Oblivion (Coding 8)

My game is called Oblivion.

I chose the level in which I made everything myself, making it considerably more difficult because I wanted to animate decent pixel art for this game. The difficulties was mostly spent trying to get everything to work with the scrolling engine I adapted to my game because it is fairly finicky and sprites tend not to work well with it. I actually overcame it by adding sort of a black box border, which felt a little bit cheaty but worked in the end. I like how the graphics look, and I’m really proud of how I was able to create all the pixel art and to my specifications. Another difficulty was getting the boss. Because the game is quite short due to most of it being graphics, I wanted to have some replay value so I made it so that up and down keys change which weapon you have, and the boss’s head and name and modifier is randomly generated. For example it might move slightly faster depending on the modifier (which is in latin, and which he says). Another thing I like is that the scrolling is smooth enough, because at first it was jumpy and I fixed that.


We made CSIs in Social Studies. CSI stands for Color, Symbol and Image. I chose the symbol for it to be an iron ingot because that was a material in high demand during the Industrial Revolution and as such it was a vital resource. The image represents an aging business man getting profits as shown by the sack of money from industrializing, shown by his swinging his hammer. I chose a set of three colors from Colourlovers:

Glassy Stare, blue_grey, and Almost White.

I chose Glassy Stare because it was a darker shade of blue and such had a lot of versatility as a main color.
I chose blue_grey because it was slightly lighter than Glassy Stare, albeit I didn’t like the uninspired name.
I chose Almost White because it was just marginally darker than normal white, almost microscopically small. However that allowed for a less intrusive color of white.

Sci Blog Post 1

#1 – 
Answer the questions below in a paragraph. 
Paste a current screen-shot of your design.

1) What have you learned so far about… 

a) gravity 

I have learned that gravity applies to everything and it counts as a force that can act on objects as well.

b) friction

I learned friction can apply to objects and makes a bigger difference on moving objects than I thought.

c) inertia

I learned that inertia is what keeps an object going after forces stop applying on it.

2) Summarize Newton’s 1st Law in your own words.

A object will not move OR will stay at a constant speed until a force acts upon it.


3) Summarize Newton’s 2nd Law in your own words. 

Force is equal to mass times acceleration or acceleration is equal to force over mass.

4) Summarize Newton’s 3rd Law in your own words. 

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction taking place.

5) What physics topics do you think will be important to keep in mind as you design your vehicle? Why? Name at least 2 topics – be specific.

Keep mass in mind – don’t let it get too heavy.

Have a great force so that the car accelerates. Big balloons!


Newton Vehicle Posts 2-3

The first law is incorporated in the vehicle using the balloon. Because the first law states that an object will always be at rest or moves at a constant velocity until something acts on it, the balloon is the something that acts on the car. It moves the car and that is what is moving the car and getting it out of a resting position.

The second law is used because we have cut down on the mass of the materials used. Specifically, we opted for using cardboard which has a small mass due to it having hollow walls.

The third law is used again in the balloon. Because for every action there is an opposite reaction, when the balloon deflates and pushes all the air backwards, the opposite reaction is forwards. Therefore the reaction is pushing the CAR forwards.

Something I learned in the design process is that things didn’t always go as expected. For example we didn’t take everything into consideration, and our original design failed to work. However through trial and error we eventually got the car to work, and work well at that.

If I were to change something during the design process it would have to be how the vehicle is planned. For example maybe having different ideas for things more readily added on. Because eventually we just settled on one design without having any major changes, and I think that it could have gone even better if we designed it with our goals in mind.

I learned how Newton’s Laws can apply to something as small as a balloon car and something as big as a rocket. For example even the tiniest thing on our car is affected by the 3 Laws.

A wedge triangle chassis.

If I had a chance to change the vehicle I would probably change the design of the chassis. My idea was to have a triangular chassis, for example viewing from the side would show a wedge. The reason for this is I think it would be better aerodynamically because air would flow off the wedge instead of being caught on the flat end of a box.

If I were to do a similar project I would most likely extend the project by posing a new question, say in this case having an obstacle. How would we circumvent it? I would take some next steps and have a race between groups. I would love to experiment with some type of flying design, because it seems rather challenging to build.



