The causes of World War l

By: Ella Sutherland and Lauren Kottke

There were many causes to World War I that had both short term and long term effects on countries. The immediate cause of World War I was the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand. He was assassinated on June 28, 1914. He was killed by a Serbian terrorist group that wanted Bosnia to be free of Austria-Hungary. The group went by the name of the Black Hand. The society was formed in 1911 and led by Col. Dragutin Dimitrijević. The group was formed in Belgrade and they were known to fight for liberation through terrorist acts. In Serbia, they dominated the government by terrorizing officials. Over time, they became so big and powerful they challenged the government’s authority. Although this was the immediate cause, there were many other causes that pushed for World War I.

One other cause of World War I was nationalism. Nationalism is a country showing extreme pride for their country, and often putting their own country first in war. Nationalism fueled the war by pushing countries to want to win even more. All of the countries involved in World War I believed that they were the best and deserved to win. During the war to push nationalism on civilians, they used propaganda posters. They had sayings that would tell people it was their duty to fight for their country, and often they would target the fathers of a household because they were the ones expected to fight in the war.

Another cause of World War I was imperialism. Imperialism is expanding the region of land with the power of the military. The main goal of imperialism was getting land and also resources. Those resources included coal, wood, and cotton. Imperialism caused countries to fight over land. As the countries invaded other regions of the world, they also invaded native peoples’ land. Many times this was called colonization. When they would invade they would also hurt the native people. They would make them practice their religion and change their overall way of living. This changed many countries for the future.

The third cause of World War I was alliances. An alliance is an agreement to help a country if they, or yours, are in danger. Many countries set up alliances in case of a war. When Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated, it caused other countries to get involved. There were two alliance groups during World War I. The first was the central powers that included: Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and the Ottoman power. The allies included: France, Great Britain, Russia, Italy, Japan, and the United States. If it weren’t for the alliances, the war would have been much smaller. Many of the countries wouldn’t have a reason for getting involved in the war.

The last cause of the war was militarism. Militarism is upping supplies to compete with other countries. As the countries try to win more and more, they need to up their resources like weapons. It’s a chain effect because if one country ups their supplies, other countries will do the same. Countries spent great amounts of money for their military during the war. The allies spent $147 billion and the central powers spent $61 billion. Militarism also affected the economies at home because of the demand for supplies. Factories at home were at an all time demand and use. Because the men were off in war, it led to women entering the workforce.

For more information, please visit:

ENRON the corporate dumpster fire

By: Reed Morris

Image taken from: https://useast2-www.securly.com/broker?reason=safesearch&categoryid=2148532229&policyid =0&i2n=1935897921&url=
ZW4ud2lraXBlZGlhLm9yZy93aWtp
L0Vucm9u&ssl=true&pac=true&ra nd=1117590440

The Beginning

Enron began in 1985 after the merger of two energy companies, Houston Natural Gas Co. (HNG) and an Omaha based company called InterNorth Inc. After the merger, a man by the name of Kenneth Lay, who was the CEO of HNG before the merger, became the new CEO of Enron. One of Lay’s first moves as CEO was to shift and rebrand Enron into an energy supplier and trader. With recent loosening on the energy market, companies were now allowed to place bets on future energy prices. Lay wanted Enron to take advantage.

In 1990, Lay created Enron Finance Corp, and chose a man named Jeffrey Skilling (he’ll be important later) to be the head of this new corporation. In regards to his joining Enron, Skilling’s timing was perfect. Energy in the 90’s was very loosely regulated and Enron was set to flourish in this environment.

Skilling’s first major contribution to the company was figureheading the company’s shift from a traditional ‘historical cost’ accounting method, to a new ‘Market to Market’ (MTM) accounting system, which allowed the company to receive official approval of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission in 1992. MTM: “Mark-to-market or fair value accounting refers to accounting for the ‘fair value’ of an asset or liability based on the current market price, or the price for similar assets and liabilities, or based on another objectively assessed ‘fair’ value.” It is widely accepted that Enron’s adoption of the MTM style was the official beginning of the end of Enron. This style of accounting allowed Enron to log estimated profits as real, current, profits.

The height

At Enron’s height, the company had a market valuation of sixty billion dollars. As Enron was at its height during the ‘dot-com bubble’, interest in the internet was immense, so they created a website called EnronOnline (EOL). The website focused on commodities. With every transaction that took place through EOL, Enron was the counter partner, either the seller or buyer. One of the biggest reasons this website was a success was that Enron had direct insight into the value and activities of the energy market, as well as many other global markets. This allowed them to manipulate and contort these markets to make an unimaginably absurd amount of money.

