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Two Hundred And Seventy Two Words

Recently in class we’ve been writing speeches on our view on what to do with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the younger brother of the pair that were behind the Boston Bombing. The sides provided are putting him to death and giving him the death penalty, which he received, and not killing him. At first, I was very torn between the two. I started off leaning very slightly towards the death side, but as I read more and more about the case, I began to lean very heavily towards the Life side, and in the end I firmly stand that he should not be executed.

The whole speech started with a visit from Mr. Jahnsen, a lawyer in my town, where he presented a mimic of the Boston Bombing, involving Jabar and Ismal Smith instead of the Tsarnaevs. He spoke on the act of speaking, and told us our speeches must be no longer than the Gettysburg Address, which is only 272 words. He also said these speeches must lie firmly on one side of the argument, which was a problem for me as I was very torn between both sides. He also taught about the three ingredients to a speech: Ethos, Pathos, and Logos.

To keep it short, Ethos is the credibility that the speaker holds when speaking. For example, a person speaking on an issue has some strength behind their words if they have had a background working in or with this issue, or even against. Pathos is an emotional connection, the quality of drawing out the emotional side of humans. For example, a speaker speaking on a topic of loss holds great pathos because loss is something we all feel and feel in great amounts. Logos, on the other hand, is the logical side. That’s the side that ignores emotion and speaks about what is correct, and not right. For example, the greatest speaker to employ the power of Logos is clearly the man, the myth, the legend: Spock. Spock both thinks and speaks using Logos instead of Pathos.

When looking back on my speech, using the great power of Hindsight, I’m looking at what has made my speech powerful, on it’s own and compared to the other speeches given and done. And the first thing that pops into my head is the primary reason for my decisions. The packet we were given, and many of the opinions on the actual issue, cited the reason that Jabar, or Tsarnaev, should go to prison because prison is a worse punishment. My reason for sending him to prison is this, “What does it say about us when we would rather kill a person rather than take on the responsibility of rehabilitating them?” In the end, what makes my speech powerful is the same reason that makes it different, I’m not thinking about making him suffer pain, but rather thinking about helping him understand what was wrong about his actions.

And this difference in my thoughts compared to my contemporaries is what I love about my speech, possibly because it makes me unique. Or rather, unique enough. (There is one other person who speaks on the idea of not throwing him in prison to put him in pain.) But anyway, what makes me proud of my speech is how I’m not actually speaking on why Jabar deserves to go to prison, but rather how he doesn’t deserve to make us submit to our anger.

Ultimately, this experience was challenging to me as I had a great challenge finding a side and sticking to it. Although I don’t go into detail on how far I would swing between both sides, and constantly redraft on that side, I can summarize it by comparing to a pendulum, in that it was a continuously switching at a regular pace. One moment I was sure that death was what should happen. Just let it be over. The next I was sure that life was what was right. Why respond to anger with anger? Even when it’s done, and all 272 words have been said, there are still anther 272 words that are waiting to come out. Those words may talk about how he deserves to die, or maybe they’ll give more reasons why he deserves to live. Who knows? Who knows what the next 272 words will say?

Understanding The World Through Games

A game dealing with the era of European dominance, starting at the Ottoman victory over the christian alliance at Varna, and ending with the death of Napoleon. It deals with colonization, the rise of empires, and the creation of the first great powers in the world. Copyright Paradox Interactive, Used With Permission

A Game Dealing With the era of history spanning from the death of Napoleon to the first world war, involving the race for the control of Africa, Industrialization, and Modernization. Copyright Paradox Interactive, Used With Permission

If you were to ask me to tell you my top five favorite games, the top four would lie in a genre called Grand Strategy 4X games. Grand Strategy refers to games which place you in control of a country and all it’s assets, ranging from it’s economy to it’s military aspects of it’s government. 4X would refer to games which involve the 4X’s: eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, and eXterminate. However, as the physics based game Portal can be used to help students understand properties of physics, history based games can be used to help students understand history.

Before I continue any further, I must first state a very important fact-Neither of those games are racist, religist, or sexist. I am dispelling this possible assumption because both games take place in era’s where racism, religism, and sexism were commonplace, and therefore such things will be found even though they try very hard to mitigate the inclusion of these things. In fact, Paradox recently released a free add-on to Europa Universalis 4 dedicated to important women in history, to celebrate International Women’s Day which occurs on March 8th. I myself celebrated that day by reading my favorite parts of Pride and Prejudice again.

Anyway, disclaimer done with we can now continue forward. So let me explain how these games work: You stare at a map and command every asset of a nation or kingdom. These can range from the nations influence on trade over the world, to it’s military troops invading a foreign country. It sound pretty boring, but I have to admit there’s an intense satisfaction the feeling you have early game when your still weak and trying to assert yourself and then late game when your a powerful nation that has the strongest military in the world, the best economy, and control over land ranging from China to Canada.

