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New immunization requirements for the 2016-2017 school year/SB 277:áAll incoming Kindergarten and 7thágrade students must have current immunizations on record to begin school on August 10, 2016.áCalifornia law SB 277 no longer allows personal or religious beliefs exemptions. Clickáhere for more information.
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Jennifer Krogman

Jennifer Krogman's Multimedia Blog

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Blog EntryBlog: Monday, August 24, 2009

What makes a country developed?

The Human Development Index is a statistical measure that shows a country's level of human development. While there is a strong relationship between having a high HDI score and a prosperous economy, the UN points out that the HDI accounts for more than income or productivity. Unlike GDP per capita or per capita income, the HDI takes into account how income is turned "into education and health opportunities and therefore into higher levels of human development."  Some countries that are considered "developed" are the United States, Canada, Australia, and the countries in western Europe. 

Countries that are newly industrialized but haven't yet reached a high stage of economic and human development are known as developing countries.  Some examples of developing countries are South Africa and China. 

Finally, least developed countries  which according to the United Nations exhibit the lowest indicators of human and economic development with the lowest Human Development Index ratings of all the countires in the world.  A country is classified as a Least Developed Country if it meets three criteria based on low income,(three-year average GNI per capita of less than US $750, which must exceed $900 to leave the list) human resource weakness (based on indicators of nutrition, health, education and adult literacy) and economic vulnerability (based on instability of agricultural production, instability of exports of goods and services, economic importance of non-traditional activities, merchandise export concentration, and handicap of economic smallness, and the percentage of population displaced by natural disasters). 

Here is map from 2007 that shows the levels of development according the the UN Human Development Index. 


██ 0.950 and over

██ 0.900–0.949

██ 0.850–0.899

██ 0.800–0.849


██ 0.750–0.799

██ 0.700–0.749

██ 0.650–0.699

██ 0.600–0.649

██ 0.550–0.599

██ 0.500–0.549


██ 0.450–0.499

██ 0.400–0.449

██ 0.350–0.399

██ under 0.350

██ not available

Why are some countries more developed than others?

"In his Pulitzer Prize-winning book Guns, Germs and Steel, scientist Jared Diamond argues that the answer is geography. The physical locations where different cultures have taken root, he claims, have directly affected the ability of those societies to develop key institutions, like agriculture and animal domestication, or to acquire important traits, like immunity to disease," (Lovgren, 2005).  (To read more about Diamond's theory click here.)

Look at the map above.  Do you agree with Diamond that geography was and is the key to economic and social development?  What other reasons could account for the difference among development levels in countries around the world?

"Developed Country." Wikipedia. Wikipedia Foundation. 26 Nov. 2008 <>.

Lovgren, Stefan. ""Guns, Germs and Steel": Jared Diamond on Geography as Power." National Geographic News. 6 July 2005. National Geographic Society. 26 Nov. 2008 <>.

Blog EntryBlog: Thursday, August 13, 2009

Exercise Your Mind

The physical benefits of exercise have long been known.  Studies have repeatedly shown that exercise reduces the chance of premature death, builds healthy muscles and bones, reduces or maintains body weight and reduces the chance of developing or dying from many diseases including heart disease and cancer.


What is recently becoming clear is the connection between exercise and mental health.  Recent studies have shown that exercise reduces symptoms of anxiety, reduces depression, increases self esteem and improves quality of sleep.


In all cases, the results are greater with regular exercise.  In addition, when the exercise is aerobic and “vigorous” in nature, anxiety and depression more greatly reduced.


Have you ever had an experience where exercise helped your mental state of mind?  Explain.  Why do you think aerobic and high intensity exercise increases the effect?

Blog EntryBlog: Monday, June 1, 2009

The Universal Language of the Arts

The arts are an important part of everyone’s life.  The arts consist of a wide variety of creative endeavors including music, drawing, painting, music, writing, sculpture, theatre, and many others.  People use the arts for a wide variety of different purposes.  We use them to help relax, to help express our feelings about what is going on in the world and our personal lives.

