Sunday, 16 October 2011

KEEP CALM AND GO TO HISTORY CLUB

I've recently created a new blog for my school's history club! Being the president/leader of this history club, I decided to do this in order to communicate and connect with the club members, and teach them some world history online instead of giving lectures only on a weekly basis.

Here is the link to the blog.
http://wci-history-club.blogspot.com/

I hope you enjoy reading it, and hopefully follow it too. As of now, I only have three posts in it. These three are about: information about the history club, Columbus day, and a new potential human ancestor discovered - Australopithecus ramidus (a missing link?).

Metamorphosis of Life



 This is just a poem I wrote for my English AP class. Hope you enjoy it.


Life
is-like a
CATerPILLar, piller, pillar, piller..,

You-begin-as-a
small,
deformed,
image that reflects your
potential,
enlightened,
self,

You commence to
eat,
grow,
consume other beings,
all,
to,
self.

You finally start, after.
Leeching.
Crawling.
You've grown to adolescence,
you-begin-to-con-SEAL
yourself..

Hiding...
In...
Shame.

Break-ing our of the womb,
this is your sec-ond time again.
You have grown older,
you reappear....

Life
is-like a
BUTterFLY...

Wing-Ed wings of triumph,
oh, how've_you've_becomed.
Wings spanning eons.
eons. eons.

The colour of your wings
represent
your life. GLORY!

Isn't the saying true,

Life
is-like a
BUTterFLY....................................................................................................
.......................................................................................................................
.......................................................................................................................
.......................................................................................................................
.......................................................................................................................
.......................................................................................................................
.......................................................................................................................
.......................................................................................................................
.......................................................................................................................

My poem was inspired by a popular anime, Turn A Gundam. Here's the ending theme song for the anime, Tsuki no Mayu. (English Translation: Cocoon of the Moon)

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Ardi - Oldest Fossil of Human Ancestor - Missing Link? (A personal response)

The recovered bones of Ardi, a female Ardipithecus ramidus.

The following personal response was for a school assignment. I hope you'll enjoy reading it though!

I believe that the discoveries of Ardi (Ardipithecus ramidus female dated to be 4.4 million years ago)  and the related skeletal remains is an academic, scientific, and social triumphs of humankind. For many decades, Lucy has dominated the anthropological and evolutionary spotlight, but with the discovery of Ardi comes an enriching and exciting tale inside her bones. Because I am a fanatic about the sciences, I believe that with each academic accomplishment and landmark this field (including anthropology) achieves, humanity has reached a grand triumph.  With this amazing discovery, our specie can further unravel our evolutionary past and figure out what our most recent common ancestor was with our closest living relatives (the chimpanzees).

Since Darwin's publishing of On the Origin of Species, we humans have relentlessly attempted to unearth and precisely determine how we came to be, and how bipedalism first occurred. The discovery and analysis of these rare and scare fossils are, as said by Alan Walker, "far more important than Lucy", and that it reveals and brings into light new knowledge that we once did not possess. I, for one, am overjoyed about the discovery of Ardi due to its massive influence and potential to change existing knowledge in the area. Considering that the discovery of Ardi seems to have debunked the "savanna hypothesis" (which is a hypothesis that our ancestral species stood up due to the introduction of an open field grassland environment), and suggests many new theories on how bipedalism occurred, this finding will definitely influence the field of anthropology. 

To start, a unique aspect of this find is how many scientists believe, after analyzing Ardi, that her anatomy suggests bipedalism whilst on the ground and quadrupedalism whilst in the trees. This finding is as significant as the moon landing to me, considering how we can now attempt figure out, based on the findings, how the development of early bipedalism occurred. They have seen this in many of Ardi's bones. For example, the feet, pelvis, and legs seem to indicate bipedalism, and looking at her hands also promotes the idea that Ardi was a quadruped in the trees. However, there is controversy over this matter, considering that there was an argument that had particularly influenced me on the topic of bipedalism. This argument was about whether or not bipedalism was originally for the purpose of sexual intercourse and mating. Many experts say that factoring in the additional evidence of forensic odontology indicates that instead of having males fight over the female using their sharp teeth as weapons, the males win the female's heart by gathering foods for her by walking on two feet. This is significant because instead of the "savanna hypothesis", we now have another realistic explanation of bipedalism (considering that Ardipithecus Ramidus's environment was a moist woodland, not an open grassland).

Additionally, there are many other unique aspects of the find as well, which include: Ardi's close proximity to Lucy, the previous renown early ancestor (both were found in the Afar desert, which is not very surprising because the earliest human ancestor to have actually migrated out of Africa was Homo erectus), the remarkable preservation of Ardi's fossils in comparison to their actual age of them, how experts, finding other fossils of other specimens, determined that Ardi lived in a moist wetland environment, and how these skeletal remains laid to rest the guesses of many people about a half-chimpanzee half-human that would be our most recent common ancestor to chimpanzees.

