Fracking has Economic Benefits

Fracking brings many opportunities for economic advancement. According to, the fracking industry supported 2.1 million jobs in 2012. This job number is forecasted to be 3.9 million by 2025. Energy coming from this industry has had a great impact on American lives, and will continue to have an impact on American lives in the future. Back in 2012, fracking produced almost $284 billion to the GDP and was an abundant and affordable source of energy for the United States. According to this flyer from the same website mentioned above (, the industry has the potential to advance even more, and that advancment would create a $16 billion investment in the new manufacturing capacity, 400,000 new jobs, and an economic output of $132 billion for the United States alone.



With the allowance of fracking, the cost of production will go decrease, and this will give the American companies a “leg-up” in the world economic field. This will help America create new jobs, as well as export more materials, thus bringing in more money for the American economy.

As the fracking industry advances, natural gas prices will drop. This gas is used to repressure wells, vented and flared gas, and remove non-hydrocarbon gases. Additionally, the people who support fracking are seeing large economic gains. American household families would be able to save up to $200 per year. Other companies, including the power companies, would have economic gains of about $74 billion per year.

Fracking would benefit all 50 states. Although the colder states would be expected to benefit greatly from fracking, the South Central states would gain money in terms of consumer benefits, as would the North Central states. Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, and Texas would benefit both from the fracking that occurs, and the natural gas use that would in turn decrease the cost of other forms of energy.  Fracking has an incidental impact on electricity generation. The Americans have increased their electricity use over time. With the advancement of  the fracking industry, Americans would not have to worry about their increase in energy use. Currently, the use of natural gas emits harmful CO2 into the air, which is tearing a hole in the ozone layer. This hole is causing global warming to occur on Earth. However, with the use of the fracking process, there will be less harmful CO2 emissions into the atmosphere, and therefore global warming will start to slow. Additionally, the drop in the use of natural gas supply would drop the electricity prices in the United States. If fracking is allowed to occur in all of the states, the land prices of the areas affected by the drilling will increase, and the wealth of the homeowners in that area would increase as well. Therefore, fracking will help to advance the economy of the area that it provides energy to.

According to a report created by a group of Yale economic graduate students, “consumer benefits from the technology of shale gas drilling and new gas production can be expected to exceed $100 billion per year [annually], as long as the present production rates are maintained.” This supports the facts written above. For those consumers who worry about the environmental risks of fracking, even if the potable wells around the area were somehow contaminated with the hydraulic fracking liquid, the cost to replace that well would be about $ 5,000. However, with about 100 events like this happening around the nation, the cost to replace all of these wells would be about $250,000. But when a cost analysis is done, the cost to replace these well is much less than the economic benefits of the fracking process. The study used this data to conclude that the benefits of the fracking industry outweigh the risks of the fracking industry by 400 to 1.

Another example of the economic benefit of natural gas is its comparison to the cost of a barrell of oil. “It takes 6 mcf of gas to get the energy equivalent of one barrel of oil. If the average price of $100 per barrel was taken, and the average price of $5 per mcf, are taken, it would cost about $30 of natural gas to replace a $100 barrel of oil. Therefore, using the natural gas that you can get from the fracking process would cost much less than the barrell of oil that is now used for energy. The fracking industry has many economic benefits for society, and for these reasons, as well as the steps they take to keep the environment clean, fracking should be allowed to be used and not contested.


Welcome to Arabian Nights and A Whole New World!

As mentioned in a previous blog, Americans fell in love with Princess Jasmine in the Disney animated classic, Aladdin. A princess that was slightly similar to Princess Jasmine actually existed in the history of India, and she became a legacy throughout many events in her life. Her name was Princess Shahzadi Jahanara Begum Sahib, and she was the daughter of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan.


Princess Begum was the eldest daughter of Shah Jahan, the emperor who built the Taj Mahal as a tomb and a memoriam to his wife Empress Mumtaz Mahal. After her mother’s death when Jahanara was only 17 years old, she was tasked with taking her mother’s place, until her brother reached an age where he could become the King of the Mughal Empire. Additionally, she took over the job of helping her father overcome depression, which set in after the death of his favorite wife, Empress Mumtaz Mahal. Jahanara Begum was put in charge of arranging her brother’s wedding when he came of age.

Her father adored her and showed her the greatest respect. When her mother’s fortune of 10,000,000 rupees (read rue-pees; this would equal about $160320.70 today), Jahanara was awarded half of the amount, and the rest was split among her younger brothers and sisters. Jahanara had 14 brothers and sisters. Jahanara had a voice in many of his decisions, and was trusted with many duties at a very young age. The emperor repeatedly asked her for advice on ruling the nation, as well as trusted her with the Imperial Seal of the Mughal Empire. Her father also gave her many titles, and her own palace to live in, located near Agra Fort. Her adolescent life was spent with many glories showered upon her by her father.


Jahanara suffered a near death incident after her 30th birthday. Her clothes which were soaked in fragrant smelling oils caught fire, and almost burned her up. Upon hearing this, her father rushed to his daughter’s bedside and helped her recuperate.  After the accident, she decided to go on a pilgrimage to the Moinuddin Chishti, (read Mo-u-din chi-stee) shrine in Ajmer (read Ah-j-mear). This shrine was for the patron saint of Sufism, a religion that occurs only on the Indian subcontinent. After she was well again, her dad gave her a reward of rare gems and jewelry, along with the profits brought in from the port of Surat (read Sue-rah-th; a city in the state  of Gujrat [read goo-jh-rah-th]).

