Where in our solar system should NASA focus future missions?

Claim: NASA should focus future missions on a further discovery of Europa and Enceladus.

Evidence: It would be a big step to learning if creatures could live on Enceladus, it does have the right environment to hold live creatures. Cassini found the hydrogen during a flyby of Enceladus in 2015. Europa is much older compared to Enceladus, if there are living creatures on it, it would have had more time to emerge. A spacecraft named Europa Clipper will visit Europa sometime in the 2020s and tell us more about life that might be there.

Reasoning: If life outside of Earth was discovered it would be a huge leap in astronomy and science itself. NASA already has Cassini–which was launched in 1997–circling Enceladus and has found hydrogen during a flyby, hydrogen can be found in water. Water is the source of life, if we already know for sure Enceladus is able to hold live creatures, further research should be done on it. Europa is ice moon orbiting Jupiter, it too might have water vapor spewing out into space. Currently, a spacecraft by the name of Europa Clipper is being built and will be expected to visit Europa sometime in the 2020s. Since Europa has the conditions to hold live creatures and they have had time to develop. A further discovery of Europa would also bring science a great leap.

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To Restore or To Put Our Lives on The Line?

 

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The health and well-being of one microscopic creature may determine the life of another, another one that is bigger. This ripple effect carries on until it reaches creatures on the top of the food chain, us, humans. This connects to the book Seas And Oceans by Neil Champion. The theme of this book is the food chain and the ripple effect that one action has.

“Life in the ocean is robust and adaptable, but it is not indestructible.” (Champion, p14). The first couple things we think of when the word ‘ocean’ comes to mind are probably the warm beaches, beautiful aquamarine colored waters and all the majestic creatures of the ocean. However, that isn’t always the case. Many of our once beautiful waters are tainted by our actions and our waste. With that being said, there should be more effort that needs to be put into this specific area. Yet, the amount of effort we put in towards restoring and maintaining the habitat is truly disappointing. This does not mean that the effort is not appreciated, we state that we are smarter, better, somehow the best out of all the other animals. If that really is the case, I believe we, the best out of the best, can do better than what we currently are.

We should all know about the food chain. An easy way to explain what the food chain is would be saying that the food chain is a type of chain reaction. The prey gets eaten by the predator, and the predator then becomes another animal’s prey. Since we are on top of the food chain, technically speaking, we do not have a predator speeding after us. However, that does not mean we are invincible. “The Mediterranean Sea, the North Sea, and the North Atlantic have all been overfished for generations, and we are now seeing the consequences.” (p24). One problem with overfishing is that it causes the once balanced food chain to change and lose its balance. If one specific type of fish is getting consumed at a rate higher than it is born, the number of its prey will flourish while its predators will most likely starve and die. As society develops, overfishing is not the only problem we have to worry about. Studies show that plastic can be found in human waste. The garbage and toxic waste we release are coming back to us. We all know how long it takes for plastic to decompose, raging from plastic that decomposes in just 5 years to those that will never decompose. Think about having such things inside your body. Doesn’t that thought frighten you?

The book Seas And Oceans is a book that gives you a second thought about whether your actions are correct or not. I’m I doing the right thing when I’m about to throw garbage on the floor? Is it correct to not bring a shopping bag and reduce the amount of plastic bags used? It is not because we are on top of the food chain so we can pollute and harm the ones on the bottom. It is because we are on top of the food chain so we have the duty and responsibility to protect and environment. With great power, comes great responsibility.

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Which video had more of an impact on you – The Pale Blue Dot or The Hubble Deep Field?

Claim: Which video had more of an impact on you – The Pale Blue Dot or The Hubble Deep Field?

Evidence: The video The Pale Blue Dot shows an image of a small blue dot and explains that the dot is Earth. It says that everyone you know or heard of comes from the small blue dot. Every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization are located on a dot that cannot be smaller. Every saint and sinner lived on the pale blue dot. All the generals and emperors and the people they killed, the prices they paid, to become momentary masters of a fraction of a blue dot.

Reasoning: Compared to The Hubble Deep Field, The Pale Blue Dot had more impact on me since it helped me visualize how small we are compared to the universe using words. It states that all the people we have ever known lived here, it really is amazing how we take all sorts of history lessons and think we have some of the longest histories. While all of us in the present and past have lived on a tiny blue dot. Thinking about all the emperors and generals that thought there were more superior than the others, their imagined self-importance. We think we are in a privileged position but all the thoughts and even our existence are challenged by a pale blue dot.

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Scared From the Past, Present, and Future

There have been many controversies on the meaning of life. Many say there is no meaning to life, others say it is to live every day to the fullest. Whatever the reason, there is no way life roles out the way you want it to. The book Checkers by John Marsden is a good example of discussing the predicaments in life. The theme of the book is the struggles of life and others who are also experiencing the pain you do. The book is written from the perspective of an anonymous girl who volunteered for a psych hospital. Her life suddenly changes when her beloved dog Checkers was taken away from her.

