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Final Paper







Final Paper Proposal







Proposal Paper







Personal Blog Entry



Normally, I procrastinate more than anyone in the world, but this week I seemed to do a lot of things in advance. I don’t know if it was because I had so many tests to prepare for and I didn’t want to have anything else on my mind, but I seemed to do everything at least a few days in advance. First of all, I had my Differential Equations homework done two days after it was assigned (we had a week to do it). Secondly, I did my Physics recitation before class, so I just went to class, handed it in, and left. Lastly, and most importantly, I was one of the three people who actually had a first draft of the Proposal paper on Monday. Having that draft done so early leaves me with plenty of time to improve the quality of the paper instead of writing only one draft of it on Monday night… Now, instead of doing a ton of work all weekend, I can finally relax and enjoy the beautiful weather. Peace.

Hey man, thanks for the sweet correction. But you didn't have to be smug about it, so I fixed some of your errors. -VaryAwesome




Personal Blog Entry



Call of Duty 2’s reign as the most played video game in 520 Pinchot is finally over... At the beginning of the semester, the only video game any of my roommates and me would play was Call of Duty. After putting in hundreds of hours in the game, it finally became played out about a week ago. Recently, we have begun playing Halo 2 again. Although the two games are first-person shooters, they play so differently. We were used to the slow-paced Call of Duty in which one would have to be very accurate with his shots in order to quickly and efficiently kill someone. In Halo 2 it’s entirely different, if someone has the plasma sword, he could kill another player simply by getting close to him and pressing in the trigger, lunging at his enemy and killing him with one thrust. I’m glad we’re finally playing a different game, I was really getting tired of playing Call of Duty all of the time.




Personal Blog Entry



Finally, the week from hell is over… I had three exams this week over a span of 27 hours and I know a lot of people were in the same boat with me. Studying for three tests at the same time absolutely sucks; there simply is not enough time to sufficiently learn the material for each class. Of course, the test dates are announced at the beginning of the semester, so I could’ve studied in advance for the tests, but who does that?? So, after a day of studying for each of the classes, I think I did alright on the Physics 212 test and the Differential Equations test, but the Calculus 3 test was absolutely ridiculous; I would be happy if I got higher than a 60% on the exam… That’s all I have to say about my academics for the week. Another blog, probably about nothing, will be coming soon.




Personal Blog Entry



In the past week, I have written about how much I enjoy staying awake for extended periods of time. I think tonight is the fourth night in the last week or so that I have not slept a blink. There are multiple rewards in staying awake for such a prolonged period. First of all, I am able to complete almost two times as much school work. Secondly, I’m able to eat breakfast, “The most important meal of the day.” Also, I don’t have to go through the horrendous process of waking up. Several penalties, however, exist when staying awake for such a long period of time. The biggest consequence I find in staying up all night is the fact that I go through certain periods of the day where I feel mentally exhausted and have headaches. I get past these moments in the day by realizing this sensation is simply mental and I will be fine when I go to sleep later on in the evening. That’s about all I have to say for now, gotta have to go complete my first draft of the proposal paper. Peace.




Personal Blog Entry



It’s about 6am and I’m putting the finishing touches on the first draft of my proposal paper. Surprisingly, this paper has come together rather well for me. I did not anticipate completing more than half of the first draft tonight because I normally take about eight hours to write four pages. Tonight, although my roommates seemed to snore exceptionally loudly, I was able to buckle down and put together what I feel is a rather well-written piece of rhetoric by my standards. Perhaps this paper seemed a bit easier because my topic was closely related to what my causal paper was about, or possibly it was due to the fact that this is the fourth paper we’ve had to write for English 15 and I’m starting to get the hang of it. Whatever it is, I’m happy because I have three tests this week and I really have put no time into studying yet. Having this paper out of the way is not something I’m used to, but it will certainly be beneficial in my attempt to do well on these exams this week.

Probably a bit of both. TheKemBlog






Stigmergy is a concept first introduced by French biologist, Pierre-Paul Grassé. The theory behind stigmergy came to Grassé through his studies with insects, more specifically, termite societies in the 1950s. He theorized that each termite had its own distinct job in the task of building a nest even though it seemed the termites’ collective work was coordinated. Grassé presumed the nest itself provided each termite with information which allowed the building process to progress; the termites would do one thing and gather data from the new structure of the nest in order to advance to the next step in the construction of the nest. Stigmergy can provide invaluable information about how animals interact in addition to presenting important information relating to fields such as artificial intelligence, robotics, or the social, political, and economic sciences.




Proposal Paper Proposal



Claim: The United States needs to ratify the Kyoto Protocol.


Reason: Too many greenhouse gases are emitted by the world (especially the United States) into the atmosphere and they will eventually cause destructive severe weather and annihilate ecosystems if restrictions are not set.


Warrants: Each ecosystem on Earth is important and each species is important. If greenhouse gas emissions are not restricted, many species may become extinct. In addition, thousands of lives and thousands of square miles of shoreline may be lost due to severe weather.


Recently, the world has undergone a severe environmental decline. Each year, more and more carbon dioxide enters the air which causes global warming. Global warming, in turn, causes severe weather and destroys ecosystems. The United States emits more greenhouse gases than any other country in the world and does not have any limitations on its emissions. Many countries throughout the world have recognized a need for limited emissions and have developed the Kyoto Protocol. Each country that signs and ratifies the protocol pledges its allegiance to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. These countries understand that if emissions continue unregulated, there may be horrific consequences throughout the world over the next century. The United States must ratify the Kyoto Protocol as an initial step towards a healthier and safer Earth.


