How did the organization of early societies change?

The organization of early societies developed and changed from villages to cities, as the societies themselves advanced forward. This includes social change and economic change. An example of this can be found during the period of time when Mesopotamia was developing as a civilization. As farming developed, cities started to become more advanced. There was a surplus of food, freeing up people to explore other occupations. This lead to the development of specialized workers. The workers had different skills that that they contributed to the society. Whether they made jewelry, or tools, or clothes, they all benefited the city. The variety and the abundance of these new artisans and the products that they produced, advanced the trade in the city. Trade also created more jobs, changing the organization of the city even more. Eventually, these specialized workers grouped together as social classes, and there were many social classes that had a varying amount of power, wealth, and influence. The classes became more and more defined, and the organizational structure of the society was changed because of this. Additionally, as the population increased, the societies also began to have complex institutions in place. For example, the government is an institution that emerged from this. Other institutions revolved around the city’s economy and religious status. By the time the city began to keep records, technology had advanced as well, further contributing to the changes in the cities organization. Through these social and economic changes, the organization of early societies developed and advanced.


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How did Imperialism affect Japan?

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DBQ PEEL Paragraph (Document 5)

Document 5 is from Baktha’war Khan, an adviser to Aurangzheb, Mughal Emperor from 1658 – 1707.

“…Hindu writers have been entirely excluded from holding public offices, and all the worshiping places of the infidels [Hindus] and the great temples of these infamous people have been thrown down and destroyed in a manner which excites astonishment at the successful completion of so difficult a task. . . .”

Point: Under Aurangzheb’s rule, the relationship between the Mughal government and the Hindu population worsened.

Evidence 1: “Hindu writers have been entirely excluded from holding public offices”

Explanation 1: This implies that Aurangzheb was intolerant of Hindus and did not allow them to gain any power.

Evidence 2: “all the worshiping places of the infidels [Hindus] and the great temples of these infamous people have been thrown down and destroyed”

Explanation 2: The Mughal government wanted to prevent the Hindus from practicing their religious customs.

Link: By blatantly oppressing the Hindus, Aurangzheb’s actions brought conflict between the Mughal and the Hindus, changing their relationship for the worse.

PEEL Paragraph:

Under Aurangzheb’s rule, the relationship between the Mughal government and the Hindu population worsened. Unlike his predecessor, he tried to forcibly suppress the Hindus. “Hindu writers have been entirely excluded from holding public offices.” This implies that Aurangzheb was intolerant of Hindus and did not allow them to gain any power. Without any political power, there wasn’t much that they could do. Furthermore, “all the worshiping places of the infidels [Hindus] and the great temples of these infamous people have been thrown down and destroyed.” The Mughal government wanted to prevent the Hindus from practicing their religious customs. This, combined with the lack of public offices, prevented the Hindus from practicing and spreading their religion. By blatantly oppressing the Hindus, Aurangzheb’s actions brought conflict between the Mughal and the Hindus, changing their relationship for the worse.

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The Layers of Spice Trade

Nowadays, we use spices in daily lifestyle without thinking much of it. However, the rarity of spices centuries ago sparked a new age of trading. Spices didn’t only make merchants wealthy, it got entire nations to search the oceans for better routes to the spices in East Asia. In fact, spice trade was the reason why the Americas were discovered. Spice trade altered the world forever in many ways. Different primary sources show the beginning and the effects of spice trade from another perspective. We can further develop a better understanding of the effect of spice trade using the lenses of social studies; Geography, History, Economics, and Cultural Anthropology.


