Aliens on the Moon?

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  • I think that future mission of NASA in our solar system should be directed to Jupiter’s moon – Europa.



  • “Voytek said her money is still on Europa for potential life, versus Enceladus(one of Saturn’s other moons) since Europa is much older and any potential life there has had more time to emerge.” (Newsela)
  • “The finding (in Europa) is raising hopes for signs of life outside Earth.” (Newsela)
  • “Scientists suspect that warm, liquid water lives under Europa’s thick ice shell. Given that, this moon is considered a “top candidate” by NASA for life on another world in our solar system. “(Newsela)



  • It is clear that we should direct further missions of our solar system and the universe, in general, towards the exploration of extra-terrestrial life. Throughout human history, communication was the key to improvement. For example, the evolution of homo-sapiens were based on the communication with other human species. It would be of great benefit if we have contact with alien species not only to learn from them, but to learn them. Physics and Chemistry are the same on every planet, but biology is different in every environment. According to the evidence listed above, Europa, is considered the top candidate of alien life in our solar system and it would be absolutely foolish not to give the top candidate a try. In addition, Europa had existed long before Enceladus, so if there really is life on both satellites (the two satellites are extremely similar), Europa’s life form should be more evolved than Enceladus’. Therefore, I think it is the most reasonable to direct NASA’s focus on a Mission finding life on Europa.
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Einstein in a nutshell

I chose to make a documentary for Albert Einstein because I felt that words combined with pictures are the best way to capture people’s attention.

Einstein is known as an aloof scientist, a genius in mathematics and science and a revolutionary figure towards modern physics. We plainly know him as the person who discovered the theories of relativity, E=MC^2 and a pioneer of quantum mechanics. But, If I ask anyone on the streets, no one will know a thing about Einstein’s life.

I want to talk about the success of Albert Einstein as a physicist. To see this, you would only have to understand the childhood of this uncanny genius.

Einstein was born in Ulm of the German empire in 1879. He was raised in a family of engineers and unstable salesmen. At the age of 8, he went to the Luitpold Gymnasium. He hated the systematic, lecture-based teaching style. His teachers deemed him to be “a distraction to the class even when sitting quietly in the back of the room”.  Despite his contempt for this education system, he was still the best in terms of grades in Math and Physics in his class, on a side note, when he graduated, there was a mysterious student that had better score the Einstein, but his name is now long lost.

There is a misconception that Einstein was failing math when he was young. Instead, he had the best of grades. In fact, Einstein applied to college twice. The first time, he passed the test only for math and physics and was advised to finish high school first. When he finally got into Zurich Polytechnic is Switzerland, he was still failing in both biology and French.

His few years in Zurich Polytechnic reflected him as a person. He skipped many classes he claimed useless and to the few classes he went, he never followed any commands from teachers. He hated the systematic way teaching as well as, in his opinion, the overly structured learning. He often threw away templates for scientific experiments and would plan them himself. In fact, he once caused an explosion from doing an experiment in the science lab.


At about the same time, he also decided to give up his German citizenship to avoid joining the military. In addition, he renounced his faith in Judaism. He also became a person who was not subject to any kind of control from the government. This period of time shaped who he became; a person that believed that his on thoughts should not be largely influenced nor controlled by other people. But it was this impudent, arrogant and lazy person who became one of the most brilliant people in human history. Although this is a brief introduction of him, it shows the path he was taking. He was a person who doubted everything. He doubted established knowledge, authority and common sense and that’s what made him into the best scientist the world has ever seen.


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How Big is “Big”

The Hubble Deep Field video made a bigger impact on me compared to the Pale Blue Dot.

In the Hubble Deep Field video, the person said: “Over ten thousand galaxies were in this picture, every single dot, smudge or smear is an entire galaxy and each one of these dots has millions and millions of stars. Each star has the possibility of planets orbiting it. Each one with the possibility of a civilization.”
In Contrast the Pale blue dot says: “The earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Thick of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot” and, “Like it or not, for the moment, the earth is where we make our stand.

The image that was taken by the Hubble space telescope was revolutionary to our understanding of our universe. The Hubble Deep Field video gives us hope that there are civilizations out there like us and we will be able to be in contact one day. To me, the video is a motivation for us to keep on working hard to decipher the secret of our universe.
On the other hand, the Pale blue dot constantly reminds us of how insignificant we are. Everyone works hard just to become “momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.” It gives us the idea that we are insignificant no matter how hard we work, so why work at all? In addition, the videos imply that we are just a part of a small dot, so, we will not be able to contact extra-terrestrial, nor will we be able to understand the universe better.
I believe in working hard and being in a bigger part of something. So, The Hubble Deep Field video made a bigger impact on me

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Aquatic Unit Final Post

Throughout the last month, I chose to do the Swimming unit for PE. Initially, I chose that I wanted to improve on my speed. But, I decided that I should focus more on technique. Because without technique nothing effective would happen. I will write a little bit of what I did in the past month or so.