EDIT
If anyone wants to read a blog post that I've written about a newer human ancestor species discovered, please go to this following link.
http://wci-history-club.blogspot.com/2011/10/new-human-ancestor-australopithecus.html

REFERENCES
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/10/091001-oldest-human-skeleton-ardi-missing-link-chimps-ardipithecus-ramidus.html

Friday, 23 September 2011

Earth and I

Our Pale Blue Planet


"We only inhabit one of the eight planets around an insignificant sun, and on this planet, Earth, rests over 1.7 million species. You are right - we are specks, among specks, among “billions and billions of specks” on the cosmic scale. However, Earth is significant to us, and we are significant to family and loved ones; for me, that is all that I need to feel significant."

Friday, 17 June 2011

The Influence of Roman Art

Just something I wrote because I'm a history fanatic...

The Influence of Roman Art

The Romans left a legacy and a colossal footprint in the history of humans. The times back then were prosperous, and are now considered the golden age of western civilization. However, as Alaric sacked Rome in 410 AD, it was the beginning of the end of the Roman Empire. The Dark Ages began, and people grew barbaric once more. It seemed as if all art, all intellectual creativity, had suddenly disappeared. Some notable figures such as Charlemagne have tried to break this barrier, yet all of them failed. It wasn’t until the Renaissance when the Dark Ages had finally come to an end, and creativity prospered. The Renaissance looked backed at the marvel of Ancient Rome, and its art. Many Renaissance artists and scholars dwelled upon the ancient works of the Romans for answers and creativity. In addition, after the Renaissance came the Age of Enlightenment (17th and 18th centuries) and it was here where neoclassicism was born. Neoclassicism is the movement to bring Classical Roman and Greek art back into popularity.


You might think this is a Roman building. However, as the American flag suggests, this was built in the mid 1800s, more than half a millenium after the Romans. This is actually the picture of the Treasury Building in Washington DC. It is a good example of just how many cultures were inspired by the Ancient Romans.

Edit: I should have included a tidbit on how the Romans actually stole from the Greeks in terms of the architecture style, art, and culture. This written piece was for a report in my high school Latin class, however.

Royal Ontario Museum! - Part 2 (Renaissance Art)

A month ago, I posted some photos about my ROM trip - today I`ll start with part 2! This time, I`ll show you guys Europe! That is, medieval and renaissance Europe :D

EDIT: I accidentally deleted all my pictures. I'm really sorry! I don't know how to get them back.
Map of Europe.

The Renaissance began in Italy and gradually spread to the rest of Europe, reaching northern Europe in the early 1500s. In many regions, the transition from the Medieval Gothic style to the Renaissance took a long time. Renaissance means 'rebirth'. Writers, architects, and artists of the time believed that their work represented a renewal of the ideals and values that underlay the greatness of ancient Roman civilization. Out of admiration, they took the achievements of classical antiquity as models; but they also aimed to surpass them.



Renaissance artists painted figures as the eyes saw them. They also used perspective. Here, individuals are depicted with character; a central vanishing point draws the viewer to the classical building in the background.

 Longleat house

This circular relief sculpture, or tondo, shows the influence of classical ideals in the rendering of the figures and faces, and in the wreath of leaves and fruit. A large tondo such as this one would have probably hung inside a church. The border is a typical feature of similar reliefs by Andrea della Robbia. His workshop produced many variations of the Virgin and Child theme, which was popular also in Italian paintings of the period. The della Robbia workshop pioneered the adaption of tin-glazing to the decoration of terracotta sculpture.
Terracotta - made out of clay.


Tuesday, 14 June 2011

SAVE COMPUTER SCIENCE!!!

Edit: I have deleted the picture of a graphic poster on this post. I accidentally deleted the picture along with a lot of other pictures that were saved on Google picasa, that apparently now stores Blogspot pictures. This graphic poster had the following text: "Keep Calm and Save Computer Science".


My local high school (which is probably the most academic school in my region) might be cancelling COMPUTER SCIENCE!!!


''Grade 11 Computer Science at WCI has been made inaccessible to most of the students who registered. Because of this the Grade 11 and 12 Computer Science program at WCI is in danger of being canceled.

The purpose of this page is to bring this issue to WCI students, their parents, and the administration of WCI. ICS3UI, Grade 11 Computer Science, has been put in the same block as Pre-AP Math. This means that around two thirds to three quarters of the students will probably have to drop the course, and the course will likely be canceled as a result. Students have talked to the administration, and they have acknowledged that there is no practical impediment to changing the time of the course. However, they refuse to do so. Mr. Damian is fine with moving the course, so this is not inconveniencing staff. The course is likely to be cancelled if it is not moved, so it would not hurt students either. There is no reason why the course block should be changed. This group was made to try to give the students who registered in the course (around 30) the opportunity to study Computer Science at WCI.''

