With spring break coming upon us so soon, if not already, airports around the United States are using the same preventative measures as they began to use after the Christmas Day underwear bomber.  With so many people traveling in the upcoming weeks, the security measures have greatly increased, including the use of the controversial full-body scanners.  Many travelers are upset over this news, feeling that it is an invasion of privacy, while others feel safer about traveling at this time.  By the end of the year, there is said to be over 1,000 of the scanners installed in airports across America, being paid for by the airlines themselves.

Another controversy arrived from this, because it could cause raised airfare charges for passengers, in trade for their increased safety.  Personally, this sounds like a pretty good deal, but I do understand the outrage about it.  Chances are it will still be cheaper than gas prices for driving to your destination, and an improved sense of security at the same time.

One thought I have on this is why the airports are only now, for spring break, increasing these security measures?  It seems like after the underwear bombing attempt, they would be doing these things year-round on every single flight, not just during times of increased travel.  Feel free to leave any thoughts you may have about this.
 
 
Yet another earthquake is devastating a country, only this time it’s Chile.  Early this morning an 8.8 earthquake struck Chile, and over 120 deaths have been verified already.  Tsunami warnings have been issued around the Pacific by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center; specifically Hawaii, Japan, Russia, Philippines, Indonesia, and the South Pacific.

The country has suffered major blows like this before, including a 9.5 earthquake in 1960, and the destruction this time is no different.  Airports, roads, bridges, and ports have been shut down due to damages, and copper mining has been halted.  In many places, wide cracks and gouges have appeared, with automobiles and houses slipping in to one extent or another.  Telephone and power lines in working condition are nearly non-existent, allowing few people information about family and friends.

Aftershocks have not given any relief, many of them over 5.0, and a few being over a magnitude of 6.0.  The recent devastation brings back memories of last month’s 7.0 earthquake that struck Haiti.  The damage has hit hospitals, museums, and leaving hundreds of thousands homeless.

Hawaii’s governor has declared a state of emergency as the state prepares for the imminent tsunami produced by the immense earthquake.

American Idol star Elliot Yamin was in Chile for a music festival and sent messages to his Twitter early this morning, and has since been able to contact CNN for an interview, providing a first-hand experience of the destruction.
 
 
In the midst of wars and providing relief for Haiti, there apparently aren’t enough funds left for the environment.  Or at least not in Florida where over 500,000 tires, as well as nylon and steel, were sunk in 1972 with the intention of creating an artificial reef offshore near Ft. Lauderdale.  Not very surprising, the sea life wasn’t too happy with the newest addition to its waters, and decided they didn’t want to live on tires.  Can you blame them?

Thousands have become wedged against a natural coral reef, which causes the sea life to be unable to thrive, as well as block coral growth.  Other tires have since spread out across the ocean floor over the span of 30 football fields.  The clean-up program, set to return this summer, will not be able to do so until at least 2012.  With approximately 10% of the tires pulled up, there is still hundreds of thousands left.

Divers who participate in the program are from the U.S. Army and Navy, and are only able to do the clean-up on weather-specific days (calm waters and warm weather).  The state is unable to fulfill the
needs on their own, needing government help to clean-up the oceans; the state of Florida has already given 2 million dollars to provide for the program, and nearly $250,000 has been used.  The original goal was to have 300,000 tires removed, with 50,000 of them this summer, but will not be able to happen now.


Understandably, the government does have its priorities for where funds are allocated to, but these tires are devastating the marine life in the oceans.  It seems that there should be funds somewhere that are kept for things like this- but there doesn’t seem to be.