Each culture has its own unique take on the arts.  When a person travels to different countries they notice that the artwork they see is not the same everywhere.  Even when a person travels within a particular country they may hear a wide variety of different types of music, see a wide variety of different types of dance, and hear different types of folktales.  All of these are expressions of art.  The diversity of both the form and genres of art give people a wide range of different things they can enjoy within the artistic world.


You have probably had the experience of listening to one type of music that you enjoy and having others say that they don’t like it.  They may have even gone so far as to say that they hate it.  You have probably seen people disagree over how good a particular painting, photograph, or sculpture is because they don’t see the same thing in the artwork.


Art does have a profound impact on a society and a country.  Usually art tells you something about the time period in which it was created.  The rock and roll songs of the 1950’s and 1960’s were expressions of some teenage rebellion but also were among the first widely accepted art works of African-American performers and writers. 


With the global culture that we have today art is often used to express an opinion about issues that impact everyone.  At the same time art can be spread around the world much quicker due to our technology.  As a result we have a greater appreciation for the diversity of art around the world.


What would life be like without the arts?  How do you use the arts to help make your life better and/or more enjoyable?  How do some of the arts around you today reflect the society in which you currently live?  Why do you think that two vastly different cultures often end up with artwork that expresses similar themes or emotions?

Blog EntryBlog: Monday, May 18, 2009

Seeing things our way

People all the view in different ways. Four different people may view the same event at the same time and come to four different conclusions as to what just happened and why it happened.  One reason for the different interpretations of an event is bias.  Bias is the condition where a person is predisposed to see something in a certain way.  It may be that the person likes a certain color, type of clothing, sport, or even type of car.  All of these could cause us to be biased in one way or another.


Many times when people have a bias they do not even realize that it exists.  It is often necessary to point out a bias to a person before they start to realize that they have that bias.  This is because when we are biased in some way we often will ignore evidence that goes against the bias.  For example a person who really likes basketball might ignore a report on the physical conditioning that is required for ballet dancing.  Then that same person might see a report later on  that says that basketball players run more than other sports athletes and they say “There, you see, that proves that basketball is the best sport.”


Some of the strongest evidence of bias takes place in our news.  The newspapers, television news stations, and radio news are supposed to just report the facts and not put in their opinion.  Yet when you see and hear news stories from multiple sources you often get different impressions of what is going on.  In order to detect bias it is important that individuals listen and read very carefully the way a story is being reported.  If bias is trying to be used the writer or reporter will often use complimentary words if they want to favor the story and demeaning words if they want to show a negative side to the story. 


Political campaigns and advertising are other places that you see bias.  Obviously a political candidate is going to use information and words which put him or her in the best possible light.  The same goes for a product.  You are only going to see the positive aspects of the product and not the negative aspects in an advertisement. When this is done in the extreme it is often called propaganda and propaganda has been used throughout history.


How do you see bias when you read your local newspaper?  Is it ever possible for a news source to be completely unbiased?  What are examples of bias that you see and hear when you watch television?  How can bias be used in a positive way as well as in a negative way?

Blog EntryBlog: Monday, May 4, 2009

Significantly Fast

Haile Gebrselassie or Ethiopia holds the world record for the fastest marathon at 2 hours, 4 minutes and 26 seconds.  A marathon is a long-distance running event which became one of the modern Olympic events in 1896.

Haile Gebrselassie


A modern marathon is a distance of exactly 42.195 kilometers or 26 miles, 385 yards.  In the US customary system this is rounded to 26.22 miles.  The difference between the metric measurement and the rounded customary measurement is just over 2 meters.


So how fast did Haile Gebrselassie run each mile?  If we convert his time into minutes we get 124.43 minutes (26 seconds/60 seconds = .43 minutes).  You then need to divide that number by 26.22 miles.  When I plug this equation in to my calculator, I find that Mr. Gebrselassie ran each mile in 4.745614 minutes!!  I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t even begin to run one mile in that time, much less 26 of them!


My question is this, how should the 4.745614 minutes be rounded?  How many digits are significant or make sense to include?  Explain.  There is a rule for “significant digits”’ what do you think it is?

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