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Did it give you this feeling?




Did it
give you this feeling
?
inside your heart
?
I don't know how to describe the feeling
maybe I should describe it better
It's that joyful feeling. It's that feeling that makes you cry
When you see these smiling people
You know that these were real people
And the artists have painted with all of their emotions and poured their life
into this person
into this painting
you're looking at humanity
don't you feel
 even a bit moved
 touched
 . . .
 you know
 just that feeling
 and the great thing about it is that
 it's in everyone...
 It's that spark of wonder
 Ingenuity
that feeling of epiphany
happiness
sadness
the deepest of our emotions
people find joy in playing music
people find joy in art
It's what makes us different from other people
it's also why twins are different
they aren't the exact same people in the exact same space at the exact same time (even in the scientific sense)
They experience reality differently
all of us do
we all have a limited perspective on reality
I find it beautiful
have you ever felt that beautiful feeling
?
But I know you know it
I know you've felt it
when you look at beauty
when you feel something tremendous
have you ever felt fascinated
?
by the wonders of our universe?
that's a feeling of this god
‘’What’s in a name? That which we call a rose. By any other name would smell just as sweet.’’
not just that though
 its a feeling of consciousness
 it's a feeling of embracing and realizing something new

Thursday, 21 April 2011

The Human Eye...

...is really bad. I'm serious.

Did you know that your eye have a blind spot? Consider this following diagram:

The cornea is the thin layer that helps focuses light, in addition to the actual lens itself. The iris is the colored part of your eye (mine is brown) and it can stretch to let in more or less light, like the aperture of a camera. The pupil, as everyone knows, is the hole that actually lets in light into your eye. I think this whole diagram seems pretty simple to follow. Anyways, the important part is the retina. Why? Because the retina is the inner coating of your eye which is made up of cones and rods. These cones and rods are the things that collect the light coming into your eye from the pupil. It is the thing pink layer that you see on the diagram. Look at the optic nerve, which is the nerve that sends the image to your brain.
The weird part is this: there is no pink eye at the optic nerve. That means there's no cones/rods to collect light at that part of your eye. What does this mean? It's quite simple really. Your eye has a blind spot which it can't see because there are no sensors at your optic nerve.

You're probably wondering how the eye accommodates for this. Well, you have a brain + another eye to sort it out. Just because your right eye can't see one point, doesn't mean your left eye can't. You left eye can help you accommodate that blind spot in your right eye, and vice versa. However, the brain also accommodates too, or else every time you close one eye, the other will have a noticeable blind spot.

Here's a neat trick.
1. Grab a piece of paper and pencil. Make sure you're not blind, and that you can see clearly. You must have two functional eyes to go through this trick.
2. Draw two very small dots 10 cm away from each other on the piece of paper.
3. Close one eye, and look at ONLY one of the dots you have made.
4. Move the paper back and forth.
5. ? ? ?
6. PROFIT!!!

Did you see the other dot disappearing? Or were you like every other person and too lazy to even do this?

Well, here's the lazy approach of doing this. Someone made a youtube video to do this without you getting a piece of paper and doing it yourself.

Also, yes, it ISN'T a screamer. It works!

See why I think the human eye sucks now?

A Report on an Artifact of a Roman Scutum

Edit: I accidentally deleted all my pictures from Picasa and don't know how to get them back. Sorry!

Sorry if this is the worst thing you've ever read... this is a short assignment I have to type up and hand in for my Latin class. I figured I should put this up on my blog since my last blog entry was about the ROM and the Roman and Greek exhibits :)

Roman Artefact – Scutum (Edges)

Rome was once the greatest empire of the world for over 500 years. In fact, during the reign of Emperor Trajan at 117 AD, Rome was at its peak, and the roman army helped this empire rule over 1/5 of the world’s population.
Roman military tactics were very top of the line back in their day, and revolutionized the way people fought wars. Their military tactics were simple, but work. Many battles were fought with centuries, groups of 80 men (later 100 men). In many battles, men had shields called a scutum, which were used for many tactical battle maneuvers– which is also the infamous Roman shield you see at every Roman military re-enactment. It is of an oblong shape, usually made out of wood (which is why there aren’t that many existing ones still around), and is of a similar size to a normal riot shield of today.

The Roman Scutum


This is the bronze edges from a Roman scutum. It is the artefact that I will be describing. It seems to be approximately 50 centimetres in length and about 1 ½ inches in width at the thinnest part in the middle, and 3 inches for the largest width near the ends. The ends were wider, probably due to the need of reinforcing the corners of the scutum. The ends were also probably used to put the bronze edge in place. The original texture of the artefact, were it not to have rusted and bent over time, should have been smooth because of its metallic composition. Since these edges are made out of bronze, they were made using a mix of copper and tin. A hollow shaft can clearly be seen in the underside of both of these bronze edges, to nicely put the actual body of the scutum inside.