Preliminary Works Consulted

Epstein, Paul R. "Is Global Warming Harmful to Health?" __Scientific American, Inc__.

(2000): 50-57. __JSTOR__. 2 Mar. 2006.


"Global Warming." __National Environmental Trust__. 2005. 2 Mar. 2006




"Global Warming." __Wikipedia__. 2 Mar. 2006



Rahmstorf, Stefan, Michael Mann, Rasmus Benestad, Gavin Schmidt, and William

Connolley. "Hurricanes and Global Warming - Is There a Connection?"

__Realclimate__. 2 Sept. 2005. 2 Mar. 2006



Rosenzweig, Cynthia. "Global Climate Change: Predictions and Observations."

American Journal of Agricultural Economics (1989): 1265-1271. __JSTOR__. 2 Mar.



Saunders, Mark A. "Earth's Future Climate." The Royal Society (1999): 3459-3480.

__JSTOR__. 2 Mar. 2006.


Tanneeru, Manav. "It's Official: 2005 Hurricanes Blew Records Away." __CNN__. 30 Dec.

2005. 2 Mar. 2006



Wirth, David A. "Climate Chaos." Foreign Policy (1989): 3-22. __JSTOR__. 2 Mar. 2006.




Personal Blog Entry



One of the reasons why I decided not to sleep last night was the ridiculous amount of Calc 3 homework I had. My professor, Jian Zhang, seems to enjoy making each example we do not complete in the class lecture (and there are quite a few) additional homework added to the already lengthy assignment my class receives each week. I don’t know if he realizes it or not (since he doesn’t grade the homework, he has a personal grader do that), but each week’s assignment normally takes several hours and roughly ten full pages of work. I can’t speak for everyone in the class, but I know I’m not the only person that receives homework in other classes throughout the week. I don’t really know where I’m going with this… I guess I’m just a bit angry at my professor, so I’ll end this entry before I start dropping obscenities.




Personal Blog Entry



Its 8AM and I’m sitting at my desk typing a blog entry. All I can think about is Nas’ song “New York State of Mind” where he states, “I never sleep, ‘cuz sleep is the cousin of death”. I guess Nas and I have something in common considering after I complete today’s classes I will have pulled two all-nighters in a span of three days. Thomas Edison said, “Anything which tends to slow work down is a waste…” This, I also agree with. We could be doing so many things during the 8-10 hours that we sleep each night. Personally, it perplexes me that we actually sleep one third of our lives. Well, I have class in a few hours, so maybe I could hit up another blog entry or do some laundry. Peace.




Causal Paper







Response to the Communist Manifesto



Marx and Engels’ certainly put a lot of thought into how the world works. I thought that the idea of a class struggle certainly has existed for a long while, starting with masters and slaves, down to the bourgeoisie and the working class of Marx’s time, to the lower-class and upper-class of today. The writers, however, thought that at some point the working class would eliminate all the remaining classes and there would no longer be a class struggle. Marx and Engels thought that their ideas would eventually be applied to the affairs of humanity. The ideas within the Communist Manifesto have gathered thousands of believers over the 150 years since it has been written. One thing held Marx’s ideas of the future from coming true, he was under the impression that laborers must ultimately take over the means of production and eventually destroy the capitalist system. He did not understand a key event that came into play recently. The means of production are constantly becoming less and less expensive due to efficiencies in production. Workers, consequently, are able to become entrepreneurs in free and republican societies. Small businesses have also gained much power recently due to the advent of computers.




Personal Blog Entry



Without a doubt, I hate Sundays more than any other day of the week. More often than not, I have work due in Differential Equations, Physics, and English on Mondays, so my weekend is filled with homework. I don’t think I have ever done any homework on a Friday night, so that leaves Saturday and Sunday to complete the load of work. Normally, I wake up around 2pm on Saturdays and proceed to do nothing the rest of the day. Sundays consist of me waking up at the same time, but then I realize I actually have to do work before Monday. So I normally stay up until some ungodly time Monday morning doing work. Well, it is now Sunday evening and I have a lot of work to complete including writing a paper for English, so I about to start writing again…




Personal Blog Entry



These days, it has been quite difficult to write four blog entries per week. The thing that makes this week especially bad is the fact that there was originally only one required blog and three personal blog entries due for the week. Now that the causal paper has been pushed back until next Monday, all four blog entries this week are personal ones. Since I accidentally wrote five blogs (believe me, I would never personally write more than I have to) last week, I only have to write three personal entries, but that task is still difficult to me. Well, this entry is really going nowhere, so all I can say is, “Wish me luck on the next entry.”




Personal Blog Entry



In my ongoing quest to attain legend status in the game Geometry Wars, I recently achieved a new high score. Since I purchased Geometry Wars, I was content simply being better at the game than any of my roommates. About a month ago, my high score was around 1,000,000 and only a few hundred people had a better score. Around that time however, only around 20,000 people had purchased the Xbox Live Arcade game, now over 100,000 people own the game and the competition is getting fierce. I have put several hours of gameplay game play in recently and my high score is now roughly 3.4 million. This score puts me in the international top two-hundred in the game. Hopefully some day I will be able to break into the top one-hundred with a score of around 10 million.