Geography was a huge factor in spice trade. After all, often, spices only grew at a certain location because of its climate and landscape. This map above, while not entirely accurate about the location of the spices, highlights the point that spices are native to a few locations. As most spices were in East Asia, its geography affected and limited the possible ways for the Europeans to obtain spices. For ages, the Europeans were forced to use traders in the Middle East as middle men so that they could buy spices. The problem was that by the time the spices reached the European merchants, the price was incredibly high. As each successive buyer raised the price to make a profit, it was cost-ineffective for the Europeans to get spices. Economics is closely intertwined to this as there was a high demand but low supply of spices. For example, the British grew to like tea, an as the demand went up, there was a high level of pressure put on the merchants to obtain more and more of it. That is also an example of how culture is linked to spice trade. The low supply was one of the reasons why spices were so valuable in Europe. This is shown in a letter written by Christopher Columbus describing is fourth voyage to the “Indies”. “When I discovered the Indies, I said that they were the richest dominion that there is in the world. I was speaking of the gold, pearls, precious stones and spices, with the trade and markets in them, and because everything did not appear immediately, I was held up to abuse.” At this time, spices were a valuable product and was comparable to gold and precious stones. The Europeans could not keep buying spices for high prices; they had to find a more cost-efficient method. This compelled them to try and find a sea route to the East. In 1498, Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama became the first person to successfully sail a sea route from Europe to India. He did so by sailing around the bottom of Africa and sailing back northwards towards India. This change the world economy forever, as the Europeans could eliminate the middle man and get the spices directly. Vasco da Gama’s voyage set Lisbon, Portugal as the center of spice trade in Europe. This is another example of how spices were valued, as the spices that da Gama brought earned Portugal an important position that lasted for nearly a century.

In conclusion, the four lenses of social studies can combine to give an in-depth perspective on the spice trade. The spice trade influenced the entire world and by studying it through the lenses, we can get a higher level of knowledge of how each aspect of the spice trade was connected to another.



Primary Source: “Columbus, Letter from the Fourth Voyage, by Christopher Columbus 1451-1506.” Columbus, Letter from the Fourth Voyage, by Christopher Columbus 1451-1506. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Sept. 2015.


Map: “Science of Seasoning: Spice Blends Of The World | Exploratorium.” Exploratorium: The Museum of Science, Art and Human Perception. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Sept. 2015.


Whipps, By Heather. “How the Spice Trade Changed the World.” LiveScience. TechMedia Network, 12 May 2008. Web. 7 Sept. 2015.


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Spice Trade

The activities we did in class, along with the reading really showed how geography, history, economics, and cultural anthropology connects together and influences the world. Geography is a huge factor in how a society lives, as the climate, location, and their physical surroundings are all things that influence people. For example their climate and surroundings might be the only known location for growing a certain crop. Then, their entire economy would probably be based off of this crop, not just affecting themselves, but also the traders that traded the spice, or the merchants that bought it in another country. As there were once so much demand for spices in Europe, a lot of money went into trading spices from Asia. This economical change altered history from then on. By the end of all the colonization the way that Europe got spices were totally different and more cost effective than before, but they also affected the middle men and the farmers, so that its area of affect spread a lot further than just within the country.

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Order or Chaos


The individual word clouds were made with the website Tagxedo, while the poster itself was made with Photoshop.

This poster represents the world as Day knows it, with chaos and order side by side mixed together in one country, while the rest of the world is unknown.


Order. Discipline. Perfection. Something that is very important in the world of Legend by Marie Lu. In this world, all children are tested at the age of 10 to determine their future. The “Trial” pretty much decides their life from then on. A good score means a good life with lots of money. A bad score ends your life. “They also run individual plague experiments on some of the children who fail the Trial. They don’t go to labor camps, June. None of them do. They Die.” (Lu 245)

The Republic is obsessed with order and perfection, while subtly weeding out the “flawed” and “imperfect” children. “An inferior child with bad genes is no use to the country. “If you’re lucky, Congress will let you die without first sending you to the labs to be examined for imperfections.” (Lu 5) Of course, just picking out the children with “strong” genes isn’t enough for the Republic. In their eyes, the weak are a waste of resources and shouldn’t be in the Republic. The public doesn’t know about this, and has no idea that the plagues that kill so many of them, are engineered by their own government.

While the rich, the smart, and the strong live a life of order, the poor, the dumb, and the weak live in a constant state of chaos. Parents and children are scared for their family member’s life, wondering if they will pass their Trial. Entire neighborhoods peering out the window, watching soldiers inspect each house, and mark infected houses with a X. “Sometimes when they emerge, they mark a house by painting a big red X on the front door.” (Lu 1) Families pray for their life when the soldiers come, and sob in relief when they go.

The two main characters Day and June are the only two people to every get perfect scores on their Trials. However, their lives are total opposites. Day’s life is chaotic as he is the Republic’s most wanted criminal and lives on the streets, believing he failed his Trials as he steals to support his family. June is the Republic’s prodigy and lives an easy life, while being prepared for military leadership ever since she took her trials. However, things change when Day is charged with Metias’s, June’s brother, murder. Now, blinded by hatred, she takes on the task of bringing in the Republic’s most wanted criminal.


