ZBrush Modeler

Intro to Animation is a class I take. It’s mostly for fun. I count it as an art class but it is more really a career pathway class. However, although I enjoy it as a hobby, I have no intention of going into animation as a career. For class I made a presentation of a certain animation career. It was ZBrush Modeling. ZBrush is a computer program that allows the user to sculpt 3D objects. This is my presentation.

Article of the Week: iTunes Discussion

This year in Language Arts, we do this assignment every week called the Article of the Week (AOW). The whole point of the AOW is to educate us in current events. This assignment requires us to: read through the assigned article once, list our understanding of the article, read through it a second time and annotate it, write a summary on the three main points of the article, and then list our understanding again, and then write a response about what the article taught you and the key ideas. Then on Friday, we have a Socratic seminar in class discussing the article.

This week we received an article about Apple signing contracts with artists to release their music exclusively on iTunes to combat music streaming services. The article’s main three points were pretty easy to spot. And I started my AOW a little like this:

Apple has been dealing with the gradually drop in music sales by signing contracts with ituneartists and record labels to solely release their music on iTunes. Apple executives have said that streaming services like Spotify or Pandora have been halting download sales on iTunes and other digital music stores. And Apple had an opportunity to prove that withholding albums from streaming services can boost sales when they signed a contract with Beyonce to release her fifth studio album only on iTunes.

When Beyonce’s album was released only on iTunes, it soon became the fastest-selling album on iTunes. Apple loved this and used this fact to buff their argument that not releasing albums  to streaming services can greatly increase sales. But this also created a backlash against Beyonce as retailers like Amazon and Target refused to sell the CD.

Another artist actually used streaming services to boost his sales. Schoolboy Q’s “Oxymoron” sold almost 139,000 copies in its first week securing its spot at the top of theoxy Billboard’s album chart. And the trick to his success was that it was heavily promoted on Spotify before the actually album came out. This also showed a big difference from his earlier albums, which were not promoted, who only sold 17,000 and 48,000 units which were not even close to getting the top spot.

And in conclusion, I am not saying that this is a bad economic move for iTunes to buyout artists, but there are other options and this is only creating hate for them. And as more dedicated customers are moving away from iTunes, Apple could use streaming services like Spotify in the same way as Schoolboy Q to gain sales and get them back.

Milton TAG Program

Since about 3rd grade I have been in a school program called TAG, or Talented And Gifted. In elementary school we had TAG class which we did fun projects and such, oh and make the non-TAG kids feel bad… *sigh*. In middle school TAG was sort of like an honors class. I took TAG social studies, TAG science, etc. In high school it’s a bit different though. There is no TAG class nor TAG-level classes. Instead we need TAG credits which you can get from taking weekly seminars in which we do projects and learning about organizing and things like that. Or we could take an AP class, which I am but we areTAG Magazine Cover required to take an introductory seminar in freshmen year. I don’t look forward to go to TAG like I did in elementary school though, it’s just really a day which I can’t go to Flex, which is like study hall/break time, or lunch. But we did do SOMETHING in the past couple days of TAG. We were given an assignment which we were to make a magazine cover with five questions teens usually want to ask. It took me a about an hour to think of ideas, pictures, and make the cover. Last week when I went to TAG, the teacher collected the covers and said “You’ve been doing so good, you have this day off. Go back to Flex or lunch.” I think he just wasn’t prepared for the seminars but still… :D But doing projects is not all we are going to do in TAG. Later in the semester we will be taking a field trip to a ropes course were we will be climbing and walking on high poles and other acrobatic-like activities. That might actually be fun.

I Got My First LP.

CameraZOOM-20140913135850618The weekend before last was one of much excitement. I went to the DDS to get my learner’s permit! You thought I was talking about a record right… no? Well, anyways, It was Saturday and I got up at around 8:00 and got ready to go (because you have to go REALLY early to avoid the lines… which we didn’t). I did someone last minute studying and got together all the documents I needed. After we got there I realized the DDS must have opened at 8:00 instead of 9:00… oops. But we still stayed and waited… and waited… until I was right next to the desk! So my dad and I gave all the documents and they said to sit down in the waiting area to… wait. So there we waited… and waited… until my number was just about to be called and we went up to the ACTUAL desk to get the picture and everything. Then I finally took the test. It took an overall time of probably 6 minutes… But I was ecstatic! I got temporary permit and it has my picture on it! After this my dad and I went to Krystal’s to get some food and then we went to a local church’s parking lot to do a little bit of driving. It was extremely fun and I can’t wait to do it again this weekend! (Oh and the second time I went driving it was at the Middle School’s parking lot and I did a perfect parallel parking! Yay!)

