled him in Volksschule Public school at the age of six and later attending the Benedictine Monastery School, the young man toyed with the idea of becoming a priest. Attending two secondary education institutions, Hitler’s academic life ended at the age of sixteen due to poor performance and failure to earn promotion into the higher grades. He enrolled in college several times, but was rejected due to his failure to graduate. Fascinated with art, he supported himself for many years as a painter where he spent time drawing postcards, pictures, and posters. He had once enrolled in Vienna’s Academy of Fine Arts, but later rejected for lack of artistic talent.

Besides possessing a love for art, Hitler had shown an interest in anything associated with war at an early age. Wondering aimlessly for many years after the death of his mother in 1907, the young man was forced to live in the streets and community parks during the summer months. As winter approached, he took a bed in a shelter-house wondering aimlessly up until the later part of 1909.
It was not long before “the future dictator” sought refuge in political debates with friends and colleagues. Leading a wantonness lifestyle, he later joined as volunteer in the 16th Bavarian Reserve Infantry Regiment in Munich Germany during 1914 assigned as “Weapons Conductor.” Later, his infantry engaged in war on the front lines against the British, French, and Belgian forces, for control of the English Channel Ports. During this time, Hitler earned several medals of the highest honor for his military service.

The outbreak of war in Germany had taken its toll on the government. Poor leadership exercised by the Weimar Republic and economic inflation had staggered the economy. Hitler hoped to persuade Bavarian Government to march in arms against the state leaders of the Weimar Republic. It was during this time; Hitler had been instructed to investigate a right wing extremist organization who was actively engaged in businesses throughout the area. Quickly becoming interested in the group, Hitler was soon appointed Chairman of the NSDAP, or more commonly referred to as the “German Workers Nazi Party.” As an activist leader, he was responsible for shaping the party into an influential political force.

The Nazi party quickly grew to 6000 members by the summer of 1921 as Hitler spent the next two years focusing efforts on political agendas, claiming Germanys problems were due to the failures of the “Weimar Republic” and “Social Democrats” ruled by Marxists ideology and trade unions. By the summer of 1923, the Nazi party had grown to more than 55,000 members.

Hitler soon initiated “anarchical tactics” directed towards state leaders of the “Weimar Republic.” Forming a group of 600 “Storm Troopers” accustomed to committing acts of violence, Hitler surrounded a building of 3000 “Weimar Republic” officials gathering to discuss political agendas. Entering the beer hall unannounced, Hitler jumped atop a nearby chair, firing a pistol into the air, shouting, “The National Revolution has begun.” Seconds later, he instructed the “Weimar leaders to join forces with the “Nazi Party” or die in opposition. Hitler’s futile attempts were an effort to relieve the German people of future oppressions caused by state leaders. Under duress, the Weimar Republic Chairmen agreed to discuss his proposals in future meetings.

Satisfied with himself, Hitler announced a new form of provisional government for the future of Germany. Two days later, police arrested him by authority of the Bavarian Government and brought him to trial for “high treason” where he was sentenced to five years in prison. After serving only 9 months in a sanitarium, the Bavarian Supreme Court granted him amnesty.

Realizing his mistakes, Hitler returned to work under the authority of the “Weimar Republic” while leading the Nazi party into new and organized agenda’s. Membership declined for the Nazi party during Hitler’s jail term. The decline came as no surprise to the powerful leader as he rejoiced in the show of dedication to his authority. Hoping to reassemble party leaders, Hitler initiated propaganda efforts and public speaking forums as powerful tools for success. Those seeking a way from economic disaster and ghettos looked to Hitler for salvation. Hitler preached before enthused crowds, claiming Germans should unite in an effort to fight Marxism and Judaism, as these would be the demise of Germany’s economic success. Hitler believed “power ruled and morality was folly.” Although the leader’s immediate attempts proved unsuccessful, he was banned from public forums altogether, and was committed to building political support of his beliefs.

The next several years proved beneficial for Hitler. He managed to write his first book while serving his sentence for treason, Mein Kampf, which outlined policies for creating a new and improved Germany. The dictator also owned and operated a media publication, Volkischer Beobachter, which he used for propaganda efforts supporting the Nazi party. The dictator continued building Nazi memberships for the next eight years. It was not until the earlier part of 1929 that his efforts began to show significant progress.

Hitler was making more friends than enemies, benefiting his efforts for gaining a political foothold into state rule. One particular person who played a significant part in his gains was Alfred Hugenberg. Hugenberg owned several newspapers and a film company. The wealthy business owner was also appointed Chairman of the German Nationalist People’s Party who, with Hitler’s help had achieved financial support from industry leaders. The two drafted a law against the enslavement of the German people, but the act did very little to help members of German society, but Hitler found it beneficial for gaining approval with other party leaders, and the socially depressed, longing for salvation from economic deprivation and starvation.

By 1929, Germany had steadily become a country in the wake of economic collapse. According to Annette Dufner, the Rise of Hitler, The number of registered unemployed rose from 1.6 million people to 6.12 million by 1932. Unemployed workers found themselves virtually destitute as businesses began to fail, and popularity for the radical ideas of the Nazi party became the “voter’s political party of choice.” Hitler became Chancellor of German Reich in January of 1933; allowing him power to force Nazi ideology into the mainstream of society.

Ethnic groups and minorities provided slave labor while Jewish business owners began feeling the recourse of his right wing extremist attitude. Hitler viewed Jewish people as a threat to the good of society. The dictator secretly began using Jews for forced labor, calling it a “resettlement program” while later conscientiously transporting them to concentration camps awaiting their death. Jewish business, farmers and property owners were made to file with the state, at which time Hitler seized their assets for government control. Hating anyone in opposition of his rule, the dictator hired leaders to eliminate what he referred to as “social denigrates, or those defined as “life unworthy of life.” Key figures in Hitler’s plan for success assured his demands were carried out successfully. Joseph Goebbels, Rudolph Hess, Adolf Eichmann, Heinrich Himmler, and Hermann Goring, were the Nazi party’s “hired henchmen.”

Mass Genocide or “T-4 code operations” became a priority for medical personnel. “Euthanasia” of the mentally ill, concentration camps and slave labor created a tremendous strain on military leaders and medical personnel. “90,000 German citizens were exterminated like rodents” using carbon monoxide gas in hospitals across Germany.

