Teenage Suicide

Teenage suicide has become a critical, national problem the extent of which is mind boggling. From 1980 to 1992 the rate of suicides involving persons from the ages of 10-14 years old has increased by 120 percent, and has increased 28.3 percent when involving persons from the ages of 15-19 years old (Suicide 451). More recently in a poll of 3,210 high-school honor students, a stunning one-quarter have seriously considered suicide (Eaton 15). Suicides have been proven to be one of the leading causes of death among teens, falling second only to accidents (Roberts 45). This data, however, may be inaccurate, being that deaths labeled accidental may have actually been teen suicides. Also, many families may not want to report suicides or suicide attempts for the fear of embarrassment. Nevertheless, there is extensive proof that suicide attempts and/or successes are on the rise among teenagers, and numerous groups have devoted themselves to establishing a cause to this epidemic. The one similarity that all of these different groups seem to agree on is that there is not one single theory that explains the growing phenomenon of teenage suicide. However, a number of factors seem to be common among “at-risk teens,” factors that, if given the right set of circumstances, could put them in jeopardy.
One of and seemingly the most common of these factors is depression. According to the National Association for
Mental Health, nearly 20 percent of those who receive care for
depression in hospitals and clinics are under the age of eighteen (Leder 31). Everyone has different reasons for being depressed and the extent of that depression will also vary from person to person. Some common causes of depression that have been found to lead to suicide attempts are not feeling loved and/or understood, the feeling of rejection, trouble with friends and family, or the feeling of being “no good.” A loss, (as in the death of a loved one, divorce, or the breakup up with a boyfriend/girlfriend) Has also been found to link depression and suicide (Leder 34).
Psychologists and doctors have also realized that having numerous psychological problems, known as “conduct disorders,” causes teens to have impulsive behavior. This impulsive behavior can cause them to act violently and antisocially; when these youths commit suicide, it can be looked at as an act of “violence turned inward” (Long 24). Violent behavior and suicide may be directly related to altered brain chemistry according to Marie Asberg, a Swedish psychiatrist. She has found that there are lower levels of the cerebrospinal chemical 5-HIAA in suicidal subjects, when compared to “normal” subjects. This chemical is a by product of the brain neurotransmitter serotonin, which may regulate
mood and aggression (Long 25). According to Dr. Michael
Stanley, a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University, “the
serotonin data is the most potentially promising development in the suicide prevention field.” According to Stanley, it may be possible to test whether or not a person may be suicidal (qtd. in
Long 25).
Some say that the incrteased rate of completed suicicdes may be atributed to the use of more leathal means during attempts.
Another major factor that relates to adolescent suicide is the use of drugs and alcohol. Experts estimated that an amazing three out of four youths that commit suicide have abused drugs at one time or another. Alcohol has also been found in the blood of at least half of all adolescents at the time of there suicide (Long 23). There are many reasons why drugs and alcohol create a higher risk of suicide. For example, first, drugs are commonly used as an escape; they help in coping with stress and frustration by blocking it out. This attempted release from problems shows that the teen has already become unstable and is losing control. Secondly, when a person is under the influence of drugs, or is intoxicated, his self-control is enormously decreased. He may suddenly act upon a suicidal thought without putting any thought into it. Finally and probably the most understandable reason why they are related to adolescent suicide, is that they act as a mean to do
so. In other words, drugs and alcohol can be used as weapons themselves, as in an overdose (Hafen 28).

A further cause of suicide among adolescents can be seen in the connection between suicide and sexual orientation. In San Francisco, five hundred gay and lesbian youths were interviewed and an astonishing thirty percent had attempted
suicide at least once (Bull 36). Lisa Rodgers, the program director for Out Youth, a group for gay and lesbian teenagers, says: “A lot of these kids have absolutely nobody in the world, they are hated and despised everywhere they go.” She then continues: “it’s not surprising that a lot of them don’t see a future” (qtd. in Bull 36). Lesbian and gay adolescents face tremendous challenges while trying to grow up physically and mentally healthy in a world where the majority of the public seem anti-homosexual. These youths face an increased risk of psychosocial problems, problems that aren’t caused by their sexual orientation, but by society’s reaction to it.

Another theory that is linked to adolescent suicide is the feeling of pressure to succeed. Suicide rates are higher in generations were there is a greater population, which causes an increase in competition for jobs, grades and in school sports (Long 21). The pressure to achieve academically can be particularly intense during adolescence, when the pressure is on performing well enough for college acceptance. During elementary school and middle school, failure can be
embarrassing and a reason for punishment at home; during the
later years of high school and college, however, a person’s potential career is at
risk. One student in a report from the White House Conference on Children in 1970 maintains: “If I ever commit suicide, I’ll leave
my school schedule behind as a suicide note” ( qtd. in Gardner and Rosenberg 50). This statement opened the eyes of the
government as to the extent of pressure placed on adolescents by

A loss of self-worth or self-esteem is high on the at-risk list for teenagers. Because a sense of identity is often pretty shacked and fragile during adolescence, feelings of not being worth much in one’s parents eyes won’t help a young person’s self-esteem. In extreme cases the adolescent may look upon himself, as being despicable and worthless, and learn to hate himself, when he is unable able to reach their goals (Hafen 95). The Youth Suicide National Center feels that “few of them adolescents have found ways of dealing with the lack of self esteem and when these feelings overwhelm them, they believe there is something very wrong with them.” (qtd. in Hafen 23).
After reading numerous books and articles, the plain, but simple truth is that no one knows exactly why teenagers
kill themselves. Psychiatrists have, however, reached the conclusion that in a society where adolescents have been exposed to many adult pressures and stresses, they may not be able to cope. Some of the most common causes of stress revolve around family situations, social problems, depression, developmental factors, and other factors associated with adolescents. It is this unbearable stress that leads them to the act of suicide.

Effects of Altitude of Human Physiology

Changes in altitude have a profound effect on the human body. The body
attempts to maintain a state of homeostasis or balance to ensure the optimal
operating environment for its complex chemical systems. Any change from this
homeostasis is a change away from the optimal operating environment. The body
attempts to correct this imbalance. One such imbalance is the effect of
increasing altitude on the body’s ability to provide adequate oxygen to be
utilized in cellular respiration. With an increase in elevation, a typical
occurrence when climbing mountains, the body is forced to respond in various
ways to the changes in external
environment. Foremost of these changes is the diminished ability to obtain
oxygen from the atmosphere. If the adaptive responses to this stressor are
inadequate the performance of body systems may decline dramatically. If
prolonged the results can be serious or even fatal. In looking at the effect
of altitude on body functioning we first must understand what occurs in the
external environment at higher elevations and then observe the important
changes that occur in the internal environment of the body in response.

In discussing altitude change and its effect on the body mountaineers
generally define altitude according to the scale of high (8,000 – 12,000
feet), very high (12,000 – 18,000 feet), and extremely high (18,000+ feet),
(Hubble, 1995). A common misperception of the change in external environment
with increased altitude is that there is decreased oxygen. This is not
correct as the concentration of oxygen at sea level is about 21% and stays
relatively unchanged until over 50,000 feet (Johnson, 1988).

What is really happening is that the atmospheric pressure is decreasing and
subsequently the amount of oxygen available in a single breath of air is
significantly less. At sea level the barometric pressure averages 760 mmHg
while at 12,000 feet it is only 483 mmHg. This decrease in total atmospheric
pressure means that there are 40% fewer oxygen molecules per breath at this
altitude compared to sea level (Princeton, 1995).

The human respiratory system is responsible for bringing oxygen into the
body and transferring it to the cells where it can be utilized for cellular
activities. It also removes carbon dioxide from the body. The respiratory
system draws air initially either through the mouth or nasal passages. Both
of these passages join behind the hard palate to form the pharynx. At the
base of the pharynx are two openings. One, the esophagus, leads to the
digestive system while the other, the glottis, leads to the lungs. The
epiglottis covers the glottis when swallowing so that food does not enter the
lungs. When the epiglottis is not covering the opening to the lungs air may
pass freely into and out of the trachea.

The trachea sometimes called the “windpipe” branches into two bronchi which
in turn lead to a lung. Once in the lung the bronchi branch many times into
smaller bronchioles which eventually terminate in small sacs called alveoli.

It is in the alveoli that the actual transfer of oxygen to the blood takes

The alveoli are shaped like inflated sacs and exchange gas through a
membrane. The passage of oxygen into the blood and carbon dioxide out of the
blood is dependent on three major factors: 1) the partial pressure of the
gases, 2) the area of the pulmonary surface, and 3) the thickness of the
membrane (Gerking, 1969). The membranes in the alveoli provide a large
surface area for the free exchange of gases. The typical thickness of the
pulmonary membrane is less than the thickness of a red blood cell. The
pulmonary surface and the thickness of the alveolar membranes are not
directly affected by a change in altitude. The partial pressure of oxygen,
however, is directly related to altitude and affects gas transfer in the

To understand gas transfer it is important to first understand something
about the
behavior of gases. Each gas in our atmosphere exerts its own pressure and
acts independently of the others. Hence the term partial pressure refers to
the contribution of each gas to the entire pressure of the atmosphere. The
average pressure of the atmosphere at sea level is approximately 760 mmHg.