Once her younger brother, Aurangzeb (read A-roong-zeb) came to power (as women could not ascend the throne as a ruler during that time), he imprisoned both Jahanara, and his father at Agra Fort, which still stands today, because of some familial troubles. Due to her unending devotion for her father, and his old age during his imprisonment, Jahanara became his caretaker until the day he died. However, soon after he died, Jahanara and her younger brother reconciled and she was treated as the First Lady of the empire.  As time went on, she started to advice her younger brother on political matters as well, such as his strict rules that the empire’s citizens should abide by his conservative religious beliefs and the restoration of the poll text on non-Muslims. She was able to remove this, by showing him that this would alienate his Hindu followers.

At the end of her life, she lived in her father’s palace, and created many famous structures such as Chandhi Chowk (read Chah-ahd-nee Cha-awk). She also painted, and wrote poetry. Jahanara died on September 6th, 1681 at the age of 67 years old. She was a famous women who had liberties that were not offered to women at that time.

Food for Thought!

Just as America has different staple dishes depending on where you are, India has the same idea. Indian food is a combination of many different ingredients as well as spices. (Fun Fact: 70% of the spices in the world come from India.) India has about 37 different cuisines. However, I will only discuss the regional food that I know best, Bengali (read Ben-gah-li) food. The staples of Bengali food are rice, whole wheat flour (also called atta [read ah-tah]), and lentils.

Bengali food has an emphasis on fish, vegetables, lentils, and sweets. One of the dishes that is associated with the Bengali culture is fish. Most Bengali families eat fish for almost every meal, and on every holiday. I know that in my family, the members who cook are able to many different species of fish in many different forms of sauce. There are numerous fish markets along the streets of Kolkata (where Bengalis are originally from) and most families go there at least once every few days to get fish. One way fish is cooked is that it is deep fried in mustard oil and then sauted in a sauce.

Lentils are a prime ingredient in many vegetarian dishes. Each type of lentil is used to make a specific dish.  Yellow pigeon peas are used to make Toor Dal (read Too-or Dah-l) which is a plain yellow lentil soup with a few seasonings and veggies mixed in.  Chana dal (read Chah- nah dah-l) is made with unshelled black chickpeas and results in a darker colored lentil “soup”. Mung dal (read moo-ng dah-l) is made from split mung beans, and rajma (read rah-j-mah) dal is made from red kidney beans. There are more types of lentils and dals, but in order to keep this blog short I will not list them all.

Most vegetarian dishes in Bengali food are cooked in mustard oil with poppy seeds and turmeric powder, and other spices are added in as needed. A lot of vegetarian dishes in the cuisine are made from tubers, gourds, and roots. Each vegetarian dish is a bright color and has a customizable spice level. Bengalis make main entrees with eggplant, cauliflower,  potatoes, okra, paneer (an Indian form of cheese), and other vegetables. Each vegetable can be prepared with various ingredients. A great Bengali dish to eat when you are sick is aloo shedho baath (read ah-lou shed-dho bah-a-th) which is Indian style mashed potatoes and rice. You just boil the potatoes, and then mash them and add a little salt. You then add as much mustard oil as you can handle, and mix it in. As optional garishes on the side, you can dice up some οnion and cilantro to mix into the potatoes. Then you can just mix everything together (including the rice) and enjoy!

The one thing Bengalis are the most famous for are their sweets or mishtis (read mish-tees). They are a central part of everydaylife for Bengalis and most families have some form of a sweet dish once a day. Bengalis make many different kinds of sweets, such as shondesh (read Shone-day-sh, a sweet made with milk and sugar tossed together over low heat), rasgulla (read rahs-gol-lah, dumplings made with Indian cottage class and semolina dough cooked in a light sugary syrup), and ladoos (read lah-doos, ball shapped sweets that are made with a base of a flour base mixed in with sugar and other ingredients, then cooked in clarified butter and molded into balls). The ladoos can be made with any ingredients that you want, which is why I was not specific in their description. Bengali food is a very unique cuisine, and I encouge you to try some food when you have the chance!

Issue Brief Rough Draft

Political Perspective of Global Warming

The United States of America is governed with a democratic system. However, the members that the American public have voted into office disagree on various issues that occur in the world, from the economy to the environment. Over the years, it appears that certain politicians have differing opinions on global warming than scientists who research global warming and its effects on the Earth in the near and distant future. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, “the scientific evidence of global warming is unequivocal.”1 Global warming is defined as the current and continuous increase in the mean world temperature near the surface of the Earth.2  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) determined that the cause of the warming is the increased concentrations of greenhouse gases that are in the atmosphere.2 This increase in the global average temperature is worrisome, as atmospheric conditions around the world have begun and are going to change as a result.

