Spice the Wolf

So you know cats are interesting. They are kind of like girls. If they come and talk to you it’s great. But if you try to talk to them it doesn’t always go so well.

-Shigeru Miyamoto

IMG_20140119_121547I like cats. I like them because they take care of themselves and don’t require the constant attention of dogs. A year and a half ago we saw a black cat walking around the back yard. It turned out that she had given birth to a litter of kittens. There were about eight of them and they were all in our back yard. My father fed them a few times and they stayed for a few months. Eventually the mother and most of the kittens went their separate ways, but two stayed behind. We named them Pumpkin and Spice. We eventually warmed them up to us and they started coming up to us.IMG_20140119_121604 When my parents went to get them neutered, however, Pumpkin ran loose at the animal sanctuary. They caught him, but we told them to take care of him. He was always a little afraid of us anyway so we thought maybe he had some mental issue cause by a traumatic experience in his past. Spice stayed with us though and has been a great house cat ever since.

Nigiri, Maki, and More…

CameraZOOM-20140103184134722As you may know, I absolutely love sushi of all kinds. I have always wanted to make sushi at home and when the opportunity arose I was ecstatic! First we made a list of all the ingredients. That list contained everything from rice (obviously), carrots, (fake) crab meat, and cucumbers to roe. After we had been back from shopping at our local Super H Mart, we got to work. At first we were a CameraZOOM-20140103184143066little unsure about how to cook the rice because we found at least four different recipes. Our first few batches were too sticky, our second batch of batches was not sticky enough, and finally the other day we perfected the formula, but later on that. We rolled for hours and hours but in the end we had a beautiful (and very, very tasty) creation. For the hours we worked CameraZOOM-20140103184148177making it, the majority of it was gone in fifteen minutes… phew. But boy CameraZOOM-20140119121026249was it worth it. Not only did we make an excellent meal, we improved our sushi making skills (which before then I had none of). The next day we made a little more and some Vietnamese spring rolls which were also amazing. The weekend after that we made even more but my dad told me about a little mold he found that you could make sushi with. These sushi, smaller than normal, are called maki. They IMG_20140119_121830tend to make only two or three ingredients in them and have the nori (seaweed) on the outside. When CameraZOOM-20140119121231876he finally ordered it about three days ago, I was ready… When it came yesterday I was eager to get started so I started up a batch of rice, which by then we had “mastered”. The mold worked like a charm and we spewed out a dozen rolls, and they were delicious. We ate most of them just this morning. Mm-mm… sushi for breakfast! I think there will be way more where that’s coming from. I just imagine eating a scrumptious sushi roll at lunch. Oh, my friends will be very jealous. :D

sushi wo tsukuru no wa muzukashii ja nai yo

No, it’s not the title of an anime, although it very well might be.

IMG_20140119_121754I used to think that sushi was very hard to make, considering that it’s about 10 cash dollars for about 6 pieces. It seems hard to make, too. When you really look at it you can see that a lot of thought goes into a roll before it is put together. You can see where the nori was connected; the way the insides fit perfectly; the thin slices of fish or avocado laid perfectly atop the roll. I always wanted to make sushi, mostly because I really like it and it is a rare occurrence to go to a restaurant.

IMG_20140119_121235We started making it at home a few weeks ago and it has been a very fun experience. It is not as hard as it seems once you get the hang of how everything works. After a few iffy batches, my brother and father finally got the rice formula perfect, which makes for a much smoother process. The original way to roll a “maki” is to take the seaweed and put it on a bamboo mat, spread out rice with wet hands (so they don’t stick), and place the insides near the end. You then roll it up using the bamboo mat. However, my father purchased a certain set of mold that make the experience much faster and easier. You put rice into one side of a mold, place the ingredients in, fill the other side of the mold, compress, lay it on the seaweed, and roll it up.

It’s great that we now know how to make these things because I’m probably going to take them for lunch more than once.

The Kitty Collage

Just a collection of some pretty adorable pictures of Spice.

Conclusion Redux – Techniques

As in my previous article, I will be explaining the techniques I used in this part of my paper. My teacher told us that the conclusion is one of, if not the most important part of the paper because it’s the paragraph they read last. She has given us many ways to end off the section, leaving the reader with a sense of closure. Here is my conclusion and techniques.

Looking forward, you should now see how imperative it is to eliminate the use of oil, natural gas, and other fossil fuels.

This sentence is the “hook” to the conclusion it’s the beginning of the end, so to speak. We were given a list of many different ways to begin and end the conclusion such as “Looking to the future”, which is the one I used.

Unsustainable resources, such as these, are not unlimited in number and we will be in for a fearful shock when the supplies suddenly drip their last drop. With these reservoirs running out of their holdings, the prices of these energy sources are skyrocketing and will soon be too expensive for an average citizen to purchase. In addition, the environment in which we live and raise our children is becoming wrecked from oil spills, car exhaust, and a whole bunch of various activities involving these fuels.

