Author Archives: Samuel Sae Jong Lee

What is the greater impact of a sport championship?

When a city wins a championship in one of the big 4 professional sports league in America which consists of the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL, what are the socio-economic implications to the winning city?

Why does it mean so much to the owners, athletes, and civilians of the city that win the championship.


View of the Cleveland Cavaliers championship parade

To narrow down my search criteria, I will focus on the National Basketball Association (NBA) and look into the most recent championship that occurred this past February. The Cleveland Cavaliers won the 2016 NBA Championship ending a title-less drought of 52 years. As a result, the city of Cleveland celebrated with a city-wide parade of 2.9 million entered the streets to commemorate the accomplishment of their cities own Cavaliers.

The Cleveland Cavaliers won the championship but I like to believe that they weren’t the real winners of the day. I hypothesis that the people who are shareholders of the team, mainly the owner which in this case Dan Gilbert, is the real winner of the day. From sky rocketing sales of championship memorabilia, increased reputation of the team, and team evaluations going up, the real winners of winning the championship is the owner. The players of the winning team also do well as many choose to leave the team in search for more lucrative deals from willing teams and the continuity of a championship team that once existed is left.

The real economic impact of a championship is rather hard to measure because of the “winning feeling” that arises after a championship. back in 2014 estimates that LeBron James, the Cavaliers star player, is worth almost $500 million to the city of Cleveland.

The greater impact of a championship lies in the winning feeling that a championship brings. It is why owners spend hundreds of millions of dollars on their players and why cities can bond together and celebrate under a singular cause.

Thanks for the read!

-Sammy Lee

What is Social Media’s role in our news today?

So let’s ask ourselves, where do we get most of our news today?

facebook  twitter  reddit

It used to be by newspaper and radio, while later transitioning into television news stations. However, our news recently has recently been dominated by social media and our cellphone applications such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Reddit.

There exists both positive and negative implications of our news source to be shifting towards social media outlets.

I believe the critical, breaking news is now being able to be sent almost in “real-time” and instantaneously. This week, an  armed knifeman attacked and hospitalized 11 on Ohio State University’s campus. The entire attack lasted a mere two minutes thanks to quick official response but also thanks to the social media presence in a large campus like Ohio State. After mere minutes of the attack, the entire campus was notified of the assailant and was in lock down. Emergency situations like this often benefit from today’s strong media presence.

I believe there are also serious negative consequences for shifting towards a social media driven news society. During 2015, in midst of the election season there was a story claiming that Ford Motor Co. was moving truck production from Mexico to Ohio went viral on Facebook. The post was thought as to be “neither entirely true nor completely false” as it falls into a grey area of news. Since these stories do not get fact checked by an editorial staff or credible journalists the stories can be entirely misleading to the general public.

First it is important to note that Facebook is foremost a tech company and not a company specialize in news like a CNN or FOX News. However the general public often fails to differentiate the one from the other. False posts on Facebook undermine its credibility and its audience don’t know which are true or false.

Also, many companies can have the option to advertise on sites like Facebook which can highlight certain stories while burying others.

I believe that switching to social media driven news society has both its positive and negative impact on society and if Facebook can filter out the false stories or have higher editorial standards for posts that end up on the left side of the home page, sites such as Facebook may end up building up its credibility.

Thanks for the read!

-Sammy Lee

Why is there less oxygen at Higher Altitudes?

If a person who lived in a location like Hawaii moved to Denver, Colorado what would be the positive and negative implications to his health and well-being. Why does a location’s altitude affect an individuals living capacity. Today’s question stems from the environmental properties of air and how it may affect an individual facing an environment at high altitudes.


Mount Everest from outer space

First it is important to note why there is less oxygen at higher altitudes. According to health awareness webstie, we must think of the atmosphere “as a huge ocean of air” that is constantly applying pressure on our bodies equivalent to about 10 meters of sea level. At sea level, oxygen levels in the air are the highest and individuals are unaffected by the direct levels of oxygen existing around them. Because air is compressible, the air at the surface level is denser and compresses around us at the surface. However as you rise higher into the sky the air becomes less compressed and is therefore thinner in the upper portions of the atmosphere. This leads to not only oxygen but the entire composition of air like nitrogen and carbon dioxide to thin out in the higher levels of the atmosphere.

Now that we’ve analyzed why less oxygen exists in the upper levels of the atmosphere, what are the some of the dangers that exist due to overexposure in these conditions?

At higher altitudes, the atmosphere is significantly different than that at sea-level and there are certain dangers that exist. The atmosphere for one is thinner and usually much colder at higher altitudes and if someone is exposed too long under these conditions he or she may be susceptible to a condition known as altitude sickness.


Oxygen levels at varying altitudes

Altitude sickness has three different forms.

