Gun Rights Argumentative Essay

Every year, I have to write a essay for my LA class. This year we had to write an argumentative essay about an topic we could find. Because I am in the AP Gov class this year, my teacher told me I should choose a topic related to AP. I decided to go with the topic of Gun Rights because it is a topic that I could strongly take a side and it is a recent topic of discussion in the US right now. So without further ado, here it is!

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“On July 20th, 2012, a gunman opened fire in a crowded theater in Aurora, Colorado. The event was a midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises,” the latest in the Batman movie series. Because it was the opening night, the theater was crowded with excited fans, some in costume for the event” (Shooting in Colorado). That terrible night was another tiresome and mournful account of yet another shooting. No one asked for it. The weeks following were overflowing with fear and caution. People were scared for not only their own lives, but worried that something like this could happen to anyone they know at any moment. Shootings are too unpredictable and happen too often. There needs to be something to stop people from buying these killing machines. Military grade weapons should be banned from the market because wide-scale shootings are too easily staged with these guns, any terrorist or person looking to harm others can just waltz into a Wal-mart and buy these guns, and these weapons are unnecessary for any law-abiding citizen to own for the purpose of hunting or self-defense.

Reducing the amount of military style weapons from the market could very well reduce the amount of large shootings that can and will be staged. For example, a shooting was staged at Westwood Elementary where the perpetrator used the AR-15 gun, which is a semi-automatic rifle. This gun rated as the most sold and used gun in the United States and in many places around the world. With this gun, he killed twenty innocent children, who have barely lived their lives, and his own mother the very same day (Smith). It is said that the AR-15, which is a civilian version of the army’s widely used M4, is just like any other hunting rifle and is no more powerful than other guns for hunting. What many of them do not know is that this gun, the AR-15, can be outfitted with high-caliber bullets, silenced barrels, extended clips, and high power scopes. All of these extensions turn this so called harmless civilian hunting rifle into a military grade machine gun. The idea that since this gun is only a semi-automatic rifle it can only fire as fast as other hunting rifles is wrong. With an extended clip, which can be bought online and in some stores, allows this gun to hold up to almost thirty bullets and this gives the capability to any man on the street to kill twenty or more unsuspecting children at an elementary school.

Banning these weapons from the market will create a barricade for any detrimental people to get their hands on these guns, of which they can deal immense amounts of damage. After the shooting in Aurora, Colorado, where the attacker used many powerful weapons and tear gas canisters, it was concluded that all of his weapons and hundreds of packs of ammunition were bought legally. “One of the weapons he used, a military style semi-automatic rifle, was banned under the Assault Weapons Ban which the House of Representatives refused to vote on when it expired in 2004” (Shooting in Colorado). This is a disturbing fact that some man could walk into a wal-mart and buy the guns of which he could kill many innocent, law-abiding people who do not deserve it for something that may have caused him to get angry. The even more disconcerting fact is that he could go anywhere and no one would ever see it coming. Shootings are almost impossible to predict ahead of the time as most shooters have no previous record. Some believe that if a person is dedicated enough they can and will get their hand on any weapons and yes, they can, but a ban would stop them from actually following through with their plans and buying the gun. Most people these days are all about ease of access and taking the simple way to achieve something. Getting a gun from the black market and not getting caught is much more difficult and an insane amount of work, which will scare off the mad teenagers or middle-aged adults that are just trying to get revenge or let off steam. A ban on these powerful weapons could have gotten this Aurora shooter caught before the act or it may have stopped the shooting in all entirety.

Military style assault weapons serve absolutely no purpose in the hands of lawful citizens. The only real use of these weapons are for killing other human beings and even gun enthusiasts are saying that we would be better off without them. “I have used weapons since I was big enough to carry one, and now I own two handguns, four shotguns, and three rifles, two with scopes… we cherish the right to own a gun. But none of us want to own an assault weapon because we have no desire to kill policemen or go to a school or workplace and see how many victims we can accumulate before we are finally shot or take our own lives” (Should Assault Weapons Be Banned?). There is a fine line between what is needed for a gun to be used for hunting or protection versus what is excessive on a gun. No one needs a automatic gun with high-caliber bullets and a silencer for defending themselves. The one and only purpose these guns serve is killing people; that is why they are the first pick for the military. Many are opposed of the ban because they feel that it is violating their 2nd amendment and the government is taking away their freedom. But think that over for a second. In what situation, would a person need a firearm like those mentioned before? Does freedom really mean having the ability to take other lives whenever and wherever? It makes so much more sense for a family to own a pistol for defense emergencies or a single-shot rifle for hunting. Military weapons serve no purpose invading the lives of citizens. The only thing they do is add a constant fear that at any moment some could very well use the thing many call freedom to take lives of the people around them.