Terror, intimidation, and acts of deliberate violence were priority for the Nazi party members and were initiated daily as a means of forcing Jews from the country. Underground escapes, secret rooms housing Jewish children and families were provided as a means for hiding them from Nazi guards. Doctors, lawyers, peasants, and anyone opposing Hitler’s beliefs gathered in an effort to save life while German citizens rejoiced with improved conditions of economic and industrial growth. Society remained strong while the leader horrified Jewish communities.

From 1942 to 1943 “Collegiate youth groups” formed in an effort to impact German society. Six members of the “White Rose,” resistance group were sentenced for treason and later “beheaded” for scattering leaflets across campus avenues, hoping to generate a sense of peace to a nation on the verge of destruction. “Guided by their religious and moral efficacies,” the activists spoke out in resistance of the Nazi Regime, making a significant impact into revealing the truths of the Hitler’s mayhem.

Declaring war against the United States in 1941, Hitler realized his life-long passions for “world dominance” were nearing an end. American and Russian forces began deployment efforts for laying the framework to end the war. From 1942 up until April 30, 1945, when Hitler and Eva Braun committed suicide in a German bunker, thoughts of surrender never entered the leaders mind. During Hitler’s “twelve year reign,” architectural masterpieces were reduced to rubble, millions were dead, and innocent citizens were forced to overcome the hardships, while future generations survived to recall the failures, and copiousness of Hitler’s reign.

1.) Dr. Matthew Seligmann, Dr. John Davison, John McDonald, Daily Life in Hitler’s Germany, Thomas Duane Books, The Brown Reference Group ple, New York, NY 2003.
2.) Inge Scholl, The White Rose, Wesleyan University Press, Middletown, CT 1970, 1983.
3.) Earle Rice Jr., Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany, Morgan Reynolds Publishing, Inc. Greensboro, NC 2006.
4.) Annette Dufner, The Rise of Adolf Hitler, Greenhaven Press, Farmington Hills, MI, 2003.
5.) Michael Brenner, After the Holocaust, Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 1997.
6.) Philipp Freiherrvon Boeselager, Valkyrie, Random House Inc., 2009.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Moray Eels, by Sharon Powell

Fearsome Hunters of the Sea
By Sharon Powell, 2010


Eels have existed for millions of years, and in fact, scientific researchers claim they have been around for more than ninety three million years. Of all the fish in the sea, “Eels” are probably one of the most diverse species known to man. Besides being able to change colors, shape and body parts, eels are also found in freshwater lakes, rivers, and streams. Their long slender bodies are capable of hiding between rocks and crevices, or you may spot them lurking in and out of sunken ships and debris in larger bodies of water.

A Feast of Species
There are many different species of eels; and in fact, researchers suggest there are between five hundred and seven hundred fifty different species, but only sixteen eel species are found in lakes, rivers and streams. Including the two-hundred different kinds of Moray Eels pictured above, most eels look similar to the slithering reptile commonly referred to as a snake. The eels skin is slimy for ease of escape in difficult situations. The slick features also act as a deterrent for diseases attaching themselves to the eels outer layer of skin.

The photograph on the right is an Electric Eel and most commonly found in murky waters of the Amazon and South American Rivers. The electric eel packs a powerful punch of 650 volts, and is several times more powerful than a household electric outlet. The “electric eel” is also a cousin to the catfish and carp found in most freshwater lakes and rivers. The eel’s body is mostly muscle attached to a long backbone, housing 750 vertebrae compared to the thirty-three humans possess. The extra vertebrae allow the eel to be very agile when traveling on land and water.

Most all eels; excepting some “moray” have excellent eyesight and choose to hunt for food at dawn, tracking their next meal by means of scent. Once the hungry carnivore captures his prey, their razor sharp teeth and strong jaws prove dangerous and are usually fatal to other fish and crabs caught within their path. Most ocean eels enjoy a favorite dish of crab or octopuses to satisfy their appetite and will often be seen spinning furiously around several times before consuming their victim. The feeding frenzy is most commonly referred to as the “death roll.” Freshwater eels will also consume small insects, snails, worms, frogs, tadpoles, and small fish or eggs.

Size Matters
Like most all things born into this world, baby eels are small by nature. The newly hatched larvae are transparent when born, and float atop the ocean waves with other plank tonic creatures. The larvae later takes the shape of a leaf with a small head attached at one end and will continue to grow several feet within a short period, usually within a few months. Some species of eel can grow to twelve feet or longer, while freshwater eels can be several feet long and weigh between ten to twenty-eight pounds.

The male species are most generally smaller than the female, but both sexes have a small cavity housing their stomach and other vital organs. Besides the eels powerful jaws and teeth, their keen sense of smell and hunting skills allow the fish to survive in dangerous waters. The deadly predator breaths through their gills and skin for oxygen intake, which is complimented by a dorsal and side fin used for maneuvering in tight places.

Another significant feature many eel species possess is their ability to migrate from freshwater to ocean life with great ease. Migration allows the eel to travel from one place to another in search of food or mate. The eel will travel thousands of miles to return to the ocean for breeding purposes before their death.


1.) Natures Children, John Woodward, Edited by, John Farndon and Angela Koo, GrolierPuglishing, Danbury CT, 2004.
 2.) Eels, Underwater World, Deborah Coldiron, Abdo consulting Group, Edina, MN, 2008.
3.) Eels, Freaky Fish, Tori Miller, Rosen Publishing Group, New York, NY 2009.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Germany Today, by Sharon Powell

Cologne Cathedral and Hohenzollern Bridge, Cologne, Germany

Germany Today
By Sharon Powell, 2010

1990 was a year of new beginnings for members of German society. East and West Germany were once again reunited after more than 45 years, but not without feeling the pressures of unemployment, poor economy, and corrupt business ethics. It seemed that social practices were largely outdated and inefficient for Germany to compete within International markets. After the reunification of East and West Germany during the 90’s, social issues began to escalate out of control as neo-Nazis hate groups, and attacks on foreign workers were common occurrences.
Although Germany has overcome a series of political difficulties since the days of Hitler, the collapse of the Soviet Union had its impact on the world. United States Military forces stationed in Germany since World War 11 began withdraw efforts in 2004 with hope of boosting a staggering economy for ethnic groups and the 81 million people residing in Germany today.

