Finally Finals

At last. The semester is done, finals are done. Last week I took semester finals all week long and overall I felt very confident about the tests. There were some difficult ones but except for those… Anyways, here is the run down, chronologically, of my last week.

Literature: This test was on Tuesday and it was the only one I took that day. It was one of the easiest as it was mainly reading comprehension, grammar, and MLA formatting.

World History: World History is my most my only AP level class. But I’m doing just fine in that class so this testing day was fairly low stress. AP exams are generally fairly difficult so it definitely helped that after finishing the exam I could go home due to scheduling and the fact I usually go to lunch in the period after AP World.

Japanese: On the next day, I went to my Japanese class to take this test. I’m pretty good at Japanese, and the test was almost completely multiple choice so I felt very confident that I did well on this exam. There were some listening and reading sections that were slightly difficult but in the end I went left satisfied. :D

Latin: After Japanese, I had my easiest final of them all. I have an excellent grade in Latin class (mainly because the class is very simple) and taking the final was no different. After finishing the test early I just played Solitaire for the rest of the period until we were dismissed.

Pre-Calculus: When I got home on Thursday afternoon I studied… a lot. More than I really had for a while and it was for Pre-Calculus, my most difficult class. When I got to school the next day I was prepared to take the Chemistry exam but for a few reasons we have the 7th period final before the 6th. I walk into the room and the next thing I know I’m onto the next test. I was pretty stressed so I don’t remember much about it though. :P

Chemistry: At last, the final final. This one was a breeze, I was prepared pretty well and I felt no problem with it. It contained a lot of information about our most recent unit as we hadn’t taken a test on that information yet. But moles, which is what the unit was about, are basically basic algebra so I felt great. Now, I was feeling awesome, finals done, a whole two and a half weeks of relaxing to come. *sigh*


* 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?


Oranges or Apples : The Age Old Question

Merry Christmas! I hope your Christmas day was wonderful. I know I’ve been enjoying this break from school and I have had plenty of time to relax. But sometimes I start to miss the fun things I learn in my classes everyday. One of my favorite labs so far that I have done in Biology class this year is the experiment we did with fruit flies. What made this experiment so enjoyable, was that we could design the lab and test anything we wanted to involving the fruit flies. The only parameter we had was that our experiment had to involve a choice between two different factors. My lab group and I decided that because these were fruit flies, we should involve some kind of fruit in our experiment (right?). We tested the fruit flies preference towards citrus fruits or apples. This is what we found out. Enjoy!


The Effect of Fruit  Scents on Wingless Fruit Flies


Do wingless fruit flies prefer Apple peels or orange peels?

Background Information

The Drosophila melanogaster tends to prefer citrus fruit because of acetic acid( an odorous chemical that indicative of alcoholic fermentation by yeast, that tells them lay their eggs there) therefore the Drosophila melanogaster will be drawn toward the scent of the clementine rather than the scent of the apple when placed in the choice bottle. To provide accurate results, both experimental groups will be provided with the same amount of time to decide and equal amount of fruit to choose. The independent variable in this experiment would be the different scents, and the dependent variable in the experiment would be the amount of wingless fruit flies that went to each side of the choice chamber. There was no control group in our experiment, but the constants were the amount of time, the amount of fruit flies in the choice chamber, and the cotton balls.


The Drosophila melanogaster will prefer the orange peels over the apple peels because of their stronger scent.

Materials List

1 Peeler

1 Kanzi Apple

1 Clementine

1 Funnel

1 Choice Bottle, a two-sided bottle made of two cut bottles that are taped together in the center to create a scenario where there are two choices

1 Jar of 20 Fruit Flies

2 Cotton Balls

2 Pieces of Tape

1 Timer

Choice Bottle:


  1. Gather Materials.

  2. Pour fruit flies into the choice bottle using the funnel.

  3. Give the flies awhile to reevaluate themselves and gather them all in the center of the choice bottle.

  4. Mash up both fruits and apply rub to cotton balls to get the scent on the cotton balls.

  5. Tape both cotton balls to the caps of both sides of the choice bottle.

  6. Gather the fruit flies in the center of the choice bottle.

  7. Give the fruit flies 90 seconds to choose the fruit they prefer.

  8. Count how many fruit flies are on either side.

  9. Record data on table.

  10. Repeat steps 6-9 five times

  11. Analyze data.

# of Fruit Flies on Either Side of the Choice Bottle























The purpose of this experiment was to see the effect of different scents of fruit on the Drosophila melanogaster and to observe which fruit they prefer. The average ratio of fruit flies on the clementine side versus the apple side was 11 to 9. As seen in the graph and data table above, on average two more fruit flies chose the scent of the clementine over the apple. The data collected supported the hypothesis that the Drosophila melanogaster would prefer the scent of the clementine over the scent of the apple. In the lab, we had trouble containing the fruit flies in the center, after each trial was completed. A different method of collecting the flies in the center of the choice bottle to provide more accurate results for a future experiment. These results could be expanded upon by a future experiment including different fruits that could provide a more broad understanding of which fruit that the Drosophila melanogaster prefers.