A phrase we would often hear is “When life gives you lemons, squeeze them into a lemonade.” However, life is not a TV drama, life is much harder. From that farmer working at 4 am to that businessman who finally got a good night sleep after 3 days. Who is not struggling to survive? The main character we are discussing today is also a victim of life. “I’m here because I killed my dog.” (John Marsden P102). I do not know what a “dog” means to you. As a dog owner myself, my dog acts like a ray of sunshine. He gives off warmth to my body and comfort for my soul. I am sure she felt the same. If it was for us to decide, who would kill that only beam of sun in our soul? Yet, life takes a turn when you least expect it, it is not something you can control or decide for yourself. The grief and anguish she had to go through were unbearable, it still is. When life gave her lemons, she stuffed them inside her belly and refused to talk any more about it. That does not mean she has forgiven herself for it, she is just too scared to be vulnerable and to realize what she has done.

In such a judgmental society, no one is willing to take their masks off, those who do are the bravest of us all. Take gender as an example, someone who is bisexual would never make an announcement talking about their gender. Take a moment to think about a “Daniel” that you know yourself. How is he like? The boy Daniel in Checkers I assume is completely different from the one you may know. He is in fact also a volunteer for the psych hospital. “In a way, though, Daniel seems the most crazy.” (P39). Daniel is not what we would call “Psychol”. He just has habits that we may not understand. Even when we cannot understand one’s habits, we still need to learn to accept it and accept who they are. Daniel is obsessed with being clean and spends hours in the shower. He is also attracted to his own gender which is something we should learn to have more respect for. He did not choose to be what he is like. He may have to face millions of unfriendly eyes throughout his life and he is not responsible for making that happen. It is life that planned it out for him.

“Guess none of us is happy, no matter how much we pretend, or we wouldn’t be here.” (P59). Ignore the unfriendly looks others give you. Learn to appreciate someone for their efforts because they have issues in their life that you may not know about. When one is not talking about the things troubling them, give them comfort, the problems probably left a scar on them, but that does not mean you cannot heal it using the power of love and empathy. You have more potential and power than you imagine. I am telling you this right now because more people need to know about the power hidden inside them. You have the option to do good with your power or to hurt those who are already scared from the past.

 

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Confidential File for the Psych Hospital

The three characters stood out to me while I read the book Checkers by John Marsden were an anonymous girl, Daniel, and Emine. The book is from the perspective of the anonymous girl. These three characters stood out to me because I can relate to either their personality or their experiences. I myself own a dog. I truly understand the guilt and grief I would experience if an action of mine threatened or ended my dog’s life. A daily cuddle with my dog is crucial and I cannot imagine a day without him.

Daniel is an interesting character. He has a weird sense of humor and a glass heart. A lot of his habits cannot be understood by the other fellows but he follows them all the same. He also has a different gender orientation than the others. Connecting to modern society, people are more open towards gay and lesbian than they used to be. However, many people still feel prejudice towards others that do not think the same as them. Daniel is an interesting character but if he was a non-fictional character, people would probably isolate him.

Emine’s parents, in my opinion, take things to an extreme. They do not allow Emine to have any contact with the opposite gender even decides what she should wear. This caused Emine so feel excluded when she is in school. I can connect this to both my own life and the life of others. Many of my friends do not live in an extremely conservative environment. However, many of them live like puppets tied to a string. The puppeteers are their parents and they live the life that is planned out for them.

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A Walk Through the Boxer Rebellion

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Robot Petting Zoo

Fiona the Parrot

3 Thoughts:

Our biggest obstacle when constructing our parrot was programming. We could not figure out how to connect the sensor to our motor so the beak would not move.

One thing we would change next time is we would put the Arduino somewhere that we could easily get access to. Instead of putting everything inside the head, we could have stuck it somewhere else.

Overall, we think this product was successful because we learned lots of new things while building our parrot. We also got a taste of how hard programming can be.

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Dear Zookeeper

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Unlimited Power?

What would you do if you possessed unlimited power? I would punish the sinned and give incentives to those that deserve to be rewarded. The Fellowship of the Ring is a book by J.R.R. Tolkien that pictures a ring holding unlimited power. The theme of this book is about how absolute power can twist the mind and shape you into a completely different person. Furthermore, this book by J.R.R. Tolkien also reminds you of the importance of friendship and the effects of betrayal.

How can friendship act as a tool against the power of Sauron? This may be the question you have had on your mind. Friendship plays a big role in our community today. Yet, how does it help destroy the unmeasurable power of Sauron? Without the help of friends, Frodo would not have been able to achieve anything. When you lose sight or belief in yourself, you are done for. In this case, take Gandalf as an example, he was there to support the help Frodo whenever he felt insecure or was not sure if he could achieve anything at all. He encouraged Frodo and gave him the confidence to complete the quest. “‘But we needed you. I did not know what to do without you.’” (Tolkien p214). Frodo was not afraid to accept the fact that he was nothing without his teammates. He confessed because he knew that one of the most important factors of completing the quest is to have friends alongside with him. Although Sam Gamgee has always been a minion of Frodo, never has he ever did things that distracted from his single-minded devotion towards Frodo.

