Author Archives: Laura Bowman

Orange is the New Black

Orange is the New Black is one of the more edgy T.V. series that Netflix offers. There is sex, drugs,  deals, and drama. My teammates were watching it and really enjoyed it at first but then they had to stop because it was getting too weird for them. I saw a few scenes just from walking into their room while they were watching it. From what I observed it was definitely edgy and I had no interest in watching the show. My teammates told me that I should do my blog on the pilot episode. I was a little tentative because the little scenes I had experienced before were not too pleasant for me. They told me that the series starts off decently normal, or as normal as you get when a women is going to jail for transporting drugs for her former girlfriend. So again I am going out of my comfort zone and watching a T.V. series that isn’t my normal taste.

My teammates were wrong, I’m sorry to all of the Orange is the New Black fanatics but I couldn’t even finish the first episode, it was just too weird for me. This show is for people who like things raw, they don’t mind the gross, and sometimes perverted details. I think that a lot of people are attracted to this show because of how abnormal it is to our everyday lives. My teammates even admit wanting to turn it off because of how messed up some things got but couldn’t!

Although the plot was a little too weird for me, I actually did enjoy the characters, I think the actors do I good job at really portraying their roles well. There are some many different types of people that are introduced, I’m sure the show will turn into quite the entertaining story. You can always count one twists and turns to be put into a plot, but with the setting being in a jail and the characters being so far out there, I think the unexpected will blow audiences away.

There is only one season so far on Netflix, so you could cruise through the show pretty quickly. Netflix gives Orange is the New Black a 4.5/5 stars. Although this is not my type of show I do think that people can get addicted to the plot and characters. Both are so unique that its kind of hard not to watch. Its like when you see a couple kissing and you feel awkward watching but you just can’t stop. While I was watching I felt interested, but also pure embarrassment sometimes. This show can push you to your imagination’s limits. I couldn’t finish the first episode, but maybe I will take another crack at it later this semester and report back on how it goes. Who knows maybe I will get addicted, like millions already have!

Civic Issue – Three Gorges Dam

The Three Gorges Dam is located on the Yangtze River in East China. This is one of China’s most well-known dams and not for good reasons. The Three Gorges dam “is the world’s largest hydropower project…” ( Although it is a very successful hydropower project there has been many consequences to the environment around the river. It has negatively effected the land, economy, and people in the area.

The accumulation of factories and industries around the dam has made the Yangtze River a dump site. There has been a drastic increase in residue and pollutants in the river. These toxic wastes building up in the reservoir and spots downstream on the river are causing land slides making the area dangerous and the soil unusable for planting.

This leads me into the economy issues around the dam. The pollutants in the river are seeping into the soil surrounding the river which is drastically decreasing the amount of farming happening in the area. The fishing economy is almost nonexistent in the area because the fish in the rivers have either died off or are so mutated from the toxins that they are unsafe to eat.

The decline in the success of the farming and fishing economy has caused many families to leave the area. Without these two main economic industries many people had no way of making an income and were forced to find work else where. The Three Gorges Dam forced more than 1.2 million to relocate to different areas. The economic decline is not the only reason so many people moved. The harsh conditions and unpredictable water levels has made many areas near the dam unlivable. It has become a dangerous place to live with all of the toxins and different water levels. There are some towns that are flooded due to the dam where others are in a major drought. Neither of these conditions is good for living.

China’s government finally recognized this dam as a cause of “urgent problems” around the area. Although the industries that are based around the dam are thriving almost ever other industry in the area are suffering. Even though China’s government can see the problems they still plan to create more of these dams throughout the country. They believe that with the Three Gorges Dam as a model for them to prevent future problems that the industry will be able to prevent disasters. They plan on building these dams in some of the most biologically diverse and economically important rivers. For example, plans for building hydropower projects on the Lancang River and the Nu River have already been proposed.

Even though China’s government believes that they can prevent problems by looking at the The Gorges River Dam as an example of what not to do, I don’t think they will be able to prevent all of the disasters that will come from the building of these dams. I think that more planning and careful consideration needs to be put into place before the dams are built. After seeing the effects from the Three Gorges River Dam I would think that the majority of the people would be against creating more. With the building of more dams other industries in the same area of these dams are more likely to suffer and more people will be forced to move. The problems from the Three Gorges River Dam is not a unique case. Other hydropower projects create problems in their area similar to the ones caused by the Three Gorges River Dams. I don’t think China’s government will be able to create a dam that doesn’t cause disasters and destroy the peoples’ lives around it.