The first signs of distress

Yea, that was a lie. Investors were told that they were making money, and were told that it was a success when in reality it was ripping apart at the seams. The first and most noticeable instance of this was when Enron partnered with Blockbuster to create a new video on demand (VOD) platform and enter the VOD market. At the time, the VOD market seemed like a really good pick, so Enron pulled out their MTM tricks, and started logging expected future earnings as their current, real earnings.

By early to mid 2000 rolled around, EOL was executing somewhere upwards of $350 billion in trades. This is when the dot-com bubble started to burst. Enron had decided to build a system of high-speed broadband telecom networks, which soaked up hundreds of millions of dollars. The downside of this was that due to the bursting of the dot-com bubble, they began seeing little to no returns on their hundred million dollar investments.

When the recession of 2000 hit, Enron was extremely saturated throughout many different markets, and was an extremely large part of the US stock market as a whole. They took immense financial hits, and were hanging on by the skin of their teeth. Overzealous Enron found itself on the heavy losing end of their vanishing market capital.

In a highly competitive and quickly growing energy market, Enron could no longer hold itself up. This was the beginning of the end.

The fall

In October of 2000, Enron found itself in a precarious position. It had money and assets tied up all around the world, and it started to crumble under its own massive corporate weight.

Remember Skilling? He decided that the best course of action for the company was to keep lying, and lie even more than before. Skilling used his admittedly impressive accounting skills to hide the financial losses of the Enron trading business, as well as every other operation the company was spending money on, thanks to MTM accounting. These tricks can be beneficial for trading certain securities, but when an actual business is being dealt with, it can have extremely disastrous effects.

An example of the way Enron was manipulating their numbers is this: Imagine they built a power plant for x million dollars. They would report the actual cost to produce the plant, but they would also immediately report the expected profit from this plant even if no one has made a single cent off of it. Then, if the power plant really didn’t make any money in the long term, the losses would be scrubbed from Enron’s books and the losses would be sloughed off on off-the-book shell companies, where these losses would go unreported and unnoticed.

This degenerate cycle required someone who could handle the heat and the lies surrounding it. In 1998, a man named Andrew Fastow, a rising star within Enron, was appointed as the company’s new CFO and he was now in charge of keeping up the facade of success Enron was trying so desperately to preserve.

Even though Fastow had put years of work into keeping Enron’s accounting frauds and financial failures hidden, details regarding the companies financiers started to leak out into the public eye.

Seemingly overnight, the company’s share price dropped around 90% from close to $96 dollars a share, down to a measly $12 per share. This was the final collapse of Enron. The company liquidated the assets it had left and filed for bankruptcy. Enron was no more.

Image taken from:
http://www.crawfordsworld.com
/rob/ape/APEFilms/APEEnron/
APEEnronSentences.htm

The aftermath

There is too much to cover in the aftermath of the Enron disaster. There were immense changes in legislation regarding large corporations and accounting methods, there was also a huge shift in the energy sector as a whole. Enron’s effect on the United States is significant and lasting.

The men involved with the lies and deceit at Enron also faced extreme legal trouble. Jeffrey Skilling (former CEO) ended up being sentenced to 24 years in prison because of his involvement in Enron’s collapse. Skilling was released from federal custody in early 2019. Similarly, the mastermind behind the concealment of billions in losses, Andrew Fastow was charged with securities and wire fraud, and was sentenced to 6 years in prison.

Final thoughts

As one of the biggest corporate scandals in US history, there is a lot to be learned from. While thousands of jobs were lost, and millions of dollars vanquished into thin air, the Enron disaster brought about a lot of positive change that has a lasting impact on the economy today.

The story of Enron is much too complicated and deep to fully explain in a short article, but if you have any interest in learning more about this historical dumpster fire of a company, there is a movie that goes into much more depth and detail about the events called ‘Enron: the smartest guys in the room’

One thing that can be learned from Enron is that massive corporations aren’t always clean, and need to be kept in check. In a world with companies that are valued at more than a trillion dollars, there has never been a more important time to keep vigilant, and make sure massive companies don’t have too much power, market share, or influence over our ever changing world.