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Final Cover

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Made with Pages and Pixelmator

Fear runs rampant in this book, as both Sammy and Byron face many difficulties where ever they go. In spite of that, both Sammy and Byron survive and succeed their mission and goal. Sammy and his team manage to steal information from the Hive, and Byron wins all three golden skulls. How? Simple. They both had support from their friends and teammates. There are so many examples where this is clearly shown and written. “One of Trapper’s first pieces of advice to Byron had proved most wise. On his own, Byron would never have survived the Elite Training Center (ETC). In fact, if Trapper hadn’t adopted Byron into “Team Oddball,” as they were now called by the rest of the school— thanks to Omar and company— Byron would have left in less than a month.” (Gowans 139) This quote is the one quote that really emphasizes the message. Even from the start, before all the major challenges Byron would face, he needed support from his friends to just handle being in the ETC.

“It has meaning to me. To these people around me. To Commander Byron. People gave their lives for this cause. That gives it meaning.” (Gowans 373) This was Sammy’s thoughts at one of his lowest points during the plot. This was what kept him going through the mission, when he could have gave up and stopped. Support doesn’t just have to come from physical help your friends and teammates give you, it can also come from the mere thought of your friends and family that you know is supporting you in what ever you do. By the time Sammy and his team reached the Hive, they had already lost so many people along the way. But, instead of just grieving, they pushed onwards, using the knowledge of their friends loyalty and determination to fighting the CAG as strength to continue, knowing that it would be what their friends would want them to do.

The cover above represents the mood of the story, both past and present. I tried to create the cover so that it would have an aura of fear, just like the mood of the story. This mood complements the theme and message of the book, as it further enhances and magnifies the message through contrast. How? Byron needed support from his new friends just to survive the ETC. Sammy needed support from his friends to find the resistance in the first place. Even then, it was tough to get along. Add in the conflicts and challenges they faced, it took a lot for them to succeed. That is what this cover does. All the fear and mystery represent the conflicts and challenges in the book, majorly amplifying the need of support both Sammy and Byron need from their friends.

I believe that the message hidden in this book is one that is very important, yet obvious and commonly known (and used in books). However, maybe because it’s an obvious message, it seems like a less important message, despite its significance. Many people know and say the phrase, “Everything is easier with friends.” But, do they really understand just how important that message really is?


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Memories of the Past


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Two lives. Two fights. One Story. Due to a memory transfer, Sammy gains Commander Byron’s memories as an Elite-in-Training. But, as he experiences the memories at stressful times, he blanks out and nearly gets killed multiple times. The memories seem more and more useless throughout the trek through the Amazon forest, but at the climax of the both Sammy and Byron’s tales, the memories turn out to be essential in taking over the Hive.

The mission seemed to be doomed for disaster from the very beginning. Not only was the team battered from the outside, the team was breaking up from within. “But worse than the noise, the rain, the rashes, or the bugs was the humans, specifically, the ones on the mission with Sammy. No one could seem to agree on anything except for which direction to walk.” (Gowans 272) The team would argue about everything, from rations to amount of travel time during a day. Soon Sammy began to find refuge when he blanked out and relieved Byron’s memories. “He found them to be fascinating and enjoyable, an escape from life in the jungle.” (Gowans 282)

Meanwhile, in the memories, Byron’s life in the Elite Training Center unfolds as more and more murders occur. When he discovers that his roommate’s knife appears to be the knife used in the murder, Byron’s anxiety and stress increases as he tries to catch the murderer. “In March, another Elite student was killed. The modus operandi was the same …… As soon as Byron heard the news about the murder …… checked his hiding spot. The knife was still there, exactly where he’d left it, only now covered in dried blood.” (Gowans 472) The plot grows thicker and thicker with members of Team Oddball getting killed, until at the climax, they find out the real person behind the murders…

This poster outlines and contrasts the difference between the two stories. However, the blurred border separating the two  represents the connection between the two, and how the past experiences were the key to the survival of the resistance. In the past, small events that seem to have no significance pile up until everything becomes evident and clear in the end. This is also shown by the clarity of the images at the ends or edges of the poster. Nevertheless, the two scenes seamlessly blends together in the image, just as the author, Jacob Gowans, seamlessly combines both stories to make one masterpiece.