This means that the pressure is great enough to support a column of mercury
(Hg) 760 mm high. To figure the partial pressure of oxygen you start with the
percentage of oxygen present in the atmosphere which is about 20%. Thus
oxygen will constitute 20% of the total atmospheric pressure at any given
level. At sea level the total atmospheric pressure is 760 mmHg so the partial
pressure of O2 would be approximately 152 mmHg.

760 mmHg x 0.20 = 152 mmHg
A similar computation can be made for CO2 if we know that the concentration
is approximately 4%. The partial pressure of CO2 would then be about 0.304
mmHg at sea level.

Gas transfer at the alveoli follows the rule of simple diffusion. Diffusion
is movement of molecules along a concentration gradient from an area of high
concentration to an area of lower concentration. Diffusion is the result of
collisions between molecules. In areas of higher concentration there are more
collisions. The net effect of this greater number of collisions is a movement
toward an area of lower concentration. In Table 1 it is apparent that the
concentration gradient favors the diffusion of oxygen into and carbon dioxide
out of the blood (Gerking, 1969). Table 2 shows the decrease in partial
pressure of oxygen at increasing altitudes (Guyton, 1979).

Table 1
OXYGEN152 mmHg (20%)104 mmHg (13.6%) 40 mmHg
CARBON DIOXIDE 0.304 mmHg (0.04%)40 mmHg (5.3%) 45 mmHg
Table 2
0 760159*104 97
10,000523 110 67 90
20,000349 73 40 70
30,000226 47 21 20
40,000141 29 85
50,00087 18 11
*this value differs from table 1 because the author used the value for the
concentration of O2 as 21%.

The author of table 1 choose to use the value as 20%.

In a normal, non-stressed state, the respiratory system transports oxygen
from the lungs to the cells of the body where it is used in the process of
cellular respiration. Under normal conditions this transport of oxygen is
sufficient for the needs of cellular respiration. Cellular respiration
converts the energy in chemical bonds into energy that can be used to power
body processes. Glucose is the molecule most often used to fuel this process
although the body is capable of using other organic molecules for energy.

The transfer of oxygen to the body tissues is often called internal
respiration (Grollman, 1978). The process of cellular respiration is a
complex series of chemical steps that ultimately allow for the breakdown of
glucose into usable energy in the form of ATP (adenosine triphosphate). The
three main steps in the process are: 1) glycolysis, 2) Krebs cycle, and 3)
electron transport system. Oxygen is required for these processes to function
at an efficient level. Without the presence of oxygen the pathway for energy
production must proceed anaerobically. Anaerobic respiration sometimes called
lactic acid fermentation produces significantly less ATP (2 instead of 36/38)
and due to this great inefficiency will quickly exhaust the available supply
of glucose. Thus the anaerobic pathway is not a permanent solution for the
provision of energy to the body in the absence of sufficient oxygen.

The supply of oxygen to the tissues is dependent on: 1) the efficiency with
which blood is oxygenated in the lungs, 2) the efficiency of the blood in
delivering oxygen to the tissues, 3) the efficiency of the respiratory
enzymes within the cells to transfer hydrogen to molecular oxygen (Grollman,
1978). A deficiency in any of these areas can result in the body cells not
having an adequate supply of oxygen. It is this inadequate supply of oxygen
that results in difficulties for the body at higher elevations.

A lack of sufficient oxygen in the cells is called anoxia. Sometimes the
term hypoxia, meaning less oxygen, is used to indicate an oxygen debt. While
anoxia literally means “no oxygen” it is often used interchangeably with
hypoxia. There are different types of anoxia based on the cause of the oxygen
deficiency. Anoxic anoxia refers to defective oxygenation of the blood in the
lungs. This is the type of oxygen deficiency that is of concern when
ascending to greater altitudes with a subsequent decreased partial pressure
of O2. Other types of oxygen deficiencies include: anemic anoxia (failure of
the blood to transport adequate quantities of oxygen), stagnant anoxia (the
slowing of the circulatory system), and histotoxic anoxia (the failure of
respiratory enzymes to adequately function).

Anoxia can occur temporarily during normal respiratory system regulation of
changing cellular needs. An example of this would be climbing a flight of
stairs. The increased oxygendemand of the cells in providing the mechanical
energy required to climb ultimately produces a local hypoxia in the muscle
cell. The first noticeable response to this external stress is usually an
increase in breathing rate. This is called increased alveolar ventilation.

The rate of our breathing is determined by the need for O2 in the cells and
is the first response to hypoxic conditions.

If increases in the rate of alveolar respiration are insufficient to supply
the oxygen needs of the cells the respiratory system responds by general
vasodilation. This allows a greater flow of blood in the circulatory system.

The sympathetic nervous system also acts to stimulate vasodilation within the
skeletal muscle. At the level of the capillaries the normally closed
precapillary sphincters open allowing a large flow of blood through the
muscles. In turn the cardiac output increases both in terms of heart rate and
stroke volume. The stroke volume, however, does not substantially increase in
the non-athlete (Langley, et.al., 1980). This demonstrates an obvious benefit
of regular exercise and physical conditioning particularly for an individual
who will be exposed to high altitudes. The heart rate is increased by the
action of the
adrenal medulla which releases catecholamines. These catecholamines work
directly on the myocardium to strengthen contraction. Another compensation
mechanism is the release of renin by the kidneys. Renin leads to the
production of angiotensin which serves to increase blood pressure (Langley,
Telford, and Christensen, 1980). This helps to force more blood into
capillaries. All of these changes are a regular and normal response of the
body to external stressors. The question involved with altitude changes
becomes what happens when the normal responses can no longer meet the oxygen
demand from the cells?
One possibility is that Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) may occur. AMS is
common at high altitudes. At elevations over 10,000 feet, 75% of people will
have mild symptoms (Princeton, 1995). The occurrence of AMS is dependent upon
the elevation, the rate of ascent to that elevation, and individual

Acute Mountain Sickness is labeled as mild, moderate, or severe dependent on
the presenting symptoms. Many people will experience mild AMS during the
process of acclimatization to a higher altitude. In this case symptoms of AMS
would usually start 12-24 hours after arrival at a higher altitude and begin
to decrease in severity about the third day. The symptoms of mild AMS are
headache, dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, nausea,
disturbed sleep, and a general feeling of malaise (Princeton, 1995). These
symptoms tend to increase at night when respiration is slowed during sleep.

Mild AMS does not interfere with normal activity and symptoms generally
subside spontaneously as the body acclimatizes to
the higher elevation.

Moderate AMS includes a severe headache that is not relieved by medication,
nausea and vomiting, increasing weakness and fatigue, shortness of breath,
and decreased coordination called ataxia (Princeton, 1995). Normal activity
becomes difficult at this stage of AMS, although the person may still be able
to walk on their own. A test for moderate AMS is to have the individual
attempt to walk a straight line heel to toe. The person with ataxia will be
unable to walk a straight line. If ataxia is indicated it is a clear sign
that immediate descent is required. In the case of hiking or climbing it is
important to get the affected individual to descend before the ataxia reaches
the point where they can no longer walk on their own.

Severe AMS presents all of the symptoms of mild and moderate AMS at an
increased level of severity. In addition there is a marked shortness of
breath at rest, the inability to walk, a decreasing mental clarity, and a
potentially dangerous fluid buildup in the lungs.

There is really no cure for Acute Mountain Sickness other than
acclimatization or
descent to a lower altitude. Acclimatization is the process, over time, where
the body adapts to the decrease in partial pressure of oxygen molecules at a
higher altitude. The major cause of altitude illnesses is a rapid increase in
elevation without an appropriate acclimatization period. The process of
acclimatization generally takes 1-3 days at the new altitude. Acclimatization
involves several changes in the structure and function of the body. Some of
these changes happen immediately in response to reduced levels of oxygen
while others are a slower adaptation. Some of the most significant changes
Chemoreceptor mechanism increases the depth of alveolar ventilation. This
allows for an increase in ventilation of about 60% (Guyton, 1969). This is an
immediate response to oxygen debt. Over a period of several weeks the
capacity to increase alveolar ventilation may increase 600-700%.

Pressure in pulmonary arteries is increased, forcing blood into portions of
lung which are normally not used during sea level breathing.

The body produces more red blood cells in the bone marrow to carry oxygen.

This process may take several weeks. Persons who live at high altitude often
have red blood cell counts 50% greater than normal.

The body produces more of the enzyme 2,3-biphosphoglycerate that facilitates
the release of oxygen from hemoglobin to the body tissues (Tortora, 1993).

The acclimatization process is slowed by dehydration, over-exertion, alcohol
and other depressant drug consumption. Longer term changes may include an
increase in the size of the alveoli, and decrease in the thickness of the
alveoli membranes. Both of these changes allow for more gas transfer.

The symptoms of mild AMS can be treated with pain medications for headache.

Some physicians recommend the medication Diamox (Acetazolamide). Both Diamox
and headache medication appear to reduce the severity of symptoms, but do not
cure the underlying problem of oxygen debt. Diamox, however, may allow the
individual to metabolize more oxygen by breathing faster. This is especially
helpful at night when respiratory drive is decreased. Since it takes a while
for Diamox to have an effect, it is advisable to start taking it 24 hours
before going to altitude. The recommendation of the Himalayan Rescue
Association Medical Clinic is 125 mg.

twice a day. The standard dose has been 250 mg., but their research shows no
difference with the lower dose (Princeton, 1995). Possible side effects
include tingling of the lips and finger tips, blurring of vision, and
alteration of taste. These side effects may be reduced with the 125 mg. dose.

