Forever living

Life is short. And it is short indeed. Once we were born, we go to school for twenty years, find a job and work for thirty more years, then retire and spend the rest of our lives easily. More then often we are often stressed or worried. People just don’t feel like they had enough happy times. This is why many people have aspiration to live forever.
But a lot of medical research today focuses on developing medicinal cures to ageing. Presumably, with the right breakthrough, humankind would live forever. This would both be great in many ways but there is also a high chance that this can be disastrous. But do the pros really outweigh the cons?

 
Greed is what drives most people the never ending thirst of living forever. And it is true that living forever will make you rich, incredibly rich. Since you have the power to live forever, you can amass a huge fortune over the years. There will be no need to pass a dynasty or power to the next generation because you will literally be there forever-you’d call all the shots. And as long as you make money, you will have to spend it all and that will make your lifestyle amazing. You could live in a mansion, own your private land, and have all the things you ever wanted.

 
Everyone likes a nice person. And this is another great thing about living forever is that you can do a lot of goodwill. Living forever will mean experience and a lot of knowledge. You can use the knowledge to help others by making good life decisions, helping children with homework and inventing cure for diseases. Being incredibly rich means you can help the world in other ways like donating to charity, starting a food drive and creating a better education system. Overall you can create a better world.

 
But living forever can also lead to a worldwide crisis. If everyone had the power to live forever, that overpopulation will take its toll. With the human population already growing extraordinarily fast, if all of us could live forever it would push overpopulation to the limit. Not only that it will also be bad for our environment. Not only will it put pressure on our natural resources. Not only do we have to clear more land for the unimaginable amount of humans. But more people would mean more pollution, more poverty, and more carbon emissions.

 
You might also think that living forever will mean eternal happiness. But you may be wrong. Sure you will encounter numerous happy and successful times but you might also witness times of sadness and times of grief. For instance, you might witness grief and sorrow as loved ones die around you. You might experience another world war or a widespread disease as it wipes out the human population. Now picture yourself living for centuries with so many people you like dying around you- it’s not pretty or nice, is it?

 
Also keep in mind that immortality does not mean forever youth. Immortality doesn’t mean eternal youth. Living forever without eternal youth is only mitigated somewhat by a slowed (or static) aging process. So if you’re in a shop buying immortality in the very distant future, make sure you pick the youth and invulnerability with it because otherwise you’re screwed and condemned to live your own version of Tithonus which did not end well.

 
So keep in mind that immortality does not come free. Spend your good life how it is and enjoy it. Keep in mind, don’t waste your time.

Suspension Bridges

As you might already know, we are doing a project in GT that will take us half of the year. The presentation is next wednesday and my project is about bridges. There are three main types of bridges: tres, arch and suspension. My partners, Austin and Justin agreed to do tres and arch so I am going to do the  suspension bridge.

 

A suspension bridge is used to span great distances such as a bay or a valley. A suspension bridge is where the deck(the weight bearing part)  is held up by cables attached to vertical suspenders. This allows to deck to be level or arch upwards for additional clearance. The cables need to be attached to both ends of the bridge because the load is dependent on the cables.

 

The first known suspension bridge was probably built in 1433 by a guy called Thangtong Gyalpo. Gyalpo built six bridges in eastern Bhutan but used metal chains instead of cables. His design was similar to most foot bridges seen today with the deck and the cables parallel to each other.The last of his bridges washed away in 2004.

 

The first suspension bridge in America was the Wire Bridge built at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Completed in 1842, it had a span of 109 meters. Probably the most known bridge in America is the Brooklyn Bridge located in New York. In 1883, New York needed something to connect Manhattan to Brooklyn. A huge bridge was needed and architect John Augustus Roebling designed the bridge that will span 1,596 feet over the east river. In 2008, more than 123,000 cars pass the bridge each day to get from Manhattan to Brooklyn.

 

Across the country, in San Francisco, another large suspension bridge awaits. The Golden Gate Bridge boasts strength, beauty, and awe. The bridge was completed in 1937 and until 1964, it was the longest bridge in the world spanning over 4,200 feet. It also the most photographed bridge in the world. People often ride boats or stand on the bridge for hours just to get the perfect picture. Today it is a major tourist attraction.

 

Right now,  Akashi Kaikyō Bridge in Japan is the largest suspension bridge in the world spanning 1,991 meters across connecting the island Akashi to the city Kobe. Before the bridge was built, ferries carried cars across, but the bay was rough and in 1955, two ferries sunk during a storm killing 168 people. This convinced the Japanese Government to build a suspension bridge that will connect the two land masses.

 

Suspension bridges truly are a wonder to our world today and in the future. They are a source of awe and convenience. They sure do play a daily part for many in this world.