The wrong type of friendship can result in betrayal. Some characters, of course, stay devoted, while others were manipulated. Boromir never said or did anything to directly betray the Fellowship. However, his thought of fleeing with the ring was already a sign of betrayal. The Fellowship was supposed to destroy the ring and give up all claim to it. “Frodo looked up. His heart went suddenly cold. He caught the strange gleam in Boromir’s eyes, yet his face was still kind and friendly.”. Boromir was too ambitious, too selfish and too stubborn to accept any opinions that differentiated from his own. On the other hand, no one in the book did anything for greed. If was Sauron and the ring that manipulated the innocent minds. This connects to our society today, too many of us stingy and selfish. Too many of us betray others for what we think we deserve.

One ring to rule them all. One ring that holds superior power. The book The Fellowship of the Ring always reminds me of a phrase: “absolute power corrupts absolutely.”. In my opinion, this phase is able to summarize the whole book. However, alongside this phase, I do think the main theme of the book is how greed and human nature is able to twist the mind and shape you into a completely different person. In the society we live in today, people are stabbing their “friends” in the back every single day. Is it a distortion of humanity or a loss of morality?

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The Beauty of Being Flawed

INTERVIEW APPLICATION FORM

Position Applied for: Most Renowned Hobbit
Name: Frodo Baggins

Mailing Address:                                                    
Frodo.Baggins@theShire.ME
Phone No. N/A
Mobil No.  N/A
Email Id: Frodo.Baggins

Personal Detail:

Your Strengths:

I, Frodo Baggins, possess many traits and characteristics that only few other Hobbits acquire. Before I begin, I would like to mention a few things about my previous life and journey. As both my parents died from an accident, I was adopted by my uncle Bilbo Baggins. My uncle was the ring carrier before me, unfortunately, before long, it was found that the ring had taken over his mind. The ring was then seized from him by Gandalf the Wizard and given to me. Regarding all the harm that the ring has done, I was sent out to Mount Doom in Mordor on a quest to destroy the ring. This heroic action of mine saved not only the Shire Folks (also referred to as the Hobbits) but also the innocent Elves, Dwarfs, Giants and many more. I acknowledge the fact that many Elves, Dwarves, and Hobbits accompanied me during the way, but I contributed to the success. Therefore, I am a courageous, adventurous, determined and selfless Hobbit.

Your Weaknesses:

Although it has been said that I am benevolent and bold, nobody is perfect. And I, of course, have flaws in my personality as well. Truthfully speaking, I could not have accomplished anything without the support of my fellow teammates. I am a very dependent Hobbit and I feel that it is mandatory for folks to assist me in situations like this. I understand that this company would like to offer the position to someone that is more experienced and fully prepared for this duty. However, I would like to state that this position is one that I am qualified to be in. If the company chooses to hire me for “Most Renowned Hobbit” I am certain that I will overcome these challenges and bring myself up onto a higher level.

CITATION

If you were asked to name the most heroic figure, who would it be? Mine would most definitely be Frodo Baggins. The Fellowship of the Ring is the name of his journey and J.R.R. Tolkien is the author. During the quest, he showed many traits and characteristics that many of us crave for. Speaking truthfully, if we were talking about the absolute perfect character in The Fellowship of the Ring, I would suggest it be Sam Gamgee. However, the flaws in Frodo are exactly what makes his unique and distinct from the other characters. 

“‘I should like to save the Shire, if I could – though there have been times when I thought the inhabitants too stupid and dull for words……'” (Tolkien, p61). Frodo may be adventurous, yet, he isn’t confident enough for the quest. Yes, he saved the Shire, but if Gandalf had chosen not to push him to do it, he would have preferred to stay as a happy and affectionate folk. What if he chose not to complete the quest? Imagine a world under control of the ring, what a twisted world that would be.

Whoever bears the ring would possess unlimited power. The ring is like a mirror, luring you into the deepest and darkest corners of your heart. Frodo is a very determined Hobbit, he claims that his soul may never be shaken or moved by any factor. “‘I suppose I must keep the ring and guard it, at least for the present, whatever it may do to me.'” (p60). He thought he could guard it, take control of it. Yet, like Smeagol, he fell for it. However, he should not be responsible for this situation. After all, everyone is selfish and wants the best for themselves. Who wouldn’t want to possess enough power to dominate the world?

We all know toddlers have to be taken care of, let us take my friend’s little brother as an example. He still can’t differentiate right from wrong and is still extremely curious about the world. From folding a piece of paper to hammering a nail to a shed, he wants to take part in everything. In this context, Mr. Frodo is similar to a baby, both curious and dependent at the same time. “‘But we needed you. I did not know what to do without you.'” (p214). As he has stated himself, he felt helpless without the help of Gandalf. On the other hand, this is exactly the personality needed for what had to be achieved. If he was able to do everything by himself, even the title of the book would have no meaning at all.

All in all, completing the quest showed the world the beauty of being flawed. Like Frodo, every single one of us is flawed and will never be perfect. Even so, the book The Fellowship of the Ring is here to remind you that you can achieve great things just by being you. Frodo is a great role model for anyone looking to achieve great things.

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