People

light

My blackout poem was an attempt to look at individuality, while seeing people as a kind of energy. I wanted the reader to contemplate how they play into life. The book does well to show how people change others through life and death, and that influence was something that I hoped to show. While not directly stated, I feel this poem resembles humans and their effects on the world. The light is humanity, bringing meaning to the vast emptiness they are introduced to. But ultimately the emptiness always wins, which is why the darkness is much more pro-dominant in the image.

In-Depth #6: Build-Up Brittney

Since my last post I have met with my mentor again, and we have ordered the parts for my own custom computer. Right now I have dubbed her “Build-Up Brittney” seeing as I’ll be taking a pile of parts and turning them into my own computer.

Now it took a while to fully conceive of Brittney, but I am looking forward to her arrival. It was surprisingly easy to come up with my build because I had already learned about what goes into a computer. I honestly think that choosing my graphics card (smooth gaming chip) was the hardest thing to do! At first it was quite simple to choose parts, I knew I wanted a sleek case, a decent ssd, one good ram stick, and a beast of a graphics card. When I initially finished just those parts it was already 1600$. Now, I still had to add the cpu, motherboard, fan and power supply. That was also under the assumption I would not want a official operating system as well!

This is where I significantly needed to alter my plan, as my budget was 1250$ at most. To start off, I made sure to get a cheap motherboard, fan and power supply as they don’t need to be as powerful in order to get a fast computer. A motherboard can make a difference, but for the most part it comes down to the quality of the other parts communicating with it. Now is when I needed to start making some serious cuts to the other parts I had selected. I had to switch from my first case idea to something a lot cheaper but, knowing every part can eventually be replaced it wasn’t too hard to see it go. After that it was just the questions of how cheap can I go without sacrificing what I wanted that part to be capable of. One of the ways my mentor saved me during this process was he reminded me that I still had a network adapter I bought for Sally, which saved me 75$ and a lot of hair pulling.

Unfortunately a couple of days after I ordered everything, I found out that my back-ordered graphics card was out of stock. Not only that but the manufacturer was no longer making them making it impossible to get my hands on one. They presented me with two alternatives, which amusingly enough were two different versions of the same card. The only difference other than 30$ was the fact that one of them had an additional 4 gigabytes of ram. Naturally I chose the more expensive board as I was certain I would not be getting a refund, but also that this card was actually a small upgrade on the one I had previously. Also the new card comes with a free installation of Doom :-) !

At the time I post this (Thursday April 13th 2017), some of the parts have already begun to come in. My case, hard-drive, cpu-cooler/heatsink, and thermal paste. The rest of it is scheduled to arrive before the next meeting with my mentor, but I am not entirely confident that it will. But nevertheless, my custom computer is within reach, and I am so excited to watch it all come together on In–Depth night!!

How Did Confederacy Affect Government Construction?

Background:

This topic is very different from my previous inquiry, which I feel will make me have a much more well rounded perspective on things. (You can find my previous inquiry here)

My character never really has a role in confederation, and thus I felt un-restricted on what topic I could choose.

Despite all the other disconnections, I feel that it still ties back to the topic I am currently exploring being human connections and principles. When I thought about why confederation was so successful, I felt a major component was the fear the fear that America would invade. So now while Canada didn’t form while under war, it was still under the chance of invasion.

Guiding Questions:

Did the time Canada have to form benefit its government?

How does Canada’s government compare to other countries?

Research:

When you look at Canada’s government, it was fairly well constructed. There is a definite power structure that represents the populous, but also has a less representative government that can provide a “sober second look” at any laws passed. There is a multi-party system so that everyone can have someone that represents their ideals, but unfortunately in recent years there has almost always been a majority government. Each province has their own matters where they can decide how to judge them, and only when granted more by the government do they get more.  Now most of this has remained the same since the days where it was originally formed, meaning that the time that Canada had to form their government benefited its structure.

Now lets look at another country that’s government was formed during war. For this paragraph we will be looking at the United States of America. Their government was formed during their rebellion against the British, and both of them were effectively at war during that time.  Now when you look at their government you can see an incredibly complex distribution of power within the different branches of government. You can also see a power struggle between the government and each states rights. This often leads to arguments between them, as each part will always want more power. Knowing that they were hard-pressed to form a government it seems that it did not happen without some flaws.

Now lets take a look at another country that formed during war. For this paragraph I would like to talk about the Dutch government. Their government was formed during war, but is arguably more functional than most. They have a multi-party system, but it was made so that no party would ever have a majority government. This ensures that multiple parties will need to all approve laws, meaning that they will be made so that it can benefit multiple kinds of people and not just the party in power. Now, with their multi-party system it also supports many parties ensuring that there will always be at least one party that shares your ideals. Despite having formed during war, it seems to have been formed well, and in my opinion, has significant benefits over both North American governments.

Conclusion:

When you look at those three government examples, its unclear whether or not its formation circumstances had a lasting impact on its structure. Regardless of circumstance it seems that each government was formed with that nation’s ideas of how it should be run, and was not changed significantly since their creation.