China and other countries should look at alternative options that may no be as harmful to the surroundings. Although other options may be more expensive, I feel as though saving other types of industries will balance out the cost of a more expensive energy source. Other sources of energy that can be taken into consideration is wind energy and/or solar energy. Focusing on these sources of energy will move the harsh industries away from the rivers and allow the farming, fishing, and other economic industries to rebuild and thrive again.

Pretty Little Liars

Pretty Little Liars is also a quick addiction like Revenge. There are only three seasons so far on Netflix which won’t take long to go through. Even from the trailers of this series I get an erie feeling. I am not one for horror or scary movies, so I was never really interested in watching Pretty Little Liars. But this blog is about trying new things and getting out of your comfort zone right? So I stressed through the pilot episode just for all of my loyal followers, I hope you truly appreciate my efforts for you.

This series is about the death of a young girl who seems to be haunting her friends and going under the alias “A”. They introduce the characters in the first episode by having them all come back from their summer adventures. You get a little detail about their past and how even though they seem pretty and perfect on the outside there is a lot more going on in their lives than they let people know. Once they all get back to their little town for school, you immediately get the feeling that something is up.

I think this series would fall under the category for a horror series. But then again I was scared out of my mind while watching Disturbia. My horror range is very mild and meek so although I tried to branch out and look for new categories of television I still don’t think this series is the one for me. If you are looking for a horror film that will keep you on your toes though, this is probably a good place for you to start. There are multiple deaths throughout the series, and people trying to deceive and kill others. Many scenes include creepy and life threatening situations. It seems that this huge mystery as to who “A” really is seems to be the main focus of the series. It would be interesting to find out how they keep this secret and scandal going for such a long time. I feel that through the series you have to be prepared to be confused and always second guessing your instincts and what will happen next. It doesn’t seem like the producers will give any important information to the audience without the characters knowing too. So basically once they know, you will know, but it will probably be too late at that point anyways.

Netflix gives Pretty Little Liars a 4.5/5 stars. I think that the acting will be good in this series and they managed to put so many characters in the show that there will always be a new story and new secrets to be exposed. This show will probably have major cliff hangers at the end of each episode so be prepared when you sit down to watch one episode you might end up watching multiple. Overall this series is definitely not for me just because of the creepy factor but if someone is looking for a thrill and mystery I think this show would be a pretty solid choice.


The next pilot episode I decided to watch is from the series Revenge. This was recommended to me by some of my teammates who watch it together in their free time. Revenge is currently in its third season, but its first two seasons are on Netflix. This series choice is good for someone who doesn’t want to make a commitment to a T.V. series with 9 seasons already.

The actors seem to be genuinely good and have plenty of talent. From the first episode I feel like as you watch the series there will be a lot of unanswered questions and confusion. If you don’t like suspense or mystery this is not the series for you. It also seems more like a drama again like Friday Night Lights, but with a lot more at stake.

This women is out to get revenge, hence the title, on the people that destroyed her father’s life and reputation. She doesn’t go into it blindly though she has planned to destroy these peoples’ lives for almost her entire adult life. She believed that her father was the one behind this unspeakable act for most of her childhood and teen years until a geeky, tech millionaire gives her a box full of her father’s belongings and stories to set things straight. From that moment on she made it her life mission to destroy the lives of the people who made her world crumble around her.

Again I think this is more for girls than guys in the dramatic aspect, but there does seem to be a little fighting in this series to mix things up. Netflix gives this series a 4.5/5 stars which I would have to agree on. The acting seems to be good and the plot will be interesting to follow. Although I don’t know how the producers will stretch out the plot to last many more seasons when there is only so much you can put into someone’s revenge agenda. I am interested to see how they carry out the plot and where the need to find revenge will lead this woman.

I am also curious to see what the main ideas they intend to have their audience take away from the series. Does revenge pay off if it is against bad people? Do you turn into a bad person when your only meaning in life is revenge? Will good overcome evil? Are people always as evil as they seem? There are so many messages that these producers can send to their audience, it will be interesting to see what they end up being.

I’m curious if anyone else has watched Revenge on Netflix? If so what did you think of it? Also if anyone has any ideas for my next T.V. series on Netflix to review please comment! I’m always looking for new shows to watch! I also want some variety, if anyone has any series geared more towards males, more action in them let me know!

Friday Night Lights

I am changing my passion blog topic from hockey to reviewing pilot episodes of T.V series on Netflix. As I have recently become a member of the Netflix community, as of Christmas, I figured this would be a good way for me to search for new shows to watch and also a good resource for people who are interested to see which shows are worth watching.

Friday Night Lights is the first pilot episode I will review. This show was recommended to me by my roommate, who is a more experienced Netflix member than I am.

