A Piece of a Pizza

This quarter of school, I have a class called Family and Consumer Sciences. In this class, one of our units is culinary arts also known as making food. This is one the favorite units of all the kids taking the class, because it involves food that you can eat. In each grade, there are about 4 different foods that they will make during that unit. In 8th grade, we have more “labs” (I’ll call them), but some of them are less work than others. Taking into consideration that making microwave popcorn and comparing it with others takes less work than creating a yeast dough pizza. Which brings me to my point, that this week we are starting to create a yeast dough pizza. Yesterday, we worked in our kitchen groups to create some dough with flour, yeast, salt, etc. Today, we were supposed to prepare and bake our pizza, but our schools were closed due to “inclement” weather. The dough that we made looked perfect, and I hope it doesn’t get too messed up for being in a refrigerator for 4 days, but I guess we’ll see.

I have made homemade dough and pizza at home before using a recipe that I don’t quite remember, but the recipe that we used at school was a little different. Listed below is the recipe for creating the dough and how to bake the pizza after the dough has risen.


Yeast Dough + Pizza Recipe


  1. Measure 1 1/4 cups flour into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Measure 1/4 teaspoon salt and place in the mixing bowl with flour.
  3. Add 2 1/4 teaspoons of yeast to the mixing bowl. Stir.
  4. Measure 1/2 cup water in liquid measuring cup.
  5. Measure 1 tablespoon cooking oil and add to water.
  6. Add water and oil to flour mixture.
  7. Stir with wooden spoon until all ingredients are blended. Add in additional flour (if needed), stirring until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
  8. Sprinkle about 1/4 cup flour on a sheet of wax paper on the counter top. Spread it around.
  9. Flour hands and turn dough out onto wax paper. Knead dough 4-6 minutes or until dough is no longer sticky and becomes smooth.
  10. Lightly spray a smaller mixing bowl with cooking oil spray.
  11. Place dough in bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap.
  12. Place bowl in refrigerator or on counter if you want a faster rise.


  1. Gather the bowl with dough in it.
  2. Preheat oven to 475.
  3. Spray pizza pan lightly with cooking oil spray
  4. Remove dough from bowl and place on pizza pan. Using fingers, press dough out to the edges of the pan, building up a rim around the edges.
  5. Spread pizza sauce over dough using a spoon.
  6. Sprinkle a desired amount of shredded mozzarella cheese over sauce.
  7. Add additional toppings.
  8. Place pizza pan on the bottom rack of the oven. Set kitchen timer for 12 minutes.
  9. After the time is up, check the pizza. If it is baked to your liking, remove pizza from the oven and place on a cooling rack.
  10. Slice pizza with a pizza cutter.
  11. Serve with a spatula.
  12. Enjoy!


/alex kreitz
* You nerds think you can code?
* You’re gonna need a lot more than numbers and booleans, my dear friend.
* How can you name things?
* How do you get the program to give the user messages?
* Strings.
* What are strings?
* Computers only store data in ons and offs, but programming infrastructure * allows a machine to represent more complex ideas with simple values.
* You may already know about classes.
* Classes are objects in Java that hold values and stuff.
* Like a box, that numbers go in.
* String is a class, which means that is has values and methods.
* String differs from user-created classes however because it comes in the * java-lang library.
* Anyone can use the string class out of the box.
* You denote a string by using double quotation marks.
* The different methods help you change the string in different ways.
* Say for example I define a string called… string.
* This is string’s value.
* I can do different things to the string, like change all the characters
* to lowercase.
* I can also split the string.
* If you want to compare two strings, you can use the dot equals command.
* Stings are obviously a very important aspect of programming,
* for without them, how would I display these words?

Rom-uctio: Bromance in Romeo and Juliet

We just finished Romeo and Juliet! Yay! But we were assigned a paper to discuss types of love in the story… I chose platonic love (and more specifically between Romeo and his friend Mercutio). This IS a rough draft so there may be errors (hopefully not spelling) and I might change it in the future. Criticism is encouraged.