The Dallas Zoo

I never took the saying “never judge a book by the cover” seriously until I went to the Dallas Zoo. On the outside the building looked like a building designed by three year olds, but the inside was a whole new world.

 

To begin with, I never had a good impression on zoos before. The only zoo I been to was the Austin Zoo. Just to be clear, that was not a good zoo. They had very few animeals, it always smelled like manure, and there was a cactus every 5 feet you walk. Additionally, I went there in the summer so it was over flooded with mosquitoes. I went to the San Antonio Zoo also in Texas, but I was four at the time and I don’t remember much. This is exactly why I was not that excited for the Dallas Zoo.

 

We arrived at the zoo around 1 in the afternoon and it was crowded. I didn’t think a zoo would be so attractive is what I thought as I walked through the front gate. When I walked in I saw a carousel spinning to my left, a train roaring to my right, and parrots flying overhead. I immediately started to wonder if we were in the wrong place because Austin’s zoo had nothing as good as this. We got our maps and continued fourth. Mom let me navigate and choose what we do in order. I decided it would be best to work our way around the zoo.

 

The first animals we saw were lemurs. Lemurs look almost just like monkeys and they live on Madagascar. After the the lemurs we saw this huge flock of flamingos in a very small pond. Soon after, we reached a place called the children’s play yard. Just by the name of it I knew this would be boring for such a mature guy like me. Turns out, they had a lot of fun things inside. I especially liked the petting area where I got to pet the goats and sheep. I got to feel koi fish, feed a goat and pet a pig.

 

We walked around and I noticed Dallas Zoo had a lot of animals and my favorite has to be the reptiles. There are many other great and fascinating animals like the cheetahs, koalas and the nile crocodiles that can grow up to twenty feet. But the reptiles were the best for me. First of all, the reptiles were in the reptilian house which was indoors. This meant that we didn’t have to stand in the freezing cold outside for a half hour. It was also raining outside at the time so the roof was a bonus.

 

The inside of the reptile house was lined with glass cages, and all sorts of reptiles were in those glass cages. There were so many cages, so many animals and so many hallways that I didn’t know where to start. The place was quite large and there were so many snakes and lizards that it could be a whole own separate part of the zoo.

 

To me all reptiles I saw there was interesting but a few stood out. My favorite animal I saw in there and perhaps the whole zoo was the flat tailed tortoise.

 

This was the first time I ever saw one and on first glance, I knew I wanted one as a pet. The cage was small and a small plate filled with lettuce and carrots was in the middle. Two cute tortoises were munching on a piece of lettuce. Their shells were decorated with many sorts of colors and I could not take my eyes off them. It was just breathtaking every time they opened their small jaws to take another bite and savoring it in their mouths as if it is the last piece of lettuce they will eat.

 

The flat tailed tortoise is not the only interesting animal I saw, there was also the king cobra which was really cool. The king cobra had the biggest cage in the whole house and was really big. At first glance, the snake seems to be shy. But as I stayed for a while the snake started to come closer. Eventually it was following my hand against the glass as if I was a conductor.

 

After the rain died down we finished our trip to the zoo with the elephants and gorillas. Our trip to the zoo was fun and interesting, this trip has truly taught me how “never judge a book by the cover.”

Should Parents Help With Homework?

Homework is what we get every day as something we should do at home. Some people ask their parents to do it for them, others use some help from their parents with their homework. I however think parents should not be able to help with homework AT ALL.

 
Homework is given for a reason. It is to test what you know and what you don’t know. If your parents help you, then you don’t learn about what you need to study. Therefore, you think you are ready for the test. But really, you could have many more things you need to know and you could end up failing the test. On the other hand, if your parents do not help you, you might run into a problem you do not know or understand. Then you can look it up and know what to study for the test. For example, let’s say I have a math test coming up. I don’t know a function, I can then ask my parents or look it up so on the day of my test I can score high. This is why you can learn more if you just do your homework by yourself.

 
The United States has a very diverse culture. Many people come into the U.S. every day. This is why we have so many cultures at school. But some immigrants going into the U.S. might not know English or might have not received an education. Homework is typically a grade and if students get parent help, then it will be unfair for some students that have parents who don’t have an education. For example, let’s say I have a vocabulary test coming up and I don’t know the words. I won’t get as enough help because my parents are not native speakers and they don’t have a big vocabulary. Therefore, the foreign children will have a lower grade than others.

 
As you can see, letting your parents help with homework has many downsides and I think it shouldn’t be allowed. Although sometimes the teachers allow parental help on homework, but other than that I think it should not happen

Studying for a Test

Tests can sometimes be difficult, but with the right preparations you can achieve high on all your tests. In order to do well you must first study over a period of time, get plenty of rest the day before, and keeping yourself awake and calm during the test.

