– Where in our solar system should NASA focus future missions?

In our solar system, Nasa should focus their upcoming missions on one of Saturn’s moons, Enceladus, and one of Jupiter’s moons, Europa. Two concepts that are a part of the essential living climates for all organisms are water and sunlight. NASA’S Cassini spacecraft found hydrogen molecules in Enceladus. Scientists believe that there is to be an ocean beneath the icy surface to be found on Enceladus. Furthermore, in 2015 researchers not only reportedly found hydrogen but also carbon dioxide. The main idea for Enceladus is that these molecules could be coming from chemical reactions deep in the ocean. These reactions could spark life for microbes, otherwise known as microscopic living creatures. Adding the founding of carbon dioxide could mean that undersea microbes are producing methane gas, just how our microbes function deep below Earth’s oceans and waterways. Similar to Enceladus, Scientists are suspecting that “warm, liquid water” lives underneath Europa’s thick ice layer, because of this the moon is considered a “top candidate” by NASA for chances of life in another world in our solar system. Looking through the eyes of the spacecraft Galileo, signs of plumes emerging from the surface of Europa was also observed. Adding on, in a new study, experts emerged with evidence that measures variations in the Moon’s magnetic field and plasma waves. It stated that the plasma waves were invisible waves in the air, similar to radio waves here on Earth. Both Enceladus and Europa obtain key factors to harbor life. All of our evidence at the moment is pointing towards it. They both possess high possibilities of having oceans fairly similar to each other. Scientist Jeffrey Seewald stated “We still have a long way to go in our understanding”, but the only way to get there is to explore. Therefore Nasa should focus their future missions to explore the oceans beyond earth in Enceladus and Europa. Even Seewald clearly states “Future missions to explore oceans beyond earth will answer many of these questions.” The next step is to do it.

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Will Humans Survive On Earth?

Hundreds of different aspects will regulate whether or not humans will survive on earth. As humans, we have built a podium, in which over time moves deeper and deeper into a maze. In other words, as time passes by it gets harder and harder to fix problems like climate change, and the pathways to solve these problems will increase.

In my understanding, from this chapter in Stephen Hawking’s book, Brief Answers to the Big Questions, humans have created unlimited paths in which we can take to the future. “We might descend into a state of brutalism and barbarity” (Hawking, 154). The path that we will take is so unsure that our only source of understanding can be discreetly found in asking questions. “The idea that time is ticking or even running out for the human race, realistic or alarmist?” (146) “How will we develop in science and technology over the next millennium?” (154). I believe that our questions are a showing of understanding, but also the show of the curiosity that we can behold. We understand the need for change or caution, but we are also curious about how to reach that state. “We are, by nature, explorers. Motivated by curiosity” (151). So right now, the primary goal is to find answers.

The first question we might all ask ourselves is, how will we stop global warming? A popular conversation holder and news talk. Well firstly, all of us cause global warming. “We want cars, travel and a better standard of living. The trouble is, by the time people realize what is happening, it may be too late” (147). The danger we are facing is that global warming might become more self-sustaining if it hasn’t already. The melting of our Arctic and Antarctic polar ice caps reduces a fraction of solar energy reflected into space, then increasing the temperature. After that, the rise of sea temperature may trigger the release of large quantities of carbon dioxide. These two effects could make our climate very similar to Venus: “boiling hot and raining sulphuric acid.” (150) Therefore, human life would be unsustainable. To get out of that happening, we need to cut carbon emissions now and go beyond the Kyoto protocol. We have the technology; our next step is gaining the political will, to do it. Before, when we reached a similar crisis in our history, there was somewhere else that we could colonize. Like when Columbus discovered the new world in 1492. However, now there isn’t a new world, “No Utopia around the corner” (150). We have nowhere to go so we need to save what we have now. Our old strategies won’t work now.

The biggest obstacle we are facing now is  most likely nuclear war. It has been known as the greatest threat to humanity for a long time. Russia and the United States haven’t been trigger-happy for a long time, but what if there is an accident or a terrorist gets a hold of these weapons? The risk builds up the more countries all obtain these weapons. Right now even after the cold war, there are still enough nuclear weapons to wipe us out completely, several times. The only connected topic of discussion to this problem is leaving earth. Stephen says “spreading out may be the only way of saving us from ourselves” (151). Since if we stay, we can risk being annihilated.

