Looking for Our Identity

Sayen Antil, Chile

What makes me be me? Do I have an answer for that?

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Identity is by definition the distinguishing character or personality of an individual, so I’ve been thinking which things about myself make me who I am. For me, it’s a struggle, but why? Why is it so hard to think of all those things? I think its mostly because when we are trying, aspects of us that we have denied arise. But what we should do about it? Just stop trying and continue living like we have been?

I started reading many different quotes of different philosophers  or even current writers. The psychologist, Camen Duran, said that changing our being is changing our lives,  but changing our lives is not changing our being. At first I didn’t get it, but when I did, I thought about changing  the way we live for changing ourselves is just a transitory change, mostly because our inner struggles will keep coming back to our lives.

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So where am I heading to with all of these? I want to know myself, and I am going to do it through these steps. First of all, I’ll stop comparing myself with others. Everyone does this to try to know themselves, but this is actually the worst thing to do, because we get so distracted in trying to be someone else. Maybe it’s good to look up to someone, but we’ll do this without losing our true identity,  trying to be the best version of ourselves.  I’ll be objective, if I refuse to accept some of the things I don’t like about myself, I won’t know what kind of person I truly am. I’ll try my best to identify my emotions and act according to them, that way I’ll know what  my character is like.

Once you identify how are you, you’ll be able to identify others. It will help you to improve your relationship with yourself and therefore, improve it with everyone around you. And let’s keep it honest, when you are happy with the environment of your interpersonal relationships, your entire life feels so much better because good relationships are the basis of a good, happy life. So knowing yourself, in other words, can lead you to live a fulfilling life.

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Self Driving Cars, Are They the Future?

Leonard Storch, Germany

Think of the self-driving car, an idea that seemed impossible 10 years ago and yet it’s already a reality on some highways.  It is not like they are regulary on the streets, but although some of them are being used by companies like Tesla or Uber. These companies are seeing like many others the future of traffic and cars in these autonomous vehicles. So, in case you are asking yourself why these cars aren’t used much more on a daily basis, it is because with every new invention comes also a new danger. Even though  the vehicles have an impressive safety record compared to the carnage wrought by human-driven vehicles, their excellent performance is largely enabled by machine-learning algorithms that have been trained on torrents of data about roads, intersections, street furniture, etc. But sometimes there have been fatalities. In 2016, for example, a  self-driving Tesla  drove into the back of a white tractor-trailer; in March this year, a self-driving Uber car killed a woman pushing a bicycle and so on.  These accidents are called “edge cases” because the cars’ software encountered scenes or objects that it didn’t recognize for the simple reason that they had never appeared in the software’s training datasets. Given that the real world is full of things that cars’ sensors and software have never seen before, these edge cases will continue.

So in the end I would say that there is certainly a need, and many benefits, for autonomous cars, but on the other hand, the current technology doesn’t quite seem ready for full autonomy all the time.

 

Living in a Host family

by Sophia Zimmermann, Germany

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In a few days, I will be back in Germany and will talk about the amazing experience I had with my host family here in Santa Barbara.

It is my first time in the US, so I was really afraid what it would be like living in a new family. You don’t know the people that you are going to live with, but you have to live with them. It’s a whole new culture, especially when you’re from Germany living with a Mexican family in the US.

All my fear was taken away when I saw my new family for the first time. When I got out of the car they were waiting for me at the door. They hugged me, brought my suitcases upstairs and showed me the whole house. Since the first moment I was a part of their family.

They took me to family parties, they went shopping with me, they cooked the meals I like, they made me feel so welcome in this family. I couldn’t be more grateful to call this people MY American family.

My American family is like my German one. Three children, a son and two daughters, mother, father and a pet. All family members didn’t treat me like someone they barely knew, they treated me like one of them. It was so nice to see that they cared for me and that they did everything for me so I felt good. And I did, it felt like home there and I think that is the most important thing.

But I also heard a lot of other students say that they don’t like their host families because the parents didn’t care much about the students. I feel so sad for them. You are miles away from your home and when you don’t feel comfortable or welcome your whole experience won’t be as you would like it to be. When I hear about their experiences, I feel even more grateful to have such an amazing family.

After one month in California, I will go back home with a lot of memories and new experiences. On the one side I don’t want to leave Santa Barbara, but on the other side I am really excited to go home and see my family and friends again. It will my host sister’s quinceanera in four years and I definitely will be here and celebrate this big party with her.

Santa Barbara stole my heart and I will never forget the wonderful time I had here!