In the story The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet there are many types of relationships between the characters in the story. These include unrequited, romantic, parental, friendship, and family honor. There are a multitude of examples for friendship love but one in particular stands out above the rest. That is the relationship between Romeo and Mercutio, which is one of loyal and trusted friends. It is a strong yet flawed example of friendship, although it leads to the death of both the characters.

Romuctio Broz

The first show of this type of love between Romeo and Mercutio is in Act 2 when Mercutio and Benvolio leave the party and are searching for Romeo, who they still think is depressed from Rosaline’s rejection. Mercutio mocks Romeo with the same sort of friendly joking that middle and high-school students do in this day. He jokes by acting in a dramatic and romantic way which he believes Romeo is currently feeling (which is, for the most part, true). He says this, “Nay, I’ll conjure too!, Romeo! Humours, madman, passion, lover! Appear thou in the likeness of a sigh! Speak but one rhyme, and I am satisfied. Cry but “Ay me!” Pronounce but “love” and “dove.” Speak to my gossip Venus one fair word, one nickname for her purblind son and heir, Young Abraham Cupid, he that shot so true when King Cophetua loved the beggar maid. He heareth not, he stirreth not, he moveth not. The ape is dead, and I must conjure him. I conjure thee by Rosaline’s bright eyes, by her high forehead and her scarlet lip, by her fine foot, straight leg, and quivering thigh, and the demesnes that there adjacent lie that in thy likeness thou appear to us.” It is obvious that Mercutio is mocking Romeo, but from context clues it is also obvious he means well and is not trying to insult him, just to make fun at his expense (as would any friend would do). But their relationship goes beyond just making fun, as close friends often do, they would even risk their lives to save the other.

During the fight scene in the beginning of Act 3, Mercutio, upon hearing Tybalt say, “Romeo, the love I bear thee can afford no better term than this: thou art a villain.” and Romeo responding in a completely calm and respectful manner, “I do protest I never injured thee, but love thee better than thou canst devise, till thou shalt know the reason of my love. And so, good Capulet, which name I tender as dearly as my own, be satisfied,” draws out against Tybalt to protect Romeo’s honor. But before the fighting could begin, Romeo, not wanting either of his cousins to be injured, steps in between them giving Tybalt an opportunity to stab Mercutio, which he takes. In this scene, Mercutio shows his brotherly love for Romeo by trying to defend Romeo from the obvious verbal attack from Tybalt, and Romeo gives back by trying to stop them from fighting, although it causes the reverse effect, with Mercutio being stabbed and killed. This type of friendship is very much like that of two brothers, mocking of each other, but still there when they are in need. But sometimes, a friend could be there for you, and your share a special connection, but they just aren’t enough like you to understand what you’re going through.

Just before the party scene in Act 1, Mercutio has a speech about a certain Queen Mab who appears in ones dreams. He says this, “She is the fairies’ midwife, and she comes in shape no bigger than an agate stone on the forefinger of an alderman, drawn with a team of little atomi over men’s noses as they lie asleep…” He expresses his opinions that dreams are nothing more than one’s mind riding of strange thoughts and not visions of things to come, as Romeo assumes. Just before he suggests that Romeo should ‘play rough with love’. The fact that he he doesn’t see much good in romance, and thus isn’t a great person to share your love problems with is described in this, “If love be rough with you, be rough with love. Prick love for pricking, and you beat love down. Give me a case to put my visage in! A visor for a visor. What care I what curious eye doth cote deformities? Here are the beetle brows shall blush for me.” Thus the relationship between Romeo and Mercutio is flawed.

Romeo and Mercutio’s relationship as close friends was deep, but corrosive, it caused death that could have been avoided if they weren’t so protective of each other. They mocked each other in a friendly manner, albeit one sided. They put each others’ lives on the line to save the others honor or even life. But finally, the friendship was not perfect, because Mercutio and Romeo did not share opinions about love and thus could not share their deepest feelings and act as confidants for each other. If Romeo and Mercutio were better or even worse friends, how would the ending of the play change?