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A Blessing? Or a Curse…

“The key to the future… Lies hidden in the past.”

-From the series website.

WARNING!!! Spoilers for previous books in series. (Psion Beta, Psion Gamma, and Psion Delta)

Due to a surprise attack by the Continental American Government (CAG), it seems that the New World Government (NWG) is done for. Innumerable people perished: Elites, Psions, Tensais, Ultras. All of them, killed in one move. With the Elite Training Facility, Beta Headquarters, and Alpha Headquarters destroyed, Sammy takes his friends to the one place where they could be safe, the resistance in Glasgow. There, they hope to help the resistance attack the CAG.

The quote on the top is very important to the story, and in a way, summarizes the plot of the book in one sentence. There are two different perspectives in this book: one in the past, as memories, and one in the present. The two separate storylines run parallel to each other until the end when it switches back to the present perspectives permanently.

As written above, there are two different perspectives in this book: Sammy’s perspective in the present, and Commander Byron perspective in the past, as an Elite-in-Training. The two perspectives contrast with each other to make the story more interesting to read, and provide a new method of delivering information in an engaging way.

The present day perspective is shown through Sammy’s eyes, as he travels with his team deep into CAG territory. It shows have difficult and horrific the journey was through the Amazon jungle. It was as if nature itself was against them as lethal mutated animals attacked them with wild abandon. However, despite the magnitude of the external conflicts, Sammy also deals with some important internal conflicts as well. He knew he was very unique in terms of anomalies. He was a Psion, a human with Anomaly Fourteen, a mutation that allows him to project kinetic energy in the form of blasts. But he was also a Tensai, a human with Anomaly Eleven, or in other words, a genius. Recently, at the end of the previous book in the series, he found out about the truths of his gifts. With power such as his, there was also a curse. All other known double anomalies (11 & 14) went into a coma during puberty and died by age 21. The only reason he wasn’t comatose was because he also possessed Anomaly Thirteen. Anomaly Thirteens have no moral barrier and conscience, and were known to kill and torture brutally with no remorse. The only reason he wasn’t like that was because of his other anomalies countering it. After finding out about this, during this book, Sammy has an internal conflict within himself, as he tries to control the effects of the Anomaly Thirteen. Back and forth, when fighting, he constantly has a war in his head, trying to stay calm instead of lashing out in a burst of uncontrollable rage, trying to brutally kill all who stands in his way.

Due to a memory transfer, Sammy gains Commander Byron’s memories as an Elite-in-Training, which became essential to him by the end of the book. The memories detail what Commander Byron had to go through as a teenager, because he was the first discovered Anomaly Fourteen. This perspective shows how stressful it was for Byron at the Elite Training Facility. He had to pretend he was two years older, hide his Psionic abilities, and was still one of the top students in the school. But, a chain of murders start in the school and his best friend is a key suspect. Byron deals with a lot of conflicts as he strove to be the best Elite in the school, and win the three golden skulls.


(Gowans 578)

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Polymer Project (Day 5)

It’s the fifth day of our polymer project, and overall, I’m happy with what my team has accomplished. Despite the changes in our goal along the way, we succeeded in creating a suitable polymer. There were some difficulties in making the polymer able to actually cushion the blow against the corner.

Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 10.17.25 AM

We made many changes to our polymer design in this project. In fact it took days before we settled on our final product idea. After that, we had to make different prototypes until we found a formula that was perfect for our goal. As stated in the fourth Journal Entry, during that last day in the lab, we managed to refine our polymer so that it was more durable, so it also could withstand greater and more frequent impacts. This was a very big improvement as the durability was a huge factor in the success of our polymer. If it would break after a few hits, it couldn’t be very successful.


Making the infomercial itself was a lot easier than creating the polymer itself. We didn’t face many challenges in that here. I will post our infomercial underneath this sentence when I get the embedding code.

Before we presented, we acted as part of the decision making panel. It was difficult to grade each group, as every group had really good products and presentations. However, all the products were totally different, so it was difficult to compare any polymer with another, as both would be good, but in a different way.

Overall, this was a fun and interesting project to end the chemistry unit and I really learned a lot more about how the polymers are used and can be used in the world. If I had a chance, I would like to do a similar project in the future.

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