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Soccer Culture

By Simon Kjellgren, Sweden

For Americans, soccer is just something you drive your daughter to. A world cup they always think they’ll win despite just being no.28 on the FIFA world ranking. For the rest of the world, it’s more than a sport, it’s a lifestyle. We live and breath soccer, some fans even kill and die for their club. The club is our god, the fans of that club is our family and the stadium is our home, our church. Soccer is a religion, a religion with thousands of gods. The leader of all those gods? Sadly FIFA. I’ll explain later.

tifo2Borussia Dortmund TIFO

The fans are the most important thing a club can have. It sounds cheesy I know, but there’s a reason fans are called “the 12th player”. They provide atmosphere around the stadium; they provide electric chants that energize the players. Most importantly, they provide TIFOs. A TIFO is a synchronized display before the game starts, with banners, flags and songs that the team march in to.

It’s Fiesta Time

Patrycja Iwaniuk, The Netherlands

The Old Spanish Days in Santa Barbara is a week of celebrating the traditions, history, heritage, and culture that has been in Santa Barbara for hundreds of years. Since the beginning of the week, the first preparations can be seen. Music can be heard on every corner of the street. The first Fiesta eggs can be bought and smashed to color the streets with colorful confetti and even the people dress up in beautiful and traditional costumes. They proudly walk through State Street giving it wonderful ambiance.

Also, here at the EF school and in the Santa Catalina residence the feeling of Fiesta is in the air. More and more decorations are being hung up in the school and even some teachers can be seen wearing some great colorful outfits. Wednesday was Tamale Day and some students had the opportunity to make some beautiful Fiesta eggs, which are by the way strictly forbidden to use in the residence. Luckily for us, there is enough space outside to break these eggs and throw some confetti on our friends. As Wednesday night was the grand opening at the Mission, Thursday morning the decorations were even greater. In the afternoon students were welcome to enjoy some chips with salsa and delicious churros. To add to that, in what way can you end the day better than having people break a piñata in the middle of the schoolyard?

The big days, however, were without hesitation Friday and Saturday. Before the big parade, everyone started to get out their chairs and blankets to save the best spot for the whole family. After a very long wait in the sun, the parade had begun. Dozens of beautiful horses gaited through State Street and the music played by the musicians completed the picture. It was really a new experience for me as a foreigner, since I have never seen or been to this kind of a parade. Over the past couple of days, I have really seen that the people of Santa Barbara cherish this week of joy and a lot of tourists who walk down the streets with the biggest smile when someone throws confetti to them. We can still savor the moment for a few weeks until the confetti disappears and then the first eggs can be eaten as a preparation for next year. As for me, this was my first time and hopefully not the last… VIVA LA FIESTA!

STREET ART: VANDALISM OR ART?

Ilaria Tedeschi, Italy

Post graffiti, murals, frescoes or Urban Art, the Universe of the Street Art is known under many appellations. But where does it come from ? What were the changes ?

“Is it art?”

A question sometimes said and heard in museums, galleries, movie theaters, concert arenas, any place of creation. One such place is also the street, where the spectators often seem to wonder: “Is graffiti art or vandalism ?”
As a response to modernism and social segregation, graffiti became the means of communication and identity for young people in New York City in the 1970s.
Street art is visual art created in public locations, usually unsanctioned artwork executed outside of the context of traditional art venues.
Some of the earliest expressions of street art were certainly the graffiti which started showing up on the sides of train cars and walls. This was the work of gangs in the 1920s and 1930s New York.
The impact of this subversive culture was extraordinarily felt in the 1970s and 1980s.
These decades were a significant turning point in the history of street art – it was a time when young people, by responding to their socio-political environment, started creating a movement, taking the ‘battle for meaning’ into their own hands.
Soon, this subcultural phenomenon gained the attention and respect in the ‘grown-up’ world. It had taken a form of true artistic expression.
One of the most important name of the street art is Martha Cooper.

Martha-Cooper-Untitled-Ghetto-4-LifeOne of the most important photo of Martha Cooper.

Although still subversive, and in its large part an illegal movement, through art enthusiasts and professionals, street art earned its place in the contemporary art world.
It is a marvelous art form in its own right and it is amazing to follow the evolution and diversity of street art in the 21st century.
Street art gave birth to artists who create breathtaking murals, and those who have incorporated video art and other performative aspects to creative work ‘on the streets’.
Omnipresent globally, it has evolved into a complex art form encompassing various practices. The World Atlas of Street Art and Graffiti is a survey of international art scene and brings together the world’s most influential urban artists and their work.

Street art is a way to communicate with other people, to share your creativity, your ideas, your thoughts and a way express yourself, how you really are.

