Posted in 8th Grade, Science 8

S8 L10 – My YouTube Progress

         I think that my YouTube banner, icon, and channel all fit what my Value Proposition is, which is offering ideas to kids like me who ant a new way to have fun.  Using better materials, this works for BB and paintball too, so not just the younger kids with foam-shooters can play.  My banner is colorful, even though I can’t put it up yet because of technical problems.  So is my icon, and that I was able to put up.  My YouTube name I’m not so sure about.  It may be a little long, being four words.  It does use limerick and rhyme, though, so I may be okay.  Eventually once I get the banner up, as well as a good few videos, then I’ll really start to experiment and see what happens with different things about Nerf and Bed Forts.  I might do other games like Lego and board games, but I really think the man thing is going to be Nerf forts, Bed forts, and the nerf wars we have with a combination of the two. If you haven’t seen it yet, here it is: Blasters N’ Bed Forts

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Posted in Random

E8 L20 – A Bad Day and How I Handled it

          Today sucked.  No question about it.  The question is, how did I handle it?

Today started off pretty good. I get to wake up late and have a delicious homemade banana pancake for breakfast.  I would regret the bananas later.  After I finished my breakfast, I got in trouble for playing monopoly for maybe 20 minutes that morning instead of coming inside for breakfast and then school.  She eventually ushered me inside and up into the schoolroom. 

The problem was, it all went downhill from there.  I then had to start school, and after a while of doing school, mom decided to break it on me that I have three days work to do, and then decided I have to make a mind map and outline for every single essay.  In other words, I had to do an outline and mind map every single day for the rest of the year.  Thus, this adding of work to my already heavy workload made me pretty mad, and that made mom mad too. 

Afterwards, after we had both got pretty ma feeding off each other’s anger, she decided to vent it on me in the form of yelling at me for microscopic mistakes.  Of course, this only made it worse, and the rest of the day was pretty much doomed to suck. I went downstairs to grab a snack, and who happened to be down there but dad! He then told me I had to eat bananas for all of my snacks the rest of the day.  Boy, do bananas get tiring fast!

          I then tried to escape school for a time, so I went outside, set up a game of Monopoly, and made first move.  I then went back inside, and managed to move my brother outside, and we began playing a game of monopoly.  Some time passed, in which I lost nearly 500 thousand to my brother and going to jail.  He kept going around and around the board, buying property and collecting 200 thousand every time he passed go.  About the time I got out of jail for the fourth time Mom came out to see what we were doing.  She took one look at the board and started a very long and loud lecture about doing school even if she was not currently forcing us to.  Thus, we were herded back into the house and back to schoolwork.  Eventually she finds out school lasted so long today because I haven’t been doing much and if I did do something I did it extremely slowly.  About this time, it is five PM.  Three hours later and just finishing that day’s work with one more day’s work to go, she walks in and tells me to go get ready for bed and to go to bed.

          Thus went today, the day of yelling, and school, and trouble.  Tomorrow may be no better – that’s for tomorrow to decide. 

Posted in 8th Grade, History 8

H8 L15 – Seven Years’ War

            This week reviewed the most major event in 1753 and ending in 1760, the very first real “world war”, as the battles for land, wealth, and power extended not only in Europe, but in India, the Philippines, Africa, and the Americas. 

            In the American theater, the French drove off the fort workers at fort Necessity as George Washington approached.  the French heard about his approach and sent lieutenant Jumonville to warn him.  Washington thought this was a raiding party, though, and killed everyone in the camp.  He then continued to reach fort necessity, where he fought the French and one, but the French later came back and kicked Washington out.  Braddock was then sent to capture Fort Duquesne and failed miserably in the Battle of Monongahela.  These were simply precursors to the real war, though.  Soon after, France decided to take the British island of Minorca in the Mediterranean Sea, and as this happened, Prussia took Saxony.  Soon enough, France, Prussia, Britain, Hanover, Spain, Russia, Austria, Sweden, and Portugal were all in the war.  Spain and Portugal fought over South American boundaries, but neither gained nor lost.  Then, all of a sudden, in 1759, Britain took a miraculous string of victories, taking over Florida, Canada, several Caribbean islands, India, and Senegal.  Prussia kept the Russians and Austrians busy, while Hanover kept France busy.  Basically, due to Prussia’s keeping the strongest two armies at bay, Britain was able to gain a magnificent string of victories – and not share the spoils. 