Ðe Cooler

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATwo weekends ago, I was invited to a birthday at the cooler, an ice-skating rink which I been too twice before. The last time I went I had loads of fun and this time was no different. I could, from last time, sort of skate around (although I fell quite a bit and moved very slowly). I really enjoy ice-skating; it feels great to slide around on the ice26177758_6R4ZIhnda7FbrLQNho1WZJVVXcKOZ_VQebQCKZRAg7M and the fact thats its completely unnatural also adds to its beauty. Its great and all to stumble around and just be on the ice, but when you start going quickly, and sort of flying across the ground is when the real fun starts. It was also great to be with my friends, which made the experiences much greater. We are actually planning to do it again (maybe during a long weekend like this one) because it was so much fun. Also I am trying to drag the rest of my family to try ice-skating because I’m not sure many of them have. Anyways, ice-skating is a really fun past-time and I want to do it more regularly instead of once a year.

P.S. The Ð in the title is just was just a test. I tried to see if some “special” unicode characters would work and well…

P.P.S. Ð/ð is a characted used in Old English and other Germanic languages which makes the sound th as in the, not like in think, that would be Þ/þ (It’s sort of like the difference between s and z).

Economic Newscast

Reporter: Unemployment rates are a huge source of contention in today’s politics. Many people believe they are currently too high and that measures must be taken to lower these numbers. I’m here with two officials from the Department of Labor Services who are going to give us some insight on the current situation with unemployment. So, Mr. Obambo and Mr. Romley, first off, what is unemployment.

Obambo: Well, like the name suggests, unemployment is when a person does not have a job. However, a common misconception is that anyone who doesn’t have a job is unemployed. Those who chose to not work are not counted as unemployed persons.

Romley: This includes stay at home parents, hippies, those who are cyclically unemployed, underemployed workers, and artists. [heavy coughing]

Reporter: What are underemployed workers?

Obambo: Simply, those who are part timers.

Reporter: Tell us more about this cyclical unemployment.

Romley: There are three types of unemployment: frictional, cyclical, and structural.

Obambo: Frictional unemployment is when a man loses his job but is still qualified to take another in the same field. It is less of an issue than structural unemployment, where a man loses his job due to a change in industry or technology.

Romley: Cyclical is when he loses his job due to a change in the business cycle. This can be due to natural causes, like the farmers who only work for certain periods, or stock brokers, whose success changes based on the health of the market. All these things can make the unemployment rate inaccurate. Plus, people who are frictionally unemployed for so long that they give up are known as discouraged workers, and are not counted in the rate.

Reporter: How exactly is the unemployment rate measured, and who is in charge of the measuring?

Obambo: Calculations are done by the Department of Labor, more specifically the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It’s calculated by taking the unemployed workers and dividing it by the total labor force. These numbers are acquired by census.

Romley: The current total labor force in the United States is around 160 million people, making our current national unemployment rate 8.1 percent. Hey, it’s better than Mauritania, which has a 31 percent unemployment rate.

Obambo: That makes us number 63 when it comes to unemployment rates globally.

Reporter: How’s it looking for the future of the US and its unemployment rate?

Romley: Statistically, over the past year rates have really dropped, probably due to the fact that we’re coming out of a recent recession. We can continue these trends by opening up more independently owned business and stimulating the economic growth of the country. More money means more production which leads to more jobs.

Reporter: Thank you two for your time. I hope this interview has helped shed some light on the subject for us clueless, everyday Americans. This is Mr. Tittywinkles with FOX News. Back to you, O’Reilly.