How much longer will they “bee” around?

For our final in Biology class this year, we had to create an annotated bibliography for a topic of our choice relating to Biology. I chose to research about the topic of the recent bee colony declination. Then I had to find multiple scientific articles relating to my topic and write a synopsis of each article. This is most likely the base research that I will use for some sort of paper next semester, so I tried to be thorough with my entries. Maybe you can learn something new about this issue while reading these summaries. Enjoy!


Biology Literature Review : The declination of bee colonies

Bernauer, O. M., Gaines-Day, H. R., & Steffan, S. A. (2015). Colonies of bumble bees (Bombus impatiens) produce fewer workers, less bee biomass, and have smaller mother queens following fungicide exposure. 6(2), 478-488.

This article is about the effects of fungicides on bee colonies and how they affect worker production. Bees are very important to the environment, as they serve as the main source of reproduction for many plants. Recently, bees have experienced population declines, which in turn leaves a huge portion of the environment unable to reproduce. The declination of bees may be attributable to the use of pesticides in modern day farms. However, Fungicides, which are commonly acknowledged as harmless to bees, have been found to disrupt the normal behavior of honey bees. In the article, the authors found that colonies exposed to fungicides “produced less than a third as many workers, less than half the amount of bee biomass and had mother queens with half the body mass” (Bernauer, 2015, p. 482) in comparison to colonies that have not been exposed to fungicides. This article has shown how the fungicide, chlorothalonil, can cause major damage to bee colonies and thus the environments around them. And that a survey found that chlorothalonil was the pesticide found most in honey bee colonies in 23 states. The results could be used to further support a report of the declining bee population. The article expands upon the fact that most of these seemingly harmless agricultural chemicals may actually cause more damage than we think they do.

Daszak, P., Rostal, M., & Smith, K. (2013). Pathogens, pests, and economics: Drivers of honey bee colony declines and losses. 10(4), 434-445.

This article explains the concerns that come with the declination of bee populations. The colony losses are grouped into two categories: long-term colony declines and annual colony declines. The article associates the long-term declines with political and socioeconomic factors. These include the pressure that has been placed on honey production in Europe and the United States. According to the article, these long-term losses have resulted in “more than a 25% decrease of European colonies since the mid-1980s and nearly a 60% decrease in the U.S.” (Daszak, 2013, p. 435). The causes of annual colony losses, however, still remain unclear. The suspected culprit of these annual losses is attributed to pesticides, pathogens, and management issues with colonies. Most of these culprits can also be linked back as contributing factors to long-term declination of colonies. This article develops the idea that the main cause of these colony losses is the human disruption of the bee’s natural environment in which they prosper and the unnecessary pressures placed upon the colonies that could result to be fatal. And, the fact that the beekeeping industry has become more commercial, resulting in less micro-management has contributed to the issue.

Van der Zee, R., Gray, A., Pisa, L., & Theo, D. (2015). An observational study of honey bee colony winter losses and their association with Varroa destructor, Neonicotinoids and other risk factors. 10(7), 1-25.

This article tracks the correlation between winter colony losses with other suspected causes of bee colony decline. The winter losses compared the colony strength during the summer vs. the winter. The other causes tested in this experiment was the Varroa destructor, a mite that infiltrates bee colonies, and the presence of neonicotinoids, a common pesticide. According to the article, the winter conditions may have added to the severity of the neonicotinoids and Varroa destructor. In the Netherlands, beekeepers have determined that during the summer, colonies build up a sizeable population to last through the long Dutch winters. But with a mite infestation, a colony may not have enough opportunity to build their population before winter comes. In the article, it was found that “beekeepers who treated against the ectoparasite Varroa destructor (referred to in this study as ‘varroa mite’) in winter and in summer always experienced significantly lower risk of winter losses compared with beekeepers who only treated in summer” (Van der Zee, 2015, p. 2). Through these results, it can be concluded that the combination of winter conditions with the mite may have fatal results for the bee colonies. This article effectively draws the parallel of environmental conditions with the decline of bees. This issue could be expanded upon through the issue of climate change and harsher summers and winters which could have unsavory results for the bees.

Amiri, E., Meixner, M., Nielsen, S., & Kryger, P. (2015). Four categories of viral infection describe the health status of honey bee colonies. 10(10), 1-12.

