Life is Indeed Beautiful

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“Life is beautiful” is a film made by Roberto Bergigni in 1997. The film is about the story of a Jewish family in Italy during World War II. The film conveys to the audience the theme of one can do anything for love.

In the first half of the film, we meet the main character Guido, a Jewish-Italian man. He is humorous and optimistic, making the best out of harsh situations he faces. He comes to town and meets a girl called Dora, an upperclassmen beauty who is engaged to a civil servant, whom she is not willing to marry. Through coincidences and mishaps, Guido and Dora see each other many times, and Guido falls in love with her, and eventually wins her heart. At Dora’s wedding party, he steals her away. Later, they marry and have a boy called Giosue.

Guido could achieve his dream because of his love for Dora. It seemed unlikely that a poor Jewish man can marry a wealthy, aristocratic, non-Jewish Italian girl. However, Guido turns impossible matters into the possible. He plans to see her and makes it look like a coincidence, and he was brave enough to steal Dora away on a horse in the middle of her engagement party. Even though Dora’s family refuses to ever see her again, she is still happy because she is with her new family.

In the second part of the film, love is tested. Guido and his son is captured by the Nazi’s and are put on a train to Nazi’s concentration camp, which is a striking contrast to the romantic love in the first half of the film. When Dora finds out Guido and Giosue are taken away on the train, she demands to be on the train with her family. Knowing where the train was headed, Dora can be seen as loyal to her family. Such is the bond of love. Dora could have not gone, and starts a new life for herself. But instead, she decided to live dangerously in the camp with her family, all because of love.

In the concentration camp, Guido protects Giosue by convincing him that this camp is just a game, and whoever gets 1,000 points first wins and gets to leave. He tells him that if he ever complains, he loses. Therefore, his son is happy and positive during the time, and he never questions anything because of Guido’s convincing performance. On the eve of the war’s end, the camp is in chaos. Guido makes his son hide in a mailbox, and tells him not to come out unless it is completely quiet. Then Guido helps Dora to escape, but is caught. Then he is taken away to a wasteland and is shot dead.

Guido’s father’s love can be seen in this last scene when Guido is escorted by the soldier past the mailbox and smiles and winks at Giosue, while mimicking the soldier’s march, and walks humorously. Giosue winks back and laughs at him, not knowing this is the last time he will see his father. But he still believes in the game, and eventually wins the game and survives. Guido gives his life for his son’s safety. 

In Guido’s character, we see an attitude toward life and all of it miseries. The film’s humorous tone highlights Guido’s positive love. In dealing with all of his problems, he is always upbeat. This kind of love makes him sacrifice himself to protect his son and wife.

With Guido’s optimistic love, life is indeed beautiful.

 

 

 

How did the organization of early societies change

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Early societies were highly mobile people called the nomads who lived in a nomadic lifestyle. Their food source came mainly form hunting animals. Therefore, they didn’t have a stable food source. When it came to the Neolithic age, the climate of Earth rose and one major thing was developed, which was agricultural. When people started to grow crops they had a stable food source, thus the population grew. By 40,000 years ago, human beens had fully modern physical appearance just like us now days. The early societies had relatively small territories with small villages and little population. When the technology improves, new farming machines were created, and advanced irrigation systems were invented for farming. These drove agricultural to a new level and produced a lot more food. With the increase in food, the population also grew, thus forming a civilization. Civilization was different from villages, that is, strong governments, systems of writing and recording, specialized workers and different institutions. The population of a civilization does not distinguish it from a village or a city. One key difference between a city and a village is that the city is the center of trades. People from different places will go to the cities to trade, and the civilians of the city will produce goods for exchange. As cities grew, more specialized workers are needed, and when there will be more specialized workers, they will gather together and form different complex institutions.When civilizations got more complex, systems of writing were needed for record keeping. Governments needed to record taxes and laws, and the merchants needed to record their storage, debits and payment. “Most civilizations developed a system of writing, though some devised other methods of record keeping. Around 3000 B.C., Sumerian scribes—or professional record keepers—invented a system of writing called cuneiform (KYOO•nee•uh•FAWRM), meaning ‘wedge-shaped.’ Earlier Sumerian writing consisted of pictographs—symbols of the objects or what they represented.”(Textbook unit 1, p 21). The transformation of early societies were in two different ways, social and economic. Economic brought more advanced cities, while the social changed the structure of people’s life.