German Philosophy
The country is largely a conservative based philosophy and directed toward growth of small business and industry. Automobile manufacturers, pharmaceutical, petroleum, clothing, communication technology and consumer good manufactures make up the largest part of Germany’s workforce. Today, Germany remains a leader in European cultures where trade markets and policies promote a freer distribution of capital, labor, and goods among European nations. Significant expansions of Europe’s economic community brought about additional changes during the 90’s, including the establishment of groups such as the European Union, whose primary focus strives to improve business and work ethics abroad. Today more than a dozen countries have joined the European Union in an effort to promote good faith between the people of Germany and the world. Respecting tradition, history, and cultural practices has always been an important part of life for members of German society, and the union allows Europeans to compete peacefully with other super powers from around the world.

Political System
Despite the threat of corrupt government officials, Germany continues to focus their concerns on both the political and social concerns of its people. Germany supports an economy free of state intervention and domination, including the right to protect competitive environments from monopolistic tendencies. In addition to supporting its workers and those struggling through the competitive demands of the economy, Germany’s social forms of politics quite often contribute to wealthy members of society. Most people believe the political system directs the economy and claim the “right to privacy” verses state intervention and control.
The political and legal systems of Germany represent a second democratic system. The “Basic Law” is the constitution of a United Germany, and was established after the reunification of East and West Germany in 1990. “Basic Law” provides freedom and stability while defining the principles of a democratic and social federal state while binding them to uphold the judicial systems of the country. The Supreme Court who protects the constitutional rights of society is also bound by the initiatives established within the foundations of “Basic Law.”
Other systems of political operation are referred to as the “Electoral Systems” allowing the opportunity for several political parties to promote initiatives before voting is complete. In comparison to the United States, whose focus remains strictly on a democratic or republican Party, Germany allows the opportunity for several parties to express their beliefs for governing. Most people agree, those wishing to promote their ideas should be given that right. Germany’s political systems are complex, but provide both a federal structure and state representation to maintain the welfare and desires of its people.

Arts & Media
Germany has supported the arts for many years throughout their cultural history while providing various forms of news and entertainment for its people. German newspapers and radio promote an attitude for “independence of the press, and freedom from censorship.” These rights are guaranteed within the structure of “Basic Law.” And unlike years past, where communist regimes controlled the media, Germany now offers more than 36 newspapers providing media awareness to 10 million or more subscribers. Germany supports three public broadcasting corporations, and eleven public television and radio stations employing more than 23,000 people.

Modern life in Germany today is similar to American cultural practices, and are captured within photo galleries depicting German lifestyles. Youths of German society experience an abundance of education and summer programs allowing students time for sports, cultural and social activities. The more popular forms of music tend to express the contemporary social and cultural perspectives experienced in Germany today. Listeners enjoy a wide range of styles including hip-hop, pop, rock and rap which makeup the genres of radio broad-casts. A more refined style of classical music is also noted, as artists combine the beauty of stringed instruments, brass and percussion to compliment the diverse backgrounds of artistic expression.



Saturday, July 24, 2010

Agriculture's Big Business, by Sharon Powell

The growth of today’s agricultural markets and years of research have helped farmers overcome the burdens of climate change, irrgational needs and harvesting tools. These resources are all a part of how growth has affected society, creating what is now a billion dollar agricultural industry.

Farming began thousands of years ago, and has changed considerably over time. Early settlers noticed that certain grasses grew and produced edible seeds. When planted, the seeds would later produce many different kinds of crops benefiting the townspeople. Farmers also noticed how livestock grazed the hills and valleys, consuming much of the vegetation and plant life. Daily lifestyles and the discovery of nutritional resources were rarely kept a secret among early farmers. Hundreds of years ago, farmers would have never considered planting a crop without the use of soil. Today though, some modern farms create artificial climates using greenhouses, tunnels, and hydroponics by which plants are grown without soil. Their roots stand in a liquid solution that contains the nutrients they need to grow. The benefits found within these advanced growing techniques have helped to offset financial losses for the more moderate of crop producers affected by climate conditions, erosion, and drought concerns.

Other Agricultural Products
It is not a surprise that every living thing needs nutrition, including seeds, animals, and humans. Researched technology has made it possible to assure that feed for livestock is made available, while assuring members of societies nutritional needs are being met. Advanced research technology has also provided biodegradable products made from crops such as corn, rice, soybeans,
cotton, wheat grains, peanuts, and barley. These commodities help to produce Pharmaceuticals for health industries, Bio-fuels, Cooking Oils, Insecticides, Batteries, Alcohol, and Industrial and Chemical Solvents. Perhaps the lawn bag you sent to the refuse was made from one of the products listed above, or maybe the cleaner used to remove the tough stain from fabric was made from agricultural products. Most importantly, the shoes, or clothes you might be wearing today would not have been made possible without the production of cotton and other agriculture products produced by skilled technicians and manufacturing industry.

Government Subsidies
Many farms in operation today depend heavily on the help of government subsidies, and date as far back as 1862 when the Morrill Act established land grant colleges for farming communities. The Morrill Act sparked the establishment of other significant acts which are still in operation today and support various farming programs such as research, education and pest infestation, price supports and production control, in addition to crop insurance.

Subsidies are a very important part of farming, and help relieve the high cost of farm equipment used throughout much of the United States. The price of one combine or tractor can cost as much as a new three bedroom home built today. These facts make it difficult for some farmers to thrive. Subsidies are government supplied financial supports meeting a variety of functions such as direct payments to farmers for disaster aid, loans, insurance, and export advertising. Ninety percent of all subsidies are forwarded to famers with at least five-crop production yields including wheat, corn, soy-beans, rice, and cotton. It is estimated that nearly one-million farmers and landowners receive some type of government subsidies reaching figures of 15 to 35 billion dollars annually. Some farmers complain government interventions force price control and create monopolists who increasingly dominate the food system.

The great depression is a prime example of how important farming needs are to society, and was partly responsible for the actions taken by congress in 1932. In order to assure food supplies were readily available, and the nutritional needs of society were being met, Franklin D. Roosevelt enacted what he called the New Deal. In response to measures established within the existing Farm Bill, Roosevelt’s New Deal responded to Rock bottom crop prices due to overproduction, widespread hunger and social inequalities, soil erosion and drought, water and electricity, in addition to unfair export policies.

