I’m Back!

So, I’m guessing (and kind of hoping, lol) at least somebody noticed that I haven’t been posting anything for like, the past year. The reason, is because I’m not particularly the smartest person and forgot my password. The lucky thing is though, I got back in through my old email, which I was using for this account..! So I’m saved! I posted from the new account I’d made (http://d3monhunt3rr.wordpress.com/) that I’d lost access, but I’m not sure how many people would have seen that.

Anyway, I’m back & I plan on posting more often than I used to. Music, video games, writing/books, etc. etc! Check back and/or show your friends, the more the merrier. :)

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This year in Mr. Fisher’s class, the Gr. 7/8 are working with the Gr.7/8 students at Turnberry Central (sorry if I spelled that wrong!) again, and it’s a blast. We just finished the book Half Brother by Kenneth Oppel, and it was a great book! Personally, I still loved The Book Thief by Markus Zusak a lot, but Half Brother was a very good read as well. Check them out, they’re both very good books.

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Right now, our class in Snow Lake & the kids in Wingham are re-writing a piece “What The Web Is For” by David Weinberger. This will be interesting, as it’s a rather old piece. We’re going to “new” it up. Re-write it so it suits the technology & possibilities there are through the internet. Obviously there has to be SOMETHING throughout 10 years! lol.

So… yeah. That’s what’s up! Come back soon to see anything new!! :D
Jewls out! ;D

The Wave – Growing Every Day

Hi, there! Again, I am here today blogging about a book. Which one? Yup, you guessed it! The Wave! This set of chapters is a bit more interesting than the last ones… :)

Mr. Ross isn’t really sure what to think of The Wave. The recruitment of other students in school was quite successful, and now his class that had formerly consisted of a small group was absolutely packed! Things were going well, as none of the students were falling behind in their other classes. 
One thing that wasn’t so great was they answered all of their questions with very quick and short answers. They no longer answered, out loud or on paper, with longer answers, but made they spoke with as short of sentences as possible. That would make writing essays a more difficult than usual, that’s for sure.
Norm Schiller, the biology teacher as well as football coach, was thankful to Mr. Ross for The Wave, as it had seemed to be helping the football team greatly in their preparation for the big game against Clarkstown.
Students all had different reasons for why they loved The Wave, and being a part of it. Some reasons were that it was different from anything they’d experienced before; that it was democratic; they even enjoyed the increased discipline that they were taught to show (which really surprised me quite a bit!).

While all of this is happening with The Wave, Laurie and the other Grapevine staff were having trouble with coming up with what they would have in the next issue. Someone suggested that they could do a story on The Wave. Laurie wasn’t crazy about the idea, but agreed anyway. She asked the other staff to get opinions from other students about what they thought of The Wave personally.
That night Laurie’s mom talks to her about something that happened that involved The Wave.  Her mom had run into Elaine Billings, who was so happy about the changes in her son, Robert, who she had been quite concerned for before The Wave had come along. Laurie’s mom wasn’t really sure, but she didn’t think that what was happening to Robert was a very good thing, because it follows the pattern of cults and the kind of people who are usually attracted to them.
When her mom asked Laurie about the Wave Rally that was coming up on Friday afternoon, she told her mom that it was just a football pep rally, just with a different name. Her mom was quite surprised by the lack of concern that her daughter was presenting – Laurie thinks that it will be over within a few days or so. But the truth is that she is indeed very worried about the situation, as well…

What do you think will happen? Do you think that it will end soon, or do you think it will go on? What do you think about The Wave,  the group itself, overall?

The Wave – The Danger of Recreation

Hey, everyone! I’m here again blogging about the book, The Wave. This time I’m writing about the activity of chapters 5 – 8.  Enjoy! :)

