So, this week we discovered that my brother had bedbugs in his room. I didn't actually know they existed, but I was proven wrong because my brother would wake up with red marks on his face and arms, and it's hard to deny solid evidence. So I googled them, and found they exist. Also, MinutePhysics made a video on them the day we found out coincidentally. (Or was it?) Bedbugs are really tiny. Absolutely miniscule. When we were looking for their hiding spot I was expecting to see something fly-sized. we never actually found them, but when I looked them up on the internet I found that they were more like the size of a flea. What bedbugs do is hide in cracks or divets in the wall, burrow into your bedsheets, or hide in your pillow until nightime, when they are attracted the the carbon dioxide and the heat you are emmitting
So i came across this mental disorder in a numberphile video which I've posted above, (I absolutely love that channel, if you have any interest in numbers, how they interact and behave, I highly recommend that channel) and I was absolutely mystified. This is so cool. There are so many variations of this disorder, (which is an extremely unfitting word in my opinion) and it's almost like a superpower, I think. It's like a mixing together of all of the senses in a big bowl of soup, and when you drink the soup you feel every sensation at once. The women above has a very minor version of Synesthesia, she only sees colors in numbers. Others can feel what they see, see what they hear, listen to what they touch, and I think it's absolutely magnificent and a great example of the wonders the brain can produce. This next video is brilliant, it tries to depict what Synesthetes see and hear. For optimal experience, I'd recommend wearing headphones,(They do cool things with sound panning, and really give each of your ears a different experience) and go full screen.
Sorry everybody, I spent 10 minutes trying to embed that epic video about Synesthesia, and it just isn't working.(could have something to do with the fact that it isn't on youtube) Here's the link if you're still interested and are fine with copying and pasting into the address bar.
Anyway, to make up for it, I'll post a video on Synesthesia by another of my favorite youtubers. Enjoy!
Pardon my doodle, it'll all make sense soon. Thanks for staying with me. To reward you, I'll try to give you another analogy on how this works in the brain. I've heard it described as kind of a short-circuit. For those will little to no knowledge on electronics, I'll give you an explanation of what a short circuit is. Basically, imagine you want to power a small lightbulb with a battery. You can't just connect the battery to the bulb with a wire, you have to create a circuit. Think of the similarities between the word circle and circuit. You have to have a wire going from the battery to the bulb, and then another wire going from the bulb back to the battery. Once the circuit (or circle of electricity) is complete, the light bulb lights up! ( I won't go into how this works, just to keep things simple. Conor or Franklin will most likely give a further explanation or mock mine in the comments) Now, imagine the battery is your ear, and the small bulb is the way the brain regularly perceives sound. Now, in Synesthetes, suddenly there's a wire that goes between the first wire and the second wire, cutting the circle in half. ( kind of like a no solution sign in math) This would cause electricity to flow only from the battery, through half of the first wire, then through the third wire, which we'll say is hooked up to a completely different bulb. then it would flow back to the battery, effectively making a new circuit. Imagine this second bulb is the way your brain perceives color, and what you see. This would cause your brain to see color whenever you hear something. I hope my doodle is helpful, it depicts what I'm trying to say here. (I posted it after writing everything up until this sentence) The only thing that this analogy doesn't do justice to is the fact that both of the bulbs would be perfectly lit in a Synesthete. Most short circuts either completely turn off the original circuit or cause it to go very dim. So when you hear music, in your mind you see swirling colors and pictures based on what you hear. For some this works with taste and sound, or sight and taste, or touch and sound, there's a person out there for any mixture of senses, (if you want to calculate hwo many, it's 5!, I'm too lazy to slove that right now.) In most though it's very minor, where you always subconsiously associate colors with letters of the alphabet, or colors with numbers, etc. I hope you find this as interesting as I do, and enjoyed this sequece of videos. Feel free to tell me what you think of all this in the comments!
Here's a list of what I enjoy and what makes me happy:
Wow, my last 7 points all begin with "When I" my second grade teacher told me that was bad. Whatever, this is a blog, I can write how I like. I hope you enjoyed this list and found it interesting!
