It is all Connected



This is the worlds oldest share. It was a share of the now defunct Dutch East India Company (or VOC), a company as powerful as a nation. The VOC’s main operation is colonizing what used to be Indonesia and using it’s resources to gain wealth. The reason why this document exists is tied to many elements of Social Studies, because they are all connected.

Politics plays a main role in the existence of this document. At the time the Dutch, British, French, and Portuguese were what you could call rivals. They fought for colonies in both the East and the West Indies. When the Dutch decided they wanted to take Indonesia for themselves they knew the Portuguese wouldn’t give up without a fight. The Dutch beat the Portuguese and claimed Indonesia for themselves. After this was established the VOC started sending trading trips and this caused people to buy shares to they could minimize their risk. Without Politics Indonesia would simply belong to the first European powerhouse that got to it. This is why politics, an important part of social studies was important during the ages of the silk road.

Another element of social studies, Economy is the most important reason why this share was created. After the VOC established dominance in Indonesia, they started sending trading trips. In the past people who were looking to earn some money would just simply buy a boat. But the problem was, if you bought one boat and that boat happened to sink you would loose all your money. The Dutch thought of a revolutionary system that is still used today, shares. If you bought one share of the company if one boat sank you would be relatively unaffected, because by buying a share you own a share of every boat. This is why economy, another one of the important element of social studies is relevant to this primary source.


Geography is the final element of social studies I will talk about. Is it closely tied to why the Dutch decided to colonize Indonesia and also why the primary source was created. First of all, as you can see the on the map, the island of Java, Indonesia is in the tropics. Which makes the area suitable for growing spices. This is why spices were grown in the area, luring the Europeans to colonize Indonesia. One reason why the first share was created is because as you can see the journey from the Netherlands to Indonesia is a long and dangerous journey with a large amount of risk. The share was created to minimize the risk of the person buying the share. If the journey was not that risky there would be no reason to create the share system because if you bought a boat it is very unlikely to sink so wouldn’t need to spread your money across all the boats. As you can see Geography, an element of social studies was crucial to the creation of this primary source.

Now it is clear that basically all elements of social studies were crucial to the creation of this primary source, this proves the point that all part of social studies are connected.


Ebola Assassin

“Sir, you have contracted the Ebola virus.” The doctor said. Jesus was surprised, his contract in West Africa.


It was 6:24pm. The target appeared on the balcony. Jesus was holding is breath, perched on a hill in a ghillie suit, he had been waiting for 3 hours. The ghillie suit was so thick; he his skin was burning under the hot African sun. His crosshairs pointed 5cm above the target’s left eye. His right index finger slowly pushed the trigger “Psh”, the silenced barrel made that familiar sound. The bullet went straight through the target’s left eye, a perfect shot. Jesus was instructed to put the body in front of the government building. Jesus slowly crept to the target’s body and carefully put it in a black body bag. Jesus was wearing gloves but the target’s blood seeped through and reached Jesus’s hand. Jesus sealed the bag and drove it to the government building. He slowly lowered the right windows of the car and tossed the bag on the pavement in front of the government building and drove off. Then he switch the license plate of the car and the contract was over.


Jesus is a rebel, he doesn’t play by the rules, and so he opened the window and climbed out of the hospital, his little cat Joe hadn’t been fed since Jesus was hospitalized. The new of Jesus Ebola spread quickly through the assassin community. At the time there was no widely available cure for Ebola so Jesus’s career and life was in question. How could a fabled sniper like Jesus die from Ebola? The next day Jesus’s Cellphone rang; it was his old employer Young Bob.


“I’ve got a job for you, in return I will cure your Ebola.”

“Who’s my target?”

“The Childish Tycoon.”

“Are you serious?”

“Young Bob doesn’t joke around.”


The Childish Tycoon, aka Bartholomew Burke was a pesticide tycoon, but for years he had many illegal side projects. The Childish Tycoon’s drug inventory was rivaling Young Bob’s so Young Bob wants him gone. Jesus knew this job wouldn’t be easy; The Childish Tycoon lived on a mansion with guards alert 24 hours of the day, there are also countless cameras situated on the property. The guards also live on the compound so they are hard to bribe. If the guards see anything suspicious The Childish Tycoon will take his helicopter and fly off. To pull of a job like this Jesus needed help. He rang up his old friend Lester, who is a computer whiz.