Elle Me Dit

I have recently stumbled across an extremely catchy French-language pop song by a Lebanese-British singer-songwriter called MIKA (I checked out his other songs but I just don’t like them as much), I found while traversing the wide open ocean of the Internet. On the first listen I was a little disappointed because it sounded a little too “pop” for my tastes, too much like the American pop songs that I can’t stand. But on the second listen I notice some really cool things, like the awesome instrumental track in the background which, by itself, is very catchy. Then I payed close attention to the lyrics and although I recognized near to none of it because it is in French, I found them very pleasing as well. I now attribute this to French’s silent consonants at the end of most words which, because of this, means a LOT of words rhyme (they end with the aah sound). The music video also goes well with the song. It starts out with a creepy old man dancing in front of a mirror (oh, the winking) and continues with all the other members of a family interacting with each other (usually in a negative way). There are a lot of bright (almost blinding) colours and eccentric dancing. It’s a little creepy and cheesey, but as I said before, it fits the music. It’s not the best music writing nor singing but it’s really fun and that’s what matters in the end, right? I have listen to this song dozens and dozens of times over since I found it and I’m sure it will be a while before I’m sick of it. Also, since the song is in French and I still really enjoyed it even though I don’t understand it, it opened my eyes to the fact that there are TONS of really awesome foreign bands. Until now I had only been listening to English-language music, but shortly after finding Elle Me Dit I found another band (although it was actually for a school project) called Asian Kung-Fu Generation that is now one of my all-time favorites bands although it is only in Japanese.

Here is Elle Me Dit by Mika on Youtube,

and Soredewa, Mata Ashita by AKG (just for if you’re interested).

Model UN Northwestern Conference

Tomorrow is an exciting day for me, because I am attending a Model UN conference hosted at my own school. I think this conference will be more exciting than the others I have went to because I am taking the role of a country that is completely against the topic. vitenamI take the place of Vietnam in the Human Rights Council debating Internet Freedom. Vietnam is a really interesting country for this topic, because I am representing the government and they are completely anti-freedom of speech and Internet freedom. Well, I can’t wait for the conference tomorrow, but for now I’ll show you my position paper where I showed Vietnam’s viewpoint on the topic.

Disclaimer: I am just taking the place of Vietnam and I don’t actually agree with what is said.


The issue of internet freedom is widely discussed today. It is said that censoring the internet is a violation of rights and no government should be able to control the internet. The country of Vietnam is completely against this claim. Vietnam censors most websites written in Vietnamese to the people of the country. The government is required to do this to insure stability in their country, as if they did not, the country would be in chaos. Internet censorship is needed to ensure the protection of the Vietnamese people.

Internet Freedom has been a controversial topic in South-East Asia. Because a lot of the countries in this part of the world are communist, the governments want to protect their people and stop other countries from interfering in their nationalistic ideas. Outside sources, like the US, want to interfere with issues in these countries and they are causing instability. Recently, Vietnam has passed Decree 72, which stops bloggers from spreading rumors about government websites and press organizations. This bill was put in place to ensure national security and stop piracy and copyright infringement. This decree bans online bloggers from posting anti-government propaganda and infesting the public with false ideas. With recent outside involvement from the US, this bill is needed as Americans are trying to plant ideas against the national tradition and policies of Vietnam. Vietnam sees this US involvement as a breach of their sovereignty. The Human Rights Watch is against this decree, saying that it will hinder businesses from opening in Vietnam and this would slow down business growth. But what they do not emphasize on is that this Decree will stop internet piracy, which is a growing issue in the world as the internet grows larger. Vietnam is negotiating the Trans-Pacific Agreement, which drives forward the rules of property enforcement. Internet piracy is a problem and internet censorship is a big role in fixing it.

The main issue that revolves around internet freedom is that in certain countries, freedom of speech and expression takes precedence, but in others the only way for the country to stay stable is to stop the rebellious propaganda from reaching the public. As a negotiator of the Trans-Pacific Agreement, Vietnam thinks that an international set of guidelines should be set on how the internet should be used. An international agreement would be set in place effective immediately across the south-west Asian area. This agreement would stop any rebellious or anti-government propaganda and protect the security and stability of these countries.

