Posted in English

English L155

What is a very unbelievable aspect of the novel Looking Backward so far?

Looking Backward, by Edward Bellamy is an extremely weird book about Mr. Bellamy’s idea of a perfect world.  In the book, everything is run by the government.  Everyone works for the government, which runs all of the stores.  Every person would start working at age 21, and retire to a life of luxury at age 45.  Somehow this would all equal out, and enough money would be hanging around to keep retired people living in luxury until age 80 or so (the age at which Mr. Bellamy figured most people are dead by).

In the “perfect” world of Mr. Bellamy’s, everyone would be payed an equal amount, even though pay was not relative to the hours worked.  In order to compensate for some jobs being much less fun than others, the workers had shorter hours, and were payed just as much as those who worked all day.

Since everyone had to work for the government, all stores were run by the government, who in turn had some of the people working at its stores.  It would technically have been illegal to run your own store, and it would also be against the law to spend money anywhere other than government stores (there really shouldn’t be any other places to spend money anyway).

So in conclusion, I think that the idea of government being all-powerful is the most unbelievable of them all.  I realize that a lot of people don’t care how much freedom they have, but since I do, the idea seems pretty bad to me.

Posted in Western Civilization

Western Civilization L155

Discuss some of the key ideas of the Renaissance.

The Renaissance was a time in history where many people, called humanists started looking at art and literature with much admiration.  Since most art and literature was coming from Greece and Rome, the humanists looked up to many Greek and Roman artists.  Beginning in the fifteenth century, lots of Italians thought that by reviving the ideas, art, and architecture from antiquity, they could bring about a “rebirth” of greatness in their own cities.  The result was the Renaissance, which means “rebirth”.

Humanism was a way of thinking that was popular in the fifteenth century and influenced much of Italian culture.  Humanists considered that each person has great potential, and they thought that individuals reached the highest potential in ancient Greece and Rome.  Because of this, humanists wanted to relive the greatness of antiquity and so they were at the forefront of trying to support the activities, art, and engineering of the classical world.  Many artists and architects, who may have been influenced by humanism or were hired by humanist patrons, borrowed ideas from ancient texts, from statues that were found, or from old Roman buildings when they created new works.

Posted in English

English L150

Why will a blog site with lots of content will help me get my first full-time job after college.

This question is assuming that the only option after high school is to go to college and thence to a full-time job.  I don’t think that this is the route that I will be taking, but I will do my best to answer the question as if it were someone else.
There are a few reasons that a flourishing blog could help you get a job: for one, your potential employer will know that you are a good writer.  There are many work positions that will require good writing.  Another reason would be the references that a large blog can bring.  An employer will nearly always do as much research on you as possible.  That’s why you won’t ever want to post anything that you might regret later.

Good writing is always a good thing, and employers know it.  Having a successful blog pretty well implies that you can write well.  Your potential employer also knows that you may qualify for a higher position that may require writing reports and such.

The better your resume looks when you apply for a job, the more likely the employer will be to accept it.  A good blog will most likely find its way onto your resume in one way or another.  In addition, if your writing is scruddy, it will be hard to come up with a good resume, and even if you are the most qualified person out of the whole batch, you can lose it because your resume was written poorly.

Posted in English

English L145

Is it important for students to pursue college or other higher education after high school?

College can be an important tool if your desired profession will require it.  It can also be a complete waste of a few years and many thousands of dollars if you don’t really need it.

If I decided that I wanted to become a doctor, I would need to go to college directly after high school, and would be there for eight years or so.  After I had received all of my education, I would go to a hospital looking for work.  Assuming they gave me a job, I would then be making quite a bit of money.  Unfortunately I would still have a bit of debt, (the average for doctors is $166,750.  After a few years, say 10-15, the debt is payed off, and I am finally debt free, (assuming no house payment) and making a good bit of money.  Unfortunately, this wasn’t accomplished until age 35 or 40.

Next scenario, an electrician.  Right out of high school I am an apprentice for an accomplished electrician with his own business.  After maybe two years of this, I can go through the process of becoming licensed.  Then I can buy my own equipment, (maybe take out a small loan) and start my business.  Assuming everything goes as planned, the business should be on its feet within a couple of years, making a decent amount of money.  At this point I am 23-25 and already debt free and expanding my business.

You can do the comparison yourself, and I will leave you with your own judgement, but I would certainly go with the latter option myself.  I think the only reason that someone would want to go with the first option would be if they had always wanted to be doctor etc.

Posted in Biology

Biology L140

Describe what happens to it as food passes from your mouth to your colon. What are the major steps along the way? Which organs act upon it?