The American public has heard the information and the scientific evidence on climate change and many believe that climate change is an actual disastrous event that will negatively  affect the Earth. A study done by researchers at Yale and George Mason University have determined that two in three registered voters think that global warming is happening.3 However, some American politicians do not perceive the idea global warming as a threat, but rather believe that global warming is a hoax that science is trying to make real with misconstrued data. A study done by a research at Yale University wrote, “ Successive U.S. presidents and congressional leaders have been at odds with much of the world’s community regarding the reality, seriousness, and the need for vigorous action on climate change [and on global warming].” 4 Due to this disregard for the issue, the politicians do not prioritize creating and passing any legislation that would promptly result in attempting to slow and even stop the onset of global warming. Examples of politicians who do not believe that global warming is occurring, include current presidential candidates: Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Mike Pence, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum.5 Probably, the most apparent disdain for the science of global warming comes from Senator Jim Inhofe, who infamously brought in a snowball to the Senate floor to indicate that global warming cannot be happening as there is snow on the ground in Washington DC, and it is extremely cold outside at this time.6 As these politicians have exemplified, the perspective of conservative politicians is inaccurate, and therefore needs to be reevaluated based on the scientific evidence.

This issue needs to be addressed as these politicians may be end up leading the nation, or just create legislation that will affect the future of the nation. If the issue of global warming is not addressed, the Earth’s climate will drastically change due to the significant increase in temperature which is mostly human created, and the level is increasing at rates that have not been seen in the past 1,300 years.7 Figure 1, shown below, shows the rates of the increase of CO2 levels for the past 400,000 years.

Figure 1: A graph of Atmospheric Samples of CO2 levels from ice cores, which indicate that atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have risen to extremely high levels recently.7




If this warming trend continues, the impacts that would occur would affect millions of people around the world. Sea levels and the global temperature would rise, the oceans would warm, the ice sheets would shrink and the Arctic sea ice would decline.7 Additionally, glaciers would retreat, numerous natural disasters would occur throughout the world, the ocean would acidify, and snow cover would decrease.7 . As the oceans get warmer, they are able to absorb less CO2 and therefore the carbon cycle is interrupted.8 With the melting of the ice from Antarctica and Greenland, enough water would be in the oceans to flood the coastal cities.8 Bangladesh will be submerged, and more than 100 million people will have to relocate as their countries get flooded.8  Figure 2, shown below, displays the trend in the mean average temp over three time spans: 10 years, 20 years, and 50 years.

Capture Temp Increase

Figure 2: The Linear Trend of the Mean Annual Temperature of the Earth During Different Time Spans


Many people are impacted by this cause, and look towards the politicians to be knowledgeable and aid in passing legislation that would reduce greenhouse emissions, thereby stopping global warming. The statewide significance of global warming is that the dynamic climate changes as the effect of global warming increases and it would cause much more natural disasters and bizarre events in areas that would normally not experience this type of weather. Some politicians have attempted to produce legislation in order to stop global warming, as well as to reduce greenhouse emissions. However, this has only be done by mostly Democrats, and Liberal Republicans, while the Conservative Republicans have continuously denied that any action has to taken to counteract global warming because it is a “junk science.”

Scientists gather their data and information and tell politicians about the information they have found. However, if no actions are done, due to the personal beliefs of the politicians,  the model and the scientists are blamed for misinforming the politicians and the media.9 This is the basis of why most conservative Republicans do not agree to legislation that would reduce the effects of global warming. Additionally, climate change legislation is usually delayed as the politicians need more proof that global warming is or is not occurring in the world today.9  Politicians who oppose this idea of global warming have generated ideas that would support their misinterpreted view of the issue. A few examples of the arguments against the threat of global warming, made by politicians who perceive the science of global warming to be a “junk science” follow.5 Jeb Bush states “I think the science has been politicized. … The last six years we’ve actually had mean temperatures that are cooler.”5 The past six years have been warmer than expected.5 Ted Cruz’s thoughts on global warming are “ You know, back in the ‘70s, … we were told there was global cooling, and everyone was told global cooling was a really big problem. And then that faded. [“Climate change, as they have defined it, can never be disproved, because whether it gets hotter or whether it gets colder, whatever happens, they’ll say, well it’s changing, so it proves our theory.”]5

However, the majority of the politicians do understand that global warming is a threat, and therefore laws were created to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions and to stop the threat of global warming. There are many arguments in support of potential resolutions. From the 1979 World Climate Conference, “Carbon dioxide plays a fundamental role in determining the temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere, and it appears plausible that an increased amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere can contribute to a gradual warming.”10   Al Gore in his acceptance speech for his Nobel Peace Prize noted that “The penalties for ignoring this challenge are immense and growing, and at some near point would be unsustainable and unrecoverable.”10  Science itself has given the world evidence that global warming is occurring, and if it continues unheeded, the world will change for millions of people as well as animals. This is why, the United States, and other nations around the world, had developed the Kyoto Protocol, in which the industrialized nations of the world had to work together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in 1997.10 The United States withdrew their participation in the Kyoto Protocol, under the presidency of George W. Bush, because “more of the burden for reducing emissions [is] on industrialized nations, rather than the developing ones.” 10 Other legislation that has been passed on climate change, by the politicians who believe that climate change is a threat, are the American Power Act of 2010, the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, the Low Carbon Economy Act of 2007 (Parts 1 and 2), and the Clean Air Planning Act of 2005.11 The results of these laws are cleaner air and newer forms of energy for the public to utilize, and the creation of the Energy Technology Deployment Fund for low to nonexistent levels of carbon energy technologies.11