            The purpose of the bronze edges is simple. It is to simply have a rim for the outer edges of the shield, adding more protection to the user. A metal edge for a shield would be preferable than a shield having wooden edges, because a slicing motion that an enemy might use towards the edge of a shield can easily break and slice wood. A metal (or specifically in this case, bronze) edging is designed to defend against such battle tactics.
            This artefact would have been found in many military Roman legions, as it was a great shield that protected its user well. In addition, it would have been in training grounds where Roman soldiers would have trained. This artefact reveals that Rome had a military – and of course, one of the largest militaries the ancient world has ever known. By knowing this, and from former knowledge about the Roman Empire, it has already become apparent that Rome expanded so vastly, mainly due to its need for more land for these retired soldiers. Fortunately, a modern variant of this simple yet effective shield is still in use. Many police departments have riot shields. This is because a shield of this size is more preferable when dealing with close-quarter protests/riots because of its larger area, which can protect the user more.




Many soldiers carrying these shields can form a tortoise formation, perfect for sieges. In Latin, this is called a tetsudo (meaning “tortoise”). The first row of men would have their shields upright, bending behind their shields, so as to show as little of their bodies as possible. The rows behind them would use their shields as a protective roof, guarding each other and the front row from any missile weapons, such as arrows. People who have been at a Roman military re-enactment might have seen this before.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Fear

I hide in the darkest corners, always watching you.
I can see your every step, and I can see your chest rising and falling as you breathe.
You don't even know I'm there.
I'll strike when you least expect it,
when the night is overshadowing the sun's daylight,
when everything you know and love,
you can never see with your own eyes.
You are frightened by what is unknown.
What you cannot see with your own eyes.
And when it is that time, I shall strike.

Royal Ontario Museum! - Part 1 (Rome & Greece)

EDIT: I accidentally deleted all my pictures. I'm really sorry! I don't know how to get them back.

Hi again! :D

Today, I went to the ROM (Royal Ontario Museum). Why? Because I'm taking Latin class, of course!
You see, our awesome Latin teacher took us to the ROM since she thought it would be fun to go there and see the Roman and Greek galleries/exhibits.

(Sadly, when we got there, the Roman one was closed. We could only get to see the Greek ones.)

Well, without further ado, I'll start blogging about today's events chronologically :) I took some pictures, so don't worry. Be wary though, this is going to be a long post.

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Aphrodite! I could actually touch this!
Well, now that you're guessing why we WERE allowed to handle these precious artifacts (even though I'm guessing they were just replicas), I'll tell you what happened; we attended a private lecture by one of the museum's experts in Greek and Roman archeology! They were nice enough to let us handle all of these cool things :) The picture above is one of them. It's made out of marble. Honestly, I never knew marble was so heavy until now. This little head, the size of a hand, was so heavy that I could only carry it with both of my hands!

This is a perfume vial made out of glass. You can see the intricate designs, and how there are two separate openings. It's in a glass box, probably because I'm assuming that it's not a replica, and is indeed the real thing. It looks really pretty!

The lecturer told us that his necklace is called "mille fleur" (the lecturer told us it meant "thousand flowers" in Italian. It's the same in French haha!) The necklace is really pretty and has very intricate details. It's a shame that not many necklaces are made so finely anymore. It's all about mass-producing now. Also, notice the bracelet? It's really small! I already have pretty small wrists, but this one was puny! And it's meant for adult women! So obviously, we can tell that people were much more smaller back then O_O

This is just a mirror. It's made out of metal, so we couldn't touch it directly without any gloves (because obviously, hands have oil + salt).

 Have any of you guys watched the movie Gladiator (2000) ??? Well, if you did, do you remember Juba (the African man) burying those figurines belonging to Maximus where Maximus died? Those figurines represent Maximus' wife and son! I totally forgot what those figurines were called, but what I do remember is that those things were religious objects used to represent people. Yes, I know Gladiator is not THAT accurate - but hey! It got one thing right! Which was the figurines!

[Juba buries the figurines belonging to Maximus where Maximus died]
[last lines]

Juba: Now we are free. I will see you again. But not yet, not yet...


 A bronze strigil. A strigil is a scraper to scrap dead skin from peoples' bodies. Think of it like an ancient form of exolifator - it's just that they literally scrape it off with metal! (which no doubt hurts like hell) This is a replica - the lecturer said it herself.

Replica of Ancient Roman Armor

A statue of a Roman centurion (I think that's a centurion?)

-------------------------------------------------
And now... for the Greek gallery!