Hour of Code

I recently did the Hour of Code in science class, in which the bare minimum is to complete 20 simple block-based coding puzzles. I found it particularly easy thanks to my prior coding knowledge. I got through the 20 levels in an unbroken perfect streak to get a Certificate of Completion. I found it quite similar to scratch, owing to the block-based environment. Overall a good introduction to coding but nowhere near the level of other languages.
Screenshot from 2014-12-02 11:18:43



7 Minute Reflection

In the 7 minute challenge we were tasked to run for 7 minutes continuously. Eventually the time was pumped up to 14 minutes. I was able to get a gold medal, which meant that I ran at least 5 km. The medals were bronze, silver, gold and platinum. The amount you had to run was 1km, 5km, 10km, and 21.5km respectively. My goal was a silver, which I had made. The challenges were probably having just the ability to run for that much and I felt proud I could eventually get silver. I think I didn’t like it that much because it was SO tiring! Overall however I think it helped with endurance

Silver Sphere

I felt the urge to run. My heart was pounding as the rounded sphere descended from the clouds. I took a few steps back as the column of flame scorched the wheat field beneath. I was worried for old man Johannes and his harvest, but I was mostly terrified at the massive silver sphere floating in the sky. Four silver doors retracted from the bottom part of the sphere and equally silver legs pushed out to replace them. Suddenly the column of flame ceased to exist with a puff of smoke, almost like my father’s pistol discharging, and the sphere landed on old man Johannes’ wheat field, crushing hundreds of wheat stalks.

Sitting on the wheat field, the silver sphere looked like my mother’s locket. Not knowing what came over me, I began to slowly make my way towards the sphere. I pushed my way past scorched earth and seared wheat, which fell to the ground in ashes under my grip. The closer I got to the sphere the hotter it became. When I came within 50 footsteps of the sphere, I gaped at how massive it was. It must have been at least as tall as two of the churches back at my hometown. I noticed some strange numbers on it, and something that read “Scoutship X3” on the side. I jumped back in fright as smoke appeared from the side, and a doorway emerged from the smoke. A staircase that seemed to be adorned with gleaming steel rolled down and planted itself in the ground.

A strange creature calmly stepped down from the doorway. I shrieked at the appearance of it, for it had two rods protruding from its forehead, and its skin seemed to glow with a faint shade of blue. Its skin was equally blue, almost as blue as the stained glass at the church. I stepped back for each step it took forwards, until it drew from its holster a steel pistol. I was about to run when it pressed a knob and fired at me, freezing me from moving. It pressed another knob and I began hearing a voice. The voice sounded odd, almost like a church bell. “Hello there.” I tried to speak. “What are you doing here?” The “what” came out as a squeak, the “are you” sounded thin, and “doing here” felt obliged to avoid my speech.

The creature drew another thing from its holster. This was a silver rod. It jammed the rod in the barrel of the pistol and fired once more upon me. I was able to move. Instead of fleeing, my curiosity got the better of me. “What are you doing here?” I croaked, barely clear enough to pass as conversation. The creature opened its mouth again. “I wish to know more about your people.” I was puzzled. “Do you mind explaining more?” I wondered aloud. It smiled. “My ska-ning dee-vise here says your parents are Protestant. Is this true?” I gawked at the pistol it grasped in its blue hands. I marveled, “YES! How did you know?” The creature ignored my question and posed another question. “And it says here your grandparents are Catholic. Care to explain the discrepancy?”

I looked around, worried. When I turned back to the creature I saw someone that looked vaguely like old man Johannes in its place. “Don’t worry,” it said. “I have donned this form so as to not attract attention.” The new old man Johannes shouted something and the silver sphere seemed to disappear. By this point I had accepted the creature as being able to do almost anything. The creature introduced itself. “By the way, my designation is ‘Orbit’. Do you mind following me?” I did so, and we ended up at an inn, where Orbit ordered a platter of meat. Orbit lilted, “Enlighten me regarding the religious situation in this region.” I answered, “It all started when someone called Martin Luther found fault with the Catholic Church, which he said was corrupt.” Orbit speared a slice of bacon on his fork. “After being banished by the Church for heresy, he found himself in Wartburg Castle, where he began transcribing Erasmus’ bible into German – “ I stopped when Orbit passed me a piece of meat.

“Here, eat something.” Orbit coaxed. I couldn’t refuse. After I had swallowed the meat, I looked at the platter, meaning to grab something, yet before me was an empty silver dish.  After the meal, we went to the church. Orbit gestured towards the door. “Now, explain the story behind your parents.” We went in to find it was empty. I mused, “My grandparents, being born before Luther’s time, were Catholic, as all of Europe was before Luther. My parents had been exposed to Martin Luther’s 95 Theses and so they became Protestants.”