The constraints that would limit the range of alternatives to this issue are the conservative Republicans’ perception of climate change, the economic costs of creating new departments or technologies to help reduce carbon emissions, and the limits to the adaptation of climate change regulations, such as the desire for people to stay where they are, and the balance of the ecosystems of the Earth.12 The risks and ramifications of not having all the politicians agree that climate change is an issue, and therefore having arguments against the legislation that is on the table occur in the courtroom. The sooner actions are taken to stop climate change and all the politicians agree with the idea that climate change is a threat, the sooner more legislation can be passed in which greenhouse gas emissions and climate change can be addressed and slowed, or even stopped completely. Many organizations, such as NASA, NOAA, and the EPA are able to inform people about the threat of global warming, as well as the National Climate Assessment and Development Advisory Committee can also inform the senators and representatives about the climate change that is occurring.13




Figure 3: The Percentage of Difference Between Democrat and Republican Responses on Issues facing the world.14

A recommendation that would be able to change the politicians’ perspectives on global climate change would be having voters support candidates who recognize the threat of global warming, and are willing to endorse and encourage other lawmakers to accept the reality of climate change. The likelihood of someone getting into the Senate, the House, or the White House, if they support the idea that global warming is a threat and realize that actions need to be taken to counteract it, are higher than the likelihood of someone who does not believe in this, and will not take action for it, Additionally, another way for these politicians to see the effects that global warming has on the Earth is to have them act as scientists for a day in the labs where the effects of global warming are studied, and to show them the data as well as models of what would happen if global warming was able to continue in the world. These recommendations would address the issue as the candidates who desire to be President should be able to address issues that would affect the Earth currently, as well as in the future. Current presidential candidates already discuss fiscal issues, and international relations, so addressing one more global issue such as the warming of the earth should not be that much more. Also,

having politicians become environmental scientists by taking them to the labs and having them run the experiments to get data and examine the models, would be beneficial for the global warming deniers to see what is happening and what the data indicates will happen if nothing is done to stop it. One opposing argument is that politicians are not scientists. However, if they are able to experience and see for themselves the effects of global warmings, which are presented in a way that would be able to understand, this valid statement should not be an obstacle in the politician’s understanding of climate change.

Supporting climate change would affect the financial support of many candidates due to the fact that many of the financial supporters of the current presidential candidates do not support the idea of climate change and therefore, may withdraw their financial backing of the candidates. Having politicians act as environmental scientists may utilize money that the labs, as well as the government has, to allow them to interact with the labs where global warming is occurring, and to present the information to them in a manner in which they would be able to understand the information coherently. These actions will additionally revert the politics that surround the issue of global warming back to a time when both parties were able to work together on stopping this issue. This time was 2005 to 2009, where both Democrats and Republicans were able to work together and create legislation that decreases the carbon footprint of America, as well as reduces greenhouse gas emissions. The only political implications that could occur are that every lawmaker is able to understand what global warming will do to the planet in the future, realize that the science is not politicized or misconstrued in any way, and create more legislation that will be passed in order to stop the onset of global warming.

In order to have the politicians on the same page of the topic of global warming, a committee should be established that would help the politicians become environmental scientists and see how the global warming affects the earth and the people. This committee would also create models that would show the effects of the legislation for global warming actually affect the planet and the people as well. A committee similar to this exists already, although it publishes the report on climate change, and does not aid other politicians in helping to understand the science behind the results. This would resolve the issue, as the idea of global warming would be framed in the minds of the politicians and therefore it would be easier to have both parties and all the politicians agree on the same point: that global warming is an imminent threat and that it needs to be addressed immediately, rather than in the future, when its effect may become irreversible. The benefits of having this occur would include: a shorter amount of time to pass climate control legislation, the improvement of the nation-state’s economies due to the new legislation, a clear notion of what global warming really is, and how it affects the population and the Earth.

The risks for this issue are that mainly fiscal, as most of the money that is distributed throughout the government comes from conservative families and supporters who want to use their wealth to create their idea of a perfect world. If all of the politicians start to agree that climate change is a threat and it needs to be addressed, most of that money would be withdrawn from the government, and therefore, the government will not have enough resources to run all of its programs. The opposing arguments are that global warming is occurring because of natural cycles, and is not caused by manmade activities, and there is no consensus among the scientists that have been studying this.