Let me start with describing Europa Universalis 4. The game begins at a multitude of historical bookmarks, with the land countries possess control over being based on history. As the game goes on, history won’t always be followed perfectly. Although, the game tries to make the world follow the real path it took as much as it can without forcing it. It does this by assigning nations unique missions reflecting actual things that nation did to complete. Other ways it does this is by unique events. Events are decisions that are presented to the nation that tell historical events. Nations are also presented with decisions to decide. These are things which require specific requirements to take, but are historical decisions that nation did do. For example, you could play as the Ottoman Empire in the year 1444 and take a mission to conquer the center of the world, Constantinople. Historically, the Ottoman Empire did conquer Constantinople, and then move the capital of the empire to the city renaming it Istanbul. That same decision can be taken in Europa Universalis 4. Afterwards, events might happen which make you decide to renovate the Hagia Sophia, which was a eastern orthodox church, into a mosque. Another event might happen which presents with the option to destroy the orthodox patriarchy. Both of these are things that the Ottoman Empire did do. As well, by playing as the Ottoman Empire you can learn a lot about their history. So after playing as a couple of nations you could know a lot about history and also geography from staring at maps for countless hours.

I mean, I knew nothing about the inner workings of Islam before I started playing Europa Univeraslis 4. Now I know quite a bit about it, and that there are multiple sects of it. There’s a lot you can learn about both history and geography by playing these games, and I would recommend to people who like games like Civilization or other stuff like that. History can be fun, you just have to live it.

Finish The Story!

@Tomska, used with permission.

Oh my god…I was just walking one day when suddenly a cliff just formed in front of me. I went over it, falling for a second before I started moving up, saying, “Oh, okay.”Sometimes, life is just so confusing.

As I was flying through the air, going nowhere in particular I wondered, “Why is this happening?”The sun was rising over the horizon, it’s light brilliant in my eyes! Flying through the air, I realized what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to…

Why Women Aren’t Going Into STEM Fields

I’ve taken a lot of outside school writing classes, a lot of creative classes. I never really noticed that all of them were more or less dominated by the female part of the group. Or rather, it isn’t that I didn’t notice this fact, but rather that it didn’t seem an important matter. What did it matter if the current generation of females happened to be more interested in visual and performing arts? Little did I know, it was an issue in what all children see as “The Adult World”So far away, yet approaching so fast.

It all started in one of the most chill places to be, Spanish Class. On a day when the spanish teacher, Mrs.Goodman, happened to absent and there was a guest teacher. And as fate sometime decrees, a certain Bridget happened to pop into the classroom. Bridget declared as she entered the room, “Oh hey Ms. Rossy, so I am the only girl in my photoshop class today!” I chuckled a bit at that, for as I’ve mentioned, I’ve taken a lot of classes where I am the only boy, or one of the three. I remembered something then, a fleeting glimpse of a topic on the list of 200 argumentative topics in the New York Times. There had been something about that statistic, something involving the difference in career choices between boys and girls. So I went and looked for it. Sure enough, I found it. It was a pretty simple topic, at first. Why are fewer girls choosing career’s in the STEM fields each year? I stopped laughing. This was not a laughing matter.

Well, the issue isn’t quite that the fields that classify as performing and visual arts are more filled with women, on the contrary to my experience so far, but rather that more and more women report that they believe they could have been so much better working in a science field, but they feel that as a child they were never encouraged to become scientists or architects. Rather, they were expected to do more “feminine” things. For example, 37% of computer science degrees earned in 1985 were by women. In 2010, the the same statistic had dropped down to 18%. As well, only a fifth of all physics Ph.D’s are awarded to women.

There’s a very recent article (October 2nd, 2014) from Fortune that was written by a woman who works in the tech industry. In it, she describes her experience with a friend who is having trouble balancing work and nursing infant, “Her manager had pressured her to return from leave early, and was pushing her again to take a business trip and leave her nursing infant at home. She wasn’t sleeping. She felt like she was failing her job and her child at the same time.” Kieran Snyder, the author, proceeds to explain how her friend isn’t doing anything wrong, but rather the system is unable to accommodate her.

At first, it would seem that motherhood is the primary factor in why women don’t stay in the tech industry. That’s what Kieran’s friend would have assumed, if it hadn’t been Kieran she talked to. Kieran explained to her that such feelings were normal, and she offered to talk to the manager for her. At the time, her had been making more than her husband. Two weeks later, she was making infinitely less than her husband. Of course, that was five years ago.

Kieran states the story of her friend has haunted her. She feels like her friend came to her seeking help in a situation which she didn’t know how to handle, and Kieran, despite her best and admirable efforts, was unable to find a way to help her friend. She felt a genuine feeling of failure, Kieran did. Kieran, the one who told her friend that it wasn’t her fault, but rather the administrations fault for their inability to accommodate for her needs as a mother. Kieran was not at fault, to any extent. However, her feelings of guilt inspired to do a survey in September of 2014. This survey was designed to isolate the reason as to why women left the tech industry,  and that is that women are leaving tech because they’re unhappy with the work environment, not because they have lost interest in the work

Alice H. Eagly, professor of psychology at Northwestern University in illinois, has spent her career researching the social aspect of psychology. She found particular interest in the labor division between working-class male and females. She understood that the majority of females choose not to go into STEM(Science, Technology,Engineering,Mathamatics) fields, and she wondered why that was. Alice eventually came to the conclusion, after a multitude of tests involving gender stereotypes, “That it’s genetically hardwired into our minds for the two genders to take on different roles in the workforce.”