Side effects subside when the drug is stopped. Diamox is a sulfonamide drug,
so people who are allergic to sulfa drugs such as penicillin should not take
Diamox. Diamox has also been known to cause severe allergic reactions to
people with no previous history of Diamox or sulfa
allergies. A trial course of the drug is usually conducted before going to a
remote location where a severe allergic reaction could prove difficult to
treat. Some recent data suggests that the medication Dexamethasone may have
some effect in reducing the risk of mountain sickness when used in
combination with Diamox (University of Iowa, 1995).

Moderate AMS requires advanced medications or immediate descent to reverse
the problem. Descending even a few hundred feet may help and definite
improvement will be seen in descents of 1,000-2,000 feet. Twenty-four hours
at the lower altitude will result in significant improvements. The person
should remain at lower altitude until symptoms have subsided (up to 3 days).

At this point, the person has become acclimatized to that altitude and can
begin ascending again. Severe AMS requires immediate descent to lower
altitudes (2,000 – 4,000 feet). Supplemental oxygen may be helpful in
reducing the effects of altitude sicknesses but does not overcome all the
difficulties that may result from the lowered barometric pressure.

This invention has revolutionized field treatment of high altitude
illnesses. The Gamow bag is basically a portable sealed chamber with a pump.

The principle of operation is identical to the hyperbaric chambers used in
deep sea diving. The person is placed inside the bag and it is inflated.

Pumping the bag full of air effectively increases the concentration of oxygen
molecules and therefore simulates a descent to lower altitude. In as little
as 10 minutes the bag creates an atmosphere that corresponds to that at 3,000
– 5,000 feet lower. After 1-2 hours in the bag, the
person’s body chemistry will have reset to the lower altitude. This lasts for
up to 12 hours outside of the bag which should be enough time to travel to a
lower altitude and allow for further acclimatization. The bag and pump weigh
about 14 pounds and are now carried on most major high altitude expeditions.

The gamow bag is particularly important where the possibility of immediate
descent is not feasible.

There are two other severe forms of altitude illness. Both of these happen
frequently, especially to those who are properly acclimatized. When they do
occur, it is usually the result of an increase in elevation that is too rapid
for the body to adjust properly. For reasons not entirely understood, the
lack of oxygen and reduced pressure often results in leakage of fluid through
the capillary walls into either the lungs or the brain. Continuing to higher
altitudes without proper acclimatization can lead to potentially serious,
even life-threatening illnesses.

High altitude pulmonary edema results from fluid buildup in the lungs. The
fluid in the lungs interferes with effective oxygen exchange. As the
condition becomes more severe, the level of oxygen in the bloodstream
decreases, and this can lead to cyanosis, impaired cerebral function, and
death. Symptoms include shortness of breath even at rest, tightness in the
marked fatigue, a feeling of impending suffocation at night, weakness, and a
persistent productive cough bringing up white, watery, or frothy fluid
(University of Iowa, 1995.). Confusion, and irrational behavior are signs
that insufficient oxygen is reaching the brain. One of the methods for
testing for HAPE is to check recovery time after exertion. Recovery time
refers to the time after exertion that it takes for heart rate and
respiration to return to near normal. An increase in this time may mean fluid
is building up in the lungs. If a case of HAPE is suspected an immediate
descent is a necessary life-saving measure (2,000 – 4,000 feet). Anyone
from HAPE must be evacuated to a medical facility for proper follow-up
treatment. Early data suggests that nifedipine may have a protective effect
against high altitude pulmonary edema (University of Iowa, 1995).

High altitude cerebral edema results from the swelling of brain tissue from
fluid leakage. Symptoms can include headache, loss of coordination (ataxia),
weakness, and decreasing levels of consciousness including, disorientation,
loss of memory, hallucinations, psychotic behavior, and coma. It generally
occurs after a week or more at high altitude. Severe instances can lead to
death if not treated quickly. Immediate descent is a necessary life-saving
measure (2,000 – 4,000 feet). Anyone suffering from HACE must be evacuated
to a medical facility for proper follow-up

The importance of oxygen to the functioning of the human body is critical.

Thus the effect of decreased partial pressure of oxygen at higher altitudes
can be pronounced. Each individual adapts at a different speed to exposure to
altitude and it is hard to know who may be affected by altitude sickness.

There are no specific factors such as age, sex, or physical condition that
correlate with susceptibility to altitude sickness. Most people can go up to
8,000 feet with minimal effect. Acclimatization is often accompanied by fluid
loss, so the ingestion of large amounts of fluid to remain properly hydrated
is important (at least 3-4 quarts per day). Urine output should be copious
and clear.

From the available studies on the effect of altitude on the human body it
would appear apparent that it is important to recognize symptoms early and
take corrective measures. Light activity during the day is better than
sleeping because respiration decreases during sleep, exacerbating the
symptoms. The avoidance of tobacco, alcohol, and other depressant drugs
including, barbiturates, tranquilizers, and sleeping pills is important.

These depressants further decrease the respiratory drive during sleep
resulting in a worsening of the symptoms. A high carbohydrate diet (more than
70% of your calories from carbohydrates) while at altitude also
appears to facilitate recovery.

A little planning and awareness can greatly decrease the chances of altitude
sickness. Recognizing early symptoms can result in the avoidance of more
serious consequences of altitude sickness. The human body is a complex
biochemical organism that requires an adequate supply of oxygen to function.

The ability of this organism to adjust to a wide range of conditions is a
testament to its survivability. The decreased partial pressure of oxygen with
altitude is one of these adaptations.

Electric Differential Multimedia Lab, Travel Precautions and Advice,
University of Iowa Medical College, 1995.

Gerking, Shelby D., Biological Systems, W.B. Saunders Company, 1969.

Grolier Electronic Publishing, The New Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia, 1993.

Grollman, Sigmund, The Human Body: Its Structure and Physiology, Macmillian
Publishing Company, 1978.

Guyton, Arthur C., Physiology of the Human Body, 5th Edition, Saunders
College Publishing, 1979.

Hackett, P., Mountain Sickness, The Mountaineers, Seattle, 1980.

Hubble, Frank, High Altitude Illness, Wilderness Medicine Newsletter,
March/April 1995.

Hubble, Frank, The Use of Diamox in the Prevention of Acute Mountain
Sickness, Wilderness Medicine Newsletter, March/April 1995.

Isaac, J. and Goth, P., The Outward Bound Wilderness First Aid Handbook,
Lyons & Burford, New 1991.

Johnson, T., and Rock, P., Acute Mountain Sickness, New England Journal of
Medicine, 1988:319:841-5
Langley, Telford, and Christensen, Dynamic Anatomy and Physiology,
McGraw-Hill, 1980.

Princeton University, Outdoor Action Program, 1995.

Starr, Cecie, and Taggart, Ralph, Biology: The Unity and Diversity of Life,
Wadsworth Publishing Company, 1992.

Tortora, Gerard J., and Grabowski, Sandra, Principles of Anatomy and
Physiology, Seventh Edition, Harper Collins College Publishers, 1993.

Wilkerson., J., Editor, Medicine for Mountaineering, Fourth Edition, The
Mountaineers, Seattle, 1992.

Oedipus’s Crime

What Was Oedipuss Crime?
Oedipus, ruler of Thebes, murdered his father and married his mother. Such acts are almost always deemed unnatural and criminal; they are not tolerated within traditional society. A person who has committed these illegal acts of murder and incest would be considered a criminal, yet Sophocless character, Oedipus, is not guilty of either crime.
Prior to the birth of Oedipus, a prophecy was spoken over Laius and his wife Jocasta. They were told that their son would one day be his fathers killer and would then marry his mother. In fear, King Laius and Queen Jocasta sent the baby Oedipus off with a slave to be killed. He was never killed, but rather was given to a childless king and queen which lovingly raised him. Oedipus was never factually told about his lineage. Later in his life, Oedipus was confronted by several unknown men while traveling. Upon confrontation, Oedipus killed all but one of the men in self defense. Unknowingly, Oedipus had begun to fulfill the prophecy for one of the men had been his birth father, Laius.
While still traveling, Oedipus had come to the city of Thebes. There, he saved the city from the wrath of the Sphinx by solving her riddle. Seen as a savior by the citizens of Thebes, Oedipus was made king and subsequently, the husband of Jocasta. Oedipus and his wife-mother ruled together and had four children while never knowing of the true relationship between each other.
As the tragedy comes to a close, the truth is revealed to Oedipus concerning his lineage and unnatural actions. Although the truth had been spoken to him about these matters previously, Oedipus had chosen not to believe and understandably so. True revelation comes to Oedipus through the same slave that had been ordered to kill him as a baby.
Since Oedipus had no knowledge of his birth parents, he cannot be accused of knowingly fulfilling the prophecy. He had no understanding of Laius as his birth father upon killing him. One might say that Oedipus is then guilty of murder regardless, but if he had killed in self defense, that cannot be true. Likewise, if Oedipus had no understanding of Jocasta as his birth mother, then he cannot be guilty of incest. Neither can he be guilty of defiling Laiuss marriage bed, as he did not know that Jocasta was the wife of the man he had murdered. Oedipus cannot be guilty of lying to the people of the city of Thebes since he did not know he was not speaking the truth.
Unfortunately, Oedipus was the victim of destiny. The gods caused him to fall prey to fate and injustice. According to the norms of modern Criminal Justice, an individual cannot be guilty of a crime that he did not understandably commit; he cannot be guilty of a crime unless there is evidence of mens rea. A crime is defined as an act act punishable by law; a sin; a grave offense. Oedipus cannot be guilty of an act, sin or grave offense that he did not knowingly commit.

