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  1. Summer Reading

    June 7, 2016 by Vanessa

    My reading goal is to read at least thirty minutes a day and to finish six books. I am looking forward to it… I mean it.

  2. Unbroken Views of China

    June 2, 2016 by Vanessa

    Over the course of two months, my group, Minhye, Victor, Jerry, and I created our magazine, Panorama. Our collection of articles, infographics, and pictures from our joyful  journey around China (Also known as the minority park and Pingyao) display our information on the culture, history and minorities of China. The process began with us taking an imaginary trip to provinces around China to learn about four minorities– Dai, Tujia, Tibet, Mongolia.  To wrap up our project, we took an amazing vacation (learning experience) to ancient city Pingyao. From all our trips and research, I have gotten a better understanding of the arts and history of the country we live in. Along the way, I have learned many elements of design, and gotten better at working with applications like Preview and Pages. This project has given me, as our magazine says, a panorama of China.

  3. Polymer Project Entry #4

    May 9, 2016 by Vanessa

    Joural 4 media

    Our polymer started as a fragile, hard, uncomfortable grip that melted into a puddle when put aside for one night. Through several prototypes and many failures, we developed our final product. Each prototype got closer to our design goal, to make a comfortable grip, for example, prototype 1 snapped easily and didn’t mold well. Afterward, we added glue and cornstarch to the recipe and prototype 2 could be molded more easily and hold its form better.  After experimenting with these two prototypes, we learned that glue made the polymer stretchier and cornstarch made it harder. Even though most of our prototypes failed, we learned something new about each material every time we tested a prototype.


    One material we constantly added and took away from our polymer was cornstarch. Without it, our polymer couldn’t hold its shape and with too much, it would be hard and uncomfortable to hold. To solve these problems, we tried adding other materials such as guar gum and glue. Adding other materials created new problems; however, previous problems would be eliminated. We also tried adding different amounts of materials to see how that affected our polymer. Using this technique, we developed each prototype  until we created our final product.


    During the “Dream On” presentation, we learned even more about our polymer. Before then, we had placed our polymer in a cup of water hoping it would turn softer; therefore, making  it easier to mold for presentation day. We had left it in water for too long causing it to become gooey and uncomfortable to hold. From this, we learned that our polymer can be reused when put in water, but won’t work when soaked in water for too long until exposed to air for a while. We have learned much through all the struggles and failures we have experienced during the project.



  4. The Moon has a Harsh/ Humurous Perspective

    May 3, 2016 by Vanessa


    Humor is quite simple. It is created when your humanities teacher tells a grammar or poetry joke and when your math teacher laughs at a math pun. Humor can also be created when a reader knows something while “hiding” it from the characters. From many examples in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein; we understand that different points of view create humor also known as dramatic irony.

    Mike, a supercomputer, is trusted to keep track of all documents for the Warden, but the government never understood the secret connection between their most reliable machine and Manuel. Being the only human Mike talked to; Manuel, the leader of a counterrevolution, had more power over the computer than anyone else. Any supercomputer would be a huge asset to a revolution; therefore, Manuel needed access to Mike. “[Manuel called Mike and told him to “get ill” in way that would annoy Warden. Then [he] waited… [Manuel] went back to work once [he] learned that [he] was clear” (Heinlein 127). Without being listed on the government’s want list as a reactionary, the protagonist managed to find a clever way to sneak past authority and program Mike. From this example, we know that Manuel is telling Mike to come up with problems so he can “fix” them and plan for the revolution. There was really nothing wrong with the computer and this was just an opportunity for Manuel to talk with him. Manuel may have understood what was happening on his side of the story, but only we knew everything that was going on.

    Back in Lunar Authority Complex, “Mike was running its heat up, then down, on an eleven-minute cycle, while oscillating its air pressure on a short cycle, ca. 2c/s, enough to make a man dreadfully nervy and perhaps cause earache” (128). Under the instructions of his best friend, the chaos-causing machine was simply trying to make problems. Creating deafening sounds and causing destruction, Mike agitated Warden until Manuel was called. From Mike’s perspective, this assignment was entertaining and amusing; the worse the problem, the happier he was. Before his best friend could arrive at the scene, Mike experiences the actions and dialogue of flustered and frustrated government officials.