The next day, the students of Mr. Ross’ History class were greeted by the slogan STRENGTH THROUGH DISCIPLINE written on the board. They hadn’t expected a lecture about discipline from him, unlike other, more conventional teachers. Mr. Ross got his students excited by showing how power and success is possible through discipline: using Amy as a model, he showed how this could be achieved in the proper posture and efficient organization – in how one sat, walked, and moved. He drilled the students, having them walk around and then proceed to their desks in a quick, orderly fashion. They did terribly. David proposed to the class that they line up in the hallway (in order from farthest desk to closest) to reach their seats faster from their standing positions. The class cheered at their success when this suggestion works. They got to their desks in only 16 seconds!
Mr. Ross then gave three more rules to his students: 1) all students must have pencils and paper for note-taking; 2) they must stand next to their desk to answer any questions; 3) all answers and questions must begin with addressing Ben “Mr. Ross”. He then drilled his student in these rules, asking them questions from history. When the bell rang, the students wait for final orders from Mr. Ross instead of leaving on their own accord.
After class, several students came together and discussed how they had enjoyed the experience. David especially believed in the power behind this discipline, though Brad and some others were a bit skeptical about the whole thing. David goes to the washroom and sees Robert Billings going over the drills from class on his own.
That night, Christy Ross was surprised at hearing how well Ben’s students took to discipline. She asked if it would continue the next day and Ben didn’t think it would, as he planned to move on to Japanese history. What Ben didn’t admit to his wife was how much he had enjoyed the experience, as well.

Arriving late for class the next day, Mr. Ross was surprised to find his students maintaining the same disciplined posture and silence from the drills from the previous day. Mr. Ross decided to take it further and introduced a second slogan to the class, STRENGTH THROUGH COMMUNITY. He explained this slogan as the importance of being part of something bigger than one, alone, solitary. He also created a symbol, a wave, and a matching salute that the class should greet each other with. He drilled the student over this new information and instructions.
During football practice after school, Eric was skeptical of David wanting to introduce the entire team to The Wave. However, Brian Ammon was scared of facing Clarkstown’s massive linebackers and was open to give it a try. He was probably open to give pretty much anything a try if it meant even having a chance against Clarkstown. Deutsch, the junior who is second – string quarterback, taunted his rivals and offered to take Brian’s place in the game, as he would rather enjoy stealing Brian’s position. His taunts result in a fight between Brian and himself. David broke up the fight and saw it as proof that they weren’t working as a team. At Eric’s prodding, he told the rest of the team about The Wave and what it could do for the team.

During dinner, Laurie got tired of her father’s golf stories and decided to interrupt and tell her parents about history class. Laurie’s mother, Midge Saunders, was quite concerned that The Wave was too militaristic, but Laurie told her about her exciting experience. Mr. Saunders thought that any increase in discipline and cooperation was an improvement and told Mrs. Saunders to let it go. He brought up the Founding Fathers as an example, while Mrs. Saunders countered that people should not be afraid to act as individuals. Mrs. Saunders then went on to remind Laurie that what was popular wasn’t always what was right. Mr. Saunders asked about David, who very often dropped by in the evenings. Laurie tells him David is studying history for tomorrow, which surprises her parents.
Though it was Ben’s turn to cook, he brought home Chinese take – out as he was too busy preparing for his class. Ben was amazed at how well the students had taken to The Wave and how much better they behaved. Christy asked him how far he was planning to take the experiment and Ben answered that he didn’t really know, admitting that he was also getting caught up in the process, describing it as “contagious”. Christy jokingly warned her husband that it may be he himself who was really the guinea pig of the experiment.

David had walked Laurie to school since they were sophomores. The next morning, he was enthusiastic as he described how The Wave will help the football team. Laurie wasn’t as sure and asked about his seeking help in Calculus. David didn’t want to ask his classmates or they’d know he’s struggling; Laurie suggested getting Amy’s help.
In History class Mr. Ross started by passing out membership cards for The Wave. Cards with red X’s were monitors, making sure all members of The Wave obeyed the rules. He also introduced a new slogan: STRENGTH THROUGH ACTION. Mr. Ross explained that discipline and community are useless without action that achieves a goal. Laurie found all of this creepy, but decided to keep quiet. Mr. Ross also declared an end to competition within the group, that they all work towards the same ends. He then revealed the first action for The Wave: recruitment of new members. David and Eric both felt vindicated in already telling to the football team of The Wave. Mr. Ross was ready to move on to other class matters but George Snyder, Robert Billings, and others spontaneously expressed joy and pride about being in The Wave. After some salutes and slogan chanting, Ben realized The Wave was making a life of its own.
At lunch, Robert was invited by David to join other Wave members at a table. Laurie asked if anyone felt weird about The Wave, but both Amy and Brad expressed relief at the end to popularity contests through this new sense of equality and community. As one of the chosen monitors, Brian joked about reporting Laurie. David sayed she wasn’t breaking any rules, but Robert inquires that if she was against The Wave, it would be breaking the rules because it defied the community. Laurie resisted answering Robert that now since he’s become accepted by others, he thinks that’s a positive development for him.