Giving Thanks
Cooperation from farmers taking the necessary steps to reduce social stressor's have remained a part of farming for many years; some laws are ratified from year to year in order to assure the needs of a changing society are being met, and public revolts are not an issue.

After reading some of the details of farming, you might just consider agriculture is an excellent career choice and one you might want to attend at college. The next time you are driving across America enjoying a family vacation and happen to spot a farmer, you might recall this story and how very important farming is to a community. You might even want to thank them for all their hard work and dedication for supporting the cries of hunger…...S. Powell, 2010

3.) Agricultural Subsidies; Greenhaven Press, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning, Farmington Hills, MI.
4.) Halley, Ned B; Farm, Eyewitness Books, Dorling Kindersley Limited, London
7.) The Self Reliant Homestead; Charles A. Sanders; Burford Books, 2003.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Nancy Grace, Angels and Demons among Us, by Sharon Powell, 2010

American legal commentator and CNN’s Television Host, Nancy Grace has much to be praised for in her quest as a victim’s rights advocate. The emotional impact instilled within her audience attempts to reveal the shocking truths involving serious crime. Grace’s TV series seems to “dissect” the unknown realities involving crimes of kidnapping, murder and rape of defenseless women and children. Coupled with Grace’s intellectual style and “no nonsense attitude” she has knowingly placed herself at risk for criticism from audience members and colleagues alike. Some people believe her “biased opinions and lack of compassion for the accused” quite often ignore the defendant’s right to reasonable doubt standard, while influencing the final outcome of jury trials within the Justice System.

Although some people find her “aggressive behavior and power plays” for fighting crime “cruel and unforgiving,” Grace has much to be praised for and may understand the realities involving “crime and punishment” better than most, which is why her convictions into fighting for victims rights are high priorities for her.

Grace’s legal career began at the age of 19, shortly after the death of her fiancé, Keith Griffin in 1979. She received her professional law degree from the Walter F. George School of Law, and went on to complete her Masters in criminal law from the University of New York. As clerk for a federal court judge, Grace practiced “anti-trust and consumer protection laws” before accepting a position in Atlanta, Ga. as a Special Prosecutor for Fulton County’s District Attorney’s office. Besides writing articles for the American Bar Association, she has also taught litigation at the Georgia State University College of Law, while associating herself with Mercer University’s Board of Trustee’s and Georgia State University School of Business Law.

Grace’s legal career has provided her with lasting memories into the world of crime, while igniting her "sense of humor and disdain often expressed within her southern bell attitude." She has been quoted for referring to defense lawyers as "pigs" while comparing them to "Nazi concentration camp guards." Besides being an attorney, Grace has also written three books, of which her latest entitled, Objection, released in November of 2009 reveals her beliefs concerning how high priced Defense Attorney’s, Celebrity Defendants and 24/7 Media coverage have hijacked today’s criminal justice system.

It should not go without mention that Grace’s legal career and aggressive style may someday become an awakening, and lesson of poetic justice. Media awareness and colleagues alike may find it within their right to someday discretely crucify her loved ones for one reason or another. Perhaps a professional reminder is due and the hard hitting attorney may wish to focus her efforts on showing a little more compassion for the accused while remembering “her victims” are someone’s baby too………….S. Powell, 2010

1.) CNN Live with Nancy Grace

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

TRU TV. Operation Repo, No Joke, Pay that Note, By Sharon Powell

National Television has taken on a new twist by introducing true to life situations, and criminal activity found within America. It makes no difference if you are rich, poor or just plain ignorant; you are still no match for the heavy hitting crime scene busters depicted on TRU TV. “Operation Repo” celebrates its third season on national TV and has repossessed thousands of vehicles since premiering in 2008.

Ministers, Doctors, Lawyers, housewives and gangbangers have all made the list for having delinquent account statuses and have been caught on camera showing off more than their inability to pay. Lou, Sonia, and Lynda Pizarro team up with Matt Burch and Froylan Tercero in one of the hottest series appearing on TV today. The show takes a look at the fast paced world of repossession. More often than not, the team finds themselves engaged in life threatening situations in order to repossess property of delinquent accounts for financial lenders across the state of California. The “Operation Repo Team” are trained professionals and will stop at nothing to get the job done. Boats, cars, planes, sports cars and trucks make up the teams genre.

Delinquent loan accounts and bankruptcy have escalated out of proportions within the last decade due to the high rate of unemployment and social trends impacting America’s financial stability. Besides having to contend with lenders harassing phone calls and correspondence reminders, your credit rating is taking a serious “nose dive” into financial ruin, and more than likely creating additional hardships for you when trying to borrow money from financial institutions.

Contemporary society depends heavily upon credit lenders, and without having established some type of history, a person may find it virtually impossible to obtain a mortgage or home loan, or perhaps a car or recreational vehicle without having a prior credit history. So what does all this “reality stuff” mean to you and me? If you are unable to pay the monthly premium using the funds made within one week’s salary, then more than likely you are exceeding your monthly budgeted amounts while risking your financial future.

Tru TV is a subsidiary of Turner Broadcasting Network, debuting in 1991. Since that time, the producers have added several reality programs including Las Vegas Jailhouse, All Worked Up, It Only Hurts when I laugh, Most Daring, Bait Car, and Forensic Science. Viewers tuning into the show can preview real life stories while educating themselves on the realities involving social issues and documented crime cases within America……...S. Powell, 2010

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Chicago Bulls, By Sharon Powell, 2010

The Bulls first season began in 1966 under the direction of three time nationals all-star, Johnny “Red” Kerr. Before signing with the bulls, “Reds” professional career came when playing with the Syracuse Nationals and Philadelphia 76e’s. Kerr led the Bulls to a 33-48 record, which was considered the best for an NBA’s first year team. Kerr spent several years as a television commentator prior to his coaching career with the bulls in 1966. Throughout his high school career, Kerr played the game with a passion fulfilling the position of center. His 6’ 9” stature and weight made him an excellent player for the team. He was impressive, both on and off the floor, and well educated in the game of basketball.

Attending the University of Illinois, Kerr played on the varsity team for three years before leading them onto the big ten championship in 1952; and later advancing to the NCAA final four. Kerr remained with the Bulls staff fulfilling various positions until retiring as commentator in 2008.