Some of the most important street artists are:

BANSKY

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KEITH HARING

Keith-Haring-Crack-is-Wack-Mural-Restored.-Photo-Jim-Kieman-via-animal-new-york-Haring’s bold cartoon figures are a visual staple of the 1980s New York art scene and have come to appear on everything from T-shirts to skateboards.

 

Jean-Michel Basquiat

Philistines-1982-Jean-Michel-Basquiat

Before Basquiat was one of the most popular artists in New York City, hanging out with the likes of Andy Warhol and Keith Haring, he was a young, homeless runaway who took up graffiti under the name “SAMO.” In his short life, Basquiat worked his way up the rungs of the art world, landing himself in top galleries yet continuing to put work on the street.

Street art is a way to communicate with other people, to share your creativity, your ideas, your thoughts and a way express yourself, how you really are.16426886448_003b55ce09_b

 

Losing Weight Without Exercise?

The success of ‘Brown adipose tissue’ transplantation of fat

Bijin Park, South Korea

  To lose weight, we have to decrease the amount of food eaten or use more calories than before. Doing a restricted diet and exercise at the same time is the most ideal way, but also the most difficult way. So some people try to lessen food consumption too much or stop eating, but these approaches cause side-effects, such as yo-yo weight loss. In many markets, there are thousands of products that say “I can make you slim,” but there is no scientifically supporting evidence ,or the products have a little effect.

So scientists are studying new ideas to develop more effective and convenient ways to lose weight. Kevin Tharp and his colleagues at California University insisted ‘Brown fat tissue’ can be the way in a thesis about diabetes. This can sound weird, but it is fully supported. In animal fat tissue, there is ‘brown adipose tissue’ that can be changed into heat when consumed and normal ‘white adipose tissue’ that preserves energy in a form of fat that we commonly know.

‘Brown adipose tissue’ is usually abundant shortly after new-born animals because it has to maintain the body temperature of the young animals. The animals that hibernate during winter also hold a large amount of brown adipose tissue in their bodies to protect themselves against freezing to death. It is adipose tissue, but it makes your body consume energy so it brings out weight loss after all.

The researchers made stem cells of experimental rats into cells similar to brown adipose tissue and injected them to the other rats. These cells multiplied and made a lot of brown adipose tissue. The part of the body that has a lot of brown adipose tissue was 0.5C higher in temperature than other parts of the body. As a result, rats in the scientific control group (have more brown adipose tissue) consumed more calories than normal rats.

 

A is the part injected, B is normal part

(Thermal camera photo by Kevin Tharp and Andreas Stahl)

 

So, the researchers are expecting that this new study will allow people with diabetes or obesity to control their blood sugar and weight, but it is still a long way off to realize because there can be side effects in inserting stem cells or increasing body temperature over time.

 

sourse : http://nownews.seoul.co.kr/news/newsView.php?id=20150822601009

 

 

Interview With New EF Student

Alba Cerdeno (Spain) & Daria Gloor (Switzerland)

D: How long are you going to stay in Santa Barbara?

A: I am going to stay in Santa Barbara for about six weeks.

D: Why did you choose Santa Barbara?

A: I chose Santa Barbara because I always wanted to visit California and I saw that EF had a school here in Santa Barbara. So I googled it and the pictures looked really nice!

D: And how do you like Santa Barbara so far?

A: It’s great! I like the Spanish architecture of the city and the open-minded lifestyle.

D: And how is your host family? Are you feeling good there?

A: So that’s a hard question, because the host mother is really nice, but the house is so dirty. There are a lot of spider webs, lots of dust and huge piles of books and magazines. Once my pillow fell to the floor and when I picked it up there were three dead mosquitos on it. It wasn’t a nice experience.

D: Oh that sounds awful! How many people live there?

A: In my host family, there is an old woman with one cat and there are also five students with me. They are all very nice and friendly.

D: So how do you get to school? Is it far away?

A: First I have to walk 15 to 20 minutes to the bus station and then drive by bus for about 10 minutes. From the bus station I have to walk another 5 minutes to the school. Overall it takes me half an hour to get to school.

D: So it’s your first week here. What have you done so far?

A: I went to the beach, to the farmers market and also to State Street and to the shops there.

D: What activities do you have planned for your stay? Do you have a bucket list?

A: I want to go surfing and once I’d really like to go to San Francisco to visit the city. Also I would like to go to L.A where Universal Studios are.

D: That sounds great! Thank you for your time and the interesting interview. I hope you enjoy these next weeks and find a better option for your host situation.

