5 ways Jack Reacher is similar to Sherlock Holmes in Without Fail

Many people love Jack Reacher for the action and thrill of him fighting the enemy, while people love Sherlock Holmes because of his eccentric personality and the way he uses logic to solve his cases. These two characters may seem different, but there are some similarities as well. Here are 5 ways Jack Reacher is similar to Sherlock Holmes in Without Fail.

 

  1. They don’t do it for the money

In the Sherlock Holmes stories, in some of the cases Holmes gets, he does get paid, but usually not because he asked for it, but because the clients insisted. Holmes stated that he solved cases not for the glory and money, but for the pleasure of solving a puzzle. In Without Fail, Jack Reacher has to stop an assassination attempt on the Vice President. Jack Reacher doesn’t do it for the money either. He actually has enough money to live a good and calm life, but he chooses not to. Instead, he goes around and helps people because he enjoys it.

 

  1. They are both skilled in hand-to-hand combat

Jack Reacher is a former military policeman and had spent many years training and doing missions with the military. After leaving the military, he still retained his fighting skills and used them at the end of Without Fail. Sherlock Holmes is highly skilled in martial arts and used those skills to survive Moriarty’s attempt to push him off a waterfall.

 

  1. They both do deductions

Sherlock Holmes is famous for his skills in solving cases with deduction. He can determine a person’s occupation, personality, and more in one short glance, which allows him to solve many mysteries. Jack Reacher has similar abilities, though he does it slightly differently. Sherlock Holmes is set in the late 1800s and early 1900s, which means that his deductions are based on the technology of his time. Jack Reacher’s deductions also include modern technology, such as the numerous types of guns that exist. Both men use these skills to find the tiniest of details that help resolve the problem.

 

  1. They can both “stalk” someone

In Without Fail, Jack Reacher was able to follow and observe a Secret Service agent in order to assess her skills and whether she would be able to succeed. She and her colleagues had no idea that he was there, and took it as a surprise when he revealed that fact. Sherlock Holmes is able to follow someone without being detected as well. He can track someone and know their every move without them even knowing.

 

 

  1. They don’t mind breaking the law

Many of Sherlock Holmes’ cases include him breaking and entering, hiding evidence, and lying to the police when he thinks it’s the right thing to do. In addition, he enjoys confusing the policeman and solving the cases himself. Jack Reacher’s reason for breaking the law seems a bit darker than Holmes’ reason. Reacher doesn’t show remorse when he kills the enemy since he thinks that they deserve it. In Without Fail, he shoots one of the antagonists with no emotion on his face as revenge for the murder of his lover.

 

 

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61 Hours Connections

In the book 61 Hours, the author, Lee Child, exemplifies common similarities to other pieces 8of writing. In the novel, Jack Reacher, the protagonist, and Holland, the trusted police captain, drove to an abandoned air force base. They went there in an attempt to find the organisation in charge of the murder of a witness to a big drug case. As they arrive at the base, Child writes, “‘He just arrived’” and “‘How long have you known?’” (338). The character Holland was revealed to be the assassin for the organisation, or an “evil all along” character. This is common in many books and films. One of which is the Harry Potter series, with multiple characters being this way. In The Philosopher’s Stone, by J.K. Rowling, the teacher Quirinus Quirrel was revealed to have Voldemort on the back of his head, keeping Voldemort alive. Quirrel was believed to be a quiet and shy teacher with a stutter, but turned out to be keeping the evillest man in the world alive. The “evil all along” character are what make these books similar.

At one point in the story, Jack Reacher tried to return to the witness’ home to protect her, since he had to go out for a while. The police in the story had to go for the emergency, which left the witness alone in her home. The story is located in the winter of South Dakota, which made the surroundings very cold and full of snow: “Not the dull padded silence of fresh snowfall, but the weird keening, crackling, scouring, rustling hiss of a deep-frozen world. The thump of his footsteps ran ahead of him through veins and sheets of ice…hurling tiny frozen needles at him.” The protagonist is trying to reach a destination through a lot of snow and ice, which are obstacles. This is similar to the short story “To Build a Fire” by Jack London. The character in Jack London’s story attempts to reach his home in a frozen Yukon Winter. He tries to make many fires, most of which fail due to the cold.