Like most NBA teams, the Bulls have had their share of difficulties. Proving their worth during the first year of play, the team moved from “McCormick Place Amphitheatre” to the “Chicago Stadium.” Although spectators were not enough to fill the stadium, the Bulls shared the site with the National Hockey League’s, “Chicago Blackhawks” who played a major role in the team’s future survival.

The General Manager and coaching staff believed in the Bulls ability to weather any storm and continued supporting their efforts despite the current trend. Hopes were to make the Chicago team a smashing success for basketball enthusiasts. By the end of 1970, the “Bulls” were showing significant signs of improvement and finished the season 39-43, competing in a Standoff position for 3rd place in the Eastern conference. Bull’s followers began to take notice, and had surpassed fan expectations and completed the season with 10,000 or more attendee’s.

The Bulls continued to struggle throughout the better part of eighteen years. Surviving through NBA draft picks and coaching staff alterations was not an easy task for the team. The Bulls transition finally came with the 1984-85 seasons when “Michael “Air” Jordan” arrived at training camp. Jordan signed with the Bulls during the summer of 1984 after playing three seasons with the University of North Carolina. The Bulls understood “Jordan” to be the glimmer of hope they had searched years to find. Dominating the scene during the 90’s, “Jordan’s” talent paved the way to several NBA championships.

Another significant move for the Bulls came during the 1987-88 seasons. NBA all-star “Scottie Pippen" joined the league. Combining the skills of “Air Jordan” and “Pippen” proved successful for Chicago. The combined strengths positioned the Bulls where they had hoped to be in the NBA conference. Over the next few years, the dynamic duet made significant improvements into the team’s game. It was not until the 1992-93 seasons that the “Bulls” were considered pro-basketballs greatest team by winning the NBA championships for three consecutive years. Another two years passed before the “Bulls” ruled once again, winning the NBA Championship in 1996, 97 and 98. During the 1992 season the dynamic duet were chosen to compete in the 1992 Olympic games in Barcelona, bringing home two gold medals for America.

Today the “Bulls” accredited status for being the only team to win at least 70 games in a single season proves the competitive strengths involved with the organization draw a following, igniting pro basketball fans from around the world.
The thunderous roar of the crowd sets the stage for some of NBA’s finest basketball performances. The Bulls starting line-up introductions are also unique and are a traditional format says announcer “Ray Clay” who incorporates the strength of music into the team’s spotlight introductions.

Pictured from left to right, are “Centers, “Brad Miller,” followed by “Forward, Taj Gibson,” and “Center, “Joakim Noah.” Miller spent his college basketball career attending Purdue University, before turning pro in 1998. Miller stands 7’0 and averages 6.5 points per game with 5.4 rebounds. He also holds a two times NBA All-Star record for 2003-2004. “Taj Gibson” attended the University of Southern California before turning pro. Standing 6’ 9” and averaging 7.6 points per game and 7.0 rebounds, Gibson is a credit to the Bulls game. Featured far right is “Joakim Noah.” Noah understands the game of basketball and loves to play street ball, and has played plenty of it while growing up in inner city New York. “Noah” is a graduate of the University of Florida, and compliments the Bulls with a 6’11 stature, while averaging 14.8 points per game and 13.0 rebounds. For additional game highlights go to….S. Powell, 2010


Monday, May 17, 2010

Buddhist Spiritual Leader Dalai Lama Visits Indiana, By Sharon Powell, 2010

Photograph by: Sharon Powell, 2010

Buddhist’s and spiritual followers gathered in Consecos Field House, Indianapolis, IN to hear the 14th Dalai Lama temporal leader share a message of compassion and commitment. Tenzin Gyatso, the Tibetan spiritual and political leader shared passions of humanistic quality practiced by the Buddhist faith in an effort society strive to make a difference in today’s troubled world. The Nobel Prize winner’s soft-spoken voice and gentle nature captured the emotional attitude shared by the audience. Messages for expressing love from the heart and spiritual commitment were discussed, vowing a pathway for leading a happy and healthy lifestyle could be found, generating harmony throughout the world.

His holiness stressed the emotional and physical value found with inner peace and happiness in life, claiming we are all connected one to the other and should work to improve others lives. The Dalai Lama expressed the value of facing challenges with wisdom and compassion while providing resources for achieving such trait.

Buddhist religion believes strongly in the humanistic and spiritual needs of the people. Buddhist followers stress that spiritual nutrition for the mind is a means for generating respect, compassion, and faith throughout the world. His holiness believes by avoiding the negative powers of greed, jealousy, and abuses of power humanity would find inner peace. Other topics stressed family life, suggesting families should come together in times of crises in an effort to guide today's youth into the future. The Dalai Lama stress humanity should avoid the destructive powers of anger and hate encompassing today's world and work toward removing barriers hindering emotional growth.

Buddhist religion was founded in India during 500 BC, and is largely practiced throughout much of China and East Asia. Buddhidst beliefs focus on wisdom and meditation benefiting the mind and body. Buddhist followers seek knowledge in an effort for avoiding anxiety and stress in today’s busy world. Statistics report there are between 230 to 500 million practicing Buddhist, making the religion the fourth largest spiritual denomination practiced today. Many Buddhists followers enjoy the meditative state and incorporate it into their lives, recommending the benefits of meditation are therapeutic means for reducing the crippling affects of stress involved with everyday life.

Buddhist also believe that “Karma” or “Mantra” “is the law of cause and effect” and the divine makeup of the universe. Karma derives from the body, speech, and mind of the person, springing from mental intent. The nature of mantra knowledge gave way to spiritual interpretations and translations of the human will or desire, and noted as being a form of action.

Universities located in Indiana house cultural centers and programs sponsoring educational instruction focusing on the inner faith initiatives of Buddhism. For more information regarding the Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Centers, go to or


3.) Dalai Lama, Conseco Field House, Indianapolis, IN, May 14, 2010, Sharon Powell

Jason Adlean, Life inside his Music, by Sharon Powell, 2010

The powerful sound of Jason Aldean’s southern rock music soar to the top of the charts while music lovers around the world experience the “heart felt” realities involved with country music and storytelling. Coupled with the Macon, Georgia’s down-home boy attitude and his rippling full-bodied vocal ability, Aldean compliments the lyrical talents of singer songwriter, Neil Thrasher and the five-piece band who accompany him on tour. According to producer and publicists Michael Knox, Jason is an entertainer, who works the crowd as if they were performing at the local pub. The bands down-home southern style may be the crème-de-la-crème to “Aldeans Army,” who has sold more than two million copies of their first two albums. Racking up numerous gold and platinum awards, their titles have topped the charts for more than six consecutive weeks during 2005, 2007 and again in 2009.