Causal Paper Proposal



Claim: Over the past century, global warming has caused Earth’s weather to become more severe.

Reason(s): Despite many scientists’ beliefs that the recent increase in severe weather (tornadoes and hurricanes especially) is due entirely to better technology, the world is actually undergoing a time of intensified weather. Each year, people burn more and more fossil fuels. The burning of fossil fuels resultantly causes the breakdown of the ozone layer that protects the sun’s rays from penetrating the Earth. This causes warmer temperatures across the globe, referred to as “global warming”.

Warrant(s): Global warming has been linked to severe weather and the recent abundance of fossil fuels being burnt has played a big part in the weather the world has experienced and will continue to adversely affect the weather on Earth.

Evidence: Over the past several years, there has been an overwhelming amount of severe weather reports including: tornadoes, hurricanes, winter storms, etc. In 1999, the most powerful tornado ever recorded (with winds of 318 mph) was spotted in Oklahoma City, OK, the 2005 Atlantic Hurricane Season is something the people of the United States (especially New Orleaners) will always remember, and people all across the east coast of the United States can remember the “1993 Superstorm” that struck the Southeast with heavy rains and tornadoes and the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic with several feet of snow. It has been proven that the Earth’s weather goes through cycles of elevated and declined intensity. The recent catastrophic storms show that Earth is going through a time of intensified weather.



Works Consulted coming soon...





Response to Political Leanings in Politics



In the past, I hadn't really put much thought into what part of the political spectrum I fell under. In fact, until the Presidential Election of 2004, I had put close to zero thought into such a topic. I was one month too young to vote in the 2004 Election, but the thought that my vote could play a part in who was to become the next President of the United States (arguably the most important job in the world) got me thinking. After reviewing Political Leanings in Rhetoric, I am undoubtedly a liberal (not quite a socialist). Within the table, for instance, my beliefs fit almost entirely under the side that shows what Leftists tend to support. As far as television goes, I tend not to view too much political banter on television, possibly because everyone has their own beliefs and the people on television almost try to brain-wash the viewer into believing what they believe.




Personal Blog Entry



I hate the last few days before a break during the school year. All of my teachers in high school would always try to pack in a test or quiz the day before the break and now it seems my professors are doing something similar. The evaluation paper is due in English along with the proposal for the causal paper and the usual blog entries and responses. In ED&G, I have a test on Wednesday and oblique pictorial drawings due on the same day, not to mention the prototype that was due today in class. Nothing new in Calc 3, just a quiz pretty much every class. Oh yeah, I just remembered, I also have a quiz in Differential Equations on Wednesday. I guess one reason I always have so much to do the week before a break is the fact that professors don’t want the students to forget all of the material over the break. Still, I hate having to do so much work over such a short period of time.




Response to Genocide Articles



The articles: \"Rwanda: How the genocide happened\" and \"Q&A: Sudan's Darfur Conflict\" are simply shocking to me. I have not seen the movie Hotel Rwanda, so I was entirely unaware of the genocide that occurred during the spring of 1994. It is grotesque that the killing of one Hutu could spark the deaths of over 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus. I found it difficult to read the article at times because the number “800,000” kept passing before my eyes. It amazes me that so many people had to lose their lives because of the hatred and disagreement between the two rival tribes. Rwanda wasn’t the only place to have to deal with genocide and mass murder over the last fifteen years; in fact, a just as horrifying struggle has existed between the Arabs and blacks of the Darfur region of Sudan over the last few years. It all began in 2003 when a rebel group of blacks began attacking government targets in response to what they called “oppression of black Africans in favor of Arabs”. In response to the attacks from the black Africans, the Arabs united to “‘cleanse’ large swathes of territory of black Africans.” Again, an unheard-of number of people (~180,000) had to die because of the hatred between these people. Recently, the UN has begun to try to halt all of the killing; however, too many have already perished in the fight.




Evaluation Paper







Personal Blog Entry



Yesterday, I received an e-mail from my Differential Equations professor. The e-mail was entitled “mah250 Midterm I”. I had taken a test in the class two days before and I immediately assumed that the e-mail would address my grade on the exam. I opened the e-mail and discovered my assumptions were entirely wrong. This e-mail was a personalized letter from my professor, Xiantao Li, to me describing a certain predicament. The letter stated,


Dear Joseph,

Did you take the first Midterm? I can’t find your exam.




I responded quickly afterward telling him that I had indeed taken the exam and I had filled out all of the required personal information on the front of the test. Hopefully, Xiantao will find my test because I think I did quite well on it and I really don’t want to have to take a test to make up for my professor’s lack of organization.




Personal Blog Entry



I really can’t wait until Spring Break. It seems as if every assignment is due in the next week or so and I am not too pleased by it. Recently, I have been getting close to zero sleep each night (it is 3:30am as I write this entry) and the fact that I have a lot of work to do in addition to my lack of sleep has really gotten me down. The only good thing about the next week is the fact that I have no tests. Over the past two weeks, I have taken four tests and they’re never too pleasant. Even when I do well on a test and I know all of the material on it, I don’t have fun. I really do not agree with the emphasis on tests in college or high school, but that’s another story (potentially another blog entry). Well, this was going to be my last personal blog entry for the week, but the due date for the evaluation paper was pushed back to early next week, so I guess you’re in luck. You get to read another one of my crappy blog entries sometime in the next two days.