The Wave – The Beginning of Disaster

Hey, everyone! Today I’m blogging about a book called The Wave by Todd Strasser.

The Wave, the first 4 chapters that I’ve read of it, is somewhat slow. Kind of an introduction to all of the characters and the setting.
Some of those characters that are introduced are Laurie Saunders, Amy Smith, Mr. (Ben) Ross and his wife Mrs. (Christy) Ross, David Collins, and many more.

As the editor – in – chief of The Grapevine, the newspaper of Gordon High School, Laurie was troubled by the lateness of the issues. She didn’t think her staff was disciplined enough, but did not know what to do about it. As she passed Mr. Gabondi’s French class, she saw her best friend Amy Smith and tried to catch her attention. Though, unfortunately, she also caught Mr. Gabondi’s attention and almost got in trouble, but thankfully the bell rang just in time. Amy joined her and they continued to Mr. Ross’ History class.
Mr. Ross was in his classroom, having trouble with the projector (as he did with many things that were mechanical). Despite his lack of mechanical skills, he definitely had a reputation as an outstanding teacher. The other teachers and workers were divided on their opinions of Ben – some liked his energy and creativity, while others thought he should be more traditional. For his part, Ben was troubled by the attitude of many of his students, who valued their social lives much more than their homework. As the students started to enter class, Ross enlists the help of David Collins for the projector. Robert Billings was made fun of by Brad when he dully asks if they’ll be watching a movie that day. As class began, Ross warned students about homework getting too sloppy – the third time he’d done so that semester.

Mr. Ross’ class was studying World War 2, and the film they watched was about the Nazi concentration camps. Ross spoke of Hitler’s rise to power, anti – Semitism, and the Final Solution. The class was so absolutely shocked by the millions who died in this manner, which didn’t surprise Ben, considering the comfortable middle class way they were raised. When asked if all Germans were Nazis, Mr. Ross told them that less than 10% were party members. When asked why no one tried to stop the Nazis, Mr. Ross explained that most Germans said that they’d not even known of the camps’ existence. The students scoffed at this, exclaiming that they would never had let such a thing happen if they were in that situation.

David Collins had already finished his lunch when Laurie joined him. Together, they watched as Robert Billings sat at a lunch table and the two girls that had been sitting there leave. They wondered if anything was wrong with Robert or something, but Laurie was still thinking about the Nazi video. She lost her appetite, leaving David to eat most of her lunch. Amy Smith and Brian Ammon joined them. David was part of the football team and Brian was the team’s quarterback; he had two trays of food, wanting to gain weight before the game against Clarkstown. Laurie asked if they have a chance of winning this game; David wasn’t sure since the team was the opposite of organized and definitely not motivated. David then asked about calculus, as he wanted to prepare for studying engineering in college.
All four students continued to watch Robert Billings as he read a Spider – Man comic book. Brian mentioned that Robert slept through the Nazi movie, and David pointed out Laurie was still upset over what they’d seen. Out of annoyance, Laurie brought Amy with her to the Grapevine office. They hung out around there for a while.

Ben Ross was troubled by his inability to answer his students’ questions about why the Germans had even allowed the Holocaust to happen. On his way home, he stopped at the library to take out books on the subject. It seemed that historians hadn’t really had any answers about the acquiescence of the German people, leaving him to wonder if it had to be experienced to be understood – and further, if it could be recreated in his classroom as some sort of experiment…

A Single Silver Warrior

As some of you know, I’ve been writing book. I call it A Single Silver Warrior, and I don’t know how I came upon the title… I’ll give you a preview now…