Although the thirty-three year old musician co-authors some of the band’s music, much of their success is provided by singer, songwriter Neil Thrasher who dominates the scene with a strong sense of what American life is like for the working class. Coupled with his prolific background in music and talent for composition, Thrasher maintains a competitive edge within the industry and has written for many of the country’s top musical talents, including Kenny Chesney, Montgomery Gentry, Hank Williams Jr. and Carrie Underwood, to name a few.

Thrasher is one of the top contenders within the business possessing the ability to bring life to the written word by moving them off the page and into the hearts of country music lovers around the world.

Aldean is not a novice when it comes to understanding what it takes to survive in the music business, and has overcome both the financial and emotional barriers, which for years had plagued his musical career. Along with the support of family and friends, his assiduous drive and love for music has made him what he is today. Aldean takes control of the audience, while launching them onto a “roller-coaster” ride through an unforgettable memory of love, anger and the loneliness of every-day life. To the world of country music, Aldean’s career has just begun, and he will continue to be one of music’s legendary greats.

Another of Aldean’s successes came more than fifteen years ago, and has been an important part of his career. His wife and mother of two children all share the up and downsides involved with publicity and countless hours of emotional support, needed when living the dream. Although Aldean spends much of his time recording his next hit, he also finds time away from the hectic lifestyle to enjoy an afternoon of fishing, or four wheeling, and Baseball with lifetime friends.

Aldean was raised in southern Georgia, and attended one of Macon’s private schools within the area. As a student of Windsor Academy, Aldean played sports, fulfilling the position of defensive “First Baseman” for the Windsor Knights baseball team. According to the coach, Aldean played quite well when not having to contend with his math lessons. Members of the school’s faculty have made it priority to assure Jason’s academic roots are kept rocking within the school’s historical archives and celebrate with the graduate as often as possible.

Together, Aldean and the band have won numerous awards for their talents, including Top New Male Vocalist in 2006 by the Academy of Country Music. Other awards were given for single pop country titles, including, Why, Amarillo Sky, Big Green Tractor and The Truth, where all have topped the charts at number one, classifying, Jason Aldean as a household favorite with country music fans from around the world…..S.Powell, 2010


Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Right to be Assumed Innocent, By Sharon Powell

Becoming a teen-ager can be filled with a life full of “C’s.” Challenges, change, conflict, creativity, and choice, anticipate the arrival of new kids on the block. Facing the challenges of peer pressure and family life are always stressful for most young people. It is sometimes difficult for the teenager to decide what the best choice in life should be when faced with opposition. Other areas of concern are the biological transitions, and changes occurring within the body during pre-adolescent years. Mixed emotions can sometimes cause you to engage in certain activities before you are emotionally prepared to deal with the recourse of your actions. Teen pregnancy and conflict quite often occur when struggling with adolescence, and may cause stress among family members and friends.

Many teens are asked to make important life-changing decisions, and quite often result in choosing the wrong pathway in life. Inexperience involved with everyday life, and the desire for obtaining money and friends causes some teens to create additional problems for themselves. Searching for an easy way out of oppressive situations may not always be the best solution.

The fight against juvenile delinquency, prostitution, and gang warfare among America’s youth are continuous battles for local law enforcement and child protective services. Criminals preying upon the lives of juveniles are difficult for local law enforcement to pin-down and prosecute, simply due to much of the victims economical support is provided by mere scumbags and buccaneers practicing the art of scrutiny. Social tyrants feed upon the lives of unsuspecting women and children, supplying them with money and material wealth.

Many of these issues are challenges contemporary youths face on a daily basis. Many young people within society suffer severe poverty, or come from broken homes, single parent households, and homelessness. Some individuals search for a better way, hoping to improve the economical degradation crippling future stability. Quite often, these individuals seek aid from mere strangers, and may fall victim to those providing a superficial means of support.

Many of those choosing to take part in the criminal’s charade are unsuspecting teens whose social interactions are mere pathways to self-destruction. These cycles tend to occur gradually over-time, and may develop into social stigma’s and subcultures of violence. Once the adolescent patterns his or her life surrounded by un-healthy conditions, the lifestyle becomes difficult to escape.

Lack of proper judgment and foresight most often create unavoidable circumstance for the adolescent. Many individuals carry these traits far into their adult lives, passing them on from one generation to the next. What does this cycle of life say for the future of humanity? Are America’s social structures escalating into large populations of poverty-stricken families and hopelessness? Or is corporate America so powerful they are allowed to ignore the needs of their employees while families are being forced into financial ruin.

According to Frank Schmalleger, author of Criminal Justice Today, although violent crimes by juveniles is decreasing, there are still 1.6 million juveniles arrested annually in America, while the number of those held in public facilities has increased sharply. The numbers speak for themselves and are alarming when the disadvantaged youth of America become frustrated with life, and seek comfort from society’s drug dealers, gang-bangers, pimps, and criminals. Are those offenders caught within the juvenile justice system victims of neglect, or merely undisciplined, and abused youth? Perhaps the reality of the so-called “status offenders” is the Juvenile’s way of crying out against the challenges involved with peer pressure and maturing.

The influence of neighborhood conditions weigh heavily on adolescent development and can sometimes become controversial issues where diplomacy is the best option for law enforcement officials. Poverty, and neglect have negative impacts on society and quite often require police to exercise diplomacy when the opposition of defending the innocence of youth, or arresting the juvenile offenders in order to up-hold the law becomes an issue. It is sometimes difficult to determine what is best for the youth when their lives are filled with unhealthy living conditions and the stressors involved with peer pressure and family life.

The gradual restructuring of America’s workforce and wages are currently being threatened by abuses of power and greed. All of the mentioned developments are controversial issues your generation will someday face. Growing teens are preparing themselves for interacting within the adult world in order to effectively deal with difficult issues on their own. Improving the quality of life will someday be your responsibility. You may even be asked to help make a difference in the lives of others who need to escape the recourse of crime and personal failure.