Distinguishing the Good from the Bad

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In James Cameron’s “Titanic,” we can see the theme of humanity. The characters’ humanity is tested when they realize they may soon die.

A rich girl named Rose was being forced to marry Carl, a selfish hypocrite. Rose despised her status as royalty, she hated all the rules and hypocritical people, to the point that she attempted suicide by jumping off the ship, but Jack, a poor rove artist, saved her. They fell in love.

Jack escorted Rose to the third class section of the ship, where she experienced the lifestyle of the poor. She learned that the poor live freely without so many rules, and honestly, and most importantly—happily. She found a new way to live her life and decided to elope with Jack. Unfortunately, the sinking of the Titanic ruined their beautiful plan.

During the sinking, the passengers’ true sides were revealed. When the good passengers were going to die, they would help each other and wouldn’t abandon their family. For example, Rose had two chances to get on a lifeboat, but gave them both up to stay with Jack. This reveals Rose’s good nature, that she wanted to be with Jack. The captain of the ship is another good example of a good person, when he realized the sinking was his fault, he didn’t abandon the ship but went down with it. He accepted the responsibility for his mistake and accepted its punishment, which was his death. A third example of a good person is the designer of the ship, Anderson, who stayed his the room, and waited to die, since he felt guilty for not building a stronger ship.

When the bad passengers were going to die, they were willing to do anything to live, such as push other passengers to the side and fight for a raft, and abandon their family members, thus revealing their true nature. We have two examples of a bad nature. First is the investor of the ship, who quickly got onto a lifeboat to escape, leaving the rest of the passengers behind. Second is Carl, who tried to bribe a mariner by paying the mariner to get on a lifeboat, but that mariner threw back Carl’s money.

This ship symbolizes the real world, where we have the rich and the poor, the good and the bad. When the ship was not sinking, we couldn’t distinguish the good from the bad. In good times, we don’t see our true nature, but in the tests of our lives, we can see who we really are.

 

 

 

 

Japan formative assesment

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Japan’s geography has definitely affected its imperialistic policies. Firstly, due to Japan’s successful feudalism power structure, no other nations have colonised Japan. At the start of the 20th century, Japan had the strongest military force in Asia, and its geographic location affected its imperialism towards other nations. “The Japanese first turned their sights to their neighbor, Korea.” Korea was the first country that Japan colonised due to its geographical location of being located next to Japan as indicated by this quote. “…Japan forced Korea to open three ports to Japanese trade. But China also considered Korea to be important both as a trading partner and a military outpost. Recognizing their similar interests in Korea, Japan and China signed a hands-off agreement”, which again reveals how location affects Japan’s imperialism towards Korea due to China was also next to Korea. All in all, Japan’s location resulted its imperialism policies.

DBQ PEEL

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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. . . .”

How did the relationship change between the Mughal government and Hindus?

P: The relationship between the Mughal government and Hindus deteriorated.

Ev:reveals the Hindus had a low social class; their writers are not even allowed to do they are supposed to do.

Ex:The Hindus had a low social class; their writers are not even allowed hold public offices.

Ev: All the worshiping places of the infidels [Hindus] and the great temples of these infamous people have been thrown down and destroyed…

Ex: Hindus must have had an awful relationship with the Mughal government. The government showed no respect to the Hindus and even thrown down their temples.

Ev: In a manner which excites astonishment at the successful completion of so difficult a task. . . .

Ex: This helps to show that the Hindus were against the Mughal government.

L: This documents shows the conflict between the Hindus and the Mughal government, and it reveals their relationship has gotten worse.

Paragraph: The relationship between the Mughal government and Hindus deteriorated. “Hindu writers have been entirely excluded from holding public offices…” This quote reveals the Hindus had a low social class; their writers are not even allowed to do they are supposed to do. “all the worshiping places of the infidels [Hindus] and the great temples of these infamous people have been thrown down and destroyed…”. Hindus must have had an awful relationship with the Mughal government. The government showed no respect to the Hindus and even thrown down their temples. “in a manner which excites astonishment at the successful completion of so difficult a task. . . .”. This helps to show that the Hindus were against the Mughal government. All in all, this documents shows the conflict between the Hindus and the Mughal government, and it reveals their relationship has gotten worse.

How are the 4 themes related to the Spice Trade?