Prologue…
I was running down some random alley in some random town. I could hear my heart pounding in my keen ears, from the exertion. They were chasing me.
As I ran, I heard some strangely familiar, irregular footsteps ahead. Then I saw it.
It had glowing red eyes, resembling those of a demon’s. It somehow donned a dark robe that floated – yes, floated – approximately a foot in mid – air. The reason I said “somehow”, is because… It… had no hands, no feet (no, not hidden by the robe or anything like that), no anything. Other than those eyes. But the most gruesome thing of all was that there was no face. The eyes basically rested in air. But something was very strange about the air. It seemed to be darker than normal air. It was kind of like… A shadow? Yes. A shadow. One that burned of hatred, fury, anger, sadness, depression, and… well, you get the point. There were SO many feelings, except they weren’t exactly feelings, as opposed to shades visible in the shadow, and not even one of them was good.
Since it had no face, it likely didn’t have any sort of mind, either – other than the thought it somehow had… But, somehow, had eyes.
Oh, those eyes. They were, somehow, so exotic, yet so evil and hostile. When their gaze was set upon me, they seemed to burn a hole right through my body.
And then it spoke to me. Or, rather, into my mind. My ears detected no voice other than the ones of the two – legged creatures far behind me.
“You can run from me no longer, Kyreoux of Zeiloux. You can not escape again. This time you will pay! With your life! With every claw, every inch of skin, every tuft of fur! Death awaits your arrival, you filthy mutt! COME!”
As it said that last word, my paws started to unwillingly move forward.
At that moment, I realised it. This… thing, I suppose we can just call it “It”… It had the power to create any illusion, any trick of the mind. It can make you see or hear whatever it wants you to. It can force you to go anywhere, whether it be run into a wall, or something more serious, like jump off of a cliff, to fall, without any consent whatsoever, even from Death himself / herself, directly to your death.
Those two – legged creatures were exactly that. Chasing me to It. That realization explains so very little, yet so very much of my current predicament.
What it doesn’t explain is how I got so far from my home, in The Lanorrah Valley.
But I can defeat this dark force.
I am a wolf.
And I am, and shall die as, a Silver Warrior.

Blogging Being Monitored By Kuwaiti Government… ?

Yes, it’s that time again. My weekly country blog post. Today, as it had been a couple of weeks ago, it is on Kuwait. I suppose I should gt on with it, eh? Anyway, this weeks topics are mainly blogging, cyber – activism, etc…

The name basically explains what I will be speaking, or, technically, typing about the blogs of Kuwaiti citizens being monitored. If you want to know about this, then, please, keep reading. If not, then I don’t believe you’re reading the right blog post, now are you?
Alas, if you are still reading, I assume you will keep reading, so I’ll get started…

News spread, obviously by the local newspaper, that the Kuwaiti government was planning to start to monitor blogs. And the bloggers were not happy about this. One quite popular blogger actually decided to confront the news – announcing that his blog was for sale.
Frankom, who’s been blogging since 2003, wrote a post of which the title was “This blog is for sale“:

صحيح اني لم أعد أتحدث بالسياسة لسبب بسيط وهو وجود مدونات أخرى أفضل بكثير مني ولها جمهورها وقادرة على ايصال الرسالة بطريقة أفضل وأعمق … الخبر المنشور على صفحات جريدة القبس (اضغط هنا) ليس بجديد على الاطلاق ! بل أن المراقبة موجودة منذ سنوات ولكن يحتاج الامر الى مجرد خبرين أو ثلاث حتى يتأقلم الشارع مع مثل هذه الاخبار !! ولكن مالهدف منها ؟ وكيف ستتم المراقبة وعلى أي أساس ؟

 الوضع من سيئ الى أسوأ !!

صباح الخير

And, in English, the following:

While it is true that I have not been blogging about politics because of a simple reason and that is the presence of other blogs which are much better than mine and which have an audience and are able to express their messages in a way better and deeper than I would, news published in (Kuwaiti Arabic daily) Al Qabas (that the government is studying a proposal to monitor blogs) is not new at all! The monitoring of blogs has been going on for many years but needed two or three articles in the newspaper for people on the street to get used to such a development. What is the use of monitoring blogs? And how will they be monitored and why? The situation is getting from bad to worse!!

Good morning.

This short post attracted 36 comments so far – which is quite a large number for Kuwait.

Is this right? I think people should get to blog in peace, and I don’t think that’ll happen if they’re being monitored, simply because people might be afraid that if they make a post that kind of doubles as a complaint at how they’re living, or any such thing, they may get in trouble. I don’t think that’s right.
What do you think? Drop a comment in and tell what you think… Start a conversation, share your ideas, etc! Ideas are mostly what keep us going!

And that is what I think. You? Come on, and start a conversation! :D

Conflicts of Liesel Meminger

Hey there, everyone! As you can probably tell from the title of my post, today’s post will be about the conflicts a girl named Liesel Meminger had to face. She is a really important character from the book called The Book Thief, which is by Markus Zuzak. He has described things so well, and I will tell you of some conflicts he has included in his book…

I will start from conflicts of which happened in the beginning of the book, progress to the middle of the book, then, finally, to later in the book, which we’ve read just recently…

Liesel Meminger, a girl of about 9 years old, went through quite a bit of change for a while. She got taken, from her mother, through foster care, and brought to a new family, known as the Hubermann’s, because her mother had gotten extremely ill.

When she’d first arrived at their house, she’d refused to leave the car which she’d been brought in. Rosa Hubermann had tried forcing her, then Hans Hubermann had coaxed her out nicely. Obviously kindness won her over better than rudeness and forcefulness…

When she’d finally gotten out, Rosa Hubermann had wanted her to take a bath. She would not. She refused to bath for 2 weeks! When she did, though, Mama was pretty happy about it.

Liesel had a secret occupation of stealing books going on. But only some books. Not quite, but, I suppose, somewhat, randomly chosen. She also ended up stealing food, as well, in some parts of the book.

Liesel faced many conflicts that involved her family, the Hubermann’s, and Max, as well. Though not all were caused by her, as it was in this situation…

Hans was a nice person, and was not a Jew – hater, like most people were becoming. He fed bread to one Jew, while the “Jew Parade” was going on. A Nazi soldier saw this act, and punished both the Jew, and him. Hans, then, got sent to war. Liesel was devastated by this, as she truly loved her Papa as if he’d been her father throughout her life. He was, after all, her teacher, as well as her friend.

Another conflict Liesel had to face that she, herself, did not cause, was when Max left, which was basically caused by Hans. Max left out of the concern that the Nazi’s would come and search the Hubermann’s house, and didn’t want to risk putting them into more danger than they were already in, by having a Jew in their basement, so he left. Liesel had really cared for Max, and was extremely sad when he left.

The reason I chose to write about Liesel is because she has a lot to do with just about everything that’s happened in the book. She has gone through a lot, and I think that should not go without notice. If this book were based completely on the life of a real girl, that would be the most horrible life to live, even though I’m aware that many other people had to go through similar predicaments in the time of Kristallnacht, the Holocaust, and World War 2. That is extremely sad, and not many people give it a second thought that real people have had to go through that, that it’s not just some scary story at a campfire. Some people don’t give it even a first thought!

Well, I suppose that concludes my blog post for today. Think about what those innocent people had to go through, as I and many others have. Be thankful for the fact that those people weren’t you…

The Music Of Mexico

This post is going to be focused upon music and the country of Mexico.  The reason I chose Mexico as my country is because I know people that live there, as I do in Kuwait, as well. I also enjoy the research I’ve done on both countries, though less has been looked up on Mexico than on Kuwait, due to the fact that Mexico is so close, and friends of mine have been there, as well.  Alas, the following is presented as The Music Of Mexico, my blog post…

Mexico is the country which presents the most Spanish music and entertainment.
Mexican pop was limited to Latin America until the mid – 1990’s, when an interest towards this pop music increased after Luis Miguel’s, Selena’s, Thalía’s and Paulina Rubio’s debuts before the mainstream USA audience.

Mexican rock music, often referred to in Mexico as rock nacional (“national rock”), originated in the 1950’s with covers of standards by Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley and The Everly Brothers, among others, bands such as Los Rebeldes Del Rock, Los Locos Del Ritmo, Los Crazy Boys, Los Nómadas, and Javier Bátiz soon rose with original compositions, also in English a lot.

The Indian flute, conch shell, and hueheutl (a drum) were the primary instruments used in playing pre – Hispanic Mexican music. When the Spaniards came, they introduced other types of music.
The music that most typifies the Mexican spirit would, most people would say, be the mariachi, which is virtually all kinds of music played during weddings. The instruments used are the harp, violin, trumpets, vihuela, and the guitarra de golpe (a five string guitar – like instrument that was tuned differently).

So, that concludes my blog post on Mexican music. I hope that you enjoyed what you’ve read here. I’ll show you some pictures of different dancing styles from the music of Mexico below…

Kuwait News – Price Rise

I’ll bet you’re wondering what this post will be about… We, here in Snow Lake, are doing a bit of  research on different countries. We were to pick a country and do a blog post on one news story. I, for my country, picked Kuwait because I have two friends who live there. I love learning about Kuwait, and it is fascinating at how much two countries can be so much the same, and so different!

Tomatoes are now eight times more expensive in Kuwait than they had been just a month ago – and people aren’t taking the change in prices too well. They cannot find an explanation to why the cost of a box of tomatoes went from half a dinar ($1.70) to KD4 ($14.00) in just a number of days!

Here is a quote on the predicament:
Ein Bagzee inquired that the problem isn’t what to do about the hike in prices but instead how to deal with it:
ذن المشكلة في ثقافة المستهلك نفسه هو لا يعلم أنه العجلة المهمة التي يعتمد عليها أي تاجر فهو أي التاجر لا يستطيع أبعاد المشتري لو مهما كان” الثمن فسوف يبيع لك بضاعته في النهاية هناك درجات في الخسارة التجارية لا احد يرغب أن تصل خسارته ألي درجة تحت الصفر فالجميع يرغب أن يبيع إذا اليوم خسرت دينار واحد فأنا كسبت عميل جيد سوف يشتري مني بسعر دينارين في المستقبل و هكذا تتم الحركة التجارية بالأمس كان البيض اليوم الطماطم غدا الخبز أو الأرز على اعتبار أن المحاصيل الزراعية في بيشاور – باكستان تعرضت للتلف !!”
The following is the translation:
“The problem is in the culture of consumers who don’t understand the important cycle which any merchant depends on. Merchants cannot keep consumers at bay and will sell you his goods because at the end, there are different levels of losses and no one would want to lose completely. Everyone wants to sell and if the merchant loses a dinar today, he will win a good customer who will buy for KD2 in the future and this is how the commercial cycle continues. Yesterday, it was the rising cost of eggs and today, it is the tomatoes. Tomorrow it could be bread or rice, considering that agricultural produce in Peshawar – Pakistan – was destroyed in the floods.”

I have to wonder why the prices are rising so. On either produce, grains, or any food! I mean, people have to eat, right? What if the prices end up rising too high for people to afford? If they cannot eat, then disease and illness comes into the picture. It spreads. Many deaths occur. Innocent people can die! And for what? So the merchants can make more money? That is NO good reason!
I just hope it doesn’t get that far as to people start dying, or even getting some disease from lack of food.

Here are some pictures on the topic I blogged about…


Here are some links for Kuwait, and on the story itself…

http://globalvoicesonline.org/2010/10/05/kuwait-let-the-tomatoes-rot/
http://www.kuwait-info.com/
http://www.kuwaittimes.net/read_news.php?newsid=NDI3NDgwMTQw
http://www.asiarooms.com/en/travel-guide/kuwait/kuwait-overview/kuwait-currency.html

First They Came… (Remix)

This is a remix poem of Martin Neimoller’s poem, here’s a link to it:

http://www.veni.com/articles/firsttheycameforme.html

And now, presenting to you, my remix of Martin Neimoller’s poem, First They Came:

First they crushed the Jocks,
And I did not speak out –
Because I was not a Jock.

Then they came for the Cheerleaders,
And I did not speak out –
Because I was not a Cheerleader.

Then they came for the Nerds,
And I did not speak out –
Because I was not a Nerd.

Then they terrorized me –
And there was no one left to speak for me.

The reason I picked those groups of people is because they are sort of true for me. I am not a Jock. I am not a Cheerleader. I am not a Nerd. I am me.
I also picked the things that happened to the groups of people because Jocks do get crushed, not bullied. Cheerleaders do get humiliated, not made fun of. Nerds do get threatened, not teased. I do get terrorized, not frightened. I made my poem sort of, but not entirely, true to my life.