I used to hate swimming. The feeling of suffocating and the overwhelming trainings make me want to faint. However, since I was very little, I have been encouraged by my parents to continue swimming because it gives my body a better sense of exercise.

The goals I set for this unit is to work on my freestyle and breaststroke speed. I wanted to work on these because I always feel like my swimming team friends are so much faster and I wanted to catch up. However, my coach told me that the best way to focus on speed is to focus on technique. So we focused on my strokes and body posture while I was swimming. For example, I used to swim with a flat elbow. Now, I know it is easier to swim with a high elbow and I go a bit faster. Overall, It was only a few short lessons for me, it was a huge benefit and I improved my swimming by a lot.

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The “Couple” to Success – Determination and Compassion

(Loup in the west of China. Taken in 2010)

I chose to make a magazine cover for this month’s multimedia post for the book “Angela’s Ashes” by Frank McCourt.

I thought this picture would be the most accurate to illustrate the desperate situations of Frankie. This original picture of me was taken in 2010 when I went to visit the rural, mountainous west of China. In the background, the half cracked white board is full with dusty white characters and scratches. The wooden table also looks moist, rotten, and old and the yellow, dirty walls looks like skin scarred by bad acne. This implies a bad environment where basic needs are not fulfilled.

“My father is pulling on his trousers over his shirt, no jacket, shorts, no socks on this bitter day.” (McCourt, 17) This quotes directly illustrates the poverty of the McCourt family from the perspective of a child. I also wrote the sentence “From uneducated to refined” on the magazine because Frankie was a boy living in extreme poverty, his family barely made enough money for him to have a normal education! But, with determination and compassion, he got out of Ireland and made it to the United States. This also explains “Fight to succeed” as a title on top of the magazine.

Finally, I used the Time Magazine cover because I thought that he was a truly influential figure. Our childhood was nothing compared to his; he had nothing to eat and nowhere to live. But, he still managed to become one of the most famous writers in the 20th century.

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With Hunger, Disease and Poverty

In the memoir, Angela’s Ashes, by Frank McCourt, Frankie is a little boy who is raised up in a poor and uneducated family in Ireland. During his childhood, he was living in the worst circumstances. His basic needs, such as, shelter, food and security, were not guaranteed. Most children in the 20th and 21st century assume that our basic physiological needs, Maslow’s hierarchy’s lowest rung, will be guaranteed automatically. However, this was a big struggle for Frankie and his family. Frankie and his family lived in extreme poverty and survival was not assured. The reality of his situation was driven home when his siblings died from tuberculosis. Later in the story, his father went off to war and was never seen again which leaves him alone with his mother and two siblings. In this difficult period of time, Frankie and his family suffer from hunger, poverty and discrimination. As a result of these desperate living conditions, Frankie becomes determined to move out of Ireland to the United States to earn money for his family. In novels such as Angela’s Ashes, conflict plays a major role in moving the plot forward. During this difficult upbringing, Frankie had many different conflicts, which included, his mom’s conflict with his dad, the family’s conflict with the natural elements and finally, Frankie’s conflict within himself.


One major external conflict, which existed throughout the novel, which was instrumental in forming the tone and direction of the plot was character versus character. A good example of this type of conflict was the conflict between Frankie’s mom and dad. Frankie’s dad was a drunk. He would spend all the family’s money which he earned from his jobs to go to bars and drinking alcohol. He left absolutely no money for the wellbeing and education of his children. Frankie’s mother, Angela, would always blame his selfishness for the death and starvation of their children. An example of this conflict would be, “My brothers are dead, and my sister is dead, and I wonder if they died for Ireland or the Faith. Dad says they were too young to die for anything.  Mam says it was disease and starvation and him never having a job.” (McCourt, 113). This quote reveals how Angela perceives Frankie’s dad’s as irresponsibility and be unable to satisfy his family’s basic needs. These behaviours and Frankie’s dad’s attitude enrages Angela and it often ends up in a series of conflicts. This dysfunctional relationship resulted in constant conflict and tension between these characters. This is a major conflict which has a significant impact to the development of the plot.  This conflict is what motivates Frankie to grow up quickly, move out of Ireland and find a successful career.


