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Warrior of X's Blog

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A cozy little stop where, technology in language arts, history and geography, meld together for Room 301 students at Deer Park.

by kevin g

teacher: Mr. D

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Article posted June 1, 2009 at 02:56 AM GMT0 • comment • Reads 92

Books are one of the oldest forms of personal entertainment in history.  They are a worldwide phenomenon, and were once one of the only forms of global communication available.  For example, in 1953’s Fahrenheit 451 (a book, as ironic as it seems), a dystopian view was given where all books were burned by authorities to ensure complete control of education and communication.  While this concept didn’t predict the would-be-unstoppable force known as the internet, it emphasizes the importance of public media.  Popular books around the world vary, but will be looked at in conveniently minimal detail.



In Toronto, a popular book for teens is Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. (I stole this from the class discussion and didn’t research it.  Sue me.)  A popular book in New York is Wicked Prey by John Sandford.  A popular book in Vancouver is Dead and Gone by Charlaine Harris.  A popular book in Sydney is The Winter Vault by Anne Michaels.  A popular book in London is The Host by Stephanie Meyer.  A popular book in a certain city in South America (not requested to be specified) is In the Heart of the Sea:  The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick. A popular book in a certain city in Europe (not requested to be specified) is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.  A popular book in a certain city in Asia (not requested to be specified) is Memoires of a Geisha by Arthur Golden.  Teenager taste is quite different from place to place.



If you took the time to the previous paragraph, you should now have a somewhat acceptable understanding of books around the world.  To end this perplexing investigation of international popularity regarding common literacy, I will give a very important statement in Pig Latin.  Omehay orkway isay upidstay anday ointlesspay!


 

Article posted June 1, 2009 at 02:56 AM GMT0 • comment • Reads 92



Article posted May 6, 2009 at 01:23 AM GMT0 • comment • Reads 46

The Ipperwash Incident and Caledonia Crisis were two other native protests.  Each was based around a territorial dispute and resulted in success for the aboriginals.  In Ipperwash, the protesters were trying to reclaim land “borrowed” as a military camp during World War II by the army.  During the standoff, a police officer killed an individual involved, Dudley George.  The land is now set to be returned.  In the town of Caledonia, there was opposition to the construction of houses in the area.  Some natives “took over” the construction site.  In the end, the natives were paid for the right to build on the land.  The success on both occasions may be the result of embarrassment towards history.  A sensitive issue, the government may be trying to compensate for the acts of invasion executed by their ancestors.  Reputation is important too, and sometimes it helps to give into another’s demands to prevent further protesting.

Article posted May 6, 2009 at 01:23 AM GMT0 • comment • Reads 46



Article posted April 26, 2009 at 09:32 PM GMT0 • comment • Reads 42

The Mohawk standoff at the Oka Crisis was significant in establishing diplomacy with aboriginals, but it also gave insight on the true opinions of these rebels.  Clearly, there are mixed perspectives among the natives; some want to share the land, but others argue its possession should lie entirely in their hands.  Tension has always existed between the native and white man.



Besides their attachment to the land, one of the reasons for a standoff is attention.  This resulted in success for the most part, as it increased reaction on the Mohawks’ demands.  Their concerns are of much more than a golf course.  To the benefit of the tribe, this publicity allowed them to express views.



The Oka incident was a success for the rebels.  A golf course was not built, there weren’t any arrests, and there wasn’t any injury.  Even so, if I were the leader of the warriors, I wouldn’t take such risks.


 

Article posted April 26, 2009 at 09:32 PM GMT0 • comment • Reads 42



Article posted April 21, 2009 at 02:52 AM GMT0 • comment • Reads 41









A monopoly is the situation where any form of competition is nonexistent. Obviously, if a company were to ever sustain this circumstance, and its product was in high demand, it would be extremely profitable, in that all prices and quality benchmarks would be specified from a single domain. This is one of the factors or attributes to a dystopian society, and has even been avoided with much effort by authorities through competition laws and government created rivalry. The only monopoly that has dramatically impacted society is, incidentally, the diamond industry.







