Friday, October 7, 2016

Monday, October 3, 2016

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Italian, Coding & Thai Food

Hello and welcome to this post! Today, I'll talk about what I'll be up to (educationally) over the summer. Here we go!

My online Italian course through Wellesley College in Massachusetts is one of the things that I'll be doing this summer. I am currently about halfway through and am making progress. I will undoubtedly finish by the end of summer vacation, so no worries there! There are 4 units, each containing 4 lessons followed by tests, a reading followed by a test, and an interview followed by a test. I am on Unit 3: Attività, sport e vacanze (Activities, sports, and holidays). I am going to make a prediction: I will be done with this course by the end of July.

One of the other things I'll be doing is coding in HTML (HyperText Markup Language) and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets). Using CodePen, I am making a "Pen", or webpage, using HTML and CSS. One can also use JavaScript, but I am not opting to use it as of right now. The one thing that I am trying to learn is how to make a drop-down list/menu. Once I figure that out I can take the owner of Thai Mii Up up on her offer of designing her restaurant webpage in exchange for a week of free lunch. Considering how delicious their food is, that is a great deal!

Thank you for visiting School Stories (Where School Is ALWAYS In Session!) and I hope to see you again soon! If you want to see the "Pen" that I'm working on, I will put the link here. NOTE: the "Pen" is unfinished.

Friday, June 10, 2016


Hello and welcome to my blog! Today's topic is physics. More specifically, the physics of falling balls. All of this content is derived from my physics course, How Things Work: An Introduction To Physics through the University of Virginia and taught by Professor Louis Bloomfield. Also, this all holds true only if you ignore effects due to air.

Does a ball's upward motion affect its fall? The simple answer is that there is no large effect due to an upward motion. The ball still has a downward acceleration, so it will still fall downwards. Why does a ball travelling upwards still have a downwards acceleration? Because of gravity. Gravity drags the ball down, and the closer the ball gets to the earth, the faster gravity drags it. Fun fact: A ball thrown directly up is temporarily motionless, or at rest, at the peak of its arc. 

Does differing gravity strength affect the fall of a ball? Yes, it does. For example, in zero gravity, a ball dropped from rest will stay at rest, while a ball dropped in motion will stay in motion. In a zero-gravity situation, if I was to throw a ball directly up, it would float up forever, or until it enters a gravity field. Everything in the universe exerts a gravity field, with its weight determining how strong that field is. That is why the earth's gravity is so much stronger than the moon's, or yours!

As an extra bonus, does a ball's horizontal motion effect its fall? Not the fall, no.The only thing horizontal motion effects is the distance that the ball travels. The angle that a ball is kicked/thrown also affects the distance traveled and/or the peak height. If a punter in American football wants to get the ball far, he should kick at a low angle. If he wants to get the ball high, he should kick it at a higher angle.

Thank you for visiting School Stories (Where School Is ALWAYS In Session!) today, and I hope that you read all my other posts!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Tort Law

Hello, and welcome back to School Stories. I will be your host today, guiding you through parts of the highly complex topic of American Tort Law, one of three major parts of American Common Law. All of this information comes from things I have learned in my Introduction to American Law course through the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

First of all, what is a torttort, in common law, is a civil wrong that causes someone else, called the plaintiff, to suffer unfairly, resulting in legal liability for the person who commits the tort, called the tortfeasor. Plaintiffs in tort law typically seek monetary reward, or damages. If monetary damages are awarded, the judge in a tort case(tort court?) usually awards enough to put the plaintiff  back into the position that (s)he was in before the injury. 

One famous case from 1850, the Brown vs. Kendall case, was prominent in the distinction of American tort law. Two dogs, one owned by Mr. Brown and one owned by Mr. Kendall, were fighting. Mr. Brown, worried about the safety of the dogs, started beating them with a stick while Mr. Kendall stood behind him. Mr. Kendall took a step forward to see more clearly, which resulted in Mr. Kendall being accidentally struck in the eye with the stick, damaging it beyond repair. 