Personal Blog Entry



I have fairly little to blog about these days with the exception of a few key events of the past week. On Tuesday evening, three 520 Pinchot residents and myself hopped on a bus and went down to Wal-Mart to pick up some sweet supplies. Jim and I each bought Airsoft guns, probably the best purchases of the evening. We also got a considerable amount of ammo in addition to two targets that came with the guns. Almost immediately after we returned home, we opened our guns and began shooting the targets up and shooting each other. It was a pretty fun night, but the thing that capped off the evening was the multiplayer action in my new Xbox 360 game, FIFA ’06. The soccer game supports 4-player multiplayer, so it is a great game for a bunch of guys chilling in a supplemental room.




Response to "My America"



Andrew Sullivan’s My America shows what America is all about. The ex-Brit journalist found it necessary on Thanksgiving to share the reasons why he came to the United States and why we should all be grateful we live in such a wonderful country. Sullivan found that a simply “Hi” from a six-year-old stranger summed up so much of America’s beliefs. He found it important to note that such an event would never occur in England or anywhere in Europe.


Sullivan acknowledged three things that he is thankful for. First off, he found it important that Americans constantly thought about the present and the future. This fact was important to him because in England, people would always ask him about his past in order to learn about him. In the United States, we worry much less about one’s past and we question what his plans are for the future and not so much about his past decisions. Sullivan was also thankful for the nation’s talent for contradiction. He went on to state many contradictions that America is known for including: America’s obsession with modernity although no country has a constitution as old as ours, we cannot officially celebrate Christmas although America is one of the most religious countries, America has a “public ethic” of classlessness although it has the most extreme economic inequality in the world, etc. Finally, Sullivan states his gratefulness for the country’s love for primary colors. He shows that certain questions like, “Does God exist? Are the races equal? Can the genders get along?” are all relevant in America and debated fiercely and continuously whereas this is not the case anywhere else in the world.


I think My America is an important piece of writing. Sometimes Americans do not understand how good we have it. In this case, someone who was born outside of North America and lived in another country has the ability to see how great our country really is. Everyone living in the United States should be proud to be an American.




Personal Blog Entry



Well, it’s around 7:30pm and I have just finished my Differential Equations homework. I’m more than likely going to be awake until four in the morning due to the fact that I have yet to begin writing my first draft for the evaluation paper. Yesterday, a virus infected my computer and I spent much of the day trying to remove the malware and spyware from it. I ended up staying up far too late and got no homework done over the whole day. So today, I woke up around noon, but the day seemed to fly by and all of a sudden the evening was upon us. So now that I have completed the rest of my homework that’s due tomorrow, I’m going to go eat some dinner and prepare for a long night of writing. In other news, I have finally caught up to date with my blog entries. It is so relieving knowing I no longer have to write five or six blog entries per week.




Evaluation Paper Proposal



Claim: Albert Einstein was the greatest scientist ever…


Greatest ever might be a bit strong because you'd have to do a lot of comparison work. Perhaps easier to defend in four pages would be that Einstein was one of the most influential thinkers of the 20th century!


Reason(s): … because of his contributions to the theory of relativity, quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics, and cosmology.


Warrant(s): No other scientist gave thought to such a diverse spectrum of topics, nor has there ever been a scientist whose thoughts were accepted so extensively. (Well, Newton did quite a few things including inventing calculus, which led to advancements in mathematics that eventually allowed people like Einstein to do their conceptual work!)


Evidence: Einstein proved that gravity is not a force but rather a consequence of the curvature of space-time. His theory of relativity also provided essential information allowing cosmology to be studied more in depth. Einstein’s influence on the Manhattan project clearly was among his most important achievements.


The world has changed extensively over the last one hundred years. Without Albert Einstein, many of the world’s advancements would not have occurred. Although Einstein is generally considered a very important scientist, many people believe other scientists were more influential than him. Numerous people would argue that Galileo, Newton, or Archimedes had greater impacts on the world. I hope to reach these people with my evaluation, although everyone can benefit from information I will provide in this paper.


Okay. You have prolepsis. Good.


The most critical difficulty I expect to encounter while attempting to prove my point will probably be showing that Einstein’s discoveries influenced more people than any other scientist’s ideas. (Yes, unless you want to rest on the observation that there are more people now, but I doubt it.) Also, I will find difficulty in proving that Einstein’s ideas will continue to influence people more than any other scientist’s ideas.


I expect to write my paper in the form of an academic essay. In order to build ethos, I will cite many sources to prove my point. Einstein has been written about extensively, so I should be able to find bountiful information which will allow me to write this evaluation paper.


Question: are there other front runners in math and science from the 20th century? I'm thinking of a somewhat less known figure such as Kurt Godel, whose incompleteness theorem has had wide impact and some would argue was instrumental in bringing about certain post-modern ways of thinking.

You seem to have a good sense of the difficulties involved. My comments are just that, comments. The stuff about Godel and Newton is simply to encourage you to focus on the warrants for your reasons a bit more. TheKemBlog


Works Consulted


"Albert Einstein." Wikipedia. 16 Feb. 2006



Golden, Frederick. "Person of the Century." Time. 16 Feb. 2006



Levenson, Thomas. "Genius Among Geniuses." Nova. June 2005. 16 Feb. 2006 <http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/einstein/genius/>.