Roman statues

Roman coins

 Golden wreaths!!! :D

Statue

Statue

Me Stalking little kids while I take a photo of them

Greek art (these would be friezes for the Temple of Athena in Athens)

Apparently to archeologists, the little bending joints indicate that these figurines were dolls


A headless statue. I completely forgot who it was supposed to be :( I think it was Aphrodite?

Head of Silenos.
This head resembles that of the old satyr Silenos from a well-known statuary group showing him cradling the infant Dionysos in his arms. However, the accented individuality of the features and the passionate expression of the head sugget that the subject portrayed here may be a specific person - perhaps a poet, crowned with an ivy wreath.

Portrait of a Woman
The diadem and the carefully arranged hairstyle, which shows Egyptian influence, suggest that the lady is a distinguished personage. Her features indicate that she is of Greek or Roman descent.

He's rocking hard with that beard :D This was actually called "Man with a Beard" (I think)

Larnax (coffin) from Minoan Crete
Clay coffins became the standard type of burial vessel on the island of Crete from about 1400 to 1100 BC. The Minoans made these sarcophagi in two different shapes - either a footed box with a gabled lid, as with this ROM example, or in the form of a bathtub. Such coffins also were painted. The wavy lines decorating the ROM's larnax may represent the sea that the soul of the deceased person (whose remains lay within the coffin) had to cross to reach the Afterworld. Mycenaeans on the Greek mainland adopted the Cretan practice of larnax burials in the Late Helladic IIIB-C period (about 1300-1050 BC)

Ancient Cycladic Sculpture
Stylized female figure, found mainly in graves. 2700-2500 BC.
I have no idea why, but these thing was in its own special corner, unlike all the other ones :D

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Here is a text I got from ROM about Cyprus - the land of copper.

The island of Cyprus was renowned in antiquity for its abundance of copper. The very word "copper" comes from Krypos, the Greek name for Cyprus.
In Near Eastern texts of the 18th century BC, Cyprus was called Alashiya and known as a supplier of copper. In the 14th century BC, the king of Alashiya wrote to the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaton offering copper ingots in exchange for luxury goods. Even the Romans called copper Cyprium aes, literally the "copper of Cyprus".

Cyprus was also famous for the advanced skills of its metal-smiths and their sophisticated bronze-work in the Late Bronze Age. Among the most impressive metal artifacts produced in the eastern Mediterranean are Cypriot bronze stands, some decorated with a man carrying a copper ingot.

-------------------------------------------------------
That's the end of the Roman/Greek part of my ROM trip. The next ones all have to do with European history. That's because for most of the trip, I only stayed in that part of the museum. That's because we only had one hour, and I decided to sacrifice all of the other exhibits for Europe :D (Sorry animals! Sorry awesome minerals and gems! Sorry everything else!!!)
 Shucks that I couldn't go to the other parts to do our limited time there, but it was still fun nevertheless!
The other parts will probably come out in a day or so. I'm too lazy to continue.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Which Canada will you vote for?

Ok, so I already know I'm too young to vote :(
Well, even still, this website is really funny (if you're a Canadian).

GO TO THIS LINK FOR MORE OF THE COMICS SHOWN BELOW!!
http://compellingcomics.justsomeguy.com/CanadaVotes2011/Canada.html

Afghan Torture



Canada didn't do anything about climate change


Think of the children!

HARPER government!?!?


G20 issue



Senate and Harper suck!

WE ARE NOT LIKE THE U.S.

This last one is the most shocking of all for me...


WTF? HARPER IS ANTI-SCIENCE (or more specifically, climate science)?!!?!??!


I think you know my stance on this now.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Regional Science Fair!

EDIT: Some pictures were accidentally deleted from this post, so unfortunately I cannot get those original pictures back.

...I think a god must seriously like me, or seriously wants me to look like a dimwit.

Well, that said god sure did succeed.

So, here's a brief summary about my life regarding to the science fair (chronologically, of course).
-everyone in the gr 10 pre-AP science course is required to do this science fair project in my school
-the projects are graded
-science teachers will judge and pick 5 projects out of 60 or so to go to the regional science fair (a.k.a. region wide)
-I was literally about to fail. I procrastinated so much that even before a week it was due, I still did not know my project was about. In other words, I didn't start at all until that point in time.
-I quickly got an idea (from a fellow classmate) and got to work. I had no sleep, no food, and was trembling all the time because I knew for sure I was going to fail
-somehow, I made it to the regional
-my teacher graded our projects; I didn't fail. I didn't do too bad
-I went to the regional. Got to hear an awesome lecture from Perimeter Institute! (I love them!)
-I expected to fail. My project sucked. PESTICIDES ON YEAST? Such an elementary subject, eh?


Get ready for the last point

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-I GOT GOLD!!!!!!!!!! XD!!!!!!!!!! AND I ALSO GOT 50 BUCKS!