The Titanic

By: Caelyn Hippen

Image taken from: https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fcommons.wikimed ia.org%2Fwiki%2FFile%3ATitanicRoute.svg&psig=AOvVaw09p6BK78nip8d 3HX7ak5c3&ust=1645633468352000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAw QjhxqFwoTCJDaoMTck_YCFQAAAAAdAAAAABAD

The Titanic was a British luxury passenger liner that sank on its maiden voyage on April 15, 1912. It was the biggest ship of it’s time. The Titanic disaster killed over 1,500 people after the ship was hit by an iceberg in the North Atlantic, approximately 400 miles south of Newfoundland, Canada.

The Titanic was considered unsinkable. It was the largest of its time; it was 882 ft long and was 52,000 tons (and still considered very large now compared to modern ships). It carried 2,200 people and cost 7.5 million dollars to build, which is the value of $217,382,474.23 today.

When and why it sank:

Timeline –

9:40: The Titanic received a message that there were icebergs in the area. But that message never reached the bridge/captain.

The Titanic then hit the iceberg at 11:40 (spotted at 11:39 and tried to avoid it by turning.) It took about 2 hours and 40 minutes to sink.

It wasn’t until 12:30 that lifeboats were lowered. The lifeboats were their own separate issue. The life boats could only carry 1,178 people (if they were full), but the lifeboats were launched below capacity because the crewmen were worried that the davits (thing that lowers the boat into the water) couldn’t hold a full boat. The water was so cold that night (32 degrees) that people perished after 15 minutes. (People couldn’t survive without being in a lifeboat)

And finally, at 2:17, the Titanic broke in two, and by 2:24, the Titanic was under the water’s surface.

Conclusion:

After 3 hours, the Carpathia (a ship that had received a distress call from the Titanic), reached the site of where the Titanic sank and rescued 706 survivors. After this disaster, ships were required to have enough lifeboats for everyone on board, and an international ice patrol was established. These are some reasons how the Titanic was very significant in history

You can look at the source above for the picture and more information!

Cinco de Mayo

By: Ava Bleifuss

Cinco de Mayo is celebrated by many people in the United States. Cinco de Mayo means “Fifth of May” in Spanish. It is the anniversary of the Battle of Puebla in 1862. It was a very important battle, and a great military victory because the Mexicans defeated the French, led by Napoleon III, who had one of the biggest and strongest armies. That is why some people mistakenly think that Cinco de Mayo is Mexican Independence Day, but that holiday is celebrated on September 16.

Cinco de Mayo is celebrated in the state of Puebla in Mexico, but not throughout Mexico. It has become very popular in the United States as a way for Mexican immigrants to celebrate their Mexican heritage. Cinco de Mayo is celebrated on the West Side of St. Paul, and along Lake St. in Minneapolis. Both celebrations are filled with parades, dances, music, food, and fun.

The Cinco de Mayo festival on the West Side of Saint Paul started in 1985. It was started by community members and business owners who wanted to celebrate the West Side community. The West Side of St. Paul has been a gathering place for Mexican immigrants since World War I. Many of them were migrant workers who stayed to work year round for the railroads, local shops, and factories.

Some Mexican families have been here for over 100 years. Some of the oldest businesses on the West Side are the restaurant Boca Chica and the grocery store and restaurant, El Burrito Mercado. The area around these restaurants is called District del Sol, which means “District of the Sun” in Spanish. This area usually hosts one of the largest Cinco de Mayo celebrations in the United States, but this year it has been postponed due to COVID.

Cinco de Mayo has been celebrated along Lake St. in Minneapolis since 1997. It includes a parade, music, food, and events happening all along East Lake St. from 2nd Ave South to Portland Ave. This year, the organizers expect over 70,000 people to attend, making it the largest Cinco de Mayo celebration in Minnesota.

To learn more about celebrating Cinco de Mayo in the Twin Cities click here for West St. Paul, and here for Minneapols

History of Timothée Chalamet

By: Ashley Harris

Timothée Hal Chalamet is a famous American actor. Some of the movies and TV shows he has taken part in include: ‘Loving Leah’ 2009, ‘Men Women and Children’ 2014, ‘Love the Coopers’ 2015, ‘Lady Bird’ 2017, ‘Little Women’ 2019, ‘Dune’ 2021, and his most famous role ‘Call Me by Your Name’ 2017.

*Warning SPOILERS*

‘Call Me by Your Name’ is without a doubt Timothée’s breakthrough role. This movie is considered a devastating and tender daydream, and the closing shot, where Timothée is crying into the fireplace, is defined by many as Timothée’s core moment.