Jesus explained the plan. Lester would start by hacking the surveillance cameras so they only display on Lester’s computer. Then Lester would proceed to change the live security footage in the security room to a static picture. When this happens Jesus sneaks into the compound and climbs a pipe to the second floor, then he will enter through a window into the target’s room and neutralize the target with a silenced Berreta. Jesus will then climb back out the window and leave the compound.


For the mission Jesus went down to his basement and retrieved his goodies. He wore his bulletproof vest and a suit. He stuck his Berretta in the inside of his suit and wore his pair of leather gloves. He also made sure he had his Bluetooth communication device in his ear so he could command Lester. He was ready. He took a cab to the nearest town and went the rest of the way on foot; he must not arouse any suspicion.


When Jesus got to the target’s location it way already the dead of the night. He slipped on his mask and told Lester he was ready. He crept across the lawn and got to the pipe. He carefully scaled the pipe so not a noise would be made. When he got two the window of the target’s room he could hear voiced inside.


“Are you sure Bartholomew, what is your wife finds out?”


“She wont suspect anything, you are nothing but a maid.”


Jesus whispered, “What a terrible moment to get shot.” He opened the window and saw two completely naked people staring at him. Jesus raised his gun before they could react and put the man’s head in his crosshairs. One second later a bullet-sized hole rested between the eyes of the man, and the women. Jesus takes no chances; there can be no witnesses. Suddenly the sound of an engine came from behind Jesus. Jesus quickly jumped inside the window to reduce the chance of being seen. A feminine voice came from below, “Honey I’m home!” Jesus looked outside; the car was still there. So Jesus pressed his back against the door pointed his gun at the door. Two seconds later another the body of another female lay on the floor. Someone yelled, “Michelle, I’m brining your shopping bags upstairs!” a man holding two shopping bags entered the room, two seconds later another body on the ground. Jesus whispered, “They just keep coming huh.” He peered outside; the car was being driven into the garage. This was his window to finally get out, so he climbed out the window and got out. He jumped from the second floor to the first and did a roll to absorb the impact. He crept across the lawn and jumped over the fence and into the woods, when he got through the woods he hailed a taxi and he was gone. For Jesus, this was another successful mission. There were many unfortunate casualties but still a successful mission.


He rang up Young Bob,


“The job is done.”


“You just won yourself an Ebola treatment, my personal doctor is coming to you.”


Three months later Jesus was back in his prime, the High Assassin Council proclaimed him the world’s best assassin. Because of this Jesus soon became the personal assassin of The Beast, a stinky rich businessman who pays the highest prices for his assassins. When he’s not signing deals he is sending his men to have people greased, the Beast beasts and feasts on whoever stands in his way. His jobs were extremely dangerous but extremely rewarding. It is said one job from The Beast could leave you with enough cash for two lifetimes. The Beast’s decision to have Jesus as his new private assassin caused some problems. This left his old assassin Billy jobless. Billy, known for his hotheaded temper and his eagerness to kill was quick to do something stupid. While Jesus was doing a job for The Vendetta Billy snuck into his apartment and double tapped his cat Joe, the bleeding creature stained Billy’s clothes as he crept out of the apartment window.


Jesus returned to the apartment to find his flooring blood stained and his dog, his only friend limp and lifeless.







The Man Who Thought Different


Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson shows why this man thought different. Steve Jobs was different since the day he was born. His biological parent could not care for him so he was put up for adoption. When the other kids were playing basketball and skateboarding on the streets Steve Jobs immersed himself in architecture, electrical engineering, and design. In 1976 he (and Woz) thought of a different approach to computing. From then on he was always thinking different and creating products and software no one else ever thought of. Steve Job’s life is centered around thinking different. It becomes apparent one of the main themes of the book is: the ones who think different change things. In my book cover you can see a photo in the center. Everything in the photo was in color, I Photoshopped the image so that only Steve Jobs was in color. Everything else on the cover also has no color. I did this because it shows difference. There are many people in the photo but Steve Jobs is the one who thinks different and changes things. The other reason why he is in color is because there needs to be emphasis on the topic of the book.