    To complain about the multitude of times their supercomputer had been broken, the Warden sent a computer man. The “computerman-of-the-watch comes banging and ringing at the door… “Listen,” he says, “Warden is raising hell! Haven’t you found trouble?”’ (129). Manuel had gone to fix Mike several times, each time leaving the Warden thinking Mike worked then leaving. Soon after, Warden would find his machine broken again. Readers know that all of this was just a coup set up by Manuel; nevertheless, the government didn’t. Authority was infuriated by Mike’s malfunctions and faults, as they couldn’t work on the computer until Manuel came to fix it. “Mike always worked perfectly after one of [Manuel’s] visits; [Manuel] was indispensable” (128). Warden needed a computer to run the government; therefore, he did not argue. Because readers usually side with the protagonist, the audience feels cheerful when the protagonist succeeds. This is when humor or dramatic irony is created.

    My opinions on a topic may be completely different from your thoughts; this is perspective at work again. Although dramatic irony may not please the reader at all times, it is needed. Without dramatic irony and humor, this book would be biased, one-sided; this world would be boring, dull.



  5. Polymer Project Journal Entry #3

    April 29, 2016 by Vanessa

    Science comic png

    To experiment with our polymer’s recipe, we made two prototypes. Prototype 1 had 8ml water, 8ml borax, and 12g glue and prototype 2 had the same materials with 20g of cornstarch. The first prototype could not be poked through or molded easily; however, it had a good texture and felt comfortable once made into a pencil grip. Prototype 1 was fragile and split apart while being formed limiting it to only be molded into certain shapes. Unlike prototype 1, prototype 2 could bend more easily, but still was challenging to mold. It was sticky, gooey; consequently, it stuck to our hands when we roll it into a ball. Nonetheless, this polymer dries when left exposed to air thus it eventually became more solid and nicer to hold. Two days later, prototype 1 had melted into a solid, unbreakable, flat object while prototype 2 had become inflexible, floury, and also lost some of its shape. Both polymers could no longer be used on a pencil, but prototype 2 could be remolded when put in water for two days.


    Out of the two prototypes, prototype 2 was more effective for meeting the design goal. Although it was uncomfortable to write with, it stayed in its general shape, which makes it more useful as a pencil grip. From there, we expanded our idea. Through many experiments, we realized that cornstarch makes the polymer harder while guar gum makes it rubbery and smooth. We decided to add less amounts of cornstarch and more guar gum so the polymer would be more squishy and comfortable to hold when it dried. We took smaller amounts of cornstarch in each new polymer but could not take away huge quantities or else it would result in a polymer that cannot hold its shape. For our final design, we will continue to play with the amounts of cornstarch added to the polymer and finding the perfect combination between a sticky and hard polymer.





  6. Polymer Project Journal #2

    April 26, 2016 by Vanessa

    Science polymer infographic

    For our polymer, we plan to combine features from Gloop, Boogers, and Oobleck. Since our design goal is to make a comfortable grip, we want our polymer to have a similar feel as Gloop: a bouncy, smooth material similar to Silly Putty. However, Gloop cracks and falls apart when molded, which is why characteristics from boogers need to be added. Boogers can be stretched for meters and more easily but does not hold its form; instead, slowly melts into a puddle. To solve this, properties from Oobleck will be added. After Oobleck is made and set aside for a while, it turns from a gooey liquid to a fragile solid. By adding materials from Oobleck into our polymer, it may harden and stay in the desired shape. Another quality in Oobleck that is valuable to our design goal is that when water is added after it’s dry, it turns back to the original polymer. If our polymer could be reused by adding water, buyers could use it numerous times.

    To test our prototypes, we will do slow poke tests and make pencil grips. Slow poke tests are used to ensure the polymer is easily moldable. (More information is in the infographic above). We will then mold that polymer onto a pencil and see if it dries into the texture we want. We need it to dry into a gloop-like texture that is comfortable to hold. After it has dried, the pencil grip will be put in a cup of water to experiment if the polymer can turn back to its original form and be molded again. We will then try to use that polymer to make a new grip.



  7. Drawing this Diplomat’s Dialogue

    April 19, 2016 by Vanessa


    TMiaHM comic

    Comic with better quality

    Sometimes we get into arguments  because of misunderstandings or miscommunication. Words are powerful. They teach us about the people surrounding us without us even realizing. Similar to real life, when characters in a book speak their mind, a reader can learn plenty about them. The comic above shows how lines of dialogue taught readers about the protagonist in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein, Manuel O’Kelly.