            After the war, the countries all made peace in the Treaty of Paris.  The European lands that had been gained or lost were returned to their owners, but only in Europe alone.  Britain wasn’t about to give up its massive new territories, so this Treaty of Paris did not apply outside Europe.                  

Because countries shape each other, and wars shape those countries, these wars defined the most powerful country on earth’s here and now.  Because of the Seven years War, and influences from it, the United States of America was about to be formed.

Posted in 8th Grade, Science 8

S8 L57 – GPS Location

        GPS works by sending out a random signal to identify itself with the GPS satellites orbiting earth, and then based on the time it takes for a signal to get back from each of at least six satellites, can calculate its position on the globe.

Posted in 8th Grade, English 8

E8 L15 – Favorite Parts of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

            If I had to choose which of Jules Gabriel Verne’s books was the best, I would probably go with the novel 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.  This book is characterized by the four men; Ned Land (the tempered whaler), Captain Nemo (captain of the Nautilus), Monsieur Arronax, and his loyal servant Conseil.  The book has the Nautilus and its crew run into a few scrapes, and Ned Land has a temper like a tornado.  As Jules Verne lays the foundation for the modern submarine, he not only fascinates readers but allows them to see from the eyes of professor Arronax as he travels the world around in a submarine. 

            It was almost like Jules Verne could see into the future – the modern submarine fits nearly perfectly his description of it.  Maybe, once we get the strength of light and glass portrayed in Verne’s book, we may be able to do everything that he did, even down to the sea diving but with better gear.  A regular swim suit with iron boots and a full-face mask is just the thing for the task – simply put on a diving suit with iron boots to keep you on the bottom and a mask for better viewing and you have the ideal gear for that purpose.  As he wrote, Verne went down into the details of the ship, even to the point of making a schematic with nothing but pencil, paper, and words.  He even went so far as to calculate what shape and thickness of wall would be required to resist that kind of pressure 14000 feet below the surface; he then threw it all casually into the book.   

The story initially starts as the sub being counted as some type of infinitely strong and large narwhal.  This slowly but surely becomes a hunt to kill the narwhal, and Ned Land, Arronax, and his servant Conseil are invited on the hunt.  As they approach the thing, Ned throws his harpoon.  Because he expected it to stick, and it didn’t, he lost his balance.  The professor and Conseil tried to catch his fall but got pulled over themselves.  They were left for dead by the ship they had been on.  Luckily, they washed up on top of the supposed “narwhal”.  By this time Ned had figured out why his harpoon had bounced off it – it was solid steel.  The captain, named Nemo, finds them and lets them in under one condition – they will never leave, and if they do, they will never tell of the ship. 

Once they had met the stern captain Nemo, they were thrown into a bare room, with some food ad water.  From that point on, they never leave the nautilus except for underwater excursions.  In the meantime, though, Ned Land storms around the sub as he waits for a chance to escape.  It’s kind of ironic that whenever land comes into sight, he rages about not being on it.  That’s funny because his last name is Land.  He eventually devises a plan to get off the desolate ship, just before the whole Nautilus goes to debris during the maelstrom. 

            As they travel, they come to the red sea, and when the Captain says that they would be in the Mediterranean by the next day, M. Arronax asks a question.  He asked how the ship, even at its fastest, could go all the way around Africa in only 8 hours?  Captain Nemo then told him of the passage under the Suez Canal, through which he had tracked some fish to test its reality.  He then tried it himself and succeeded in crossing under the Suez without being seen.  I think that if the theory, explained in the book by the Mediterranean’s always being lower than the Red Sea, how the Red Sea fish were also commonly found in the Mediterranean, but nowhere in between, and both of those suggest a channel between them.  If it were true, the channel would help submarine shipping drastically by allowing the submarine to cross the area faster than if it was going across the canal itself.   

After this discovery, the Nautilus then turned its nose towards the absolute south – the pole itself.  They ran into a massive clump of seals that blocked their way for a time, but these eventually moved away, and they traveled on to the pole.  Once they reached it, Captain Nemo and M. Arronax climbed to the top of the mountain with the pole on the top, and planted Captain Nemo’s flag there.  His flag was a big black banner with a bold red N in the middle.  On the way away from the pole, back in the Nautilus, they mistakenly ran between two icebergs which collapsed around them, trapping them underwater.  As the workers tried to break away the ten feet of ice, the Nautilus itself had to pump boiling water out to keep the hole from refreezing.  After five days with very little air, the Nautilus broke free and gained the surface.  After that, the journey north was not very eventful. 

