Monday, January 12, 2009

Mad Cow Disease

Have you ever found yourself at home watching television and the latest Wendy’s commercial comes on advertising their newest burger? Suddenly you find yourself thinking, “It sure would be nice to have that nice juicy burger.” Sure you have, and that is the entire point of the commercial. However, do you ever stop to think what the consequences could be in eating that burger? No one ever stops to think that they could possibly contract Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, the human form of the bovine ailment known as “mad cow” disease. This disease is not a great concern at this point in the United States, but it is sweeping across Europe at an alarming rate. Even though “madcow” disease was not considered a very threatening disease in the past, studies show that if not curbed, this disease has the capability to turn into an epidemic.

“Mad cow” disease, known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, (BSE) is thought to be transmitted when cattle eat meat-based animal feed. This feed, meat and bone meal ground from the carcasses and entrails of cattle or sheep and then fed to the other cattle, is considered the most likely channel by which the disease spreads among herds. Scientists believe that it spreads to humans by the consumption of contaminated beef. It appears to be carried by a rogue protein called a “prion” not by a microbe, and therefore cannot be blocked by cooking beef thoroughly.

Many steps are being taken in Europe as an attempt to launch a Europe-wide strategy to stop mad-cow disease from spreading to humans. Many people have died from the human form of the disease in Britain and France, and many more have been infected. “Mad-cow disease is now moving from one member state to another,” EU Health Commissioner David Byrne said. “We should adopt an overall approach to address the risks so consumers can see what is done to protect their health” (Constant Brand, Herald Leader 2000). Therefore, bans of French beef imports as well as East European nations have been put into affect since the discovery of infected cows in France, and because scientists stumbled upon infected cattle in Germany and Spain.

What measures is Europe taking to eradicate the mad-cow situation? “Agriculture ministers from the 15-nation bloc were expected to approve the temporary fodder ban Monday along with other recommendations. Last week, they agreed in principle to more testing of cattle of 30 months and older,” (Constant Brand, Herald Leader 2000). Under this proposal, half a million cattle could be tested during the first six months of 2001. Thus, the EU will then review whether continued testing is needed. The European Commission also suggests that the “specified risk material” meaning brains, nerve tissues, and other animal parts be expanded to include the intestines of cattle of all age groups. These parts are thought to be key in the spread of mad-cow disease (BSE), or the human form Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

It is very simple to see why this disease is a universal alarm. The United States does a great deal of international trading. Therefore, this evidence of mad-cow disease could easily make its way to the United States and onto every kitchen table in America. Not only are cattle getting sick, people are dying due to this potential plague. Restaurants like Wendy’s loose mass profits due to scares like this, which also makes the economy suffer. These are only a few reasons why the United Nations should take every precaution necessary to eradicate this disease. Based upon the findings on this subject, I’ll think long and hard about the consequences in eating that juicy hamburger the next time a Wendy’s commercial comes on to tempt me.

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Aerodynamics is the study of physics that examines the presence and effects of air or gases, especially when interacting with moving objects or living organisms. Aerodynamics are the forces that act on the surface of a body in motion moving through the air, or the pressure exerted by air flowing past a stationary object. Examples of airflow around bodies are: gas in engines and furnaces, air conditioning of buildings, vehicles, buildings and bridges, bird and insect flight, musical instruments, etc.

Air is viscous; viscosity is the ability of a flowing liquid or gas to resist the flow of objects going through it. In air, viscous forces are generally small in comparison with other inertia forces, which can cause instability and turbulence when objects move through them. This is why air close to the Earth’s surface is generally turbulent, as is the air near other bodies moving through air. The problem of turbulence has never been completely solved however, engineers can usually predict its affects and compensate for it.

The compressibility of air determines the speeds at which pressure changes are transmitted the flow field. The speed of sound is about 340 m/s at sea level, and 296 m/s in the stratosphere, the difference is due to air compressibility. If the speed of a body transcends the speed of sound, the pattern of airflow changes and pressure waves turn into shock waves. Mach speed is the number of the ratio between a body and the speed of sound. The design of efficient aircraft shapes for flight at speeds greater near or greater than Mach one is one of the most challenging problems in the field of aerodynamics.