Here Orbit looked at me with a strange expression on his face. “Would your parents not follow their parents’ religion of Catholicism?” Orbit theorized. This time it was me that was confused. “No, my parents had met during a protest. They were convinced that the church was corrupt, for it was selling what were called indulgences and simonies.” I paused, taking a breath, then continued. “Indulgences were sold by church officials. In exchange for money, they claimed to be cleansing you of sin. However, Martin Luther argued against this, saying that the church officials were too worldly and they were only selling indulgences for gaining money.”

“Simonies were when the church would sell office positions for money, as opposed to devotion.” Orbit seemed to be surprised at this statement, but made no effort to interrupt me. “Many people also found this to be disturbing, and so they began protesting, hence the name Protestant. Martin Luther began printing what he called his 95 Theses, which were theses detailing what he found wrong with the church. My parents, in particular, found that the theses made perfect sense. My own father wouldn’t have even HEARD of Martin Luther had he not snatched a copy of the 95 Theses from the local printing press!”

Orbit smiled. “So the printing press was essential to the Reformation?” “Of course! The whole of Germany knew about it in a couple of weeks because of the press!” I assured. “It would have taken scribes hundreds of years to make as many copies of the 95 Theses that were made by printing presses. However, if scribes were used, and only a few books were printed a year, perhaps they would have been dismissed as a madman’s ramblings. However, you couldn’t deny that all those books being printed must have been widespread.” I paused. “Why, I remember when I was young, almost everyone I passed on the road had a copy of the 95 Theses!”

Orbit rose from the pew he had been sitting in, and gestured for me to follow him. We sauntered slowly back towards the wheat field, and Orbit walked up to a depression in the wheat. He waved his hand and touched something, then the silver sphere appeared out of nowhere. The staircase descended from a doorway encased with a thick smoke, and Orbit and I walked inside. The interior of the sphere had strange glass windows with moving text inside, and blindingly bright tubular lamps that glowed white. He walked up to what looked like a bookcase, but in the place of books were levers and switches. He flicked one, and suddenly a printing press materialized in front of my eyes. I leapt backwards instinctively and hit a wall. Orbit smiled. “Let’s say these were never made, that Gutenberg was never born.” he bayed. Immediately one of the glass windows descended from the ceiling. On it was a map of Europe. He pressed a button, and the map changed to show Protestant people and Catholic people.

“Let’s see here… ah!” Orbit crowed. I vaguely heard some sort of clicking sound, and suddenly the Protestant population on the map began shrinking, until there were only enclaves of them in various spots. I glared at the map, surprised. Orbit ventured a look at the map. “Just as I thought,” Orbit said, his hand resting on the printing press. “These devices must have been incredibly powerful in their prime.” I turned to Orbit, noticing a peculiar, if not outright strange, gleam in his eye. “Follow me.” I then followed him down a snaking corridor filled with more tubular lamps.

We arrived in a large room, tiled with jet black hexagonal tiles covering the entirety of each wall. In the center of the room was some sort of rod. Orbit pressed down on it and it gently receded downwards into the floor. Suddenly each tile began to glow a brilliant white, and when the tiles calmed down I was standing in a street. There before Orbit and I was a middle-aged man. I reached out to shake his hand only to find that his hand was as tangible as air. “Hello?” I said after some hesitation. Orbit smiled and stated, “We are merely watching a theoretical conversation between one of Mr. Luther’s friends, and Hans Adler, proprietor of the ‘Papierarbeiten’ print shop.” The man stormed into the shop, his overgown billowing behind him. In his hands was a pamphlet.

“I demand this be printed at once! I will pay anything!” The man cried, his voice ringing throughout the shop. He slapped the pamphlet down on a nearby table. The men manning the printing presses stopped dead in their tracks, apparently scared by the man’s shrieking voice. He repeated what he said again, this time a little bit higher and louder. This Hans Adler then opened his mouth, hesitated, and then began to speak. “You wish the pamphlet… printed?” The man bellowed, “Yes, that is what I just said!” Mr. Adler picked up the pamphlet. After several minutes reading it, he whispered, “The church… will not like this.” Much to my surprise, and probably to the relief of those inside the shop, he did not shout. Instead, he reached inside his doublet and when he drew his hand out a pouch of coins was locked within his fingers. He removed a string from the top and poured a considerable amount of gleaming silver thaler on the table. Mr. Adler could not refuse this.

We enjoyed our time thoroughly and it was soon evident that the printing press was incredibly essential to the Reformation. Orbit knew his time was running out. We eventually retired back in the field, where we parted ways. His last words were, “Good luck, friend.”