Category: English

China’s Growing Economy

After North America, Europe, and Japan, the area of China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong is a fourth growth pole in the world economy (Jue 108) which in 1994 was expected to double in size by 2002. Today, the growth rate is still on track to fulfill that prediction. Recent Chinese economic policies have shot the country into the world economy at full speed. As testimony of this, Chinas gross domestic product has risen to seventh in the world, and its economy is growing at over nine percent per year (econ-gen 1). Starting in 1979, the Chinese have implemented numerous economic and political tactics to open the Chinese marketplace to the rest of the world. Chinese reform measures even anticipated the rush of foreign investment by opening newly expanded industries to out-of-country investors. As trade expands globally and countries within geographical proximity and of similar cultural descent and philosophies ally themselves in order to better compete on a world level, we are seeing the development of increasing number of geographical trade alliances, whatever the underlying reasons behind each. The alliances that have been in place for a while are proving to be very successful in competing in the international markets, stimulating the economies of nearly all of their member states. Effects of this change in economic strategy by a world power can be felt by practically every nation of the globe involved in international trade. The change in the amount of imports and exports to and from China will increase the demand on countless markets. Also, with all the foreign investment China is receiving, the socialistic republic will only grow more and more interdependent upon the world economy. However, the impressive growth rate of Chinas economy is not without its shortcomings. Problems such as inflation and inefficient state-owned enterprises plague the rise of the Chinese economy.
When China opened its economic borders 19 years ago, environmentalists spoke of the efficiency of their farming systems and how they used hardly any organic fuels in the production of food for their people relative to some of the other countries of the world-most notably the United States. What they neglected to mention, however, that one farmer at the end of one rake struggling to feed his family kept fuel consumption very low indeed. It was not, by any stretch, efficient.

Matching conditions still exist today. Rumors of the wonderful prosperity of the south and eastern provinces have reached the more isolated-and less prosperous-interior provinces. Those current farmers who would travel in order to be more prosperous themselves are often stopped at the borders of industrial growth and made to turn back. Everyone in China seemingly wants a share, but the industrial provinces can physically support no more drain on their existing housing and infrastructures, and they are finding themselves unable to enhance their current positions despite their economic prosperity.
When examining an issue, it is imperative to honestly look at all sides, and not all of Chinas sides are forthcoming. The country has indeed become more open toward foreign investment, and in fact openly courts it. China have been known to have placed several restrictions on the multinational companies that have opened operations within their borders, but they are generally not so restrictive as to be prohibitive. For example, after IBM accepted Chinas conditions regarding the true ownership of IBMs facilities and environmental rulings, it seemed that all of the rest of the world wanted to join in.

Deng Xiaoping called Chinas entrance to and courting of the industrialized world crossing the river by feeling for the stones (The Economist 26). In feeling for the stones, Chinas already realized economic transformations have vastly improved the lives of hundreds of millions of people (The Economist 26)- Chinese people. Economic measures instituted by Deng Xiaoping have been grouped together, under the general term of gradualism, but many observers now say that in order for China to continue its double-sized growth over the long term and to rectify the problem of the state industries that are losing billions of dollars, economic shock therapy needs to be administered, and quickly.
But the current plan of Chinas President Jiang Zemin and his advisors includes no such shock therapy. It does include, however, divesting the government of all but one thousand of the more than three hundred thousand state-owned businesses that have cost the Chinese government $85 billion in looses over the past ten years. The following chart shows the distinctions of several of Chinas economic indicators, and their changes since 1987.

Table 1. Selected Economic Indicators
(Billions of dollars)
Factor 1987 1997 Change
Gross Domestic Product 300 610 610
Merchandise Exports 30 180 150
Foreign Investment 2 48 46
Hard Currency Reserves 25 128 103
Losses of State-Owned Industries 3 88 85
(Business Week, Sept. 1997)
From the preceding chart, the growth in Chinas GDP over the past ten years in nearly indefinable. Other indicators are highly favorable, with the economys only apparent problem being that of the losses of the state-owned industries. The losses incurred over the past ten years could have served extremely well in furthering the quality of life of the Chinese people, rather than simply supporting the workers in those industries. Those workers represent no small percentage of the Chinese population- there are 100 million workers in those state supported industries that have lost so much money (Clifford et al.).

The plan of action proposed by Jiang Zemin in rebuilding the Chinese economy includes:
Restructuring state enterprises. Already responsible for a third of the countrys industrial output, these could be converted to public corporations. When these companies become shareholder-owned companies, it opens the door to foreign competition. Government holdings can be at the level of minority shareholder.

Strengthening financial markets. Set up the equivalent of our SEC and allow annual capital-generating stock listings in Shanghai and Shenzhen. (China already has a start on regulating securities exchanges (Reuters).)
Selling state assets. Currently, there are 305.000 state-owned businesses. The government would retain 1,000; the remaining would be sold. Those that cannot be sold will be allowed to go bankrupt.

Building social services. Literally millions of Chinese citizens stand to lose their jobs through the sale and conversion of state-owned businesses. This action is intended to both replace some of those state-owned enterprises and provide assistance to those affected in the form of training, housing, and pensions design.

Cutting trade tariffs. Though China is not a member of ASEAN, the country does aspire to join the World Trade Organizations (WTO) by the year 2000. Tariffs must be reduced to 15 percent by that time in order for China to be eligible for WTO membership (Business Week). Even while concentrating on internal adjustments, the government apparently intends to work toward that end.

Jiangs objective is to build a complete market system which will give China a chance to grow at an average of 6.5 percent annually for about 25 years and come forth as a $5 trillion modern industrial superpower (Clifford et al.). If the President is able to succeed with his plan of action, the impact will be tremendous for the global economy of the 21st century. Hong Kong, the center of the Chinese capitalism, could have the opportunity to be side-by-side with London, Tokyo, and New York as financial centers. As long as Chinese individuals move in on global bonds and stock markets to help finance everything, like superhighways to steel mills, China could take part in even more parts of the worlds capital.
The main goal for Chinas modern foreign policies is the development of the Chinese infrastructure. The significance of improved communication and transportation cannot be over-stressed. Economically, enhanced means of communication and transportation allows more expedient supply of demand scheduling. Two of the latest Chinese reform measures to aid in the development of the country are the Provisional Regulations on Direction Guide to Foreign Investment and the Catalogue Guiding Foreign investment in China. Both these policies place specific industries including telecommunications, machinery, and electronics on top priority. Funding for these projects come from foreign investments and appropriations from the Chinese government in the form of grant financing, and legislative or administrative support.
Yet another example of the Chinese emphasis on industrial based growth is far reaching goal of having just under 100 million telecommunication lines by the year 2000. Chinas Central Ministry of Posts and Communication said that in order to complete this major task China will enlist the aid of major overseas suppliers and create manufacturing plants within the nation. AT;T, Motorola, Northern Telecom, Alcatel, Ericsson, NEC, and Siemens are just a handful of the multinational companies which hold a considerable share of the Chinese telecom market, once again proving that China is becoming a party to interdependence.
The Chinese pharmaceutical market, much like Chinese industrial markets, is experiencing rapid growth due to reforms in Chinas economic strategy. The nations government has decided to lower import tariffs and remove the necessity of an import license to bring pharmaceuticals into the country. Also, patented foreign drugs, such as
Tylenol, are now being protected from counterfeiting by administrative action. The result of these provisions are overseas contractual investments totaling $1.5 billion in the past five years, and income from the medical industrys exports reaching 2.6 times the amount five years ago, according to Zheng Xiaoyu, director of the State Pharmaceutical Administration (moftec.gov). The pharmaceutical markets growth is another example of the economic progress China has made.

Even after accounting for all the economic benefits recognized by the world, the Chinese still come out as the country with the most gains. However, there are more motives behind Chinas market reforms than just purely economic. On the political front, China is fast becoming an integral part of international organizations. The government is making a conscious effort to reenter GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade), realizing the importance of creating a favorable trading status among foreign nations. Slowing this progress, the 124 nations strong trade bloc has requested that numerous conditions must be met by China before the nation can become a member of GATT once again. Several of these provisions are the elimination of import prohibitions, restrictive licensing requirements and other controls or restrictions; lifting of all restrictions on access to foreign exchange and full convertibility of the Chinese currency (fmprc.gov). Other important key themes behind Chinas Open Door policies are economic and technological cooperation with the West (fmprc.gov) and that Chinas government no longer supports Third World revolution. Instead, China realizes that cooperation with developing countries would be far more practical.

Although Chinese foreign policies is aimed at opening the nations economy to the world, it neglects the agricultural market almost entirely, with the exception of technical contracts. These contracts are designed to improve the transfer of technologies to improve crop yields. Technical Contracts are made between farmers and village economic cooperatives and a wide variety of offices and technical personnel from different administrative levels (fmprc.gov). The funding for the technology used by the agricultural industry can be traced to extension stations of political parties, finance bureaus, or local insurance company. Since the groups funding technical contracts are nothing more than investors, a portion of the profits from increased production due to the technological advancements are returned to these groups. However, the technology providers also bear the risk of investors, if output and economic returns cant reach prescribed figures, the extension administrations have to make up the losses(fmprc.gov).