This article focuses on the prevalence of the understanding of viral infections on bee colonies. In case of an outbreak, we need to have knowledge of what viruses have the most influence of bee colonies. The article narrows down their experiment to seven major viruses the could be found in colonies. The most prevalent of the seven viruses being: the Sacbrood virus, Black queen cell virus, and Deformed wing virus. In 76% of their cases, one of the seven major viruses was found in the sick colony that they tested. The article also mentions the severe effects of high levels of Varroa destructor infestations and winter conditions. The viruses mentioned in the experiment were known to be found in colonies globally. The major issue with these viruses is that most of them are absent of any symptoms until it is too late to track. This makes it almost impossible to track the disease in real-time. If we were able to control these viruses, then we would have a greater chance at reversing the immense damage that has been inflicted on the bee population.

Youngsteadt, E., Appler, H. R., Lopez-Uribe, M. M., Tarpy, D. R., & Frank, S. D. (2015). Urbanization Increases Pathogen Pressure on Feral and Managed Honey Bees. 10(10), 1-16.

This article expands upon the idea of how human urbanization increases the effect of infectious disease on the bee population. The article stresses the idea that bees are the main pollinator worldwide. For this reason, there is a need to understand how pathogen susceptibility in transmitted in bees. They have found that the pressure on bees has significantly increased with urbanization and commercialization of the bee industry. This increased pressure has created a vulnerability in the bee’s ability to defend against common honey bee pathogens. Urbanization has had similar effects on humans through diseases such as measles and malaria that have evolved during the process urbanization. This ties directly back to bees as they are stripped from their natural conditions leaving them dazed and open to attack from pathogens. And if some unexpected epidemic were to occur in the bee population, it could create an immense ripple effect into the surrounding environment. Flowering plants would no longer have their main source of reproduction and without a large source of plants to keep the ecosystem stable, the whole environment would begin to crumble. The article reinforces that if the losses of bees can cause so much damage to the surrounding around, it is important to understand what started it all.


Chemistry Bibliography: Green Energy

One of the last Chemistry assignments of the year, I had to write and turn in a bibliography for an upcoming Chem. paper on various topics. I chose green energy and biofuels as my topic. Here are the three bibliographies I wrote for the essay.

Makareviciene, V., Skorupskaite, V., & Andruleviciute, V. (2013). Biodiesel fuel from microalgae promising alternative fuel for the future: a review. Reviews In Environmental Science & Biotechnology , 12 (2), 119130. doi:10.1007/s1115701393124

This scientific review was into into microalgae and its use in biodiesel fuel. Algae get their energy directly from the sun and thus can increase biomass very quickly, much more quickly than other plants. Then have more than half of their biomass in stored oils which make them great for biofuel production. Some experiments have been done to supply carbon dioxide to the growing algae to see the effects. It has been found that if there is at least 1.85 g CO2/g of algal biomass than the algae can be grown at the optimal speed and biomass production as Carbon accounts for 45-50% of the algae’s mass. Additional Carbon Dioxide exposure can increase the output of certain microalgae, such as Chlorella by almost 5 times. These finding in new methods of algal biomass production can be used to describe the emerging potential of biodiesel fuel. It will also be beneficial in the paper as it provides an overview of the pros of algal biomass production and biofuel in general.

McNew, L. B., Hunt, L. M., Gregory, A. J., Wisely, S. M., & Sandercock, B. K. (2014). Effects of Wind Energy Development on Nesting Ecology of Greater Prairie Chickens in Fragmented Grasslands. Conservation Biology , 28 (4), 10891099. doi:10.1111/cobi.12258

The experiments in this article concerned the effects of wind turbine use has on native prairie chicken populations. As new sources of energy are being explored, the effects that these new methods would have on native animal population is of vital interest. The new wind energy facility that was constructed had 67 3-MW turbines, 2 substations, 33 km of access roads, and 25 km of energy transmission lines. It was expected that the nests’ population size would be negatively affected by the installation of new turbines over a five-year study, however there were actually more nests, nearer to the turbines, after their installation than before. Before the study there were 59 located nests and 159 were found after the conclusion of the experiment. This study can be used to mitigate the effects of wind power facilities on native animal populations. It will be helpful in the paper was it addresses concerns in the effects of new green power methods on the ecology of the landscape.

Bondesson, P., Zacchi, G., & Galbe, M. (2013). Ethanol and biogas production after steam pretreatment of corn stover with or without the addition of sulphuric acid. Biotechnology For Biofuels , 6 (1), 230.