There needs to be a ban instituted on military grade weapons for the reasons that guns are too easily obtained by any person, without these guns,  shootings would be less common as the tools to go through with these plans will be harder to get, and these guns are just plain unnecessary for people to own. Action is required now. As the president of our country said, “No single law, no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society… but that can’t be an excuse for inaction” (Obama). The only way to fix this problem is to take action and stop these dangerous weapons from infesting our lives. A ban of these weapons has in many ways proved to be beneficial to our society and would protect us from ourselves. Freedom is the principle of America and in no way should that freedom be limited, but it is known that there are some responsibilities that we as a people cannot handle. And recently, it has become very apparent that we cannot be trusted to used these weapons for anything but evil.

 

Works Cited

“Shooting in Colorado.” NewsCurrents Read to Know. 30 Jul. 2012: n.p. SIRS Discoverer. Web. 21 Jan. 2015.

 

“Should Assault Weapons Be Banned?” New York Times Upfront (Vol. 142, No. 1) 2009 sep                          07: 29 DB – SIRS Discoverer. Web. 21 Jan. 2015.

 

Smith, Patricia. “The Gun Debate.” New York Times Upfront. 28 Jan. 2013: 6+. SIRS Discoverer. Web. 27 Jan. 2015.

“Pun”gea – A World of Word Jokes

As a project in AP Human Geography we were to create a world (a map) with a theme and include examples of different country shapes. Here is what we (my group and I) accomplished. Our theme is puns…

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Pacmanistan is an example of a prorupted state. Proruption is when a country has a compacted main region and a long tail-like protrusion. Thighland is an example of a perforated country. Perforation is when a state has another country or part of a country inside of its borders. Banana Republic is an example of a fragmented country. This is because fragmented countries are states that are made up of more than one unconnected territories. Chili is an example of an elongated state. Elongated countries are those that has a relatively small distance between it’s two borders, in order words, it is a thin state. Gr8 Britain is an example of a compacted state, which is a country that has a fairly rounded shape. Madahybrid has an example of an enclave, which is inside Thighland. An enclave is a territory that is separated from the main territory. Tex-Mexico has an example of an exclave, which is also inside Thighland. An exclave is a territory, or independent state, that is separated from other territories and is completely surround by another country.

A state is defined as an entity run by an organized government and owns a defined territory. Grease, Walerus, and Button are all examples of states. Nations are groups of people who share a common ancestry, culture, and homeland. Because Dorsal Finland is made up of only the Dorsal Finnish, who all share a common culture, it can be considered as a nation. Microstates, being true to their name, are states that are small in size. Some examples of microstates would be Hamsterdam and Pearis. Stateless nations are nations, groups of people who share a common ancestry, but do not have an organized, recognized government and lay claim to a defined territory. An example of a stateless nation on the map would be Turdistan, as the Turds all practice a shared culture, but they are split amongst multiple states. Multinational states are countries that have multiple nations within its borders. Hungry is an example of a multi-national state, because the political boundaries were drawn prior to the culture groups moving in. This resulted in multiple nations within its borders such as the Turds, Hungrians, and even some Checks and Dirish. An example of a supranational organization would be the Stateofthe Union. Supranational organizations are confederations or unions between several states to encourage trade. The Supranational Union includes Hungry, the Check Republic, Direland, Neverlands, Shrekoslovakia, and Pearis.