Like all good things, Chinas formidable economic growth had its downsides. There are a few detriments like inflation, an under-aided agricultural market, government inefficiency, and geographically uneven development. High inflation, caused by a demand for more exchange medium on the Chinese market is causing Chinese currency to depreciate relative to other national currencies. Currency conversions and management remains a sticking point for many businesses wishing to invest in China. There has been some movement in Asia toward a more uniform level of currency exchange, but not so much that it has affected the difficulties in trading with China. And, a lack of emphasis on the agricultural market is causing that sector of the Chinese economy to fall behind, and soon the supply of agricultural products will fall below the demand for these goods, resulting in a shortage. Another problem is also the inefficiency of large, state-owned production facilities can be explained by excess bureaucratic red tape and corruption. Finally, there has been an uneven distribution of development between the land-licked, western section of China and the industrialized east-coast, consequently causing ineffective land use.

A lot of Chinas economic problems seem to be internal, and connected with supporting the massive population while divesting the government of money-losing businesses. Indicative of the overall industrial health of China is the amount of tax the country collected through their industrial and commercial tax in August, 1997. The total collected was $6.5 billion-a 12.9 percent increase over the same period in 1996. Included in the overall tax is a business tax, which grew by 49.5 percent in August, 1997 alone. There are hundreds of American businesses wanting to take advantage of the growth of Chinas business sector. Several US- based, multinational companies already have entered the Chinese market, and now the smaller entrepreneurs would like to be included, too. One of the keys to this movement is that China now claims an emerging middle class, most of which wants American goods (Cross 25). US-China trade has increased by fully 90 percent since 1990, reaching $64 billion in 1996. Before Hong Kong reverted to Chinese ownership and rule, US businesses used Hong Kong agents to negotiate with the Chinese government. Now, however, Hong Kong is the international administrative arm of the Chinese government (Barnathan 30). Such negotiations are less certain and requires either the services of an international trade consultant, or at the very least, more than a passing glance at US government-generated tips on doing business in China (Cross 25).

Jiang announced that the unorthodox brand of market-driven socialism that has propelled China this far needs a radical overhaul. In one of the most sweeping sets of policy changes since the late Deng Xiaoping unleashed the forces of modernization in 1978, Jiang announced that the state sector is in for a wrenching downsizing (Clifford et al.). Of course, his plan to restructure carries with it the risk of opposition among the workers, particularly those that will be left to fend for themselves. Historically, each governmental liberalization of the past has resulted in a wave of capitalistic activity. Market driven socialism and totally free markets are two very different entities, and the Chinese government is faced with decisions of how much control they will levy on a freer market system. Indeed, Jiangs plan is so sweeping that it could unleash perhaps the largest wave of corporate restructuring, mergers, and acquisitions the world has ever seen (Clifford et al.).

Certainly, China is poised to become the worlds next economic super power. Their success in attaining that status will depend largely on how they collectively deal with their existing and future economic issues, however. China recognizes the necessity of radical changes in some of their current practices, most notably the ownership and operation of state enterprises.

