Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cell Phones...Friends or Foes?

Cell phones have become an unsuspecting weapons almost more than they have become useful tools.According to a group called Lawcore, on an average, there are more that 6 million car accidents on the roads of the U.S., annually. The rate of accidents caused by texting and driving are rapidly shooting toward the sky, and teenagers are not they only ones at fault. People of all ages have been swept up in the hazardous phenomenon of texting and driving.

Here are a few stories about texting related accidents which involve a range of ages which have been recorded by the website momlogic:

Bailey Goodman, 17, was killed along with four of her fellow cheerleaders when she swerved into oncoming traffic, hit a tractor-trailer and her SUV burst into flames. Five days later, the five teenagers would have graduated from high school. Two minutes before the crash it was reported, her phone was used to send a text greeting to a friend.

Ashley D. Miller, 18, veered into oncoming traffic and hit another car head on while she was texting. She and the other driver, a 40-year-old mother of one, were killed instantly.

17-year-old Vana Francis and 15-year-old Ronnie Scoggins drowned when a car carrying seven teenagers drove off the road and into a river. The 20-year-old driver admitted she was texting on her cell phone when the car plunged into the water, and was later arrested.

18-year-old Makayla Lynn Belew was killed when a text-messaging driver hit her as she walked along the side of the road and then the driver drove away from the scene. A year later, Larry Chad Smithey, 28, was arrested for the crime.

Something needs to be done about this terrible situation the world has fallen in. Some may argue that most states have made laws that ban texting for all drivers, or for drivers under the age of 18, but does this law really keep anyone from texting and driving? How could it? It is like the law that does not allow people under the age of 18 to buy cigarettes, kids under that age still find a way to by pass this law.

Many teens, and adults alike, have developed the ability to text with out looking. They may argue that this puts them at a better chance at not having a wreck, but they are sadly mistaken. Most people do not realize how little they are able to focus on the world around them when they are texting.

As recorded by a writer at, MRI brain scans taken while the patient partook in a driving simulation, shows that when a driver concentrates on driving the spatial awareness region of the brain sparks to life(click here to learn more about the spatial awareness regions of the brain). The same patient was then taken and put in a driving situation, and engaged in a cell phone conversation. The difference between the two simulations was that in the cell phone engaged simulation the part of the brain that controls, speech, language, and language understanding becomes alert and the spatial region of the brain is reduced in function by 37%. One may think, "Oh that's not too big of a difference. Driving is still possible." True as it may be that driving is possible, it is not true that driving in such a spatial reduction is safe. Texting while driving increases a persons chances of a crash by 23%, according to the author of this article, at

We as a country need to slam a fist down and put a halt to this growing epidemic.According to an article in the Maryland Gazette, we have the technology to stop unnecessary cell phone use while driving. This wonderful technology is called cellcontrol and it was crated by a man that was almost hit by a person who was texting and driving. This amazing device regulates what calls can get through a phone, and what calls can be made. Text messages are also monitored and all operations that need to be ended, or changed can simply be done online at home. As of October 28, 2009 there are 20 people using cellcontrol, and a total of 75 devices in use. If these numbers do not increase then the roads will continue to be more and more dangerous as more and more people text and drive.

This blog post was was inspired by this article by Megham Daum with the Los Angeles Times.

Friday, October 9, 2009


Novel: Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelsen

His Sentence

How much of the world did people miss because they were not calm enough, empty enough, to experience it?

Commentary: Cole has had a revelation and is asking some rhetorical questions, and out of all the rhetorical questions he asks himself, I like this one. I like this sentence for the simple fact that people do miss a lot of the world because they are to busy and stressed. Humans are too rushed and crammed for time to realize the beauty around them. I feel that the author used these rhetorical questions to get the reader to realize that there is a lot in the world and sometimes it is best to sit back relax, accept, become empty (not in a depressed way in an enlightened spiritual way), and experience the world around them in a new sweeter, magnificent view.

My Sentence

How much of what he said to me was a lie because he was not strong enough, brave enough, to tell the truth?


Novel: Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelsen

His Sentence

It was as if the sky was holding it's breath.

