Build a Wind Farm the size of India in the Atlantic and there’ll be enough energy for the world

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This is the startling proposal of two scientists from the Carnegie Institution for Science at Stanford University, California.  The two doctors Anna Possner and Ken Caldeira conclude: “On an annual mean basis, the wind power available in the North Atlantic could be sufficient to power the world.” They pointed out that wind speeds are on average 70 per cent higher over the Earth’s oceans than over the land. There is a lot more Maths involved than this though, as every time you add a turbine to a wind farm then it puts a cap on the amount of energy from available moving air that can be converted to electricity. The North Atlantic doesn’t show the same effects from this as a lot of energy comes from up high as much as across the ocean.

“We found that giant ocean-based wind farms are able to tap into the energy of the winds throughout much of the atmosphere whereas wind farms onshore remain constrained by the near-surface wind resources,” said Dr Possner.

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Watch some TV to help you understand about a GCSE Component 2 topic

It’s no secret that watching TV or films can be a more entertaining way to learn and revise than reading textbooks or going on to school websites. So here is a good tip for our GCSE Religious Studies students: Cold Feet, currently available on the ITV Hub, has an Episode showing the arguments for Pro-Life and Pro-Choice, and how a young teenage couple choose to have an abortion. It is Episode 3, and you’ve got 15 days left to watch it!

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This TV series is described as being a comedy drama which follows the lives and loves of a group of individuals. It is Series 7 of the drama and has been hugely successful over the last twenty years. In Episode 3 it shows how an unplanned pregnancy sparks a feud which puts a strain on old friendships. The show has been highly praised for how it covers this sensitive storyline: the Huffingtonpost describes how fans have lauded its sensitivity; and the Radio Times said the episode showed the series at its “unflinching best”.

Thank you to Heather in Year 11 for recommending this TV show!

This NHS page tells you all the medical facts about abortion in the UK, whereas the BBC has a great page which explains all the ethical arguments surrounding abortion.

There are 12 different videos about the history of abortion, pro-choice Vs pro-life, and religious arguments on the TrueTube channel.

Finally, if you still want to fin out more, this interesting Independent article shows how around the world women’s rights to abortion vary tremendously.

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Revision Resources for Legacy AQA

At our school the topics we chose to study for the legacy AQA RS course are:

LIFE

  1. Animal Rights
  2. Environment
  3. Prejudice
  4. Early life (abortion and children)

MORALITY

  1. Medical Ethics (fertility, cloning, transplants)
  2. Elderly and Death (euthanasia)
  3. Drug Abuse
  4. Crime and Punishment

Remember we chose these to be our topics because they come in from 1st to 4th on the exam paper. There were fears that if we’d studied topics 5 or 6 then you might not have known which questions to answer in the exam.

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You can use some other school’s excellent revision resources but just take care to stick to the topics you’ll be expected to answer on the exam…

 

REquest

A very strong, user friendly website to help support your legacy GCSE RS studies for this summer is REquest. Useful pages are on Morality and Ethics; Ultimate QuestionsSocial Issues; The Natural World; and Life and Death.

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For students completing the new AQA GCSE (9-1) the whole of the website is useful with its information on how the Bible is used, Festivals, issues Christians face, Jesus, life as a Christian, and places.

Lifestyle Rationing or Health Optimisation?

Quite often in Religious Studies lessons our discussion lead us to the NHS – the National Health Service in Britain which provides free medical treatment to people resident in the country. If we are discussing the causes of crime; illegal drugs; alcohol and cigarette addiction; multi-faith society; and immigration we often at some point mention the NHS and its benefits and flaws.

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So what do we think about some NHS trusts having a criteria which puts smokers and obese people at the back of the queue for certain treatments like hip and knee operations? The critics call it ‘lifestyle rationing’ whereas the NHS Trust says they advise patients to improve their lifestyle over 6 months as health optimisation. Now other NHS Trusts might take up this policy and so people are debating whether it is morally fair: the Evening Standard, The Sun, The Independent,  and BBC all reported this story.

What might a religious person think about this debate? With regards Christianity we could refer to: sanctity of life, the Parable of the Good Samaritan, the Parable of the Sheep and Goat, Do Not Kill, the Golden Rule, Love Thy Neighbour, live like Jesus, and situation ethics. Whereas for Buddhism we could refer to the 5 Precepts focusing in on Do not Harm and Do not Take Drugs, Karma, Tanha (craving), Karuna (compassion) and Upaya Kausalya (skilful means).

 

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There are so many different ways of protesting or trying to bring about change.

To protest (verb) – express an objection to what someone has said or done

If you decide to go out and protest then you can consider: signage, shouting, sit-ins, petitions, silence, marches, boycotts, putting your body in the way, mock awards, vigils, silliness, singing, praying or flash mobs. There are hundreds of other ideas on non-violent protest and sometimes you can do something specific to the cause you are protesting about.

This is what has recently happened in the Netherlands, where men are showing their support for gay men being able to hold hands and openly express their relationships. Over the weekend in the Dutch city of Arnhem there was a vicious assault of two gay men.  Ronnie Sewratan-Vernes suffered four missing teeth and a severed lip, whereas Jasper Vernes-Sewratan was left with injured ribs. Jasper said they usually hide their relationship, but had decided to hold hands as they walked home after a night out. Dutch politicians as well as celebrities are joining with other Dutch men to show their solidarity to the gay men who were attacked – by holding hands.

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The politician Alexander Pechtold attended a meeting at The Hague with Wooter Koulmees a financial specialist.

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Canada on track to decriminalise cannabis to protect children

Canada will be the first G7 country to completely legalise marijuana use if the plans which are starting to go through parliament are successful.

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The prime minister Justin Trudeau made the promise to legalise it stating that by legalising it the drug could be better regulated, kept away from children and profits would be kept out of criminal hands. At the earliest the new laws will be passed by probably 2019. Until then, Trudeau has stressed that in the absence of legislation, recreational marijuana remains illegal across Canada. “Until we have a framework to control and regulate marijuana, the current laws apply,” he told reporters.

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Here in England cannabis is a Class B drug.  Other Class B drugs are: Amphetamines, barbiturates, codeine, ketamine, methylphenidate (Ritalin), synthetic cannabinoids and synthetic cathinones (eg mephedrone, methoxetamine). Being caught in possession of a Class B drug can bring up to 5 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both. Whereas being caught dealing or producing can mean up to 14 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both.