Pope John Paul II & Pope Benedict XVI
Indian Ocean Earthquake
News comes in many
different forms, please tell us through which medium do you
usually get your news? Through the newspaper? Through TV?
How often do you
John Paul II & Pope
At 9:37 PM (Italian time) on Saturday, April 2nd, Pope
John Paul II passed away at the age of 84. His health had
been deteriorating for a while--for a few years now,
Pope John Paul had been inflicted with Parkinson's disease,
as well as arthritis. A urinary tract infection finally
caused the heart and
took his life.
Pope John Paul II was born in Wadowice, Poland on May
18, 1920, and his name given at birth was Karol Jozef Wojtyla.
On October 16, 1978, Pope John Paul became the 264th pope
in history and the first non-Italian pope in about four
and a half centuries. He
has also served
the third longest out of all of the popes before him.
Today the world mourns the death of this well-loved pope,
who fought for freedom and peace around the globe. Pope
John Paul was also the first pope to go to the White House,
communist Cuba, or even a Jewish synagogue. He was also
the first pope to ever send an e-mail!
Pope John Paul II
Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI, born Joseph Ratzinger, is now the 265th
pope. He plans to follow Pope John Paul's footsteps and keep
the Catholic Church rather conservative, affecting little
change in the Church.
Pope Benedict, like Pope John Paul, now has a papal e-mail
address so he can communicate with fellow Catholics via
the Internet--in six languages, too!
XVI even has an Internet fan club from when he was still
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after Christmas, 2004, the world was devastated with
news of an earthquake, magnitude 8.9 on the Richter
scale, that hit under the sea in the Indian Ocean close
to Indonesia. The earthquake shook the ocean floors
and caused the water in the ocean to slop onto the
land in gigantic amounts, resulting in an enormous
tsunami--waves up to 100 ft. (30 m)--hitting shores
from Thailand to southern India to east Africa. The
tsunami even killed a person 5000 mi. (8000 km) away
in South Africa, and a shockwave from the earthquake
was felt all the way in Oklahoma, USA!
produced enough energy to bring 40 gal. (150 liters)
of water--for each person on Earth--to a boil.
Because of the
shift of tectonic plates in this earthquake, each day
is now 2.68 billionths of a second shorter than it was
before the earthquake.
At first, seismologists
thought that this earthquake's magnitude was a 6.8 on
the Richter Scale--later estimates ranged as high as
9.3 (now scientists generally agree on magnitude 8.9)
tsunamis took the lives of hundreds of thousands of people,
bodies still washing up on shore each day, and many grieving
families will never be able to find the bodies of their
unfortunate loved ones. Victims include tourists from
America, Australia, and Europe, as well as natives of
areas. Entire seaside villages were left with nothing—no
shelter, no food, except for contaminated water, makeshift
morgues, and debris everywhere.
done to the city of Banda Aceh, Sumatra
around the world immediately sent help. Many non-profit organizations
formed new divisions dedicatedly solely to this cause and
prominent political and cultural figures stepped out to do
what they could. Schools like ours set up donation drives
to collect money to send to the aid of these victims of such
destructive natural disaster. Our school sold blue and green
hair ribbons and "TSUNAMI" bracelets. For us, this
event was a big wake-up call and shook us to remember
live our comparably easy, luxurious lives, others still suffer
and can benefit greatly from our small sacrifices.
the tsunami affected your community? How have you reacted and
what do you feel personally?
think it's really sad that so many people are dying--often
they're really helpless, but we live so far away so we
are not as affected. They are also humankind, so we should
~Pooja, 14, USA
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American remembers Tuesday, September 11th, 2001. That day,
terrorists under Osama bin Laden’s orders flew hijacked
planes into New York’s World Trade Center, demolishing
the Twin Towers and taking thousands of innocent lives. This
event shocked many Americans into realizing that they were
not as safe as they had always believed and that bad things
do indeed happen close to home. However, instead of shattering
American unity, this terrorist attack drew Americans together
and instilled a renewed sense of patriotism and awareness.
at our school in California was a school day, and students
came into school
with a few facts, many rumors, and even more questions.
Headline articles from online news sources filled the computer
and “special reports” from news channels played
on the televisions. We even had a special assembly informing
the school of the definite facts gathered so far and trying
to calm the students who were in shock and worried about
relatives working or traveling in New York. In the aftermath
of 9/11, the school counselor offered special sessions
in which to discuss the attacks, and now that years have
candlelight vigils are still held around the world on each
anniversary to remember this event, though we will not
soon forget it.
How did the news
of 9/11 strike you and your community? Did this event spur
you into thinking differently about the world around you?
made me feel helpless to change the sequence of events and
also I felt really bad for the families of the victims"
~Katie, 14, USA
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Cable News Network
LP, LLLP. CNN.com. 25 Jan. 2005 <http://www.cnn.com/>.
Wikipedia: The Free
Encyclopedia. "2004 Indian Ocean earthquake." Wikipedia:
The Free Encyclopedia Main Page. 29 Mar. 2005 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_Indian_Ocean_earthquake>.