Ha. I was looking online for a picture to represent absentmindedness, and I couldn't help but use this one. Today, My blog is just going to be whatever I feel like. I need to blog, I haven't really been doing so, and I need the points. I'm not even gonna title this blog until I finish. i have no idea what this blog is really gonna be like, except for the fact that I'm doing this kind of Improv just to represent my absentmindedness. Aha! that's What I'll call this post! Hmmm. I just stopped for a moment after I named the post because I didn't know what to say. That's not good. I want this to be a constant fluid of my thoughts, directly onto the conputer. Writing that last sentence gave me just enough time to think about what I was going to say next! Alright people. We're all going somewhere, and you're all gonna blog about it just because it's the easiest thing to do in order to recieve credit for your mandatory blog after break. Well, I'm gonna put this in all caps so anyone just skimming will read this. No not this sentence, I was just interupted by my dad who made me clean up my room, cuz I accidentally kicked over a table with an abandoned chess game on it, and pieces were all over the floor. Here it is: I DARE ALL OF YOU TO BLOG ABOUT SOMETHING UNRELATED TO VACATION THIS WEEK. (Week of March 24-31) Anyone who does will get, uh, I was gonna say candy, but I don't think I can manage that. You'll all feel good about yourselves, how 'bout that. Ugh, usually when people do this, blog about not being able to think of a topic, I just skim and then read the next guy's blog. So I shoul probably come up with something iinteresting fast. Was I supposed to do one of those happy lists? Was that required? I should get to that. Sounds fun. Lets see...something interesting...SPACE...Uh...TIME...DOCTOR WHO!!!!!! I've been watching some of the old episodes from the first series made in 2000 with Eccleston as The Doctor. They're pretty good, he's much more of a ferocious Doctor than I'm used to. Then again, I'm used to the 11th, so that isn't saying much. Some of you are probably going: "Oh yeah, 2000 is a really long time ago" All sarcastic and such, let me inform you, that I've also been watching episodes from the very first Doctor, back in the 60s. Now those are different. Each episode is 2-2.5 hours long. They're still as complex as ever, so I enjoy them. Oh! just remembered an episode I watched recently when The Doctor and Rose went back to the 1860s, met Charles Dickens, (who wrote A Tale Of Two Cities) And they battled zombies. Well, they weren't really zombies. They were called the Gelf, and were survivors of the last great time war, and they turned out to be evil and possessed the bodies of dead people and, well, you probably don't want to know. Anyways why is there an airplane in the bottom-right of the picture? The person who made it must have just placed it there absentmindedly. My Gosh, this blog is long. I don't know how anyone could have read this far. I certainly wouldn't have. Congrats to you, if you've read all of this. I really can't stand what I've written so far, it all sounds dumb and uninspired and uninteresting. Don't worry, I'll be blogging on much more interesting things soon! And the blog that I wrote for last week got saved to drafts, but when I checked for it, I found that all of my writing was lost. So I'm unsure if you'll ever be able to read my Ingress blog, depends on my taste for writing. I hope you do. Ingress is a cool game for Android smartphones, made by Google. And since Google has so much money, everything they make is pretty awesome. Ha, that's a bit of a frightening sentence. But I won't go back and edit anything! No matter how dumb it is! I'm getting my thoughts into written form, and they shant be censored. Speaking of which, I absolutely hate it when they (News reports) take quotes and use elipses ("...") to shorten phrases. For all we know, the meanings could have been completely different.
"...and I just want the public to know that...I strongly believe in...Gay rights."
News reports will do that and I just think: "What are they hiding within those "..."s? Is it somethng that completely changes the meaning? DON'T CENSOR THINGS, YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO BE THE NEWS!!! There's my rage of the day. Also, I heard that Fox News was banned in Canada because it's illegal to lie on tv there. Ha. Well I'm starting to get tired of this. Be sure to comment, if you've read my entire post, be sure to use the word peanut in your comment. Now I'm gonna put a few more sentences here to people don't just look at the end and see the secret word. I like Pie, let me tell you why. Pie is sticky, Pie is sweet, Pie is oh-so good to eat! I like Pie! I learned that poem in second grade. Can't believe I still remember it. Anything dumb you still remember from your childhood? I've got loads of stuff. I have this thing where I remember all of this insignificant info I learn in school. When the Mongols tried to invade China, they tried to overcome the wall with catapults. Sometimes, they would even catapult their own dead over the wall. Cool fact from 6th grade S.S. Mr. Francis is the best! I think I'll end wth that. Oh, did I break the record for longest blog on the site yet? Darn, Franko still has me beat. Actually, his blogs have a lot of gaps. Which could be considered longer? Mine or His?
It was a great experience. I love events where I'm surrounded by people who share my interests. Franko and I got to present for the first segment of the conference, which was great because after that we could just enjoy the rest of the event without having to worry. The presentation itself was...well, not what was expected. The animation that Franklin and I worked on only lasted about a minute and a half. We had to present for half an hour.