A material known as corn stover, is one of the raw forms in the production of ethanol fuel. A step in this process is presenting the corn stover with enzymes to help produce the sugars required the next step of the procedure. In this study, the use of sulfuric acid during a steam pretreatment process was explored. The highest output yield was recorded after the sulfuric acid pretreatment was given at 200°C for 10 minutes. The glucose was was 86% at the highest and was much more than repeating the same procedure without a catalyst (Sulfuric Acid). This study can help in producing more and designing more efficient way of creating biomass and biofuels like ethanol. This article will be useful in the paper as it discusses ways of producing biofuel more effectively.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotion is starting to be used in psychotherapy in order to help patients recover from certain ailments. Because emotion is seen as information, it can used to work with therapy in order to assist in the recovery of problems that a person may have. By exploring one’s emotions, one can come to terms with their problems and start working towards a solution on their own. This holds true with certain humanist psychological beliefs but is difficult to prove successful. Some studies have shown that incorporating emotion into therapy actually yields a more successful recovery. In some studies EFT (emotion-focused therapy) was found to be as if not more effective than cognitive-behavioral therapy. It helps reduce interpersonal problems and promotes change in symptoms. Emotion-focused therapy accesses and restructures habitual maladaptive emotional states which can cause depression or other issues. Ways this can happen include a two-chair dialogue and empty-chair dialogue. These sessions help alleviate unresolved feelings and can make a patient more receptive to other types of rehabilitation. Short-term dynamic therapy works on overcoming defenses and treats phobias. These solutions entail the awareness of emotion as the first step to solving emotional problems. There are two fundamental ways of dealing with emotion. One involves attending and labeling emotions in a manner that accepts and normalizes them, while the other causes one to avoid and distort them. The goal is to recognize the emotion using the first pathway, to accept and then change the said emotion to receive the desired effect on the human psyche. After the patient is aware of his or her emotions, steps can be taken to modify those emotions in order to invoke a response in the patient that leads to their eventual recovery from unresolved conflicts. Because emotion has been proved to be effective in recovery, it stand that it should be used whenever dealing with internal or even external conflict.

King James I’s Influence and Representation in Macbeth

Yay! Another essay… this one is a research paper for Literature class after reading Macbeth. The paper had a vague rubric but I choose Macbeth because we had just finished it and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Here we go!

Why do writers create stories? It could be for expressing, informing, convincing, entertaining, or even all four at the same time. In the case of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, one of the little known goals of the stories was to honor King James I of England, the current regent and a patron and supporter of Shakespeare and his work. King James’ influence and inspiration for Shakespeare’s theatre company was shown extensively in Macbeth, a tale of murder, witches, kings, and plots all in a dreary Scottish landscape which is not coincidentally King James’ birthplace. Macbeth was written in celebration and appreciation for Shakespeare’s king and patron, King James I.

In Macbeth, witches are the driving force of the plot, but why did Shakespeare include them? King James was fascinated with witches and the supernatural. He was actually so interested in them that he literally wrote a book on witchcraft, Daemonologie, in which he contended that witches were real and should be sought out and punished (Moss). It was from this book that Shakespeare learned much of what he knew about witches and wrote them into the story because King James was so passionate about them (Biggins). His intense passion for witches is demonstrated when King James began the North Berwick Witch Trials in Scotland in 1590, during which seventy people were convicted of witchcraft and killed. King James’ interest and belief in witches inspired Shakespeare to write Macbeth as witchcraft was predominantly involved in the plot of the play. It wasn’t only the supernatural and witches that King James I had an interest in. When he was young, his father was murdered in a plot were his mother may have been involved. There were also two known murder plots against him, the Gowrie Conspiracy, which is still shrouded in mystery, where an earl attempted to kidnap the King for coercement or to kill him (Moss), and the Gunpowder Plot which is a well known murder plot in which some Catholics who tried to blow up the parliament with barrels of gunpowder (Wormald). Shakespeare had written Macbeth with the intent of relating to King James’ close connection with murder and to depict, and those who commit it as despicable, and specifically Macbeth, as a “the foulest of murders” (Moss). King James related much to the topics of murder and witchcraft, and Shakespeare took this opportunity to incorporate them into the story as a not-so-subtle nod towards him.

King James was a fan of English dramas, especially those of Shakespeare (“James I”), and when he hired them to be the royal theatre company, the group, known as the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, changed their name to the King’s Men to honor their new patron, King James (Garganigo). As the theatre company became part of the royal entourage of artist for the King, the Stuart court heavily influenced the plays Shakespeare would write (Moss). This lead to many characters being directly influenced by King James himself (Andrews). An example can be found in Macbeth, where King Duncan, who is portrayed as a kind and fair king, is a likely analogy to King James. Shakespeare complimented King James with his comparison to the rightful Scottish King in the story, Duncan. And it was right for Shakespeare to thank him for under the King’s assistance the King’s Men and many other artists around the country flourished (Moss).

The final and perhaps greatest act of appreciation to King James was to include Banquo, an ancestor of the King, and portraying him as a extremely logical, morale, and loyal character. In addition, the witches, in their prophesies, state that Banquo will not be King but his one of his future family members will; referencing King James directly and giving legitimacy to his rule (Moss). King James I was first the King of only Scotland until he later inherited the throne of England and united both countries into a single union. Shakespeare includes instances of the English and Scottish royals working together for a common good, showing cooperation between the lands of the King (Moss). This may have helped bring the two countries together, making King James’ job a little easier. Shakespeare used the medium of writing a play to solidify King James’ legitimacy and right to the thrones of both Scotland and England.

