Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Ruby Sure Is Shining Bright!

Welcome to my blog today! As you might guess from the title, today's post is about the computer language of Ruby. First, though, how about a joke?

What did one mushroom say to another mushroom?

"When they made you, they really broke the mold."

I talked a little bit about Ruby last time, but that was only speculation. First of all, the course is from Codecademy, and it is downright awesome. Codecademy teaches many languages, not just Ruby. It teaches Python, JavaScript, Git, and more. The Ruby group consists of many "mini-courses". I have completed 4 or 5 of these mini-lessons, and I am a total of 28% done in the Ruby lessons.

I have learned to make a program with user input, "Daffy Duck-ified" some lines of input, and more. I prompted the user for their first name, last name, city that they live in, and the abbreviation for the state they live in. Using that data, my program told them their name and location. Also, the "Daffy Duck-ified" input was done by just changing the "s"s to "th"s. Both of the above programs may seem simple to you, but they are actually difficult to create and execute correctly. Go to the above link if you want to see that for yourself.

Thank you for tuning in to this post, and as always, I hope to see you on School Stories (Where School Is ALWAYS In Session!) again.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Programming Android Apps, And Rubies Too!

Hello and welcome to this post on my blog! The subject of this day is my new programming course.

In my new programming course through the University of Maryland, College Park, Dr. Adam Porter teaches students the fundamentals of making an app for Android devices (i.e. phones, tablets, etc.). He teaches you how to use an "emulator" to "make" a virtual device (again, i.e. phones, tablets, etc.), as well as making a simple app, at least in the first 3 videos of part 1. In order to emulate and design apps, you need to install the Android Developer app, and you can only do it on phones (I think so, anyway).

Also, I will be starting a new course using the Ruby computer language. I have used JavaScript and Python, but I have never used Ruby. Sure, I'd heard of it, but never actually used the language itself. I predict that Ruby will be similar to Python and/or JavaScript, but different as well. I imagine that the "reserved words" (see here about the Python ones) will be different, even though they have similar functions, but that there will be some unique things about it as well. Like what, you ask? I have no idea, but I expect them to be dazzling, like a well-polished Ruby! *wink*

Thanks for your attendance to today's School Stories (Where School Is ALWAYS In Session!) post today, and I hope to gain it again soon!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

New Hampshire Primaries

Hello and welcome to the latest version of my blog!

Today's edition is all about my New Hampshire Primaries course that I am taking through the University of New Hampshire.

The New Hampshire primaries are the first, but it wasn't intended to be that way at first. Nothing is said in the Constitution about political parties or how to elect a  POTUS (President Of The United States). The caucuses, which I discussed here and here, are different than the primaries in more than just name, date, and place. Iowa is more of a media event, as well as an all-inclusive one. New Hampshire, on the other hand, is semi-inclusive, with self-declared Republicans/Democrats voting only for their respective party, with the Independents/undecideds are "wild card" voters. The primaries, like the caucuses, are important in New Hampshire, but why? The answer is a simple one, the same one as in Iowa: They're the first, which makes them the most looked-at.

The 2008 NH primary, held on January 8, 2008, was a huge event at the time. The main event was Barack Obama versus Hillary Clinton (she is running this year). Obama had won the Iowa caucus, surprising most people. The primary was won by Clinton, but Obama won the nomination. The fact that they both won an important event put them on even ground, but Obama had gained massive recognition when he beat Hillary, so that paid off in the end. With the Republicans came the battle of Mitt Romney (who would win the nomination in 2012) versus John McCain. McCain won the primary as well as the nomination, but failed to win the presidency. With the defeat of the Republican nominee, Obama went from a skinny Illinois Senator to the first African-American President in United States history. Most Presidents since 1972 came in first, second, or third in Iowa and/or New Hampshire.

Thanks a lot for viewing School Stories (Where School Is ALWAYS In Session!), and a shout-out to my Grandma Paula. Love you Grandma!

Thursday, October 22, 2015


Hello and welcome to this post, which on entomology!

I am now reading from a book called Fundamentals of Entomology by Richard J. Elzinga. It talks about different arthropods, such as the Insecta (like a grasshopper), the Crustacea (like a crayfish), the Arachnida (like a scorpion), the Chilopoda, (like a centipede), and the Diplopoda (like a millipede). Unfortunately, centipedes eat worms and slugs (that would explain some previously unexplained disappearances of my worms :(). They also can have up to 380 legs! Millipedes can have up to 750 legs though. That puts centipedes to shame, doesn't it?

