Harry

"Knowledge is information that you receive, intelligence is how you utilize that knowledge, and experience is how you obtain knowledge." - Harry Cai (Me)

From a Cuban Revolutionist to his son.

Reinier Ruiz, a 23 year old Cuban, who fought alongside Fidel Castro during the revolution. He is a loyal and close friend to Castro, and respects him very much. He also has a family waiting for him after the whole revolution is over. Get a peak into his life in the 3 journals he wrote for his son!

Changes/Continuities:

  • Cuba is very dependent on other countries to support itself (Continuity).
  • Cuba turned into a communist country (Change).
  • Cuba got an extremely good healthcare (Change).

Cuban Revolution Paperized

 

The Cuban Revolution

By Harry

I think that the Cuban Revolution shows that sometimes, whoever replaces the leader after a revolution, isn’t always better. For example, as bad as a leader Batista was, whether or not Fidel was better is up for debate as he made many questionable decisions during his rule. I didn’t really learn anything new, as I think all revolutions follow a pretty straight forward formula, and this one isn’t an exception.

The Unbroken Book Review

Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand, is a book about the life of Louie. It mainly explores the historical “World War 2”, with an overarching theme of “Always keep fighting”. This is because, no matter how tough the challenge, physical or mental, Louie kept fighting on as hard as could.

I really recommend this book because it offers an experience that very few literary non-fiction pieces can. Instead starting off at a low point and climbing his way to the top, like most literary non-fiction characters are, Louie is thrown down to the very bottom, and does everything he can to survive. And instead of fighting for his rights and privilege, Louie is fighting for his life and sanity.

Something I learned from this humanities unit, was that World War 2 was a very traumatizing experience for many who fought it. Not only was it tough during war, but all the mental disorders that come with it afterwards. I also discovered how criminally the Japanese treated their prisoners during the war.

Boxer Rebellion: Good or Bad?

The Boxers deserve their bad reputation. I claim this because they performed violent and unnecessary acts to protest against the increasing foreign influence in China. For example, as stated in a Newsela article, “The Boxers killed more than 230 foreign men, women and children in China. Thousands of Chinese who had converted to Christianity were also killed by the Boxers”. Though you can argue that the deaths of the men and women were justified, the deaths of the children and thousands of Chinese who were victims of the influence is irrefutable proof that the Boxers performed unnecessary acts of violence. Not only that, but some of the motives behind the rebellion are pretty unjustified as well. One of the motives were the floods and droughts that were going on around Shandong province at the time, as stated by an article on visualizingcultures.mit.edu: “…massive floods struck the whole province and destroyed commerce on the Grand Canal…”. The native Chinese took these natural disasters as “Heaven’s wrath” against the increasing foreign influence, and they blamed the foreigners and Chinese Christians, when, in reality, the droughts and floods were completely unrelated to the increase in foreign influence. In the end, the Boxers ended up killing thousands of innocent people who had nothing to do with what they were angry with.

Below is a ThingLink I have created that provides some information on a couple of key locations during the Boxer Rebellion.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Theseus

In Humanities, we had a quick look over Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream first act. We were then tasked with creating a fake social media profile for one of the characters that would be a good representation of their characteristics. I chose Theseus and here is what I have.

Here is a quick CER about the social media profile, and Theseus’ character in general.

In William Shakespeare’s play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, there are many unique characters with their own unique set of traits, and one of the characters, Theseus, is admired even though he is quite unreasonable. I claim the he is admired because both Egeus and Hermia refer to him as a “great duke” and Hermia even puts herself below him in a conversation.

“Happy be Theseus, our renowned duke.” (Egeus, 20).

“I do entreat your grace to pardon me

I know not by what powers

I am made bold

Nor how it may concern my modesty

in such a presence here to plead my thoughts.” (Hermia, 58-61).

I displayed this in the profile by making Demetrius, Hermia, and Egeus, show nothing but respect for Theseus in the conversation on Theseus’ wall. However, despite all his admiration, Theseus isn’t a very good person as he is unreasonable. A good example of his unreasonableness is how he forces Hermia to marry Demetrius.

“In himself he is

But in this kind, wanting your father’s voice,

The other must be held the worthier.” (Theseus, 53-55).

“Either to die the death or to abjure

Forever the society of man.” (Theseus, 65-66).

I displayed this in the social media profile by including this message posted by Theseus.

