The Future is NOW!! – Sustainable Norfolk

My proposal on how to make Norfolk more sustainable involves a lot on improving what is currently in place.  I think that adding little things here and there such a more recycle bins or electric cars can make a big difference.  Not only is it important to make people more aware and give them information on how to “go green”, I emphasize in my proposal that these steps to going green should be able to benefit you personally.  For example, using an electric car will save you money that you would spend on gas, although to give people more incentive to make the switch to an electric car, I suggested that there be specific parking areas that people can charge their cars at in places where they spend a lot of their time at, such as malls or work buildings.

Much of my inspiration came from Germany and the way they save their energy.  An idea that I didn’t mention in my prezi is to charge a small amount whenever you throw out garbage, but if you recycle, it won’t cost you money.  I did not suggest it because I do not think that this idea would go over well in Norfolk, but maybe it would work better in other parts of America.  German’s also save a lot of money through the way they heat and cool their houses.  My parents recently moved to Germany and their house is a typical German style house.  There are no vents in the house, but instead, they have specialized windows and doors that they crack open for about 10 minutes each day to circulate the air.  This allows the house to be sealed tighter and keep the warm air in.  There are two ways they heat the house: one is by the floor that generate heat, and another is through a fireplace which also provides the heat for the water in the house.  This eliminates the need for a gas furnace altogether.

I suggest that we use multiple renewable-energy resources, such as solar, wind, and water, to provide energy for the city.  If one energy source is not abundant for one day (for example, if it was a cloudy day), it would not be that great of an issue because another form of energy could be used instead (such as water power).  Although some of these changes can be made without effecting the current architecture such as the recycle bins, other changes are a little more difficult to accomplish without having to tear down some of the vacant buildings in the area or renovating the current ones.  These changes will cost more money to complete, although in the end, it would be a great benefit to the city of Norfolk.

Reference List:

Hazlett, R. (2012, February 22). Big blue goes green. Mace & Crown. Retrieved from
Markert, L. R., & Backer, P. R. (2010). Contemporary technology: Innovations, issues, and perspectives (5th ed.). Tinley Park, IL: The Goodheart-Willcox Company, Inc.
Wardwell, A. (2011, May 26). Eco-ship 2020: An open hatch bulk carrier of the future. Det Norske Veritas. Retrieved from

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The Shareable Future of Cities

How many people does Steffen estimate we will have living in or near cities by mid-century?

  • 8 billion+ people

Explain how you agree or disagree with Steffen’s point that our energy use is “predestined” rather than “behavioral”.

  • I somewhat agree with his point that energy use is predestined, because it is hard to go throughout day-to-day life in cities today without using energy, like having to use lights at work or at school, or using computers to keep up with assignments.  Although, some energy used by people could be limited more, for example, instead of driving a mile or 2 to get to work, maybe you could take your bike, or even carpool with a friend.

What correlation does Steffen make between a city’s density and its climate emissions?

  • Denser areas have lower emissions, because you don’t need to travel as far (using a car) to obtain what you need because more people mean that the resources you need like milk or bread may only be a block or 2 away, so you can walk there instead of driving.

What are the “eco districts” that Steffen mentions? How you see these as feasible or unfeasible in a city like Norfolk?

  • Eco districts are sustainable neighborhoods, they have the necessities so that people do not need to use as much energy.  I think this is very feasible for cities like Norfolk, because they already have a bigger density of people which leads to having more things needed in everyday life like food in a closer radius.

Explain how you agree or disagree with the “threshold effect” that Steffen discusses related to transportation.

  • I disagree with the threshold effect.  I think that it is more of a matter of the economy and the price of gas which causes people to stop driving than the “comfort” they find in the city.

What does Steffen mean by the idea that, “…even space itself is turning into a service…”? Can you provide any examples that you see here in Norfolk or elsewhere?

  • People can share the same space, also this could refer to using the environment to benefit us.  For example, using sunlight to heat a building or open a window to let in a breeze to cool it.  In Germany, many of the houses and building have solar panels and heat the house using heated floors rather than a gas furnace.  They also have windows and doors that are specifically made to be “cracked” open slightly to let in air that will circulate the air and cool the air in the buildings.

Describe your understanding of Steffen’s argument that, “…it’s not about the leaves above, but the systems below…”.

  • He was arguing that people have all these great ideas that may look nice, but are they effective?  He pointed out that there are ways to make these ideas “greener” by using a rainwater-filter system to collect water, or turn waste back into soil to reduce the carbon from the air.