Mr. Kendall sued Mr. Brown for the damage to his eye. Mr. Kendall thought that Mr. Brown would be found guilty in a heartbeat, since the dominant liability process at the time was something called strict liability, where the tortfeasor had to give the damages no matter what if the plaintiff could prove that the harm was done. Nowadays, the tortfeasor only has to give the plaintiff damages if the tort was intentional or commit through negligence, which is failure to exhibit the caution of a reasonable person of ordinary prudence. That system, called fault-based liability, is the one that the judge decided to use, so Mr. Brown was found not guilty.

Thank you for visiting School Stories (Where School Is ALWAYS In Session!), and I hope you will choose us again soon!

Domestication: Artificial or Natural Selection?

Hello and welcome back to my blog! Without further ado, here are the topics of today: Domestication and experimental biology.

Domestication is widely believed to be a result of artificial selection, but is domestication actually a result of it? The professor in my dog cognition course through Duke University thinks it is a result of natural selection instead. Through a theory he calls "Survival of the Friendliest", he believes that as humans began to settle down, "friendliness" in wolves -- or more specifically, aggression towards humans being replaced by interest in them -- started to have benefits, such as free food from the garbage of humans. Eventually, the humans took in these wolves as pets, creating ... dogs!

Now, since this is a theory involving something that happened thousands of years ago, there's no way to test and prove/disprove it, right? Wrong. Enter Dmitri Belyaev's famous silver fox experiment.In 1958,Belyaev asked his assistant Lyudmila Trut to go to Soviet fur farms to gather the tamest silver foxes she could find. A quick note: silver foxes had NOT been domesticated prior to Belyaev and Trut's experiment.  The ~30 male foxes and ~100 vixens (female foxes) that Trut gathered formed the base of the experiment that has lasted until this day. 

If Belyaev and Trut allowed the foxes to freely interbreed, there wouldn't be an experiment, would there? So Belyaev and Trut took the friendliest foxes and interbred them, allowing the others to freely interbreed. The freely interbreeding foxes formed the control group of the experiment, while the friendly foxes formed the experimental group. After ~30-35 generations, there were about 100 friendly foxes. As a result of this domestication, however, there were a few unintended results, including: piebald (multishaded) coats, cranium feminization(skull becoming narrower in males), bone gracialization(thinner bones), curled tails, star mutation (a white pattern on the chest), increased litter size(more puppies), floppy ears, whining, and  loss of "musky fox smell".

Belyaev and Trut's experiment inspired me to do something similar. I wanted to do something revolutionary with domestication. But what to domesticate... I knew I wanted to do a wild feline of some sort, but what to choose? Panthers, tigers, lions, cheetahs, jaguars, lynxes, ocelots, leopards, caracals, servals, jaguarundis, kodkods, margays, pumas, bobcats, cougars, or oncillas? So many to choose from! I think I might settle for a small cat(any one listed above EXCEPT lion, panther, tiger, leopard, cheetah, and jaguar), but I just don't know yet. Feel free to tell me about your suggestions and reasons for the suggestions in the comments!

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

Monday, April 11, 2016

Walk Like an Egyptian

Hello and welcome back to my blog! Today's topic is not about a song, but it's about my new Ancient Egyptian course from Bibliotecha Alexandria, or BAx for short.


My newest class is BAx's General Introduction to Ancient Egyptian Civilization, taught by Professors Ahmed Borham and Marwa Assem. The first thing I want to talk about is hieroglyphics, which comes from the Greek words "Hiero" (Holy) and "Glyphos" (Writing). Each hieroglyph, or individual character, may represent a letter, sound, or even a whole word. For example, the letter "N" is represented by water, "I"  is represented by a reed leaf, and both "C" and "K"  are represented by a basket. Therefore, "NICK" would be water, reed leaf, basket, basket. NOTE: These are the hieroglyphs I know of for the letters shown, but there may be more for each letter.