”You should treat you father like a god, as he was the one who gave you your beauty. Demetrius is the better man if your father says so. If you refuse the marriage you will be executed or forced to live as a nun.”.

All in all, Theseus is very unreasonable, even though he is heavily admired, and his misused authority is a main catalyst for A Midsummer Night’s Dream’s conflict.

 

Am I a Humanist?

In Humanities, we learned about the Renaissance and studied “Humanism” which was a popular belief during that time. I made a poster talking about ideas the belief promoted, and how much I agree with them. Finally, At the bottom, I explain how much of a humanist I am.

If You Break The Rules, Be Prepared For The Consequences To Break You

I’m sure we can all agree that it’s not fun to play against a cheater. When you’re playing a game and someone breaks a rule, it negatively impacts the experience for everyone in some way. Well, A Sound of Thunder, by Ray Bradbury, is about a group of people who are going back in time to hunt down a T-Rex for the sport. There are very specific rules created for the sake of not screwing up the present, but that doesn’t stop the main character, Eckels, from doing it anyway.

In the story A Sound of Thunder, the author believes that rule should not be broken, and that they’re there for a reason. This is demonstrated when the main character, Eckels, completely ignores the rules, and gets punished accordingly. Mr. Travis, the safari guide, explains to Eckels why they must stay on the designated path and why they must not kill anything other than the dinosaur.

“‘…But you, friend, have stepped on all the tigers in that region. By stepping on one single mouse. So the cave man starves. And the cave man, please note, is not just any expendable man, no! He is an entire future nation. From his loins would have sprung ten sons. From their loins one hundred sons, and thus onward to a civilization. Destroy this one man, and you destroy a race, a people, an entire history of life.’” (Bradbury 4).

Even though Mr. Travis straight up tells Eckels the potential crisis he could create by breaking the rules, Eckels still seems to be completely oblivious to all of it when he “Balanced on the narrow Path, [and] aimed his rifle playfully.” (Bradbury 7).

The fact that Eckels doesn’t take the rules seriously is further reinforced when he steps off the path when the T-Rex freaks him out.

“Eckels, not looking back, walked blindly to the edge of the Path, his gun limp in his arms, stepped off the Path, and walked, not knowing it, in the jungle. His feet sank into green moss. “(Bradbury 9)

Then, after the climax where the T-Rex was slain, when everyone returns to the time machine, hoping that nothing changed, Eckels says the following:

“’Don’t look at me,’ cried Eckels. ‘I haven’t done anything… Just ran off the Path, that’s all, a little mud on my shoes—what do you want me to do—get down and pray?’”

All this demonstrates Eckels’ complete disregard for the rules and makes it clear that he isn’t taking them seriously. As the story builds up to its climax, and even a bit after the climax, Eckels is testing the rules’ values, and because he kicks the rules around as he does, the consequences kick right back. “Eckels felt himself fall into a chair. He fumbled crazily at the thick slime on his boots. He held up a clod of dirt… Embedded in the mud… was a butterfly, very beautiful and very dead.” (Bradbury 15).

As Eckels begins to panic, he asks someone a question regarding the results of the election.

The man behind the desk laughed. ‘You joking? You know very well. Deutscher, of course! Who else? Not that fool weakling Keith. We got an iron man now, a man with guts…’” (Bradbury 15).

To put in some context, at the beginning of the story, a man named Keith had just won the election, and Deutscher was apparently some sort of dictator. However, since Eckels stepped on one butterfly he knocked down a bunch of dominoes, slowly increasing in size, “all down the years across Time.” (Bradbury 15). This all lead down to the change of the election winner, just because Eckels couldn’t follow one rule. This, however, is not the last punishment Eckels will receive. Whenever someone commits a crime, they must be punished themselves because of the suffering they caused for others.

He did not move. Eyes shut, he waited, shivering. He heard Travis breathe loud in the room; he heard Travis shift his rifle, click the safety catch, and raise the weapon. There was a sound of thunder.” (Bradbury 15).

The reader can infer that they time traveled back in time, to before Eckels entered the time machine and killed him. By doing so they prevent him from entering the time machine and messing up the world. Unfortunately, this also, obviously, means that Eckels himself will die. This is his last punishment.

A Sound of Thunder is a story about an ignorant time-travelling-hunter unwilling to follow the rules, and, in the end, screws up time because of that. Eckels gets no happy ending, because the author wants to teach the lesson through the consequence of not learning from it. Now, obviously, cheating in a board game, isn’t going to be punished by death. However, that rule is there for a reason, and there are consequences for breaking it.

