What’s your favorite kind of pizza?

So there was this one time I was having pizza for lunch; the pizza was plain cheese. After about half way into my meal, I was overcame by a sudden epiphany, I don’t really like plain cheese pizza very much. On another time, I had pizza once again but only this time it wasn’t plain old cheese; it was the ever so popular pepperoni. About half way into my pizza I deduced that I enjoyed pepperoni much more compared to plain old cheese. Why my non existent audience may be asking? Well it’s likely because pepperoni had a bit of variety.

©2006 Marc Resnick [CC by 220]

Okay, one topping doesn’t really count as variety I’ll admit, but the pepperoni was just enough to give the pizza a little punch which I and my taste buds enjoyed. Now I’ll come clean, over my whole, entire life, the types of pizza I have eaten are severely limited. I have only eaten pizzas of the likes of plain cheese, pepperoni, anchovies, Hawaiian, and supreme which is pretty much everything on one pizza. I was never one for anything that is fish related so I pretty much avoided anchovies after the first bite. When I was younger I had Hawaiian and I thought it was kind of weird to have fruits on a pizza, but over time I got used to and enjoyed the pizza.

Now like Hawaiian, I had supreme pizza when I was quite young and it stuck with me through the entirety of my life. It all happened when my dad brought pizza home and in one of the boxes was supreme pizza. At first I whined that there was another pizza besides pepperoni but my father goaded me into trying and I did, the taste that met my tongue did not disappoint. That was when I found that supreme was my favorite kind of pizza.

The reason supreme pizza is my favorite because of the plethora of toppings that were able to synchronize into one delicious burst of flavor. It’s like America, one huge mesh pot of mixed cultures. Well thats my favorite what’s yours?

Knights Looks Cool!

I don’t know how or when, but I also had an interest in knights when I my age was still single digits. Is it their admittedly awesome looking armor, made from only the finest iron or steel? Is it their intricate, difficult training and their not so difficult training from a lowly page to a fully-fledged knight? Is it their code of chivalry where they protect their lords and less folks such as peasants from “evil” (bandits)? Is it their tales of wearing shiny armor, going on fantasy like adventures, slaying huge fire breathing dragons, rescuing and consequently marrying princesses? Okay, the last point likely never happened in history but it probably what drawn me to knights.

©2014 Emperor Maximus [CCO 2.0]

Well like I have mentioned earlier, what likely drew me in to the awesomeness that are knights were probably tales that involved one slaying a fire breathing dragon and saving the princess and such. Now as I’ve grown older, and actually listened in my history class, I’ve learned that knights never actually saved princesses from stone towers or slayed dragons and what not (I mean over my so-and-so years alive, I have never seen one dragon).

Firstly, let’s learn a little bit about the training of a knight. Training starts once a boy reaches the ripe age of eight years old, but not just any boy. One must be born into it or specifically chosen out. Boys do not become a knight straight away, they start out as a page and must work their way up to squire then to knight. Training consists of writing, music, weapons, and of course the chivalry.

The Knights Code of Chivalry is an oath that must be taken by all knights. Once taking said oath, a Knight is expected to follow his lord or liege and protect his lord/liege’s land and people. The Knights Code of Chivalry also expanded to also protecting those lesser than him, such as peasants and common folk.

Even though knights aren’t the dragon slayers and princess savers that I have pictured them when I was younger, they are still honorable warriors who serve their lords and protect the innocents from dangers. They truly are awesome!

Quiz fill-in assignment: Steinbeck’s myth of the Okies

The Grapes of Wrath is an American realist novel by John Steinbeck. The novel takes place in late 1930s America or namely, The Great Depression. The books focuses on the Joads, a poor family of farmers who have no choice but to abandon their farm due to things like economy, poor agricultural conditions, and bank foreclosures. The Joads soon decided to move to California after hearing about the good wages and how work was extremely plentiful.

Even though The Grapes of Wrath, is a novel that described the conditions of the Great Depression, could this book actually be seen as a source of accurate history? A man named Keith Windschuttle says “the novel is either outright false or exaggerated beyond belief.”

©2012 ThatsABigIf [CCO 2.0]

In Keith Windschuttle’s essay, Steinbeck’s Myth of the Okies, Windschuttle refutes most if-not all social, climatic, economic, and political conditions.

In the novel, Steinbeck writes that one of the biggest reasons for the great Okies migration was due to the great dust storms that would overtake the farms. Windschuttle claims that this detail is highly exaggerated and through information from the historian, James N. Gregory, discovers that roughly only six percent of farmers were actually affected by the dust storms at such a degree.

