Saturday, February 26, 2005
Wednesday, February 23, 2005
A List of Grievances: Part Three: An Authoritarian Doctrine
Most people would agree that an open society facilitates the least duress among its citizens. They would also agree that totalitarian administrations tend to collapse on themselves. Obviously, an open society more stable and efficient, though some would usurp this doctrine with a doctrine of more authoritarian basis. A doctrine in which those that speak in public of discontent with a leader are promptly silenced. A doctrine in which the public has no say in those decisions that are most imperative to them. This is how BMS is governed.
In an intellectually desolate period in its history, one Mr. Shoemaker has imposed such a doctrine of laws and punishment upon this establishment. A certain openness that we possessed before has now transformed into one of widespread tension and discontent. One must question if such a change is required to maintain law and order. Perhaps one must also question if this mood is even required.
Monday, February 21, 2005
A List of Grievances: Part Two: "Lunchroom Lockdown"
Many an 8th grader at BMS will testify to the discontent which was incited by this administration's unreasonable behavior. Most of these people are reasonable enough to tolerate most of what they are required to. But one particular event turned most against those in power; the so-called "Lunchroom Lockdown."
A "Lunchroom Lockdown" is where certain privileges are taken away. Such as a la carte and the choice to stay inside during lunch. These blanket punishments were once rarely used, but now seem to have become more popular as one Mr. Shoemaker has entered office as the associate principle of
These blanket punishments are now quite common as a result of Mr. Shoemaker’s more authoritarian doctrine being imposed. We, as a people, are more oppressed than ever, both in behavior and in speech.
Not only are these blanket punishments completely ineffective and at times completely arbitrary, but they also create discontent among those that are absolutely innocent of any wrong doing. Would this kind of discipline stand in the real world?
All we ask for is common sense. Perhaps instead of punishing all of those in a group, root out the trouble-makers. This not only eliminates those that are unruly, but also keeps the public content with the leadership.
Wednesday, February 16, 2005
A List of Grievances: Part One: Preface
Today I will start a new series of entries pertaining to the grievances of the general school administration; namely discipline of the Eighth Grade as a whole. The main grievances that have accumulated over the course of this year have become abundant enough as to force me (and anonymous others) to start a series dedicated to the documentation of these grievances. Though, I do not completely exempt ourselves from fault in this situation. In fact, we are as much a part of this problem as the administration is.
These entries will not be composed entirely of grievances, though. But also suggestions for the improvement of the administration’s handling of such matters. There wouldn’t be much point in just complaining without telling them how to improve. You must remember, though, that the intention of these articles is to improve the situation, both for those who govern and are governed.
Tuesday, February 15, 2005
Ratchet and Clank: Up Your Arsenal
Monday, February 14, 2005
Sunday, February 13, 2005
Saturday, February 12, 2005
Yay!!! Today I took the ACT!! Man, that test is absolutely mind-boggling! The math section was definitely the hardest. They had trig in there - omigosh!! Thankfully, I studied (aka crammed the night before). That really helped me, even though I forgot most of the strategies that I learned thanks to that big, enormous test booklet staring me in the face. It was mocking me, saying, “Ha ha! I’m going to beat the crap out of you!!!” During the test I tried to put its mocking torments aside I tried to utilize the three commandments for the ACT (Thanks to the good people at Kaplan): Thou Shalt Learn the Test, Thou Shalt Learn the Strategies, and Thou Shalt Learn the Material Tested.
My scores probably weren’t out of the ordinary (considering that I took it a couple years early). The scores range from 1 to 36; 36 being in the 99th percentile and 1 being in the 1st percentile. I felt that I got, maybe a 19 or 20 in the math section (bear in mind that a 20 is about average), a 21 to 25 in English (it’s pretty easy if you’ve spoken the language your entire life), maybe a 24 in Reading, and a 20 to 23 in Science Reasoning (some of the stuff the is literally rocket science!)
Thankfully, the proctor didn’t forget to give the “five minute warning.” I depended on that, even though I brought a watch. I tended to look more at the clock in the room. Despite that fact, I actually ran out of time in a couple spots. The test itself was pretty boring; I never found that it was so boring that I couldn’t concentrate, though. Yet some of the answers were quite tricky. I mean, who’d of thought that the difference between “although” and “even though” would be such a challenging question?
Overall, I found the test to be just that – a test. It’s not a lobotomy or a dentist appointment. It really was neither a good experience nor a bad experience for me. All I can do now is wait six to eight weeks for the results… *sigh*
Friday, February 11, 2005
Halo 2, Half Life 2 And Me
Halo 2 has the LAMEST ENDING EVER and Half Life 2 has a brilliant story (no cutscenes, you have to figure out the story yourself.) Though, I have to admit, Halo and Half Life 2's graphics are pretty much equal (on my machine) so I really can't complain there, except for the annoying rendering artifacts in the cutscenes in Halo 2.