Missner, Marshall. "Why Einstein Became Famous in America." JSTOR 15 (1985): 267-

291. JSTOR. 16 Feb. 2006. Keyword: Albert Einstein.


"Newton vs. Einstein vs. the Next Wave." Science Bulletins. American Museum of

Natural History. 16 Feb. 2006



"The History of the Atomic Bomb." 16 Feb. 2006






Personal Blog Entry



So I thought my day was quite eventful, but nothing prepared me for what just happened. At around midnight, I don’t know what provoked it, but Jim stabbed a hole in the top of a water bottle that had been lying on the ground in the room. Seconds later, he began squirting water at random roommates beginning an epic water fight. At first, there were rules like, “No spraying around a computer or bed”, but over time the battle became ferocious. Most of the roommates chilled with the water, but I had a bone to pick with my roommate Ivan. In my previous blog, I speak of my very long day of classes and quizzes / test. Upon arriving back at my room, all I wanted to do was relax and play some Geometry Wars. Ivan, however, decided he wanted to mess up my game. In the middle of the game, he would walk in front of the screen causing my peripheral vision to be flawed. Then, while I was playing a phenomenal game, Ivan pulled the trigger on my controller unleashing a bomb. This event didn’t cause me to die, but it wasted an essential element in the game I was playing. Ivan’s attempt to hinder my progress at Geometry Wars would not go unpunished. After the water fight began to die down, I attacked Ivan. I sprayed him pretty well, wasting about half a water bottle on him. But he attacked back, hitting me just as hard, but Ivan crossed the line. He got several ounces of water on my bed. So I sprayed the rest of my water at Ivan and decided to end the water fight. After the battle, however, I proclaimed to Ivan that, “This will not be the end!” I mean business; this day has spawned a never-ending semester of pranks. I sit here at my desk, writing this blog entry in soaking wet attire and thinking how foolish I am. I could have just been the bigger man and continued playing Geometry Wars, but now I am forced to get Ivan back for moistening my sheets and being a nuisance. Wednesday, complete. Hello, Thursday. Another day, another struggle…




Personal Blog Entry



What a long day. At 5am, I finally gave up drafting for ED&G and doing my Calc 3 homework. If I didn’t have homework due in Calc, I definitely wouldn’t have gone. After going to Calc, I got something to eat and then prepared for a block of four more hours of class. So after lunch, it was time for English (a class I wouldn’t miss for the world). English was alright, although the fact that I haven’t even thought about the evaluation paper and the proposal is due on Friday. Then came ED&G. Two hours of hell! I must admit, I absolutely hate drafting, it’s so boring. After that came Differential Equations. By this time in the day, I’m normally pretty tired. With four hours of sleep, you could imagine how I felt. So the lecture was short, then it was time for a quiz. Surprisingly, the quiz was pretty easy; I think I did pretty well on it. So my day was finally over, it was time to get some dinner and relax for the rest of the evening. But no, tonight also included a test in Physics 212. I really was not in the mood to take a test, I was tired and I just wanted to go to bed. The test, however, actually woke me up. I actually knew how to do most of the problems on the test and the day began to feel more pleasant. So, the day was finally over at around 8pm. I got back to my room, played a bit of Geometry Wars, and now I sit here rambling about my day. Sorry for anyone who wasted their time reading this hoping to find anything of value. I guess it’s time for me to get some rest, or maybe I’ll hit up another blog entry since I’ve recently fallen behind. Peace.





Personal Blog Entry



When I’m not playing Call of Duty with my roommates, playing Free Cell, doing Sudoku puzzles, or actually doing schoolwork, I enjoy playing a very basic game. The game is Geometry Wars, and it has stolen probably over one hundred hours of my life. As you might have read in TheMaurinBlog, I am very skilled at Geometry Wars and my score of 2.1 million points puts me at roughly #250 in the world. What makes the game so addicting is its replay value. Games take roughly 5-10 minutes and after dying to a “Pinwheel” or “Green Hornet” or the dreaded “Snake”, I immediately want to play another game. Recently, my roommates have begun to see the fun in the game and they have tried to break my high score. The best scores so far have not topped 400,000, so for right now, I’m king of Geometry Wars in 520 Pinchot.




Response to the Declaration of Independence



The Declaration of Independence. Until this assignment, all I knew about this document was the introduction, a paragraph I was forced to memorize in seventh grade. I never understood the assignment. Sure, I memorized the first paragraph and I can still recite it, but I never actually put any time into studying what the words meant. The words of the Declaration are very powerful. In fact, it amazes me that Thomas Jefferson could have drafted such a well-written document in just seventeen days. The Declaration of Independence of the Thirteen colonies was ratified on by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776. The document is one of evaluation. As an overview, the document proves that George III prevented his people from having the rights that all people are born with. The Declaration states the “right and good” ways to do things. This is clearly an example of an evaluation. Later on in the text, this proclamation is backed back evidence that George III did not let the people of America live as they rightfully should be able to. The Declaration of Independence of the Thirteen Colonies was written in order to allow everyone the ability to have the rights that they were born with. I thought the Declaration was a spectacular piece of writing.




Definition Paper







Peer Evaluation



I responded to TheTarzanBlog's definition proposal.