    In the first example, the characters are in court. Most people believed the guilty man should have been punished heavily but only the protagonist, Manuel, was prudent, sensible and wise enough to rise above and make the right choice. Following that, Manuel was planning the revolution. He had proven the professor wrong by improving their revolution’s structure. His new idea turned out to be far better than designs revolutionary theorists had come up with in the past. This showed his incredible intelligence and his amazing ability to persuade and explain. The last example proved his bravery and dedication to the success of the revolution and the freedom of the people. Unlike most government officials in our modern society, Manuel, the most powerful man on Luna, was willing to put his life on the line and fight the enemies himself. Any revolution led by such a determined, careful and clever leader is sure to succeed.

  8. Polymer Project Journal #1

    April 18, 2016 by Vanessa

    The goal of our polymer is to create a comfortable grip for an object and therefore make everyday objects easier to use. With this new grip, objects can be held with less effort so buyers can use it for longer periods of time and complete tasks efficiently. Since our polymer can be used on a great variety of objects, our target market audience is anyone that needs a comfortable grip in their life. For example: students can use our polymer on pencils. Some students may feel pain in their fingers after writing for long periods of time. Using a grip made out of our polymer on their pencil may eliminate this pain. Of course, this material is not limited to pencils but can be used on them.

    We want our polymer to have similar properties as Play-Doh and be easily moldable. If the polymer has this characteristic, the consumer can use it on any object and fit it to any need. After molded, the polymer should dry into the texture we want: not too hard, not too slimy or gooey, similar to the texture and feel of the polymer gloop but harder. If possible, we would also like our polymer to be re-usable. If the buyer decides to use our polymer on another product, they can re-mold it; the polymer will dry in the needed shape, and be used again. This makes our polymer more enviromentally friendly but also more useful.



    The Gif above was made in gickr.




  9. Quadratic Questions… Answered

    March 21, 2016 by Vanessa


    Whether it’s shooting a basketball, swinging on swings or diving into the deep-end of the pool, parabolas surround us. Balls are thrown in the air making upward curves with maximum vertexes, roller coasters zoom past us falling from the highest point to the minimum vertex. Like the water fountain example in the video above, most examples are restricted graphs. This means the y-intercept also known as the c-value of the quadratic equation, y-value or first point, is not zero; instead, is positive or negative. The y-intercept for the water fountain’s parabola was 0.1 m or 10cm. This value, like the equation, was found through an analysis in LoggerPro and the function of each number is explained above.

    The math behind what seems like the average, simple everyday actions we perform has made life so much more complicated but also come together.

  10. Broken Pieces of China

    March 18, 2016 by Vanessa

    Zhang Wei (张伟)was a professor at Peking University, which is also known as Beida. He came from a family that had been leaning intellectuals for generations and became a member of the communist party. These two aspects caused his opinion of Mao to go back and forth, what will he think in the end?



    The journals were embedded through issuu

    In this period of ten years, many factors stayed the same but surprisingly, many changed. Continuity is an expected and necessary part of life; therefore, some things had to stay the same during the Cultural Revolution. During this decade, Mao Zedong was always the supreme ruler and had the help of the other Party members of lesser importance. Despite the amount of destruction caused by our Chairman, the public always believed Mao Zedong was a revolutionary hero and class struggle or self-criticism was the answer. With continuity also comes change. Because everyone was involved in the revolution, there were no workers at the factories or students at the schools. This resulted in ten years without education or production. If you were paid without having to do work, anyone would stay at home. China’s industrial and agricultural production levels dropped causing our country’s economy to collapse.

    The millions of ancient artifacts, antiques, buildings and artwork demolished by those Red Guards were estimated to be worth about 500 billion. While everyone was out rebelling, the most valuable, useful people of our country were being re-educated or purged. The younger generation could not be taught properly affecting our country’s development in all academic areas. The revolution also distracted the government from making international relations until Zhou Enlai’s plans were put into action in 1972 when Richard Nixon visited. Most importantly, citizen’s views on communism were completely altered and their faith in the government disappeared. Although the majority of people were happy during this period, they later realized the massive impact it had on their lives and questioned their government’s decisions during the time. The years of revolution are over. Our country can only rise from here…