Viscosity and compressibility are the most difficult factors to deal with in theoretical thermodynamics and the development of aerodynamics in this century has been possible only through using experimentation with theoretical aerodynamics. In order to test theories scientists use a wind tunnel, a tool used to study the effects of air, to test their theories.

Aerodynamics is applicable to more studies than those of aeronautics however; scientists use wind tunnels to study the affects of air pressure on new architectural designs, and to study the natural winds that flow over the Earth’s surface. Other places use aerodynamics to investigate things such as bird flight, pesticide and spray diffusion and distribution, and snow drifting. Other studies include aerodynamic forces on downhill skiers, cars, high-rise buildings, model ships and trains, a flexible stadium roof (sky dome), snowmobiles, motorcycles, parachutes, and so on.

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What a sad sight to see: a young boy in the house with nothing to do. After complaining of boredom, his mom urges him to do something out of the house for once. She raids his bedroom closet, unravels the pile of dirty clothes, and finds a glistening package with the words “Do Dad Sketch Pad” through the translucent plastic wrapping. It looked familiar to her, then she snapped her fingers and remembered exactly where it came from. It was the art set that she had bought for him for his tenth birthday. Now boredom could no longer be an excuse for the young boy. Proudly and swiftly, his mom drug him across the house by the ear and gave him a push out the front door while slapping the sketchpad and charcoal into his chest.

The boy is stunned. A few minutes pass as the boy adjusts to this somewhat foreign environment. He takes a few steps back toward the front door when he stopped to hear a chirping sound close by. Although never being interested in the simple sounds of the outdoors, he began to notice the lively atmosphere around him. He becomes intensely interested in the unseen source of the recurring noise. He creeps toward the dense forest where the sounds origins lie. As he inches toward the periphery of the woods, his neck bends further backward as he gazes up at the large sentinels that stood guard. He crosses the threshold of the initial gate-like line of trees and continues walking deeper into the forest. Every other step he would turn around to catch a glimpse of his house, which seemed to comfort him knowing home was near. The sounds are getting louder and he is getting more anxious with every step. The boy turned around once again to make sure his house was still in sight, but his heart began to pound when he could not see the through the dense brush and vegetation. However, he receives a burst of confidence and continues on deeper until he finds a comfortable rock to rest upon. It was a spot where the sunlight found a way onto the forest floor. A patch of flowers nestled together between the roots of the redwoods which tower above him. The boy notices the mathematical symmetry that lies within the flowers as he examines their evenly spaced petals. He picks and places a small, yellow flower onto the top of a blank sheet in his sketchpad and explores the joy that it brings. Using the charcoal, he slowly forms the contour of the delicate flower before his eyes. He forgets that he is alone in the dense forest, for he finds comfort in the natural benevolence that he is encompassed by. His newfound passion for drawing is suddenly interrupted by the same chirping sound that lured him to that very spot. He looks above in attempts to trace the hidden sound. He finds it in the midst of the treetops. He keen eyesight fixates on the birds actions, as it works diligently constructing a nest. The boy was amazed at the intricate design in which the bird wove, and begins to capture the actions on paper.

The boy had an idea, one that would bring his new friend closer to his house. He flipped to the next blank page in the sketchbook. He began making his own intricate design, one that combined the comforting look of his own house, yet maintaining the intricacy of the bird’s nest. He ran home to show his mom the product of his venture into the natural world in which she urged him to explore. His mother was absolutely amazed at his work.

Art combined with structural design is absolute beauty for me. I have always seen the mathematical much passion for the coming together of science and the art that is found in nature. For beautiful structures that are found in a natural setting Such as Skyscrapers that seem to shatter the laws of physics are so breathtaking to me, for they have this same combination of art and structure. Creations such as the World Trade Center and the Sears Tower which can be seen above all the surrounding structures makes them kings of our great cities, resembling the medley of art and the mastery of structural design. The glass windows that encompass the whole building almost resemble an ornament made out of blown glass. The shear size gives them a rare elegance and makes them profound pieces of art as well. Buildings like these are structural wonders that have changed the structural world forever.