This section of the conclusion is just a restating of the thesis and body paragraphs. While restating I couldn’t add any new information, just the points I said in the body (Which was weird doing this because I hadn’t written the body paragraphs yet…)

In the future, you should think about your friends and family, your neighborhood, and most importantly your Mother Earth next time you fill up your fuel tank or light up a gas cooker.

And finally, the last sentence, which “should” leave the reader happy with the outcome and understanding why this paper matters. Again I used the “Looking to the future” Hook/Conclusion, but I also told the reader to think about this issue whenever they do something which will affect the environment. Again, I feel great about the upcoming Writing Assessment and I hope all this practice pays off.

Intro Redux – Techniques

As I had stated in a previous article I am, in my Language Arts class, practicing for the upcoming 8th Writing Assessment. We had been taught many different techniques to improve our writing’s interest and fluidity. In my introduction for the rewrite of our practice Writing Assessment we took a couple of months ago I used some of these techniques. Here is my introduction and what techniques I used and what they are (supposed) to do.

            Naturalist and philosopher Henry David Thoreau once said,“Thank God men cannot fly, and lay waste the sky as well as the Earth.”

In the hook of my introduction I started with a quote which can grabbed the readers attention. I also stated the author of the quote as a naturalist and philosopher which uses Aristotle’s Appeal of Ethos which means “Character”. Ethos adds credibility to the paper so one may think “This Henry David Thoreau is a credible naturalist and philosopher; I should trust this.”

Fossil fuels are on the way out and we should should embrace other forms of energy to keep our cities and cars running.

This is the main topic of the paper. I explains the jist of what I am trying to get across.

“But why are fossil fuels bad?” you may ask.

In this sentence of my introduction I have dialogue, even if it is one way. Dialogue adds specific detail which the graders of the assessment specifically look for.

Well, oil and natural gas are very common and we have been using them since the 1860’s, but they are limited in amount and are not sustainable. Their prices have become very expensive compared to their green energy counterparts, and not to mention the toll they take on the environment.

The final two sentences are my thesis. They show a road map of what I will be talking about in my paper, and since this is a persuasive paper they are my main arguments. In addition, I realized that the fuels I am talking about are common and have been used for many, many years, but I then state my rebuttal. I feel a lot better about this rewrite than my original paper which even I was disappointing to see how I wrote everything. I just hope I can improve my writing skills for the future…

Calcuo; Calcuere; Caluavi; Calculus

Here’s an interesting bit of information:

The whole area we know as calculus seems scary to most people because it is described as the hardest math you can study and not many people actually know how to do it. In reality, calculus is quite simple when you break it down into its parts.

image001All of calculus is based on one mathematical principle known as the limit. The easiest way to describe the limit is to call it an “almost value.” On the number line you can pinpoint any value and you can tell anyone exactly what that value is. 2 means 2. 563 is always 563. Sometimes however, you have instances where a graph is missing a number. If you take the equation x ^ 2 – 2x / x – 2, you’ll find that it contains every possible x value except 2. So how are you supposed to describe what the graph is like at 2 if you keep getting a “divide by zero” error? 2 may not exist, but “almost 2″ does. The principle works like this: as x approaches a certain number, what does y approach? Using this logic we can find the would-be value of 2 even though it doesn’t actually exist. This limit principle opened up the entire field of calculus and is used in the two biggest calculus practices: derivatives and integrals.

ana3bTo find the slope of a certain interval on a graph, one must find “the rise over the run.” This means that they must divide the vertical change by the horizontal change. This gives the value by which the graph is increasing on that interval. For example, on a graph that showed position, the slope would represent the speed. On a graph showing speed, the slope would represent the acceleration. But how do we find instantaneous slope? What if we wanted to find acceleration not over a period of time but at one specific second? We use limits. The slope of an interval is the rise over the run. What if the interval’s width started approaching zero? We know that we can’t divide horizontal and vertical change if they are both zero, but what if they weren’t zero? What if they were only almost zero? We would get the instantaneous slope. This is a definite derivative of an equation.

Riemann_sum_convergenceHow does one find the area under a curve? This isn’t possible with any measuring tools. I’ll tell you how. Make a really good guess. Make such a good guess that it is almost exactly the total area. Are you getting it now? I used the word “almost” again. So how exactly does one make a perfect guess? A mathematician named Riemann suggested that one could estimate the area under a curve by using rectangles bound by certain points on the curve. If you added the areas of these rectangles, you would get an estimate of the area under the curve. These estimates are known as Riemann sums. This worked as a good guess, but it wasn’t perfect until he figured out that the smaller the width of the rectangle was, the more accurate the area got. Hmm, see where I’m going with this? What if we used Riemann’s equation for estimated area and plugged in the limit as width approaches zero for the width of the rectangles? Having an almost infinite number of rectangles would ensure an almost infinitely accurate guess. This is known as the definite integral of an equation.