Windschuttle even refutes Steinbeck’s claim on the bank or “the monster”. Steinbeck writes that the banks were the plight of all farmers, forcing farmers from their lands and replacing them with tractors. Windschuttle writes that the banks weren’t the ones to blame for the farmer’s move, but the policies of the New Deal which limits the production of cotton, farm goods, and such.

Windschuttle also talks about how most migrants weren’t farmers, how the Okies were better informed about California, and even how most Okies were actually employed in California due to the economic boom of 1940. I have responded positively to all of Windschuttle’s claims on the history of the Okies due to his use of actual historians who studied the history of the late 1930s.

Steinbeck’s novel is by no means an accurate representation of the Great Depression and will not help anyone who would want to understand the history of California. From the book itself, I always thought that the immigration were due to the great dust bowls and the monstrous bank. But after reading Windschuttle’s essay, I found out that my understanding of American history is incredibly clouded.

With all these in mind, should a novelist be true to facts, to history? Unless it’s a biography, I believe that authors do not have to be true to facts or history. Sure The Grapes of Wrath sets in a real moment of America history but people have to understand that Steinbeck’s novel is still a fiction. People have to understand that this novel will not be the most accurate source of history and that Steinbeck didn’t have any real obligations to make his story accurate, he just wanted to write for the sake of writing. Personally, I really like that Steinbeck exaggerated some events of the Great Depression as it made the novel much more enjoyable whilst giving me some insight on the conditions of the depression, which I treated as a sort of luxury.

In the end of the day, The Grapes of Wrath is not a historically accurate novel but a fictional story of a family trying to survive the exaggerated events of the Great Depression.

Question Exploration: Money

What exactly is money? Money is an item, preferably items such as coins, papers, and banknotes, that is recognized as a medium of economic exchange for items that ranged from food, clothes, furniture and services that range from classes, house cleanings, or repairs. To this day, we as people rely universally on money to buy the things I had recently mentioned, money makes the world go round after all. With our extensive use of coins and paper, people soon began to question if money is the answer to our problems in the world. If so, could money solve any sort of problem? Admittedly, it is obvious that money had proved to be quite useful in things like food, clothes, shelter, and general survival. However, things becomes less obvious and more vague when asked if money is able to solve problems like depression or even a death of a loved one. Even with that in mind, I believe that money is a great answer to many if not all problems.

In John Steinbeck’s popular novel, The Grapes of Wrath, the protagonist, Tom Joad, and his family had experienced a money problem. Due to the Joad’s lack of money, the bank had taken ownership of the Joad family’s land and forced them out of said land to make room for the new tractors that would now be working the fields. Met with this unfortunate event, the Joads had decided to venture off to California for work as they have heard about how prosperous and how great America’s Golden State was. This became a common trend in the entire novel as almost every farmer had experienced a money problem and had been forced off their land as they had little to no choice what so ever. However, even with the severity of the problem, this problem could have easily been solved with one simple solution, money. Money could have allowed the farmers to support their family. allowed the farmers to keep their land, allowed the farmers to no venture to California for work. Later in the novel, the grandpa Joad had suffered a “stroke…a good quick stroke” (138) and died. Although the family mourned for their loss, they almost immediately got over it as they knew they still had to get to California and look for a job. Did money just solve the problem of losing a loved one? Perhaps.

I continue my research by looking through my class’s english textbook The Language of Composition, namely chapter seven The Economy. The book refers economy to as “the production, trade, and consumption of goods and services” (393). As I continue to read further into the chapter, I was met with a short excerpt about Barbara Ehrenreich, a best selling author who wrote a book called Nickel and Dimed. Nickel and Dimed is about the author’s experience at working minimum wage in the 1960s; she learned how stressful and low-paying the life of an everyday person was. In The Language of Composition, she talks about “a fat person’s hell” (394), which was having every sort of food around you but the catch it you had to pay for all the bites you take. With that in mind, one would lose all their money at a record pace. However, with sufficient money, this problem could have easily been remedied as one would could eat as much as one want to without the worry of any sort of money problem.