Some individuals possess the desire to make a difference within their life, but may fail to understand the resources for achieving their dreams. The best advice given comes from those who sought higher education as a means to improve their lives, verses engaging in criminal activity. Many individuals depend upon goal setting and moral virtue as a means for improvement, and seek to fill their lives with happiness and healthy choices. If you need someone to talk with about difficult issues, contacting your school’s Guidance office is a great place to start…...S. Powell, 2010

1.) Criminal Justice Today, Frank Schmalleger, Ph.D, Pearson Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, 2009.
2.) Adolescence, Laurence Steinberg, Temple University, Mcgraw Hill Companies, New York, NY, 2008.
3.) Child Development, John W. Santrock, Eleventh Edition, McGraw Hill companies, 2007

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Trevi Fountain, Rome Italy, By Sharon Powell

The Trevi Fountain is one of Rome’s greatest works of art designed by the flamboyant Italian sculptor and architect Nicola Salvi. The Fountana di Trevi is the largest fountain throughout Rome. Standing eighty-five feet high and sixty-five feet wide, the fountain is superbly carved of pure marble. Encased within the niches are statues symbolizing “health and abundance for the people of Rome.” The fountains stylistic design began in 1732 and was completed 30 years later by Diovanni Paolo Panini in 1762. Panini compliments the emotional influence surrounding the mysterious world of mythological beliefs represented within Salvi’s design.

Mythological Beliefs
Galileo, inventor of the first telescope possessed a fascination with astronomy which may have been the direct correlation found within the sculptor's work. Pegasus, the winged horse born from Medusa upon her death appears in the night sky, and can be found within the constellation of stars. Neptune, God of the Sea is part of our solar system and is depicted within the Trevi fountain. The planet Neptune is believed to encompass “spiritual enlightenment exhibiting compassion and mercy for all. Fountain tradition claims, a coin tossed into the waters guarantees a visitor’s safe return to Rome.

The great sea God “Neptune” is shown towering over the two Tritons, while one struggles to tame the wild sea horse. The scene symbolizes the two contrasting moods of the sea. The renaissance period inspired artisans, architects, and craftsman from afar where selections of Rome’s greatest works of art can be seen within museums and galleries throughout the city. The selections are taken from the renaissance period along with those contained within the Vatican’s collection where The work of painter Michaelangelo's Sistine Chapel resides. Europe is home to many of the worlds greatest artists in addition to the more contemporary film works of Vittorio Mussolini, who was half brother to statesman Binito Mussolini.

Masters of the Art
Archaeological masterpieces surrounded by magnificent sculptures and oil paintings can be found within the cities museums and galleries. Well-known baroque artists such as, Bernini, who was responsible for many archeological designs throughout Rome reveals a renowned style of showmanship graced with technical brilliance. The artist completed works on churches, statues, fountains and the infamous design of St. Peters square. Bernini had mastered the art of revealing true to life scenes through artistic perfection. One of his most memorable pieces was The Pathenon. A dome shaped Architectural structures located in the Pizza Della Rontonda symbolizes the beauty and harmony of Italy’s capital. Artists such as Bizzaccheri, Borromini, and Diovinni Panini, who was responsible for completions on the Trevi Fountain after Salvi's death shall be remembered by those valuing the artistic treasures revealed throughout Rome.

By the earlier part of the 18th century, the renaissance period had attracted artists from around the world, including writers and famous poets. The cultural awakening found within a time of romance and self-expression encompassed great works of art. Writers such as Keats, Shelley, Browning, and Charles Dickens traveled long distances to partake in the renaissance movement.

Etruscans, the first Inhabitants
Rome is located in the south of Europe, and surrounded by seawater. The peninsula was home to the first inhabitants known to the country. The Etruscans were believed to be a civilized culture and responsible for passing traditions onto the ancients. According to the Myths and civilization of the Ancient Roman’s, the Etruscan cultures provided the alphabet, gladiators, chariot races, and belief in the Gods of worship.

European cultures are the cornerstone revealing the humanistic realities of life. The beauty, romance, and architecture compliment the climatically renowned features discoverable when traveling Europe. Unforgettable memories depicting the lifestyles of histories fine art collections are shared throughout Europe, and will remain a significant part of cultural and artistic expression.


 1.) Let’s go Rome, Student Travel Guide, Chertoff Emily, Monticello, Justin, Publishers Groups West, 2010.
2.) Rome, National Geographic Traveler, Gilbert, Sari, Brouse, Michael, national Geographic Society, 2009.
3.) Rome, Eyewitness Travel, Ercoli, Olivia, Belford, Ros, Mitchell, Roberta, Dorling Kindersley Publishing Group, 2010.
7.) Ancient Romans, Myths and civilization of the, McRae Books, Peter Bedrick, Lincolnwood, IL. 1999.
8.) Jelius Caesar, and the Roman Republic, Cavendish, Marshall, Benchmark, New York, NY 2006.
9.) Favorite Greek Myths, Osborne, Mary P., Illustrations-Howell, Troy, Scholastic, Inc., New York, NY., 1989

Sleepers of Fear-By Sharon Powell

For many years, Americans have felt the tragic loss of loved one’s due to the realities of violent wars. Terrorist’s threats and mass murderers are acts of criminal violence and are controversial issues plaguing American society. Once law enforcement captures those responsible, most Americans seek immediate relief with hope the perpetrator's are swiftly brought to justice.

Such is the case with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four accomplices. CIA operatives initiated transportation efforts of all five extremists from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to Manhattan, New York in order they stand trial for the terrorist attack of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. If convicted Mohammed and four others face life imprisonment without the opportunity for parole or possible death sentence.
According to the Washington Post, Mohammed sat in an internet café in Karachi, Pakistan monitoring the attacks and was later heard boasting about his success.
Human sufferings are tragic at any cost and without the means to recover from economic difficulty activists groups form as a means for seeking refuge. Although violent retaliation creates common criminals, the lack of economical and social stability is the hard realities for the majority of Afghans.

America’s cultural values are unique and seldom shared in foreign countries.
Our prosperity and technological resources make us targets for terrorist acts such as the tragedy of September 11, 2001. In an effort to understand Islamic culture, it is important to recognize the religious authority dictating the actions of its people. Islamic faith is the second largest religion in the world. Of the 1 billion Muslim followers, six million are currently residing within the United States.