On the design side of things I tried to emulate an Apple/Steve Jobs style, which is minimalism and simplicity. The colors on the cover might seem dull but these are the color I need to use to stay loyal to the design principles of Apple, the simpler the better. The reason why I did not use white as the background is because Steve Jobs died not long before this book was published and black seemed more appropriate for a biography of a person who just recently passed away. I used the font Avenir, Apple used the font Avenir in many occasions such as the Maps app and Siri screen for iOS 6, again I am trying to stay loyal to the design principles of Apple. The title is the only text that is white because I needed it to be seen first. I added “A New York Times bestseller” because it is always good to ad a extra selling point on the cover.

A Modern Take on a Classic


You might recognize this shoe, this is the iconic shoe Forrest Gump wore in the film. It was given to him by Jenny Curan. This shoe shows one of the themes of the book, love and kindness brings you gifts. Forrest Gump was given this shoe because he gave showed Jenny love and kindness. Forrest Gump was awarded the Medal of Honor after he risked his own life to save many of his fellow soldiers in Vietnam. He wouldn’t have gotten the medal or saved any lives if he didn’t love the men in his company. From Forrest Gump you can see loving and being kind is a sound investment that will grant you will many bonuses.

I designed this book cover with simplicity and minimalism in mind, I find minimalist designs very modern and unique. I used blue as the color for the background because it is pleasing to the eye. The background is gradient because it adds more depth to the color. I used capital blocky letters for “Winston Groom” and “Forrest Gump” because I needed it to stand out. The words are not centered because it would be too boring and plain if they were. I added “now a major motion picture” to the bottom of the book because I believe people are more likely to buy books that have been made into movies because it guarantees that the book is  interesting.


Shoe Picture

Life is Like a Box of Chocolates


Life is indeed like a box of chocolates, there are some things you can control in life, but everything else just flows aimlessly, like the wind. One of the themes of this book is accepting yourself for who you are. Forrest said: “bein a idiot is no box of chocolates.” Groom 1, but he still lived every day like it was his last and did not let his sub par intelligence stop him from reaching his goals. Even though he had the IQ of only 70 he still achieved many things that most intelligent people will never do. Some might say that this is a fictional story so it doesn’t matter, yes Forrest is a fictional person, but the lesson that can be learned from the book is real. If you spend your life being unsatisfied with the person you are you will never achieve anything. In order to succeed you need to accept who you are and see the glass as half full. Do not waste your time trying to change what cannot be change.

In the poem I clearly explained these concepts while attempting to rhyme some lines. In the background I added a picture from the scene from the movie adaptation where Forrest Gump was telling his life story and was explaining how his mother told him “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get” I think this quote is extremely powerful and inspirational.

A Wartime Message



This is a postcard sent by a lonely mentally handicapped soldier in Vietnam called Forrest Gump. The picture I selected for the front of the postcard is a picture of Ha Long Bay, I picked it because it is a landmark in Vietnam and would probably be on a lot of postcards. I also chose this picture because it looked yellow and old, which might be the condition the postcards are in at the army. For the back of the postcard I have a postage stamp from Vietnam and on the right side it says Jenny Curan. I only wrote Jenny Curan and didn’t write and address because Jenny is fictional. On the left side I wrote a message. I tried to imitate the writing style of Forrest Gump. I consciously added some flawed grammar and used the word “ain’t” a couple of times. Forrest did not have a very good education and “ain’t” is a word he uses with high frequency. Forrest Gump is a simple man, even though Forrest loves Jenny he does not know how to talk about feeling so he just talks about his time in the army. From the writing you can see Forrest is a very naive and simple minded character. The only things he sees are the ones that can be seen on the surface of everything.

“Maybe I am a idiot, but at least I ain’t stupid,” Groom 25



Front of postcard:

Sweet Home Alabama

Alabama is not exactly heaven on earth but being from Alabama can define lots of things about a person, and it is the same with stories. Because the story is set in Alabama the mood of the story is already defined. There is a reason why many events in the story show signs of racism, and there is also a reason why many other characters and event turn out they way they do.


Alabama is a very special state, and it is the home of Forrest Gump. Because Forrest was from Alabama it affected the way people around him act and the way Forrest Gump acts, it also sets the scene as a rural and poorly educated. The state of Alabama’s flag is a variation of the Confederate flag (which might offend some). It is said that Alabama is the best place to grow cotton. Some important cities in Alabama are Mobile, Montgomery, and Birmingham. Alabama’s history is not very clean; Alabama was one of the Confederate States that fought for the rights to keep slaves. During the early 20th century Alabama took away voting rights from African Americans even though African Americans were entitled to voting rights in almost every other state. Alabama is a hub of racism. What might surprise you is Forrest Gump was named after a Confederate General and founder of the Ku Klux Klan Nathan Bedford Forrest, which means Forrest Gump’s family must’ve have had racist views. Today Alabama is a fast growing state, but it still hold on to it’s shameful past.