Another topic of discussion is DNA and genes. DNA has been a big topic of improvement to help grow toward solving global problems. “I think the human race and its DNA, will increase its complexity quite rapidly. In a way, the human race needs to improve its mental and physical qualities if it is to deal with the increasingly complex world around it and meet new challenges” (160-161). The building of our world at this moment has thrown us overboard with flowing ideas that exceed our knowledge of science and technology. In the scientific world, scientists want to be able to reach heights simply too difficult for the average human. Our solution? Genetic engineering. It could help us generate humans capable of things like space travel.

As time goes on, how will we develop in science and technology over the next millennium? Nowadays, scientists are focused on finding a single theory that can single out the infinite amount of closed loops in space and time. Which is when we can unify the quantum theory, that connects with Einstein’s general relativity, which will help us achieve a complete theory of the fundamental laws of the universe. The most crucial question is, how realistic this goal is. According to different scientists including Hawking, we are relatively close to reaching our target. It will be hard to achieve it of course, given the amount of work that has to be put into understanding our universe. However, it is evident that the most important developments will be during this millennium. “Our present world order has a future, but it will be very different.” (162)

July 1945 was when the world’s first atomic bomb had exploded. “’We knew the world would not be the same. A few people laughed, a few people cried, most people were silent”. (143) This quote is a perfect representation of the human reaction. Some of us have come to a state so unknown that we don’t understand how to react. Are we happy? Frustrated? It’s difficult to know what to feel. You might be wondering; can we help?  “The earth is becoming too small for us” (147) “We have presented our planet with the gift of climate change.” Rising temperatures, reduction of the polar ice caps, deforestation, over-population, disease, war, famine, lack of water, the list goes on and on. If you want to save your beautiful planet, take action against these terrible aspects that are tearing down our world by the second. Recently in science class, we watched a video called The Pale Blue Dot. It talked about a picture a spacecraft had captured 3.7 billion miles away. The picture showed earth, but not as the large home we know to live on but as small as a blue dot. Our once seemingly large home, in the entirety of the universe, looked nothing more than a speck floating in the cosmos. “That’s here, that’s home. That’s us, on it, everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you’ve heard of, and every human being there ever was.” (3:15) This video opened my eyes. I knew the earth was unbelievably tiny compared to space and our milky way, but little did I know how small it was. Try to wrap your head around it. Everything that had happened since the beginning of time on earth had occurred on a little blue speck. Every war fought, was worth nothing looking from the outside. It may seem like we are worthless, how as we live, the cycle of life continues, with or without us, how even the greatest legacies will not be heard of in a billion years.

It’s confusing really; I’m telling you to save our planet. However, what for? It seems it doesn’t do anything for a tiny blue dot in space. Even though we are small, even though it looks like we aren’t worthy, The Pale Blue Dot we are living on is the only earth known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to where our species can migrate.” It is unimaginable how value able our home is. The experiences we’ve created, the different animals and species we live among, and the amazing sites we have the pleasure of observing. We are so special. Our planet. Us. We need to take care of us. “The earth is under so much threat from so many areas that it is difficult for me to be positive” (147) but like it or not, right now, the earth is where we take our stand.  So let’s grow from our history, learn from our past, take ideas of the present, to make sure that our future, is one that will make this blue dot, the best home it ever was not only for humans but for all living creatures on our magnificent planet.

Add all of these different concepts I’ve listed above together, chaos. Then add them along with the completed theories and solutions, almost impossible in the near future. It’s going to be hard to add up to a perfect world. However, everyone can do little things to help save our planet. So let’s do it, willingly and together.

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JianBing in Peking

This year for one day I am going to be learning how to make jianbing. I chose this activity because I have always heard about how delicious Jianbing is and how the process is very interesting. I wanted to pick an activity where I would learn something new, and have a great time! 🙂 One part of one day is first doing the activity; the second part is creating a project to exhibit something summarising your work. In my group, we decided to create a video showing how jianbing is made (like a Tasty video from BuzzFeed) and the process of us attempting to make jianbing ourselves.