There are three major arthropod groups: The Mandibulata, which are characterized by well-developed mandibles; the Chelicerata, which are defined by chelicerae utilization; and the Trilobitomorpha, known only by their fossils. Fun fact: Arthropoda means joint foot, from Latin (arthros = joint, poda = foot). Just one more thing about millipedes: They have a harder exoskeleton than most other arthropods (excluding crustaceans), so when they curl up into a tight coil, they are nearly impenetrable.

Thanks for this installation into School Stories (Where School Is ALWAYS In Session!), and I hope to see you again soon!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Computer Science: JavaScript

Welcome to your educational blog viewing! Today's topic is my Stanford computer science class, which teaches you about the JavaScript language.

Recently, I talked about the Python language (you can see that post here). The JavaScript language is not super different, but it is different in a lot of ways. One way that they're alike is that they both have "reserved words", which cannot be used as variable names. Of course, the words vary in each language, but that is to be expected, since they are two different languages. However, a way that they're different is their purposes. Python is mainly used for web programming, while JavaScript is used mostly for browser programs.

I am enjoying this course from Stanford through Coursera, and I'd recommend it to anyone interested in learning about computer science. I like the professor, whose name is Nick Parlente, as well as the material. It is a fun course that I think would appeal to many people. Not only does he tell you about the material, he also shows you using a document side-by-side with the lecture.

Thanks for joining my Stanford Computer Science 101 review on School Stories (Where School Is ALWAYS In Session!) and I hope to see you again soon!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Geometry & Bug Request

Hello and welcome to the latest edition of this blog! I'm Nick and I will be your host today, as always.

Today's "lesson" is on high school Geometry on IXL, such as inscribed and circumscribed triangles of circles. I recently was constructing triangles, squares and hexagons inside of circles, just like Aristotle did. I also have earned 15 outer-space-related awards(Sun, Titan, Earth, Gas Giant, New Moon, Lunar Eclipse, Pluto, Space Capsule, Satellite, Astronaut, Elliptical Galaxy, Orion, Telescope, Mercury, and Asteroid), as well as mastered 16 skills.

Another thing is that I just would like to announce that, if you were unaware before, I do accept requests to identify miscellaneous insects, arachnids, slugs, and worms. If you have an unusual worm, or slugs that you are willing to part with, I am interested in collecting and interbreeding worms/slugs to create new hybrids that haven't been discovered yet. Then I can make a name for myself in the scientific community as soon as I can! Of course, I would say that I couldn't have done without you if I use a worm that you sent in. I also would split the profits with you if there are any. 

Thank you all for visiting School Stories (Where School Is ALWAYS In Session!) today, and I hope to see you soon! 

Monday, October 19, 2015

New Courses! New Books!

Hello, and welcome to my blog again! First thing first: why I've been away from it. As some of you know, my grandmother just had her hip replaced recently, so I was visiting her on Wednesday. Monday I forgot about it, and it was overall kind of an all-over-the-place, semi-hectic week. Sorry about that!

Today a new course started : the New Hampshire primary. It is through the same website as my Iowa Caucus course: Canvas. It asked to set up a Canvas network account, as well as do something with social media.

Also, during the inspection of our soon-to-be new house, I read a new book: Black Ships Before Troy by Rosemary Sutcliff. It is a shortened retelling of Homer's Iliad, which tells of the wedding of Thesis the Silver-Footed; of the discord that followed, courtesy of Eris; of Paris' judging of Athena, Hera, and Aphrodite; of the "theft" off Helen of the Fair Cheeks; of Menelaus' rage at Paris; of the allies that heeded the call of Menelaus' brother, the High King Agamemnon; of Achilles' hiding; and of much, much more.

Thanks for viewing this post on School Stories (Where School Is ALWAYS In Session!), and see you tomorrow!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Spinosaurus: Bigger Than A Tyrannusaurus?!?!

Welcome to today's post on Spinosaurus aegyptiacus (Egyptian spined lizard in Latin) and Spinosaurus maroccanus (Moroccan spined lizard), but mainly the aegyptiacus.

The genus of Spinosaurus includes the biggest carnivorous dinosaur ever to walk the planet: the aegyptiacus, discovered by one Ernst Stromer of Germany. Found in the Sahara Desert, the
Spinosaurus aegyptiacus was discovered in 1912 by one of Stromer's associates, and Stromer named it three years later, in 1915. Up until 2014, that was the only Spinosaurus skeleton ever discovered. Unfortunatly, however, an Allied bombing raid destroyed the museum, as well as the skeleton, in WWII. 

In a documentary called Bigger Than A T. Rex by Nova and National Geographic, however, another archaeologist discovered another Spinosaurus specimen, 40% preserved, with blood vessels intact as well. Using digital reconstruction technology, as well as other similar dinosaur examples, the scientists got a pretty good idea of how Spinosaurus looked when it lived 95 million years ago. It was over 50 feet long, at least 9 feet longer than the longest Tyrannosaurus rex ever found. Just one thing was wrong: it lived with too much predatory competition. Or did it? Further study revealed that Spinosaurus were most likely piscovores, or fish-eaters.