Timothée was born on December 27, 1995, in New York City. He was raised in what is known as “Hell’s Kitchen” in Manhattan Plaza. His parents are Marc Chalamet (who is a UNICEF editor) and Nicole Flendet (who is a famous actress and author). His only sibling is his sister, Pauline Chalamet (who is a famous American actress, writer and director).

Timothée is bilingual in both English and French, and has dual citizenship in the United States and France. In Timothée’s early years, he spent his summers with his grandparents in Le Chambon-sur-Lignon which is a small French village two hours away from Lyon.

The true spark in his acting career was his acceptance into Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts. His sophomore year drama teacher, Harry Shifman, was so intrigued by Timothée’s audition that he insisted on Timothée’s acceptance, even though he had been rejected in his interview.

Image taken from:
https://www.google.com/amp
/s/chalamet-chalamet.tumblr.com
/post/190349408171/timoth%25C 3%25A9e-at-the-2018-2019-sag-awards/amp

After high school, Timothée attended Columbia University for one year before transferring to New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study to pursue his acting career. While attending Gallatin, Timothée obtained his first major role ‘Call Me by Your Name, in 2017.

‘Call Me by Your Name’ is definitely one of my favorite Timothée Chalamet movies. It’s just about a summer romance and it has really beautiful imagery and is just in general a really feel good film!

After this incredible film, Timothée went on to receive many awards such as the “Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead”, “Gotham Independent Film Award for Breakthrough Performer”, and “New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor”.

If you get the chance, you should watch ‘Little Women’ as well, because it has a good plot and characters, and Timothée plays one of the main characters.

Vitalik Buterin

By: Liibaan Yusuf

Image taken from:
https://www.google.com/url?sa=
i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fabout.me%2
Fvitalik_buterin&psig=AOvVaw2bhgIS4ZE_
8Om7lNzSxIXI&ust=1650469292361000&
sourc e=images&cd=vfe&ved=
0CA0QjhxqFwoTCNDsrrO7oPc
CFQAAAAAdAAAAABAK

Vitalik Buterin, is a 28-year-old Russian programmer and crypto pioneer. Born in Kolomna, Russia in 1994, to two Russian parents; his father a computer scientist and a stay-at-home mother. The family of three did not stay in Russia for long, moving to Canada by 2000. Vitalik doesn’t speak much about his short stay in Russia.

Vitalik was educated in Canada. His teachers placed him into gifted classes by third grade, as he excelled in school and flew past his peers. He attended Abelard, a prestigious high school for the gifted, in Toronto.

Vitalik learned about Bitcoin and cryptocurrency from his father during his junior year of high school.

After high school, Vitalik attended the University of Waterloo, earning a $100,000 dollar scholarship. There he worked with Ian Goldberg, his mentor, to receive his Bachelors in Computer Science.

From 2011 and on, Vitalik was given the opportunity to work with ‘Bitcoin Weekly’ for a little side income. ‘Bitcoin Weekly’ was a weekly published magazine which wrote about bitcoin and cryptocurrency in the early days. During the early 2010’s Vitalik was paid approximately 5 bitcoins per article written, about $3.50 cents each, or $208,230 today! The magazine fell through months later though, as it wasn’t generating enough income to sustain itself.

Although Vitaliks work at ‘Bitcoin Weekly’ was cut short, he used that opportunity to network and meet with others, like Jed McCaleb, the CTO of Ripple. Ripple is the company behind XRP. Unlike crypto currencies like bitcoin, where a “Proof-of-work” is used to give value to the currency, Ripple is a tech company that made their own proprietary technology, using XRP as their own currency on that technology. Most people don’t actually care about the technology though, and use crypto as a “get rich quick” scheme, which is very dangerous.

Vitalik used his connection with McCaleb and landed a high level programming job at Ripple, though he was unable to ever start since his US Visa application was denied.

Soon after, in early 2013, Vitalik had come up with Ethereum, his own technology, like Ripple, and the sponsored currency, Ether.

Ethereum is described as “A decentralized mining network and software development platform rolled into one”. Vitalik worked on Ethereum for a year before unveiling it at the North American Bitcoin Conference, held in Miami, during January of 2014.

At only 19 years old, Vitalik stood in front of thousands of people, his first time ever speaking to such a large group of people. He was supposed to speak about writing for ‘Bitcoin Weekly’, though he used his speech to speak about his own project, while wearing a black t-shirt with “ethereum.org” written in white lowercase letters. From there, Ethereum took off, going from a tiny community of programmers and academics to being a household name in the crypto community.

