Sunday, 2 June 2013

Communicative Skills for Portfolio

1.    What part of the 2103 course did you like best? Liked least?

The part of how we learned to write reports and summarize articles, because this will improve our writing skills.

2.    What skills did you improve through this course?

I improved my writing skills and how to abstract articles and summarize them.

3.    How do you imagine using these skills in the future?

     It will be useful in my job and will help me in my formal letters.

4.    What are your biggest challenges in written communication?

   The biggest challenge was how to finish summarizing and writing the report within the given deadline.


5.    What can you do to improve or fix these weaknesses?

  I have to keep using and practicing the skills I gained even after finding this course.

  6.    What are your final recommendations for future 2103 sections?

     I think conducting group discussion in order to discuss the work done will be useful.

Italy Fossil Fuels


Like what the Armstrong and Hamrin say in The Renewable Energy Policy Manual "the fossil fuels are sources of energy that occur naturally and are formed through processes that include the anaerobic decomposition of dead organisms and can also be as a result of the fossilization of the remains of dead plants through exposure to higher temperatures and pressure in the crust of the earth over a long period" (Armstrong, J., & Hamrin, J). Fossil fuels like petroleum, natural gas and coal have quite high carbon in it.

Fossil fuels are important in several ways. These include: the running of different types of machines in industries and are also important source of direct and indirect employment to people who work as engineers, distributors and retailers. Fossil fuels are also important sources of revenues to the nations that produce them. They are useful in the transport industry in the transportation of goods to various markets across the world

The extraction and use of fossil fuels presents numerous economic, social and environmental challenges. Environmentally, fossil fuels are the main causes of pollution that either occurs during the extraction and use of the by-products. Oil spills are frequent occurrences at the oilrigs that are located on seas. The combustion of the by-products has often resulted in the discharge of dangerous gases such as sulphur dioxide into the atmosphere. These gases are the causal factors for various conditions affecting individuals who inhale them. The greenhouse effects of gases such as carbon dioxide and CFC’s have also been connected to the use of fossil energy. The excessive use of fossil energy has, therefore, been considered as the key cause of climate change and global warming. Socially, the sighting of fossil fuels has resulted in the displacement of people and has led to major conflicts. Lastly, fossil fuels are economically expensive due to their non-renewable nature and higher taxes placed on them.


Renewable sources of energy
Armstrong and Hamrin define renewable sources of energy as resources and technologies that are either non-depletable or replenishable. The wind, solar, hydroelectric power, nuclear, solar, biomass and geothermal energy sources fall under this category. Conserve Energy Future notes that renewable energy sources such as nuclear energy have the advantage of low emission of greenhouse gases. Nuclear energy is also powerful, efficient and reliable compared to other sources of energy. The cost of production materials such as uranium has been noted as cheap compared to the materials used in the extraction and refining of energy sources such as coal and petroleum. Nuclear energy also has low fuel costs because it requires lower amount of uranium to produce enough power compared to the fossil fuels

Alternative Energy Sources

Other important renewable energy sources comprise geothermal energy which is harnessed through the drilling of geothermal wells. The geothermal energy is created by the vapor that comes from the bottom layer of the earth. Nevertheless, geothermal energy has the benefit of being a dependable source of energy that is not influenced by alterations in the weather patterns and is available all through the year. Geothermal energy also does not require special energy storage facilities and requires less capital for development and maintenance. Other benefits include the fact that the source of energy has no solid contaminants and requires a less amount of land to generate.

Another notable source of renewable energy is the hydroelectric energy. This is a form of energy that is got from water in motion and is harnessed using turbines. Hydroelectric energy is considered as green energy because it does not cause any form of pollution to the environment and is renewable because of the fact that the water cycle process ensures that the resource (water) is constantly recycled. Although the solar energy is yet another source of renewable energy that is assembled and generated using solar boards to transfer sun light to power. Hydroelectric energy is beneficial as it contaminate the atmosphere and the materials used in harnessing the energy are inexpensive, and have low maintenance fee compared to other sources of energy. However, solar panels may be affected by adverse weather conditions in that; in the absence of sunlight no energy can be generated (Droelectric energy).

The Use of Nuclear Energy in Italy

In Mundi reports that "in 2010 that the total amount of fossil fuel consumption in Italy stood at 87% while it was 94.5% in 1973"(Mundi 2013).. The report further indicates "that 1960 recorded the lowest rate of fossil energy use in Italy’s history. The rate was 85.6%". The recent rates are a clear projection of the country’s high dependency on fossil fuels for various activities (Mundi 2013). Reuters UK (2007) edition observes that the high rate of fossil fuel consumption in Italy puts the country at a risk of depleting its fossil fuel energy sources in less than twenty years' time. The report further notes that over 80% of fossil fuel consumed in Italy are imported from other nations (Reuters.2007, July 7). The World Nuclear Association (2012) further this argument through a report that "indicated that the total electricity generation in Italy stood at over 300billion kilowatts with 47% of this amount being generated from gas, 6% from petroleum, and 16% from hydroelectric sources while 17% was from coal". The total annual electricity consumption per household stood at 4950 kilowatts.  The report indicates that the amount of fossil energy consumed in the country is likely to rise in the near future (Guarascio, F., & Kovalyova, S. 2011).