Commentary: At this moment in the text, the poor boy has been hurt dearly and just awoke to dead quiet and stillness. This use of personification to describe the stillness and the loss of sound makes me oooo and aaaaa. I try to imagine the sky holding it's breath, and the sentence it's self just sounds beautiful to me, even though the situation in the book is a very eerie one, far from beautiful. It is as if the whole world is watching this boy endure all the trials and the sky is worried about what will happen next, just like a lot of people with they watch horror movies and all goes quiet in the movie. The holding of breath brings anxiety.

My Sentence

It was as if the ocean was dancing with me.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Novel: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Her sentence

Prim comes home from school bubbling over with excitement.

Commentary: This is a very straight forward sentence with a cute little metaphor weaved within (bubbling over with excitement.) When I think of something bubbling over I think of a big batch of blowing bubbles dripping over the rim of the container. When I think of Katniss's little sister Prim running into the house bubbling over with excitement I can see he bouncing around like bubbles. In the times that this family are dealing with it warms the heart to know that they can still be happy over the simple things such as wedding pictures. So this is kind of a way of lightening the mood for a soon to be terrible scene.

My Sentence

I ran to the house from town dripping with enthusiasm.

Sentence 9

Novel: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Her Sentence

So if I don't show up, worry they will.

Commentary: This sentence struck me are unique. I thought of Yoda when I read it. If I am not mistaken Collins has used a from of hyperbaton known as inversion in this balanced sentence. Inversion is when the verb is placed in front of the subject to bring about a different effect for the sentence. The effect that I feel that Collins is trying to bring about is Katniss is deeply concerned about her family worrying about her, with all that is going on they may panic and end up getting in trouble.

My Sentence

I have to clean my room or sink it will.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Sentence 8

Novel: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Her Sentence


Commentary: This is a fragment,obliviously, but a lot is felt in this one noun sentence with no verb. Prim is Katniss's sister and with the Capital hot on Katniss's, thinking that she purposefully defied them, Katniss's main concern is her sister and her sister's well being. Suzanne Collins purposely made this fragment to show that Prim was Katniss's only thought, her biggest worry. The use of this fragment pulls the readers emotions. It personally made me think of the one person that I cared the most about in the whole world, and what I would do to save them in a time like Katniss was going through.

My Sentence


Saturday, October 3, 2009

Sentence 7

Novel: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Her Sentence
Tossing her head, she lets out a long, eerie howl that is picked up by other mutts nearby.

Commentary: Katniss is dreaming about a Career from the last Hungry Games, the one that she was in, named Glamour. I do not want to ruin the first book for anyone so I will say no more on the topic =). Having read the first book I can see Glamour howling and preparing to tear Katniss to shreds, and I must say the images shakes me. In sharing this dream the reader is able to relive parts of the past novel, and see how badly the games have scared Katniss. This visual in this sentence derives from the participial phrase at the beginning of the sentence. We can all visualize any creature tossing their heads back toward the sky, and most people have heard a howl, either real or fake, and know the feeling that it sends down the spine.

My sentence

Throwing her bag on the couch, Joshlyn relaxes with a deep, refreshing nap that is interrupted by her young brother.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Sentence 6

Novel: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Pg. 3

His Sentence: I can still see Hassan up on the tree, sunlight flickering through the leaves on his almost perfect round face, like a Chinese doll chiseled from hardwood: his flat, broad nose slanting, narrow eyes like bamboo leaves, eyes that looked, depending on the light, gold, green, even sapphire.

I was really able to feed off of the simile that he used in this sentenced. I could see a perfect little Chinese Doll, the only flaw being the cracked lip up to the nose (his clef lip). I am also able to really see the bamboo leaves for eyes that are different colors at different times. I could see the leaves changing colors like all leaves do during the summer. This may be a bit out there but the what I am getting from this is that the light to Hassan's eyes is like seasons to the colors of leaves. Such a beautiful description and such a beautiful thought.

My Sentence: Joshlyn could still see her lover in her mind, strenght radiating around the air in his proximit, like a radioactive star fallen to the earth: his thick, muscled body arching, full lips like juciy fruits, lips that curled, depending on the situation, up, down, crooked, and even and even forward.