The other subject I want to discuss is an extension on hieroglyphics: the ancient number system. The ancient Egyptians only had 7 numbers: 1, 10, 100, 1000, 10000, 100000, and 1000000. 1 was represented by a single vertical line, 10 was represented by an arch, 100 was represented by a coiled rope, 1000 was represented by a lotus plant, 10000 was represented by a finger, 100000 was represented by a frog, and 1000000 was represented by a god with his arms raised above his head. In order to get a number like such as 32, the Egyptians would have to do 10 + 10 + 10 + 1 + 1.

An interesting way that math tied into myth back then was the one version of story of the Eye of Horus. In this version, the story goes as such: Set, the god of evil, attacked his nephew Horus, the god of falcons and heir to the godly throne. During the fight, Set tore out one of Horus's eyes and tore it into many pieces. Afterwards, once Set was defeated and banished to the desert, Thoth, the god of wisdom, healed Horus's eye by gluing it together with moonlight. To the ancient Egyptians, Horus's eye, when torn up, represented fractions. A brief example would be that the right side of the eye being one half, the pupil being one quarter, and the eyebrow was one eighth.

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

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Punnett Squares

Hello and welcome back to my blog! Without further ado, here is today's topic: Punnett squares. I am learning about these in Introduction to Genetics and Evolution through my online Coursera course taught by Dr. Mohammed Noor at Duke.


Punnett squares, named after Reginald Crundall Punnett, are ways to calculate rate of inheritance, X-linked inheritance, and genotype frequencies. When used in their most basic state, the squares are used for determining basic genotypes for a single gene. For example, if you were to cross an "AA" individual with an "aa" individual, the genotypes of all of the offspring would be "Aa", as demonstrated below:

Another, more extended use of Punnett squares is X-linked inheritance. X-linked inheritance is gender-specific, so they differ based on males or females. Females, who have 2 "X" alleles where males have 1 "X" allele and 1 "Y" allele, which determines gender. For example, say you are studying red-green color-blindness, which is theoretically an X-linked disease. If a color-blind male (diseased "X" + "Y") mates with a carrier female (diseased "X" + "X"), the offspring has a 25% chance of being a color-blind female(diseased "X" + diseased "X"), a 25% chance of being a color-blind male (diseased "X" + "Y"), a 25% chance of being a carrier female (diseased "X" + "X"), and a 25% chance of being a healthy male ("X" + "Y"), as shown below:

The final and most complex use of a Punnett square is to calculate genotype frequencies. While what I am describing here may sound a bit far-fetched, it does actually occur in some invertebrate aquatic creatures. For example, if you know that the alleles are 70% "A" and 30% "a" in a certain allele "pool", then you can figure out that 49% of the individuals spawned from that "pool" will be genotype "AA", 42% will be "Aa", and the remaining 9% will be "aa", as demonstrated below:

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

Monday, April 4, 2016

Universal Laws #2 and #3

Hello and welcome back to my blog! Today's post is about my mythology course, Introduction to Greek and Roman Mythology through Penn Arts and Sciences at University of Pennsylvania and taught by Peter Struck. A quick reminder about Universal Laws: they are given throughout the course and are supposed to hold true for all of antiquity. The definitions given here are my interpretation of them, so if you have another idea of what they mean, please comment below.


Universal Law #2 states that "In order to persuade people, you need to know your audience", which means that if you wish to convince people, you need use an approach as unique as the person themselves. For example, if you want to persuade a young maiden, you might need to focus on flattering her on her beauty. However, if you wish to convince a wise old man, you might want to focus on his wisdom.

Universal Law #3, which says "It's not good to be food", means that humans are not meant to be food, and when they are, it isn't good. This is an extension of food crimes, which you get punished for eating stuff that is not food. Also, it springs from the myth of Polyphemus, in which Polyphemus the cyclops eats some of Odysseus's men when they land on the island of the Cyclopes. This is also a breach of the ancient rule of ξενία (pronounced zen-ee-uh), where guests to one's land get lavish rewards due to the belief that all guests come from Zeus.