Basically, I started by introducing the presentation, telling them (Nick and four others) what it would be about, (Blogging in Education) and then we roled the video. So I kind of just stood there, watching Franko's animation and listening to my voiceover when I realized that it was almost the end and we still had 28 minutes to kill. So I started frantically analyzing our video and trying to think of things to talk about or reiterate from there. So the video ended, and there was an awkward silence for about half a second, (doesn't seem like long but I noiced it because I was freaking out on the inside) which I quickly broke by stating the obvious, which was something like: "And that was a brief description on the benefits of blogging in edcation." And from that point, I can't really tell you what I said, because I do this thing when I'm stressed and forced to talk. I start to use a much higher vocabulary and begin to over-describe everything. For instance, I'll be in social studies and I forgot to bring my current events assignment to school, but Mr. Nasshan doesn't notice until he puts us in groups and has us discuss, when he'll call me out on it in front of the class and go: "So Chris, what did you research for current events?" and instead of saying: "It was on black holes, but I left it at home," I'll say: "My currrent events topic was black holes and how they disturb an object's passage through time and space when one comes into close range with another, but unfortunately, due to the error of my memory, it appears that I have left my assignment at my household." I do this pretty much whenever I'm put on the spot by any teacher, and I'm afraid that it's pretty much a constant thing in math class unless it's one of those few times we're working in groups. So instead of getting tongue-tied, I suppose I get tongue-stretched? Tongue-inflated? Whatever. In this case, it was extremely helpful, as I was able to kill about eight minutes talking, and we killed another five or six as Franko explained the different blogging software and each one's benefits and uses. After that, Mrs. DLP allowed us to use her video (the one where you all used the iPads to film each other) as another way to explain blogging and it's impact on the students. I owe you all a big thanks for giving me plenty to talk about through analyzing your reactions to blogging. After the video was done I had plenty to talk about as I basically told everyone how blogging made you all feel and how it benefited you as a student. By the end of that, there were only about 5 minutes left and people began asking questions, which I was very grateful for. (Almost too grateful actually. Sometimes I'd try to answer someone's question before I had finished answering the person I had called on before them.) After the presentation ended, we all were just able to enjoy the rest of the conference and the information that other presenters had to offer. They fed us a snack, then lunch, then there was a raffle, it was all very fun. I really enjoyed the presentation on the ethics of hacktivism, and Aaron Swartz's life. I actually blogged about that same area a few weeks ago. We also went to this presentaion given on Prezi, which is a new presentation software that's better than Powerpoint and SlideRocket combined, mostly due to you ability to include voiceovers and music that lasts for more than one slide. Mrs. DLP was there watching that presentation as well, So we'll probably be using Prezi for school very soon. ( Might as well go to their site and learn about it now! Here's a link to an informative video: http://prezi.com/learn/ ) Overall, it was really fun and I'm super glad that I could attend. Definetely going back next year, when it will be the T.I.M. conference. (Technology In Motion)
It. Was. Epic. 10 times more fun than I had imagined. 5 times more difficult to plan and to set up as I had imagined. What did I do this weekend to celebrate my birthday? I just stayed at home and played on the computer all day. With 7 other people and tons of snacks. I hosted what is officially called a LAN party. I'll try to explain it as simply as possible. Basically, everyone brings over their computers, and they plug them into a box called an internet switch via LAN cables. The box is then plugged into my router, which gives everyone fast, shared internet. The fact that it is shared gives us many opportunities to play games together faster, without having to port forward or search for each other to obtain connection. So what we did was play a series of games together, either in competition or cooperatively, and we never really had to worry about lag or updates. (Thank you xfinity!) I'm really glad that I have this internet switch now, because I no longer have to run wires through a vent in order to get internet. Our router (the thing that gives you internet) is in a closet inside our bathroom in our basement. It has to be there because we have underground pipes with wires that allow for the office that we have next to our garage to have internet and for it to connect to our house intercom that we rigged to play music throughout our house. This makes it extremely difficult to get any of our computers internet without connecting wirelessly, which is often slower and unreliable. So what we have going is a LAN cable that runs around our heater and plumbing and through a vent that leads into our basement and then plugs into our computer. This means that in order to connect a computer that is 3 feet away, you have to have a cable that's 10 feet long. Now, we can simply plug that one cable we rigged into this little box, and we can connect 7 other computers to fast internet very easily. I'm definitely doing this again next year, but I'm going to give myself an hour to prepare rather than 30 minutes.