Thank you for viewing this edition of School Storie (Where School Is ALWAYS In Session!), and I hope you learned a thing or two about Spinosaurus!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

The First Democratic Debate

Hello, my friends! Today's short post is about the portion of the first Democratic Party debate between Senator Barry Sanders, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Governor Martin O'Malley, former Senator Jim Webb, and former Governor Lincoln Chafee.

In the debate, Sanders and Clinton were both considered to be the "winners",  while O'Malley, Chafee, and Webb were considered the "losers". However, no one really "wins" or "loses", since the debate is just an opportunity for the candidates to answer the questions of everyday Americans like you and I. One thing that was obvious is that they were nice to each other, unlike the Republicans, almost like they respected one another.

Thanks for tuning in to this publication of School Stories (Where School Is ALWAYS In Session!), and I hope that you visit again in the future! See you later on in the time stream!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Doctor Who/3D Figures

Hello again, readers! Today's post involves more information on the Twelfth Doctor's sonic screwdriver. First, though, are some 3D figures begging to be talked about today.

You all have heard of cubes, prisms, pyramids, spheres, and cylinders, correct?
 They are the subject of this paragraph, which explains skew, parallel, and perpendicular lines, as well as the different pyramid/prism types. The prisms are different based on the shape of the two congruent faces, while pyramids are classified based on the shape of the face on the base. Skew lines are lines on two totally different faces, so they won't intersect. Parallel lines are on the same face, but are next to each other so they won't intersect either. Perpendicular lines also are on the same face, but they intersect to form a 90° angle, or right angle.

Now to move on to the sonic screwdriver (The collectible is also a great back scratcher!). It is a simple tool to Time Lords, yet complex to humans. In its extended form, it can pick combination locks that require a password, keyword or handprint/fingerprint. Here's a list of some of its functions:

  • Using high-pitched sound to shatter glass
  • Lock picking (just not wooden locks or deadlocks (except 11th Doctor and beyond for deadlocks))
  • Burning and cutting through all different kinds of substances
  • Amplifying sound-waves 
  • Boosting the power of an X-ray-er beyond its usual level
  • Disarm weapons and electronics (weapon disarming is an upgrade from original)
  • Light emitter
  • Intercepting/conducting teleportation
  • Transform eyeglass lenses into sunglasses
  • Microphone (as long as it is connected to an audio-amplifying device)
  • Detecting/reviewing transmission signals
  • Conducting medical scans
  • Remotely using the TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimensions In Space), as well as other devices
  • Tracking alien life-forms
  • Controlling the properties of atoms/molecules on a small scale
  • Operate computers, whether their origin is alien or human
  • Provide GPS location
  • Receiving cash from an ATM
  • Lighting candles
  • Modifying of a mobile phone to work throughout the universe
  • Disclosure/deactivating camouflage
  • Destroying of Weeping Angels
  • Disarming robotic items/beings
  • Scanning/classifying matter
  • Assisting with speaking with someone far away via an "acoustic corridor"
  • Tightening/loosening screws (Just like a non-sonic screwdriver!)

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Worms and Books

Hello and welcome to this edition of School Stories (Where School Is ALWAYS In Session!)! Today is a duel topic day, just like yesterday was.

The first topic for today is worms! As some of you know, I love to find worms, slugs, and other assorted critters to put into my "Critter Container". There are two species that can be found in my backyard: a skinny small one and the generic earthworm (If you have a different one that you don't mind parting with, I would love it!).

 I even have some albino worms (they may be grubs) and slugs! Worms have seven hearts and two "heads", so they regenerate another head in a matter of minutes if they are cut in half. If the division is across one of its hearts, it bleeds and may die. The worm in the bottom left corner of the picture has been injured, it looks like. I am not sure if it will live. I think it will, but it depends on if it regenerates its head quickly enough. It probably got stuck in a hole, as in it burrowed down and there was rock in its way and possibly another rock on the other side and tried to get through -- and it could get through, but got caught and wound up getting separated across one of its hearts. This is my guess on what caused its injury.

The other topic is my visit to Barnes & Noble Booksellers. I got a rare Doctor Who collectible item, a book that just came out, and the ultimate guide for the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan, which I am a huge fan of.

The new book is The Sword Of Summer by Rick Riordan, which is the first in a new series (called Magnus Chase And The Gods Of Asgard) that is about Norse mythology in the real world. The collectible item is the Twelfth Doctor's sonic screwdriver, which I really wanted. It lights up, emits sounds just like the real thing, and even extends! If only it could open locks and do other functions...