The New York Yankees’ 98 Season

As anyone on the face of the civilized world knows by now , the New York Yankees have just completed one of the most dominating seasons in the history of professional sports. In the process, as many phemomenoms before them , sports or otherwise, they have captivated not only a city and a nation but much of the planet as well. I have seen Pakistani and Korean tourists visiting New York for the first time buying and proudly wearing Yankee caps and T-shirts. These people , obviously, know little or nothing about the game and are not truly baseball fans but are testimony to the Yanks compelling accomplishments.But the full appreciation of what this team has done in 1998 belongs mainly to the dyed in the wool baseball fan. The guy who’s been following baseball as a religion , collecting cards , reading box scores and fantasying about being a big league hero long before his puberty began. It is among this elite group where now, in the afterglow of the success and celebration , that the endless debate over whether this is the greatest team of all time will rage in every locker room, bar room and office for most of this offseason.Many of the self proclaimed baseball gurus from all of the radio and TV talk shows and web sites have decided to take the politically correct approach and say that you cant really compare this team with the great ones of eras past. They say it’s an “apples and oranges” comparison. I say this is a load ! You can , and if you’re a true fan , should compare them. And you can draw definitive conclusions.I agree that the debate over the “greatest” in most arenas is hopelessly subjective. Who was a greater president , Lincoln or Roosevelt? If you ask who was the sexiest female screen star ever , depending on who you talk to and what their tastes were , you’d be as likely to hear Jean Harlow or Lana Turner as Sharon Stone.The key difference here is that these qualities cannot really be quantitatively measured. The fundamentals of being a great leader or being sexy have not really evolved over the centuries. Our interpretation of these things may have but not the fundamental qualities themselves. So comparing these qualities from different eras would be very very subjective.Baseball is different however. The game has evolved greatly over the decades and will continue to evolve. So I propose when comparing the 1998 Yankees to the legendary teams of eras past you cannot do it based solely on on-field accomplishments or winning percentages or even number of hall of famers on their roster. The comparison must be made on the teams ability to play , compete in and win the game of baseball.So where does that rank this years World Champions ?Lets consider some of the great teams you have heard mentioned on the other side of this debate. First of all , lets immediately eliminate the 1906 Cubs or 1909 Pirates or any other teams prior to say 1920. The game of baseball was still fledgling back then and did not have even a percentile of the popularity it has now. Suppose some marketing genius decided to create a new sport with new rules and involving new skill sets. And lets say that this sport had instant fan appeal and drew a considerable number of participants and leagues were formed and fans paid to watch. Even with no prior history , this game in its initials years would have dominant teams. There would probably even be teams that won 70-75 % of their games and swept their way to a championship. This would be more of a result of the initial recruiting process , payroll and luck of a given team over another. As time went by and the sport grew in popularity and revenue potential , more athletes would become involved in this sport. Secondary leagues would be formed and children would start playing. The number of years of experience and skill sets of the players would grow exponentially each passing year, and thereby the level of competition would be greater. The team that won 75 % of the first seasons games would be sub .500 in a few years if it did not develop it’s talent. The same comparison can be made to the early baseball teams. The level of competition had not matured to any appreciable level. There were very few bona-fide stars on the league and the sport itself did not have the widespread cultural status or media exposure it would grow to enjoy in years to come.The Cubs accomplishment of 1906 is not to be understated. They won 116 games and played at a .763 winning percentage. Although they were bested by the cross town rival White Sox in the World Series, they continued their dominance by coming back to claim the next two world titles (sadly for Cub fans the last ones they would ever win). But the game was in an evolving stage and each year fan interest and talent grew. At the end of World War I , talent began to flood the majors and other markets began to accumulate that talent pushing the Cubs back to a second division teamThe next , and probably most oft mentioned , team that will be compared to the 1998 Yankees are their 1927 counterparts. For decades, this team was held as the barometer of greatness. The same arguments do not hold here since by the end of the roaring 20’s baseball was in fact a cultural past time and the league was laden with now legendary talent and none more so that what resided in the Bronx. If you compare the teams on paper and look at ’27s Murders Row line up and their 110 wins , .714 winning percentage, World Series sweep and the gaudy numbers put up by the regulars in the line up, a very strong case can be made to dismiss the ’98 team as worthy competitors. But this view is grossly deceptive.First off if we look beneath the starting lineups and at the entire roster, things look much better for the 1998 team. As dominant as this early Yankee lineup was, it was focused mainly on five players , all who had outstanding seasons ; Ruth , Gehrig, Lazzeri , Combs and Meusel. There were weaknesses at shortstop, third base and catcher , but these were compensated by the performance of these five stars. There was also no bench to speak of on this team which wasn’t a problem since the bench was a rarely utilized concept in 1927. The pitching staff was also rock solid with the four starters winning 18 or more games each win an ERA of 3.00 or under.I’ll contend that on paper perhaps this was baseballs greatest team ever. You can crunch the numbers all day and all night over and over and still find different angles which to view the results. But this debate is not about numbers but about who is a better team. And that’s the interpretation that I have of this, what team is more capable of winning a baseball game. Period. The reason I feel that this is really not a contest is due to evolution. Evolution of baseball as a game and evolution of the athlete. In the seventy years since Murderer’s Row extolled their dominance on the league . Both athlete and game have come a long way and this, above any possible statistical fact , puts the modern day Yankees well above any team of this bygone era.Consider what would happen if the 1927 Yankees somehow came back to earth in all their pride and glory with all of their abilities at the prime of their careers. And supposed they were pitted against the 1998 Yankees in a best of seven series , or best of nine or best of 25 or whatever. Can anyone possible argue what complete dominance the new era Yankees would have? Consider what is at the ’98 teams disposal both in the dugout and on the field. Consider the advancements in training , conditioning , diet and rehab common to the modern athlete compared to the 1927 model. In 1927 an athletes diet was primarily red meat , whiskey and cigarettes. Spring training consisted of jumping jacks , tossing a medicine ball , and lots and lots of boozing. Natural athleticism had to go much further in 1927 since strength and conditioning were not nearly as much a part of the historical athletes regime as it is today. The elder Yankees did not have to endure night games , plane travel , exhaustive press conferences , local media pressure , contract negotiations and endorsements. The modern day athlete is stronger, faster, more resilient and , because of technological advancements and decades of history, smarter. Thrust into today’s game with today’s demands, the 1927 Yankees would not endureMore noteworthy than the athletes evolution is that of the game itself. Baseball was far simpler in 1927. There was no strategy to speak of comparative to today. A manager has far more options to try and defeat another team. A modern team uses its entire roster , platoons players to match opposing pitching , uses his bullpen to get better matchups , employs a five man pitching rotation and utilizes a great deal more strategy that has been proven throughout decades of experience. Also technology has given the modern day manager much more information with which to make game effective decisions such as situational statistics and player tendencies. The game , which once was based purely on ability , has evolved into as much of a science as an art. The edge physically and mentally is so very much in favor of the modern team.Additionally, there is the issue of the overall caliber of major league players today. The requirements to compete at the major league level are significantly higher that in the ’20s mainly because there are far more players vying to compete at that level. In modern baseball, players begin playing the sport in some organized fashion when they are very young. After little leagues , there is scholastic competition and then, one of the single most significant enhancements ever to occur in the sport, the farm system. The minor league system which allows a franchise to grow and cultivate it’s talent prior to putting them at their highest level was instituted by the great Branch Rickey , the same man who broke baseballs color barrier by signing Jackie Robinson in 1947 , while he was the owner of the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1930s.Now , by the time a player reaches the major leagues , he has potentially 15 or more years of organized baseball experience under his belt. If you consider what a microscopic percentage of players with big leaguer aspirations actually make it to that level it’s easy to understand the overall level of talent required as opposed to that in 1927.For all of these stated reasons , I say you can eliminate not only the 1927 Yankees as the greatest team but also teams like the ’39 Yankees and ’54 Indians (who’s American League victory mark was surpassed by this years Yankees) and any other team of prior to , say 1960.Now at this point some may continue to pitch that pathetic “apples and oranges” argument and say that these teams should not be compared to teams that play in a modern day environment with modern day situations but should be evaluated based on their status and accomplishments relative to the situations and competition of their day. To me , that is not what’s being debated here. This is to determine what team has the best ability to beat any other team .Many can make a case for John L. Sullivan , the turn of the century heavyweight who so clearly dominated boxing in his day ,fighting most of his bouts bareknucked , as being the best boxer ever. Others can chime in and say it was Dempsey or Louis. But for almost identical reasons that I feel the Yankees are superior, I have no doubt that Ali or even Tyson would have cleaned these guys clocks in five rounds.So who does that leave as competitors to the ’98 Yankees as the greatest ever ?I submit a short list of : The ’61 Yankees , the ’70 Orioles , the ’76 Reds and the ’86 Mets.Most of my earlier arguments don’t hold water here since we are talking about more or less the same era. Here we can compare these clubs team by team on pretty much an even surface. All of these teams has certain areas of strength greater that the ’98 Yankees. In the case of the ’76 Reds , if you combined the two clubs into one roster , the starting lineup (with no DH) would probably feature five Reds (Perez , Morgan , Rose , Bench , Foster) and probably a platoon of Griffey Sr. with O’Neill in right field. However, the ’76 Reds starting rotation had only one pitcher that would crack the Yankees five man ensemble. (Don Gullet would probably replace Hideki Irabu as number five). Also the Reds bench no one who compared to what the Yankees had and their bullpen wasn’t nearly as sound.As far as the others on the list , all great teams by any measure , their focus was on specific strengths. The ’61 Yanks had tons of power and good starting pitching. The ’70 Orioles played flawless defense and had possibly the best four man rotation of the modern era , and the ’86 Mets had character, charisma and heart. But none had all of the ingredients that made , in my opinion, the ’98 Yankees the greatest of them all.On the field this team had more balance , symmetry and depth than any ever. Lacking any one marquis superhero (ala Bonds , Griffey , Maddux , Belle , etc) , this team beat you up and down it’s lineup. Opposing pitchers had no soft spots to face 1 through 9. They were masters at clutch hitting, solid fundaments , and flawless team work. Each month, each week , each day , a different player would emerge into the spotlight as the team hero. One player would go down to slump or injury and another would step in without the team losing any of its rhythm. And while their bats and gloves seemed to rise to any and all occasions , their starting pitching and bullpen was equally brilliant. This team was the true definition of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. Their tenacity , persistence and intensity created an aura which served to intimidate their opposition not only in their home temple of Yankee stadium , but as most unwelcome guests in the visitors ballpark as well. And as with many great teams of the past, their were no ego clashes , no primadonnas. This was a team by every definition of what a team is supposed to be. Their unselfish style and reluctance to personal ambition was exhibited in their ability to support and compliment one another both on and off the field. And presiding over the whole affair was indisputably the games best management and coaching staff to grace a dugout in many years. Consider also that all of this accomplishment was done under the constant scrutinizing eye of the most relentless and unforgiving media city in all of sports and a temperamental czar of an owner. So I submit to you that this years World Series champions is the team of the ages, capable of defeating any other team of any other era at any given time. This was a team of consummate professionals who gave a welcome respite to professional sports in an era were greed and individuality seem to be the motivating force.So what will come next ? Will a team come along and eclipse this ones accomplishments ? History says that that’s inevitable.My arguments about evolution of game and athlete would be flawed if I didn’t think this will eventually happen as well. But the evolution of baseball has slowed considerably in recent years. For something to continue to evolve it has to start at its lowest level , in baseball’s case , children.There has been a notable reduction in interest of baseball for children in past years due to the alternate options for grabbing their interest. In the ’20’s through as recently as the ’70s a schoolboy not interested in watching , talking about or playing the game was considered by his peers to be somewhat of a freak. Frankly, come springtime , baseball was by far the primary diversion for school age boys. Recently other warm weather organized sports , perhaps a bit more “chic” or “’90s” such as organized soccer have cropped up and taken some kids off the diamond. Additionally , thanks to increased family capital and modern technology , there are a lot more non athletic diversions like VCRs , cable TV, mountain bikes and video games that seem more appealing. It seems that the sport of baseball has lost much of the link to “americana” that it had enjoyed for many generations. This all has served to drive down participation in little league and school league baseball over recent years. In the ’60s a schoolboy would collect baseball cards and fantasize about being Mickey Mantle. Now he is more likely to collect beanie babies and fantasize about banging one of the spice girls.Offsetting this has been the incredible wave of players coming in from foreign countries , particularly in 3rd world Latin American areas like the Dominican , Panama and Puerto Rico, who have no VCRs or video games and probably don’t even know who the Spice Girls are. They start playing baseball in the street at about five years old barefooted , with sticks as bats and rocks as balls and continue to play year round as a way of life never losing sight of their dream to make it to the bigs as many many of them have. The impact that these people have has on baseball has been astounding. Just ask Sammy Sosa. Using the world and not just our schoolyards as stock for future generations of baseball stars will serve to ensure that the level of talent in future generations will remain high.So will a team attain a higher status that our current Yankees ? Probably but don’t start to hold your breath. What the Yankees did this season will be the benchmark and will be a source of pride and satisfaction for New Yorkers and baseball fans for many years.

The Cay

The plot tells of a young boy named Phillip and an old black man named Timothy. Phillip and his mom are on a boat to the United States. Their family has always looked down on black people. Then during the night there was a rumble a Phillip fell of his bunk. A German sub-marine hit their boat. They got up put on their close and life jackets and got in the lifeboat.

Then while the life boat was being launched it tipped and everyone fell in the water. Phillip was swimming frantically for his mother but before he knew it he was knocked unconscious by something big. When he woke up he was in a life boat with a old, ugly, black-skinned man. The man said that he got knocked on the head really bad and he was happy to see that he was awake.
The sun was really hot so the black man told him to give him his close so he did. Then the man tore some wood from the boat and made a shelter with the close. Phillip said wear are w wears my mom but the man said shes not here but shes probably in a different life boat. Phillip was really thirsty so the man opened a hatch in the boat and took some water out of a keg. He only gave Phillip a half a cup so Phillip asked for more. The man said they must spare as much water as possible.

It was almost dark when the man said maybe some flying fish will jump in our boat for us to eat. Phillip didnt like the idea of eating raw fish but he was hungry. The next day Phillip woke up and his eyes were blurry he hey theres something wrong with my eyes. So the man took a wet towel and put it on his head it started to get better. Then Phillip fell back asleep and when he woke up it was dark. Phillip screamed what time is it the man said ten then Phillip its nighttime right the man laughed no its morning. Phillip screamed Im blind the man was shocked he said here look at the sun, and he pointed Phillip to the sun Phillip said its still dark. During that night he asked what his name is the man said my name is Timothy. Phillip said do you have a last name the man said no Phillip was shocked at this then Timothy said lets get some sleep we have a long day tomorrow.
The next day Phillip heard a shout it was Timothy and he was yelling land. Phillip was so happy he jump up and fell out of the boat. He started screaming he felt something brush against his leg then he heard timothy shout shark! Phillip started to swim frantically. Then he heard a big splash and timothy grabbed him and put him back in the boat. When they reached land timothy grabbed the water keg and the tin with the food in it and brought them to the beach. Then they built a hut for shelter. Phillip asked timothy if they would ever get rescued then Timothy said a skipper or a plain would probably find us.
Then timothy explained what the island looked like to phillip because he was blind. Then he built a fire on the beach and in the hills by the hut. The fire buy the hut was for heat and the beach fire was to signal planes. Then Timothy took some vines and made a rope leading to the beach so phillip could get there buy himself , and he also made him a cane so he could feel his way around.