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The spice trade can be analysed by using geography, history, economy and cultural anthropology, which is the four themes of social studies. The spice trade happened during the Big Era 6, 1400-1800, where everyone on the globe was tightly connected, and it had completely reshaped everyone living in Africa and Eurasia. Spice, which is inexpensive and widely available, used to be very limited and even more valuable than gold! In my opinion, geography was the closest related, and it was even what created the spice trade because spices are dependent on the environment. The quote below is an observation made by a British merchant seaman in in Batavia in 1832. “Batavia is the seat of the supreme government of Dutch India, and forms the depot for the produce of all its possessions in the Eastern Archipelago… Of the three articles most in demand for European consumption, coffee, pepper, and sugar”. This quote supports the idea of geography affected the spice trade. From this observation, you could see Batavia controlled the trade of coffee, pepper, and sugar for just one reason, which was geography and environment. Batavia was a place in the world that the environment and climate is the most suitable for growing, coffee, pepper, and sugar. Therefore, they were monopolising and they could sell it at any price they want.

Economy, the study of how to improve the quality of life, was also related to the spice trade. “… Of the three articles most in demand for European consumption, coffee, pepper, and sugar, the two former are entirely monopolised by the government, and heavy penalties are inflicted on those cultivators who dispose of their produce to private individuals. The price paid by the government for these articles is extremely low…” This quote is also an observation of Batavia during the trade. In this view, the government was trying to dominate the trade by banning the cultivators selling to the merchants; merchants would get punished for doing it. Thus, the government themselves would buy them with an extremely low price. Then, they would sell it for an extremely high price. The government did this for their own economical benefits; they would receive much more profit by ‘buy low sell high’. On the other hand, Spice wasn’t the only thing that has been traded during the Big Era 6; religion was also widely spread. People with different culture would introduce their religion and share it through the spice trade. For example, Buddhism and Christianity have been widely spread through the spice trade. Also, language also travelled with religion. The trade of religion and language vest in one of the four subjects in social studies, which is cultural anthropology. Cultural Anthropology is the study of how people with different culture live, and clearly, it was related to the spice trade.

Imagine you are living in a world that spices worth more than gold, that eating food with spices is an extremely luxurious thing. If there was no spice trade, then the world today would be like that, and that’s why the spice trade is so significance. The spice trade created history; it completely reshaped everyone living in Africa and Eurasia and it changed the world. And that is connected to one of the subjects of social studies, history, which is the study of patterns and themes that have created the world today. All in all, the spice trade didn’t just buy and sell spices; it established vast empires.

 

This is a picture of the trade route during the spice trade.

ColonyTradeRoutes

 

(Source: http://www.silkroutes.net/Images2/ColonyTradeRoutes.jpg)

Primary Source: Batavia Primary Source, From J. M. Gullick, Adventures and Encounters: Europeans in South-East Asia, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1995.

Spice Trade

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The four lenses of social studies are economics, geography, history and cultural anthropology. In my opinion, geography and economy binds together tightly. For example, tea leaf was a very common thing in India, everyone could buy tea leaf. But  in England, tea leaf became a luxurious thing that only wealthy people could afford. That’s because India’s whether is good for growing tea leaf but the whether in England can not grow tea leaf. Also, Banda Islands was the only place on the world where could grow nutmeg. And it could only grow a small amount of it because of the whether and geography. Therefore, they sold it for a very high price. From those examples above, you could see geography would affect economics in different ways. 

Let the bullet fly

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Alcides looked out the window that’s so clean you could not know there’s a window there. Outside is flat, the ground is covered with red purple dusts, there are mountains on the end if you look clearly. Alcides sighed, this is the last day for him staying here, after 2 years working on JX-1880 he is finally going back to Earth. The young man looked back at his room, a space station room with simple furnitures and a small computer. “knock knock.” someone knocked on the door.

“Come in.” he said.

The door opened and a women wearing space uniform came in, “Sir, we have to go now, it is time.”

“Alright, I’ll be ready in 5 minutes.”  Alcides answered.

“Okay sir, I will wait for you outside in the hallway.”

The women left the room. Alcides garbed a few clothes and some electronic devices and put them into his bag. He is neither happy or sad, it just feels like a normal day. He took his bag and walked out the room, but the women wasn’t there.

“Natalie?” he shouted, “Are you there?”

“Where is she?” He wondered himself.

Suddenly, two men in black appeared from the other side. Alcides turned around and saw them, he realised the situation and started to run, but it was too late. One of the men in
~black took out a gun and shot at him in his back. Alcides felt a bit of pain but more of a dizzy feel, then he went fainted.