These are two examples of how the 61 Hours have connections with other pieces of text.

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Plot of Friends: The One with the Monkey

“The One with the Monkey” is the tenth episode of the American television sitcom Friends. The story starts off as the friends are discussing the party on New Year’s Eve, and how they will celebrate it. Chandler proposes a no-date pact, saying that none of them should bring someone and should spend the party with each other, which everyone reluctantly agrees to. This introduces the dramatic question of “will they actually uphold their agreement or will they break their pact and bring a date to the party?” The protagonists of this episode, like most of the others, are all of the friends. Their desire is a conscious desire, which is them wanting to bring someone to the party. The conscious desire of the protagonists in the main cause of the conflict. The conflict was that the protagonists’ desire for a date led them to actually break their pact and bring someone. This conflict is an external, as the date that they bring is one of the things breaking the pact. At the party, nearly everyone is with their dates, but it doesn’t go as expected. Some can’t make it, one was interested in other people, another was depressed due to his grandfather’s death, one had to leave for 3 years, and one had “weird” behaviour. In the end, they were all alone during New Year’s, keeping the pact they made despite their attempts to break it. This answers the dramatic question by showing that they tried to break the pact but ended up keeping it. The conflict was them bringing a date and breaking the pact, but since bringing dates went wrong, they ended up keeping the pact and becoming closer friends with each other, therefore resolving the conflict. 🙂

https://gostream.is/film/friends-season-1-1700/watching.html?ep=786476

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Yesterday

They say the past gives you strength and wisdom for the future. For him, the past only broke him.

The passage below is my interpretation of Wuther Crue’s “Ordeal by Cheque”. The story begins with a man lamenting his son’s death the previous day. He then looks back at his son’s life, remembering all the adventures and milestones his son experienced. Looking back at his son being born, then growing up, and his son’s successes and failures. The story reaches its climax when the son starts his own life and gets married, but later on, gets hit by a car. The resolution to the story is that after the son passes away in the hospital, the man is overcome by grief as he writes his final check to the mortuary.

Yesterday

Yesterday. Yesterday was the day his life changed forever. Yesterday was the day his heart was broken. Yesterday was the day one of the brightest things in his life left. Yesterday was the day his son died.

Before, the man couldn’t really recall much about his son’s life, only remembering the big and important events. But now, he could picture every single moment of his son’s life with unbelievable clarity. He remembered the day his beloved son was born in detail. The sky was a brilliant blue, without a cloud in sight. The sun was shining outside as his son was brought into this world in Hollywood Hospital. The smiling faces of family as they congratulated the man. That was the day he had truly felt complete. His son had a striking resemblance to the man, so he and his wife decided to name the baby after the man. Lawrence Jr. Lawrence grew a little older, started to go to school, “learned” how to ride a bicycle. The fifty-dollar bicycle that he managed to crash at least once every time he rode it. At the time, the man joked that his son would be horrible at driving when he got older. Little did he know how much grief his son’s driving would cause him.

Lawrence went on to military school, and the father saw less of him over those years. Every day he would miss him, while only seeing him for a few days during the holidays. Finally, his son had graduated and the man could see his son again before university. To celebrate, the man bought him a Cadillac. He hit a tree the first time he drove it. They had to go repair it for another 300 dollars. Then the letter came. Lawrence was accepted into Stanford University. He was so happy, dancing about, laughing, beaming every minute of the day. His happiness made the man happy. Now he would never feel that happiness again.

During the summer of 1923, he remembered that Lawrence went on a trip to France. The trip cost 25 thousand dollars, but the man wanted his son to have the experience, even though he wouldn’t get to see him over the summer. But whilst in France, something the man didn’t expect occurred. His son met someone. The man remembered specifically that he laughed out loud after hearing the news, elated that his son finally found someone. Lawrence spent a lot of time going to the university florist to buy flowers for his “special girl”. Now that girl is alone.