Shakespeare wrote Macbeth with the purpose of honoring and thanking King James for his support and patronage of the King’s Men by writing about the things he was interested in or what related to his life. First, Shakespeare used witches and murder as driving forces in the plot of the story, which King James was very interested and connected with. Second, he included many influences and analogies to King James in his works, as he was a patron of Shakespeare’s theatre company. And finally, he included Banquo, a relative of King James’, into the story, and wrote him as a kind person. He also alluded the King James’ ruling of Scotland in the witches’ prophecy. Shakespeare’s Macbeth, in addition to being a wonderful, is also a ingeniously written celebration of King James for his support.

Classical Argumentative Essay

My most recent assignment in Lit was learning how to write a classical argumentative essay. We were able to pick from a list of about 50 topics and write our essays based off of that topic and we could also choose whether we wanted to defend or challenge our topic. I chose the topic that the actions corporations ought to be held to the same moral standards as the actions of individuals and decided to defend the statement. Enjoy!


Moral Obligations of Corporations

In a world where corporations have become such large and powerful organizations, it is important to remember the morality behind the concept of basic human rights. As these corporations have so much influence, it has become possible for individuals to use a corporation as a shield to exempt themselves from the consequences of their actions. Every individual is entitled to their basic human rights, but using the term “corporation” as a method to abuse those rights of others is not morally just. In the Declaration of Independence, it is stated that all individuals “are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights” which includes “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”, however, it seems that every day corporations are able to use their influence and large sums of money to violate these rights without consequences ( 1). But when these corporations are formed under a society that supposedly holds every individual’s rights on an equal plane of existence, these corporations ought to be held by the same moral standards as the actions of individuals.

The Enron scandal is one of the largest scale examples that corporations have the ability to exploit the law through expression of their immense power. This was a huge scam in which many of the top executives, accountants, and lawyers of Enron were involved in a stock inflation scheme which ultimately ended in the Enron Corporation filing for bankruptcy in 2001. Many Enron employees were presented with stock options and 401k plans that were paid out of stock;

but when the scheme was revealed and the offenders were brought to justice, this resulted in a complete loss of stock value and rendered thousands of people unemployed and unable to provide for their families in coming years. As a result of this scheme, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act was passed by Congress that was “designed to hold lawyers to higher standards” when it came to “protecting the public against corporate fraud” such as the Enron scandal and preventing it from happening again (Lawry 1).

In “Fahrenheit 451”, the 24-hour rule for firemen is another example of the inequality of large corporations from individual persons. In the book, firemen who take a book home “really not intending anything” are allowed to “keep the book twenty-four hours”, while any other individual that is found with a book in their possession will have not be able to explain themselves or go through due process, but instead have their house along with all of their other personal effects burned (Bradbury 59). Bradbury provides a warning through this passage that can be interpreted that those individuals which fall under the domain of large corporations are held to different standards than those that do not. And through these standards, firemen are able to have temporary immunity to their offenses while other individuals are punished to an extreme extent for any offense they may commit.

Many people have warned the world against the large corporate rule that is currently in place today. However, with the amount of influence that these corporations have over the world, they have the power to render those warnings obsolete and bend the rules to exempt themselves from the moral standards that apply to all others.

Therefore, in order for individuals to truly have unalienable basic human rights that cannot be violated by a corporation that has enough money or power, the actions of corporations ought to be held to the same moral standards as the actions of individuals. It has been seen that the actions of one corporation can ruin the lives of thousands of innocent families that are just trying to earn their honest day’s pay in a dishonest system of morals. And that without enforcement of these standards on corporations, they will find a way to exempt themselves from justice.

Works Cited

Bradbury, Ray. “The Hearth and the Salamander.” Fahrenheit 451. New York: Simon and

Schuster, 1967. 59-60. Print.

“The Declaration of Independence: A Transcription.” National Archives and Records

Administration. National Archives and Records Administration, n.d. Web. 08 Dec. 2015.

Lawry, Robert P. “Lawyers’ Ethics In A Post-Enron World.” Phi Kappa Phi Forum 95.1 (2015):

27-30. Academic Search Complete. Web. 5 Dec. 2015.

O’Sullivan, Julie R. “How Prosecutors Apply The “Federal Prosecutions Of Corporations”

Charging Policy In The Era Of Deferred Prosecutions, And What That Means For The

Purposes Of The Federal Criminal Sanction.” American Criminal Law Review 51.1 (2014): 29-77. Academic Search Complete. Web. 5 Dec. 2015.

Cultural Landscape Journal

For my latest assignment in AP Human Geography, I had to write a journal with ten entries about places that I went to over Thanksgiving break. These places had to be everyday places that I might visit. For example, I had to write about restaurants, movie theaters, gas stations, grocery stores, schools, etc. I also had to write a cultural analysis for each of these places that I visited. I had to look at the types of people there, the music playing, and the such. This project took a lot of work, but it was just as interesting to look deeper into the cultural aspects behind the places that I see everyday.