The World Nuclear Association (2012)

Italy has four operational nuclear power reactors, and two of these were shut down as a precaution after the Chernobyl incidence. The last nuclear facility in the country was closed down in 1990. As at current, the association report "indicates that the country uses about 10% of nuclear energy all of which is exported from other countries". However, the 2008 government proposal to increase the usage of nuclear energy to 25% was rejected during a referendum that was carried out in 2011. It is also worth noting that Italy was among the initial countries to utilize civil nuclear power. Italy is also the first country to develop a scientific body charged with the responsibility of pursuing nuclear energy. According to the Reuters (2011), US edition, Italy and France had plans of constructing a nuclear plant in the country in 2013. This was, however, rejected in a referendum in 2011 and was greatly affected by the Japanese nuclear accident (Italian Nuclear Power 2011, November 9).


Armstrong, J., & Hamrin, J. (n.d.). CHAPTER 1. RENEWABLE ENERGY OVERVIEW. OAS - Organization of American States: Democracy for peace, security, and development. Retrieved May 12, 2013, from
Guarascio, F., & Kovalyova, S. (2011, March 14). Italy government sticks to nuclear energy plan| Reuters. Business & Financial News, Breaking US & International News | Retrieved May 12, 2013, from
Hydroelectric energy - National Geographic Education. (n.d.). Teachers Homepage - National Geographic Education. Retrieved May 11, 2013, from
Mundi, i. (2013, January 1). Italy - Fossil fuel energy consumption. Index Mundi - Country Facts. Retrieved May 17, 2013, from

Nuclear Energy in Italy : Italian Nuclear Power. (2011, November 9). World Nuclear Association. Retrieved May 17, 2013, from
Reuters. (2007, July 7). CORRECTED - Italy risks exhausting fossil fuels in 20 yrs - Enel| Reuters. Breaking News, Business News, Financial and Investing News & More | Retrieved May 17, 2013, from

Hagia Sophia


Hagia Sophia is the one of the greatest visited places in the world and also has been named 'the eighth wonder of the world' 'by East Roman Philon. The building of the Hagia Sophia began on February 23, 532 nearly within 5 years and 10 months and it was used as a church for 916 years'' Wikipedia (2005, January 1). But after the conquest of Istanbul by Sultan Mehmed, the Hagia Sophia was changed into a mosque for 482 years. By command from Atatürk Mustafa Kemal and decision of the Council of Ministers Hagia Sophia was converted to a museum in 1935.


In the era of Constantia's II the imperial palace was being developed to be the main and biggest churches in the world and to the definition of the Byzantine heritage. Because of Nika Revolt and subsequent riots, this church was largely burned then the Theodosius II ordered to be built a second church by the architect Rufinus and he decide to build it with a wooden roof and several marble blocks to so that it would survive to the present day.Hagia Sophia characterized by a distinctive geographical location near the Sea of Marmara and the Bosphorus and the present Hagia Sophia has become one of the most famous tourist landmarks in Turkey



In 532 the Arian bishop Eudoxius started building the Hagia Sophia to make it one of the biggest churches in Istanbul but because of the earthquakes and the geographical nature of Turkey it took more time to build and it was built within 5 years and 10 months and they built it to be the main church. In 1453 Sultan Mehmed wanted to destroy the Hagia Sophia because he was believed that it had a lot of treasures then he decided to turn it as a biggest mosque in that city but the church was in a ramshackle state. For this reason Mehmed II decided to refurbish the building as well as the demolition of the building and rebuilding and Mehmed attended the first Friday prayer in the mosque on 1 June 1453. ''The Hagia Sophia became the first imperial mosque of Istanbul'' Sacred Sites at Sacred Destinations. By order from Atatürk Mustafa Kemal in 1935 he started converting the mosque to a museum because the Hagia Sophia has a large number of antiques and artifacts. So he ordered then removed and the marble floor and removed the white plaster covering many of the mosaics. In the era of Constantia's II the Hagia Sophia church cost 145000 kg of gold to build.

Present Hagia Sophia
The Hagia Sophia is one of the most important tourist archaeological sites in Turkey and it represents a model of Byzantine civilization in addition to the geographical location and in the past, was one of the most famous churches in the world. At present the Turkish government would like to renovate this museum while maintaining the architectural form and attention to rare antiques. The dome of the Hagia Sophia mosque is of exquisite beauty and sophistication and at the time was a huge dome not seen before. It looked as if it was hanging in the air.

Currently the Hagia Sophia is a museum for visitors and ''tourists are entering into the main building of nine gates the dome height of 55.6 meters and a diameter of 32 meters and this dome sits on four columns, each with a height of 24.3 meters'' archnet (1991, January 1) which makes the tourists travel to the museum to learn about the Byzantine civilization and it help to recover the tourism activity in Turkey.