  1. Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) – Occurs at altitudes up to 2,500 meters. Feels quite similar to a hangover as symptoms include headache, nausea, and fatigue. Very common as some are affected more than others but should be used as a warning sign.
  2.  High Altitude Pulmonary Oedema (HAPE) – Usually occurs after 2-3 days above 2,500 meters above sea-level. HAPE is the “excess fluid on the lungs” and can cause breathlessness when resting. Can also cause high fever and coughing.
  3. High Altitude Cerebral Oedema (HACE) – A severe form of mountain sickness occurring in about 1% of people who ascend 3000 meters above sea-level. HACE is a build-up of fluid in the brain and requires urgent medical action as it is life threatening.

I hope you are more aware of why the atmospheres differ between altitudes and certain conditions that may occur due to thin atmospheric over-exposure.

Thanks for the read!

-Sammy Lee

Is the Great Barrier Reef considered “dead”?

Today’s question dives into whether the Great Barrier Reed is actually “dead” and what is causing it to die.

Scientist examines healthy coral

Scientist examines healthy coral

I stumbled upon this question as a trending topic of Facebook news section a few weeks back in the middle of November. Although Facebook may not be the best source for news because of the abundant “click bait” headlines, the headline I read: The Great Barrier Reef considered Dead. After surfing through the buzzfeed reactions and the endless opinionated mislead posts of individuals known as the Facebook comment section, I decided to do my own research on the topic.


The Great Barrier Reef as seen from Outer Space

The Great Barrier Reef is located off the northeastern coast of Australia and is the largest coral reef system in the world stretching 2,300 kilometerse long with countless speices of fish, turtles, starfish, and sharks. Known for its beautiful corals and unique underwater eco-system, the Great Barrier Reef is widely believed to be receding and dying due to a phenomena known as coral bleaching due to the baren white color the corals take after algae and nutrients are absent. Corals can survive a bleaching event but are exponentially vulnerable to the environment. Marine Biologists speculate reasons as to why coral bleaching is rapidly spreading across the Great Barrier Reef and here is why:

  1. Change in Oceanic Temperatures (Global Warming) – Thought of as the leading cause of coral bleaching, as water temperatures rise corals expel algae known as zooxanthellae living in their tissues causing the coral to turn completly white.
Healthy Coral next to Bleached Coral

Healthy Coral next to Bleached Coral

2. Run-off and Polution shore – Storm generated run-off precipitation can rapidly dilute ocean water and can carry land pollutants which aversely affect coral reefs.

3. Overexposure to sunlight – High exposure to sunlight results in high solar irradiance which attributes to coral bleaching.

4. Abnormally low tides – Exposure to the air during extreme low tides can cause bleaching in shallow corals.

CNN recently posted an article disclaiming that the Great Barrier Reef is dead stating there is a difference between “dead” and dying”. I am in the belief that arguing over whether the Great Barrier Reef is dead or dying is petty and more efforts should be attributed to preserve the reef and conserve the living corals rather than arguing the state of living of world’s biggest organism.

Thanks for the read!

-Sammy Lee

Are Humans the next Martians?

Commander and chief Barack Obama recently declared that America will successfully send manned space mission to Mars by the 2030’s. What are the implications of possibility going to Mars and what it means for humanity?


Are Humans the next Martians?

Mars is a tantalizing prospect as humanity’s next frontier in intergalactic space exploration. What has commonly been though of as a science fiction before may soon become a reality. But why are billionaires like Elon Musk so interested in investing large amounts of resources into colonizing Mars? It’s because the two Milky Way planets are more similar than you think, and the more we ponder the possibility of human colonization the more “real” it becomes.

Mars is an intriguing, neighboring planet because it shares many similarities to that of Earth. According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Mars is the fourth planet away from the Sun in the Milky Way Galaxy. The days are 24.5 hours and the average surface temperature of Mars is -81 degrees F. Some notable differences between the two planets are the gravitational pull on the surface and the escape velocity of the two planets. The surface gravity on Mars is 3.71 meters per second squared about 38% that of Earth and the Escape Velocity being about 45% of the Earth.

The possibility for the first time in history for humans to become an interplanetary species poses a new challenge for humanity to overcome. How will humans be able to sustain life on Mars, will humans ever freely live without the burden of a space suit, and what does this mean for galactic traveling capabilities in the future?

I believe that Mars is ultimately not a lasting destination for humanity and that it will be remembered as a day of conquest similar to the moon landing back in the 1960’s. Nonetheless, the exploration of Mars is in our sights and will be our next step in history.

-Sammy Lee

Does more dating lead to a happier marriage?

What is the correlation between the length of time spent together in courtship and the resulting marriage?

Flirting couple in the park texting on smartphones


According to popular online dating site eharmony, on average couples decide to wait 2.8 years to marry after having showed romantic interest. But today’s question deals with a common dilemma that most of us will have to face at one point of our lives. What is the optimal length of time to date; or a matter of fact IS there such a thing and when does too much dating become detrimental for a marriage. In addition, there are an abundance of third variables and factors that can attribute to a successful marriage such as the timing of the relationship, parental support, and money variables. However, I believe the success of a long term marriage lies within the courtship period between the two mates.