P.S. I only have pictures for some of the places that I went to.


Entry 1: Pappadeaux

Type: Restaurant

Date: 11/23/15

Time: 7:20-8:45 (1 hour, 25 minutes)


Pappadeaux is a very culturally infused restaurant with New Orleans themed food and a building that reminds me of something you might see on a street corner in New Orleans. The music playing is primarily Jazz and Blues music, which has ties to the city. The employees are very friendly and are great at convincing you to buy something more expensive. The customers are mostly families with adolescent age children that seem to be enjoying themselves and the food. There is a underlying smell of seafood that is hard to notice, but enough to get you hungry for some shrimp. After some observation, there is an overwhelming amount of folk culture based on tradition from New Orleans. The food, music, and architecture of the restaurant creates an illusion of being in New Orleans and experiencing what you would in the city.


Entry 2: Roswell Bicycles

Type: Sports Shop

Date: 11/25/15

Time: 2:15-2:40 (25 minutes)


The first thing you could notice when you entered the store was the smell of rubber floating in the air. The employees behind the counter greeted every customer that came in and there were a few workers walking around answering any questions people had. There were a few tvs set up around the store that were broadcasting football games and speakers were playing music that I knew from the radio. The bike repair area was in a separate room and there were a few older men there having a friendly conversation about bicycles. This repair operation was very smoothly and had a sort of homey feeling to it. In conclusion to the observations, Roswell Bicycles has an interesting combination of pop culture in the music they played, brands they carried, and sports shown, but the scene of repair shop and the friendly employees retains that folk culture and the connection to the local community.

Entry 3: Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches

Type: Fast Food Restaurant

Date: 11/28/15

Time: 6:40-7:05 (25 minutes)


Being in the location right next to a college dormitory, this Jimmy John’s consisted of what were all college age employees who greeted us as soon as we entered. There were no other customers there at the time which was probably because all the students, which makes up most of the population, had left the town for Thanksgiving break. The restaurant was very clean and smelled like fresh ingredients, and they were playing pop music that you would most likely hear on the radio. The employees were having a conversation about Photoshop and using it in some class at school. The most interesting thing about Jimmy John’s is all of the signs that they have on their walls. They all say some clever remark that provide some entertainment while eating your sandwich. After observation, Jimmy John’s effectively encompasses the pop culture of the college town and the norms of the area.

Entry 4: Thai Emerald

Type: Restaurant

Date: 11/24/15

Time: 7:20-8:35 (1 hour, 15 minutes)


Thai Emerald is an authentic Thai restaurant that is located near Roswell High School. As I walked in the door, smells of spice and curry overwhelmed my nose and made me think I was entering some spice market in Asia. The waiters, dressed in an embroidered outfit, and the architecture of the restaurant with statues and candles created an authentic atmosphere for the Thai cusine. There was a huge party of about 25 people that were celebrating a birthday and enjoying themselves a lot. The food was great and effectively encompassed the Thai spirit in the spices and curries used. Looking back after observations, Thai Emerald used a lot of the folk culture from Thailand in their food, building, clothing, and atmosphere to create an authentic experience.


Entry 5: The El Felix

Type: Restaurant

Date: 11/29/15

Time: 1:15-2:00 (45 minutes)


The El Felix is a Tex-Mex restaurant located at the Avalon. There menu consisted mostly of Mexican based foods and they brought you tortilla chips with two different salsas. Looking around the restaurant, I saw mostly families enjoying themselves while eating out for lunch. The employees were very friendly and came around every so often to check on us and ask if there is anything we need. The entrees all had spanish names as they tried to keep the original names of the dish, as it would be found in Mexico. After some observations, The El Felix retained the folk cultural aspects of the authentic Mexican dishes, but also tied in the pop culture of music and clothing.


Entry 6: Regal Cinemas Avalon 12

Type: Entertainment

Date: 11/29/15

Time: 10:20-1:00 (2 hours, 40 minutes)


The Regal Cinema 12 is located at the center of the Avalon and is the main attraction of the area. They were playing pop music in the lobby and there was a church breakfast taking place. The people that were there for the breakfast were mostly older people with a couple families in the mix. The employees that were checking tickets were teenagers that seemed tired and did not seem like they wanted to be there. I went to see the new James Bond movie, Spectre, and there were only a few other people in the theatre. The previews that played before the movie encompassed the popular upcoming movies that everyone “needs” to see. In conclusion to the observations, the Regal Cinema 12 at Avalon really incorporates pop culture to its daily business schedule through music, movies, and clothing.IMG_20151129_130420.jpg

Entry 7: Milton High School

Type: School

Date: 11/20/15

Time: 8:15-3:30 (7 hours, 15 minutes)


Milton High School is located in the city of Milton and consists of students primarily from ages 14 to 18. Most girls are wearing leggings or skinny jeans with a flannel shirt and most boys are wearing jeans with a hoodie or sweatshirt. A lot of the students walking to class are listening to music, be that alternative or popular. As well as, you can find students that are on their phones throughout the entire school. The school has an interesting Greek/Roman sense of architecture when it comes to the columns out front and it. In wider observation, Milton High School retains some Folk Culture with its architecture, but includes a lot of pop culture through its students.