Wondering what a BuzzFeed Tasty video looks like? Check out the link!

I learned how to make JianBing; when to add which ingredients and the different strategies of how to flip and fold. One of the challenges we faced in creating our final project was that our camera battery kept running out, even though it was challenging it helped us pick out the most critical times to film, so we did not have any extra, unneeded videos. Fortunately, our footage came out, and I think it was the most substantial part of our project. In the end, I think that One day is essential because it allows students to have a power-through day of learning and project making about something that interests them.

 

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August 25th, 1939

My troops and I

Our leader Stalin, who made many changes in out culture

 

Today is August 25th, 1939. Many wars have been fought, and many lives have been taken. Finally, our revolution has, in my eyes, ended. We have a new ruler, Stalin. He is a scary man, but some of his visions have shown potential in helping the situation of my family and others. I am learning to be happy with him controlling my country. I have grown immensely in the last 34 years, not only in age but in wisdom. During the revolution, the most recurring change belonged to our different leaders. From the Tsar, Lenin, and all the way to Stalin. I believe the leaders that have controlled this country have helped bring us where we are today. Many more changes have happened, change in religion, education, even in the arts. Many rules regarding these three things have also either changed or have become stricter. Not all has changed though, I am still a soldier. The peasants don’t have much opportunity to become of higher status, this is still a concept I believe the state can further improve on. However, now I begin to wonder, was this revolution worth it? Was all my effort worth this outcome? I don’t think the revolution helped bring us to where we wanted to be. I still think there are things we have to improve. Nevertheless, even though it may not seem like it, I believe the revolution was still necessary. It raised awareness of our rights as civilians, and It helped stir ideas of our ideal future. The revolution made a change in the minds of the Russian people. That, I think, is the best change, impact, and influence, of our revolution. Therefore, it was worth it.

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The Pale Blue Dot

The Pale Blue Dot video had a more significant impact on me than the Hubble Deep Field video.  In 1990, NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft captured a picture of Earth Deep into space, approximately 3.7 billion miles away. Through, our home appeared not as a giant world that we see it as, but as small as a blue dot. Our once seemingly large home, in the entirety of the universe, is nothing more than a speck floating in the cosmos. “That’s here, that’s home. That’s us, on it, everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you’ve heard of, and every human being there ever was” This video opened my eyes. I knew the earth was unbelievably tiny compared to space and our milky way, but little did I know how small it was. I keep thinking about what was said in the video. How everything that had happened since the beginning of time on earth, had happened on a little blue speck. Every war fought, was worth nothing looking from the outside. Every time I try to imagine a big event that took place here on earth, I see space. Quiet, disrupted, and calm. It may seem like we are worthless, how as we live, the cycle of life continues, with or without us, how even the greatest legacies will not be heard of in a billion years. It’s confusing really; we have been directed to the idea of saving our planet. However, what for? It seems it doesn’t do anything except for a tiny blue dot in space. Even though we are small, even though it looks like we aren’t worthy, The Pale Blue Dot we are living on is the only earth known so far to “harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to where our species can migrate.” It is unimaginable how value able our home is. The experiences we’ve created, the different animals and species we live among, and the amazing sites we have the pleasure of observing. We are so special. Our planet. Us. We need to take care of us. In the end,  “Like it or not, for the moment, the earth is where we take our stand.” So let’s grow from our history, learn from our past, take ideas of the present, to make sure that our future, is one that will make this blue dot, the best home it ever was not only for humans but for all living creatures on our magnificent planet.

“Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space” – Carl Sagan

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What Builds Character

For my multimedia post this month I have created a multimedia quiz (co-edited by Buzzfeed workers), based off of the incredible novel The Fault in Our Stars, written by John Green. The story is based on cancer patients and survivors. In the quiz, each question and answer has been designed by specific evidence found in the story. In they quiz! each answer plays an important role in the build-up of each character.

But don’t click on the link yet! Keep reading to see how I put it all together!

 

The first question “What is your day-to-day fit?” is specific to the way the characters were described to dress in the story. For example, Hazel was described to wear old jeans and a colorful t-shirt.