Esperanto: Tutamonda Lingvo

Lastatempe, mia sxatata afero fari estis lernintas la lingvo de Esperanto. Esperanto estas planlingvo, ke signifas gxi estis kreis de homoj kun la intenco disvastigi tutmonda komunikado.

esperanto_grunge_flag_by_syndikata_np-d626h73What is written above is a short statement written in Esperanto. If you haven’t hear of Esperanto, and that is most likely, it is this: a language created by L. L. Zamenhof, a Polish eye-doctor, in 1887 to facilitate communication between different language speakers. It was created to be very quick to attain and to be relativity understandable by new-comers (having a lot of borrowed words for various languages, such as English, Latin, German, and Russian). The language has been around for over 100 years and in that time it was grown in its usage and grammar/vocabulary. It is for all definitive purpose a real language, no matter what people may claim. “But I thought English is the lingua franca, why would we learn a new language if we all speak English.” First off, it’s not really. English only have about 1.5 billion speakers… out of 7 billion! English is only spoken by less the a quarter of the world’s population, because it takes ten years to speak it well, even a lot of English natives have terrible speaking skills. There are actually quite a few reasons to learn Esperanto. Firstly, it’s easy. Esperanto was created to be easily learned with simple vocab and grammar. Secondly, it’s neutral. Esperanto has no origin, nor does it have any governmental backing, it only has a 1,000 or so native speakers. It is a UN of languages. It wasn’t meant to replace the local languages, just to facilitate diplomacy and understanding between them. And thirdly, its SO EASY! I have been learning it for two days and I can already read, understand, and write (because I did), the paragraph at the top with minimal dictionary help.

It’s so easy to learn, I’ll teach you some right now. Let’s start with nouns, adjectives, and adverbs.

All nouns in Esperanto end with the letter o.

Ex. Domo, Kato, Lito, Libro, Plumo, Ludo

All adjectives end with a.

Ex. Flava, Bona, Amuza, Facila

And all adverbs end with e.

Ex. Rapide, Malrapide, Perfekte

This is because all words in Esperanto come from a base or root word with can be alter to change the type of word it is. And example of this is the root vid, meaning something visual.

With a o ending it becomes… a visual (something to look at) - vido.

With an ending it becomes… visual - vida.

With an it becomes… visually - vide.

Isn’t that just so cool! You get three words with the same base… But this doesn’t stop with nouns, adjectives, and adverbs…

With an i it becomes… to see - vidi. Which you can them conjugate. Easy right?

Conjugation of verbs is one of the most difficult things in other languages with different forms depending on the subject. Its the easiest thing in Esperanto.

Vid(as) – see, vid(is) – saw, vid(os) – will see, and some other forms like vid(u) – see (command), and vid(us) – would see… (if). There are some other forms such as the participles (would have been seeing…), but those are also pretty straight forward.

Now you have nouns, adjectives, adverbs, and verbs. But we still need two more things. Plurals… easy, just a j which makes a sound. Accusatives (Object)? Just add n.

Let’s make some simple sentences…

The dogs ate the bird. La hundoj mangxis la birdon.

Me and my friends went to the theater. Mi kaj mia amikoj iris al la teatro.

Your cat is on my bed. Via kato estas sur mia lito.

There are a couple odd words such as the - la (all the time, no changes), mi – I, kaj – and, vi – you, al – to, sur – on. If you were wondering what the was doing there… it is a system of writing the characters in Esperanto, not in English. In Esperanto, there are letters like cs, and g which have a counterpart with a little hat thing. This changes the sound from ts to ch, s to sh, and g to dj.

I hope this convinced you how cool and simple Esperanto is. These are just the basics of course, if you want find out more or even learn it, go to the Wikipedia pages Esperanto and Esperanto Grammar. Wikipedia even has over 200,000 pages translated into Esperanto on Vikipedio (the Esperanto Wikipedia). I urge you to learn it, if not for the interest or want for a brighter future, then learn it for travel. 1,000s of houses in 91 countries offer their homes for free lodging to traveling Esperantists. Esperanto also give language learners a huge bonus to learning and understanding if they already know Esperanto. I will definitely continue to learn this rare but amazing language.

Boll Weevil Wanted & Eugene Talmadge Haiku

In class right now, I am working on a project about the time during WWI and the Great Depression. This project is in six parts, and for each part, we could choose to present the information in any way. I have already finished two parts of my project which are the Boll Weevil and Eugene Talmadge, a governor of Georgia. I chose to write a wanted poster for the Boll Weevil and his accomplice, Drought, to show what the Boll Weevil did. For Eugene Talmadge, I wrote a series of haiku to present who he was and what he did.