Chewing
Chewing is done with your teeth and your tongue.  The teeth are important to break the food down into small digestible pieces.  Your tongue helps keep the food between your teeth so it actually gets chewed somewhat evenly.

Swallowing
Swallowing is done to get the already chewed up food out of your mouth and into your stomach.  It is done by muscles rippling down your esophagus pushing the food in front of the ripple.

Stomach Digestion
This is where the food gets digested.  From the chewed up fragments to partially digested goop.

Small Intestine Digestion
This is where the magic happens.  The food from the stomach (pretty much digested), slowly wends its way through the small intestine.  Along with getting digested the rest of the way, it is also absorbed into your bloodstream as it passes through.

Waste Elimination
Once fully digested and absorbed, the “food” goes into your large intestine, aka. colon.  This is where it is stored until you feel like disposing of it (pooping).

Posted in Western Civilization

Western Civilization L140

Based on the video lessons and your reading, what were the reasons behind the conflicts between the emperors and the popes during this period?

The emperors of the Holy Roman Empire were constantly squabbling with the popes over what may seem to me menial things.  However, pretty much all of their conflicts can be traced to a power race.  The emperor wanted to be all powerful, and not have to look up to a pope.  The pope didn’t want the emperor bossing him around.  With these  two conflicting interests, it was hard to make both sides happy.  As in one case, the pope didn’t want the emperor to unite the Holy Roman Empire with Italy (a geographical region rather than a country).  The emperor was dead set on uniting them, so even after swearing that he wouldn’t, he went about it anyway.  The pope ended up excommunicating him because of this, and it escalated all the way to clashing armys.

So in the end, I think the main motive for all of the conflicts was just the want for power.

Posted in Western Civilization

Western Civilization L135

Why was the rise of the medieval towns significant?

The rise of towns in western civilization was important for several reasons; they became centers of trade, safe(er) places to live, and they attracted serfs for reasons that I will mention later.

Most towns started out as a place that was fortified to an extent, with a group of people living inside.  Because there were concentrations of people living in towns, they attracted traders and merchants.  When traders and merchants came and set up shop in a town, it attracted people from the surrounding countryside because they could buy and trade things there.  Once this process had been enacting itself for a few years there was a sizable town.  During times of war and raids, people would gather from all around to the nearest town for protection.  Since there was normally somewhat of a garrison (and a substantial one during war times) this worked out just fine.

There was also a sort of funky law that allowed serfs (slaves) to become free if they escaped from there master and lived in a town for over a year.  With lots of serfs running away to towns, the towns swelled even more quickly.

Posted in English

English L135

Is homeschooling beneficial for students?

This is a very controversial question, and has led to many lengthy disputes.  Because of this, I can only state my opinion, and many people may disagree with me.

In my opinion public schools are run relatively inefficiently.  It seems kind of lame that homeschooling people should have to help pay taxes to run schools rather than use the same money to school their own kids at home.  According to many studies homeschooling kids generally have better test scores than public schooled kids.  I’m not saying that public schools are bad, I just think that homeschooling is better because you don’t need to learn all of the extra floof that is non-important, and can thence focus more on the important things.  It also makes complete sense that kids in large classes wouldn’t learn quite as much as those with only a few siblings in the same room.

Posted in English

English L130

Write a short introduction paragraph for the following topic.

Why is school necessary?

Well… There are a few reasons that school is necessary, and another set of reasons why not to do it the common core way.  One reason that school is necessary is to help prepare for a career someday.  Most people in most careers need at least a basic knowledge of Math and English.  And it would be hard to live without a basic knowledge of History and Geography.  In this essay I will mostly delve into the more advanced school that may or may not be necessary.

Since this assignment was just to right an introduction, I won’t get into it, but  you get the point, it was an introduction. 🙂

Posted in Biology

Biology L130

What does it mean to say a creature is “intelligent?” Describe some of the intelligent behavior of various animals, and compare it to human intelligence.

For my example I will use elephants.  Not because I am an elephant junkie, but because a lot of people think that elephants are smarter than other animals.

Now for the first question “What does it mean to say a creature is intelligent?”  Most people say that a creature is intelligent based on actions it can perform that most other animals are incapable of.  In the elephant’s case, there are several of these capabilities.  According to http://www.mentalfloss.com elephants can recognize different languages. Here is a short excerpt from what they said about it. “Researchers at the University of Sussex in Brighton, UK have discovered that African elephants can distinguish differences in human gender, age, and ethnicity purely by the sound of someone’s voice. If the voice belongs to a person who is more likely to pose a threat, the elephants switch into defensive mode.”

There are several other things that some elephants are capable of, such as using tools, showing sympathy for the dying, recognizing other elephants that they haven’t seen for well over twenty years, and a few more.