The Benefits of Learning Spanish, by Balazs Andras Khoor

May 11, 2013 Comments Off on The Benefits of Learning Spanish, by Balazs Andras Khoor

These days many students are required to learn a second language in order to graduate from high school or college, and for good reason. Spanish is one of the most popular choices as there are many benefits to learning Spanish; here is a list of some of them:

1. Learning Spanish is becoming a necessity for individuals who want to go into business as more and more Spanish speakers are moving to the United States. Being able to converse with them in their native language will greatly help your business and your career.

2. Spanish is everywhere. On that same note, as more and more Spanish-speaking people move to the United States, the language becomes more prevalent. You will be able to communicate with more people if you can speak two languages.

3. Learning a second language has cognitive advantages. When you learn a new language, you are exercising your brain and also fighting against disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

4. Leaning a second language will also make you more worldly and open-minded. You will expand your understanding of other cultures.

These are just a handful of reasons why learning a second language is beneficial. Consider taking Spanish lessons today and discover even more benefits.

About the author: Balazs Andras Khoor has many hobbies and is passionate about many pursuits in his life. His hobbies include traveling, watching movies, politics, and learning Spanish.

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American Red Cross Volunteer Life Saving Corps (VLSC)

January 15, 2011 Comments Off on American Red Cross Volunteer Life Saving Corps (VLSC)

by Balazs Andras Khoor

I proudly served as a Volunteer Lifeguard with the American Red Cross Volunteer Life Saving Corps (VLSC) in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. The VLSC possesses a long and distinguished history as part of the American Red Cross, with a dozen volunteer lifeguards starting the first chapter in 1912 at what was formerly known as Pablo Beach. The 17 charter members of the VLSC were recognized in 1914 as the American Red Cross Volunteer Life Saving Corps, Coast Guard Division No. 1, part of the American Red Cross newly launched national water safety program.

Over the years, many similar organizations were formed by the American Red Cross and later by the U.S. Coast Guard. VLSC in Jacksonville Beach remains truly unique is that not only was it the first such volunteer organization, it is now the last remaining in this proud tradition. The VLSC has undertaken volunteer service to protect residents and vacationing beachgoers for more than 95 years. During that time, the VLSC recorded 1,430 lifesaving rescues, 1,753 assists to swimmers in distress, and more than 25,000 first aid cases. It works out to 15 lifesaving rescues per year, more than one per month, reason enough to keep the organization going in perpetuity.

The VLSC operates on Sundays and holidays, utilizing a flag relay system that notifies members up and down the beach of conditions through different types of hoisted flags. Members range in age from 16 to over 60 and all undergone a rigorous training course and exam, ensuring a similar dedication to saving people’s lives. Today, there are more than 120 active VLSC members and hundreds of alumni, such as myself, who retain the proud title of Retired Surfman. The VLSC offers many valuable public education campaigns and training programs, such as an eight-week Junior Lifeguard Camp, Lifeguard Recruit Classes, and a child drowning prevention program, The Beach and Beyond. In order to learn more about donating to or volunteering with the American Red Cross Volunteer Life Saving Corps, visit the website www.redcrosslifeguard.org.

Book Review: The War of the Worlds, by H.G. Wells

November 24, 2010 Comments Off on Book Review: The War of the Worlds, by H.G. Wells

By: Balazs Andras Khoor

Just how effective was science fiction author Herbert George “H.G.” Wells’ The War of the Worlds? Perhaps you have heard the anecdote. During a radio broadcast based on the novel, those who did not realize they were listening to a fictional tale believed that aliens were invading the Earth and became genuinely panicked. First published by H.G. Wells in 1898, The War of the Worlds (WotW) is the grandfather of alien invasion fiction. That is not to say that other authors did not write similar stories prior to H.G. Wells, but that WotW set many standards for the genre that 19th century sci-fi writers used as a foundation for their own work. WotW opens with an ominous message from an omniscient narrator revealing that Earth has long been watched by beings more intelligent than humans. As the narrative progresses, seemingly innocuous reports of strange occurrences on Mars escalate to Martian sightings near London. While the Martians seem harmless at first–barely able to move on our planet–their deadly nature becomes apparent when otherworldly machines towering hundreds of feet above Earth’s tallest edifices rise from below the Earth’s surface and begin destroying civilization. While the story is interesting in its own right, where WotW succeeds is in setting and maintaining an eerie tone that often rises to “foreboding” and never dips below a “tense.” The Martians’ invasion and subsequent dominance over humanity is harsh and devoid of cheesiness. The reason is because the book is rooted in the scientific thinking of the day, which lends a sense of reality to the tale. Even those who do not typically dabble in the sci-fi section of their bookstore will find WotW a suspenseful book that lingers long after the final page has been turned.