Growing up with a deep love for art, I would perceive things differently than others. I saw trees as strong sentinels always on guard as landscapes would come alive. Things of nature awed me. I was always walking around as I sized-up everything in sight like an artistic critic at the Julliard School of Art. Nature is a mathematical wonderland filled with symmetry and perfect design. With evolution being its creator, the natural world has gradually changed and adapted to the tendencies of the environment. A spider web has the precision and strength, and is made of the most effective material to withstand the rigors of the environment. Not only does it have the physical perfection that evolution has sculpted throughout the existence of the spider, but it also contains the symmetrical beauty that attracts artists from around the world. Evolution has a strong mathematical tendency, and it brings joy to me to witness such beauty.

My experiences in art grew as an adolescent. I was always good at taking images and thoughts from my brain and accurately and precisely translating them into art. Art class in school has always been the highlight of my schooldays, for it is somewhere for my imagination to run wild and be creative. With every art teacher I had, they quickly realized my natural talent, but it wasn’t until high school that my talent was truly exercised. Sculpture class for three years in high school was beneficial to me in many ways. It was a relaxation course that took my mind off of my other more strenuous classes. My creativity inclination expanded and it has helped me to develop into an exceptional student artist while I became very good with my hands. My teacher trained me how to “think” artistically and how to attract the eye with various methods. I worked with all types of materials and studied many different artists’ work. While in sculpture class, I had created many structurally and artistically magnificent pieces.

I have a natural feel for physics, and was born with the ability to sense a structure’s aptitude and strength. My mastery of every sport I have played and my good hands is an example of this. My liking and skill in physics turned into a training process in high school as well as art when I took the course in my junior year. The following year as a senior I took the advanced placement physics course to further my knowledge of the field. I learned how motion is calculated and about all the physical forces that I somehow always knew about since I was young. For a class project I constructed a bridge made out of balsa wood and model glue that held the maximum resistance that could be tested. A week later, a laboratory physicist found it to hold a maximum weight of four hundred pounds. Now, I consider myself a highly knowledgeable physicist for my age group.
My math skills were exceptional from the very beginning of my educational tract and have gone as far as conquering the complex concepts of calculus. This skill is incorporated into and greatly coincides with my other skills previously mentioned. I think logically as if I am constantly solving a math problem in my mind, and I have a very orderly manner of thinking. This also affects my organization, for I am extremely meticulous and orderly in my doings. I see that mathematics is not only greatly demonstrated in nature, but it is a significant part of my life as well.
With college approaching, I have been researching possible future career paths. I have been told that one’s love in his job is the most important aspect of all, and one should choose a job that corresponds to his skills and talents. There are certain jobs that fit my skills and interests. However, the job that best fits my talents is architecture. After extensive research on this career path, I have learned many aspects about the subject.

“Architecture is one of the most influential professions in today’s society. As an architect, you would have the responsibility to shape the environments in which people spend their daily lives.” Architecture reflects the society that builds it, but it also affects the way that society develops. There is a need for people with the imagination to create buildings and cities our society needs to keep pace with its evolution. Therefore, there is a high demand for architects as society grows.
Simply enough, architects have to make drawings. They create all aspects of the built environment. An architect must build structures that can withstand the forces of nature and that must be sturdy to ensure safety. An architect must be exceptional at mathematics to undertake daily designing tasks. Most of all, natural talent in artistic creativity is a must in this job. One must obtain a degree in architecture to perform all of the necessary tasks required in the job. An architectural education equips people with the talents to enter a broad range of careers.

The educational process of architecture is a long and grieving one. In high school, a prospective student should take challenging courses such as physics and calculus to prepare for the engineering side of the college education. Architectural colleges generally have a separate atmosphere from the rest of the school. Before going to an architectural college, one must realize the intensity of the work, and one must be entirely dedicated to this field of study in order to be successful. “The lights never go out in a school of architecture.” Most often, a student of a school of architecture will go on a five-year tract in college. The first two years will be spent completing general education requirements, which is basically the same as many other students in different majors. Although there are some art and 3-dimensional designing courses that are taken in these first couple of years with a great emphasis on free-hand drawing skills; the student will not begin the study of actual structures until his or her junior year. These studies progress for the remaining years at the architectural school, but in the fourth year one will generally begin working on projects using CAD technology. Technical writing is also taken in these years that is the style of language that is commonly used in the work force. Universal code training is another subject of learning for the students, which may vary from state to state. After one graduates from an architectural college, there is still more training necessary to ensure quality and success.