The day his son decided to move out and live with his girlfriend was met with mixed feelings. The father was happy that his son became more independent, but was sad that his son was leaving him. The man had given his son 200 thousand dollars to start up his own life. His son later told him he spent some of it on things for his girlfriend moving in such as clothes and flowers but saved some of it for a ring. His son was going to propose. Propose to a woman that was going to be one of the happiest women alive, but is now a sad and lonely widow.

At last, it was the wedding day. His son had paid for everything: the ring, the municipal court, the attorneys, and the church. He paid back the people he owed for their services. The man was very proud of him for becoming a fine and independent young man. A fine young man who didn’t deserve to get hit by that drunk driver.

His son was driving, and the light was yellow, about to turn red. He thought he could make it and decided to go for it. In normal circumstances, he would have made it, but the intoxicated driver sped forward and rammed into Lawrence’s car. His precious son rushed to the hospital, being treated by Dr. McCoy, the same doctor that delivered him at birth. Despite everyone’s efforts, it was to no avail. Lawrence Exeter Jr.’s life was taken away, merely 28 years after he was born. The man had wept as he wrote the check to the doctor, crossing out the “Sr.” in his name as he remembered what had happened just a few moments ago.

All this ran through the man’s head as sat at his desk, writing his last check to the mortuary, weeping once more. He wept because of the car crash that broke him inside. Because of the utter desolation he had experienced. Because of what happened to his son. Yesterday.

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The Inevitability of Consequences

The officers had come into the man’s home due to a shriek in the late night reported by a neighbour. Most people would have been nervous or paranoid about this, but what did he have to fear? The old man with the vulture eye was dead, and there was no visible trace of what happened for the officers to find. The man’s manner had convinced the officers that he was innocent, and the officers were content with his alibi.

However, after a while, the man became pale and wished them to be gone, to disappear from the face of the Earth. A headache arose and a faint ringing in his ears had begun. The man, in fear of his condition giving away his crime, attempted to talk more freely to rid the nauseous feeling from his body. The ringing increased in sound, and at last, the man realised that the noise was not being emanated from within his ears, but came from an outside source.

Still, the man talked freely and fluently, perhaps even more than before, albeit with a higher pitch. The sound had changed from a ringing to quiet and dull thumping noise. The speed of his speech increased in sync with the increased volume of the thumping. The man’s behaviour changed in great lengths, with him now pacing the floor and roaring out his opinions of certain arguments. The volume of the thumping continued to increase, and the man stood up from his chair and began to rave and pace around like a madman. The noise filled the room, and the man could feel the vibrations. It was the heart! The heart of the old man! But the man knew it was impossible. The old man was dead. But his evil heart continued to beat, haunting the man even after the old man had died. The officers took no notice of the man’s actions and the booming beat of the dead heart. They even smiled at him. Could they not hear the haunting sound? They were mocking him! Mocking his horror. The man was in agony and could no longer tolerate it. He could no longer bear those hypocritical smiles.

And alas! Despite all his efforts to cover up the death of the old man with the evil eye, the man confessed to his crime, shrieking out while gesturing to the planks containing the dismembered old man, gesturing to the beating of the hideous heart.

This passage is an alternative interpretation of the short story “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allen Poe. I rewrote the passage from its original first-person point of view to a third person limited point of view, limited to the thoughts of the “madman” who murdered the old man. By writing in the third person limited, the reader is more at a distance compared to what it would be like in the first person. The first-person point of view would have given the things the man said more of an opinionated feeling, as opposed to the third person point of view which gives the phrase as for of a fact. For example, in the short story, Poe writes, “they were making a mockery of my horror!”, while in my rewritten version I wrote “They were mocking him! Mocking his horror.” My version presents the mockery as more of a fact in which they really were mocking him, while the Poe’s original version presents it as more of the opinion of the man. The third person limited point of view also prevents the reader from knowing the real thoughts of the police officers. The reader would never really know what the police officers thought of the man, similar to Poe’s first-person point of view.

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Water in the Brain

Nobody. Traitor. Retard. Names given to a boy in a town of discrimination. How would you act if you were born different than others? How would you act if everyone treated you like garbage?