2014 Science Fair

This year in 8th grade, I am going to have a lot of fun in science. The reason being that in the 8th grade year, you have to complete a science fair project. I have been looking forward to this ever since I saw my brother do his science fair project last year. My brother sciencesdid his science fair project about which type of material is strongest against acid, and I really liked the idea but I needed to come up with a different topic to use. So one morning when I was thinking of ideas for my science fair project, my brother suggested doing an experiment on what material is strongest using weights to test it. I really liked the idea and with a couple of changes to the original idea, I finally chose my science fair topic.

I am going to test which type of rope material can hold it’s original length, with a weight attached, the best. To preform the tests this question, I am going to hang some rope on a sturdy ceiling or table and attach weights to the rope. Then 24 hours later, I am going to check the length of each rope and how much it stretched from its original length. The one that is closest to its original length is classified strongest.

Now that I have my topic, I had to apply it to what I learned in class while doing labs, so downloadfirst I wrote out my problem statement which is what I wrote in the paragraph above. Then, I had to list some research questions which would be necessary for my project and set control groups that I would have to follow for each test like length of rope and weight attached. After I had that all written down on my topic request sheet: I turned it into my teacher, got my topic approved, and started research for my project.

One of the first things I needed to research for my project was what the types of ropes I am going to be using in the experiments. I chose nylon, polyester, sisal, and polypropylene ropes. I am also using manila rope as a control group for the basic rope to base the ropestrength of the others on. After I decided what ropes I was using, I researched about the ropes and their tensile strengths(max weight lift). I also looked up different safety measures to follow when you are using rope. I found out that when lifting a non-critical load your tensile strength should be seven times the weight of the load, and for critical or living loads the tensile strength should be fifteen times the load. To finish off my research, I found out about the different ways the ropes are constructed like single braid, double braid, twist, kernmantle ropes. This is as far as I have gotten on my science fair project. I just turned in my research yesterday, and I hope I can get to my actually experiments soon.

Looking for Colleges

Emory University Quad in the fall.

High school senior year in the United States is a doozy because you have to spend half of your time focusing on schools and half of you time trying to finish college applications. It’s a complicated, multi-step process. First the application needs to be filled out with all your personal information. In this part you have to pump up yourself and show off all your achievements. Then you have to submit your standardized test scores and transcript. After that many colleges require one to three essays that can be on a wide variety of topics. They are so difficult sometimes that there are paid seminars on how to write these things. I went to one and I’m glad I did.

Personally I’m looking at a few schools in Georgia and a few out of state. The University of Georgia and Georgia Tech are two very good public schools in the general vicinity that would be very nice to go to. I definitely pass the qualifications so I would most likely be admitted, so these are good backup schools. I would have HOPE to pay for tuition, too. Emory University is a private school in Georgia that I hope to get into, as it’s probably my best choice in terms of convenience, reputation, and academics. It’s very expensive but it has substantive financial aid options. The bar for getting accepted there is higher though so it’s more of a target school. Of course I am applying to a few Ivy League schools, most likely Yale, as it has the best linguistics program. I am also applying to MIT. These schools, of course, are reach schools, and I would be extremely lucky to get accepted.

With a 35 ACT and a 3.7 GPA I hope I can be competitive for this year’s college rat race.

3D Printing

Using my connections with my friends I landed myself a job at a 3D printing company. It sounds like a weird concept, but it’s pretty simple. 3D printers are machines that can make plastic three-dimensional objects out of melted filament. You can make just about anything. 3D printers are great for prototyping, design, and creating parts for robotics or other machines. The company I work for is a re-seller of 3D printers. They also take printing jobs and do technical advisement on printers. I’m basically an intern that gets paid a certain percentage of sales I make and jobs I complete. I think this is a really good experience because I’m working with new technology that hasn’t quite developed yet into the stages that most tech has today. It’s also good experience working with people because I have to deal with a lot of them in this job. I have a 3D printer at my house right now and I’ve been messing with it to see what kind of things it can do. I hope to get some jobs soon so I can start using some money I make to get some sweet things. One day 3D printers will be as common as the 2D variety and I will have led the way.

Venezuela: Land of Petroleum (Part 2)

In my last article about this project I posted the first two of my article summaries. Here are the last two (and the original articles) and I got back the grade on it. It was 100% (she even wrote “great!” next to the summary part of the rubric).

Article 3: New Events of Chikungunya Fever

The Director General of Environmental Health in the Venezuelan Ministry of Heath, Jesus Toro, announced that between August 9th and 15th eight new cases of the Chikungunya virus, a viral disease spread by the common Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopcitus mosquitoes, were recognized. This official stated the facts that total cases of this virus are up to 160 since May, with 88 being conveyed locally and 70 originating in another countries and being brought in, 2 are still under study.

