Thursday, December 3, 2009

Final Report of Group Project

I was not able to attend the project at the Shelter, but I was at the tables on campus during the week, and I thought we did a great job. We raised $412.45 in three days, averaging over $135 a day. I think this was a success because from the accounts of people that went to the shelter that the money we raised was very appreciated, so anything we could do to help feels like a success to me. I guess the only failure in this event was that we could not raise more or do more, even though we did a lot.
Over the period of time that I was in this course, I learned that global problems never seem to go away. That is why wars are fought, and why there is a such thing as politics, because not everyone agrees on every single issue. However, there are ways to get your message out there and do something about it. The most successful example is the Civil Rights Movement: fighting for what you believe in no matter what the costs. The Civil Rights Movement was a national effort, yet it started out in many local areas before spreading throughout the country. Local action for your beliefs can go a long way into making it a national effort, because everyone has to start somewhere, Martin Luther King Jr. didn't just start the Civil Rights Movement by giving the "I Have a Dream" Speech. Local fights may take time and a lot of effort, but if we put in enough of our time and effort, anything is possible.
When we started this project I thought I knew about domestic violence, but I was wrong. I did not know how common it was and how much it happened everyday. I had no idea the work the shelters do to protect the victims and help them get back on their feet. This project really opened my eyes to the world of domestic violence, and how bad it really is. It makes me want to do more if I can, and make sure something more is done to those who abuse so that they can never do it again. This project really influenced me and our class, and I believe you should do something like this every year, because you never know what movement you can spark next. 

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Blog Nov 2.- Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution was a period in the late 18th and early 19th centuries when major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, and transportation had a profound effect on the socioeconomic and cultural conditions in Britain. The Industrial Revolution marked a turning point in human social history because almost every aspect of daily life and human society was influenced in someway. Unfortunately, not ever life was impacted in a positive way. In many towns across England, the new industry that was taking over the country was also destroying local water supplies and shortening life expectancies. The atmospheric impurities and overcrowded dwellings caused the average life expectancy to drop by almost 13 years.
The downside of the industrial revolution is rarely taught to high school students in their world history classes. We are taught of all of the positive contributions the revolution made to not only Britain but to much of Europe and North America. Many students would have a different view of industrial Europe after learning about the conditions in which the works had to live and work in during this time period.
The excerpts read for this blog seem very believable to me, they seem to have factual accounts of living and working conditions of the British during the Industrial Revolution. They are also, I believe, trustworthy accounts. Both writers seem very passionate about the topics and seem to have facts to back up their accounts of the living conditions of the working class. The writings of these accounts were trying to let the world know of the conditions their peers were living in in order to make things easier for the upper classes of Britain, Europe, and North America.
Many of the conditions described in these articles can be compared with modern working conditions. When looking at the conditions of the poor in 1950s Brazil, we can see how water and clean living conditions are vital to the health of the poor and working class. Water was something precious to the working classes both in Europe as well as Brazil. Carolina lived in a favela and woke up at sometimes 4:00am just to stand in line for water at the one spigot for the entire community. In Britain, the new factories supporting the industrial revolution produced waste that flowed into the rivers and thus the water supplies of the working people. It was impossible for them to drink or clean in the water they once enjoyed. It is almost certain that the working classes in under developed countries still meet the conditions of those working during the Industrial Revolution. Water, atmospheric conditions, etc. will always been necessities just as they were in Industrial Britain.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Blog Week of 10/19- The Muslim Faith

Muslims believe that God has many names and qualities, one of which is Allah, a word signifying God for both Muslims and Christian Arabs. Allah signifies God's comprehensiveness and all-inclusiveness. Muslims believe that God is the ultimate creator of existence and after creating existence, they believe that God does not leave the creation without guidance. God also periodically revealed wisdom to prophets which came in verbal form and which has become sacred scripture. Muslims believe that the last of the prophets was Muhammad. The revelation that was given to him was the Qur'an. The purpose of this revelation was to enable humans to devote themselves to God and to lead lives that will increase their closeness to God. Muslims believe that the Qur'an is the form of revelation that can be relied on today.