In the novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, the author, Sherman Alexie, creates a protagonist who is shaped by the setting, people, and his unique features and traits. The author then makes the protagonist into a dynamic character, by making him go through change later on in the story. The protagonist, Arnold spirit (or “Junior” to his family and peers), is a bit of an outcast to his community. He was born with “water on the brain”, meaning he had too much cerebral fluid in his head. He was a skinny person but had huge hands and feet, with his feet being “a size eleven in third grade.” Due to his unique features, he was constantly bullied by other people in the Spokane Indian Reservation, by both kids and adults: “He knew I was afraid of getting beat up” and “Oh, by the way, did I mention that the Andruss triplets are thirty years old? What kind of men beat up a fourteen-year old boy?” He also has a stutter and a lisp. In the exposition, we discover Junior talks in a bit of a sadistic and mocking tone, but has a caring and artistic side as well. However, this side of him gets pushed down from the bullying he endures. Junior enjoys drawing, thinking that “[he] draw[s] because words are too limited” and “[he] want[s] the world to pay attention to [him].” As the setting of the story changes, Junior’s personality and actions change as well. As he moves to a white school, he expects things to be the same as the reservation, but he was clearly mistaken. Alexie states, “I was absolutely confused. I had followed the rules of fighting.  I had behaved exactly the way I was supposed to behave. But these white boys had ignored the rules. In fact, they followed a whole other set of mysterious rules where people apparently DID NOT GET INTO FISTFIGHTS.” Eventually, he becomes more confident in himself, and more willing to talk to people: “So I went to school the next day and walked right up to Gordy the Genius White Boy.” The character changes from someone is excluded from everyone, and is constantly bullied, to someone who is accepted, and is friends with any people. Sherman Alexie draws out a changing dynamic character for us to read.

 

 

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FA Mythbusters: Cloth Chaos

It’s a common sight in movies to see characters pulling tablecloth from under a table. What bothers many is the fact that in the movies the many objects on the tablecloth aren’t moved hardly an inch. In this Mythbusters episode, Eric and Curtis cover the physics of the tablecloth pulling. Is table cloth pulling actually possible or is it just another myth to bust? Find out in the video below (Hint: It’s in the powerpoint)

 

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One Day 2017 – Rubik’s Cube

For this project, I learned how to solve a Rubik’s Cube, along with my friends Ryan Chen, Alex Wang, and Wyatt Hively. While I was just learning how to solve a Rubik’s Cube in general, they were learning how to solve a 2 by 2, a 4 by 4, and the 3 by 3 in a faster way. What went well was that I was able to learn most of the solving process before lunch. But the last few steps were difficult to me, and I couldn’t remember in what order I had to  use the algorithms that I learned. What I would do next time is try to include Youtube videos in the process, instead of relying on my friends entirely.

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Xinlong Observatory Trip Podcast

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Hanshiqiao Wetland Feature Article

While most people go to Hanshiqiao Wetland Reservoir for sightseeing and tourism, the Futures Academy and Niulanshan Middle school went there for different reason: to help solve the water crisis.

On Wednesday, May 4th, 2016, the students from the Futures Academy of the International School of Beijing, along with the Niulanshan No. 1 Middle School joined together and visited the Hanshiqiao Wetland Reservoir. This is the third phase of the “We are One” project. “We are One” is a project where the Niulanshan Middle School and the International School of Beijing study water quality.

“Everyone was really happy” says a student from ISB. The integration of Niulanshan and ISB was a good experience for both schools.

So far, the students have collected water from 2 places: The Wenyu River, and the Chaobai river. The Wenyu river is located closer to ISB, while the Chaobai is located closer to Niulanshan Middle School. This time, each school collects a water sample, taking them to their schools. They will run individual water sample tests, to see the quality of the water the collected.

The Hanshiqiao reservoir is located in the Eastern suburbs of Beijing. It is the only large-scale in the Beijing plain. In this reservoir, there are 153 unique species of birds, 2 species of country grade one protected animals, 17 species of nation second class protection animals, and 292 different species of plants.