Islamic beliefs are host to numerous clerical (religious) Institutions and Schools of Law governing the cultural views of its people. Practicing Muslims are forbidden to engage in gambling activity, dancing, (except with the spouse) and are not allowed to incur interest charges. These and other rigid customs practiced by the JUL may be cause for the rising number of immigrants entering the U.S. Many Islamists have centered themselves within significant economic and political areas such as New York, where they gather in Mosque to worship Allah (God.) Most JUL are religious clerics who advocate the traditional Pillars of worship.

The five pillars of Islamic faith consist of Shahada- (confession), Salah-(Bowing in Prayer), Zakat-(Charity), Sawn-(Fasting) and Hajt (Visit the holy city of Mecca prior to death.) The JUL “extremist” insist on strict enforcement of religious laws and are responsible for the development of thousands of educational institutions throughout their country. There are reports some JUL are affiliated with the Taliban movement in Afghanistan while many Americans believe they are responsible for the violent acts of terrorism around the world.

Most of the country’s social stressors are defined due to the lack of adequate economical means needed for survival. Of the 156 Million residing in Afghanistan, most are confined to live in rundown shelters. Fuel and other resources are costly, while excessive dry conditions make it extremely difficult for farmers to prosper. Polluted water reservoir’s and other hazardous conditions make it difficult for members of their society to live comfortably. Many are forced to cut trees, and uproot shrubbery for warmth; depleting much of the vegetation of natural resources.

The realities involving war, poor economy and lack of technology have destroyed much of the country’s ability to remain self-sufficient. Although there are unexplored oil reserves; the country‘s economic stability prevents them from benefiting from their resources. Therefore, the current benefits go un-noticed. They must depend on foreign trade of fruit, vegetables, minerals, gemstone and fine carpets for sustenance.

Many Muslims asked where Allah was on September 11, 2001. Are we as Americans burdened by defeat of nature? Has our strength allowed us to become blind to the welfare of our fellow man? On the other hand, is it the social stigma from years of economic depression and war binding Afghanistan? Perhaps so! However, Allah, or any God supporting the efforts of criminal violence shall find no seat in religious order…...S. Powell, 2009

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Strawberry Poisonous Dart Frogs, By Sharon Powell

Assuming the colorful bundle of beauty pictured above is harmless to predators could be a fatal mistake, even for humans. The Strawberry Dart Frog is one of the most deadly amphibians combing the rain forests today. Although the tiny frog may be difficult to find, they are magnificent creatures and can be seen “leaping” in and around tight places throughout many parts of Central and South America.

There are over 100 different species of poisonous frogs ranging in size from 3/4"inches up to six inches long. The smallest of all dart frogs looks much like the colorful Strawberry species, but is smaller by nature. The Buzzer is only 3/4" inches long and no bigger than the size of a thumbnail, but like all dart frogs, the Buzzer packs a powerful punch if trying to catch one without protection.

Powerful Predator
Most all dart frogs are bright in color and appear harmless. Although the Amphibian displays a rainbow of beauty, the frog is equipped with poisonous glands located on the outer layers of skin. These glands contain enough poison to kill twenty men. If a jungle snake should happen to digest the dart frog, the snake becomes paralyzed and the heart muscle will stop within minutes, causing death in the reptile. If a predator should choke on the tiny frog, they will either die, or remember the terrible taste and never bother them again.

The poisonous substance contained within the gland is commonly used to relieve pain, or prevent heart attacks within humans. Scientists and wildlife biologist search the rainforests for the dart frog in order to remove the chemical. Once the poison is expelled, the frogs are released back into the jungle and will later reproduce the toxin as a means of defense.

Long ago, hunters learned how to extract the poison by rubbing the frog’s glands with the tip of their darts. The darts were later used in blowpipes as ammunition. The blowpipe makes no sound when used and therefore the hunted animal will not become frightened away. The silent ways of hunting have proven beneficial to the hunter and is still a common practice used today.

In order the dart frog continue to survive, their skin must remain moist, or they will dehydrate and die. The wet habitat found within the rainforest is perfect for assuring their survival, but may also pose a threat if heavy rains or brisk streams wash food supplies away. Many dart frogs drowned when caught in the pathways of fast flowing streams. The Dart frog is also able to survive extreme dry conditions found within most tropical and jungle settings providing they hide beneath a rock,or climb tall trees seeking shelter under leaves and other tropical plants.

The Strawberry Dart Frog is unique in some ways, and seeks to house them-selves within the Bromeliad Plant. The broad leaves of the tropical plant fold over one another to form a cup, which holds water from the heavy rains. The frog will lay her fertile eggs, visiting them a few times per week providing nutrition until they later hatch into tadpoles. The newly born tadpole will swim inside the cup-like house for weeks until growing into tiny frogs.

The life cycle of poisonous dart frogs is no different from any other frog species, except for the poisonous glands found on the outer layer of skin. The process of changing from a tadpole into an adult frog is referred to as metamorphosis.

When the dart frog is born, they spawn their eggs on water, protected by a jelly like film and grow on nutrients provided by the internal yoke. The egg soon begins to create a cell, which later splits into two cells that form the embryo, or better referred as a tadpole.

Inside the cell, the organs and gills begin to form. The embryo will grow for 20 to 25 days at which time they hatch, and attach themselves onto the backs of the mother Strawberry Dart Frog. She later carries them into water where they may feed on algae or unfertilized eggs. The tadpole stage is brief in comparison to other amphibians and can last between three days to a little more than 8 weeks before growing into an adult frog.

The tadpole begins to develop hind legs first followed by the forelegs. At nine weeks, their tails become smaller and their lungs begin to develop as they grow. New skin begins to form over the old, allowing the frog to shed their skin and lips. The mouth widens and their lungs are now fully developed. By the end of the sixteenth week, the frog is fully developed and ready to survive on land and water.
To find out more about the life cycle of frogs, or purchase “GROW A FROG KIT” go to, or….S. Powell, 2010.


1.) http:
2.) http://allabout
5.) Poison Dart frogs, Jennifer Owings Dewey, boyd Mills Press, Honesdale, Pennsylvania, 1998.
6.) The Search for Poison-Dart Frogs, Ron Fridell, Franklin,Watts, Adivision of Scholastic, Inc., 2001.
7.) Poison Dart Frogs, Up close; Carmen Bredeson, Enslow Publishing, Inc., Berkeley Heights, NJ 2009.