With its great history of royalty, once perceived rarity, visual beauty and once small industry, it was seen as the perfect target for the founders of DeBeers. With the limited competitive landscape, their conquest for domination began with buying out any source of its subject entity, the diamond, which proved to be a threat. Though more complex methods of elimination were practiced, the objective was always to maintain complete control of the market.







The demand for this product was formed through both selective retail and clever advertising. Near the beginning of its debut, Europe was the primary market, with limited distribution divided among jewelers. The great depression, however, forced different methods into operation. An ad campaign in America began, hoping to increase sales enough to compensate for the loss of the European market. The promotion of engagement rings through movies and television and reputation of power through celebrity possession proved to be surprisingly successful. When a similar campaign ran in Japan, the sales were increased even more, at the cost of the original Japanese tradition. With both supply and demand under control, the ideal business situation was finally established.







Overall, DeBeers succeeded in its operation of single-handed control of the industry. Through its drastic maneuvers, the price it’s created is equally massive. Luckily, diamonds aren’t a necessity, and far more damage would be dealt if a monopoly were to be established in the food, water or clothes industry. Sadly, this is one of the harmful results of a capitalist market economy, and without regulation would be far more common. For this reason, its always best for a company to have rivals, otherwise there’s no incentive to hold a better reputation.





Article posted April 21, 2009 at 02:52 AM GMT0 • comment • Reads 41



Article posted April 13, 2009 at 08:11 PM GMT0 • comment • Reads 45

The Chanda’s Secret’s novel and Blood Diamond movie are both unique presentations of international integration’s effects.  They focus on Africa specifically, and the experiences a citizen in these areas may face.  Though there is evident variance in their more specific themes and subjects, each seems to give a negative perspective on the focus. 



Chanda’s Secrets was written by Allan Stratton after an excursion to Africa for information.  It’s based primarily around the lives of teenaged Chanda and her mother.  In the beginning, it’s explained that a father and two older brothers once existed, but were killed in a mining accident.  The main theme in this plotline is shame, specifically characterized by the aids pandemic in Africa.  Throughout, the reader learns of several other unfortunate deaths with varied explanation.  However, almost every instance’s cause of death turned out to be untrue; an attempt to prevent a negative reputation from the flow of aids in a family being the reason.  Nonetheless, one is able to infer the importance of a positive perception to one’s self, and the challenges he or she would be willing to pursue.



Blood Diamond bases on the life of protagonist Daniel Archer, an Anglo-African ex-mercenary from Zimbabwe.  Initially, sub-protagonist Solomon Vandy and his son, Dia, are caught in an attack by the Revolutionary United Front rebel group.   Vandy is forced to work in a nearby diamond mine under command of psychopath Captain Poison, while Dia is brainwashed into being a killer.  Though the diamonds mined are for exportation to purchase weaponry, Vandy mines a very valuable piece and buries it successfully.  The rest of the story follows Archer in a quest to obtain this valuable artifact and use the funds to escape Sierra Leone.  The primary theme here is greed, more specifically the lack of disgust for the source of conflict diamonds by their retailing company, DeBeers, and consumers.  Many believe the disclaimer at the beginning of the film stating that the events were outdated and fictional was paid to be displayed.



Chanda’s Secrets and Blood Diamond have similar objectives but different presentation styles.  The first is much more relaxed, which has advantages and disadvantages.  Firstly, too much action distracts from plotline, as suggested by critic Kyle Smith, saying “Blood Diamond’s awkward mix of action and messages cancel each other out”.  However, action can also give urgency to a topic.  The deeper theme of each is slightly different, as well.  Shame is briefly mentioned in Blood Diamond similarly to how greed is in Chanda’s Secrets.  The diamond mine is also a side topic in the novel while HIV/Aids was once referenced in the movie.  This aside, both focus on Africa, both give a negative perspective, much death is included in each and both end tragically.  Clearly, each successfully conveys an important and often unseen view on the matter.