Vitalik has since been in a retirement-like state, traveling the world and giving speeches at different conferences and meetings around the world. He’s gone on record to say that he doesn’t enjoy the fame and created Ethereum to be a decentralized space, so he doesn’t feel like it’s right to be put on a pedestal.

As of April 18th, 2022, Vitalik has been honorably given Montenegrin citizenship, alongside Canadian and Russia citizenships as Montenegro hopes to become a “Crypto-Capitol”.

What’s a quinceañera?

By: Jessica Garcia Saligan

Quinceañera is a tradition in Mexican and Southern European culture. It’s when a young lady, that is about to turn 15 years old, throws a big party to mark her passage from girlhood to womanhood.

While planning a quinceañera you need to start planning a year ahead to have everything ready on time. In the quince, the young lady gets to practice a performance. There are two performances; they do the first one to start off, and it is the Val’s. Val’s is a dance where you get to dance with your chambelanes. It is a way to start the party.

Right when they finish doing the Val’s they go on and do the surprise dance, in the surprise dance you will get to pick how many songs you want. A surprise dance is where you can show off your moves and dance the night away. It’s also a way you can bring people to the dance floor. Having a quinceañera is a way to create good memories with your loved ones, especially your family. It’s a memory you want to keep forever with you.

During these events a quinceañera is a very important, and one of the most beautiful moments, a young girl could, experience. Here are some traditions that occur during this special day.

The first is accessories and gowns. A puffy dress that she will have to choose on her own, along with her first pair of high heels, as well as a crown that either her parents or godparents have to buy her.

Also, you will get copas and a doll or a stuffed animal wearing the same dress as the quinceañera.

While dancing the val’s people will come in one by one and put the heels on the quinceañera. The heels represent your “first pair of heels” right after that you will get a crown. The crown means that you’re the princess of this special night. You will have a “mini you” come in and give you a doll or a stuffed teddy bear dressed as you. Back in the day, they would only use a doll but now most young girls are choosing a stuffed animal.

Then, there’s one more thing, there’s the ultimo regalo which means “the last present”. It’s the last present you will receive as a young lady. Right after you’re done with everything, you will get your copas, there’s either 16-18 copas, your quince court, your family, and your godparents. They get to go up with you and they make a toast to everyone including the quinceañera. Once everyone had made their toast, it is the young lady’s turn to make a toast and thank everyone for coming to her special day.

10 trends that are changing the world

By: Reed Morris

Bezos and the Hockey Stick Rule

As most people in the world know, Jeff Bezos is one of the most successful entrepreneurs to have ever existed. Before Bezos was the billionaire we know today, he was working as a Wall Street employee in New York. One day, a document landed on his desk. It talked about how the World Wide Web was growing at 2,300% a year and said, “Anything growing that fast is going to be big. I decided to come up with a business idea where the internet could grow around it.”

This follows along with the idea that if you get into a growing industry early, even if you’re not the most skilled or experienced, you will see success. The basic idea is that if you have a wind at your back instead of against you, you will have greater opportunities and success.

Jeff Bezos has a basic rule called the Hockey Stick Rule (pictured above). The idea is that if there is a trend or industry growing exponentially (like a hockey stick) then it’s worth spending at least 5 hours understanding it. However, no one really wants to spend that much time reading a highschool news article, so instead, I’ll give you about 45-60 seconds per trend, and go through 10 of them.

The Evolution of AI

One of the most highly anticipated and active areas of technology is the evolution of Artificial Intelligence. There are a lot of people who fear AI, however, there are also a lot of people who are extremely excited about it and invest a large amount of resources into it. At the leading edge of this technological wave is (not surprisingly) Google.

Below is a graph showing the growth in number of parameters (the complexity) of different AI’s developed by different companies over the past 3-4 years.

In January, 2018, Ai2’s ELMo was on the cutting edge of AI technology and their brand new system contained 94 million parameters. Just over a year later, OpenAI broke the 1 billion parameter mark in February, 2019, with their GPT2 AI which contained 1.5 billion parameters. Now, Google’s Switch-C is in the lead, containing an astonishing 1.6 trillion parameters.

This field of technology is seeing extreme growth, and is sure to have an extremely large impact on humanity as a whole in the future. This also presents great opportunities for anyone interested in the field of AI or computer sciences in general. Already having a career, or beginning a career, in this field almost ensures growth and success in the future.