(Don't mind my extremely long nail)

So there you have it. Somehow, by doing a project on par of that to a normal third grader, I got a gold medal at the regionals! :D!!! This must be a cruel joke, but I'm too happy about my $50 bucks to care! (Because I hardly ever get money)

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About the science fair:

The science fair was actually amazing! Too bad I couldn't bring my camera :(

Right off the bat in the morning, we had to be judged. We waited for four judges to come to our project, and wow did it take a long time. We were bored out of our minds... and a little scared about the judges. On the other hand, the judges actually seemed pretty decent and nice. Also, my science fair partner and I were really enthusiastic in our presentation, so we probably got our bonus points there.

After, I went to the University of Guelph and went to all of these places where most people couldn't even go! For example, this place in UG called the "aqua lab" had this room with all these species of marine life; and most people on campus never even went in there! And I did! I was even lucky enough to touch a sea cucumber, a sea urchin, and an anemone! (The sea cucumber was really gross, to be honest... While in my hand, it was deflating. It has two openings - one big one, and another little one at the other end that was pouring water out of itself. I almost fainted when I felt it deflating like a gross balloon)

The second place where we went was this room that had two uber-colossal-giant magnets! I didn't expect them to be so big and huge!

They are called NMRs. Here is the wikipedia page for it (the pictures on the wiki page look just like the NMRs I saw!)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_magnetic_resonance

In essence, UG had these two gigantic things because they want to know more about the structure of molecules and particles. This huge magnet can help them with that. We were literally standing only 5 feet away! Luckily, the tour guide said that the outside of these things had a "reverse magnetic field" (or something along those lines) so that we wouldn't be affected by these magnets.
Also, apparently there is also tons of liquid helium + liquid nitrogen surrounding the magnet because they need to cool the magnet down to near-absolute zero, or else it won't work properly.
These magnets were the second best thing that I saw during my time.


Now comes for the third part of the tour around UG- nanotechnology!
We went into this little lab/room where this guy who specialized in nanotechnology was. He showed us all kinds of cool things about nanotech! We played around with this piece of fabric that doesn't get wet. We literally squirted water on it, and the water just rolled on top of the fabric like some kind of weird ball. It was amazing. The second thing he showed us this metal wire made out of Nitinol. By far, one of the more shocking things. This metal wire can actually remember its shape! You see, even if you bend it as many times as you want (as long as you don't tie it in a knot, of course), it can still remember its original shape. All you have to do is put the bent nitinol wire in some hot water, and it magically transforms back into its original state! Cool eh?


Here's a video to show you guys what I saw!




Except, for OUR wires, it instantaneously bent back to its original shape (probably because we were using near-boiling water)

And, apparently, with this little piece of metal/discovery/nanotechnology, scientists have invented all sorts of cool things! Take, for example, the BENDABLE GLASSES!

Neat, eh? I personally don't wear any specs, but many do and prefer not to wear contacts still. This is probably the most badass thing these people can wear!


Are these things still not impressing you yet? Well... LOOK AT THIS AWESOME (STEAMPUNK) ENGINE MADE OUT OF NITINOL!!!



Haha, I was joking :P Yes, I know, it wasn't some ground-breaking phenomenon. But still! You can't deny that it's at least, still a little cool, eh? -sighs- I guess I was, and still am, the only one who thought this little contraption was just the coolest thing ever :(

So, you're probably wondering "how does this thing even work?" Well, judging from the ice in the blue container, the blue container obviously has cold water and thus, the red container has really hot water. Why do you think this matters? Well, the little wire on the engine that is moving is made out of nitinol wire. When the nitinol wire goes into the hot water, it expands while in the cold water, it contracts. This movement is what obviously makes the engine turn. Simple, BUT OH SO AWESOME.

Anyways, after the cool nitinol wire/engine (<3), we saw this amazing new liquid that is magnetic. It's called ferrofluid.

The ferrofluid + the drill thingy the ferrofluid was on looked exactly like the one in this video! Isn't it so awesome? Basically, the black moving gelly stuff you see is actually liquid ferrofluid. It only looks gelly because the copperish coloured drill thing was inducing electricity (which somehow makes the ferofluid solidified). Weird, but amazing! It's non-toxic too, so we could touch it! (of course, with gloves. This is because it can permanently stain your clothes!) It felt really weird! Almost solid, like squishy jell-o I guess? Since you could feel the... solidness, it was pretty easy to feel the spikiness too. And the ferrofluid that was on my glove after touching the whole thing looked really gross, like oil.

That was pretty much the summary of the time at UG. After, we went back... and...

DUN DUN DUN!!!

O_O HEARD A LECTURE FROM PERIMETER INSTITUTE ABOUT THEORETICAL PHYSICS, HUZZAHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!