 

Read A Sound of Thunder here.

Learn more about the author, Ray Bradbury, here.

A Sound of Thunder

(Image from here)

About Me

Download here

This a quick poster that talks about my life!

My Found Poem

The found poem above was taken from “Thank You Ma’m” by Langston Hughes. It demonstrates the external conflict between the boy and the woman in which the boy attempts to rob the woman, but fails. In the story, the conflict is seen in the first paragraph:
“…when a boy ran up behind her and tried to snatch her purse.”
(Langston Hughes, Paragraph 1.)
“The large woman simply turned around and kicked him right square in his blue-jeaned sitter.”
(Langston Hughes, Paragraph 1.)
This conflict was resolved when she took the boy in her house and gave him a talk.

As you can tell, the poem itself is pretty non-sensical from a certain perspective, but it does represent the original story in a way which I will explain. The poem starts off pretty bizarre with “She was walking when her purse broke a boy’s back, and his legs kicked her down,”. This is basically when the boy attempts to rob her purse but fails. Though the purse did not actually break his back and though the purse didn’t actually do anything, you could say that the purse was one of the causes for the boy’s failure.

“But the boy’s weight and the weight of the purse combined caused him to lose his balance…”

(Paragraph 1)

For the “his legs kicked her down” part, it comes from when the boy tries to lie about attempting to rob the woman.

“The woman said, ‘What did you want to do it for?’

The boy said, ‘I didn’t aim to.’

She said, ‘You a lie!'”

(Paragraph 4-6)

And the “But she bent down enough to pick up the boy” part was from paragraph 6, when she quickly retaliates against the boy’s actions. Next comes when the boy becomes honest with the woman and answers her questions, which I simply put as “The woman said, ‘Did you want it?’ The boy said, ‘I did.'” which displays his honesty when the woman asks him if he wanted the bag or not. Then the woman loosens up a bit with the “By that time the woman did release him” part. Then the boy opens up a bit by apologizing and showing that he needs help by saying “I’m very sorry. I got a great mind.”. This is referencing when the boy tells the woman about how he has nobody looking after him at home, exposing his current situation and why he tried to rob her. She sees this and then says “Then it (referring to the “great mind”) will get washed this evening.”. And by wash, she means brainwash. This is a bit of an aggressive way of putting it, but the woman does change the boy’s perspective quite a lot after he leaves her house in the actual story. As for the background picture there’s no meaning for it other than the fact that it shows the woman strangling the child. It came from a film adaption of the story by “phoenixfilmandvideo” which you can watch here.

So yeah, that was my found poem from Langston Hughes’ “Thank You Ma’m”. It was kind of all over the place, but I hope it did a good job of representing the story.

Read the story here: Click me

More about the author of “Thank You Ma’m”: Click Me

 

 

The Binder Clips Of Eras

What is This?

The goal of this project, was for me to create a scaled timeline using items in my house as a scale. I decided that binder clips would be a good idea, because they are small and come in large quantities. The binder clips that I used were roughly 1.5 cm long, so my entire timeline would be 150 cm. Each binder clip represents about 45.43 million years.

The Time Line

That is the entire timeline, not what you expected, right? Me too. Apparently about 85% percent of the amount of time Earth existed was taken by the “Precambrian Era”, and the rest follows up pretty tightly.

Here is a close-up of the more “juicy” part of the time line. As you can see each time period has at least 3 layers of information. The top layer is the era or period, the middle/second layer states how old the earth is (In binder clips), and the the last/third layer states how old the Earth is in years. The last/fourth layer only appears when a new era starts, and it states what the first era of the era is. Now you may notice that the third label states something like “3975.125” million years. I decided to do this instead of 3.975125 billion years, because the decimals make it look messy and a bunch of other nit-picky things.

The Making of the Time Line

The easiest part to make was to get the binder clips attached to the wall without them falling off. I realized that if I lined all them up on the same piece of tape, they would be harder to control so I split them up into fourths. It was tricky finding out how to stick them on the wall the first fourth, but after I figured out an efficient way to do so, the rest was easy. The hardest part for me, was to getting the measurements right. I had messed up the measuring so many times to the point where I was able to create a ball with all the tape that I had used.

With the measurements out the way, I could create add the labels which was difficult, but not as much.

Conclusion

This was a fun little project that frustrated me a lot for some reason, and it helped me get a better understanding of our planet’s history!

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