Tag Archive: History

Awesome Weekend!

Well, I’m finally done all my homework =D. All I have left to do is re-read some chapters for my History essay tomorrow, and I think I should be good to go. I might even sleep early tonight (shocking), as I have to get up early to go to a SAC meeting. This is to the SAC Co-presidents: Really guys? A meeting right after Thanksgiving weekend? =P.

I had plenty of fun this weekend. The best part would be going to a dinner at a friend’s house, and watching “The Descent” and “The Descent: Part 2” on his 100 inch projector screen. Both of them are scary movies, and I would recommend them for anyone who likes to watch movies that make them feel claustrophobic. I just hope that none of the trapped miners have seen it…

On the other hand, I read today that the trapped miners in Chile are ready to be extracted as of 12:01 am on Wednesday this week. I can only hope and pray that after spending two months underground, these men will make it safely to the surface. The rescue operation (complete with the capsule dubbed “Phoenix”) should go off without a hitch, as it has shown to be flawless in four test runs.

All in all, it was a pretty good weekend, with plenty of excitement. To top it all off, I finished all my homework, and get to sleep early for once in my high school career. I hope I do well on my essay tomorrow. Additionally, anyone with good information about the Russian Revolutions of 1905 and 1917, please feel free to comment below =D.

Good Days.

We finally finished renovating our basement, about a week ago. It’s all painted and carpeted and kind of furnished, but it still needs some electrical work done. For the past few days, my family and I have been extremely busy trying to shift all of our furniture and miscellaneous items down there. We managed to make a pretty large dent in our brand new wall (x.x) while getting our sofas downstairs, but that was the only hitch. So far. We still need to bring down the TV and all of its satellite appliances (that’s a pun, by the way =D), as well as our recently dismantled Ping-Pong table.

School is progressing very well for me, except in History, as I stated in my last post. Theory of Knowledge classes remain as interesting as ever, and I’m glad we don’t have any homework for it over this long weekend. That being said, I have to do some Chemistry projects, a Chemistry lab, and start on an English project as well. But it’s OK, I have three days to do it (this means that there will probably be a post on Monday night about my unstarted projects ^^). Anyway, busy weekend ahead for me, so I’ll keep this post short.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

More School.

Our Chemistry class went on a field trip yesterday, to a seismic surveying site (like the alliteration there?). It’s close to Cochrane, and the scientists there do demonstrations for groups of people of all ages, ranging from children to adults. The main reason for going there, that I found, was to try to recruit us into the oil and gas industry. Geophysics seems very interesting, especially when you realize that there could be mountain ranges, valleys, and caves under the very ground that you tread on to go to school every single day. The use of explosives to map the subterranean struck me as being very innovative, as well as practical. The explosives, usually dynamite, create a wave of energy underground, which creates vibrations, which in turn are read by sensory equipment called geophones. Another way of transferring energy into the ground is through vibroseis trucks; these trucks slam the ground with large plates, creating the same effect as dynamite, only on a smaller scale. These techniques are used to determine the location of buried natural resources, such as oil, natural gas, and more recently, water. Personally, I found the demonstrations and explanations somewhat tedious and boring. I believe that there should have been more hands-on experience with the equipment. The most interesting part of the day came at the end, when the crew at the station set off some dynamite in order to show us how the energy (in the form of p waves and sheer waves) is transferred through the ground. They staged an air rescue as well, using a helicopter to rescue a mock victim. A machine that I found interesting was the mulcher, a machine which grinds trees into mulch during the laying down of survey lines. What struck me as ironic about this machine is that it was advertised in a video as being “economically friendly,” while it was ripping down enormous, old trees.

In the end, I found the trip worthwhile, though a bit lengthy. Thankfully, it was a nice day, unlike last year’s class, who faced a sudden snow storm (alliteration again =D). Even though walking between stations was exhausting, it was entertaining talking to some of my friends. The stories one tells in a classroom are radically different than the stories told in an outdoor setting, in the middle of a forest. I have always loved hiking and being outdoors, so I found the whole day that much more enjoyable than the, shall we say, gamers of IB.

My school marks aren’t doing so great as of now, but I hope they improve sometime in the very near future. The best way to increase my History mark is to get a hundred percent on my essay on Tuesday. This weekend will be spent in reading my History textbook, because I really want to be able to get a perfect score for the first time in high school History.

TOK Assignment

I did this assignment for my Theory of Knowledge teacher, at  3 AM, in about 15 minutes. I wonder what I got on it?

Truth: TOK

The famous poet Oscar Wilde once said “Religions die when they are proved to be true. Science is the record of dead religions.” In my personal opinion, I believe that truth can come from science as well as religion. Children all over the world are taught the most current truth every single day, through the medium known as education.

Mathematics is a very logical subject. That is, if one chooses to stay with numbers, and not deviate to anything else. To many people, mathematics is the epitome of truth in education; one plus one will always equal two, no matter the circumstances. However, a memorable example that I have heard states that “one plus one makes a baby, which equals three.” As far as logical truths are concerned, mathematics does an excellent job in conveying them to the mass public. The laws of mathematics have been proven many times during the course of history, by mathematicians ranging from Archimedes to Fibonacci, and continue to be proven by students all over the world. Mathematical laws only change to encompass new findings; they do not break down completely, or become obsolete once new calculations come to light.

Biology, the study of life, is naturally expected to provide the public with a measure of the truth. We now know the true reasons for our ailments, viruses and bacteria to name a few, as opposed to the past ideologies of evil humours residing within the body. Biology is a rapidly changing science, which adapts itself to new findings almost on a daily basis. However, this does not mean that the laws of biology will disintegrate once new findings are made public. Laws such as Darwin’s Theory of Evolution will remain constant throughout time, unless someone can prove the existence of God, and from there, provide the truth behind a Creation myth. To people in the past, even in the 20th century, common old wives’ tales provided the basis for their medical truths. As an example, many medieval doctors believed that “bleeding” the patient through the use of leeches would lessen the pressure of the humours inside their head, thus alleviating their headache. To these doctors, this practice was the truth, as it seemed to work when it was applied numerous times. We now know that this would have reduced the blood pressure in the head of the patient, which may have caused a brief cessation of pain. Different practices such as this were common truths for medieval healers, and have adapted into the truths we know today. They did not disappear completely; they were changed in order to fit with the new research that is constantly being conducted.

History is one subject in which the facts are undeniable. In most cases, there is a plethora of evidence to prove that the event either occurred or did not occur. Eye-witness accounts, journal entries, historical books, video reels, audio recordings, have all helped to shape our knowledge of our own past. However, to quote Winston Churchill, “History is written by the victors.” The knowledge that we receive in our old texts may be completely false, as they could have been written by the winners of a war, who proceeded to destroy all of their enemy’s texts. Even within a subject with such a vast resource base, discrepancy exists. For example, some sources state that Grigori Rasputin, after being poisoned and shot, drowned in a river, while others state that he died of hypothermia, while still others state that he died of pneumonia. Though these causes of death do not differ greatly, it proves that we may never know the real truth of our pasts. Though we have the resources to provide us with all the information we need, we have no way of knowing which one of the sources is the real truth, or if they all are. It is perfectly possible for Rasputin to have contracted pneumonia before his death, become hypothermic by falling into a river, and then drowning after he fell unconscious in the late stages of hypothermia. The real truth may always remain a mystery to modern day historians.

Once upon a time, religion was the truth for most people on the planet. Once your Supreme Pontiff said the Universe revolved around the Earth, that became the truth, no matter how much scientific evidence mounted against that theory. In fact, criticizers of the Catholic Church were often burned as heretics, simply because they had their own opinion of the truth. There are Biblical references to the immobility of the Earth, such as Psalm 104:5, which states “the Lord set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved.” Because of statements such as these, the Catholic Church’s belief that the universe was geocentric was widely accepted. In fact, when Galileo Galilei contradicted the Church’s “truths” in 1632, he was convicted of heresy and placed under house arrest for the rest of his life.

The “truths” that are present in religions are often false. At the very least, they seem false to us because we do not have the capability to scientifically explain some aspects of religion. It is for this same reason that many people believe wholeheartedly in these religious truths. Some of these truths may never be fully explained through science, and it will be left for future generations to decide whether these statements by religions are really truths at all.