Alright, how many of you laughed or snickered or smiled when you saw this image? If you did, it's not your fault, it's due to:
1. Your brain
2. The desensitizing caused by the internet and shows like AFV
I'll explain more later, but first I ought to tell you my inspiration for this blog. I was watching AFV with my dad (until he changed the channel to basketball reruns) and I noticed that as the show progressed, often times I'd be laughing really hard, and my dad would be saying things like "That's terrible!" or "My gosh!" and I started to realize that the people who performed these stunts must actually be in some serious pain. My dad and I began to analyze the show and how it edits out the part that could possibly cause some sympathy in the audience, such as people wailing or crying after wiping out, or the peer pressure beforehand. I also realized that the difference in our reactions were due to how often I had watched this show or how much time I spend amusing myself on YouTube compared to my dad, who really only uses the interet for practical things and facebook. What these shows and videos are doing are causing our brains to take injury and pain less seriously due to the fact that your brain has processed the information so many times that itno longer thinks much of it. That's one theory, now let my apply the Vsauce theory. In this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddV6jyDeCKA
He explains that laughter is often the cause of the brain learning something new, so that would explain why we would laugh if we saw somebody just randomly fall over, flailing their arms about. In this case, your brain has now learned that perhaps "Oh, there's a bump in the carpet there," or "Wow, if she hadn't flailed her arms so wildly, she might've avoided that faceplant." This concept probably won't make much sense to you unless you watch the video, which I highly recommend. (It's informative and hilarious at the same time!) Have you ever been in that awkward situation where you see a friend fall and hurt themselves, and you know that you should feel concerned, but can't help but laugh? I absolutely hate that. Feel free to share any of those experienced
I didn't really do much this weekend, so I thought I'd just think big and ask a bunch of theoretical questions. Do you think we'll ever set up bases on other planets or moons where people live for months at a time? Maybe we'll colonize other planets or galaxies someday to satisfy the overpopulation of Earth. If this happened during your lifetime, would you move to outer space? to some foreign planet or moon that is light years away? Now, It's not really fair of me to ask my audience a bunch of questions and call it a blog, so I'll answer my own questions. If the Earth became extremely overpopulated and we all had to live in skyscrapers, and eat bugs or drink re-purified urine, and then I found out that there would now be an option to move to a far out world, then yes, I would be tempted. I probably would have second thoughts if there were no way for me to communicate with my friends and family back on Earth. Hopefully I could convince a few to come with me. If, however there was an intergalactic communication system, then I would be overjoyed at the opportunity to explore a new world, and would jump at the chance. I hope to hear your opinions in the comments!
What you (hopefully) just watched was a video posted on the government website ussc.gov (United states sentencing commission website) along with a statement and links to several downloadable files. This video and movement is in response to the death of talented internet freedoms hactivist, Aaron Swartz. After assisting Wikileaks, and hacking alongside Anonymous, the government broke into his house and killed him, making it look as though he committed suicide by hanging himself. In response, Anonymous has basically declared war on the American government, threatening it with It's own warheads. I personally believe in the outrage, the bombs on the other hand, probably won't turn out well for anyone. Aaron Swartz was just a guy like you or me, who used his knowledge of technology and computers to do what he thought was right. He fought against SOPA, giving several speeches on that topic, and he gave us access to information that he believed we ought to know. He also worked for my favorite magizine for a short period of time! (WIRED) Killing him was taking a step too far. You don't kill someone just because they speak out against you. Actually, now that I think about it, I should probably be concerned for my safety now. If I ever commit suicide, it wasn't me, it was the government. Click "Read More" for a summary of what Anonymous is, if you don't already know.
This post was originally destined for after Winter Break but unfortunately I have the same medical condition as Nick. (see his blog to find out what I mean) I actually saved the post as a draft and set an calendar notification on my phone to write this blog, but I was too busy having fun on this thing to honor my obligations. So, now to the point of this blog! I have recently acquired a new PC. I've been on Mac laptop for 3 years, and haven't experienced anything other than apple computers, so this is a pretty big change for me. I have to get used to the new format, the fact that the trash is in the upper left corner instead of bottom right, that there's no dock, but a button that allows you to do stuff on the lower left corner. I also have to get used to not having any lag or slow load speed or errors connecting to websites. (Didn't take me that long) I also have to get used to sticky keys pop-ups whenever I press a key over and over, avast anti-virus databases being updated every 10 minutes, and all of the effort it takes to make customizations compared to a Mac. There isn't any friendly little grey bar at the top that is ready to help me with my problems! Overall, I absolutely adore the new computer, the monitor is outstanding, the gaming capabilities are epic, and there is so much more I can accomplish now. (Apparently I forgot to post this last week. Darn.)