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Eugene Talmadge Haiku

Elected four terms,

In Year, 1933,

White supremacist.

Stood on a tree stump,

Gave out fiery speeches,

Against FDR.

 

A conservative,

Gained all the farmers’ support,

Abused the system.

 

Raise the price of hogs,

Tickets to the big derby,

Illegal money.

 

Ran for senate,

No county unit system,

Two times he would lose.

 

No New Deal, he said,

Keep it away from Georgia,

In time, he would fail.

 

Got money from Deal,

Misused federal funds,

Government is mad.

 

Companies get funds,

Georgia lost its New Deal Funds,

Deal implemented.

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WANTED

Boll “Cotton Eater” Weevil & “Drought”

Boll weevil.jpgdrought.jpg

Citizens of Georgia, be warned. The boll weevil also known as the “Cotton Eater,” has recently arrived in Georgia. He has an infamous reputation of wreaking havoc on all cotton farms all the way from his home state of Texas. He has been accused of feeding on and planting the eggs of his relatives in the fluffy, white of the cotton. To make this situation even worse, his accomplice, known as the “Drought,” has been following him everywhere Weevil has been. Drought has been stealing almost all of the water from the decimated farms in Weevil’s path. This has resulted in Georgia’s economy tanking faster than a bird falls out of the sky. Do not fall victim to the lies that Boll Weevil is spreading about doing Georgia a favor and diversifying our economy! We need to stop them now! Where will this stop? Today, our cotton. Tomorrow, our freedom!

Reward: $1,000,000 U.S. Dollars

 

 

 

Ethnicity Case Studies

This is just a little assignment I was given in Human Geography where I had to answer some question and do some research, it’s about ethnicity (big shocker, eh).

Turkey-PKK Conflict in Turkish Kurdistan:

The conflict between the Turkish government and the PKK (Partiya Karkerên Kurdistani or Kurdistan Worker’s Party) began in 1984 with PKK attacks on four Turkish military stations in Southeast Turkey (Turkish Kurdistan, part of a great regions of Kurds) and has been going on ever since. The PKK was founded in 1978 when a small group of Kurds sent a declaration to the Turkish government for more Kurdish rights. The group became more and more aggressive as the government ignored and suppressed the PKK (and as the group gained members). The group is currently recognized as a terrorist group by Turkey, the US, the EU, and NATO, but the PKK’s recent campaign again ISIS (Islamic States of Iraq and al-Sham) in Iraq has made many question its place as a terrorist organization. The Turkish government, as the other side in the conflict, has neglected and oppressed the Kurds, as has any government has done to any minority, since the creation of the state of Turkey (and even before, during the Ottomans’ reign); the Kurds have also been rebelling as long as they have been under Turkish control. The PKK and other Kurdish rebel groups want either independence for all Kurdish people, or more autonomy in Kurd majority regions. In recent years it seemed the conflict was dieing as both groups desperately wanted peace but an even more recent riot in Kobane, Turkey has escalated the conflict (37 protesters were killed by riot police, 2 soldiers were killed by PKK soldiers).

In my opinion, the Kurds have a stronger claim in the is fight. I don’t think the Kurds should be blamed for wanting autonomy in their own homeland, and taking action against the government. Of course there are those in the PKK which would use terrorism to bring attention to this conflict, but I doubt that is the leaderships main plan. The Kurds have been under foreign control for many, many years and I think it’s about time they get some more freedoms.

I think the solution should be the Kurds gaining more autonomy in Turkish Kurdistan, maybe not immediately, but slowly shifting to a more local government. That way the Kurds would get what they want, more freedoms, and the Turks would still be in control of the region, if not as much as previously. What would be ideal is the the whole region of Kurdistan (overlapping Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran) would get their own sovereign nation, but that is out of the question.

Multi-Cultural Europe, Belgium and Switzerland:

Belgium is a nation split in half culturally with the northern (Flanders) half being Flemish-speaking (a dialect of Dutch) and the south (Walloonia) speaking French. The root of this conflict was that during the years when Spain was in complete control of Belgium, French was spoken by all high officials and when the Spanish- representatives arrived, they too learned French. Dutch-speakers were considers middle and lower class people. After Belgium gained its independence, a barrier had divided them, French versus Dutch.