Science Blog Post

Based on the results of Juan Tuno’s research and various other student scientists, the citizens of Synchrony City and the entire Gray Area have reached a conclusion regarding the 5-year long fish die-off. Various factors contributed to scores of fish washing up on the shores of Synchrony City. Although citizens first believed that the die-off was being caused by a single person, Ken Unballe, a number of other people that were negatively affecting the welfare of the Gray Area watershed entered the limelight. The public realized that it was not a single individual that was to blame, but instead it was all the inhabitants of the area.

Juan Tuno’s first major appearance was regarding Ken Unballe. The opening of his water slide coincided with the first fish washing ashore. Combined with the fact that he was dumping chlorine into the water, as well as trying to hide the fact that he was, made for a strong case against him. However, LaToya Faktorie drew attention away from Unballe with her lack of smokestack scrubbers. Unballe’s water slide, however, would prove to be the subject of much criticism. When Unballe tested the water around his slide for chlorine, he had the test scheduled for the day before he disposed of waste into the river. Surprisingly, the scientist who performed the test was oblivious to this.

LaToya Faktorie runs the local toy factory. She is unwilling to add scrubbers to filter out her factory’s exhaust, in the form of smoke. Her factory contributes to acid rain in the area. Citizens were skeptical of this claim owing to the fact that two of the three rivers in the Gray Area have limestone soil, which buffers and neutralizes acid rain from entering the river. The acid rain was affecting the pH of the river and killing off fish at an alarming rate.

Tuno Enterprises was the next suspect. In their logging and oil industry, they were suspected of seriously damaging the environment. Clear-cutting and possibility of a covered-up oil spill brought Tuno Enterprises to its metaphorical knees. Don Juan Tuno, uncle of Juan Tuno, was cited as being very closed-minded and defensive when asked to give a statement. His oil refinery was later found to be clear of all spills, but his logging industry might go through with clear-cutting near the river, sending soil crashing down into the river and smothering eggs, raising heat, and generally causing havoc and killing fish.

In conclusion, those participating came to the conclusion that it was not one, but it was all of the people that were affecting the area.


Science – How do pigs taste?

What is efficiency?

Efficiency is an animal’s ability to eat different types of food quickly and absorb as many nutrients as possible. The more efficient an animal is at digesting food, then the faster the animal can absorb nutrient from food, the more types of food an animal can eat without suffering from side effects, and the more it can store food.

Our group chose the pig as the most efficient being at digesting food out of the three: human, cow or pig. The pig has the most efficient digestive system because pigs have an extremely simple diet, as they are able to consume anything. Pigs can digest anything that we can digest, as well as being able to quickly assimilate foodstuffs into fat. Pigs’ digestive systems are designed to absorb nutrients as quick as possible so that they can eat more food quickly.

The average pig’s digestive system is something of an oddity (a strange or peculiar person, thing, or trait.) compared to other mammals. In comparison to bovine (cow) digestion, pigs, although being monogastric, (one stomach, compared to cattles’ four) have the advantage of being able to digest food faster and are able to use food as energy almost immediately after digestion. The average pig can eat anything that a human eats, while at the same time growing faster the more protein it absorbs. However, pigs also gain more nutrients from food than a human does, leading to a higher rate of growth in pigs than in humans or cows.

Pig digestive systems are not designed to neutralize toxins, instead opting to absorb all of the nutrients from food directly into fat. Pig diets consist of almost anything but need to be low in fiber, because fiber may drag undigested protein into the large intestine, depriving the pig of much needed energy. Pigs also need quite a lot of water, calling for 5-10ℓ of water per day. Pig stomachs are extremely adaptable, with an average 5ℓ of volume in an adult pig stomach. However, by changing the amount of food a pig is consuming, the stomach capacity may increase to 12ℓ in adults.

The intestine of a pig is as efficient as a human’s. Villi and microvilli in the pig intestine increase absorptive surface area 40-fold5. The pig intestine is 16-21 meters, compared to the average human’s 7 meters of intestine, even though humans have a larger body, showing the pig’s body’s emphasis on eating and digestion. Pigs also have very efficient storage of fat, gaining 2 to 3 pounds a day. The average pig will also actively seek out food of any kind and they will eat almost anything in order to gain nutrients.

So we conclude that pigs are good at digestion. That is why we chose them. Pigs have a lot enzymes, so they can break down food easier than cows or humans. This way, eating fast is easy for a pig. It is similar to the human, but the digestive system is a little bit more efficient in many ways. In all ways pigs have the most efficient digestive systems, allowing them to digest toxins, store fat efficiently, increase stomach size, and have the most intestine surface area. Even though pigs are seen as merely another farm animal, they have the most developed digestive system out of cows and humans!