In the end, the reason women are choosing not to go into STEM fields and are leaving is due to an inability in the administration to be flexible with needs, that the work environment was unsupported and hostile, and a salary that was incapable of providing a women and child care. In the end, the fault is in our society. If we don’t want to lose skilled, educated workers, then we need to become more open to them.

Who Doesn’t Like Being Apart of Something?

A recluse probably. But even a recluse is a part of life, the community of life.

Everyone is part of something, whether that thing is a community or not is the question. To be, or not to be a part of a community, that is the question. However, even something who is shy and can’t stand being around others is a part of at least one community. The community of life. With the power of the internet the world became connected as one. The internet was invented in the year of 1969, but the connecting of the world had began 24 years on October 24th. This date, October 24th 1945, was the founding of the United Nations. For decades mankind has been searching for ways to turn the world into one community, a massive hub of knowledge and ideas. And no experiment has seen more success than the Internet.

At first, you may think that the internet isn’t really a community. It doesn’t really connect people, and it probably doesn’t immediately feel like a community. Most of the time, it is just a thing which you use to find things. Learn about stuff, and quickly know about a subject. But really, there is much more. The Internet has come a long way since it was founded. It’s developed it’s own language, its own culture, and sort of it’s own religion. The religion doesn’t have a definite name, although for my purposes I will refer to it as “Caticism”-The worship of cute cats, and all things related to cats.

It’s language is also certainly unique, based not on Latin or another language. It appears to an outsider to be a mess of letters and spelling errors, but truly to the insiders of the community it is something vastly attributed to as a manifesting of the English language in a more simplified manner and used for convenient instant messaging, or IM’ing as the Internet has termed it. Following is a typical conversation on the internet between two boys,

“wat up dud”

“not much u?”

“same hows life”

“life good u”

“life k”

“dud im fine”

“k bye”

“bye”

As you can see, a mess of letters and a complete shortening of every word in the english language. The language could certainly use some work, although the Internet does posess a fascination religion. It is truly the only place where this phenomenon is seen. The near worship of cats, specifically ones that have rainbows and are cute and ask for “Chezburgers”, or cheeseburgers for the more sophisticated folk out there. There is no lack of documentation of this worship, any were you look on the internet you will find cats. Whether they be in pictures, videos, or words.

The Internet also has another finer aspect to their religion, one which overlaps as being a part of their culture. This second phenomenon a specimen which are referred to as “Memes” Memes are defined as, “An idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture.”And there is no culture where memes are more prevalent than the internet culture. Hundreds of new memes are being born constantly in the internet culture, because it’s population is so massive. Memes could be considered another form of worship on the internet, with cats often taking top place in memes. However because the definition of meme has them placed in culture, it is only logical that memes be considered part of the internet culture. Speaking of which…

Check out this links for examples of Caticism, Internet Language, and Memes:

Caticism: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-CzqzzBV2tMk/TxBM3ar18MI/AAAAAAAAPm0/6faLPO9BM8w/s400/i-can-has-cheezburger.jpg

Internet Language: url  This website will also teach you all you need to know about the Internet, and it’s language.

Memetic Memes:http://www.memes.com/img/341639 WARNING! Do not move off this page and explore other memes, they are often dangerous and replicate very fast. If contaminated with a meme, please seek a physchtrist.

Lions of Equality, Ripping it Apart

Hello World, my name is Aidan of the Lions. I am going to blog stuff, that you may or may not want to read. I don’t really care if you actually read this, I don’t care if you actually agree with what I write, and I don’t care if you decide that you want to comment on this. All I really care about, is that what I have to say is heard and that it is made clear that all I want is to touch the world.

So what do I have to say? Well, a lot. What do I have to say that is important? Well, probably not much. But then again, how many people always have something important to say? Sometimes you just have to talk about noodles and the last movie you saw. Some people may never see that movie however, and some may have already seen it. These differences between people, something as simple as the last movie you saw, is what always drives humanity apart.

Inequality. I recently finished the book To Kill a Mockingbird, which I believe had the main theme of inequality. The story of To Kill A Mockingbird was written by Harper Lee, and it tells the tale of a young girl whose Father defends a black man accused of the rape of a white girl. Throughout the novel, the little girl called scout is introduced to a lot of ideas and opinions. They all live in the deep south of Alabama at a time when segregation was still very serious. Harper puts forth a lot of ideas. There is one scene at the end when this line is thrown out, “A lot of people are Scout, when you finally meet them.” The line before talked about how this man that they just met was really nice. A lot of people are nice, when you actually take the time to walk a couple miles in their shoes, see life through their eyes, and look at them in a way which lets you understand who they are.
If you want to get a copy of To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, go to this link: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/to-kill-a-mockingbird-harper-lee/1100151011?ean=9780446310789