The next question described the main theme in the book about death. All characters had an input on what their perspective was on it. For example, Augustus was slightly afraid of it, anxious about achieving something before dying. As he says “I fear oblivion” (p,12).

The third question revolves around a specific event that took place in the story when a character, Issac, got dumped by his long-time girlfriend. Augustus, being the supportive friend he is, allowed him to break his old basketball trophies to help him relieve the stress.

The fourth question Is based on the general life of the characters. A supporting character, Lidewij Vliegenthart has to take care of her lazy boss.

The fifth question is about the mood of the characters. There is a famous moment in the movie and in the book where Augustus asks Hazel how she’s feeling, and she replies “Okay.”

The sixth question is probably the most important as is concludes the characterization of each character. Two of the most important characters in the story are Hazel and Augustus. Throughout the book, you get introduced to their true personalities. We find Hazel to be a Smart and Caring character. You understand that she cares about the people around her when she explains her worry that she is like a “grenade waiting to explode.” (p, 200) She is mainly concerned with protecting those around her from the pain of her death. We understand how unbelievably smart she is when it’s explained that she began university two years early due to her high academic level. Augustus is an Empathetic and selfless character. After him and Hazel become a couple he acts selflessly when he sacrifices his wish from “The Genie Foundation” to take Hazel to Amsterdam.

The final question ends off the quiz asking what the characters look for in a partner. As the story involves many different relationships between all characters, I thought it was important to include this kind of question. To give an example, Lidewij Vliegenthart was living a tiring life taking care of her ungrateful boss Peter, so she left and found a more mature and loving boyfriend.

Now to find out what character you most resemble with go check out my quiz!

https://www.buzzfeed.com/denoguven/what-fault-in-our-stars-characters-are-you-most-li-3ootw

 

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Circle Of Life

The Fault in Our Stars is an impacting novel written by award-winning author John Green. The story is based on cancer patients and survivors. In particular, Hazel (a cancer patient), and Augustus (a cancer survivor) fall in love and embark on an exciting journey with events like traveling to Amsterdam, and more. As the story progresses you begin noticing a deeper meaning to what the story is about. The characters in The Fault in Our Stars start to confront the issue of dying on a daily basis. They try to live by attending a support group, “Living our best lives today” (Green, 13) they say. Every action, relationship, and experience is cast in the shadow of their impending mortalities. The theme of life and death especially unfolds through Hazel’s relationship with Augustus as you begin to realize the circle of life.

It is no mistake that Hazel first forms a bond with Augustus through a dialog about death and oblivion during a conversation in their support group. It all begins when Augustus starts off an intense discussion by saying, “I fear oblivion” (p,12). A profound statement that the group has a hard time building on until Hazel raises her voice and begins a speech on her thoughts. “There will come a time when all of us are dead” (p,13) she says. “There will come a time when there are no human beings remaining to remember that anyone ever existed that our species ever did anything…Maybe that time is coming soon maybe it’s a million years away, but even if we survive the collapse of our sun, we will not survive forever… Moreover, if the inevitability of human obviation worries you, I encourage you to ignore it.” (p, 13). At this moment characters begin experimenting with different ideas about death, and oblivion. It causes them to realize the idea that the Lion King has been singing to us the whole time, “It’s the circle of life!”.

Hazel and Augustus’s concerns about death further develop towards the middle of the book. Like before, Augustus is still afraid of fading into oblivion after he dies, that his life will be meaningless, and nobody will remember him once he is gone. On the other hand, Hazel views death as an event that will severely damage those around her—like she is a “grenade waiting to explode.” (p, 200) She is mainly concerned with protecting those around her from the pain of her death. This worry causes her to distance herself from her peers and family, which limits her to do the things normal teenagers do.

As their relationship grows Hazel and Augustus come to terms with their impermanence. Augustus can realize his one significant legacy by sacrificing his wish from “The Genie Foundation” to take Hazel to Amsterdam. The way I see it, this gives Augustus something he will be remembered by. Within the text, his legacy lives on with Hazel and her parents. On the other hand, Hazel can step out of her isolation and live her life for the first time. When Augustus’ cancer comes back, and he passes away, she is able to experience what it is like to lose someone you love and work through it, because of that she can come to terms with the fact that her family will be able to make it through her death. Hazel finally understands that death is just an event that helps us value life. She writes “without pain, we would not know joy” (p, 294) In Augustus’ eulogy.