I have decided to look to the internet to help me find the answer to the age old question if money solves all problems. I soon came upon a post from a woman named Kathleen Elkins. The post reads about millionaire Steve Siebold’s research on over twelve hundred wealthy people for thirty years. The self-made millionaire Siebold had found that the majority of the wealthy people he researched on admitted that money had “solve most problems”. As you can see, money is a great problem solver, admitted by the wealthiest people in the world. The post continues to talk about how it may be uncomfortable to believe that money could be one’s salvation as many have believed that money leads to corruption. But as shown from this post, money isn’t always seen as a necessary evil but as more reassuring.

Through hours of research, I can confirm that money is a great problem solver. Money is what keeps us motivated as shown in The Grapes of Wrath. Money is what keeps us alive as shown in The Language of Composition. Money is what keeps us happy as shown in Kathleen Elkins’s post.

Zootopia is pretty good

So in the last two weeks, my family decided that we should have some quality bonding time through the magic of film. When my family arrived at the theaters, we decided to watch the recent Disney film, Zootopia. Now I didn’t know what I was getting myself into as I’ve never seen any trailers or even known about this movie until I actually got to the movie theaters, so I was a bit skeptical about the film. However, once I started to watch the movie, I was met with a welcomed surprise. In the first few minutes of the film, I knew I was going to enjoy the entire two-ish hours.

Anyway let me give you a brief summary of the film. The movie starts with the main protagonist Judy Hopps, a bunny who wants to deviate from the status quo by becoming the very first bunny cop. She soon accomplish her goal and is off to a police station in Zootopia, a utopia where both prey and predators could live in harmony. At said police station, she learns about a missing animals case, a case that had yet to have been solved for two weeks. Judy volunteers to solve the case in order to prove herself as a police officer. She soon enlists help of Nick Wilde, a cynical fox who believes that it is impossible to escape the social constructs of each and every race of animals. With Nick Wilde’s help, Judy Hopps finally sets off to solve the case.

If one had watched the first five minutes of the movie, one would notice that the movie is extremely visually appealing. The movie is also quite colorful making it difficult to not admire the vast array of colors or to turn one’s attention away from the big screen. The film also splits the city of Zootopia into separate division which houses a different environment like desert and tropical. I found this to be a smart decision as the varying background and color would easily catch the audiences’ attention.

I also found the characters in the film very likable with Judy Hopps being the optimistic ray of sunshine and Nick Wilde being the smooth, sarcastic con-artist. They made an interesting relationship as they’re pretty much polar opposites, but it worked and it worked well.

The story was also pretty good. I won’t get into it very much, but I’ll just say that almost all the characters are intertwined in one way or another with the missing predators/mammals case.

In the end, it’s a great movie!

Fallout 4: A Man’s Best Friend

Ah Fallout 4, you’re the reason why I don’t have a social life! Fallout 4 is currently the latest in the Fallout series developed by the one and only Bethesda Studios, infamous for their bug-filled games. Fallout 4 is an rpg shooter, leaning more towards the shooter side, set in a post-apocalyptic game where the world is stuck in the 60’s. The game starts with the player’s son being taken away and the player proceeds to relentlessly hunt down the man who took him. Well…when I mean relentlessly hunt down, I mean leisurely take you’re time finding your son while you get sidetracked by the numerous side quests that are littered throughout the game.

Now whilst exploring the wasteland, you’ll come across several unique npcs that has nothing better to do but to following you around while judging you and your actions. The companions are but not limited to:

Piper: The bubbly reporter.

Nick Valentine: The robotic detective.

Hancock: The chem addict who’s also a zombie.

Preston Garvey: The one that nobody likes (I like him).

However, none of the companions I have listed even holds a candle to the greatest of companions!

Dogmeat: The dog.

Now there are many reasons why Dogmeat is the best companion in Fallout 4, but the most obvious is that he unbelievably adorable! Even when he’s executing a raider with his steel-like jaws! He’s also arguably the more useful companion in terms of combat. Most of the companions in the game are simply glorified meat-shields who gets a kill every two hours. Now Dogmeat is like that too, a meat-shield who does next to no damage, but he has the added bonus of “holding” your enemies down by biting their arm or leg. This “holding” gives you more than enough time to line-up a head shot to dispatch your enemies at a quick rate.

Now the two reasons I mentioned are great and all, but the real reason why I love Dogmeat is that because he doesn’t judge your actions. As I have previously mentioned, companions will judge your actions though the entirety of the game, either positively or negatively. Dogmeat is the only exception. He does not judge you or your actions but instead remains loyal to you no matter what path you follow.