T ^ T Oh, my dreams have finally come true! -wipes a tear of joy off my face with my handkerchief-
The dude's name was Roger something. Totally forgot. We basically watched these videos.
http://www.perimeterinstitute.ca/en/Outreach/Alice_and_Bob_in_Wonderland/Alice_and_Bob_in_Wonderland/
Mainly these three:
Why doesn't the moon fall down?
 Is that star really there?
 Why is it dark at night?

(higher quality videos can be seen in the perimeterinstitute link, NOT the youtube videos. I had to upload the youtube videos because Blogger doesn't let me upload videos from other sites)

There are nine in total. The nine short video series was created for the purpose of asking the nine most important questions asked by humans, which has deeply contributed to science and our understanding of the universe.

You're probably thinking right now; "wtf? Asking why the night is dark is one of the most important questions there are?" Obviously, the questions "why doesn't the moon fall down" and "is that star really there" hint at gravity and Einstein's theory of relativity, so naturally one would assume those two videos are indeed significant in its meaning. But the last one is probably the one that shocked me the most (because I already knew the two former videos. Why? Because I'm a huge science nerd). The reason why the last one was the most moving for me was because I never thought about that question. Just watch the video to find out more.
(watch the video, watch the video, watch the video, watch the video)

You watched it? great! So anyways, have you ever thought of the stars and the darkness of night that way? You never had? GREAT! You're just as awe-struck as I am! You already pondered/know this question? Can you be my teacher then? :D

So yeah. In essence, the Roger guy asked great questions to us kids. I, of course, being the science nerd, knew almost all of them because I already was self-studying about these things (except for of course, the answer to "why night is dark")

And in the end... WE GOT MAGNETS!!!


I reached a level of pure awesome when I got this.
My life finally has meaning.
I am now complete :)

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Me as a Blonde


 こんにちは、皆! ^^ 今日は、私はちゃいろ髪をもっています~



 www 面白いかお! (≧∇≦)
 I look like an ugly barbie...



Science Fair Tomorrow???

Egads! I`m so nervous today! :(

It seems like I procrastinated (again). My school had a science fair for just us intermediates, and the science teachers (a.k.a. the judges of this science fair) will select only 5% of us younglings to go to the regional science fair.

Guess who got chosen?



Yep… nasticides. That’s the title of my little science fair project which somehow got into the regional. Surprising, eh?

But honestly! My whole project consisted of putting yeast in bottles and see whether or not those smelly fungi will blow up a balloon! How is that even good?

And guess what? Other people who actually didn’t do their project within a week’s time, and actually spent months on their project, somehow didn’t go! And let me tell you, some of the projects I was against were the best I have EVER SEEN.

And I’m a nerd! I’ve seen tons of projects!

There were so many amazing and spectacular projects! For example, the effects of electromagnetism on living organisms, the effects of acid rain (specifically carbonic acid) on crops, and even a lengthy computer program which calculates the spread of genes within a population!

…and none of these went to the regional.

How the eff is that possible??? Somehow, my lowly yeast project beat all of these marvels?!?!?!?? I honestly don’t know whether I should be extremely happy and lucky in this situation, or feel very bad for these unfortunate fellows. It basically seems as if I cheated my way to the regional. I feel really bad.

Well, I guess it’s too late to feel bad right now. Tomorrow I’m going to my regional science fair. -unenthusiastic- woopee…

I haven’t read any of my emails that have been sent to me by the science fair judges. I don’t even know WHERE I’m supposed to go FOR the regional tomorrow! Maybe this is just god’s cruel punishment – to justify my luck of getting into the regional in the first place.

Monday, 4 April 2011

The Pale Blue Dot - Carl Sagan





Consider again that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it, everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every ‘supreme leader,’ every ‘superstar,’ every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there — on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. Like it or not, for the moment, the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. It underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the only home we’ve ever known, the pale blue dot

Me no speak English!

What’s the point of English class, when they don’t teach you grammar at all? I don’t see how in any way, shape, or form that anything we learn from that wretched class will be beneficial.

Think about it. We learn English everyday in other courses, such as science, mathematics, history, and even art! I, honest to god, think that these other courses expand my vocabulary tenfold, compared to dreadful “English class” (without the “English” haha!).

Why is that?

Well, here is a 2-point list that I’ve conjured up. It’s just a brief summary explaining how English sucks, and the improvements that should definitely be considered.

-more grammar lessons. Sure, putting a period at the end of each sentence may be all that we need in a grammar lesson, but for those who actually want to achieve high marks, teachers should actually teach complicated grammar. I do believe that grammar lessons are helluv’ annoying, and bore me to death. Though, I think the phrase “the end justifies the means” is correct in this type of situation.