We now realize that life is built off of our relationships with others, and the importance and meaning of these relationships can be shown through the pain felt when a loved one dies. At first, Augustus was scared that his relationship with people wasn’t impacting enough, Hazel was afraid to hurt those relationships if she ever passed away. But in the end, both characters realized that it was just simply, the circle of life.

 

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Swallowed by a Simple Wish

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Don’t Judge a Book by it’s Cover

Say You’ll Remember Me is an eye-opening novel written by author Katie McGarry. Say You’ll Remember a story is based off the daughter of a governor, and a boy fresh out of what you could call Juve. Don’t be fooled, this boy didn’t actually commit the crime he was arrested for. As the story progresses, characters Ellison Monroe (Elle) and Hendrix Pierce (Drix)fall into a path similar to Romeo and Juliet. Don’t judge a book by its cover, is a big take away from the story.

 

As the story begins, Elle’s parents judge Drix and highly discourage any romance between Elle and him. As they think Drix is a dangerous criminal. Elle was blindly introduced to Drix, without knowing he was freshly out of Juve. She was able to see the pure, loving side of him before being introduced to his “fake” side. As the book progresses Elle constantly defends Drix trying to prove to her parents that he is better inside than what he is known for. “He saved me” (83) Elle’s first struggle to defend him. “Drix helped me. Some guys were harassing me, and he stepped in to help” (83). Elle’s parents still stay hesitant, “Tell me the truth did more happen between you and Mr. Pierce?” (100). “When we are at events, we’d like you to keep a polite distance” (164). Elle’s parents cannot look past the title Drix is known for.

 

Towards the end of the book, characters learn to embrace the idea of not judging people. An event takes place where both parents have to push through the thought of losing their campaign in order to clear Drix’s name as he turns out not being guilty of the crime people thought he committed. “Make the phone call” (421) Elle urges her father to clear Drix’s name. “You save the greater good when you save one person because then everyone realizes their individual life means.” (450) When Elle’s parents are able to clear his name, they finally realize his charming personality and accept his strengths, faults, and all that goes with that. They learn that they were wrong to first judge him for his background. Just Like the characters in Say You’ll Remember Me, the movie Easy A introduces a character (Olive) who gets hundreds of bad rumors spread about her around her school. In the end, both Drix (Say You’ll Remember Me) and Olive (Easy A) clear themselves and prove their beautiful personalities.

 

Say You’ll Remember Me teaches us that what really matters is on the inside. This is a lesson everyone can learn as they grow. No matter what age. There is an event that can teach you to have this kind of sympathy. It’s not that you only learn it once, but it’s that you can grow of it. It’s not that you don’t have sympathy. It is that you can strengthen it. Elle’s parents, Mr. & Mrs. Monroe learn to strengthen their sympathy and compassion, the theme in the book Say You’ll Remember me has an important lesson linked to it that not only affects you while reading the book but one that stays linked to you after you finish reading the book. Not judging people is hard. But it helps people, helps them embrace an open mindset.

 

 

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InStyle Magazine Cover – Ellison Monroe

This is a magazine cover resembling the external conflict in the novel Say You’ll remember me written by award-winning author Katie McGarry. In the story, the main characters Elle and Drix fall in love, but soon a conflict arises when Elle’s high-status parents don’t want her to be romantically involved with Drix. While Elle’s father is campaigning to be part of the U.S Senate, her whole family gets a lot of press, from reporters, interviewers, etc. Elle is a blond haired beauty in the book, it is also described that she wore a dark blue dress to an event taken place in the story. This is why there is a blond girl (Ava) on the cover wearing a blue dress. Throughout the book it was constantly mentioned that news reporters saw Elle as a fashion icon, that is why I chose to put her on the cover of Instyle magazine. Finally, for the text, I used the colors pink and black because Instyle magazine mostly uses those two colors.

 

 

 

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