If there’s anything I learned from any of these things the people experienced in the book, it’s that foresight can be a great thing.  Jules Verne’s foresight laid the foundation for our modern submarine, and while captivating the audience, gives them characters they will never forget.

Posted in 8th Grade, English 8

E8 L10 – My Favorite Activities

As kids, we normally have one or two things we really like to do on our free time.  Mine are Nerf wars with my friend and brother, and swim team at the nearby pool.  At swim team, I have four nice coaches who’ve taught me a much better breaststroke, freestyle, backstroke, and butterfly.  As I do these things, I have fun and learn something from each thing I do, especially in swimming.

Nerf wars with Tyler are really something to look forward to, especially when we can get a few extra kids from around the block, and that’s when the messiest of the games we play happens.  I go around and scatter some darts around the yard, and everyone rushes up to grab a gun from the pile in the middle and as many darts as they can carry to shoot.  Then the smart ones that are first to the pile grab a gun and start shooting anywhere they can, preferably into the massive dogpile on the weapons.  This will kill more than one person trying to get weapons.  Others try to immediately run away and later steal weapons from other people.  Hiding with a small self defense gun is the best tactic, though, because everyone else kills each other and then you can kill the last person and win.  There are many tactics for this game.  Another one we play is Neighborhood Warfare, where we organize into teams and play the game around the block, with ditches as trenches and our friend’s radios are allowed.  Another one is we simply do that, except no radios, and yard only, with wooden pallets set up as defense shields.  Any guns are allowed for those.

Shoot-and-tackle is another game that anyone can play, as long as the one tackling can actually take down the other players.  Everyone tries to shoot the tackler, and then they drop their guns and run like crazy.  The tackler has to try to catch and tackle them.  If they fall down, they die.  No teams are allowed in this game, and the winner is the last man standing other than the tackler.  Another game is Assassin.  One person is the assassin, and everyone else wants to kill each other, so they bid a certain amount of rocks.  The more rocks, the better, and whoever bids the most rocks wins the bet and is not killed.  The assassin goes after whoever it was the winner bidder wanted killed, and then immediately gets paid the rocks.  One I just came up with a few days ago after watching Ready Player One was a game called Oasis.  We all start with nothing but three aluminum foil coins.  Killing somebody gives you their coins, and with those coins you can save up to buy better guns, armor, and abilities from a shopkeeper, who is technically not playing.  if you kill somebody who already has a weapon, you can take that weapon and use it yourself.  This game is also yard-only, team-less, and radio-less.  If you die, you respawn with the original 3 coins to buy a new weapon.    Sometimes Cops and Robbers is a fun game to play with guns.  Half the kids (rounded up) are cops, the other half (rounded down if uneven) are robbers.  The point of the game is for the cops to taze the robbers (shoot them with a nerf gun) and get them into the car.  Tazing lasts 5 seconds, so the robber has a chance to “break the handcuffs” (3 seconds) and escape.  The robbers cannot escape the car once they are in it.  Robbers can also taze cops for 5 seconds as an escape means.  The cops have five minutes to catch all the robbers or the game’s over.

As for swimming, Coaches John, Grace, Rachel and Dalton have taught me a whole lot about the four main strokes, especially breaststroke.  Even though I got disqualified again and again in every single meet on it, they kept trying and this meet it paid off – I didn’t get disqualified!  As the meets passed, my times got faster and faster, and as about every four days a meet went on I was able to make some friends among the Hopyard Hammerheads, Caroline YMCA Orcas, Eden Estates Eels, and three others.

I made more than a few friends at home team too, such as Kylie, Molly, Camryn, and Savannah.  The problem is, there aren’t many boys there, mostly just a horde of girls, so most of the friends I make there are girls.  There are also plenty of fun activities this team does too, such as Chipotle Spirit Night (go out to Chipotle for dinner), Donut Day (eat donuts after morning practice), and Float Night (head out to the pool at 8 P.M. for an hour of fun and a movie afterwards).

So whether it’s Tyler and Nerf wars in Assassin, Oasis, Cops and Robbers and more, or swimming on a team with Kylie, Molly, Savannah, and Camryn, whatever I’m doing I have heaps of fun.