Thursday, August 7, 2008

"Advice to Youth" by Mark Twain: Satire

*Satire-the use of wit, especially irony, sarcasm, and ridicule, to attack the vices and follies of humankind

The advice Mark gives to the youth:

-"Always obey your parents." This is the first peice of advice Mark gives. However its the words that follows these that is satirical. "When they are present." Twain is say only to obey your parents only when they are around. So when you're on your own, at school, outside, where ever, you don't have to obey your parents.

-"Be respectful to your superiors, if you have any, also to strangers, and sometimes to others." An example Twain uses is, if a person offends you and you're not sure whether they did it intentionaly or not, don't resort to extreme measures trying to get back at them. Just simply watch them and wait for the best chance to get them back.

-"Go to bed early, wake up early." Twain says this is wise, some authorities say to wake up with the sun rise, and some say other things, but Twain says that the best way to get up is with a lark, and if you find the right one, you'll get a good reputation.

-The fourth peice of advice Twain gives is about lying. "You want to be very careful about lying" Twain says. Instead of saying that lying is bad and don't do it. He says to be careful, otherwise you will get caught.

-"Never handle firearms carelessly." This one is funny. Twain is saying that is ok to handle a gun, jus be careful.

-The last peice of advice that Twain gives is about reading. He says that the best books to read are that ones that young people read. Implying that we dont have to waste our time with these huge chapter books and their fancy vocabulary. The simplified ones are better.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Why We Lie

After reading the article "Why Are You Lying?" there are four reasons why a child lies.

(1) Fear. According to the article fear is a common motivator for lying. A child might lie because they're scared of the consequences. They know they did something wrong and they lie because they don't want to get into trouble. This builds a temporary shelter for punishment. The article states that allowing rooom for negotiattion, compromise, listening before accusing, and keeping your volume down usually helps in paving the way for more honest communication. I agree, when I was younger I would lie all the time so I wouldn't get into trouble with my parents because I already knew how they were going to react. However, it only delayed my punishment until my parents found out the truth. I used this particular cartoon to illustrate how people would lie because of fear of consequesces. In this case the cartoon depicts a lawyer suggesting that they lie in court because they know they won't win becauses the lawyer and defendent both know that he's guilty.

(2) Habit. The article uses "lie by reflex" to explain why it becomes a habit for a child to lie. Through constant practice, lying can become a habit for a child. It's so bad that when the child is caught in their lie and confronted , they still insist that they're telling the truth. The article states that habitual lying is often strengthened by hostile confrontation and one of the most effective ways of dealing with habitual lying is to give the child an opportunity to retract the lie without fear of consequences. Again, I agree. I lied so much when I was younger and it eventually became a habit like the article says. When I look back on it now, it's funny, I lied so
much I began to believe my own lies.

(3) Modelling. Modelling is when a child is in enviorments where they are experiencing others lie. The dilemma is that it is impossible to sheild children from lies. The first place a child may learn how to lie is in their homes. It's because of what some parents do in moderation. For example a "white" lie, or a "harmless excus." Children pick up on things like that. The article states that since it is difficult for parents to control the lies that children may encounter outside the home, it is more useful to start eliminating lis from within the home. Make telling the truth a priority both in instruction and by example. I agree, the first place to diciplin a child so they won't lie is at home. The reason why I chose this particular cartoon as an exaple to illustrate modelling is because it is a pefect example, the father is implying that it is ok for is son to lie but only in certain situatons. A kid gets that from his father then he's going to think its ok and he's going to do it.

(4) Overprediction. The article states that children also lie because they overpredict a reaction. A chid might use an excuse such as "I didn't ask you because I knew you were going to say no." According to the article one of the most productive ways of preventing overprediction is to provide a child with clear boundaries, and yet emphasize that these boundaries are negotiable. Making up the rules as you go along, and far too many "don'ts" and restrictions can promote a lying child. I agree, come to a a compromise with clear boundaries with your child can prevent overprediction.

Madeleine Brand talks with Po Bronson who wrote about the topic for New York Magazine

Alternative energy sources

...our Mother Earth

This is what it should look like.

Where we headed with out using alternative energy sources...

Alternative energy refers to energy sources which are not based on burning of fossil fuels or the splitting of atoms. The renewed interest in this field of study comes from the undesirable effects of pollution (as witnessd today) both from burning fossil fuels and from nuclear waste byproducts. Fortunately their are many means of harnessing energy which have less damaging impacts on our enviorment. Here are some possible alternatives:

-Wind power

Monday, July 21, 2008

Gore's Challenge

Who is Al Gore?

Albert Arnold Gore, Jr (born March 31, 1948) is an American enviormental activist, author, public intellectual, businessperson, former politician, and former journalist. He served as the forty-fith Vice President of The United States from 1993 to 2001 under President Bill Clinton. Gore later ran for President against George W. Bush, and unfortunately lost. He went on to win multiple awards, for his movie, "An Inconvenient Truth," a film about the crisis of Global Warming. Including an Oscar and a Nobel Peace Prize.