Within the first five minutes of the pilot episode it is obvious that the show will be following many different characters, who have a lot of different background stories. You can see that there are a lot of issues going on with the players on the football team. One of them shows up drunk to the first practice. There seems to be a lot of tension between the players, which will probably make this a drama T.V. series.

As for footage they make the film seem like its being taken on a handheld videocamera. The screen wobbles a bit when the characters move, or when it is transitioning from one character to another. People with soft stomached might not be able to take the jostling around on the screen. The handheld method makes it seem more like a home video and might allow the audience to connect with the characters a little easier.

So far I really like the actors/actresses of the show. Most seem to be good at playing the roles they were given. I also like that the characters aren’t all necessarily attractive, this might be the doing of the produced but I think it allows for a bigger connection to the character for the audience.

There is the cliche cheerleader/football quarterback romance in the first episode but I hope to see that change throughout the series. It seems like a basic small town, with hidden problems that will come to the surface during the show.

Overall I think that this could be a good T.V. series to watch, I’m not sure how many seasons it will stay interesting, but I am confident that the first couple will keep an audiences attention. Not sure how much boys will like it, because of how drama filled it seems to be but I can see some girls becoming quickly attached to this series.

Netflix gives this show a 4/5 stars. I think that might be a little high from what I saw from the first episode, but I wouldn’t give it anything less than a 3/5 stars. This seems to be a pretty average drama T.V. series. This may be because of my lack of interest in football, but I am sure that many different people have been able to find a connection to this series, even if they have a lack of football passion.

Civic Issue – Environment

My civic issue blog posts will focus on environmental issues. This will be a place where environmental issues around the world will be discussed. My first topic will focus on river pollution throughout the world. What is considered the most polluted river in the world? Why is the river so polluted? How can we help make these rivers less polluted.

According to Ganga River in India is one of the most polluted rivers in the world. They people that live near this river use it as a waste dump, bathing water, baptism, burial ceremonies, fishing, laundry water, the children use it as a swimming area and the people sometimes even use it as drinking water. Drinking the river’s polluted water usually causes severe illness, which sometimes leads to death. Even using the river as a bathing spot causes rashes and sores on the skin. This water is obviously extremely toxic, so why do some many people gather around it?

In history people congregated around the river because it was a source of fresh water, before it became pollutes. Towns were built near it so as to have easy access to the water. This is why in the present so many people have houses and companies near the river. But why do the people stay in present day when the water is no longer helpful to their society. One main reason that I found is that they don’t really have a choice. The Ganga River is the only big body of water near them, even if it is polluted, it is better than having no water at all. Another reason I can think of is that most people living in the towns near the river don’t have enough money or the resources to uproot their family and relocate. A lot of the towns near the river are struggling because of the lack of water quality, their fishing income has gone down, because fish are dying of diseases causes by the pollution, like I mentioned before people are dying because of diseases causes by the water, and the crops that they try to grow near the river don’t grow because of lack of nutrients in the soil.

Even with all the negative effects of the polluted water the people living in the areas don’t seem to be doing anything about it. The problem actually seems to be getting worse. It is believed that the river will cease to exist in 10 years because all of the sediment and other waste in it will cause the water to evaporate. If something isn’t done soon the citizens near the river will have no choice but to try to find a new home. It obvious that something needs to change, but how will that change happen when the towns around the river are too poor to pay for the resources to help clean the river up?

I think one place to start would be trying to stop the problem from getting worse. The people need to put in an effort to be consciously aware of what they are putting into the river and how that will effect their future. If the people stop using the river as a dump site, for trash and dead bodies, hopefully the conditions will stop getting worse, maybe even improve.

People that do have money and resources to help clean up the river should try to lend a helping hand, maybe donate money to the cause. Even volunteers could donate some of their time to teach the citizens of the towns healthier ways of living and how to improve their life style. Although the towns are the main reason that the river is so polluted, people who are aware of this problem and know of a way to help should do so.

Our environment’s condition should be everyone’s concern even if it doesn’t effect you specifically. There are many things we can do to help improve environmental conditions. Even if these things are just little, like recycling when you can or using environmentally safer products/chemicals. Take a look at whats around you and appreciate it, make sure our conditions don’t become like the people’s in India whose water causes them diseases and death.