Overall, it’s important to gain knowledge on these presentations.  They show an angle often hidden commercially.  Though I personally have many criticisms for each and did not particularity enjoy either, I understand their importance.  Hopefully, the messages each give will have an effect on society.


 

Article posted April 13, 2009 at 08:11 PM GMT0 • comment • Reads 45



Article posted March 30, 2009 at 02:10 AM GMT0 • comment • Reads 464

Symbolism is unarguably one of the most important literary techniques for keeping interest.  It allows the reader to stay involved by predicting future events in a storyline.  The most common method of this device is by many small hints placed throughout that create continuity when joined.  So how is symbolism used in the novel, Chanda’s Secrets?



Its main examples seem to be when the reader is trying to predict who has aids.  The clues grow exponentially, in that each prediction and answer, in fact, paves way for the next mystery.  The first example in these regards was how Sarah died.  The reader is able to predict this by the described symptoms of her death juxtaposed with the symptoms of Esther’s parents’ deaths.  Conveniently, these two are place near each other in the plot.  This answer creates another mystery of how Sarah receiver her ailment.  The only possibility seems to be from her mother, which becomes the next foresight.  After Jonah is found to have it, this almost confirms the theory.  A final use is with Esther.  When she reveals in puzzles that tourists have been involved in this sort of activity with her, this implies that she may get aids.



Symbolism can have many structures; in this case it’s a pyramid of information style.  Without it, much of the fun of reading would be removed.  Overall, however, it should be used sparingly, since if plotlines are too obvious, there is no point in reading on to get answers.

Article posted March 30, 2009 at 02:10 AM GMT0 • comment • Reads 464



Article posted March 2, 2009 at 01:21 AM GMT0 • comment • Reads 48

Newspaper: Toronto Star


Section: Business


Reporter: Stephen Manning


Article Title: GE slashes dividend to conserve cash



For the first time since the great depression, GE, a major manufacturing and lending company, has decreased its stock dividend.  Overall, it seemed like the correct decision, since before the cut as much as $13 billion per year were being paid solely in this, definitely not an ideal situation in these hard times.  A lapse since the great depression broken now may signify great trouble, most likely not as much as in 1938, but possibly so.  However, unemployment was at 30% in the thirties, while now it’s no higher than 7%



From an investor’s point of view, this incident has lowered the stock of the business. This is probably from a sales increase and demand decrease caused by the cut dividend, of course.  A very unpredictable situation, stockholders have mixed opinions on GE’s move.  However, judging by the situation in the great depression, GE raised its dividend after the recession finished, and the same will happen here.  It may even be very temporary to conserve funds this year.


 

Article posted March 2, 2009 at 01:21 AM GMT0 • comment • Reads 48



Article posted February 18, 2009 at 02:46 AM GMT0 • comment • Reads 42

The news individual I have chosen is Jesse Mclean, a staff reporter for the Toronto Star.  Mclean tends to lean toward the comedic sides of news stories, making them entertaining though satire of laws and events.  One recent example of this is “Girl, 15, smokes as driver gets $155 ticket”.  Personally, I enjoy reading his articles more than others; however I have found a slight bias.  My one criticism is that he often takes only the negative parts of a story, and leaves out the positive qualities, often when secretly ridiculing a law, for example.  Unfortunately, this can give a bad impression on many subjects, and be inaccurate at worst.  Often a “spinner of the truth”, it would be more appropriate if he wrote editorials instead of reporter style articles.  However, recreational value in a paper helps sales, so this method may be the result of pressure in this area.

Article posted February 18, 2009 at 02:46 AM GMT0 • comment • Reads 42



Article posted February 1, 2009 at 06:22 PM GMT0 • comment • Reads 45





Mario games have traditionally been the benchmark in quality on any entertainment system, but the relatively new Smash Bros. series, introduced nine years ago, may meet that standard. Its newest installment, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, has proved to feature an excellent multiplayer mode, but a solid single player side, as well.