The first thing you need to do is study, because without studying you will surely fail the test. But studying the day before the test will never help solve the problem, instead you should study for a fixed period of time each day leading up to the test. This will ultimately increase your test score. Focusing in one subject of the test each day will help. For example, let’s say I have a science test on the human body. For each day I will study and try to master a different part of the human body. The last day should be just a brief review instead of cramming new information all night for the test tomorrow.  Also, you should ask your teacher or look on his(her) calendar for the test date. This way you can plan ahead and on test day you will rock!

Another important thing you need to do before a test is get plenty of rest. This means sleeping a little early and having a relaxed evening before the test. If you do however, have a stressful evening, do something that will lighten your mood. This will ensure that you have nothing bad on your mind when you are taking the test. If you do have something that is bothering you on your mind, it could effect your test grade enormously. But if you do happen to wake up on the wrong side of your bed, try talking to your teacher. If you are stressed out because you haven’t studied, then clearly you have not follow my first point. That is why it is always important to have cheerful things going on in your mind.

The last thing is keeping yourself awake. Although I have not heard of anyone falling asleep in a test, you should keep yourself alert and hopefully excited. This can be achieved by eating a mint or taking a shower in the morning. Try not to be nervous when the test starts. This can be achieved easily if you had enough sleep. But if you don’t have enough sleep, you will be tired during the test and this could effect your memory and thinking. Like I said before, if you are feeling sleepy, try eating a mint because it helps you stay awake and alert. Another thing is staying calm, try not to have donuts or anything with a lot of sugar for breakfast. That will make you hyper and that is never good when taking a test. So keep in mind staying alert and calm are important for doing well on a test.

As you can see, studying over a period of time, getting plenty of rest and staying alert are essential to doing good. Although these won’t guarantee a 100, it will definitely improve your score.

 

Outside of School

         Hey!…I know that question! Is what pops up in our mind when the teacher asks a new question that you learned elsewhere. School is a place for you to learn, but you also pick up things outside of school. Some examples are your parents, television and nature.

         You get most of your learning as a small child from your parents. As soon you are old enough, they teach you how to speak and walk. They also teach you basic everyday principals like feeding yourself and brushing your teeth at night. Guess who also taught you how to use the bathroom? Some things they taught you are still work in progress for some of us like manners and making new friends. When you are older, they usually teach you how to ride a bike. Some things you learn from your parents are skills you will never forget. For example, my parents taught me how to swim at age 6, and still to this day I still have not forgotten how to swim. As you can see, your parents teach you a lot of things outside of school.

         Many people have a television nowadays. After all, they tell you about the current news, cartoons, sports and cooking! But you can actually learn things from the television. If you are a small child you can tune into your favorite cartoon and learn how to be open and make new friends. You can also pick up the lines they say and use them in your oral English. Vocabulary is picked up almost everywhere on TV too! Another example of this is that you can watch a cooking show and learn a new recipe. When I was seven, I saw this TV channel showing younger kids how to make a very basic grilled cheese sandwich. It was very simple and to this day, I continue to use what I learned when I was seven. The television can actually help you learn!

Everyone has been outside, and the outside can teach you many things. The first thing you learn is image of the outside world. It is the first time you learn about your surroundings. There are many things outside for you to discover, there might be animals, rocks and the weather. Nature taught me a lot about animals, everyday in kindergarten I would go back into a garden and look for animals. I’d usually find birds and butterflies. Nature showed me how these organisms look, their behaviors and interest. I still remember the first time I saw a dragonfly, and I still have not forgotten how it looks. Nature can teach you things they don’t teach you in school.

There are many things you have learned over the years, but not all of them might be from school. Like I mentioned before, you can be educated from your parents, television and nature. That is why I say that you learn things from other places besides school.

The Lunch Room

West Ridge is a great school, but it does have some downsides. One of the issues that I think should be addressed is the lunchroom. The problems I think should be solved about the lunch room is not the food or drinks, but rather the lunch lines.

I think the biggest issue about the cafetorium is the lunch line. The lunch lines are so long and so slow that it forces students to hurry to the lunchroom so that they don’t have to wait a long time to get lunch. This means students running in the hallway, and as we all know that is unsafe and dangerous. The race to the lunchroom can also cause many other problems like dropped ipads, collisions and falls. Of course this issue does not affect those who bring lunch, since they already have their lunch. Although a solution for this problem is to have all students bring lunch, but not all parents have enough time to do so. Another drawback to this solution is the profit made from the bought lunches. A possible solution to this is to add more lunch lines or more staff to operate the food cost, because I think we spend the too much time in the lunch line paying for our food.