The Cost of Genome Sequencing

Another field of science that has made leaps and bounds over the past 20 years is the field of biotechnology. While biotechnology is making great strides in many different sub fields, the field that is showing the most growth and promise in the future is the cost to sequence a human genome.

Below is a graph displaying the cost to sequence a single human genome over the course of the past 20 years.

Moore’s Law: “The principle that the speed and capability of computers can be expected to double every two years, as a result of increases in the number of transistors a microchip can contain.” While the definition of Moore’s law is focused on computer technology, it is applicable to most fields of technological advancements.

In 2001, the cost to sequence a single human genome was around $100,000,000. This extreme cost made it extremely wasteful, inefficient and essentially useless for anyone other than massive scientific institutes. However, unprecedented advancements in this technology has dropped the cost to only around $1,000 dollars per genome. Right now, that is still pretty expensive, however it’s more achievable for a large part of the population. While this can be incredibly helpful getting rid of genetic diseases, and improving quality of life for millions of people, it does have its negatives.

The accessibility of this technology brings into question the legalities around it, as well as a lot of ethical complications. As this technology inevitably grows cheaper, large companies will have easy access to it, giving them the ability to require tests on their employees. This could be used to search for undesirable genes regarding work ethics, health issues, and other factors undetectable from the surface. While this technology is fascinating, and can be used in numerous positive ways, there also has to be a lot of work put into keeping its use in the right hands, and avoiding invasions of privacy by massive employers or governments.

College Tuition: The Disruption of Higher Education

Another worrying trend that presents great opportunities for improvement is the cost of college tuition in relation to wages. The cost of colleges continues to rise yet minimum and average starting wages almost stay stagnant.

The graph below displays the percent change in tuition costs VS wage costs since 1987.

Over the past 35 years, tuition has almost doubled whereas minimum wage has only grown roughly 25%, and starting wages haven’t increased at all. This presents a massive and daunting issue to Gen Z and Generation Alpha. As the next major generations to go through college they will have to deal with this drastic increase in costs. While this presents some serious concerns for the future, it also presents great opportunities for a new era of higher education.

With costs of college tuition exploding, there has never been a better time for the disruption of higher education. There are already many resources in the world that can provide similar knowledge and experience to that of traditional college. This is another field that presents great opportunities for future careers. Anyone with promising ideas regarding improved and cheaper means for higher education have a very long but successful path ahead of them.

Global Surface Temperatures Rise

Another trend that has become a completely unignorable issue, is the rise of global surface temperatures. This is one of the most disputed topics in politics around the world at the moment, when it really shouldn’t be. Looking at basic data, such as the graph below, anyone should be able to realize and acknowledge the absolute severity of the predicament the human race has gotten itself into.

The subject of global warming has been examined in many other news articles and so I don’t feel the need to repeat information available in much more detail through other resources, so I will link some very detailed and reliable resources below.

While global warming is a massive global issue, it presents a lot of opportunities for fixing the way the world gets its energy. The first major step will be trying to shift global economies away from being almost completely oil based, which will be no easy feat. The world needs to drop oil for more renewable resources. One of the most prominent of those being the use of solar energy.

The Affordability of Solar Energy

The cost of solar has plummeted in the last 10 years. This is an extremely good thing as the cheaper it becomes the more people will be willing to accept it. Since 2010, the cost to produce 1 kWh (Kilowatt) has been slashed by a factor of 5 across the board. This growth of solar technology has by far surpassed what experts believed would happen in the early 2010’s.

Below is a graph displaying the cost of solar compared to those estimates.

Solar technology is a very quickly growing industry and will continue to grow into the future. This is another industry where, if you are in this field, or are interested in getting into the field, there will be a lot of opportunities in the future.

Another huge achievement of solar technology is that it is becoming so extremely cheap that estimations show it reaching the lower bounds of fossil fuel costs. Once the cost does dip below that of fossil fuels, the switch to solar will be undeniably more beneficial than sticking with fossil fuels.

Below is a graph showing this data compared to the previous graph.

Solar energy is world changing and is a surefire way to help reduce carbon emissions and global warming. If you are interested in this field of technology, get on board now as it’s only going to grow.

The Decline of America’s Sleep Schedule

On a completely alternate note, something I think we can all relate to, is that Americans are getting less and less sleep every year. Most people are aware of this because most people live it every day. Since 1942, the percentage of Americans that got more than seven hours of sleep has gone from over 80% all the way down to just over 50%.