2-8-06 - After reading your definition argument proposal, I noticed that it would be easier to write the paper if it were set up with the Toulmin argument. You should clearly state your claim, reasons, and warrants. There are a number of counterarguments that you will need to disprove for your paper including: the religious views of life and death and ethnical ritual beliefs of death. You might want your claim to be that a biological and scientific definition of death would be the most accepted definition. Your reasons might be that science is understood by all and there are no gray areas to it. Your warrants might show that people want to understand how death is perceived universally. These are just suggestions so use them if you like, or use different ones of your own. Be sure to steer clear of an evaluation paper with words that show value or opinion.



Personal Blog Entry



A storm may form across the Plains late this week setting up for a possible Nor’easter Saturday night and into Sunday. There remains the possibility for the storm to not interact with the upper-level energy coming from the Southwest which would inevitably cause the storm to produce very little precipitation (if anything) as it heads out over the Atlantic Ocean. Hopefully, the latter will occur and we will be blessed with several inches of snow by Sunday afternoon. We really have seen little of what winter can offer this year and, to tell you the truth, I’m a bit disappointed by it. Since it is going to be cold for the next few weeks, why not have some snow to add some aesthetic appeal.




Personal Blog Entry



On Thursday, I have my first test of the semester, Calculus 3. I’m not sure what to expect from this test because of a few factors. First of all, this will be my first test all year that is not entirely multiple choice choices. I must admit, I’m not a big fan of multiple choice tests because they do not give the student an adequate chance to show that he knows the material on the test. But that’s just my point of view; I’m sure many others will beg to differ. Another reason why I’m clueless what to expect going into the test is I rarely go to Calc 3. The class meets at 11:15am four days a week. For me, waking up at 10:00am is quite difficult, especially because I live in a room with six other people and we seem to never go to sleep. Due to these factors, I’ll probably be studying a good amount over the next few days. Wish me luck.




Proposal for Definition Paper



For hundreds of years, people have been interested in death. But what is “death”? According to Wikipedia, “Human death can be defined by three intrinsically different but overlapping domains: biological, legal, and religious. These different domains and their importance have evolved over time, and opinions vary from person to person.” Since death is so broadly defined, I aim to specify the boundaries of the definition of death in this paper.


A more accurate definition of death would certain have practical usages. The medical field would probably benefit most from a more precise definition; doctors would know when to stop performing surgery and they would be able to more efficiently help patients.


I hope to reach a large audience through my argument. My main goal is to develop a definition of death that people of all races, religions, and ages can agree upon.


I expect individuals’ religious beliefs to be among the biggest challenges I will come across in arguing my definition of death. I will approach this challenge by presenting logical and detailed information from each of my sources.


Research will play a vital roll in establishing my argument. I have already found six sources with bountiful information about the human body (in general), the brain and brain stem, and how people have defined death in the past.


My plan is to use a conventional research essay to demonstrate my points. I feel that this approach will allow me to most clearly and accurately define the word “death”.


Works Consulted




Personal Blog Entry



Today was the day of the Superbowl and yes, the Pittsburgh Steelers won. But although I’m from Pennsylvania and everything, I’m not much of a football fan (I’d rather watch a game of baseball or basketball), so it didn’t affect me much. Since I didn’t have much interest in the game and everyone was watching the pre-game all day, I finished up my proposal for the definition paper for this class. That didn’t take too long, so I began watching a very odd, but interesting event on the Animal Planet. One of my roommates and I must have watched the “Puppy Bowl II” for two hours before the beginning of the football game. The Puppy Bowl showed several dogs playing around in a large pen fighting over toys and sometimes fighting each other. After Super Bowl XL, we played a bit of wholesome Call of Duty II multiplayer on the trusty Xbox 360. We ended the night with a ridiculous amount of homework and an encore showing of the Puppy Bowl.


Question: Do you think it's much better than the old Xbox? I ask b/c I suspect that upgrading is only something a serious gamer would do. As it is my profession keeps me from playing Xbox more than once or twice a month. =( Please post your response to TheKemBlog!





Personal Blog Entry



So far today has been a fun day. My roommates were bored, so we decided to go down to the Intramural Building to play some racquetball. We started playing the sport at the beginning of the semester, so we don’t know all of the rules yet, but we are definitely beginning to get the hang of it. I must say, however, one thing that is beginning to bug me is the amount of people always playing racquetball. Frequently, I go down to the IM building and there are either no courts remaining or there are not any racquets available. I guess it’s not anyone’s fault, but going down to the IM building when it’s raining heavily outside just to find out that I won’t be able to play for an hour definitely sucks. Maybe I should get my own racquet.




Response to "Angry Traders Confront eBay"




Counterfeiters and scam-artists have always been prevalent in the eBay market. Over the past few years, however, this issue seems to be getting increasingly troublesome.


The two markets that have seen the highest fraud are the jewelry market and artwork market. Many cases, including one Jacqui Rogers’, have popped up all over the globe.


Recently, Ms. Rogers purchased 10 Weiss brooches for what seemed like a good deal. When she received the brooches, she immediately knew that they were undoubtedly fakes. Rogers was angered, but she did more than what a regular customer would do to resolve the issue.


First, Ms. Rogers complained to the seller. Her complaint was not overlooked and the seller agreed to refund her money. But Rogers wasn’t done; she began, and continues to, alert eBay of possible scam artists. Her work, however, has only prevented a few of the hundreds of items she has found to be sold.