Thank you for visiting my blog and have a good day!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Spanish and Music

Hello and welcome back to my blog! Today's topics are Spanish and Classical Music.


The verb Ser (to be) is a basic example of an irregular verb. Most verbs, when conjugated, follow a certain set of rules. However, a handful of verbs (including Ser) are irregular, meaning that they don't follow these rules. Ser is conjugated like this: 

  • Yo (I)  Soy (Am)
  • Tú (informal "You")  Eres (Are)
  • Usted (formal "You")/Èl (He)/Ella (She) → Es (Is)
  • Nosotros (all-boy/mixed-gender "We")/Nosotras (all-girl "We") Somos (Are)
  • Vosotros(informal all-boy/mixed-gender "You guys")/Vosotras (all-girl "You guys") → Saís (Are)
  • Ustedes(formal "You guys")/Ellos (all-boy/mixed-gender "They")/Ellas (all-girl "They") → Son (Are)


Everyone's heard of Johann Sebastian (J.S.) Bach, right? But does everyone know that the Bach family was a musical dynasty of sorts? It's true! Also, J.S. Bach was thrown in jail for a whole month merely for trying to quit his job. Back in the Baroque period, it was illegal for someone to quit a job without their boss's permission. So when Bach got a job offer as Kapellmeister (a very prestigious musical job) in Cöthen, he needed to quit his original job. However, the time was worth it, because his salary doubled.

Most people may not have heard of Vivaldi's "Spring" Concerto by name. Once they hear the "ba-ba-ba-ba-bada-da" of the introduction, though, chances are they will recognize it. Vivaldi, composer of over 450 concertos, may not be a household name like Beethoven or even Bach, however, he is a oldie but goodie.

Thank you for tuning in to School Stories, and I hope to see you again soon!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

All About Game Theory

Hello and welcome back to my blog! Today's topic is my newest course (and the reason I didn't post Tuesday & Wednesday).


My newest course is Welcome to Game Theory from University of Tokyo. Taught by Michihiro Kandori, this course does NOT focus on video games, which I originally thought it was. In fact, game theory doesn't even include video games. Game theory is the process of using a mathematical model to turn a game-like situation into a game in order to see all the possible outcomes. According to game theory, a "game" is anything that what's best for 1 person/group depends on what the other person/group does. Some examples of this are politics, poker, and traffic control. Game theory also has found uses in:

  • Economics
  • Psychology
  • Political Science
  • Sociology
  • Biology
  • Computer Science
Poker demonstrates game theory, so roulette gambling does too, right? Wrong. Roulette gambling has a machine, so one player's actions are definiteAccording to Professor Kandori, things have to meet 3 requirements in order to be made into games:
  1. Who are the players?
  2. What possible strategies can the players take?
  3. What is the payoff (reward) of each strategy?
Requirement #1 is pretty straightforward, since you just need to identify the participants in the "game"; for example, Democrats and Republicans. Requirement #2 is more complex, because each player has a range of choices. Each player's strategies make up that player's "strategy set". Finally, Requirement #3 returns to being straightforward, because the payoff is the reward; for example, the presidency of the United States.

Thank you for viewing this edition of School Stories, and I hope to see you again!

Monday, March 14, 2016

I'm back to my blog!

Hello and welcome back to my blog. I am sorry I have been away. I was taking another English course until recently. I was taking  Introduction to Essay Writing through UC Irvine and just finished this course. Because I had multiple essays for Essay Writing, I took a break from my blog. I am happy to say that I got an A in my Essay Writing course!

This post is all about the latest courses I have been taking since my last post. Now that I am done with my other writing courses, I will be blogging every day once more.


The first course we will be talking about today is my Genetics class. It is called Introduction to Genetics and Evolution from Duke University, taught by Professor Mohammed Noor. Let's talk about DNA and RNA bonds. In DNA and RNA, there are 4 different nucleotides, which are basically just pieces of the strand. They all have specific bonds. For example, nucleotide A always bonds with nucleotide T in DNA, while A only bonds with nucleotide U in RNA. Nucleotide C only bonds with nucleotide G and vice versa in both DNA and RNA. Nucleotide T is specifically found only in DNA, while nucleotide U is only found in RNA. The other nucleotides - A, C and G - are found both in DNA and RNA. More from genetics in another post.