Sources:

http://www.expatica.com/nl/about/Political-parties-in-the-Netherlands_108098.html

http://www.quirksmode.org/politics/

https://www.usa.gov/branches-of-government

https://www.usa.gov/

https://www.canada.ca/en/government/system.html

http://www.lop.parl.gc.ca/About/Parliament/Education/OurCountryOurParliament/html_booklet/overview-canadian-parliamentary-system-e.html

 

In-Depth #5: Sandbox Sally

It has been a very long time since my last post, and I can happily say a lot has happened. Being over halfway through the project I can begin to see computers in a different light, and its quite thrilling. Where I saw nothing but funny looking gadgets before, now I can see the possibilities and functionality of countless different components. One of the key contributing factors to this is Sandbox Sally.

Sally has been dubbed due to her purpose, with “Sandbox Mode” being a gamer term for a repeatable experimental environment. So I have done any and everything I could imagine with Sally to see what makes her tick. My mentor had already given me a working understanding for how most of the parts worked, but without being truly able to toy with them it made it difficult to properly comprehend it all.

Sandbox Sally

However, being able to properly toy with ram, heat sinks and, hard drives has really deepened my knowledge of computers. While experimenting I feel that I learned the most about the differences between hard drives. As of right now there are two types of hard drives HDD’s and SSD’s. Now a hard disk drive (HDD) is the older of the two, whereas a Solid State Drive (SSD) is the younger.

Now as mentioned a HDD is older, but currently is the cheaper of the two. Now in order to store information it relies on writing information to a spinning disk. Now ordinarily this is fast and effective, but once the drive begins to fill up it needs to write items in multiple different places. With each piece of data needing to take a physical space on it, as time goes on more space is filled up. Then files will need to be “fragmented” into multiple different positions so that they can fit. This is where the term “Defragging” your hard drive into play. Its role is to move files around so that as many as possible can be in the same place, making it quicker to read. However without frequent defrag’s the disk will need to spin increasingly high amounts, and will eventually break due to the strain.side-b

Now the SSD is the younger sibling, but is far quicker and more efficient than a HDD. While a HDD requires a spinning disk to read data, an SSD functions much more like a flash drive with countless flash cards in conjunction that are used to store data. Another benefit is that an SSD lacks a read head (similar to a record player) , which is another reason why its harder to damage an SSD. Now, currently each card used to store memory can only be written, wiped and re-written a limited number of times. Thus it is almost certain that you would need to replace one of these drives every five to six years. However when looked at a HDD you would only need to replace it if you had used it to the point where fragmentation occurs.

side-a

From here, I’ll be looking a bit into computer servers and how to do operating system installs. But for right now I’m looking to practice taking Sally apart and putting her back together so that I can be more comfortable when it comes to constructing a computer. I’m happy with where my project is at this time, and I find myself fascinated knowing where it will go from here.

Growing Up a Newfie: 1853

Today was my first time out on the ice. Not only was it my first time working with my father, and it was also the first time I killed a seal. I’ve never felt so alive! It’s no secret that it has become a right of passage for the men in the community, but even so I never expected it to feel so invigorating. My father always said that “your first kill will be something you remember ’till the day you die”, and I am quite certain he was right. The rush that came from watching the life fade from that seal’s eyes is indescribable.

I know that this business is one that I can really pour my heart into, and I look forward to my future in it. I don’t know where this work will take me, but I am certain that it will be somewhere I want to go.

Canada and Cultural Genocide

Cultural genocide is a term used to describe the deliberate destruction of the cultural heritage of a people or nation for political, military, religious, ideological, ethnical, or racial reasons.
-http://jughaculturalgenocide.blogspot.ca/2010/12/about-cultural-genocide-what-is-it.html
In the early years of Canada, such atrocities were committed to the aboriginal peoples residing there. Today I am here to discuss how and why Canada committed cultural genocide.

When it came to committing genocidal acts, there are no shortage of examples. To commit cultural genocide, one must not only disrupt the traditions of the people, they must ensure that the children do not practice the traditions of, or even think like their predecessors. This was accomplished by displacing communities, forbidding certain languages and practices, and enforcing mandatory enrollment for aboriginal children in what Canada called “Residential Schools”.

Each of these acts are horrible and inhumane, but thankfully some of their culture survived, and the government is no longer intentionally committing such acts. Now while these are just a few examples of Canada’s actions, it is more than sufficient to say that Canada certainly attempted to commit cultural genocide. With that being said, it’s time to ask ourselves “why?”.

Early European settlers interacted with the aboriginals, and while under the crown few of the initial interactions were peaceful. The settlers wanted land from the “savages”, and the aboriginals merely wanted to leave in peace. The concept of land ownership was alien to them, so for it to be introduced and strictly enforced was brutal.

After Confederation, Canada once again expanded over aboriginal land. However this time it was for a tactical advantage against the United States of America, instead of just greed and the thrill of exploration. However, it was not only the land they took, but at this time residential schools began to exist.