Truly a man’s best friend!Dogmeat

Steven Universe: Sadie’s Song

Ah Steven Universe, how I love thee. Steven Universe is currently Cartoon Network’s most popular animated cartoon series and for obvious reasons. The show has great animation, colorful scenery, unique story, likable and relatable characters. Oh god the characters are my favorite part of the show, all of them are so colorful and varied, even the side characters are amazing! Now by reading the title of the blog, you can tell that I’m only focusing on a single episode, Sadie’s Song.

©2015 Cartoon Network [CC by 2.0]

Now if you ever watched the show, Sadie is a reoccurring character in the series who not only works at a donuts shop but also one of Steven’s, the main character, good friends. She later got her own episode dedicated to her in season two.

The episode starts off with Steven handing out flyers to advertise tonight’s Beach-A-Palooza. He soon makes way to his local donuts shop where he finds Sadie singing a song. Now knowing Sadie’s singing talents, Steven tries to convince Sadie to participate in the Beach-A-Palooza. Sadie at first was reluctant but soon starts to warm up to the idea. That is until her mom, Barbara, gets involved. Barbara began to become over-bearing, telling Sadie what to do, what to wear, and such. When the Beach-A-Palooza finally starts, Sadie bales out last minute due to her not liking the adjustments Barbara made. The episode ends with Steven taking Sadie’s place on stage and Sadie and her mother talking it out, reaching a common ground.

This episode is one of my favorites in season two as this episode was able to keep me captivated even with the lack of main characters. This really accentuates the variety of unique and likable characters in the show. Also the song played in this episode is a nice plus. I also related to this episode a bit, similar to Sadie, my own mother have made me done several things that I wasn’t fond of.

In the end, Sadie’s Song is one of my favorite as it was able to keep my attention and is relatable to me by a great deal.

Smoking, it’s your choice!

Now before anyone reads this post, let me make it clear that I do not smoke. I have learned what the short and long-term effects that could develop when smoking; heart disease, cancer, lung disease, reproductive damage, birth defects, death, etc. Personally, I’m not too fond on any of those. Also If anyone reading this thinks I am promoting people to smoke, I’m not.

One time at school, I was just minding my own business, going to classes and such like all normal High Schoolers. Anyway, I was in my math class and was finally finished with my lessons, my eyes began to wander around the room until finally my eyes landed on a certain poster. The poster had something along the lines of “87% of Californian Teenagers Chooses Not to Smoke!”

©2015 Augustus Binu [CC by 2.0]

When I first read the poster in my math class, I thought to myself “Wow I like how the poster is worded!”

Now some of the people who are reading this post may be saying “What’s so cool about the poster?” Well I have two things to say, you’re questioning a computer screen, get some help, and well that’s just it, I like how the poster is worded.

I’m sure that everyone has learned about the negative effects of smoking either from their schools or parents when they were quite young. Every other adult practically shoving the message that “Smoking is bad!” down our throats. During those times, I felt like the adults around me treated me like an idiot, they kept telling me that smoking is bad even following me to high school, and now I’m in math class whilst admiring the poster on my classroom’s wall.

Now the main reason why I’m so drawn to the poster is because it included the word “choose”. It’s your choice. No matter how many people likes to remind you that smoking is bad, it’s still ultimately your choice and no one else. I’ve made the choice not to smoke and now I’m with the eighty-or-so teens that don’t smoke in California. But don’t let those numbers deter you, it’s still your choice after-all.

Shark Tale Thoughts

Dream Works have made many personal favorites, for example, Antz, Shrek, and Kung Fu Panda. In 2004, Dream Works released an animated, comedic, and underwater based film known as Shark Tale.

Movie poster Shark Tale.jpg

©2004 Bill Damaschke [CC by 2.0]

Shark Tale is about a fish named Oscar who works at an undersea equivalent of a car wash. However he ran into some problems relating to debt and is going to be killed by his boss if he doesn’t pay up. He doesn’t get the money and orders Oscar’s death in some uncharted area. Fast forward a bit, he lives whilst accidentally killing a shark, earning the title of “The Shark Slayer”. In the end, Oscar tells everyone that his title is a fluke but they don’t care and he lives happily every after.

With the butchered summary out of the way, let me tell you readers how I felt about the animated comedy. First, let us start with the things I like.

The movie was quite colorful in my opinion, even more so than another underwater based movie. You may not know what the other movie is as it is a bit “underground” but it’s called Finding NemoDon’t get me wrong Finding Nemo is a great movie, but most of it’s underwater scenes were usually always dark albeit still beautiful. In Shark Tale, almost every scene had a lot of color that never failed to draw me in to admire the environment. The voice acting were also pretty good especially with a lot of big names like Will Smith and Jack Black. You can tell when characters are sad and happy.