Tiffany & Company may be able to quell scam artists’ attempts to make a quick buck. Recently, the quality jewelry designer has sued eBay for “facilitating the trade of counterfeit Tiffany items on the site”. Unlike Ms. Rogers, Tiffany & Company has great authority in the world, and the company has a much better chance at improving the issue. Tiffany even went so far as to purchase their own products on eBay to see if they were fakes. It turned out three of the four items they bought were indeed fake. EBay makes a good argument saying that they “had no responsibility for the fakes because it was nothing more than a marketplace that links buyers and sellers”.


If Tiffany prevails in the case against eBay, we will hopefully see a change to the biggest online marketplace on Earth. Maybe buyers will be able to interact with other buyers warning of possible con artists. If a change is not made soon, the fake Richard Diebenkorn painting that was almost sold in 2000 for $135,000 might turn into the fake van Gogh painting sold in 2006 for $15,000,000...




Response to "Defining Terrorism"






The article begins stating that, “…the US Army found that over 100 definitions of the word ‘terrorism’ have been used”. Many people find this not to be an issue; I however, strongly believe that this should be changed.


Words, concepts, phrases, etc. are defined for a reason --- to clearly depict information that everyone can agree upon. The word terrorism is notoriously one of the vaguest terms in all of the English language. Clearly when a word is defined to “include not only attacks on military personnel, but also acts not usually considered violent, such as shutting down a website whose views one dislikes” and also “a policy intended to strike with terror those against whom it is adopted; the employment of methods of intimidation; the fact of terrorizing or condition of being terrorized”, there is a major problem. Maybe if we take a look at what most definitions agree upon and what they disagree about, we can more clearly define the word “terrorism”.


Overall, I found that the two most prevalent terms involved in the definition of terrorism were “premeditated” and “on innocent people”. I feel that the biggest problem in defining terrorism is whether or not it is politically motivated. Many definitions involve the word “political” or “politically motivated”; however, other definitions say not one word about politics. I think if we can clearly identify whether or not terrorism is politically motivated, it will be much easier to define the word, but I truly doubt that a common ground will ever be achieved.


For the record, my personal favorite definition of terrorism was penned by the current U.S. national security strategy. This definition is short and to the point, “premeditated, politically motivated violence against innocents”.






Personal Blog Entry



Wow, Differential Equations homework is ridiculous. I woke up and realized that the only homework I had was Differential Equations. Even better, there were only seven problems that I had to do for the assignment. I thought, “This is the first Sunday in a long time that I can chill and not do homework; maybe I’ll even play some racquetball.” So I got an early start on the homework, beginning almost immediately after brunch, but I had no clue what I was in for. By the evening, I still hadn’t completed my homework. Sure, I took a few breaks to play Call of Duty 2 with my roommates, but I put a good three hours into that homework. I ate dinner and eventually finished up my homework at around 10:00pm. The assignment took up eight pages, more than one full page for each question. What a waste of a day, and great, another week begins tomorrow.




Response to President George W. Bush's Address to Congress (2001)



Reading President Bush’s “Address to Congress” brought me back to 2001. I can remember the mid-September morning when the attacks on the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon occurred. It was a Tuesday, and I was sitting in Heath class sleeping through the day’s lesson. Suddenly, another teacher came into my classroom and announced that one of the World Trade Center towers was struck by a plane. Class was almost over, so my teacher decided to put on the television to see what had happened. Soon after turning on the TV, the class watched in astonishment as a second plane crashed into the other tower. This was not an accident as initially reported. America was being attacked. Days later, President Bush addressed Congress and the nation.


All of America watched the speech, partially because it was the only thing on television, partially because we were shocked. President Bush did a wonderful job explaining to the people of America and across the world exactly what happened on September 11 and how we were going to respond.


The President declared that the attacks were carried out by al Qaeda, the largest collection of terrorist organizations in the world. He also announced to the world, a name known now by every American --- the leader of al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden. He said that the war on terror would be a prolonged fight, but we will not stop until the terrorist organizations are defeated and al Qaeda crumbles.


President Bush ended his speech on a hopeful and emotional note. He hoped that life in America would return to normal in the coming months and years. But he also stated that we must remember what happened on September 11, “Some will remember an image of a fire, or a story of rescue. Some will carry memories of a face and a voice gone forever.”


This speech alleviated some of the rampant fear in America. We, as a nation, were emotionally crippled by the attacks on the WTC and Pentagon and President Bush turned our emotions in a different direction through his flawless delivery of this speech. America was now prepared to fight an extensive war on terror.




Response to "Universal Declaration of Human Rights" (1948)



The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a very interesting document. The text seems as if it is a continuation of the Declaration of Independence.


Some of the most important rights that I found were: “Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms … in the Declaration, without distinction …”, “All are equal before the law…”, “Everyone charged … has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty…”, “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression …”


I believe wholeheartedly that each and every American should have each of the rights incorporated in the pages of this text; however, this is sometimes not the case. Some lines of The Universal Declaration that caught my eye were: “Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms … in the Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion” and “Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work”. Discrimination is an ongoing issue in the United States, and if everyone was familiar with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, maybe discriminators with think first before they deny another person his rights. Then again, maybe the discriminators need to be discriminated against in order to stop them from discriminating. I have a feeling the latter would not solve very much…


All in all, I thought the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was very informative. Although much of the text was in some way related to the information in the Declaration of Independence, some of the information provided a more in depth description of what rights everyone has.