 
Another problem with the lunchroom is the dishonesty. Because people want to get to lunch early, they usually wait right outside the door and as soon as the bell rings, they bolt. But there are some classes that do not let the students out on time so they are usually late to lunch. To make up for the lost time, they usually try to get out of waiting in the lunch line by pretending to have lunch detention or simply avoiding the line. This really bothers me since I usually get to the cafeteria late and I am standing in lines with my friends. Then I look ahead of me and see that the line has not gotten any shorter. In fact, it seems to be getting longer each time I look. The lunch monitors are busy with many other things and don’t seem to notice. It seems like we need more lunch monitors or another lunch line for people with lunch detention.

 
As you can see, the cafetorium can be improved. Although these changes as costly, I do believe that these changes will help solve the problem.

Winter in Austin

I hate the winter in Austin, it never snows, it’s never cold, and the thermometer never drops below 50 degrees. There are several problems I have with winter in Austin and I think other people might also have these problems.

The first problem I have is the enormous difference in the temperatures from the morning and the afternoon. I like wearing shorts as much as everyone else, but in the morning the temperature is around 50 degrees. This means waiting for the bus in shorts is not that pleasant. But in the afternoon, the temperature is around 90 and wearing shorts now is very comforting. But if you wear long pants that day you will be warm in the morning but very hot in the afternoon. So everyday I have to make a decision; do I want to be cold in morning and cool in the afternoon, or do I want to be warm in the morning and hot in the afternoon? See, winter in Austin just gives you a dilemma every day.

 
The weather pocesses other downhills too, for example, if it is going to be cold then let it snow. Otherwise you are just standing outside watching every breath shivering. If it snows, you can make a snowman, have a snowball fight or make snow angels. But in Austin, it is usually hot, you can swim at a pool, eat an ice cream or go to a water park. But when it is cold and it does not snow, you can’t do any of the activities I named. I will be too cold for swimming, eating ice cream cone and going to a water park. It will certainly not snow so you can’t make a snowman, have a snowball fight or make snow angels. That is why I like the weather either very hot, or very cold.

 
As you can see, winter in Austin is not that great and exciting for me. I wish in the winter it will snow, and I wish it might be more cool in the summer. But as they say, you can’t change the weather!

Thunderstorm

I hate it when it rains, especially at night. There are so many problems it causes for me.

The first thing is sleep,  during the day it is fine but at night it is hard for me to sleep. This is not because of the rain but the thunder. I can’t sleep during loud noises and I wake up easily if I hear something.  I am not as concerned about the lightning, but it is eerie sometimes. I feel safe when I am around people but my house is at the bottom of a hill. That means one side of the house is facing the woods. Unfortunately, the window next to my bed is directly facing the woods.

The next thing is the ground outside my house, as I mentioned before,  my house is at the bottom of the hill making it a giant rainwater collector. So every time I step outside, I find my feet in a giant puddle. If the storm is really big, our lawn will be all torn up with dead leaves that got shaken off all over our driveway. Not only that, the worms all come out of their hiding places and just lie there everywhere on the sidewalk along with snails. The ground is also very soft with mud from the rain, every step you take you shoes put on an extra pound. Then when you go back in the house, you have to spend ten minutes shaking the mud off.

That is why I especially hate the never ending rainstorm last weekend. Although the rain is good for the plants, there are still many problems it causes for me.

Pollution

Pollution

By Daniel Yang

We have polluted and trashed all the land
The fate of all critters are at hand

We’ve trashed all the rivers that flow out to sea
And all the ocean animals panic and flee

We’ve fished and fished all that we pleased
And all we did back was standing eased

Slowly watching the fish populations
Decrease in fish and other crustaceans

If this goes on there might be no more
We are killing all fish, right to the core

We’ve built factories and polluted our air
Putting all birds and bats in despair

And all those times we released some smog
All built up to make a deep dark fog

All all the critters that once used to fly
May never again take to the sky

We’ve cut down trees or burnt it down
Plowed all the dens and every anthill mound

And now the lands are littered with debris
And now the rest die animal and trees

Now imagine no animals across the land
In the sea, desert and every wetland

It will be so quiet without much words
Without the absent chirping of birds

And the soft croak of toads and frogs
To the distance sound of barking dogs

No more glee and no more cheering
For all the animals are long missing

Author’s Note: This poem is about the current pollution problems happening all over the world even when you are reading this right now. I was inspired by an article I read in a magazine why in science class. I was surprised to see that some of my most favorite animals on the endangered list, so I wrote this poem in hope of motivating whoever reads this to help reduce the amount of pollution released

Where great things spark.

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