While this is kind of a worrying statistic, it offers a lot of opportunities for people looking for solutions to this problem. Recently, sleep aid apps and sleep assisting medications have grown exponentially bringing in huge amounts of revenue. While this is not world changing news or even very shocking for that matter, it’s still something that we need to keep in check and find solutions for in the future.

The Cost of Lab Grown Meat

Another big advancement in the sustainability of the human race is the increasing affordability of lab grown meat. The meat industry is a huge contributor to global warming, and other environmental damages. As most people know, there is no way that the entire population of the world will be able to go vegetarian or vegan, so we have to think of other ways to get people meat without actually using large amounts of cattle. One way this can be done is by using lab grown meat.

Below is a graph showing the decrease in cost of making one kilogram of lab grown shrimp.

In 2013, the first lab grown burger was served at a conference in London. The burger cost $330,000 to make. Now, in 2022, it costs around $9 to make the same burger. The speed at which this industry is improving is astonishing. This is another area of science that is inevitably going to be a huge part of everyday life in the future. If you are interested in biotechnology, this field and other biotech fields are bound to grow and be an integral part of humanity’s future.

The Population Cliff

Over the past 70 years or so, the world population has been struggling to stay stable. This is a problem that is very serious and is up to the younger generations to solve, but it also offers some opportunities for global improvements.

Below is a graph that displays the decline in global fertility rates.

This presents serious issues for the future generations. As Gen Xers and Millennials age and slowly slide out of the global workforce, there won’t be enough new Gen Z workers joining the workforce to replenish the system and support the older generations. If a solution to this problem is not found in the next decade or so, there will be serious economic and social consequences.

One solution that has been presented in recent years, that solves 2 problems on a national level, is the loosening and restructuring of the United States immigration system. With a lack of workers, the US economy cannot survive very long. An influx of immigrants that are quickly put into the workforce could present a stable and successful solution to this real and daunting problem.

Drop In Global Absolute Poverty

The world is slowly but surely rising out of poverty. Over the past two and a half decades, the percentage of the world’s population living in extreme poverty has decreased from 36% to just around 12%. During a single generation, more than 1 billion people around the world rose out of poverty.

The graph below shows data from 2017, and projected data for 2040.

There are a lot of opportunities with this trend as well. People rising out of poverty will need housing, work, and other basic necessities and the world needs people who are in the industry of providing those things. As the number of people around the world with disposable income steadily grows, low to medium cost products will become more and more in demand, creating a much larger and booming economy.

This is an all around positive trend that needs to be supported and needs to keep going. If these predictions are accurate, then a much healthier and prosperous world could be within our reach.

Below is a link to a live graph of the same data that better shows the trend throughout history. It’s definitely worth taking a look at.
Live Graph Over History

The Cost of Space Travel

This is the trend that I am most excited about. If you have read any of my other articles you will notice a trend in some of my writing. Space travel is a hugely exciting and important aspect of human exploration. In recent years, with companies like SpaceX and BlueOrigin, the cost to send a kilogram of matter into low earth orbit (LEO) has decreased exponentially.

Below is a graph displaying past data, present data, and future projections.

Space travel is a recently booming industry and has nowhere to go but up (pun very much intended). As prices to launch to space decrease, the commercial and civilian uses of space travel will explode. Universities, and less well known tech companies, will be able to afford launching satellites into orbit. This will help advance space travel and exploration to an extent we have never seen before.

Like many of the other trends, this is one that you want to hop on as soon as possible. Although both rocket science and space exploration have been around for decades, the near future will bring a whole new era of opportunities that was not available before.

Final Notes

There are a lot of things happening in the world that are hard to understand and follow. These are just a very small amount of those things. The list of possible topics that have an equal level of impact on society is too big to go through in one article. I truly hope readers can learn something from this and perhaps get more involved in one of these fields.

I will close out with a challenge of sorts. If you read through the whole article and there was something that really did catch your interest or spark your imagination, I challenge you to take those 5 hours to learn more about whatever topic it was that you were most interested in. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this article. I hope there was something, even the most minuscule fact, that you found interesting and can take with you into the future.

The history of manifestation and angel numbers

By: Abi and Thalia

In the Merriam Webster dictionary, the definition of manifestation is: “to make evident or certain by showing or displaying”. This is what manifestation is.

A person has to put their intentions towards something that they want to see happen. It is the simple act of attracting certain things such as a new partner, more money, better health, better grades, etc.