The solution is that a committee of scientists that assists the lawmakers in becoming environmental scientists for a while, which would enable the lawmakers to see how the world changes with the onset of global warming. The political parties would implement this committee of scientists after objectively viewing their work and studies in the lab. These scientists would then take members of both the Senate and the House of Representatives and have them participate and run a model which shows the effects of global warming, as well as the effects of the legislation that would start to reduce the effects of global warming. This way the politicians can see for themselves how the climate would change as the different legislations were passed concerning global warming and greenhouse gas emissions. The time frame for implementing this solution should take about a half a year to do. Within two months, the new committee should be established, with all of the correct paperwork that is processed, and then within the next month, scientists should be picked for positions on the committee. These scientists will start to work in the committee and collaborate on their research, before they are able to discuss their ideas with the lawmakers, within the next few months. After that, lawmakers would be able to become environmental scientists, look at the different models of the earth under the different conditions and work with the scientists to produce legislation that would reduce the effects of global warming and its impact on the future of the planet. The successful implementation of this committee would yield a result of all lawmakers agreeing that global warming is imminent and that action needs to be taken to reduce human activities that accelerate global warming. The recommendation will be documented in a committee report that would discuss which lawmakers were involved, how they interacted with the program, their thoughts on global warming after seeing the effects, and how the program led to new legislation.

The new committee would need to be approved by both the House of Representatives and the Senate through a majority vote. This solution would need to be presented to a group of state lawmakers, and then to the United States Senate and House of Representatives. One would need to create meetings and schedule times with their lawmakers in order to implement this plan.


  1. “Global Climate Change: Evidence.” Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet. NASA, n.d. Web. 24 Mar. 2015. <>.
  2. “Basics.” EPA. Environmental Protection Agency, n.d. Web. 24 Mar. 2015. <>.
  3. Leiserowitz, Anthony, Edward Maibach, Connie Roser-Renouf, Geoff Feinburg, and Seth Rosenthal. Politics & Global Warming, Spring 2014. Yale School of Forestry. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Mar. 2015. <>.
  4. Leiserowitz, Anthony. Climate Change Risk Perception & Policy Preferences: The Role of Affect, Imagery, & Values. Yale School of Forestry. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Mar. 2015. <>.
  5. Adler, Ben. “Meet the Climate Deniers Who Want to Be President.” Grist. N.p., 20 Aug. 2014. Web. 25 Mar. 2015. <>.
  6. Bump, Phillip. “Jim Inhofe’s Snowball Has Disproven Climate Change Once and for All.” Washington Post. The Washington Post, n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2015. <>.
  7. “Global Climate Change: Evidence.” Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Mar. 2015. <>.
  8. Bice, David. “Recent Future Warming.” GEOSCI 001 Lecture. United States, University Park. 10 Dec. 2014. Lecture.
  9. Weingart, Peter, Anita Engels, and Petra Pansegrau. Risks of Communication: Discourses on Climate Change in Science, Politics, & the Mass Media. Public Understanding of Science. N.p., July 2000. Web. 25 Mar. 2015. <>.
  10. Childress, Sarah. “1979.” PBS. PBS, 23 Oct. 2012. Web. 25 Mar. 2015. <>.
  11. “Legislative Analysis.” EPA. Environmental Protection Agency, n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2015. <>.
  12. Luers, Amy L., and Susanne C. Moser. “Preparing For the Impacts of Climate Change in California: Opportunities & Constraints for Adaptation.” (n.d.): n. pag. Web. 25 Mar. 2015. <>.
  13. “” U.S. Global Change Research Program, n.d. Web. 26 Mar. 2015. <>.
  14. Sheppard, Kate. “Climate Change Is The Single Most Divisive Political Issue, Says Poll.” The Huffington Post., 21 May 2014. Web. 26 Mar. 2015. <>.

Earthquakes and Fracking

Another concern about fracking is the recent swarm of earthquakes that have occurred in Oklahoma that occurred after a hydraulic fracking plant was built there. According to the Time Magazine article on the earthquakes,

“Between 1990 and 2008 there were between 0 and 11 earthquakes of a magnitude 2.0 or greater in Oklahoma every year. In 2009 there were 49. In 2010 there were 180. In 2013 there were 291 and so far in 2014 there have been 59-plus and counting. More than a dozen notable earthquakes have shaken north-central Oklahoma in the past three days. “

For those of you that do not recall how earthquake magnitudes work, the magnitude is a measure of how much energy an earthquake releases when it occurs. The magnitude is measured in a logarithmic scale and with each increase in magnitude, the energy increases by a magnitude of 10. Swarms of earthquakes with this number are usually rare for areas like Oklahoma as well. This earthquake swarm is thought to be the result of the fracking nearby, and people who are against fracking claim that fracking is the sole cause of this rare occurrence in Oklahoma.

While the process of fracking does cause earthquakes, the seismic events that occur naturally with the process of fracking have negative magnitudes on the Richter scale. These earthquakes release such a small amount of energy, humans would not be able to feel it. The USGS rates an earthquake with a magnitude 3 as one that would cause vibrations similar to the those caused by a truck driving by the area.

A common thought as to why these earthquakes are happening is that they are caused by the waste water wells. The waste water contains a high salt content, the additive chemicals, and radioactive materials. Waste water injections have not been associated with large earthquakes, those that have a magnitude of 6 and up, according to the USGS. The major earthquakes that have been caused by improper disposal of the waste water. This improper handling of the waste water can lead to spills and to other natural disasters. If the waste water was deposited into a location near an active fault, enough of the water could lubricate the fault to an extent that it could cause the fault to slip and cause an earthquake to happen.  One of the ways to safely discard the waste water is to put it into deep injection wells, which are also called brine wells. These wells were considered to be a class II underground injection wells.  According to State Impact Pennsylvania, these brine wells can be used to store any liquid related to oil and gas drilling.

Companies that dispose of their waste water in this way have to follow the regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency, through the Underground Injection Control Program, which is otherwise known as the UIC. Currently in Pennsylvania, the EPA states that there are seven active deep injection wells for this purpose. The wells are the alternative to how the waste water is disposed of. At the moment, the waste water is trucked to Ohio, where they are disposed of in the disposal wells there. However, this is very expensive and could cause a major spill if the truck overturns. Another way to dispose of the water is to send it to a private treatment facility. Here, the plant cleans the majority of the water solution, but a solid “cake” (the leftover minerals in the waste water) remains after the solution is processed. According to State Impact Pennsylvania, this cake still has to be disposed of safely. This cake needs to be injected back into the ground or taken to a landfill. These ways are the safest and most effective way to dispose of the waste water from the fracking process. This also stops the earthquakes from occurring in the ground, as long as the solid cake is placed in the well properly. Additionally, there is no fracking allowed with these disposal wells. The waste water is sent very far down into the ground, to a rock that can keep the waste water contained. This rock is usually a sandstone or a limestone, that stops the flow of the waste water. Finally, the disposal wells are sealed off, to avoid any spillage if the rocks allow some of the water to flow back upward, due to an external force.

Indian and Pakistani Relations

America has poor relations with Fiji, Yemen, and has fair relations with Pakistan. Sometimes something may occur that would make the relation a negative one, and sometimes the relation is a positive one.  India has fair relations with Pakistan also, although there has been continuous fighting between the two countries since 1947. There are many reasons why the fighting still occurs today.

One of the present day Indian territories, Kashmir, (read Kash-mihr), is being contested over at the border. Over the years, Indian militant organizations, and Pakistani militant organizations have been shooting at each other over the border in order to try and gain control of this territory. However, India has managed to keep  control of this territory constantly. Leaders of both the nations have met to discuss this conflict; however the talks did not go well. The leaders stalled talks after a terrorist attacks in Mumbai (read Moum-bhi) during November 2008, according to the British Parliament report that is linked below.

The terrorist attacks took place over three days: the 26th – 29th. The first attack, on November 26, was done at a railway station where two terrorists fire into the crowd randomly, and 58 people are killed. About two hours later, the same attacks head toward the hospital and fire into a group of policemen, and killing six of them. These terrorists then drive to their next location, a theater, but they find that a police barricade and a crowd of people are gathered there. They fire into the crowd killing around 10 people. Other terrorists from the group blow up a gas station, and then shoot people who looked out the window to see what the commotion was while others are taken hostage. Another location that was attacked by members of the same terrorist group was the Leopold Café, where the terrorists enter the place and fire into the crowd. However, the worst attack were done in the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotel and the Oberoi – Trident Hotel. Other terrorists from the same group enter the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower hotel and shoot the guests randomly near the pool, and inside the hotel. The remaining members of the terrorist group go to the Oberoi Hotel and fire into the crowd before they move through the hotel. With these attack, intense explosions were also set off in the hotels to maximize their damage. Needless to say,  the talks between the two countries stalled after these events.

In addition to these occurrences, there is some distrust between the people of India and the people of Pakistan. Usually, conservative Indian parents will not let their offspring interact with, or have a relationship with Pakistan people, and the reverse is also true. However, there are many Pakistanis who live happily in India in mixed communities, and do not feel ostracized by their communities. On one of my trips to India, I remember waking up in my family’s house to the call of the mosque that was a block away. Many people both in India and in the US are trying to make the relationship between India and Pakistan a positive one. One example of this is apparent right here on the Penn State Campus. The Penn State Pakistan association and the Indian Culture and Language Club are coming together for an event entitled: Indo-Pak: Reviving the Bond.

This event celebrates the positive aspects of the India Pakistan bond, and will have many things to enjoy such as Indian and Pakistani dance performances, a regional fashion show, a dance party and of course, great Indian and Pakistani food. If you want to learn more about the positive aspects of the bond, and celebrate with us, you should come to Alumni Hall in the Hub on Sunday at 6 pm to find out more. Tickets only cost $5 for PSU students, and are available at the HUB tables from March 30rd, to April 3rd. Come check it out!



Yoga Has its Roots in Ancient India

In America, yoga has become a popular way to exercise with yoga studios and classes located in most cities. In fact, in State College, there are four yoga studios located near Penn State University, according to Google. The practice of yoga is often associated with spirituality and eastern religions such as Hinduism. However, what many people do not know is how yoga was developed through time.

Scholars have found clay seals that depict figures in poses similar to poses done in today’s yoga classes. These clay seals are thought to be from the year 2500 BCE. About 800 years later, the earliest form of writing about yoga and meditation occurs in the Vedas (read Veh-dah-s). Around 1000 BCE, the Upanishads (read Oo-pahn-i-shah-ds) are written which contain the first detailed account of mediation. By 400 BCE, the Bhagavad Gita (read Bah-gah-vahd Ghee-tah; the Hindu Holy Book) was written, and a significant section of it describes yoga and three styles of yoga: Karma (read Karm-mah) yoga, Jnana (read Gyah- an) yoga, and Bhakti (read Bahk-ti) yoga. Starting from 400 CE, many publications were written concerning yoga, its poses, and the 8 limbs of yoga (yama [read yah-ma], niyama [ne-yah-mah], asana [ah-san-ah], pranayam [prah-nah-yam], pratyahar [prah-ti-yah-hara], dharan [dah-run], dhyana [dah-nee-yah], and samadhi [sah-mah-dhi]). By 1700 CE, about 47 new poses were added to the original set of poses.