Alabama might just be another state but it set the whole mood for the book. Because a large part of the book is set in Alabama and other state in close proximity it defined many aspects about the characters. I think the author might have used some Alabamian stereotypes. Many characters in the story are not very well educated and Forrest is mentally retarded “I been a idiot the day I was born.” Groom 1. Although I cannot agree with all the stereotypes the author has included in the book Alabama does have a sub par literacy rate compared to other states. Forrest Gump is fatherless and Jenny (a major supporting character) is motherless and abused by her father. In Alabama single parents are very prevalent and child abuse rates are also above average. In the book there are many cases of racism. When Forrest Gump was at the University of Alabama, he described some football players with the “N” word, even Forrest Gump; an innocent mentally handicapped college student was racist. Where you live can impact who you are in ways you cannot imagine. It is the same story with events, if something events happened somewhere else the story might be very different.


So overall the mood Alabama set is not exactly very positive. But that might be one of the author’s messages to the reader; he might be trying to educate people about the prejudices in the South. So overall the mood Alabama set for the story is dark, rural, uneducated, racist, and hostile. This made a major impact on Forrest’s character and the events of the story.

The End of the Road

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Over the past few weeks I had a lot of fun building my own polymer with my group, I also gained a lot of knowledge. Throughout our project some things went well while some things did not. Even though we never made any significantly awesome achievements I still think we did a great job because we worked hard and made something that we couldn’t have made before.


For the first few classes we were sort of behind. We were struggling to think of a good use of polymer and we were unable to create anything worth keeping. One class we created a pretty good polymer but we found that the formula we wrote down was wrong and when we tried to make it again it turned out different. After creating many different test polymers we thought of a good way we could use polymers as a real world application. We agreed on making a polymer that would clean out crumbs and dust on a keyboard, we named it “Cleanboard”. After that we tested many more recipes and after many classes we finally created a polymer that was suitable for our task.


After our final polymer was completed we started making the video, we agreed on making a simple video where the polymer solves a problem. I spill crumbs on my keyboard and I use the polymer to clean the crumbs off, simple. After we finished the video it was the day of the presentation. We did not prepare anything to say during the presentation so we sort of improvised. That was not a very good idea. I think we didn’t do very well during the presentation because our group was kind of boring. Many other groups passed around their polymers for people to see but we just stood there and introduced our polymer and ourselves.


Even though there were a lot of things we could have done better in our journey to make the perfect polymer; I still think we learned a lot and had a lot of fun in this whole polymer project.

Nearing Success

On day three we created a product that was good, and would work for a cleaning product. But the problem is after a few hours the polymer became very hard, like a rock.


That meant that it could not be a cleaning product anymore because the polymer must be able to fit in small cracks so it can clean out dust and crumbs inside them. When we discovered this we started experimenting again. Instead of changing the goobers recipe we change the goobers recipe but after a while we discovered what we were making was not soft enough to mold and fit into cracks. So then we ditched the boogers and recreated something similar to what we created at the end of day 3, which worked well. You can see the recipe in my previous post.DSC_0055

We found that this product, out of all the prototypes worked the best for our purpose, so we decided to stick with this product. We put some of it in a bag and some outside to see how much it would harden in each environment. After day 4 I feel like we are very close to success.


Faced with challenges



During the second class we created a prototype that worked pretty well.


We wrote down a rough list of how much of everything we used. But when we tried to reproduce it, it wasn’t really the same. We found out we made some changes during the second class that we did not take note of. We spend most of the class trying to reproduce our old product but we failed. Nearing the end of the class we discovered a new formula that we tested. The formula was 1 cm of glue, 15ml of liquid starch, three scoops of guar gum, and three scoops of corn starch. This product was pretty stretchy as well as sticky.  It would work well for our product which is a polymer that could be applied to a surface to clean out crumbs and dust. We in intend to use it on keyboards. But nearing the end of class the polymer became rock hard and no longer stretchy.