RCL- This I Believe Draft

(siren fades out)

A parents worst fear is getting a call in the middle of the night saying your child was in a car accident and was rushed to the emergency room. That call was sent out to my friend’s parents one night. His sister had been in a car accident and was in intensive care. One of the passengers has been killed on impact, while the driver and Kelly had been rushed to the emergency room. I knew Kelly Phillips, my friend’s sister, through hockey. We had played together. She was never the best player on the team nor the star, she was actually just a swing line player for the high school team. Regardless she always had others best interest at heart and looked to help anyone in need. The next 48 hours were hell for the Phillips family. They waited for the doctor to come out with the ok but it never came. Eventually Kelly went brain dead and they had to take her of life support. Our entire community went through extreme grief. For me, I didn’t know how to help my friend deal with his sister’s death, and the hockey team was also trying to recover from her loss. Not because of her hockey skills, but because of the energy and light Kelly brought to the team. No one knew how to handle the death of someone too young.

I saw some truly wonderful things come out of Kelly’s death though. I program was created by her father after her accident to raise money for underprivileged kids, so they can have a chance to play hockey. This program also asks for volunteers to help teach the kids how to play hockey. I have volunteered at the camps, and the change and happiness you see in the kids is unbelievable. Also, an award was created in her name that a player on the high school team who embodied her personality and love for the game receives at the end of the year. I was lucky enough to receive this award my senior year. I feel as though receiving this award has made me think of my actions more and try to reach the expectations of the amazing person Kelly Phillips was.

I believe in the power of death. Although Kelly’s death was a tragedy, the outcomes from her death have touched so many lives. Although she wasn’t the best player on the team, her jersey number was retired in respect for her and every player since has strived to be awarded the Kelly Phillips award because of the honor it brings to that player as a person.

RCL- This I believe

I was thinking about doing something about believing in the importance of attitude  when you want to achieve something in life. I think that people who are more positive about their situation and think that what ever they set their mind to is possible will be more successful. Also that people who honestly have emotions towards their work or goal and more likely to achieve them, even if they aren’t as skilled as say someone who doesn’t have as much motivation. I think it would be cool to contrast how attitude can be more important even than skill. I would use the quote “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard” to emphasize my point.

Another idea that I had was making a point about the influence of parents on their kids while they are growing up. I think that kids are mostly an image of their parents. One example I could use in my talk is that I think kids are the images of their parents like images that people see in those warped mirrors at amusement parks. You can see the major parts of your original image but there are some things that have changes because of the mirror.

The last idea I had was maybe to point out how friends start looking alike once they hang out for a certain amount of time and the reasoning behind it. I realized this when I was walking out of my dorm building and saw a group of girls all wearing the same thing , I was about to make a comment but then I realized that I was wearing the same thing as my friends. It would be interesting to show that friendships can change your looks more than social media.

Passion Blog- Traveling with the Team

Traveling is always a stressful experience, especially flying. You have to make sure you don’t forget anything, follow the rules for liquids in carry-ons, stand in long lines, go through security, sit next to people that smell or are obnoxious, and get claim your luggage. Doing all that with just your family, 4-5 people, is stressful enough. Now imagine doing that with an entire hockey team, 35-40 people.

This weekend my team is flying to Missouri to play Lindenwood. We leave at 5am and drive about 4 hours to Baltimore-Washington International Airport. Then we get on the plane for an hour and a half plane ride. Normally our team takes a bus to our games because of the hassle of flying but Missouri is too far for our team to drive to.

Our staff has been working for weeks now to prepare us for the flight. They have to buy our tickets and make sure we all have seats on the plane. They also have to make sure we all have proper identification so that we will be allowed in the airport.

Our equipment manager is driving to Missouri by himself because we can’t take a lot of the stuff we need on the plane, for example the skate sharpening machine and our rolling equipment storage. He leaves tonight at midnight so he can get there before us and set everything up.

The airport is going to be an extremely stressful process with an entire team. First there are a lot of people to keep on the same page and in the same are so no one misses the flight or get lost. For traveling we all have to wear the exact same thing and have the exact same bags. We aren’t allowed to use any other bags besides the ones given to us by the team. The same outfits and bags help us stick together and makes it easier to find our own bags when claiming them. This also allows people to identify us better while we are in public. A big thing for us is publicity while we are traveling, we like to take the opportunity to make as many people aware of us as possible. Walking through an airport with people coming from all over the nation is a perfect chance for us to show our Penn State Pride.

Another plus on traveling so far away from Penn State for me is that we are closer to my parents so they are able to come to our games! I am so excited to see them again. If you remember one of my previous posts my family came to my first home game series. Sadly I haven’t seen them since then. I am especially thankful that I get to see my family this weekend because I don’t get to go home for Thanksgiving so its nice to see them around this time of year. Overall this should be a fun weekend even though the traveling might be a little stressful!