By 1896 CE, Swami Vivekananda wrote a text which shaped the way that modern yoga is today. Around 1924, the different branches of yoga were starting to establish themselves around India. These schools of yoga were established by students who were taught by Tirumalai Krishnamacharya (read Ti-ru-mah-lai Krish-nah-ma-cha-re-yah), the father of yoga. Those students were Indra Devi, B. K. S. Iyengar, and Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn each established a distinctive style of yoga practice. These students of Krishnamacharya also published books that helped to popularize yoga in the West. By 2008, studies showed that more than 5.7 billion dollars were used on yoga classes and items every year in America.

Americans have been passionate about yoga since the 1960s, and are still passionate about it today. Currently there are 14 schools of yoga, and each school has lots of followers. These schools are Anusara, Ashtanga, Bikram, Hatha, Iyenga, Jivamukti, Kripalu, Kundalini, Power, Prenatal, Restorative, Sivananda, Viniyoga, and Yin yoga, according to The yoga schools with the English names are yoga styles that have been adapted from the traditional yoga styles in India.

Anusara yoga is the best way to enhance your mood during yoga, Ashtanga yoga is the best method for weight loss, and Bikram yoga is the best for building stamina. Hatha yoga is the best for calming down, Iyengar yoga is the best  method for learning the fundamentals of yoga, and Jivamukti yoga is the best for experiencing an authentic yoga class. Kripalu yoga is used to self empower people, Kundalini yoga is used to skyrocket energy levels, while Power yoga is the best for sparking metabolism. Prenatal yoga is a great way to exercise for pregnant mothers, Restorative yoga is the best way to do yoga while injured and trying to recuperate, and Sivananda yoga is a way to boost your spirituality. Finally, Viniyoga is the best way to get an individual practice, while Yin yoga helps to prepare the body for meditation practice.

I got the information for the history of yoga from a paper timeline given to us in a yoga class that is offered here at PSU, Kines 77 which is also known as Yoga 1.

Deliberation Reflections

Due to the fact that I could not attend my own deliberation, I attended two other deliberations. The first deliberation I went to was called “Under Pressure: An Open Discussion on Mental Health.” This was run by one of Professor Babcock’s sections.

I liked the way that they had their debate organized and how they approached the topic. As I walked in, they were in business casual clothing, and kept the discussion moving, so they were able to complete the deliberation in the allotted time. Their major concern for this deliberation was how the Universities should approach the mental health needs of their students. When we started, and introduced ourselves and our personal stakes in the issue, the group was able to introduce their approaches when their turn came. Their approaches were Intervention, which valued safety; a Right to Privacy, which valued the student’s privacy and the University ethics; and Resources and Funding, which valued progress towards this issue.

I personally agreed with the first approach: Intervention. I learned in the debate that many people with mental health issues do not really want to open up to others about their issues. However, some actions that they listed for this option, which were giving students a trained counselor that can help them through their issues, informing RAs about their student’s mental health, and creating an online program similar to the other programs that we experienced through the first few weeks of school, SAFE and AWARE. I liked this approach as it seems to be the best option at least for this school. Although it infringes on the privacy of the student, I feel that having students go through an online module that is similar to SAFE and AWARE, as it would help the students learn about the signs of people with mental health issues, and how to help. As discussed in the deliberation, it may decrease the social stigma that surrounds the idea of having mental health issues. I found it interesting that some of the people who were leading the deliberation had some personal experience with mental health, and that they were willing to share their experiences with others. Other ideas that were brought up with this discussion were the Penn State service, called CAPS; intervention strategies, such as an anonymous service, or a hotline; and what would be considered an intervention.

Their second approach discussed the student’s right to privacy. It brought up some great points about how this is a very intimate topic and a student may not feel comfortable with opening up to a complete stranger about it. I know that I definitely would not want to. With this option, an action that was presented was letting the students be treated equally, without labeling them as a person with mental health issues. While I agree that this would help all students feel free and equal in the campus, I feel that this could lead to cases where a student may just snap and go become dangerous. I agree that we should not judge people immediately, but we should help the people that need it, even if they do not want it.

Their third approach delved into ideas about more research and funding to help support the services that help people with mental health issues. The point that help for mental illnesses is very expensive was brought up, and this led to a discussion about how many people can just stop going to these meetings, to save themselves, and their families the burden of paying these bills. We discussed budget cuts too. In many public universities, there are budget cuts occurring everywhere, especially for mental health centers. Even in PSU, the University Health Services building is so pretty, but it is understaffed. When I went there, due to a stomach bug, I had to wait a long time to be seen. I can not even imagine how people with mental health issue feel when they are waiting for help. One of the solutions that was discussed was a mini-thon that would benefit the mental health services in Universities.