The gameplay in both games aren't better than one another, just different. Halo 2 has more of a linear shoot, then think type of gameplay, whereas Half Life 2 has more of a think, then shoot type of gameplay. Both are fun, it's just that I find that Half Life 2's style of gameplay suits me better. Though some others may perfer the Halo 2 type of gameplay *cough* casual gamers *cough*...
Now, lets talk about multiplayer; this is sort of a haves and have-nots sort of thing. If you have broadband, then Halo 2 blows away Half Life 2 (Counter Strike Source/Half Life 2: Deathmatch.) However, for the rest of us, no online multiplayer. Half Life 2's multiplayer allows for those of us who are less bandwidth rich. In fact, on some servers, your latency (ping) can climb down too the 100's that's really close to the broadband folks. It's really fun, too. You've got CSS for the team stuff and HL2:DM for the individual stuff.
I guess you don't have to agree with my opinions, just read them to help you form your own opinions. If you have tried only one of the two games, please play both before forming your opinion. It's rude to those of us who are educated on the subject. Halo 2 fanboys have as much a right to comment here as anyone ;)
Wednesday, February 09, 2005
The Declaration of Independence (From IE)
When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the digital bands which have connected them to one another, and to assume, among the powers of the internet, the separate and equal station to which the laws of computers entitles them, a decent respect to the security of their browser requires that they should declare the causes which impel to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all users were created equal; that they are endowed by their designers with certain inalienable rights; that among these are security, equality, and the pursuit of information. That, to secure these rights, programmers are instituted among the users, deriving their just powers from the consent of the users; that, whenever any form of browser becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the users to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new browser, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its code in such form as to them shall seem most likely security and efficiency. Security, indeed, will dictate that browsers long established should not be changed for light or transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that the users are more disposed to suffer while viruses are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such a browser, and to provide new guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of the users; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former browser. The history of the present Internet Explorer is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over this internet. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.
- It has given no virus or spyware protection to the users on which it depends.
- It has displayed no chance for open manipulation for the greater good of the public and itself.
- It has become so corrupt as to give away its users’ information to the common criminal.
- It has coding so archaic so as to lead to a hole to be found almost daily.
- It has given no java scripting console to those who need it to aid themselves and their community.
- It has no tabs with which to browser more quickly and efficiently.
- It has no skins or extensions with which to better the experience of find information, as well as entertainment.
- It has no sense of the separation of OS and browser, thereby degradating further our liberties of privacy and solitude.
- It has allowed pop-ups to bog down our bandwidth, with only solutions intended to placate the users.
- It has arrogantly defied international standards of this great Internet, aggreed upon with much tumoil.
In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms; our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A browser whose coding and interface is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant is unfit to be the browser of a free people.
We have warned them, form time to time, of attempts by their programmers to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native and magnanimity; and we have conjured them to disavow these usurpations. They have been deaf to the voice of justice and consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity which denounces our separation, and hold them as we hold the rest of the users.
We, therefore, the representatives of Firefox, in the general community assembled, appealing to the users of Internet Explorer for rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name and by the authority of the good users of this internet, solemnly publish and declare, that these users, and of right ought to be, totally dissolved; and that, as free and independent users; that they are absolved from all allegiance to Internet Explorer, and that all digital connection between them and Internet Explorer is, and ought to be, totally dissolved; and that, as free and independent users we have the right to acts and things which independent users may of the right to do. And, for support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protections of the users, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.
Ben, Brendan, and Michael
These three people have been diverse and interesting enough to warrant a post exclusively about them (it may also be because they asked me to write about them…) They bring many… fascinating subjects to a conversation. *Though not all of the things I write about them will be so optimistic.*
Ah, what can I say about Ben? Liberal, rhythmic, what’s not to love? His mystique precedes him, I must admit. Perhaps his appetite for confrontation is a bit too vehement. I think he’s quite vocal when it comes to politics. Bush bashing is good; but he can be brash about it.
We all love him, such a charming, quick-witted young man. Vulgar at times, he liberally peppers… colorful language in his conversations. You can always expect Brendan to be immodest with his opinions.
Perhaps I should say, first and foremost, that Michael has many facets to his personality. He loves the West Wing, I think, and his parents are apparently avid censors. He always chimes in with comments and opinions of his own while we're talking. Why, I don’t know what we’d do without good ‘ole Michael’s 2 cents.
Monday, February 07, 2005
Google Rules My Life!
I’ve just had an epiphany; everything I use on my computer has been made by Google. From Google desktop search to Gmail, Google has total power over me. In fact, the only things I don’t use that have been made by those geniuses at the Google Labs are my browser (Firefox) and OS (Windows XP).
I use Google for search (local, web, images, and my computer), email, RSS, shopping, news, translations, photo management, chat, blogging, and directions. I’m sure my complete and utter dependence on Google will further extend itself into my life. I’ve caught wind of them having a registrar service? Even a browser!! What’s next? A Google OS?!? You can see that Google does rule ALL of our lives. You can’t turn around without hearing about “IPO” this, or “bigger than Ebay” that. Pretty soon, they’ll probably take over the world.