 

 

WOMEN’S RIGHT IN JAPAN

Hinata Nakagawa JAPAN

 I was born and raised in Japan. The person whom I  most respect is my mother. In my childhood, I’ve seen a lot of times that my mother suffered from a typical Japanese society system that women have to be in. So in this article I want to talk about Japanese women’s rights.

First of all , I think Japanese women’s rights are not same as those in other countries. The World Economic Forum published The Global Gender Gap Report in 2017 and Japan ranked at 114 place out of 144 countries.It obviously shows us that women have to be in trying circumstances in Japan. One of the reasons the rights of women are not good in Japan is there are very few  women politicians in the Japanese government. It makes women live under difficult situations, because the Japanese governments doesn’t have good support for women which help to raise children or in work circumstances.

I think we should have more women politicians. The rate of women politicians in Japan is only 1 %.

images of women's right                                   3

In usual life, women are in unhelpful situation. For example in a company, many women are supposed to quit their jobs when they get married or become pregnant. The reason why it happens is most everyone thinks that women have to do chores and stay at home. Furthermore, it means that men can’t stay at home and they should work. So for instance, when a couple has a baby , men can’t have family leave to take care of their child. Moreover, after women give birth to a child ,many women will have to take care of  the baby alone. So it often makes women  as physically and mentally exhausted. In addition, once they quit their jobs because of marriage or pregnancy, it’s really difficult to find a new job. Many companies are not inclined to hire women who have children, because sometimes children have a cold suddenly or can get sick easily. In addition , there are not enough nursery schools in most of cities in Japan. It means mothers have to stay at home and can’t work until they find  a nursery school. The children can’t enter nursery school because of the nursery  school is at capacity are called waiting child. It has become to be really serious problem recently. Many women need the government to change ,but they still have not changed this situation.

downloadIn a very fundamental part of our lives prejudice  between women and men is also a problem. However, I  think these things are too common to say it’s a discrimination, because people say biased things without any hesitation. Even women often don’t care . On the other hand, some experts say if you don’t change these small biases , society may not be healthy forever. Thus, we should care much more about small biases. For instance , many men say women must be good at cooking and this is really important. Sometimes people speak that the value of women is decided by their cooking skills. They think women are supposed to cook for men. In addition, when women are pregnant unexpectedly and unfortunately many men don’t take responsibility and women suffer alone.  Furthermore, when some fathers are helpful  at chores and raising children, people praise them like that’s an incredibly great things. I hope people can say it’s normal that both the father and the mother do housework and take care of their child together . Above all, the important things is trying to treat women and men the same sincerely.images

As you can see , we have a lot of problems about the circumstances of Japanese women’s lives. What we need to do is to become aware of  natural biases that we have without any doubt and try changing our society. Unfortunately, activities about women’s rights are much less than other developed countries, such as Europe or America because most Japanese people are not concerned about women’s rights.  In my opinion, these actives will also make society very diverse and it helps men’s lives to be better,too. No matter if you are a man or woman ,anyone can be whoever you want to be. I hope women and men can be equal in the future and for this goal, we should start changing our awareness about our lives.

Japanese Have a Low Tolerance for Alcohol

Rikako Fujita , Japan

Generally speaking, Japanese are not strong for alcohol. We can drunk quickly. On the other hand, people from Europe and Latin is really strong. Sometimes, I see them drinking wine straight from bottle. If Japanese do same thing, we will die by acute alcohol intoxication.

What is Acute Alcohol Intoxication.

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Alcoholic drinks menu

As a result of examining the genetic information of Japanese people, it was found by RIKEN which is Japanese science organization. That “evolution” has occurred for thousands of years to increase the number of people with weak constitution to drink. Although detailed cause is unknown, weak constitution of alcohol seems to have worked advantageously for adapting to the environment for some reason. It announced to the English scientific journal Nature Communications of 24th.
Two types of metabolic enzymes, “ADH1B” and “ALDH2”, are involved in the alcoholysis in the body. Each enzyme has strong and weak types, with 75% of ADH 1 B and 25% of ALDH 2 being weak in Japanese. On the other hand, Westerners and others are known to have strong types for most two types.

Acute-Alcohol-Intoxication
Analysis of the total genetic information of 2200 Japanese people revealed that there are many mutations that are rarely found beside genes that produce weak type enzymes. When genetic information is inherited to offspring, it indicates that the mutation accumulated without being lost together with this gene, and it is considered to be one of the evidence that having a weak type of enzyme worked advantageously. They also found that Japanese with weak type of enzymes increased over the past 100 generations.

This is why, Japanese have a low tolerance. When Japanese drink with friends who is from foreign countries, they must care about amount of alcohol. They DO NOT drink same like friends.