In this reservoir, there are many different tourist activities one can participate in. For example, is the wetland sightseeing boat, where a tour guide explains about the wetland and the bird habits. The boat goes all around the wetland lake. There are also smaller, manual boats where you and another person can drive boats around in the same lake as the sightseeing boat.

“The waters in the lake seems very clean” observes a student from ISB.

Other activities include fishing, bicycling, and bird watching. In addition to the normal tourist activities, there are also some fun activities like the water walking ball, and the water flying roll, where you are put in a plastic ball or tube, and can walk or roll on top of the water. There is also a water bicycle where a ordinary bicycle is modified so it can float and move on the water surface.

There are 8 wetland pools in the reservoir. The first pool is the filthiest out of them all, algae covered, smelly, and filled with muck. The water for the first pool comes from the toilet next to the pools, so all the smelly and dirty waste from the toilet flows into the first pool, seeping into the plants and the dirt. The eighth pool is cleanest out of them all, with plants grown naturally. Though there are still some algae, it is filled with lily pads and plants. As you walk along the pools, they get cleaner and cleaner along the way, as the wetland pool number increases.

“I was surprised that they were confident enough in their natural filtration system to pump the water from the toilets through it into the first wetland pool.”

The Hanshiqiao reservoir is one of the reservoirs in Beijing where they are trying to save Beijing’s water. “This isn’t just a natural phenomenon. It has more to do with mankind,” said Liu Changming, a professor at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, adding that less water reaches Baiyangdian because the cities, factories and farms upriver are using more. Water is becoming more scarce in China. When there is a lack of water, people use more, because of the decreasing supply. The buildings, factories, and farms also use the water. As a result, the future supply of water may be in jeopardy.

The Hanshiqiao reservoir also protect marine life like fish. “Mandarin fish, blunt-snout bream, yellow croaker,” said fisherman Chen Enpo, 67, listing some of the species that have disappeared. “There are fewer fish now, and fewer species of fish too…On bad days, we don’t catch any at all.” The water quality problem has decreased the amount of marine life in water systems. If there is a decreasing population of fish, fishermen have less fish to catch, leading to less food for us to eat.

Wetlands in general sometimes contribute to help purify nearby water systems. The vegetation in the wetlands take the harmful substances that enter the water, and absorb them by their roots. Then, once the harmful substances are less harmful, they are released into the water. But wetlands can only do so much. We still have to be careful that we don’t throw trash into the water, and not let any of these harmful substances into the ecosystems.

While the Hanshiqiao Wetlands have this water purification system, some other water systems do not. The Yangtze does not have this water purification system, so many Chinese have suffered from the lack of good water.

“As the river is the only source of drinking water in Shanghai, it has been a great challenge for Shanghai to get clean water,” Xinhua quoted him as saying.

As the students go back to their schools to test the water samples that they collected, they reflect upon what happened, what they have seen, and what they can do to help. Soon, the students will be thinking of an action project, contributing to help solve the water quality crisis.

Even though that many students are helping to solve the crisis, they will only make small differences. But with many people making small differences, there overall difference can be great.

 

Citations

“Beijing Hanshiqiao Wetland Nature Reserve.” Bjshy. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 May 2016. <http://www.bjshy.gov.cn/Item/21773.aspx>.

Pan, Philip P. “Wetlands Running Dry in China; Drought Erodes an Ancient Way of Life in Mythic Marshes.” N.p., n.d. Web. 6 May 2016. <http://165.215.204.11/docview/409195175/EA7F78D0918746BCPQ/4?accountid=4047>.

“How Do Wetlands Filter Harmful Substances?” Techalive. Michigan Environmental Curriculum, n.d. Web. 13 May 2016. <http://techalive.mtu.edu/meec/module12/Chemicalfunctionsofwetlands.htm>.

Evans, Robert, J. W. Gilliam, and J. P. Lilly. “WETLANDS AND WATER QUALITY.” Ncsu. North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service, n.d. Web. <http://www.bae.ncsu.edu/programs/extension/evans/ag473-7.html>.

“Yangtze River ‘cancerous’ with Pollution.” Chinadaily. Chinadaily, n.d. Web. <http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2006-05/30/content_604228.htm>.

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