For our purposes, let’s consider the courtship period to be considered the time when you first establish a dating relationship, the period of engagement, and to the eve of your wedding night. My hypothesis is that a longer courtship will ultimately lead to a lasting marriage not ending in divorce.

An article from the New Republic analysis the a study of 952 people in California that have been married for at least three years and found a positive correlation between the length of courtship and reported marital satisfaction. According to the study done by psychologist Scott Randall Hansen, the divorce rates were highest among couples that had spent less than six months dating. These high divorce rates are likely due to impulsiveness or impatience within the relationship that ultimately resulted in an unhappy marriage.

If there is a positive correlation between not dating enough leading to a higher divorce rate, can waiting too long have some adverse effects for a couple’s future?

While most relationships that last up to 3 years usually lead to lasting marriages, relationships that hit 5 or 10 years could potentially not lead to marriage at all. To analyze the reverse causation, data proving that relationships that last let’s say over 5 years would have to result in a higher rate of break up and divorce. To my dismay, I failed to find concrete evidence to support the reverse causality as most of the research happened to be anecdotal relationships posted on online forums.

While we may conjecture to find an optimal amount of time dating before marriage, I believe relationships with people go further beyond statistical measurements and often times are very situational.

Thank you for the read!

-Sammy Lee

The Loch Ness Monster!?

Here we are again folks, another sighting of the infamous Loch Ness Monster.

According to The Scotsman, warehouse worker and amateur photographer Ian Bremner has taken a photograph of what could be the most clear, convincing picture of the Loch Ness Monster, “Nessie”. A long serpent-like creature, Nessie is believed to have been seen as far back as 1933 and the image below is believed to resemble some of the most clearest,notable images of the creature.


Loch Ness is a large freshwater lake located in the Scottish Highlands extending approximately 23 miles with an average depth of 433 feet.

In addition to Ian’s latest claim of the Loch Ness Monster, there have been five other reported sightings of the monster this year which is the highest reported sightings since 2002. Others refute that this picture realistically shows three seals playing in the water and nothing more.

According to the article, there have been 1081 recorded sightings of the Loch Ness Monster lurking in the water with this picture being the most recent and convincing evidence.




Give Cannabis a Fair Verdict

Cannabis also commonly known as marijuana is the poster boy for being a gateway drug. However, 25 states have decided legalized marijuana in some form whereas 4 states (Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska) have legalized the recreational use of marijuana. Although the legalization of marijuana has long been a polictical platform, I believe cannabis use should be in the discretion of the individual rather than a legal issue.


Cannabis has long been an afterthought to those who strictly believe it to be a gateway drug to runining the lives. However, the medicinal properities of Cannabis are undeniable. An article from Business Insider lists 23 medicinal, health benefits of smoking marijuana with properties such as stoping the spread of cancer, decreasing anxiety, and spuring creativity in an individaul.

If I told you that a drug that is the world leading killer of people ages 17-25 and impairs you to the point of puking and at times memory loss is completly legal to purchase after the age of 21, how can lawmakers demand that marijuana stay illegal? The answer to that is MODERATION. Why not give people the option to take marijuana in moderation and at their own discretion when we have done so with agruably a more dangerous drug in alcohol for all of these years.

I know some will now assume that I am a Wiz Khalifa stoner that never goes to classes and will fail out of Penn State in 3 semesters. But these are simply the stigmas associated with smoking marijuana and I believe that the funcitonality of marijuana have been diluted due to the constant scrutinity and polictical focus of the plant.

Thanks for reading!

Sammy Lee






Open Your Eyes




First off, shout out to all of my Rick and Morty fans. It is absolutely one of my favorite shows on television and I highly recommend it to anyone that likes science-y things whatsoever. With that being said,

Hi class I’m Samuel Lee and I am a senior majoring in Accounting minoring in Economics and Communication Arts & Sciences. I am in this course to fulfill my last Science gen ed and I wanted to pick a class where I could learn something fresh and new that I wouldn’t be otherwise exposed to in my major classes. I am really excited about this class because right off the bat Professor Andrew seems like someone who has an extensive background in the realm of science and seems very passionate about what he does. I also liked how he told the class to simply address him as Andrew because he explained that titles in the realm of science are unnecessary and everyone’s opinion is weighed the same within the classroom which speaks volumes of him.

The big reason why I am NOT a science major is because I struggled a lot with the big science subjects (Biology, Chemistry, Physics) at all in high school and subsequently did not like the classes. Still I am very much interested in the topic of science because I love to learn new things and see all of the new inventions scientists are creating like this bracelet.

Finally, I think it is important that when in the realm of science to “Open Your Eyes” to all of the possibilities and to formulate unique opinions with subsistence rather than regurgitating views broadcasted to a vast majority. People tend to believe absolute truths that cater toward their own set of beliefs and I believe at times it is important to be open minded especially when it leads to open constructive discourse. I am looking forward to the semester and I wish you all the best.

Fellow Penn Stater,

Samuel Lee