Next up, let's talk about my Greek and Roman Mythology class. This is from the University of Pennsylvania and is taught by Professor Peter Struck. In the course, the professor often introduces rules that he calls Universal Laws that pretty much hold true across all of antiquity. By antiquity, I mean the time of Ancient Greece. When I talk about these Universal Laws, I will introduce the law an explain what I think it means. Comments as to what YOU think the Universal Laws mean are always welcome. 

Without further adieu, here is Universal Law #1:

Nostalgia is the most powerful force in the universe. This Universal Law was introduced in the course when the professor was discussing what exactly myth means. I believe that what he meant is that memories often get clouded and oftentimes when these memories get clouded, we misremember things and make these falsehoods become true. As I said earlier, what you think this law means would  make an excellent topic for a comment, so please, feel free!


This course, offered through Emory University is taught by Dr. Bernard Lafayette, who is a prominent Civil Rights Activist. I just completed this one with a final grade of 90.0% (90). Throughout the course, they consistently reiterated the concept that when faced with a potentially hostile situation, respond with peace and love. 

This idea is further enforced when Dr. Lafayette gives an example of an all-night sit in at a lunch counter. The owner of the shop locked the doors and locked the protesters inside. This was a place that was supposedly opened 24 hours, so it was where cab drivers went to get their coffee. Since the doors were locked and nobody could get in or out, the cab drivers had to wait to get the coffee, hence being delayed in doing their work. Eventually, there were 13 cab driver lined up in their cars sitting and waiting for their coffee. When it became clear the owner would let the protesters out but not back in, the group nominated Dr. Lafayette to go out to the phone booth for people to come and pick them up. When in the middle of the call, one of the cab drivers came up to the telephone booth, ripped Dr. Lafayette out with force and took turns with his dozen friends punching him, kicking him and beating him up in general.

Dr. Lafayette did not strike back. When they finished, he dusted his shirt off and said, "Gentlemen, I have a call to make." He went and tried to finish his call and the police came. They arrested the cab drivers, but they also arrested Dr Lafayette. The two officers who went to respond to the call were arguing whether or not to arrest him. One said that Dr. Lafayette should be arrested for fighting. The other officer said he should not be arrested because he did nothing wrong. They argued for a bit and decided to take Dr. Lafayette to the jail house. However, he was released the next day because they interviewed the witnesses and it was clear that Dr. Lafayette had not laid a finger on the cab drivers. He was released and the cab drivers were left in the jail house.


I also just finished What is News?, a journalism course offered through Michigan State University. It was taught by multiple professors from the Michigan State School of Information. What I will be discussing with you today is sensationalism and propaganda. 

Sensationalism is making one event seem much bigger than it actually it is. One example would be having a pin drop being a front page story. It does attract readers or viewers, however, this lowers accuracy and diminishes your reputation. It can be useful if you are searching for getting clicks. However, a good news site would never just go for clicks.

Another more extreme form of sensationalism is propaganda. Propaganda is often used by politicians and in times of conflict. It is often biased and one sided information used to persuade or dissuade people toward or against certain things. Propaganda is often used during elections. We have seen it in the 2016 election season. It is used by politicians or allies of politicians to either cast someone in a good light or the opponent in a negative light. For example, if Donald Trump were to put out something saying "Hillary Clinton can't follow rules with emails, why should we trust her to become president?" This would be putting Hillary in a negative light without giving all the details. That is another one of propaganda's key traits - not giving the whole story.


We will be discussing my Classical music class and my Spanish class. Until then, goodbye and have a good day!

Friday, January 15, 2016

The benefits of using CSS in HTML

This is an essay that I wrote for my Essay Writing class from the University of California, Irvine.  It is all about CSS (which is a course I am taking at University of Michigan online). Enjoy.