There is a minimum requirement of three years professional practice in an architect’s office or equivalent. The student will be an apprentice to his or her mentor in this stage, and will learn all the tasks done by a working architect through one-on-one training and cooperative projects. Once this stage is completed, the student can then take the state architectural exam to be able to work independently on his or her own. Therefore, an architect must become NAAV accredited. The test is eight hours in length, and tests everything that one should know to practice in that state. This test is a giant step for the student, who may walk out of the testing center an official architect.
After years of experience on the job, an architect can be eligible to practice in more than one state. To practice from state to state, an architect must take an exam with the NCARB. One has to keep in mind the different environmental and building codes that vary from state to state. Certain states have more requirements than others, mainly due to differences in environments, landscapes, and natural disaster compensation. The education and testing fully prepares the student in becoming a successful architect.

For most architects, the job is not solely confined to designing and making drawings. For many, the job is multi-faceted and cooperative. Besides drawing, architects perform many tasks throughout the workweek such as searching for projects, interviewing for jobs, surveying land, having meetings to discuss ideas, and writing technical reports. Detail is everything in an architect’s job, and relaying the ideas to coworkers and clients is even more important. People skills are a must for this job, for it is most often a collaborative effort on projects. A managerial architect is always making the balance between the number of workers on one project, and the speed at which the project must be completed. Quality is often sacrificed with the higher worker loads on one project; however, time is always spared. The job atmosphere is very professional, and the dress is still formal abroad.

The designing of structures has changed drastically in the last decade due to advancement in technology. For thousands of years, designers and architects used only free-hand drawing skills on parchment or paper before the actual construction took place. In 1989, CAD (Computer Aided Drawing) was created in conjunction with the newfound computer age. In the first years of its development, the software was not beneficial over most architects’ free-hand drawing skills, for the technology was too slow and too unnatural for its users. However, in recent years, the software has become good enough and the computer processors have become fast enough to allow this CAD technology to actually outdo regular drawing methods. Now the designing process is faster, more precise, color coded, more professional, and simply easier than the old way. There is no telling how far the technology will improve, and how much time and energy will be saved in the process.

There are many different branches of architecture. Conservation is the restoration of old, out-of-date, and usually historical buildings. There is domestic architecture, which is mainly the designing of new homes and apartment complexes. The most price worthy projects are within the major cities in the skyscrapers. Transportation architects design roads and highway systems. Naval architecture is the designing of naval ships. Landscape architecture is the reshaping of land for a desired effect such as a golf course. The list goes on and on.

Many jobs fit the major natural talents and learned skills that I have. Engineering is a field that works with logical reasoning, mathematics and physics. Efficiency is the utmost goal for an engineer. Architects must know certain fields of engineering and physics to design strong buildings and structures. An interior designer uses his or her artistic talents to make a living space or workplace comfortable and appropriate for the environment that it resides in. They use color schemes, light variations, and creative artistic ability to accomplish this job; however, there is no serious physical structural designing skills required. Construction workers and builders work with their hands constantly to build structures that are designed by an architect, but there is little creativity involved in a construction worker’s job. An architect obtains all the skills necessary in designing structures that I have.

Although architecture seems very challenging and time consuming, the rewards are unmistakable. A good architect can combine structural and physical knowledge with artistic creativity to create structures for society. An architect is talented and skilled in various areas. This would be a great responsibility for society, and an honor to do. Although I have very little experience in the technological area, I based my choice more on my mathematical interests. There will always be a need for architects as long as society continues to burgeon. This everlasting demand for architects is a promising feature in the work force today, especially since the signs of a slowing economy and increasing unemployment rates. Therefore, I will be pursuing a degree in architecture in college. My profound interests in mathematics, art, building, physics, designing, creativity, and a fulfilling sense of purpose are all fruits of architecture, which are carried out on the natural landscape that I love so much. In college, I will learn the knowledge and skills to be an architect, a job I was seemingly destined to do. Only then can I take all the skills and knowledge and passion for the field of architecture that I have to give back to the community which has so richly taken care of me.

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