Personal Blog Entry



So, as you may already know, I live in a supplemental housing room with six other guys (two of which are also students in this class). Our room is normally not the cleanest room in the world, but we try to keep it relatively tidy. Recently, however, the room has developed a pretty grotesque stench emanating from some unknown place in the room. Even after we did a thorough cleansing of the room, we noticed the smell remained trapped within the bowels of the room. The room is quite large and includes roughly twenty foot ceilings, so we figured opening the windows for a while would help air out the room. No such luck… I don’t know if this grimy smell will ever leave my room, but I definitely hope it does, and soon.




Response to FDR: "The Four Freedoms"




“The Four Freedoms” is an incredibly powerful speech. From the opening paragraph, one could easily see that the former President had some very important news that the general public, the United States’ ally nations, and the rest of the world needed to hear. FDR hooked his listeners early in the speech as he proclaimed that the United States was in an “unprecedented” state of threat.


FDR states that “the democratic way of life is at this moment being directly assailed in every part of the world” and that more money and effort is needed to keep democracy alive in the United States and throughout the world.


I think FDR did a great job in telling America that he was unhappy with the nation’s armament production. He showed confidence in the program as the men in charge “represent the best in training, in ability, and in patriotism”.


The United States was (and still is) the primary democratic nation in the world and Roosevelt did a great job speaking to other democratic nations as they paid a great deal of attention to every move that the U.S. made. He said: "We Americans are vitally concerned in your defense of freedom. We are putting forth our energies, our resources, and our organizing powers to give you the strength to regain and maintain a free world. We shall send you in ever-increasing numbers, ships, planes, tanks, guns. That is our purpose and our pledge".


In closing, Roosevelt asks for the American people to make a sacrifice. In order to obtain the money required to produce the necessary armaments for war, the taxes would have to be raised. This sacrifice of the people would allow all of America, and eventually the rest of the world, the four human freedoms.


Roosevelt saw a future world as the “very antithesis of the so-called ‘new order’ of tyranny which the dictators seek to create with the crash of a bomb”. He felt that if the democracies of the world worked together, the world would soon be founded upon the four essential human freedoms: The freedom of speech and expression, the freedom to worship God in any manner one would like, the freedom from want, and the freedom from fear.



Thanks for the verification on the State of the Union address. TheKemBlog


Response to the "USA TODAY Snapshot"





After examining the USA TODAY Snapshot page, an image showing wine as the most prevalent alcoholic beverage struck me as debatable. These are some claims that came to mind:


Claim #1:


Most adults enjoy drinking wine more than any other alcohol beverage.


Claim #2:


Many wine tasting events exist throughout the country which boosts wine consumption.


Claim #3:


The people categorized to have "No Preference" when choosing an alcoholic beverage could consume more beer than wine, making these statistics deceiving.





Rewrite of Frank Nedwidek's Personal Narrative

My name is Joe Knittel and I'm a freshman Electrical Engineering major here at Penn State. I'm from Bartonsville, which is in the Poconos. I attended Pocono Mountain East High School, a large school with graduating classes rarely smaller than 400 students. I live in 520 Pinchot Hall, a supplemental room that I share with 6 other roommates including Frank Nedwidek (TheMaurinBlog) and Jim Scannell (TheTarzanBlog). I've never been a very good compositional writer, but I'm hoping this class will help me.



Response to MLK Jr's "Letter from Birmingham Jail (1963)"

In the early 1960s, segregation ran rampant in the southern portion of the United States. The people of the south were beginning to recognize that segregation was unfair and there were strides taken to erase the separation between blacks and whites in the south. Some blacks, however, were unhappy with the progress that had been made to improve their situation in the south and they held several demonstrations to show their disgust. One of the most distinct leaders of the demonstrations was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. King was a wonderful orator and was very capable of captivating audiences and organizing his fellow people. But Dr. King certainly had adversaries. Many southern whites and leaders of the south were angry at King for they felt that significant successes had been achieved and there was no reason for the demonstrations that King had been leading.

Among King’s opponents were eight white Alabama clergymen named Bishop C. C. J. Carpenter, Bishop Joseph A. Durick, Rabbi Hilton L. Grafman, Bishop Paul Hardin, Bishop Holan B. Harmon, the Reverend George M. Murray, the Reverend Edward V. Ramage, and the Reverend Earl Stallings, who on April 12, 1963 issued a statement making public their notion that recent demonstrations lead by Dr. King were “unwise and untimely”. King responded to the clergymen’s statement just days later as he sat in Birmingham Jail serving time for a march that had taken place in Birmingham, Alabama.

In a lengthy letter written on April 16, 1963, Dr. King defended his acts and showed, through several examples, that progress would not be made without the demonstrations he had led. He stated that his “direct action” program involving sit-ins and marches was practiced in order to open the door to negotiation. In response to the words “untimely” and “unwise” used by the clergymen, King explained how “freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed”. In order for the blacks to gain freedom from segregation, direct action was necessary, and the quicker the better.




Personal Narrative

My name is Joe Knittel and I am a freshman here at Penn State. I was born in New Jersey, but I only lived there for roughly a month as my parents purchased a house in the Poconos (northeast Pennsylvania) soon after I was born. I very much fit the role of a stereotypical engineering student; I have always excelled in the field of mathematics and I have never really enjoyed reading or writing. I sincerely hope that English 15 will improve my composition skills.

Don't worry; you'll be a very effective writer by the end! TheKemBlog

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