Switzerland on the other hand is a peaceful nation although it has 4 distinct languages and cultures throughout its borders (French, German, Italian, and Romansh). This is probably because of the fact that Switzerland was created as a optional union between the states in the Alps, and although it had a majority of Germans, the government did not try to create a homogeneous state, thus multi-cultural cooperation.

Koreatown, From the Seoul:

Koreatown is a neighborhood in Los Angeles with the largest population of Koreans outside of Korea. It is also the most densely-populated district of LA. Koreatown saw a huge immigration of Koreans in the 1960’s due to low rent, high availability to open businesses, and relaxed immigration laws. During the 1992 Los Angeles Riots many Korean American said they felt they received very little protection from the police due to their low status and difference in language.

The region was not very rich at the time and many formerly rich hotels were demolished. Rent was cheap, and there was tons of new land to buy and start businesses on. And as a few Koreans moved in, hundreds more followed and created a small, densely-packed neighborhood full of Korean signs, shops, restaurants, and people (I actually went there, it’s really cool).

Ethnic neighborhoods are beneficial in that they create a little enclave for immigrants to feel at home, and meet with people from their home country. These places and bad in way, in that they tend to be much more poor than the white neighborhoods and crime tends to be higher due to this. Koreatown is not as poor as many of the other ethnic regions in LA though, due to the super hard-working attitudes of the Korean Americans.

More College Essays

Here are two college essays that I wrote for Georgia Tech. Don’t even think about stealing them ’cause the applications are already due and submitted.

 

Other than ranking, location, and athletics, why Georgia Tech?

The world is becoming more and more technologically driven. I think it is important to consider the fact that I will be working with some kind of technology in the future, regardless my career field. I am interested in language and linguistics, but I know even this field, which is not based in STEM, will become more technologically inundated in the future. Georgia Tech is a good choice to plan for my future career as I would have an opportunity for study in language, business, and technology. With this knowledge I would then be perfectly equipped to handle almost any job in any industry, or have the tools to start my own business. As a native Atlantan I am aware of the reputation this school has both here and around the world and would like to be part of that tradition.

What does progress and service mean to you?

To me, progress in this context is the pursuit of knowledge for the purpose of advancing modern society. Service is doing what is best for everyone as a whole, not personal gain. In a way progress is service, so the two are very closely related. In the context of an educational institution, progress and service are the two end goals of education. The institution provides a service to those who go there, giving them skills and knowledge needed in the real world. It also promotes progress by funding research and encouraging discovery. As a student, progress and service are the two benefits given by the institution to the individual. By progressing in studies, one can improve his or her academics, and by providing service to the school and community, one can improve his or her character.

 

Class Science Fair to School Science Fair

I was so excited to learn in the last week of school before winter break, that I, Nicholas, won 2nd place in my class Science Fair and was moving on to compete in the school fair. When I learned this in class, I was trying to play it cool because I was surrounded by all my friends, but inside I was exploding with joy. I wasn’t actually expecting my science fair project, out of all the others in my class, to move on to the school fair. Only 2 out of the 20 or so projects in my class could move on, so it was a great honor to get chosen. The scienceperson who won 1st place was one of my best friends, Pranav. We both congratulated each other and rejoiced that we could both have the opportunity to compete in the School Fair. After I was done exploding in joy, I wondered what extra work I would have to do in the School Fair. My science teacher, Mrs. Brening, called both Pranav and I up to her desk, so she could inform us about the school fair. She gave us a paper explaining what we would have to do to ready ourselves for the School Fair. We really only had to make sure that our final paper, display board, and log book had everything it needed in it and write two small forms. The first form was the Research Plan which is basically taking somethings from my final paper and adding on an analysis summary. The analysis summary is just a small paragraph of what data I would be collecting and how it would be analyzed. The next form was the abstract. I am not quite sure what this is yet, because she said that we would work on it when we got back from Winter Break, but I have already written my research plan which is added below.

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Question:

What material can hold a set weight the longest without breaking?

Hypothesis:

If fishing line is used in the experiment, then it will hold the weight longer than the other materials.

Procedure:

  1. Gather all needed materials.

  2. To start the project, set up a table with nails to hang the different materials so they are not touching anything.

  3. Cut each material from the list of materials to 50 cm in length.

  4. Tie the bricks to each thread of material.

  5. Then attach the string to the nails on the table and lower the brick to lowest point and release it, so the does not fall.