Entry 8: Home

Type: Residence

Date: 11/26/15

Time: 9:45-10:00 (15 minutes)


My home is the location of most of my cultural influence as it is the place where I have been and am currently being raised. The main language of my house is English, but occasionally my Dad will teach me some phrase in Hungarian or tell me some fact about Hungarian. It smells like pumpkin pie and some floral candles as my mom is preparing for Thanksgiving lunch. There is also some classic rock music being played from the garage where my dad is working on some project. There are a wide variety of foods eaten in my home including a Hungarian Goulash, which is a traditional beef stew from Hungary. After observations, my home consists of a great amount of both folk culture and pop culture in the music, food, clothing, and manners.

Entry 9: Northern Tool

Type: Shopping Area

Date: 11/27/15

Time: 3:45-4:50 (1 hour, 5 minutes)


Northern Tool is a home improvement and construction supply store and the one that I went to was located in Marietta. When I got there, there were lots of people there as it was black friday and there were a lot of sales. A majority of the customers there were hispanic and wearing jeans and a t-shirt. The store had pop music playing on the speakers and was relatively quiet for the amount of people there. The employees were very friendly and were helping people find items around the store. The most interesting thing there was that it seemed more people were talking in Spanish than English. After observation, Northern Tool contained some pop culture with the music choice and black friday deals, but it retained a surprising amount of folk culture in regards to language and how the store was run.


Entry 7: Home Depot

Type: Shopping Area

Date: 11/27/15

Time: 6:05-6:45 (40 minutes)


The Home Depot is a widely spread home improvement store that is a common destination for construction, plumbing, etc. workers. The first thing you notice when you enter the store is the smell of wood and sort of factory smell. But when I entered the rental area, there was an overwhelming smell of gas that lingered in the air. There was pop music playing throughout the store and a large amount of people (again being black friday) that consisted mostly of people wearing baggy jeans and a t-shirt. In wider observation, the Home Depot encompasses the folk culture of the vocational trades very efficiently with the implementation of pop culture in music and architecture.


So Many Words: A Latin Essay

This is the second step two of the grand journey my Latin research paper has taken. In this section, probably the most difficult, I had to write the rough draft, bringing the word count from 650 (outline) to 1500. Next step will be cutting it down to 800. That may be easier. :D

Scipio Africanus, born Publius Cornelius Scipio in 236 B.C. into the Cornelii family which was one of the most powerful and influential families in Roman history, was the oldest son of the a consul and praetor who he was named after. When he was about 18 the Second Punic War began against Rome’s main enemy, Carthage, and Scipio joined the fight with his father. At the mere age of seventeen, he had his first experience with combat, watching his father who was also a commander. “Here the youthful Scipio, a lad of seventeen, accompanied his father, the Roman commander.” (Liddell Hart 9) At eighteen he joined his father in the Battle of Ticinus, where he is said to have rescued his father on the field by charging the men encircling his dad with crazy and reckless bravery, saving his life. And because the Carthaginians won this battle, and those of Trebia and Cannae, he would, once given the title of commander, never lose another battle. His daring, military genius, loyalty to Rome all made Scipio an unmatched leader and military strategist. Scipio was a pioneer of many military techniques such as his notorious infantry flanks and was the inspiration for many later strategists, many of whom consider him to be history’s greatest military leader. He was versed in many tactical maneuvers such infantry flanking, and envelopment, which have been emulated by modern tacticians. “…Scipio was of true master at tactical maneuver, having trained his army in [flanking infantry columns, fixing attacks, cavalry flank tactics, envelopment, etc.]” (Gabriel 48) “Scipio developed [infantry maneuvers] to a high art and employed them with a brilliance and effectiveness unparalleled in Roman history.” (Gabriel NP) He was also widely known for his pragmatic and conservative plans as he always had the end goal of the war in mind, avoiding unnecessary battles and instead focusing on key victories. This is shown with his assault on Cartagena, the local capital of the Carthaginian lands in Iberia, being named directly after Carthage itself. “While others urged [Scipio] to attack one of the Carthaginian armies, he decided to strike at their base. their life-line.” (Liddell Hart 27) “You will in actuality attack the walls of a single city, but in that single city you will have made yourselves masters of all of Spain.” (Liddell Hart 30) In addition Scipio was revered for his dedication and commitment to the war. Scipio would never give up until Carthage was defeated and yet never lost a battle in his career. “… Scipio was satisfied with nothing less than a total victory…” (Acimovic 33) “[Scipio] ranks… as one of history’s few generals who never suffered a defeat.” (Gabriel NP) He gained quite a large group of fans, and is often considered greater than Alexander the Great, who at the time was known as the best commander to have ever lived, by many. “Scipio [procured] a degree of admiration which surpassed what was due to any human being…” (Berwick 26) Although today he is remembered primarily for his military genius, inspiring generals and creating and perfecting new troop formations and maneuvers, his influence goes beyond the military and to the whole history of Spain, the Western Mediterranean, and to whole Roman Republic itself.