The main attraction to this game is the multiplayer functionality. Super Smash Bros Brawl is a unique two dimensional fighting game with an unusual objective. Other than in the HP mode, the goal is to launch your opponent off of the stage, while in most other combat games; it’s to diminish the other’s health bar. In a new and improved organization, up to four may brawl with thirty five characters from throughout the Nintendo universe at their will on a variety of stages. Each character features different attacks and strengths, as well as a different newly-introduced “final smash”. With internet access, online battle is also possible. Three fighting modes are playable; a coin collecting match, a timed battle, and a multiple life brawl.



Besides the well developed and structured combat mode, the game includes an equally interesting single or two player adventure mode, where the participant takes control of Smash Bros’ characters in story related situations, collecting trophies and stickers throughout, and battling boss characters and the subspace army. Up to fifty saved files may be created, a very impressive capacity, however the games long load times justify it.



In addition, many side attributes are included in this action-packed journey. Firstly, trophies are a welcome bonus. These provide information on various characters and items, and are a pleasure to simply observe. Trophies may be collected in three ways; through pick up in the adventure mode, through the coin launcher, and from trophy stands. In the adventure mode, golden boxes appear throughout, that when broken, will award trophies to the player. The coin launcher allows the user to fire coins they have collected to earn rewards. When hurled at an opponent, the trophy stand in adventure mode will transform any enemy into a trophy, providing he/she is sufficiently weakened. Through correct timing, the trophy stand will even allow the collection of a boss trophy. Secondly, the stage builder is very interesting. Finally, the collection of CDs possible is quite great. A CD may be collected during a brawl, and when done so, a song from the Nintendo universe will be playable in the sound test. In addition, music collected from CDs may be set to play on stages instead of usual tracks.



Overall, Super Smash Bros Brawl is a near flawless game that will amuse anyone. From its grand choice of characters and stages, to its well developed adventure mode, it’s definitely one of the greatest games released on the Wii. 5/5



Article posted February 1, 2009 at 06:22 PM GMT0 • comment • Reads 45



Article posted January 26, 2009 at 03:45 AM GMT0 • comment • Reads 45

For a considerable amount of time, students and various teachers at Deer Park Public School have felt there is an unreasonable amount of homework assigned.  “I understand why kids don’t like homework,” junior school teacher Columba C. had said. “Kids need family time and extra-curricular opportunities.”  C. had never been one to overdo the homework dosage, but besides her style, the Deer Park code seems to be defined by homework.



During a conference with his cats, Kevin G, an obnoxious student at Deer Park, stated “It’s beyond unfair to swamp us like this!  I haven’t found one sane person in my life that likes homework!” The school violates the homework code set by the TDSB in 2006.  In its policy, a school in junior high is unable to assign more than one and one half hours of combined classes’ homework per night, and no homework is permitted to be due the day after it’s assigned, with the exception of math.  In the past three weeks, homework included a cell modeling project, studying for a history test, the completion of notes for over twenty pages of a history text book, over five pages of math, a twenty sentence plus visual component French project, a graphical book report, the completion of six blogs of at least one hundred and fifty words each, and an advising project requiring a slideshow, audio file, and magazine add. 



Students school-wide agree, and unless something is done about the issue, cats worldwide will eat their owner's homework.


 

Article posted January 26, 2009 at 03:45 AM GMT0 • comment • Reads 45



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About the Blogger

My name is Kevin G/Warrior of X. I do this blog because I have to, but I occasionally find it interesting to test out my writing and HTML skills. I will provide a completely custom background for a small fee, if you want to be cool. My interests are building stuff, blowing stuff up, bike riding, playing tennis, and working with computers. I should have my stainless steel background and some games I have made up on this blog soon.

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