Al Gore recently made a speach about crisis in America and the world. The speach discusses many crisis, shocking facts about these crisis, and possible solutions to these crisis. Gore speaks about increasing gas prices, the increase of electricty rates, economic crisis, enviormental (climate crisis) crisis and national security crisis. and more.

"Distinguished senior business leaders are saying that this is just the beginning. The climate crisis is getting worse quicker than predicted."

"The economy is in terrible shape; people are hurting, gas prices are being increased and so are electricity rates, jobs outsourced, home mortgages in trouble, banks, automobile companies. Institutions we depend on are undergoing pressure."

Shocking facts on crisis in America and throughout the world:
-75% chance that within only 5 years the entire north polar icecap will completely disappear during the summer months. This will further increase the melting pressure on Greenland.
-The Jacob Chlavin Glacier is losing 20 million tons of ice everyday. That’s equivalent to the amount of water used in a years time NYC.
-For every 1 degree increase in temperature, lightning strikes will go up another 10%
-Enough solar energy falls on the surface of the Earth every 40 minutes to meet 100% of the enire worlds energy needfs for a full year.

Solutions for the crisis:
-End our reliance on carbon based fuels
-Use solar power, wind power and geothermic power

After listening to Al Gore's speach I am convinced that not only would have the United States of America would've been much different in a positive way, but the whole world as well, had Al Gore been elected president when he ran against Bush in 2001. I feel that now that he has a lot of attention on him after winning those awards for "An Inconvienent Truth" and giving this speach, he should have ran for president this term. I feel things would be a whole lot better if Al Gore was the president of the United States.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


"Believe none of what you hear, and half of what you see" -Benjamin Franklin

After reading this quote I feel that it's saying I can't always believe what I hear, Whether its what people are telling me or also even the media. Then, believing half of what I see. A lot of times I may see something and it may not even be what it looks like, but there's always that 50% chance that it may be very well exactly what it looks like. So yes, there's that possibility that it may be true but keep in mind it also may not be true. Therefore, "believe none of what you hear, and half of what you see."

"Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment." -Buddha
When I read this quote I copmpared it to my life and how I've been living it. I feel this is the best way to live life. Not to waste my time thinking and regreting my past. Its not worth it. Not to waste my time dreaming about my future. I will just setting myself up for disapointment if it doesn't work out the way I want it. Just live life by each day. Focus on the present, how I can get by at the moment and move forward.

"In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on." -Robert Frost
I read this quote and agreed with it 100%. I couldn't have said it any better myself. Its ture, things happen in life. Different situations. What ever the case may be. That's just life. Life goes on.

To view more quotes like this click here

Monday, July 14, 2008

My responce to "Students, Parents and Teachers Weigh In on State of the Schools"

After reading the article "Students, Teachers and Parents Weigh In on State of the schools" by Jennifer Median, I was surprised to learn that 800,000 people responded to this years surveys, because many of my peers and I did not respond to it. I was also surprised to learn that it costs $2 million to conduct the surveys. The article states that 72 percent of the students feel safe in their schools compared to 68 percent last year. "There were some signs of trouble and dissatisfaction, however. More than a third of middle and high school students said getting good grades did not earn the respect of other students." I disagree with this because in High School when it comes down to senior year and everyone is going to graduate and you aren't, you're going to wish you got good grades. I feel as we grow in our High School years, we begin to mature, the majority of the us for the most part. After being in High School for years. You just want to get out already. Everyone is trying to pass their classes because no one wants to spend any more time than they have to in school. "Nearly a quarter of parents named smaller classes as the improvement they most wanted." I agree. I also feel that the smaller the amount of students there are in a classroom, the easier it is for a student to focus and do well. I'm satisfied with my education. Any non progress is in my fault, because in my High School, Edward A. Reynolds West Side High School, the Teachers are there, the work is there, the opportunity if there. Its all there. Its because of my laziness and not putting in all the effort I can, that I don't do as well as I know I should be doing.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

My Music

Some music that I'm interested in is Rap. One of my favorite artist was Biggie Smalls. Here's some info about biggie...
Music History
Biggie's solo debut was in the spring of 1993 with "Party and Bullsh*t" which appeared on the "Who's the Man" soundtrack. Later in 1994, he released the album Ready To Die which went platinum. That album included many hit songs including "Juicy", "Big Poppa", "Me and My B*tch", "Warning" and "The What". In June of 1995, Biggie released a maxi-single that contained two different remixes of "One More Chance" which originally appeared on the album Ready To Die. The single debuted at number one in the Billboard R & B Top 40 chart. Later in 1995, Biggie appeared on Junior Mafia's "Player's Anthem" and then again on "Get Money" and the "Get Money" remix in 1996. In the fall of 1996, Biggie appeared on the Bad Boy Remix of 112's "Only You". Biggie was tragically murdered on March 9, 1997.