Because of the victories and skill of Scipio Africanus, Rome won the Second Punic War against Carthage, finally securing Rome’s influence and control in the Western Mediterranean. At the time, although Carthage was not a military powerhouse like Rome, it still did have the same amount of land, and influence over the region. The Punic Wars solidified Rome as the one and only powerful civilization in the area. If the war had been lost, as it might have due to Hannibal’s military genius rivaling that of Scipio, Carthage might as well have become the  “New Rome” becoming the basis for the cultures of Spain, France, and Italy. When Scipio was first appointed a general by the senate when he was only 25 years old, his first, and most notable assignment was to Iberia, modern day Spain, to lead the armies their in the to fight against the Carthaginians lead by the brilliant Punic leader and general Hannibal and eventually successfully brought the region under Roman rule. “…the Romans had assigned… Scipio… to Iberia and Africa with the intention of attacking the enemy’s domains and forcing [Hannibal] on the defensive.” (Acimovic 12) His most important victory in Spain was the conquest the city of New Carthage, as it was the capital of the Carthaginian base in Spain, and the city was later fully integrated into the Roman Empire. Being the center of Roman cultural and governmental influence around the peninsula. From their Latin became the official language of the cities and eventually citizens of the new Roman province. “Upon his arrival at New Carthage, Scipio took up a position on the peninsula so as to completely blockade the city.” (Acimovic 16) Iberian culture was influenced extensively by Rome, and Latin became the major language of the region, eventually evolving into modern day Spanish, Portuguese, and others around the region. Without Scipio’s success in Hispania, Spain would not be the country we recognize today, linguistically, culturally, and historically. “…Roman influence lasted longer and ran much deeper in Spain than in other parts of the Latin West.” (Kulikowski 1) After his successful Hispania campaign, he was unanimously elected consul at the age of 35. But although he intended to go to Africa to participate in the final attack against Carthage, to finish the war he was so vital in getting thus far, the Senate refused to give him more men than just the garrison at Sicily. He did however have a large group of supporters and patrons who provided him with the supplies, men, and ships for another campaign. While he heavily influenced the cultures, and languages of Iberia and North Africa, one of his most unique contributions to today’s world is in the world of espionage.

Scipio Africanus was one of the first generals to make use of spies in the acquisition of information and to sabotage enemy operations in order to weaken enemy forces or create better plans. He often sent disguised soldier into enemy camps to map entrances and exits as well as vulnerabilities in their defences. “They were to look for outposts and sentries…” (Sheldon NP) He was the only Roman general to make extensive use of espionage while other generals of the day did not seem to take part in spying for the military. “In conducting espionage, Scipio seems to stand out as an exception among Roman commanders.” (Sheldon NP) Scipio in some cases sent his spies out disguised as escaped slaves to avoid suspicion from the enemy troops. During the siege of Utica, when the Romans could not make any more advances, Scipio sent some of his centurions dressed as slaves into the camp with Roman emissaries, and while the emissaries talk with the Carthaginian leaders, the spies wandered the camp recording vital information that would help the Roman army achieve complete victory against a force that was far superior in weapons and numbers. This practice was also used to a lesser extent by Hannibal but Scipio was the first Roman general to do such an act. “…sending out spies in the guise of escaped slaves, a ruse favoured by… Scipio Africanus.” (Crowdy 23) He essentially began the practice of espionage in war and influenced the creation of organization such as the CIA, ISI, and MI6 which are now the primary forces in global diplomatic and military conflicts. It is now a norm to gather information about the terrain and enemy forces as much as possible before an upcoming battle. He was truly an innovator of new techniques to wage war on the battlefield as well as off.

Of all the influential military leaders throughout history, few had the amount of influence and innovation that Scipio Africanus had. He was a genius military tactician and leader, planning and executing brilliant battle strategies, instilling courage and bravery in his troops, and all while never losing a single battle in his career. Scipio directed the history that Spain and North Africa would have, bringing Latin to Hispania and allowing for the spread and establishment of Roman rule across Iberia. And finally being one of the first Roman generals to make use of spies, scouting enemy camps with disguises and cunning to win battles against his odds. One could go as far as saying he is even better than Alexander the Great, and one of Rome’s best general if not history’s best.