Then one day they herd an engine so they ran to the fire and lit it then in an instant the plane sounded far off again. They were running out of water so Timothy built a rain catcher. The next night it rained so timothy and Phillip went out side and embraced the rain because they loved it so much. Then they went back to the hut and the rain was dripping through the roof but it was O.K it felt good.

It was a few months later when Timothy said There be a typhoon coming. Timothy told Phillip that they need to do a lot of work before the typhoon came. Timothy tied the water keg to the top of a palm. Phillip gathered food because they were going to eat a lot that night. That night they ate a feast but the next day the Typhoon was going to come. Timothy tied a rope around Phillips hands and tied it to a palm and then did the same with his hands. The winds started to pick up and it started to rain cold rain then the waves started to crash against the island. A few minutes later the storm got really intense Timothy was taking the full blows from the storm to protect me and right then I couldnt understand why my mom didnt like black people. After about two hours it died down we had water swirling around are feet because of the waves Timothy said this is just the eye of the storm the other side could be even worse. Then the storm picked up again just then a giant wave came knocking the wind out of us. Right after another one came knocking them unconscious
When he woke up the storm was over but Timothy was still unconscious Phillip untied them as fast as possible. Then he put Timothy on the ground and he woke up and asked if he was okay Phillip said yes Timothy said good and then Passed on. Then Phillip started to cry really hard he made a grave for his friend and buried him. A few days later Phillip was found buy a passing ship and he swore one day he would navigate to this island and say hi to his friend.

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World War I

The Causes of the War OK, in a nutshell, World War Is cause went as
far back as the early 1800s. People controlled by other nations began to evolve
peoples feelings of nationalism. The French Revolution of 1789 brought a new
feeling to the word Nationalism. People who spoke French, German, Italian, ext.

felt that they should have a separate government in a country where everyone
spoke the same language. Unfortunately, we cant please everyone and this
demand they had was something impossible that could be done. As time passed
people began to establish war cults or military alliances. The members from
these groups would discriminate and verbally abuse the people, which didnt
speak their language. Warmongers criticized at foreign ways of doing things.

Sometimes newspaper stories help spread publicity. Some German leaders strongly
urged commercial & political expansion to the east, mostly in Asia. II-
Military Alliances Military alliances were another of the many causes of World
War I. When the German Empire was united in 1871, Chancellor Otto Von Bismarck
hoped for a period of international peace. He looked for allies to support
Germany. It was then that in 1882 Germany, Austria-Hungary & Italy signed a
treaty called, ” The Triple Alliance.” The treaty was made to protect them
from attacks from France or Russia. Germany & Italy feared France &
Austria-Hungary feared Russia. The three members of the alliance formed a
powerful block in central Europe. Unfortunately, Austria-Hungary & Italy
were not very friendly. They argued mostly over land and/or territory that Italy
thought they should have. So, both countries competed to see who would take
control of the Adriatic Sea first. When the war broke out in 1914, Italy
didnt keep their word about the contract they had agreed to in the treaty. It
turns out they had made a secret treaty with France in 1902. As a result of that
they had to remain neutral then declared war on Austria-Hungary. After the
Triple Alliance formed, the rest of the countries in Europe saw that they were
at a disadvantage. The disadvantage was that if there ever was an international
crisis, Great Britain, France & Russia would have to fight for themselves
but the Triple Alliance would have the advantage of acting together as one. Then
in 1894, France signed a defensive alliance with Russia. Then only by itself was
Great Britain. Soon after they faced naval rivalry & growing mercenary with
Germany. In 1904, Great Britain & France reached a cordial understanding or
how you would say in French, “Entente Cordial.” By the terms in the
agreement, they settled all the disagreements they had about almost anything
& everything. Most important being colonies. Both nations became partners.

Then France succeeded in bringing Britain and Russia together. In 1907 the two
nations signed the Anglo-Russian Entente,” it was kind of like the cordial
agreement that linked France, Russia & Great Britain was called “The
Triple Entente.” Men, Battlefronts & Strategy I- Strategy of the War The
chief of the German general staff Count Alfred Von Schlieffen planned a very
little simple strategy in 1905 and changed it in 1912. His plan was that German
armies were to crush France in a campaign by going through Belgium, which was
neutral. Now, the Germans were planning to crush Russia, then planned to make
Britain surrender. Then they would sweep into Asia & yes, they would try and
conquer them too. This guy expected a 2 front war & planned that
Austria-Hungary and some small German force in East Prussia would take the
eastern front. But no. The Allied strategy called for attacks by the French
armies in Lorraine upon the start of the war. OK, so the plan was that. On the
Eastern front it would be Russia trying to invade Germany through East Prussia
and attack Austria-Hungary in Galicia. They hoped to strike westward at Germany
while the Allied Armies went east. The War I- The US enters WWI (1917, 4th year)
Early in 1917, the Central Powers, which consisted of Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria,
Germany & the Ottoman Empire, were at a strong position. They had in control
Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, most of Belgium & Northern France.

Then, yes, the USA entered the war. And so the tables began to turn in favor of
the Allies. Germany unrestricted Submarine welfare so this caused the US to join
the Allies. The news of the outbreak of the war in 1914 had surprised many
Americans. As a result, President Woodrow Wilson had declared that “the US
would be neutral in fact, as well as in name.” When the Germans torpedoed
Lusitania, in 1915 they killed128 Americans. So President Wilson thought the US
would not enter the war but as we already know, he was wrong. Germany approached
Mexico for alliance; this was heard from the British when they intercepted a
message. There was a record number of sinking of US merchant ships. Germany has
thrust war on the US. On April 2nd, 1917 the president read a war message that
was sent to him which read: “The world must be safe for democracy.” After
this the US didnt sign anything, but simply associated themselves with the
Allies, although they were unprepared. II- The Allies Attack (1917) So the
Germans would have benefit, they had to figure an out an attack. They went on
March of 1917 off to the battle line, prepared. The Germans called it the
Sigfried Line and the Allies called it the Hidenburg Line. The Allies carried
out the only offensive operation on the battlefront. That year ended without
much change. In 1917, the French executed Mata Hari, who was a Dutch dancer that
was spying for the Germans. Feelings against Germany were strong as war
progressed. School kids were affected much by the war as well. They were not
allowed to learn German or German Literature. People criticized any techniques
that were said to spies. Therefore, the Dept. Of Justice was asked to keep close
look for the spies. The Final Years I- The Final Year (1918) The Allies won
fined victory in 1918. Bulgaria, the Ottoman Empire, Austria-Hungary &
Germany signed armistice. On January 8th, WilsonFreedom ofannounced
his 14 points. The 14 points included the following:Reduction in Trade Barriers Amend to Secret Diplomacy NavigationEvacuation
of Central Powers troops Adjustment of Colonial Claims AmendmentsCreation of
an association
Re-establishment of Poland from Allied CountriesIndependence
for the people ofof nations to work for permanent peace Home rule for the non-Turkish parts of the Ottoman Empire. TheAustria-Hungary14 points gave hope to many enemy people for a peace settlement. II- The
Last Campaign After a quiet winter the Central powers planned to overwhelm the
allied armies before the full benefit of American aid could arrive. Hidenburg
promised he would be in Paris by April 1st. In March, German armies under
Ludendorff struck along a 50-mile front. The Allies gave way slowly but in other
sections fast. In April the Allies formed unified command. On May 31st, the
Germans reached the reached the banks of the Marne. It lost 7,800 men. France
then renamed the spot “the wood of Brigade of Marne” to honor the heroic
stand of the man. American troops blocked an enemy offensive at Château-Thierry & prevented Germans from sweeping across the Marne to
Paris. 5 major battles raged at the same time. After July 18th the Allied
offensive never stopped until the truce. On August 8th, the Allies led by
Canadian & Australian troops attacked the Germans fiercely at Amines. On
August 26th, Germans began retreating to the Hidenburg line. The battle was
described as “The Black Day.” About 1,200,000 Americans fought on the Battle
of the Meuse-Argonne. About 1 of every 10 people was killed. III- The End of
Central Powers Austria-Hungary also planned a huge drive to make Italy withdraw
from the war. But floods and resistance by Gen. Armand Diazs troops stopped
the Austro-Hungarian armies in June. In October, Diaz started an offensive to
the northeast across the Piave River. He split the Austro-Hungarian Empire into
2 and destroyed them. On Sept 29th, Bulgaria signed an armistice at Salonika.

Another member of the Central Powers, the Ottoman Empire signed a peace
agreement on October 31st. In the late of 1918, Hungarians, Czechs, Slovaks
& Poles declared independence. IV- Results of the War. The peace settlements
healed many wounds, but also caused new ones. The Allies had emphasized the
principle of self-determination. This caused the flame of nationalism to burn
more brightly than it had 1914. The Allies formed the League of Nations to
settle disputes in a peaceful way. Unfortunately, member nations didnt always
support these agencies in International Dispute. V- The Home Front The Home
Front in Europe came under intense bombing. The war destroyed the industrial and
community lives of many cities, towns and villages. It closed and/or destroyed
schools, factories, roads and railroads. In many countries people had to depend
on food supplied by the government. In Eastern Europe many left their homes
because they were scared of invasion. Refugees moved from place to place in
search of food and shelter. After the war, people who went back to their homes
went to find that their villages, towns and/or cities didnt exist.