Now on to the things I’m not to keen on. One gripe I had with the movie was that most of it’s comedy came from references, not just any references of course by those from the R-rated God Father. It really makes you think why a movie made for kids would have references from the God Father. Also Oscar isn’t really a likable character, heck there were many times I hated him. One scene he used a pearl, that his best friend entrusted him with, to place bets on a horse race. Charming am I right?

Now did I like the movie? Yeah I did. A good chunk of the jokes in the movie got me laughing and that’s what a comedy should be doing.

Derek

 

Gender Equality

Equality is the state of being the same in status, rights, and opportunities. Equality is something sought and fought for much more than a few years, both racial and gender equality. However, many have argued that we as people are still fighting an ongoing war for equal rights between men and women, this is known as gender equality. Gender equality, also known by other names such as gender egalitarianism, is the view or belief that the genders male and female should receive equal treatment and not be discriminated against in any way or form that is based on anything relating to gender.

As my life continues to snail by, I’ve come upon more than a few articles and videos relating to gender equality. This soon got me thinking, what drives inequitable treatment between men and women? What has happened in the world that would prompt mistreatment towards the opposite genders? I have little to no experience in this sort of matter nor do I want to if I’m completely honest, but I like to say that these sort of gender-based mistreatment stems from the need to show dominance. The act of showing dominance tends to happen in the animal kingdom so why not in the suburbs? May not be the best answers to this controversial question but a little book may or may not support my answer. That little book is called The Great Gatsby. 

©2008 Mutxamel [CC by 2.0]

The Great Gatsby sets in early 1900s New York City, more specifically, the twin cities known as West Egg and East Egg. Here we are introduced to our first protagonist and narrator Nick Carraway. He settles in West Egg and meets a variety of unique characters, but no one as unique as the book title himself, Gatsby, the second protagonist of the novel. From the start of their meeting, Nick and Gatsby became close whilst learning about secrets about one  another and about the people around them. In The Great Gatsby, Nick Carraway has dinner with a couple by the names of Daisy and Tom Buchanan. He soon finds out that Tom is in fact having an affair, Daisy knows this and is strangely impassive about the affair. What makes the matter worse is that Gatsby is in love with Daisy, who is an old flame, and uses their history and his riches to make her fall in-love with him once again. Tom sees this and is absolutely infuriated. Tom almost abruptly becomes extremely protective of Daisy and says that Daisy is his and nobody else. This little event shows that Tom is territorial of his “possessions” and treats Daisy as a trophy instead of a human being. Once he sees someone else wants his “trophy” he becomes infuriated and wants shows his dominance through anger to the opposite sex, even though a second ago he didn’t care about Daisy as he had someone else.

I have continued my research on this gender conundrum with The Language of Composition, a high school textbook. In chapter 8, Gender, I read about Paul Broca, a professor of clinical surgery at the Faculty of Medicine in Paris. Paul Broca and other professors measure the inferiority of women through Anthropometry, the measurement of the human body. Broca measured the skulls of women and found out that the skulls of women were smaller, scientifically proving that women cannot be as smart as men. The professor is supported by two sets of data: the larger brains of men in modern societies and a supposed increase in male superiority through time. Broca’s research has confirmed that males has a sort of natural superiority complex, showing that males will tend to show dominance over the opposite sex. However, Broca was sadden at his discovery saying that “These numbers fell upon poor women like a sledge hammer”. He has also stated that women were also met with “commentaries and sarcasm more ferocious than the most misogynist imprecations of certain church fathers”, another show of dominance by men.

I once again decided to surf the web to see if I can find more examples that would support my answer. I stumbled upon a website called pyschologytoday and read an article that talks about Why Men Oppress Women. The article started with a bit of history on the male dominance on women, with such examples like “in ancient Assyria, the punishment for rape was the handing over of the rapist’s wife to the husband of his victim, to use as he desired”. The author then states that men’s mistreatment of women originated from an underlying psychological disorder, which the author refers it as “humania”. “Humania” is a disorder where it causes men to become brutal and dominant towards the opposite gender.

In the end, one reason for the inequitable treatment between the two genders stems from the need to be dominant.

Derek

Article:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/out-the-darkness/201208/why-men-oppress-women