Have you ever wondered what makes up a website? Most websites use language called HTML, which stands for HyperText Markup Language. If the website only uses HTML, it will be bland, colorless, and all one size. There would be no bold, no italics, and nor borders. There would not be underline or any other of those fancy things we like to use when we type. If CSS (Cascade Style Sheets) is used for a website, it will become more interesting. Many people debate whether to use CSS, so here is the information you need to know.

One feature CSS uses that does not appear in HTML is the use of color. There are three ways that color can be given to something. One of these ways is to just give the color name, such as red, green, and blue. The downside to this, however, is it will not appear the same in every browser. Each browser has a different idea of what, for example, red is. The other two ways to color something are far more efficient, but a little more complicated. They include using hexadecimal values, which are 0-1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9 and from A to F. Six of these values combined with a pound symbol in fromt (#) are needed in order to make a hexadecimal color. An example would be #FFFFFF, which makes white. #000000 would make black. The final way is to use an RGB value, which is a red-green-blue value. Each value can have a number ranging from zero to 255, which will determine how much of the color it puts in. (255,0,0) would form pure red, the brightest red. (0,255,0) would form a bright green, while (0,0,255) would form a pure blue. As you could have guessed, (0,0,0) would form black and (255,255,255) would form white. HTML, on the other hand, cannot take any of these inputs. The only way to use CSS in HTML without creating a whole new CSS stylesheet to link to the main HTML code is to use a style tag in the head section. This is a very unconventional method, however, so try to avoid using it at all costs. As you can see, colors are of the many benefits that CSS provides over HTML.

The second benefit that CSS provides is the ability to modify text. Using the text-align command in a stylesheet, any text that has been put into the HTML code that the stylesheet is linked to will become either aligned to the center, the left or aligned to the right. For example, the whole first heading that might read "Benefits of CSS" could be centered perfectly over the rest of the text, which is aligned to the left or the right. Another text modification feature provided by CSS is the ability to change the font style. If someone wishes to change the font from Arial to Comic Sans MS, they can using the font-family command. The person who changes the font, however, needs to be sure to put AT LEAST two back up fonts just in case the browser they are using doesn't support the style they choose. If none of the choices are supported by the brower being used, it will just switch to the browser's default font, which I believe in many cases is Arial. The final text modification command being discussed here is the text-style command. While it may seem similar to the font-family command, it is completely different. One of the options for the text style is small-caps, which allows the user to change lower case text into all upper case text, but it will be the same size as the lower case text. Large text, on the other hand, is basically the same thing except it makes it all upper case without it being the same size as lower case. Essentially, it is like putting the caps lock key on while you type without needing to.

A third benefit of CSS is the ability to surround the text with borders of varying styles using the border command. The border command allows people to not only choose the style of border, but also the width of the border on every side and the color of the border. There are multiple styles for the border, as mentioned above. Here are a couple of them: dotted and solid. A dotted border is basically what one would expect. Instead of being a solid line surrounding your text, it's a dotted line. No surprise there. Also as the name suggests, solid is a solid line. Determining the width of each side of the border is a totally different matter, however. One can put in anywhere from one to four values, preferably measured in pixels, in order to determine how large the border will be. However, the number of parameters determine what each number controls the size of. If you put in one parameter, it determines the width for every side of the rectangular border. If you put in two parameters, the first parameter determines the width of the top and the bottom sides, while the second parameter determines the width of the left and right sides. If one decides to put three parameters, it gets a little tricky. The first parameter determines the width of the top. The second parameter determines the width of the bottom and the third parameter determines the width of the sides. If four parameters are put in, the first parameter determines the top, the second determines the right, the third determines the bottom, and the fourth determines the left.

Needless to say, none of the things stated above about CSS work in HTML without the style tag. If one is willing to put in the effort of making a whole new stylesheet to link in with their HTML code, the rewards will be well worth their time. As you can see, HTML is greatly enhanced by the use of CSS.