According to ‘The Life Blog’, it is very important to understand yourself when manifesting. You must spend time reflecting and asking questions to yourself. Many do this by journaling and answering prompts. According to ‘Oprah Daily’ and her advice, after setting a specific intention with what you want, you must ask for what it is you want and write it down on paper.

Writing it down is not the only possible way to set your goal, you can also meditate, visualize, or have a vision board. After, you must start working towards your goals and be thankful for what you receive. It is very important for one’s self to believe in themselves and what they want.

According to ‘Self Made Ladies’, the concept of manifestation/Law of Attraction has been around since the 20th century. The term was first used in 1906 by William Walker Atkinson in his book, ‘Thought Vibration or the Law of Attraction in the Thought World’. Atkinson’s book introduced many concepts of The Law of Attraction, such as concepts of thought, vibration, and energy. He also mentioned manifestation and wrote about it in a detailed way. Atkinson was also the first to explain how important and powerful love is when manifesting one’s desires.

Angel numbers are a repetitive sequence of numbers. Angel numbers can have great meaning for some people. Some see it as their life path number. According to ‘Novalee Wilder’, who is a numerologist, license plates, addresses, bank account numbers, prices, phone numbers, and time stamps can all be a place where one can find angel numbers. Wilder also states that angel numbers are part of a spiritual awakening.

“Angel numbers change according to the guided messages they are trying to deliver to you, if the same numbers keep on appearing time and time again, then until this message is received, the numbers will be repeated,” explains Shawn Stone, who is a psychic medium.

These messages can mean a variety of different things and it is up to the person to decide what it means. According to Wilder, you do not have to be psychic to receive messages from angel numbers, anyone can receive these messages they just have to be open to engaging with their intuition.

Usually, there is always a message behind each angel number, sometimes multiple meanings, and it is up to you to discover what that meaning could be for you. According to ‘Babe skills.com’ you just have to trust your intuition that each sequence of numbers is always right.

When you come across angel numbers, it is important to pay attention to your thoughts and feelings when you see the particular angel number, and see what you notice about the moments in which you come across angel numbers. This could help you understand your message better and more clearly. 

Some more common angel numbers and their meanings are: 11:11 means you are on the right path and your life is fully aligned and going the way it is supposed to, 555 means you have great changes ahead of you, 888 is the angel number of abundance in all forms, this could mean you are a magnet for health, love, money, or all three of these things. Again, all numbers can have more than one meaning, so it is important to trust your intuition on what you think the message for you could be.

The trouble with the term “Islamic banking”

By: Liibaan Yusuf

Image taken from: https://www.arabfinance.com/2015/Pages/news/
newsdetails.aspx?Id=313086&lang=en

There are banks internationally that pass themselves off as Islamic banks, trying to cater to the Islamic community.

So, what is Islamic banking?

Before answering this question, you have to know what banking is. Banking isn’t as simple as it sounds. You’d think it would be as simple as putting your money in the hands of a reputable organization which will hold it for you, Right?

Wrong.

The world of banking is far more complex and complicated than it started as.

Modern banking dips its toes into many different areas such as home ownership, lending and interest. Interest will be the main focus of this article. What is interest in terms of finance and banking? According to Investopedia.com, “Interest is payment from a borrower or deposit-taking financial institution to a lender or depositor of an amount above repayment of the principal sum, at a particular rate. It is distinct from a fee which the borrower may pay the lender or some third party”.

In Islam, interest is haram or forbidden. This hadith (saying), narrated by Abu Hurayrah, but written by Ibn Majah in “The Prophet”, said: “Riba (interest) has seventy segments, the least serious being equivalent to a man committing adultery with his own mother”. It’s extremely easy to understand the state of interest in Islam, it’s completely forbidden.

In the case of Islamic banking, interest is a joke or illogical. Interest, which is a pillar in the modern banking system, is impossible to stand together with Islam, where interest is vehemently opposed. It’s like water and oil, no matter how much you try to mix them they will never mix.

Safdar Alam, founder of Siyam Capital, speaks out about this in detail. “’Islamic banking’ is completely disattached to Islam, it’s redundant to call it Islamic as it goes about everything Islam has forbade. Islamic banking systems is NOT Islamic at the root and cannot be considered Islamic without changing the principals of Islam”.

So, the problem with “Islamic banks” is that they do actually charge interest, and therefore present themselves fraudulently as being Islamic. A true Islamic bank would not charge interest.

For more information, please visit: