Wednesday, April 30, 2008

It is time..

Well hopefully, this will be the beginning of a new computer for me. I am hoping that I will be able to go and buy some new parts, and upgrade this antique computer. I like the computer just fine, but I think that its 6 year old parts need some upgrades. So today I reformated my other computer, and now its all for my sister. This computer will hopefully get new parts, and become an elite computer.
Things I need to buy:
  1. New motherboard (gigabyte ga-p35? only 100)
  2. New CPU (whichever one gives the most bang for its buck)
  3. New graphics card (128mb or 256mb will suffice)
  4. Network card (want a motherboard with wireless on it)
  5. another HD (i really really wish for a Western Digital Raptor, but that is only a dream)
  6. some 120mm fans to keep my computer quiet
  7. RAM (hmm so cheap, maybe 4gigs then)
That is all I can think of for now. This is only a rough outline of what I want, later on I will search up prices and then hopefully it will be done. I can't wait.

UPDATE: Bought CPU e8400, bought GPU 8600 gt

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The square root of three

I’m sure that I will always be
A lonely number like root three

The three is all that’s good and right,
Why must my three keep out of sight
Beneath the vicious square root sign,
I wish instead I were a nine

For nine could thwart this evil trick,
with just some quick arithmetic

I know I’ll never see the sun,
as 1.7321
Such is my reality,
a sad irrationality

When hark! What is this I see,
Another square root of a three

As quietly co-waltzing by,
Together now we multiply
To form a number we prefer,
Rejoicing as an integer

We break free from our mortal bonds
With the wave of magic wands

Our square root signs become unglued
Your love for me has been renewed

- Dave Feinberg

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Problems caused by the low US dollar

The major problem is that everything is getting more expensive.

As the US dollar is dropping, the main supplier of goods into the US, China, has realized that the profits are not worth it anymore. China has begun to stop its import into the US, causing the rise in products. Everyday groceries have risen in price, and it is not due to shortages. There is plenty of food, but because China does not wish to import it, the prices will go up. As the dollar drops, the economy of the US will also fall. As neighbours, Canada will also feel the emptiness in our wallets.

It is impossible to live in Vancouver and not notice the price of oil. 10 years ago, oil stood on the stock market at $15.35 per barrel, now in 2008 it has reached peaks of $120 a barrel. This is not due to a lack of oil in the world either. Today in the world, there is more oil than there has ever been. The rise in prices is due to the falling of the US dollar, and also due to crisis's overseas in the nations that control most of the oil. OPEC has discussed dropping the US greenback for the Euro, which will allow the prices of oil to drop. Perhaps one day this will happen, as it is become more and more obvious that the United States of America is falling into a recession.

In the words of Henry Kissinger, former US Secretary of State, "Who controls the food supply controls the people; who controls the energy can control whole continents; who controls money can control the world." So who controls the money in the world?

Isn't it always up to us?

So after that Darfur presentation today, it seems that many people do not know what is happening in the world. Darfur has been going on for a few years now, but although not much attention has been paid to that particular place, it is because international leaders have their eyes focussed elsewhere. Skillful magicians are able to divert the eyes of the audience, so that they are able to perform their "magic" without the audience noticing. Just like magicians the authorities are able to divert major attention to the important things by distracting the public. The U.S is considered to be one of the major superpowers in the world, yet its leader, if you can even call him that, states that "outside forces that tend to divide people up inside their country are unbelievably counterproductive." That was the reason George W. Bush provided on what he would not send troops into Darfur. Hmmmmm, makes one wonder why he is in Iraq...Is it for the weapons of mass destruction that were never found, and proven to have not existed? Or is it for the oil? You can decide. What a coincidence, Sudan sits on top of a lake of oil. Along with barrels of oil, it contains a vast number of minerals. The only thing that any government wants is to obtain a piece of that oil, so that they will be able to sell it.

People die everywhere else in Africa, yet it is not made a big deal. In the Congo up to 3 million people are dead after 6 years of conflict. Why aren't we helping the people there instead? Everything is focussed on Darfur because it contains oil and minerals, something all nations want.

So it seems that the cry is for YOU to do something about the genocide in Darfur. But what really can we do, when in Canada, we have nothing. Just this week, a Chinese tanker carrying a shipment of weapons traveling to Africa was went back. Those familiar with Rwanda may know that the Rwandan government bought $750,000 worth of machetes from China. That was enough machetes for every third man in Rwanda. If that Chinese tanker had successfully unloaded the weapons, there could very well have been another war in Africa.

My point is that when superpowers such as China, and the US want something, there isn't much to be done to stop them. My opinion on this matter is to just let things run its course, and soon it will eventually end. Survival of the fittest.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Harry Potter x10

KINSHASA (Reuters) - Police in Congo have arrested 13 suspected sorcerers accused of using black magic to steal or shrink men's penises after a wave of panic and attempted lynchings triggered by the alleged witchcraft.

Reports of so-called penis snatching are not uncommon in West Africa, where belief in traditional religions and witchcraft remains widespread, and where ritual killings to obtain blood or body parts still occur.

Rumors of penis theft began circulating last week in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo's sprawling capital of some 8 million inhabitants. They quickly dominated radio call-in shows, with listeners advised to beware of fellow passengers in communal taxis wearing gold rings.

Purported victims, 14 of whom were also detained by police, claimed that sorcerers simply touched them to make their genitals shrink or disappear, in what some residents said was an attempt to extort cash with the promise of a cure.

"You just have to be accused of that, and people come after you. We've had a number of attempted lynchings. ... You see them covered in marks after being beaten," Kinshasa's police chief, Jean-Dieudonne Oleko, told Reuters on Tuesday.

Police arrested the accused sorcerers and their victims in an effort to avoid the sort of bloodshed seen in Ghana a decade ago, when 12 suspected penis snatchers were beaten to death by angry mobs. The 27 men have since been released.

"I'm tempted to say it's one huge joke," Oleko said.

"But when you try to tell the victims that their penises are still there, they tell you that it's become tiny or that they've become impotent. To that I tell them, 'How do you know if you haven't gone home and tried it'," he said.

Some Kinshasa residents accuse a separatist sect from nearby Bas-Congo province of being behind the witchcraft in revenge for a recent government crackdown on its members.

"It's real. Just yesterday here, there was a man who was a victim. We saw. What was left was tiny," said 29-year-old Alain Kalala, who sells phone credits near a Kinshasa police station.


I guess this was their dream, maybe thats why people tend to stay away from Africa. I would be terrified of penis-shrinking sorcerors. This post is due to my laziness to make a post on Earth Day. Everyday should be Earth day, so nothing really special, so don't forget to save some energy and take short showers.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Wait, isn't it spring?

So with these snow flurries in spring, it seems that global warming is at play. But how many people just believe that global warming is the reason for the oddities in weather, rather than to go and find out themselves? Although it is true that the world is warming up, the irregular weather patterns may not have all that much to do with global warming. The tilt of the Earth's axis is changing ever so slightly every year, and with this change, seasons are longer. Global warming is just a scapegoat for people, a reason to sounds like they care about the environment. How many people complain about global warming, yet they buy plastic water bottles, slowly polluting the worlds oceans and destroying the Earth. So before you complain about global warming, stop and think about what you are doing to help solve it.

Since I am on the topic of global warming, it seems proper to insert a pin to prick the bubbles of those who love to tan. It seems that sun-screen may protect you from the two most common types of skin cancer, Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and Basal cell carcinoma (BCC), it does not protect you from malignant melanoma. Malignant melanoma is a very rare type of skin cancer, but its responsible for 75% of all skin cancer deaths. Melanomas are easily visible for they look like little blotches on your skin. If spotted and treated early, they are nothing more than mere nuisances. But if allowed to grow, they can go down into the skin and travel around in the blood. Melanoma is usually cause by sunburns, so usually sunscreen would be the natural answer. But what sunscreen has been discovered to do is, it stops the skin from showing warnings that melanomas are developing. UVB radiation stimulates the skin to produce melanin to protect the skin. Putting on sunscreen blocks the stimulation of melanin, and the skin does not produce melanin. Melanin is what accounts for the skin pigment, and it acts as a natural barrier to UVA and UVB radiation.

Just some food for thought, enjoy.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Process of Elimination

I think that the process of elimination is one the best things I have learned in high school. After doing countless tests and exams, the process of elimination sure helps to pass. Although this is not something they teach in the books, this problem solving skill is something everybody should have in their pockets. The process is not difficult to learn at all either. The process involves removing all other possibilities that cannot be correct, and by doing this, raises the probability that the correct answer will be within the choices left. Now that you know how to use it, I'll explain some uses for it.

First and foremost, you should almost always use this method whenever you are doing multiple choice questions on a test. 1 out of 4 is only 25% that you will get it right, but by eliminating 1 incorrect answer, you will have a 33% chance! By eliminating another answer you will end up with a 50% chance of guessing the correct answer. This shows that you don't necessarily have to know the answer to get it right, as long as you know what the answer isn't you can just work backwards.

A more ghastly use of the process of elimination could be to eliminate your opponents, allowing you to win at whatever you may be doing. Although most circumstances it would be illegal to do this, its a guarantee win. (unless you get caught :p)

There are many many more possibilities out there for using the great problem-solving technique. So just remember, every time you are stuck with a problem, try using the process of elimination.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Welcome to my life

Ahh the bittersweet taste of disappointment. How truly numbers on a page can attack and undermine even the greatest. Set yourself up high, and you are only doomed to be disappointed. Well I guess it was about time for me to realize that everything in life isn't as easily obtained as I imagined. While I moan and groan about getting 80% in a test, others would gladly trade their marks for mine. From today forward, I am hoping to start trying to focus once again on school. I think that I am too easily discouraged, but I am also easily encouraged. So hopefully I will once again get into my routine of homework first, then some reading, then computer. But lately, it seems that going out and having fun is quite the distraction.

Also with all this graduation stuff coming up, it just adds to the immense aberration. Grad is overrated, and thats all there is to it. Why can't it just be a simple "Congratulations, here is your diploma," and then we're done. All this fancy shmancy just for graduation. If only people did not make such a big deal about graduating. But I think my mom is right, its overrated because most parents have no graduated, so their like "OMG they're sooo smart! Let's all celebrate." Such minor things in life are not deserving of celebration, and if such minor things are made to be more than what they are, its just creating a false sense of accomplishment. I could go on for a few more paragraphs, but I must go and try and do something with my time other than ranting about the uselessness of many things.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Large Hadron Collider

So the LHC is going to start its operations this summer, and there has been quite a bit of talks about the 8 billion dollar particle accelerator lately. So for those who don't know about the LHC, its a massive underground accelerator that is about 27km long in a circular shape. Along the collider are large magnets placed to accelerate the particles that will be fired into the tunnel. With particles being fired at each other at extremely high speeds, scientists hope to discover new particles, such as the Higgs boson particle. The Higgs boson particle is a theoretical particle that is suppose to be responsible for the mass difference in matter. The LHC will also hope to uncover some more information about black holes. And it is with the black holes (RIP John Archibald Wheeler) that the controversy arises. Many skeptics are scared that within the LHC, the crashing particles will create a mini black hole which will suck up everything. Perhaps this is true, but it is very unlikely this will occur, as the black hole will only form for a nano-second, and then disintegrate. By performing these collisions, scientists wish to gain more information about the creation of the universe, and the moments in time after the Big Bang.

So that is the Large Hadron Collider. Why am I talking about it? Well it seems like today we live in a world where knowledge is so easily accessible, yet there is still so much to know. What if everything we learned was false, and that the truth is the most absurd thing you can imagine? But then again, somebody out there in the world has to be right. My love for knowledge stems from the fact that there is always something to be found. As years pass, there will always remain something that humans do not know. And within all humans, there is the innate longing to know.

Friday, April 11, 2008

And its all in my head

So, the last 2 months of school, isnt this suppose to be the time when everything is finishing up, and just cruising along? Nope, all lies. There doesnt seem to be a break in sight for me, stacked up with homework and tests. AP English exams coming up, Euclid Math contest, Biology competition. Woot all these things to do, no time for actual school homework.

But at least it is the weekend, and I am so excited for our school play. Hearing from all those who have already seen it, I just can't wait. This post is a wee bit short because for some reason I am super tired today, and I just want to sleep forever. Too bad I have math tutor tomorrow morning at 8:30.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Day by day

So as you might have noticed, i have posted a few homework articles up. I will continue doing this, and hopefully it benefits some people. My explication received a 6, so im assuming thats its a pretty decent explication. I have been lagging behind on blogging lately, as it seems that i have once again become introduced into the world of video games, namely, Battlefield 2. But i have promised myself to restrict it to only weeks, unless it is a weekday where i have no homework.

Todays interesting topic:
"Every week, an average of 88 children are expelled from American schools for bringing a gun to class. Nearly one in three American households with children have a gun in them. In a study of 37 school shooting incidents between 1974 and 2000, two thirds of the students involved had taken their guns from their own home or that of a relative. Death rate from guns in the US is by far the highest in the developed world. Of the 639 million small arms worldwide, nearly 200 million are in the homes of Americans."
I dont know how reliable the source on this info is, but it seems pretty scary. It seems that our neighbouring "friends" are quite the trigger-happy bunch. Violence in our world is ever increasing, and it brings forth images from the book "A Clockwork Orange" by Anthony Burgess. Everyday as we live in this sheltered microcosm, the world erupts in violence. I dont think that violence will ever be rid of, but perhaps there is a way to end it. There are always controversial issues pertaining to video games and violence, but i have always considered that just a scapegoat for the violence. When people do not know something, it is always easier to just blame it on something else. In most American states, people may keep guns without licenses, and that i think is what really is the issue. Guns in themselves are not dangerous, but when adults buy them, then leave them lying around, it is just trouble waiting to happen. So i shall end this with the cliche, guns dont kill people, people kill people.

Billy Fung

English 12

Ms. Ignacio

Block F

April 2nd, 2008

Dover Beach

The poem “Dover Beach” is a lyric poem written by an English poet Matthew Arnold during the Victorian Era. The poem is separated into 4 stanzas of unequal length. The rhyme is irregular in the poem, and no set meter is used. The poem is written by Arnold on his honeymoon, presumably on Dover Beach. The poem shows the author’s loss of faith, and shows Arnold concern over the English culture.

In the first stanza, Arnold starts by creating images of confidence and beauty. The speaker starts the poem saying “the sea is calm tonight.” The speaker is looking towards the sea, which gives him a sense of calmness. The speaker continues to illustrate the great beauty he sees, seeing the “cliffs or England stand glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.” Arnold uses the first few lines of the poem to draw the audience into the wonders of the beach, conveying its beauty. Although the euphonious sounds of the first lines make the beach sound wonderful, the audience is lulled into a sense of sadness and dullness. The speaker calls out to his “love” to observe with him the “long line of spray.” As they stand by the window, the boundaries hold them in. Within the window, it seems that everything is serene and tranquil. But the “grating roar of pebbles” shatters the illusion of tranquility. Arnold uses the dissonant sounds of the grating to pull the reader out the beautiful moonlit beach. The waves begin to bring the “eternal note of sadness in.”

The second stanza brings in the literary allusion of Sophocles, and how he also heard the eternal note of sadness “on the Aegean.” The speaker also knows that Sophocles has experienced the “turbid ebb and flow of human misery.” The speaker begins to show that he is truly miserable, and yet the reader does not know for what reason.

The third stanza begins with a metaphorical “Sea of Faith,” that was “once, too, at the full and round earth’s shore.” The speaker uses the metaphor to show that he once had faith, but now the faith is receding, like the waves of the sea. The speaker compares his faith to the tides of the sea, and now he only hears its “melancholy, long withdrawing roars.” All alone, the loss of faith leaves the speaker naked, and hopeless.

The final stanza ends the poem with the speaker calling out to his love. Without his faith to rely on, the speaker makes a final attempt at love, telling it to “be true to one another!” The speaker has no more hope left in the world, seeing the faith of everybody begin and cease. The speaker acknowledges the world as a “land of dreams, so various, so beautiful, so new.” Yet the speaker knows the world has “neither joy, nor love, nor light, nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain.” Everything is devoid in the world, and the loss of faith is further expressed as the speaker feels truly hopeless. The poem ends with the speaker being “swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight, here ignorant armies clash by night.” The couplet that ends the poem offers a little bit of relief from the harsh sounds of the poem. But the rhyme and juxtaposition of the couplet is not enough to compensate for the chaos of the poem. The speaker acknowledges the world that he is in, and that he too will be swept away into the tides of ignorance.

Do not go before you turn off that light

Poor men should burn and rave at close of day

Rage, rage energy wasting through the night

Wise men should know that going green is right

Because their noble actions always say,

Do not go before you turn off that light.

Leave them on and you think it is alright.

The electric bill arrives in dismay

Rage, rage energy wasting through the night

Your wallet weeps at the ongoing plight

Up the stairs you already know the way.

Do not go before you turn off that light

So you, I hope resist this ending blight

Sitting in this dark room alone I pray,

Do not go before you turn off that light

Rage, rage energy wasting through the night

Friday, April 4, 2008

Science One

As part of completing the Application Form for the Science One Program you must provide a 600-word essay addressing the following two questions:

1. What are your goals and expectations of your university experience and why to you want to participate in a rigorous broad-based program like Science One?
2. What makes you passionate about studying Science?

So I have to write an essay talking about my goals and expectations of taking the science one program at UBC. For those who dont know, the science one program is a broad-based program, in that it incorporates all the sciences and math. The first year program unifies all the sciences, and it is very challenging. Although I feel that my marks are not good enough to get in, it never hurts to try. The only thing left for my application is my essay.
This post will be sort of a brainstorm for me, and somewhat of an open discussion for you guys who read my not very well known blog.
My goal of the program is to get a deeper understand of how the world works, and hopefully while going through that process, i will also be able to know what i really want to do in the world. It is truly evident that science will certainly play a major role in the shaping of the world. As of this moment, i feel that by taking a broad-based program, it will allow me to see what my strengths are in, and it will also help me understand that beauty of the world.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus

MRSA as it is most commonly referred to, is beginning to rise in numbers within Canada. Many of you have heard of this bacterium as it is commonly known, the "superbug." Methicillin was introduced in the 1950s to treat infections caused by a penicillin-resistant staph. Within a few years, reports came in that the penicillin staph was starting to show signs of methicillin resistant. It seems that humans are just creating more and more problems for themselves.

As MRSA enters your body, first signs may be of infections in several different parts of the body. Pimples or boils are the simplest of the symptoms, with death being the most severe. Ironically, most people are infected with MRSA within hospitals, and any contact will do. Most of the time, the bacteria will enter the body through an open wound, and only then will the real problems begin.

Most staph infections can be easily treated by antibiotics, but what happens when you try to fool it too many times? It begins to learn and adapt. The bacteria is able to multiply rapidly, and while some antibiotics may work, most will not. MRSA has become resistant to almost all antibiotics used in the past. As more and more antibiotics are used to try and stabilize MRSA, the bacteria just adapts and becomes immune.

Although MRSA does not cause serious deadly infections, it is the fact that it has become immune to almost all antibiotics that worries doctors. I feel that this approach to combating the bacteria will just lead to more and more resistant strains of bacteria. Although action just be taken, I think that there is a better way. The bacteria acts as if it had a brain, if we keep hitting it with the same stick, soon it will know how to avoid or block the stick. I think the solution to this, and many problems should be to either take away the antibiotics and let the bacteria run its course, or to try and completely destroy the infection, rather than to try and avoid it.

Sadly the only real way of avoiding getting infected is to wash your hands, avoid contact with sick people, and cover up all open wounds. The superbug has become a true problem in Canada, so watch out people.