The minimum that a Muslim must do and believe in order to be assured of their salvation is quite simple. They must "Worship God (Allah) without worshiping anything along with Him, offer the (five daily) prescribed prayers, pay the compulsory alms, and fast the month of Ramadan." Islam is based upon five pillars:

Shahada: bearing witness that there is nothing worthy of worship by God and that Muhammad is God's messenger
Salat: performing the prescribed Islamic prayer
Zakat: giving of a 2 1/2 % tax on one's assets
Sawm: fasting from sunrise to sunset during the month of Ramadan, and 
Hajj: performing the pilgrimage to Mecca

Over the course of a few centuries the ways in which the Islamic principles have been interpreted in the form of the four major Sunni "schools of law" in addition to the Shi'i schools, the most dominant of which is the Ithna 'Ashari or Ja'fari madhhab. Sunni Muslims are the largest group in Islam. The Sunnah (the example of Muhammad's life) as recorded in the Qur'an and the hadith is the main pillar of Sunni doctrine. Sunnis recognize four major legal traditions: Hanafi, Maliki, Shafii'i, and Hanbali. The Shi'i believe in the political and religious leadership of infallible Imams. They believe that he, as the cousin and son-in-law of Muhammad, was his rightful successor, and they call him the first Imam (leader), rejecting the legitimacy of the previous Muslim caliphs. An Imam rules by right of divine appointment and holds "absolute spiritual authority" among Muslims, having final say in matters of doctrine and revelation. The two branches disagree over the proper importance and validity of specific collections of hadith. 

Muhammad ibn 'Abd was the founder of the world religion of Islam and is regarded by Muslims as the last messenger and prophet of God. Muslims consider him the restorer of the original faith of Adam, Abraham and others. The most credible source of information for the life of Muhammad is the Qur'an. The Qur'an refers to Muhammad as "a mercy to the worlds." Islam forbids visual depictions of Muhammad. This tradition it held stronger by Sunni Islams. Muhammad's birthday is celebrated as a major feast throughout the Islamic world. In these celebrations, Muslims remember the miracles associated with Muhammad's life. When Muslims say or write the name of Muhammad or any other Muslim prophet, they usually follow it with Peace by upon him or its Arabic equivalent, sallalahu alayhi.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Entry #3 Week of 9/28

The word baroque derives from the anicent Portuguese noun "barroco" which is a pearl that is not round but of unpredictable and elaborate shape. The art of the Baroque began roughly in the 17th century in Rome. It was known for its drama in sculpture, painting, literature, and music. The popularity of Baroque art was encouraged by the Roman Catholic Church, which had decided at the Council of Trent that the arts should communicate religious themes. Another group at the time encouraged the production of baroque art, the aristocracy. They saw Baroque architecture as a means of impressing visitors of their city and expressing power and control.

In many ways, this new form of art was reflective of an important period in world history, the Maritime Revolution. Historians had traditionally emphasized that the Baroque style evolved during a time in which the Roman Catholic Church had to react against the many revolutionarly cultural movements at the time that included new science and new forms of religion. In many ways this mirrors the expeditions of explorers during a time of discovery. The Roman Catholic Church during the time of the Maritime Revolution were still thinking in terms of literal text. The story of Noah and the Flood was used often when trying to explain how the world was composed. For example, when Columbus discovered what we now know were the East Indies, he wrote home to his King and Queen that he had reached Asia. This was because he did not want to upset his figureheads or the Catholic Church. According to the Church, descendents of Noah and his sons were only on the continents of Europe, Africa, and Asia...not North or South America.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Entry #2 Week of 8/31

Our assignment for this week was to go online and read the English version of Al-Jazeera, the Middle Eastern news source, The Guardian, the British and European news source, and one US news source, for which I have chosen CNN. We also had to compare each of these sources' coverage, and see if any are more biased than the others.They all seem to have a majority of their coverage based on regional news, but they do have news coverage of major events across the globe. They all try to cover as much of the big global news as possible, but have mostly the news for the area they are from. They do have some of the similar stories, but only the major stories.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

About Me

I am Kurren Bhalla, sophomore at UTSA. I'm 19 years old, from Katy, TX and I graduated from James E. Taylor High School in 2008. I am originally from Michigan: I was born there and lived there for the better part of 12 years. I am a big sports nut, I love playing and watching pretty much every sport. My sports loyalties are still tied to my teams in Detroit, I can't give up on my hometown teams. I enjoy reading once in a while, playing video games, watching movies, listening to music, and learning new things everyday. I love rap and hip hop music, and one of my favorite songs of all time is The Next Episode by Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, heres a link to the song: The Next Episode. One of my favorite novels is All The Kings Men, and one of my favorite movies is The Godfather. I don't really have a quirky nature, I can be weird at times but nothing out of the ordinary.