-more class time to actually learn English (and not just dickin’ around). I’m pretty sure 99% of people in an English speaking country would have encountered an English teacher who did not do anything at all. The said teacher never gives any assignments/marks easily… or the teacher doesn’t even care at all! To be honest here, I really do think that the people who choose which teachers to teach English are a bit bonkers… I mean, seriously? Every single English teacher I have had were all so easy! They marked very inconsistently, are were also very biased. In addition, 9/10 of the classes we had, most students were just (as previously stated) dickin’ around. The English teacher had no rules, and didn’t care if we haven’t had a proper lesson for more than a month!

You know what? A lot of ESL (English as a second language) classes are more productive than the terrible excuses as “English classes” ever will be! That is why I came up with a plan. A BRILLIANT plan! I have decided to become an ESL student, and will participate in ESL English courses rather than the latter. By doing that, I won’t be bored to death by sitting and doing nothing!

An ingenious idea, wouldn’t you say?



Sunday, 3 April 2011

Turing - A Dreadful Pile of Poo called a "Programming Language"

BAH! HUMBUG!

Why on earth would something as terrifying as Turing be made at all? Whoever wrote this piece of dung certainly needs their head screwed on tighter! I don't know whether it's my OS or the programming language itself, but that doesn't really matter! The fact of the matter is- turing sucks.

Some Reasons Why Turing is a Piece of Dung
-literally no one uses it! Everyone uses C++, java, etc. (I myself, have never even heard of the blasted thing until this year in my computer science course)
-not many functions. I mean, of course, it's GREAT for newbies such as myself. However, most programmers aren't as stupid when it comes to programming, as I am.
-and most importantly...

DUN DUN DUN!!!

It crashes like a bloody hell on Sunday! (Is that even a common phrase?) Nevertheless, I am terribly frustrated at this moment! Why, OH WHY, does it have to crash for me!?

Like I said before, I don't know whether it's because I'm on a windows vista, or because turing itself is bad (Which, to be fair, I think it's just my OS at this point. This is partially due to the reasoning that this piece of dung actually works on the computers at my school, which runs on windows XP) But the thing is, that tad bit of information shouldn't matter at all! If the chap who made the programming language were to get off his lazy ass sometime, then maybe he could actually update it a little better? Hmm? Would that actually be so hard for him? Just to update and fix all the minor (*coughs* major *coughs*)  bugs and glitches?

Really, now. I am scoffing at this programming language at this point. I might as well just be starting C++ or java! Those are a lot better! Hell, minecraft is run on javascript! I should be learning that language instead, so I can make a similar game to minecraft! (Because as you guys all know, minecraft is ever-so delightfully awesome!!!)

That concludes my rant for today, folks!

</rant>

Thursday, 31 March 2011

I did the Literacy test

I finished fifteen minutes early.

You know those last pages where you can write anything (and they won`t mark it at all)?

:D! I wrote a three-paged letter directing my hate and anger about the literacy test to whomever will mark mine!

Clever, eh? Though, I think everyone wrote stupid things in those blank spaces... After all, we all had extra time in the end, and absolutely no one takes the literacy test seriously.

I didn't even read one whole passage, and I'm still pretty sure I got the multiple choice in that section right. That's how easy this thing is!

So my question is again - WHY do we even have to right this? No one is going to fail, except if they actually TRIED to fail. Plus, it singles out ESL kids, because obviously they're going to fail.

tl;dr - literacy test sucks, there is no purpose to it, government du Canada should not make it mandatory and just completely eradicate the whole thing!

</rant>

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Ontario Literacy Test - Stupid in its Core

Tomorrow, it's the Ontario-wide Literacy Test in my school. Everyone has a day off - except for MY grade. MY grade that HAS to write the literacy test.



oAo... -sad-

Why? Is there even a reason? And by that I mean a 'logical reason'?

Obviously, the purpose of the literacy test is to test a high school student's comprehension in English and literature. But if you think about it, aren't all of the previous grades (from grades 1-9) essentially just a HUGE LITERACY TEST? Every single subject (except if you're in French immersion) has a requirement of you understanding decent English - a lot more English than what the literacy test even test students on.

So my question is - why? WHY have a literacy test which fails in its adequacy of its original purpose?

-it sucks
-grades 1-9 need students to already have a fundamental understanding of the English language
-the literacy test is easier than half the stuff we did since grades 1-9; therefore it's inadequate of its original purpose
-it's a waste of paper (you're printing these things, which is bad for the environment)
-it's a waste of a whole day (because every other grade has a day off, so it basically subtracts one day from our yearly school schedule)
-it's boring for us students


And trust me, it's actually really easy. I know some people who haven't answered a whole page - they still passed. (though it depends on which page you haven't done. If you skipped a one-page question that makes you write a whole essay, you're probably going to fail if you skip that page. However, if that one question only contains multiple choice, it really doesn't matter.)

Crepes - Delicieux!

(°A°)!!! マンチマンチマンチ!!!

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