 

A Nintendo Christmas

For Christmas this year, I got a Nintendo 3DS and four games. I have been wanting a 3DS for awhile so I could play the newest games with my friends. The 3DS is a handheld gaming device that has a switch that makes the games 3D. The games that I got with my 3DS are Pokemon X, Animal Crossing : New Leaf, Luigi’s Mansion : Dark Moon, and last but certainly not least Dragon Quest 9 : Sentinels of the Starry Skies.

I knew what Pokemon X was going to be like since I played the other Pokemon games before, but training and looking at all the new Pokemon really gave the game its fun. In case you don’t know Pokemon are creatures found in an alternate world. People catch the Pokemon train them and battle them against each other to see who is the strongest.

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Animal Crossing New Leaf is just an overall awesome game. I have played the original one before on the Gamecube and this one is a lot like that except there is a whole new feature that you are the mayor of the town you live in. Since you are the mayor you can start public work projects to improve the town. Animal Crossing is a hard game to answer the question what makes it so fun. You’ll just have to play it to find out.

new

Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon is another one of those games the I have played the previous game in the series and loved it so much that I had to get the sequel. In Dark Moon, you are Luigi (Mario’s brother) and the whole area has been infested with ghosts. Those ghosts are peaceful because the dark moon traps their evil. But when the Dark Moon is destroyed all of those ghosts turn evil and you have to recover the Dark Moon pieces to make the ghosts peaceful again. The coolest part about this game is that there are puzzles that you don’t get any instruction to solve, so you have to figure it out on your own.

dar

Dragon Quest 9 is an overall fun adventure game. Its really hard to explain this game. It is kinda like Final Fantasy (if you know what that is), but if you really want to find out what the game is like I suggest looking it up.

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Governor’s Honors Program

Georgia has a special academia opportunity known as the Governor’s Honors Program, or GHP for short. All teachers in the state of Georgia has a certain amount of students that they are allowed to nominate per year. These students can only be sophomores or juniors. If you are nominated by a teacher then you are from that point on competing with the other nominees from the state in the subject of your nomination. The first major hurdle is the county interviews. This is an event where every GHP nominee is interviewed by teachers of that subject from around the state. Every subject has a slightly different interview process. The main thing the teachers are looking for is interest in the program and subject. After a lengthy selection process, letters are given to the nominees informing them of whether or not they have passed the first interview. This first test decreases the number of nominees quite a bit, and it is uncommon to the chosen to go to state. The next hurdle is the state interview. Every nominee that passed their county interview now gets put into the same pool of potential victors. Because the first interview determines whether you are GHP material, the second interview focuses more on personality and drive. While it is uncommon to pass the county interviews, it is very rare to pass the state interview. In fact, if you pass the state interview, you have “beat” the process and are given a spot at the GHP camp in the summer. This is a four week overnight camp intensive where you study your area of nomination and one other “minor.”

I was nominated by my Latin teacher and have miraculously already passed the county interviews. I will be interviewing again on February 1st, and have been practicing alone and with my teacher in order to prepare myself for the last hurdle. If I can give the interviewers the old razzle-dazzle then I will be able to have the opportunity of a lifetime. Really. Many famous people have participated in the Governor’s Honors Program and all have accounted that it was very influential in their success. I can’t wait to show what I can do.

It’s Elementary

Recently I have been very interested in mysteries and Sherlock Holmes has to be my favorite. Sherlock Holmes is a consulting detective that uses deductive reasoning to solve crimes. His assistant Dr. John Watson helps Sherlock solve the crimes. The story is set in London and he lives on 22B Bakers Street.

The original stories were written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who was a doctor and use deductive reasoning to find out what was wrong with his patients. If he was still alive today he would be astounded of how popular Sherlock Holmes still is.

Currently there are two TV shows being aired about Sherlock Holmes. One is called Elementary and the other is called Sherlock. The show Sherlock, which is my favorite of the two, intertwines the stories into the shows. Like the episodes names are like The Hounds of Baskerville, A Bohemian Scandal, The Five Pips, and so on.

Another place I am being exposed to Sherlock Holmes is at school. Currently we are reading the Scandal in Bohemia, and after that we will read the Hound of the Baskervilles.

Sherlock Holmes has got to be one of my favorite characters of all time, because by looking at the shoes of someone he can tell that their maid is clumsy and they have been outside in bad weather, or by looking at the paper a letter was written on he can tell that the writer is German and from Bohemia. Sherlock Holmes just baffles me the way he does things and that is what makes him so interesting.

Sherlock