Alcides opened his eyes, dizzily looking at the white ceiling. He sat up and leaned on the wall, confused and dazed as he looked around the small room.

“What the heck?” he thought,

“Why am I here and what is this strange place?” He took a deep breath and suddenly remembered everything.

His head hurt as he tried to stand up, but gravity threw him on the floor and he dropped like a pin dropped on the ground. He yelled punched the wooden floor, but it seemed to be like metal and drops of red liquid dripped down his hands.

“Damn!” he yelled. He pushed himself up and threw his whole body against the wall and couldn’t stop himself from crying.

Suddenly the door swung open and tall men in a black suits with black cases came in.

“Mr. Cain, you are getting executed tonight at 8PM.” One of the black men said with a dark voice. Alcides stayed silent, he was filled with anger.

After a few minutes of silent, he asked: “What time is it now?”

“It’s is 4 in the afternoon.”

“So I will die in 4 hours?” He asked in despair.

“Yes.”

Alcides ran toward the black man and punched his face screaming and pushed him to the wall and kicked his stomach.

“YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO TAKE MY LIFE!” He screamed while kicking him and the other men in black dragged him back to the bed and hand cuffed his hands onto the side.

“I’ll be honoured to shoot you.” said the man as he got off the floor while wiping off the blood on his face. They left the room and locked the metal door.

All his strength was washed away, he was going to die, and nothing, no one was going to help him.

4 hours later

Two men in black suits is holding Alcides on each of his arms. They walked through the deadly quiet corridor and they arrived in a small door. The door is very new, but looks deadly, it gives other people a feeling of death. One of the men in black opened the door and the other black man brought Alcides into the room. The room is quite small with simple furnitures; one chair on one side, and a table on the other side, with a gun on it.

“So, I will die in here?” Alcides asked.

“Yes.”The man responded.”

“Ok.”

“Go sit on that chair.” The other man in black pointed at the chair and said.

Alcides walked to the chair and sat down. He didn’t want to fight back, he didn’t have to. They could not kill him and the men are highly trained and the station is high secured, 0% of chance to escape from it.

One man walked to the table and picked up the gun, the other man is watching. The man hold the gun and aimed at Alcides head. Alcides closed his eyes. The man loaded the bullet.

“Let the bullet fly.” He said it as he shot it.

The bullet flew through the air and reached his head. The bullet touched his head but suddenly bounced away.

“What the hell?”The man who shot the gun looked at Alcides unbelievably. “What are you?”

Alcides smiled, and replied: “I’m unbreakable.”

Alcides raised his hands and silver blades came out from his knuckles. Three on each hand. He poked the blades into the man’s chest and the blood suddenly pour out from the chest and he fall. The other man took the gun and started to shoot at Alcides, but bullets all bounced away when it hits Alcides head. Alcides walked toward him and eventually finished him. He cut the wall of the room with his claws, and jumped out, he escaped.

                           

Alcides walked in the desert alone. He is thirsty and hungry, he’s been walking for 3 hours since he escaped. There is nothing but sand and sky, the sky is turning dark and it’s about 4 pm. He walked and walked and finally saw a houses and people in front of him.  There’s a village. He walked into the village. He walked to a house and knocked on the door.

“Hello, is there anyone there?”

No one answered.

“Hello?”

“Who is it?”A deep voice asked.

“A friend.”Alcides answered.

The door opened and an old man is in the house.

“Where are you from?”The old man looked at Alcides curiously. “Come in take a seat.”

Alcides sat down and talked with the old man everything about him, how he came here and what happened in the station and how he escaped. Alcides also found out that the man is called Eric and he is in his fifties. He lived on this planet for his whole life.

“Vey interesting, very interesting.” Eric said it after he heard Alcides’s story.

“Yes, my life is very dramatic.” Alcides said smiling.

“Alright, outside is already dark, you could go sleep in that room.” Eric pointed at a room.

“Ok, thank you for letting me stay here.”

Alcides walked into the room and lay on the bed, he is tired, very tired. He looked out the window and he could see the starry stars in the sky. When am I going back to Earth, when am I going back to the planet I’m belong to? He asked himself. He wants to go home. He was sleepy and just at the time he was going to fall asleep, he heard a sound. It was a sound of loading bullet. He suddenly became more aware and stood up. Is it Eric? Maybe Eric is a spy. Alcides thought. He heard footsteps sound and it was coming closer, and closer. Just at the time when it’s about to reach the door, he pushed the door open.