When the school is on the reserve, the child lives with its parents, who are savages, and though he may learn to read and write, his habits and training mode of thought are Indian. He is simply a savage who can read and write. It has been strongly impressed upon myself, as head of the Department, that Indian children should be withdrawn as much as possible from the parental influence, and the only way to do that would be to put them in central training industrial schools where they will acquire the habits and modes of thought of white men.”                                     – John A. Macdonald 1879

At this point one can clearly determine that aboriginal culture was inferior to the European based culture the settlers had developed. It was this  thought that they were lesser that allowed the government to commit such horrible acts for what they saw as the greater good, without any admission of wrongdoing.

Ultimately when it came Cultural Genocide, it is no longer a secret to how many horrible acts Canada committed. While now the actions taken and reasons behind them seem horrid, hopefully we all can learn from the mistakes of the past to ensure a brighter future.

Précis

https://franciscan-archive.org/columbus/opera/excerpts.html

Archive, Franciscan. “Christopher Columbus: Log Excerpts.”

This website was quite interesting because it provided a translated version of Christopher Columbus’s logs, without speaking of any translation issues. It simply provides information, without providing any opinion of the material.

Monday, 6 August. The rudder of the caravel Pinta became loose, being broken or unshipped. It was believed that this happened by the contrivance of Gomez Rascon and Christopher Quintero, who were on board the caravel, because they disliked the voyage. The Admiral says he had found them in an unfavorable disposition before setting out. He was in much anxiety at not being able to afford any assistance in this case, but says that it somewhat quieted his apprehensions to know that Martin Alonzo Pinzon, Captain of the Pinta, was a man of courage and capacity. Made a progress, day and night, of twenty-nine leagues.

In-Depth #4

I was making great progress over the last couple weeks, but now with a broken finger it could make a lot of tasks more difficult. Since my last post I have begun to learn the names of several components, but only a few of their purposes.

So while I could now tell you a heat sink from a CPU, I still couldn’t tell you much about what each one actually does. While I have learned more about the basic components (motherboard, ram, fans, ribbon cable, power supply) I still have a lot to learn about the basics before I start begin looking at specialty components.

My mentor has been quite helpful throughout the entire process, because he is able to see computers in a completely different way, and teach me using that vision. While we still have some dispute on how to properly take apart a computer, I think its safe to say we are getting along well, and will be working well together in the future.

In-Depth 2017: Let the Chaos Begin

Once again, In-Depth has returned to Talons. But this year I find myself much more excited rather than afraid to dive into my studies. Now that I have a more realistic idea of how everything goes, I really think that things will go smoother (fingers crossed) and I can enjoy everything more than I did last year. This year I can hope to enjoy a journey into Computer Hardware!

While at first glance it may seem quite similar to web and application based programming, I would argue that other than both being with computers, they have almost no parallels. Programming has to do with computer software, whereas building and deconstructing computers has to do with hardware.

I chose to study computer hardware because I am fascinated with computers, and hardware is one area where I know virtually nothing. While I have spent some time volunteering at Free Geek, they don’t teach you so much about how it works, instead focusing on making sure you do your job right. So while at this time I could take a computer apart for you, it is unlikely that I could do anything past that. Thus, I am hoping that this project will be greatly centered around how everything works, rather than just getting it to work.

Throughout this project, I should be able to work with countless computers, each of which I aim to look at with a curious and knowledgeable eye. This year I have already received a computer donation, and it even came from my school! Despite some of the flaws that it has (no hard-drive, not in working order, very outdated) it still has what I am learning to expect in a computer. I have dubbed this computer “Tear-down Terri” in respect to its lack of function, as well as its components validity. I was able to take Terri apart with no real degree of difficulty, as most computers (school ones in particular) were built with disassembly in mind. Below I have included some images of what Terri’s insides look like.

"Squishy Bits"
“Terri’s Squishy Bits”
"Terri's rough exterior"
“Terri’s rough exterior”
"Side view of Terri's Exterior"
“Side view of Terri’s Exterior”

Unfortunately, as far as mentors go I have had no success in finding one thus far. Although I have many more emails than I had last year as of yet I still lack a mentor. As predicted Free Geek simply did not work, and every hardware expert that I have found has simply declined or failed to respond. Thus at this point I am praying that I can convince a larger store such as  Best Buy or NCIX to take me on as an unpaid assistant so that I can still learn from someone experienced. Regardless of my current mentor situation, there are many goals I hope to achieve throughout this project.

Of the many things that I hope to accomplish during this project is simply to be able to construct and deconstruct a computer. Immediately following that in priority is to have an understanding of the role that each part serves, as well as how the parts themselves function (this area in particular is where a will benefit from a mentor). I would like to be able to know the difference in quality between two computer components, although to some extent you can do so simply through research.

In the end, I have to say I am looking forward to this years In-Depth, and can’t wait to see where it will take me.

The One, The Only, Biblography!

1. Starting Information on George Lucas

2. Starting Information on his first big hit “American Graffiti”

3. Failing to get an interview

4. Information on George Lucas’s opinions and speech

5. Who would’ve thought? More information on George Lucas

6. A basic idea for Star Wars

7. A look at Red Tails

8. An idea for my speech followed by the trailer

And these were the main resources I used throughout my project.

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