A second major external conflict in the novel “Angela’s Ashes” was character versus nature. The McCourt family not only struggled against the lack of food and money, they also experienced a long struggle with nature. Nature in this novel was a relentless foe who showed no favourites and created misery for everybody. “Mam tells us there was a terrible flood, that the rain came down the lane and poured in under our door…There was a sickening stink in the kitchen. She thinks we should stay upstairs as long as there is rain…we can go downstairs in the springtime if there is any sign of dryness.” (118). Clearly the desperate living conditions created by the winter rains and flooded homes proved to be a huge challenge for the family. Not only did they have to fight for survival against starvation, but they were also forced to fight for survival against the elements of winter. Not everyone in the McCourt was so lucky to survive. Nature, in the form of water and bad water, created challenges, which forced the McCourt family to make difficult decisions. These decisions fuelled the direction of the plot and the destiny of young Frankie.


A third and finally conflict, a conflict which is internal and most abstract, would be character versus himself. Life is filled with decisions that people have to make. These decisions require that the individual weighs their options. In Angela’s Ashes, the McCourt family’s desperate situation left Frankie hungry all the time. These conditions set the stage for the next conflict. In the novel, Frankie delivers food to earn some extra money for his family. He faces a dilemma when he was delivering. “The second potato melts in my mouth and I’ll have to try another bit of cabbage, another morsel of bacon. There isn’t much left now, and he’ll get very suspicious, so I might as well finish off the rest.” (84) As a result of his constant hunger, Frankie is faced with an inner conflict which tested his integrity. Should he take the food, or shouldn’t he? Was his integrity going to be compromised by his difficult living conditions? Hunger won out during this inner struggle and Frankie made the decision to take the food. Although he knew it was morally incorrect to do this, he needed to survive. This decision helped us realise that Frankie was just a normal human being who was trying to survive through these difficult times. This novel is about Frankie’s journey through a difficult period of his life. Understanding these inner conflicts help us understand why he did what he did and how desperation can be a huge motivating force when a person is required to make decisions in their lives.


I have personal connection to the conflict described above. Although I am not as poor and unfortunate as Frankie, I also have inner struggles about certain things. A classic example would be the story between me and video games. In the sixth grade, I was completely addicted to video games. It was a drug that I could not get rid of. When I got introduced to video games, I became lazy and I started to lack to motive to study hard, just like the Chinese when opium was brought in from the British. I earned untypical low grades and started to find it hard to catch up in class. I started to feel like there were more pressure that was put on me from my parents and peers. At this point, I knew I had different paths to choose from. One was to continue to slack, and the other was to become a completely different person. Initially, I couldn’t make up my mind. It was hard to abstain completely from video games. So, I decided to continue my usual routine. I chose the wrong path; the craving of pleasure overcame the hardworking part of me during this struggle. Both Frankie and I made stupid mistakes because we are human beings. It was a hard decision because I wanted to become a hardworking person, but, at the same time, video games were just as appealing. This was one situation where I made the wrong choice.


In conclusion, conflict is a major literary element which allows the author to create tension within their writing. Angela’s ashes, written by Frank McCourt was no exception. In this novel, the external conflict of character versus character and character versus nature and the internal conflicts, character versus himself pushed the plot forward and put forth a sad, depressing tone. These conflicts were skilfully developed by the author to illustrate his miserable childhood and the motivations for his later success in life. Frankie’s determination and compassion led his life to be a better one.

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Smelly boxers!

boxer rebellion documentary .

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Swimming with technique

I chose this swimming unit because of many reasons. Firstly, my parents always told me that swimming is a exercise for the whole body. Secondly, I really want to improve my swimming technique because I want to catch up with my friends who love to swim. Finally, many of my friends chose this unit. Three things I learnt so far might be swimming freestyle with a high elbow, swimming with a longer stroke, and I refined by breathing. I hope to be a better swimmer by improving my technique and speed.

Based on the video, I decided I had to work on my strokes because it was really short and ugly. Looking at my film, I noticed that I needed to focus more on technique than speed first. My coach and I decided that I should swim a distance that is short first to change my actions, than slowly increase the distance. I would like to focus on my technique, because with more technique, there will be more speed and distance.

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Zoo Wolf

Our biggest challenge was connecting the jaw to the body of the wolf. It was hard to connect with stability while allowing the motor to work at the same time. Also, we weren’t allowed to use hot glue directly to stick the components together. Eventually, we figured that we could used tape to isolate the glue from the components.

Our biggest success was making the body. In the end, the jaw turned up to look great and the body colour was really realistic. I also like the eyes, because it looks something that would show up in a cartoon TV show.

One thing I would like to change if I had time would be to make the body more realistic. In the beginning, we used four little boxes to make the body. But, it looks dull and rectangular. So, I think that we should have made the body more sphere like.



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Social issue poetry – Gun Control

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