Works Cited

“Vietnam’s Internet Censorship Bill Goes Into Effect.” Electronic Frontier Foundation. N.p., 10 Sept. 2013. Web. 29 Jan. 2015.


Caesar’s Seizures Final Draft

This is the final draft of the Caesar Seizure research paper. It went through many revisions but this is the end result.

What does it mean to be alive? One can answer this question in multiple perspectives. Many agree it has to do with perception of a correct reality. If one has a skewed perception, does that mean they are not in this sense alive? If so, it can be stated that Caesar actually died way before the Ides of March. However, if we use the conventional definition of the word “alive” Caesar was very much alive during his final days. However it is noted by various famous literary figures that something in him changed. This change occurred in the most vulnerable place: his mind. To go crazy is something feared by many people. For Caesar, it must have been a strange and disconcerting sensation. Perhaps he did not die in a sense, but he was changed in such a way that he was not the same as he was before. Can it be proved that Caesar was indeed mentally ill? With cold hard facts, anything can be supported. It is a well accepted fact that Caesar had some kind of mental ailment, and because of the seizures, hereditary nature, and strange behavior, it could have been schizophrenia.

Caesar had some head troubles accompanied by seizures and strange behavior. Caesar could not have been right in the head mentally as he walked into a very obvious trap. The fact that the most renown general in history would do this is unsettling. “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’ (Bursztajn, 19)?” Plutarch writes that Caesar had head troubles, and was prone to convulsions. “Plutarch provided more specific descriptions of Caesar’s attacks, claiming he had “distemper in the head and was subject to epileptic fits (Panayiotopoulos, 1413).” When Caesar had seizures, he was worried he may have spoken or acted out of turn. This suggests that he lost control of himself from time to time. ”When he came to himself again, he said, if he had done or said anything wrong, he desired their worships to think that it was his infirmity (Panayiotopoulos, 1413).”  Why would he apologize for recent behavior if he did not think that something in his behavior changed during these seizures?

Both schizophrenia and epilepsy are hereditary, and Caesar’s relatives had epilepsy. Schizophrenia is hereditary, which means that some of Caesar’s relatives might have had it. “…five children of schizophrenic mothers became schizophrenic, but no children of non-schizophrenic mothers became schizophrenic (Tsuang, 38).” Caesar’s relatives did indeed have seizures. Seizures are hereditary as well, so we can assume that if the seizures were caused by schizophrenia, Caesar might have very well had Schizophrenia. “Even when the cause of an individual’s epilepsy is non identifiable, genetic factors undoubtedly influence predisposition to develop seizures (Wynbrandt, 146).” It can be inferred from the fact that his relatives had epilepsy that he had epilepsy due to hereditary reasons. This does not in itself prove that Caesar for sure had schizophrenia, but it strongly suggests it, if not just the fact that some kind of mental defect is causing the epilepsy.

Schizophrenia and epilepsy are related. Those with schizophrenia are more prone to seizures. “…patients with schizophrenia are more prone to seizures than the general population (Hyde, 1).” Seizures are usually caused by an underlying hereditary defect, such as schizophrenia. “…the epilepsy is second to an identifiable cause, often an underlying hereditary defect. (Wynbrandt, 146).” Those who have seizures are more likely to be schizophrenic. “Patients with epilepsy develop psychosis or schizophrenia at a rate exceeding that expected if the two disorders were independent (Hyde, 1).” Again, just because Caesar had a hereditary disease and happened to have seizures because of it, it is not specifically proven that Caesar suffered from schizophrenia. It only supports that claim.

It cannot be known for sure that Caesar did suffer from schizophrenia. It is not only a very vague diagnosis, but many other ailments also fit the symptoms. However, its as good a guess as any of those and seems like a good interpretation due to its statistical likeness and that fact that Caesar’s judgement was subpar in his later years. It also provides an explanation for his apologizing for previous behavior after such seizures, as normal seizures do not have any affect on a person’s behavior.