  6. Then record and see which materials broke right away.

  7. Leave the intact strings hanging for 15 minutes and record if they broke or just stretched and how much they stretched.

  8. Then come back in 45 minutes and check if the rest of the strings broke or not. If the strings did not break and they are the same length as they were at the 15 minute mark, stop the test and record that as the material’s final length.

  9. If they keep stretching, repeat step 7 as needed.

  10. Repeat steps 3-10 four more times.

  11. Average data for each thread.

Analysis Summary:

In the experiment, the data collected after each experiment was how much the material stretched from its original length. To measure this, the material would have to be measured before each experiment and then again at each interval (15, 45, 60). At the end of the experiment, the difference of the last measurement and the first measurement would be written down to average with the other tests at the very end.

Fountain Pens

Recently I have almost exclusively been using fountain pens. I had not used one until this year when I rediscovered a little something my great uncle Jim brought to us from France, a feather pen and a little bottle of ink. Although the pen didn’t write as well as I thought it would (either the pen was not the greatest, or I had no idea what I was doing, most probably the latter). But it did open me up to the whole world of pen, first fountain, then I hope, dip.

img58517051Since then I have acquired a few nice fountain pen from various places. Most were from the Internet, which I, with the help of dad, ordered from again, various places. I have one from on-line that I really enjoy writing with. It is called the Vector Whiteness from Parker. My father actually bought this for me as a sort of “end-of-semester” gift. At first I was a little skeptical of it quality because it looked a little cheap, and the nib was kind of weird, much smaller than usual. But as soon as I started to write with it, I fell in love. It may not look very impressive, but it writes great. It’s not to wet, not to dry, it doesn’t stop putting out ink, but it doesn’t run. It’s just great.

jinhao-0132-A

This wasn’t my first fountain pen though. I had bought 3 before that (all very cheap). Two of them were from the Jinhao brand. They looked very nice for an amazingly small price ($6 and $8). I thought this was a dream come true. And they weren’t too bad. But they were both too wet and it bled through even the thickest paper. They were also too bulky and uncomfortable to hold. But I’m not really sad about those. The other was different, a Noodler’s Ahab Flex pen. It was called this because of it’s very bendy nib which allows it to make very varying lines depending on how hard you press down. I am fairly happy with that purchase.

In conclusion, I have started into a new hobbie, pens (and I guess handwriting/calligraphy which comes with it). I want to be able to write better, not fancier, just neater. Calligraphy on the other hand is also kind of fun to mess around with. I’m not going to be an expert, but I think it would be a nice skill to have.

Stock Market Results

We started out the activity with absolutely no stock experience. This should have been indicative of our future performance, but we bravely pushed on in the face of adversity. We decided to buy stocks in Stratasys, Activision Blizzard, and Tyson Foods. We bought Stratasys because we sort of know what it is and it has a cool name. We bought Activision Blizzard because we are gaymers and despite our raging dislike for their games we know that they sell. I don’t really know why we chose Tyson. After putting money into the corrupt bourgeois system we waited for the money to start flowing in. In fact, the opposite occurred. At first we didn’t know why we were so quickly losing money, and just attributed it to sucking at stock trading. Later we found out that it was because we sucked at stock trading. A well-planned strategy would have sufficed, but as wet behind the ears broker newbies we didn’t actually know what we were doing. After a while we realized that although Stratasys and Activision were losing us money, Tyson was on a roll and actually gained us up to 12,000 dollars. I don’t know what kind of addictive substance they put in their canned ham, but whatever it is, it’s working. Disappointingly, due to the abyssal performance of the other two companies, we ended up losing about 9,000 dollars by the end. It’s not even a dramatic loss, just a boring one. Looking back, we should have invested all our money in Tyson and left the others behind. As one guy probably said once, “Tyson keeps flavor and nutrition in balance.” What have we learned about the economy from this experience? First off, that stock brokers get to make boat-loads of money by doing basically nothing, and that if you’re lucky (not a lot of people) you can get really rich (also not a lot of people). If we could do this whole fiasco again, we probably would not, and would also advise against anyone else doing it. It was not only dangerous to our wallets, but also our bodies, as I’m pretty sure I packed on a few pounds due to stress.