Fortunately, the US supplied food and clothing to an extent. BY: PAULA–12/99

Encarta 98 1999 CD-ROM. Copyright 1998

Encarta 96 1995 CD-ROM. Microsoft 1996.


Comptons Encyclopedia 1998 CopyrightOnline1997
4). The Concise Columbia
Electronic Encyclopedia, Third Edition. Encyclopedia
www.encyclopedia.com Copyright 1994, Columbia University Press

Midsummer nights dream

Certain parallels can be drawn between William Shakespeare’s plays, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, and “Romeo and Juliet”. These parallels concern themes and prototypical Shakespearian character types. Both plays have a distinct pair of ‘lovers’, Hermia and Lysander, and Romeo and Juliet, respectively. Both plays could have also easily been tragedy or comedy with a few simple changes. A tragic play is a play in which one or more characters is has a moral flaw that leads to his/her downfall. A comedic play has at least one humorous character, and a successful or happy ending. Comparing these two plays is useful to find how Shakespeare uses similar character types in a variety of plays, and the versatility of the themes which he uses.
In “Romeo and Juliet”, Juliet is young, “not yet fourteen”, and she is beautiful, and Romeo’s reaction after he sees her is,
“O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!
It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night
Beauty to rich for use, for the earth too dear!”
Juliet is also prudent, “Although I joy in thee, I have no joy in this contract tonight. It is too rash, too unadvised, too sudden.” She feels that because they have just met, they should abstain from sexual intercourse.
Hermia is also young, and prudent. When Lysander suggests that “One turf shall serve as a pillow for both of us, One heart, one bed, two bosoms, and one troth,” Hermia replies “Nay, good Lysander. For my sake, my dear, Lie further off yet; do not lie so near.” Although this couple has known each other for a while (Romeo and Juliet knew each other for one night when the above quote was spoken), Hermia also abstains from even sleeping near Lysander even though she believes he does not have impure intentions.
Romeo’s and Juliet’s families are feuding. Because of these feuds, their own parents will not allow the lovers to see each other. In the a differnet way Hermia is not allowed to marry Lysander. Hermia’s father Egeus says to Theseus, Duke of Athens,
“Full of vexation come I, with complaint
Against my child, my daughter Hermia.
Stand fourth, Demetrius. My noble lord,
This man hath my consent to marry her.
Stand forth, Lysander. And, my gracious Duke,
This man hath bewitched the bosom of my child.”
Egeus tells the Duke that his daughter can marry Demetrius, not Lysander. Hermia replies “. . . If I refuse to wed Demetrius,” Egeus replies “Either to die the death, or to abjure for ever the society of men.” If Hermia does go against her father’s wishes, and weds Lysander, she will either be put to death, or be forced to become a nun.
Both pairs of lovers also seek help from another. Juliet and Romeo seek Friar Lawrence, and Lysander and Hermia seek Lysander’s aunt, who lives in the woods near Athens.
Both sets of youths have the same character type. They are young, their love is prohibited, both women are prudent, and both seek the help of an adult. Yet they have their subtle differences. For example, Lysander, never mentioned a love before Hermia. Romeo loved Rosaline, before he loved Juliet. Hermia’s family and Lysander’s family were not feuding, whereas the Montagues’ and Capulets’ feude was central to the plot of the play.
The stories of “Romeo and Juliet” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” are very different however. “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is a comedy. Oberon, king of the fairies, sends a mischievous imp named, Puck, to play a trick on the queen of the fairies, Titania, and on a pair of Athenian youth. Puck turns Nick Bottom’s head into that of an ass (Nick Bottom is the man in the play production within “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”; he tried to play every part), and places an herb on Titania that causes her to fall in love with him. This is quite humorous. However, at the end of the play all the couples are back together, with the ones they love. Thus Lysander and Hermia do get married. If Egeus had showed up at the wedding, he could have killed her. Egeus’ dominate nature is his ‘flaw’, and if he would have attended the wedding, and killed his daughter, this play could have been a tragedy.
Likewise, “Romeo and Juliet”, could have been a comedy. The first two acts of this play qualifies it as a comedy. In act I, Sampson and Gregory, servants of the Capulets, “talk big about what they’ll do the Montagues, make racy comments, and insult each other as often as they insult the Montagues.” (“Barron’s, 45). In act II, Romeo meets Juliet. All is going well until Tybalt, a Capulet kills Romeo’s best friend, Mercutio. Things go continue to go wrong from here, until at the end of the play Romeo, thinking that Juliet is dead (she is in fact alive, she took a drug to fake her death), drinks poison, and when Juliet awakens from the spell of the drug, seeing her dead lover, stabs herself. If the families’ pride had not been so great that they would murder one another, or prohibited true love, this play could have been a comedy. This play is a tragedy, not because one character has a flaw, but both families have a flaw- pride.
Prohibited love, romance, controlling families, both plays have it all. With a few simple modifications, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” could have been a tragedy, and “Romeo and Juliet” could have been a comedy. Shakespeare however, uses many of the same character types, young, prudent, rebellous lovers, and controling family members, in both comedies and tragedies. The end results are character molds, along with theme molds that can be easily translated into almost any plot, in any play.

Melissa King

Narrative English
October 2, 2002
Pope’s use of Epic Conventions
The mock-epic poem “The Rape of the Lock”, by Alexander Pope uses
epic conventions to show how Belinda and other women of her position in
society have corrupt and self-centered values. Alexander Pope shows this
with the use of elevated language and the specific wording of the heroic

The elevated language in the text gives the reader the
impression that the tasks at hand are of critical importance, especially
those of “the long labours of the Toilet”(3.24). The process of the toilet
is inflated into a task much like layering on chain mail for her soon to
come call “To arms!”(5.37) with the Baron. In this battle, Belinda’s blades
are “India’s glowing gems”(1.33), her mace “the glitt’ring spoil”(1.32).

Her self-centered values are brought to light by language use when the
narrator speaks of woman’s “joy in gilded Chariots” (1.55), which indicates
a preoccupation with luxury and splendor. Another example of elevated
language showing women’s melodrama is the description of the lock of hair
once “in equal curls”(2.21) with the lock kidnapped by the Baron: “The
sister lock now sits uncouth, alone, and its fellow’s fate foresees its
own”(4.171-2). However much one may value ones hair, it is highly doubtful
that this beloved lock has feelings, or can foresee its future. The use of
more coded language also shows sexual undertones in the poem. Belinda’s own
speech confirms this suggestion; she exclaims, “Oh, hadst thou, cruel! Been
content to seize Hairs less in sight, or any hairs but these!” Hairs that
would be less in sight would be pubic hairs. Pope is pointing out the
degree to
which Belinda values outward appearance above all else; she would rather
suffer a breach to her honour than a breach to her cherished appearance.

Pope uses the heroic couplet, as most writers of epic
poetry do. However, Pope arranges his lines so that each one in the
couplets is a comparison between something actually important, and
something of a related nature that is much less significant. An example of
this suggests Belinda places more worth on her little lapdog Shock, than
she would on a human being: ” Not louder shrieks to pitying heaven are
cast, when husbands, or when lapdogs breathe their last”(3.158). The most
noticeable use of this tactic exists in the second canto, when it is said
the day has black omens, and that the care of the spirits was required
especially, though what the disaster would be, it was not known:
“Whether the nymph shall break Diana’s law,
Or some frail China jar receive a flaw;
Or stain her honour or her new brocade;
Forget her prayers of miss a masquerade;
Or lose her heart, or necklace, at a ball;
Or whether Heaven has doomed that Shock must fall.” (2.105-110).

Here the importance of chastity versus the importance of a piece of china
is contested. Worse, the consideration that Belinda staining her honour at
the party, (the implied loss of her virginity) could be as inconsequential
as staining her new dress, though plausibly, the two events could very well
happen simultaneously. The sacred act of prayer is weighed alongside
missing a party, and mentioned are the loss of Belinda’s necklace and her
heart, two uncommon bedfellows, the former being of no consequence at all
compared to the first.

With his dexterous employment of epic conventions, including
elevated language and the heroic couplet, Pope manages very well to convey
Belinda’s misplaced importance on her corrupt social values.

What Is Science

What is Science?
Several dictionary definitions of science in Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary define science as a system of knowledge about a specific topic. The systems come from systematic, or precise, observations of natural events; a random example would be the study of the movement of a caterpillar. This very fact would make one think that science encompasses every topic in the world. It amazingly does; from apples to zucchini (in the science called botany). Science is not just the “systems” of Chemistry, Physics, and Biology as traditionally known. It is the systems of our knowledge about everything on this planet, beyond, and even the human race.

Science is an action word in most cases. I am witnessing the topics in the science of anatomy and physiology as type this home-lesson: the blood vessels supplying blood to my bones are allowing me to move my fingers and press the keys.
Furthermore, science is a vehicle for change in our society today. The systems of knowledge are communicated by scientists through science media such as journals, web-sites (the internet), newspapers and through person-to-person interaction. At Tufts University a Ph.D. student may share his experiment on drug metabolism rates in the form of a presentation; moreover, someone in his same lab might use points from his research as a stepping stone or bridge leading and connecting, respectively their research to success.

Science is what we are and what shapes our world.
Science Essays