I thank you for joining me for this edition of my blog, and I hope to see you tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

My Special Athena Gold Coin And My Greek Course

Hello and welcome! Here's two jokes for today:

1. Why do dogs like trees?

They're attracted to the bark.

2. What musical note do you hear when a car runs over a bee?


I'm sorry about not having a post yesterday. To be honest, I forgot all about it! Anyway, today's post is about my Greek course, which has just started to get interesting. This week was all about the Archaic Age, where society rebounded from the Dark Ages and rediscovered literature. It was also the time that people began to switch over to coins for currency. One such example is the Athenian coin, which I'll go into detail about later. Finally, many poets emerged to enrich life in ancient Greece, such as Homer, Hesiod, and Sappho (the first important female person in ancient Greece).

The ancient Athenian coin was used as currency in the Greek capital of Athens, the sacred city of the goddess Athena. The coin was typically silver in color, but the one that I own happens to be golden in color. On the "heads" side, there is a picture of the goddess Athena, and the "tails" side features an owl (Athena's sacred animal), an olive plant (Athena's sacred plant) and the inscription ΑΘΕ (alpha, theta, epsilon), which means "Of The Athenians" or "The Children of Athena". The coin is even featured in the book The Mark Of Athena by Rick Riordan, where Annabeth Chase is given the coin, which leads to the missing Athena Parenthos statue.

I hope you enjoyed today's edition of School Stories (Where School Is ALWAYS In Session!), and see you later!

Monday, October 5, 2015


Hello and welcome back! Today's post is about the concept of so-called "de-extinction", which is bringing extinct animals back to life. 

You may have heard about the recent woolly-mammoth-hybrid find (if not, click here for a link to the story), but how would you like it if that mammoth was still alive today? Given recent advances in biotechnology, that may be possible in a few years! Scientists have already successfully cloned an extinct animal, the bucardo (aka the Pyrenean ibex). The clone died after ten minutes of being born, but it marked a huge advancement in scientific research. Unfortunately, cloned animals have a higher risk of health problems, making it harder to succeed in cloning an organism.

That being said, it is not unlikely that an extinct species will be revived in the near future, such as the next two or three years. There are numerous candidates for de-extinction, but the most urgent ones to revive, in my opinion, are ones that we humans have hunted to extinction, such as the dodo and the passenger pigeon. I know that those are both birds, but some extinct non-bird candidates are the gastric-brooding frogs (Rheobatrachus silus and Rheobatrachus vitellinus), the quagga (plains zebra)(Equus quagga quagga), Tasmanian tiger(Thylacinus cynocephalus), and Steller's sea cow (Hydrodamalis gigas).

Thank you for tuning in to this blog post about de-extinctionism, and I hope you all can't wait for the first truly successful cloning of an extinct animal, which will be posted about even if it's the last post on School Stories (Where School Is ALWAYS In Session)!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Free Day - The Cat of Bubastes

Hello again! I apologize for the recent lack of new posts, due to the fact that I was focusing on my book, The Cat of Bubastes: A Tale of Ancient Egypt, which is the topic of today's post. But before we get started, how about THREE jokes?

1. How can you tell if an elephant is owned by a mobster?

There's a dead body in the trunk.

2. Which of Shakespeare's plays is about a dog?

Hamlet, because he was a great Dane.

3.Why do dogs bark at people?

To give them a ruff time.
The Cat of Bubastes starts off with a war between Egypt and Rebu, which is where young Amuba is prince. During the second-to-last battle of the war, his father is killed, leaving no certain king, since Amuba is too young. The next battle proves to be the last, as the Egyptian find an innovative way to get over Rebu's walls. Amuba and his good friend and companion, Jethro, both are captured and enslaved, and are sent on a treacherous journey to Egypt. They are placed under the care of a kind priest named Ameres. Ameres had 3 children: Neco, Mysa  (later Amuba's wife), and Chebron (Amuba's best friend). 

For a while, all is peaceful, until Neco is murdered, and Chebron accidentally kills the designated sacred cat of Bubastes. Then, all hell breaks loose, and Amuba, Jethro, and Chebron need to rescue Mysa and her maid/best friend Ruth (later Chebron's wife) from some villains.The villains, Ptylus and Plexo, are killed, and they can decide their course of action without delay. They then all flee to Rebu, where they lead an uprising, where Amuba is restored as the rightful king.

Thank you for returning to School Stories (Where School Is ALWAYS In Session!) after a brief interruption to posting, and have a good day!
(By the way, my jokes are from the book How to be the Funniest Kid in the Whole Wide World (Or Just In Your Class) by Jay Leno)