“Who is it?” He shouted.

There’s no one outside, there’s only darkness and the old furnitures. He walked in the house and found out that Eric is not in the house. Very weird. Alcides thought.

He opened the door, and walked outside the house. He took his pistol and walked into the a warehouse beside.

“Eric?” he shouted, his voice echoing across the village“Are you in there?”

Suddenly, he felt his head is stung by a mosquito, then he felt salty liquid in his mouth, and the liquid dipped out from his mouth to the ground. He saw red liquids on the ground. He turned around and saw Eric with a gun in his hand, pointing at Alcides.

“Let the bullet fly.”

Cryptographers

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This woman showed her interest in cryptography in junior high school. Almost 20 years later, after getting her master’s in mathematics from Johns Hopkins and studying number theory on a full scholarship from MIT, she got invited to join the National Security Agency, also known as the NSA. This is the main character of the novel ‘Digital fortress’ by Dan Brown. This woman is called Susan Fletcher and she’s been working in NSA for nearly a decade. The National Security Agency have a decipher machine called Transltr that could decipher any code. At the beginning of the book, Susan fletcher’s fiance was sent to Spain and Susan was called to NSA headquarter for emergency. She found out that a Japanese cryptographer has sent a code called Digital Fortress to NSA but Transltr cannot break it, so the code Digital fortress is unbreakable. The Japanese cryptographer black mailed NSA but then found out died from heart attacks in Spain. Although he’s dead, but it’s not over yet, the Japanese cryptographer has an organization that corporate with him. Then the story begins. The conflict of the novel is a person vs. person conflict. It is NSA, or Susan Fletcher, vs. the organization that corporates with him.

Susan Fletcher is a person that sees family as the most important thing. Even though she is a cryptographer who works for a national secret organization, but that does not affect how she cares about her family. At first, she had a dream  about her fiance David, but woke up found out that David is leaving for emergency and could not make the trip that he promised to go with Susan. Susan was really disappointed after she knew it.

“Tonight was supposed to be special—tocelebrate six months. You do remember we’re engaged,don’t you?”

“Susan.” He sighed. “I really can’t go intoit now, they’ve got a car waiting. I’ll call you from theplane and explain everything.”

“Plane?” she repeated. “What’s goingon? Why would the university . . . ?” “It’s not the university. I’ll phone and explainlater. I’ve really got to go; they’re

calling for me.I’ll be in touch. I promise.”

“David!” she cried. “What’s—”

But it was too late. David had hung up.

(Brown 5)

This is a dialogue of phone call with Susan and David. This quote could clearly shows how much she cares about David. Susan was also angry when she found out that NSA sent David to Spain but he doesn’t even work for NSA.

 ” ‘So you sent David Becker?’ Susan was beyond shock.Nothing was making sense. ‘David doesn’t even work foryou!’ ” (Brown 44) This quote could clearly shows how much she was worried about her fiance.

 

Save the world

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The TimeRiders escapde and headed to the place Rashim told them about outside of Rome. Once outside of Rome, they resedt for three days, during the rest Maddy told Liam that time travel would kill him, along with the fact that Liam and Foster were the same person. When Sal and Bob were alone, Sal asks him why those support units from the future were trying to kill them. Bob said that those units came from the same company which created him; W.G. Systems. It was revealed that Waldstein is in charge of this company, and it is heavily implied that he sent the machines back to kill the TimeRiders. At the same time, Younger Rashim appeared by time machine.Maddy goes up to Rashim and explains that Project Exodus will fail  and wind up altering history . She then shows Rashim his alternate self, which tells the younger Rashim that project exodus will fail badly. After that, Bob fixed the time displacment machine, ready to transport the TimeRiders back to their HQ, along with the young Rashim and SpongeBubba. The old, emaciated Rashim didn’t have too long to live, and asked the TimeRiders leave him here, to enjoy peace for a few moments before he dies. They accepted, and left Ancient Rome and returned back to 2001. 

This is the resolution of this book. In my opinion, I believe the general message that the author is trying to say is that you should always try your best; no matter how bad the situation is you should always try your best to get though it. The time riders had many different kind of trouble in the story, but they did not give up; instead, they tried their best to get through everything and eventually they saved the world. “Let’s go’( Scarrow 404). This really short quote shows everything.It shows the time riders never give up and keeps on going.


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