At the end of the discussion, they hung up the notes taken, and reviewed each set of discussion questions, as well as the approaches. While we did not actually choose an option, we discussed the pros and cons of each approach, and how they would both help and hurt the students. I actually really enjoyed the deliberation, and was very interested in the topic.

International Authors

During our snow day, I was hanging with my friends in the Globe lounge, talking about what to blog. I told them I was going to write about Indian Authors and one of my friends asked: Do they have books in India? I looked at him with an astonished face and said: “Of course! What do you think?”

Of course, India has books and authors, and many of them are very famous, albeit not usually in America. One of the most famous ones is Rudyard Kipling. Although he was English, he was born in India, and thought to be the “Great Chronicler of the British Empire” according to Wikipedia. His works have become famous in countries all over the world, such as India, England, and the United States. An example of his most famous work is The Jungle Book, which Disney later adapted into a children’s film. Most of you have probably read “Rikki Tikki Tavi” in your prior education as well. It was authored by him, and became famous around the world. Kipling went on to earn the Nobel Prize for his work in literature in 1907.

Another famous Indian writer was Rabindranath Tagore. He wrote in various styles and has many types of publications, such as short stories, poems, songs, and novels. As you can tell, he was a prolific writer. Tagore is renowned in India as a literary genius, and his birthday is celebrated every year. He also won a Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913 for his achievements with his works. Tagore also penned the national anthem of India: “Jana Gana Mana” (read Jah-nah Gah-nah Mah-nah). His works concerning religion made him the “voice of India’s Spiritual heritage” according to

A more recent Indian author is Jhumpa Lahiri, who wrote the “Interpreter of Maladies,” one of the required reading books for the Schreyer Honor Students for 2014. Those of you who read it, know how she was able to tie together aspects of Indian culture to American life. I personally love her books as she writes relatable stories for me to read. Another famous work written by her is The Notebook. This tells the story of an immigrant Indian family moving to America and how they adjust to the differences in culture, language, and so on around them.

Another famous Indian author is Mahatma Gandhi (read: Mah-ha-th-ma Gahn-dhi). He lead the independence movement of India and helped to free India from the British Empire. He published many books such as An Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments With Truth, Indian Home Rule, and The Essence of Hinduism. These books were written throughout his life and discuss lessons learned in life, as well as his thoughts on the British rule, and India’s fight for independence.

Another famous Indian author is Ruskin Bond. Although he sounds British, he is actually of Indian descent. He is known as a children’s author, and has written many stories both funny stories, and paranormal stories. I remember reading the Best of Ruskin Bond collection, and laughing at some of his stories while being horrified at others. If you like paranormal stories, then I recommend reading “A Face in the Dark,” a short story. Check out the link below if you want to read it.

An Ancient Civilization

One major difference between India and America is the length of their history. When we think about American history, we only think about events that occurred after the British settlers moved here. We do not think about the Native American traditions and the histories of their civilizations. However, when thinking about the history of India, we have to begin very far in the past, with the four great ancient civilations. The Indus Valley civilization began to thrive around 2500 BCE in Pakistan and Western India (remember that Pakistan was a part of India until the Partition of India occurred, which you can read about in a post from last semester). When two old cities from this time were unearthed in the 1920s by the Indian Archealogical Department, the civilization that was discovered was found to be ahead of its time.

The towns were built in an orderly manner and were well planned out. The Harappans (named for the first town they unearthed, Harappa) were able to obtain water near their homes, instead of having to walk to the river to get it.  They even had a public bath house for the citizens to clean themselves in, which shows they knew the benefits to good hygiene. Harappan cities also had commercial buildings, such as dockyards, granaries, and warehouses, in which they were able to trade with other cities around them.

Aside from being an advanced community, the Indus Valley Civilization also contributed to present day science and math ideas. The Harappans are credited with creating and fine tuning a set of standard weights and measurements, some which were measured in decimals, and the use of geometry in making these weights. According to Wikipedia, the weights they made were in various forms: hexagonal, barrel, cylindrical, and conical. The citizens in Mohenjo-Daro also invented a ruler, that had a unit which measured about 1.32 inches, and which was cut into 10 equal parts for measuring even smaller objects (taken pfrom Wikipedia).

This civilization produced many other artifacts as well, such as sculptures, pottery, and jewelry. Many of these artifacts have been found, while archeologists were excavating the two cities. Transportation in this civilization was thought to be bullock carts, much like mordern Indians use today to sell their wares in town. Based on archeological findings, they even traded overseas as well, and their form of transportation for marine travel was thought to be a plank like boat which contained a single mast.

One of the biggest advancements that this city had was the creation of a writing system. During the archeological excavation, scientists found many seals and signs with symbols on them. It is thought that their language has at least 400 distinct symbols, some of which are used for thier sound, while others are pictorial representations of what is happening. Currently, scholars are unable to decipher, thier written word due to many factors: a lack of a translational text (similar to the Rosetta stone), and the prescence of very short texts, of which scholars can not make out anything.

This civilization had a lot to offer to the world, but it died out around 1800 BCE. No one knows why it did, but there are many theories made. For example, some scholars believe it was because due to natural disasters that occured in the area, or it was due to changes in the course of the river.