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March 13, 2009

A rise in the dollar means a drop overseas

In relation to globalization, a New York Times article reported on how a strengthening U.S. dollar can actually hurt foreign markets. In a nutshell, dollars invested in American government bonds means a dollar is taken away from eastern European and African markets as both regions also cope with a global recession.

The article is a clear-cut example of the dangers globalization can have; whatever happens in one geographic region will affect another, including a slumping economy. While focus in the United States targets job losses and the shrinking economy domestically, news outlets will occasionally provide reports of what's happening overseas, where the picture isn't much better. In fact, many economists now rely on Asian market activity (they're ahead in time zones) to predict what will happen with the Dow Jones.

Although the class discussion on globalization has passed, it doesn't mean the topic is irrelevant as many students eye graduation and fear the future with most of the world hurting economically.

Follow-up on "Growing Up Online."

Prior to the midterm, I watched the remainder of the Frontline documentary "Growing Up Online" to see if there was anything interesting to note before the exam. Although I was watching it with a purpose to immerse myself with the knowledge necessary to score well, I found one segment peculiar.

Cyber-bullying is still new, but the segment I watched mirrored another case of suicide caused by cyber-bullying in the news, where a 13-year-old girl hanged herself after someone else's mother played a cruel joke on her. In many ways, I believe this form is more dangerous because if the perpetrators can cover their tracks, it can be very difficult to stop (people can simply switch screen names or use the screen name of another person on their buddy list to evade detection).

The documentary also touched on school fights and other forms of bullying uploaded to YouTube. Unfortunately (due to their own negligence), those responsible are sometimes arrested and charged with assault as they essentially upload evidence of their own actions; as was the case in Florida where several girls participated in attacking another teenage girl.

I'm aware that cyber-bullying gets media coverage here and there, but the topic itself could make a solid episode of Frontline, because unlike sexual predators who try (and usually don't succeed) luring children, bullies may be harder to ignore because teens are generally dealing with peers and won't see them the same way as total strangers.