Finally, overall in what way(s) do you see Steffen’s ideas working / not working here in Norfolk?

  • I think that these ideas are already in progress, at least around ODU.  The area around ODU is fairly dense and packed with many stores and areas that can easily be traveled to by walking rather than driving.  Although, like I said previously, even though people have the ability to walk to places or ride their bikes to lower the emissions, it doesn’t mean that they necessarily will.
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Weird Al “The Beer Song”

I feel like this relates to our class today 😛

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From the video we watched in class today, it can basically be gathered that the human race wouldn’t be where it is now without beer.  It created math, cured the sick, and helped with the discovery and creation of America.  Relating this back to our recent reading, beer was invented as a mistake by the first hunter/gatherers and grew into something that could be used as medicine for the Egyptians and as something that could substitute for the unclean water in the middle ages.  Pub songs used to test sobriety of a person created the tune for our national anthem, all because of the inspiration of beer.  This all represents the theme of the technology transfer as beer has been used in so many different settings to solve a variety of different problems.

With beer being such an important part of the human race, it’s no wonder other people from different countries like Ireland and Germany think it’s the most absurd idea that in the U.S., you can drive, you can vote, you can go to prison, you can join the military and die for your country, but unless you are 21, you cannot drink beer 😛

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For anybody who has been keeping up with my posts, I actually overcame death of the red ring!

You don’t understand how happy I am right now ;~; !!!!

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The Hobbit

I’ve messed around a lot with gaming, 3D, and flash animation (which follows the same concept as Jackson is talking about), and I have always wondered why 24 was the set frame rate for everything.  I understood for animation that it would be a pain in the butt to make sure that all of those frames flowed correctly, but I found this article interesting as to how he thought somewhat the same thing I did as to why people wouldn’t make movies with a higher frame rate.  Logically to me, I would think that more frames would mean a better flow, and I guess we will find out when the Hobbit comes to theaters this December 🙂

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My love affair with technology

I am a huge tech geek.  I love technology, learning about it, and figuring out how a lot of it works.  I would often help my dad with his own computer business since I was in 5th grade, fixing computers and teaching people how to use them, specifically at a retirement community near my old house.  If you read my about page, you can probably tell that my passion lies with video games.  I’ve done a few speeches on how certain gaming systems work, such as the Nintendo 3DS and how you do NOT need 3D glasses to see the 3D effect.  Currently I have taken apart my xbox in order to fix some problems it’s having from the inside (crossing my fingers that this works so I don’t have to go out and buy a new one!!)

Abstract 1: Technology Overview and Impact

Wilson, R. (1979). Analyzing the daily risks of life. Technology Review, 8(4), 40-46.

As humans, we take many risks each and every day.  We take risks going through our morning routines, we take risk traveling to work or to school, and we take risks simply by living out our lives.  There are chemicals in the food we eat, the water we drink, and the air we breathe.  People would rather ignore the risks that they take every day by trying to eliminate the biggest risks they take.  This leads to the need to compare which risks are greater than others, and even when that is determined and/or eliminated, there is still a risk of the other incident occurring.  People have also attempted to tax risks and the people who create them such as cigarette manufacturers.  While these people pay the taxes, it still doesn’t stop them from selling their products and continuing the risks.  The author of this article argues that we make decisions about risks every day, as well as the people in our government who make larger decisions for us.  Wilson believes that what people need to do is to assess the risks that we take and try our best to lessen those risks, even if they are not as apparent to us.

I believe in what Wilson was saying about society needing to consider the risks that we go through every day and that we need to do our best to reduce the risks.  Not only will it benefit ourselves to reduce risks such as the chemicals added to foods or the pollution in the air, but it will benefit our friends, family, and the next generations.  It is important to keep our Earth healthy, which will make the people who live in it healthy as well and allow us to live longer, happier lives.

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My First Post

Starting my first blog….. now.


Hello world!

Welcome to After you read this, you should delete and write your own post, with a new title above. Or hit Add New on the left (of the admin dashboard) to start a fresh post.

Here are some suggestions for your first post.

  1. You can find new ideas for what to blog about by reading the Daily Post.
  2. Add PressThis to your browser. It creates a new blog post for you about any interesting  page you read on the web.
  3. Make some changes to this page, and then hit preview on the right. You can always preview any post or edit it before you share it to the world.