This article is very much geographically-relevant. It is talking about the circulation of disease in the nation and which insects are the carriers. The diffusion of disease is directly related to the landscape and climate of the region. In Venezuela, which has a hot, humid climate with plenty of sitting water, mosquitoes are abound. Also, the relatively poor standard of living and medical funding in the nation means that if this disease were to spread more thoroughly due to the lowly sanitation and cleanliness, than the affect would be much greater than a nation with very modern medical technology and attention.

Article 4: Fingerprinting Grocery Shoppers

On the 20th of August, 2014, President Maduro of Venezuela announced that in around December or January the government would put in place a system of fingerprinting in grocery stores to eliminate buyer fraud and selling of food stuff on the black market. Many opponents to the system label as mere rationing, which is technically not incorrect. The government has been dealing with a shortage of food with about 40% of it ending up being smuggled and sold in Colombia. Even the most simple and basic of staple foods are emptied off the shelves of most of the nation. Another thing that is affecting the shortage and smuggling is the extra low subsidized prices of food for Venezuelan citizens. Both Colombia and Venezuela have had enough of the smuggling and empty shelves that Venezuela stationed 17,00 soldiers on the border between the states for border patrol.

Anything to do with the movement of products or foods are directly geographically related, but with both, it is absolutely affected by these characteristics. Agriculture and environmental surrounding in Venezuela are bad enough as they are with little help to improve infrastructure and farming techniques. The government also tries to artificially keep down the price of many products due to its scarceness which would make the problem even worse. But with such a difference between Venezuela’s prices and Colombia’s, smuggling is bound to happen.

NMS Clubs

This year in 8th grade, I got involved in some after school activities. I joined three different clubs/extra curricular groups. The three clubs that I joined this year were Model U.N., Bridge Club, and the Philharmonic Orchestra. Most of the groups I got involved in because my friend invited me or I just wanted to give it a try.

The first club I joined was Model U.N. This club has been around for a long time as some presidents and ambassadors of the U.N. were Model U.N. members in school. The whole point of this club is the simulate situations that the real U.N. is dealing with and allow the munmembers of Model U.N. to discuss and resolve these topics. To be a part of these conferences you first need to be assigned a country and write a position paper on what the country’s views on that topic is, then at the conference you would be put into a committee where you discuss basically what you wrote the position paper about with other ambassadors. These topics could be about educational spending, use of land mines, etc. I have not chosen my country yet, but I intended to choose a particularly interesting country that I do not already know about.

The second club I joined was Bridge Club. There has not been an actual meeting yet, so I ajbdo not have any details regarding the instructor or members except that my good friend Niraj is the student representative for this club and the club instructor is the instructor of the Atlanta Junior Bridge instructor. I’m looking forward to this club and I cannot wait to try out Bridge.

The last club I joined was the Philharmonic Orchestra. Like Bridge club, we have not actually had a meeting yet because last meeting only three people show up (due to everyone else forgetting). I was interested in this club because I orchpillove playing the violin, and want to play more than just what we did in class. To join this club, I had to audition by playing a double D Major scale and an excerpt that I received in class. I made the audition and cannot wait until we get started. The club includes 7th and 8th graders, so now I get to meet the 7th grade musicians. This year in 8th grade is looking better and better and I cannot wait to start all of these different clubs along with my friends.

Ceasar Had Seizures

Bursztajn, Harold. “Epilepsy and Empire: Caveat Ceasar.” Harvard Magazine 106 Sept. 2003: 19. Print.

“Why would this man, who was not only a military but also a political genius—and who had the best intelligence in the world—walk directly into what was ‘a death foretold’ (19)?”

“Plutarch writes that Caesar dared not stand for fear of having a convulsion (19).”

“[Bursztajn’s] interpretation persuaded Garofano that Caesar had a hand in his own assassination (19).”

On March 15, 44 B.C., Julius Caesar walked unguarded to the Roman Senate despite his soothsayer’s oracular “Beware the ides of March,” his wife’s murder-foretelling nightmare, and a warning note pressed into his hand as he navigated the crowd. When he arrived to meet with 900 senators, a mob of conspirators ambushed him. Before horrified onlookers, they stabbed the dictator-turned-demigod 23 times and killed him, carrying out the most infamous political assassination in history. Case closed.

Or so historians and dramatists have assumed for more than two millennia. But received wisdom couldn’t explain all the data. To achieve his goals, Caesar acted as the great general he was, even in his last battle—the one against mortality. BWhether Caesar initiated the conspiracy or simply bent it to his own aims, he chose the time and place, pushing the conspirators to act before they were ready by announcing his departure for Persia.