Post 158: April 29th-May 26th – Final Post

Well, it’s been an interesting school year. I’ve covered a ton of different subjects, from Oceanography to English, to Economics and Game Design, From Algebra to art history. It’s been a wild ride, but all rides must come to an end. I’ve completed my essay/research paper, and it will be at the bottom of this post, along with all sources. Be aware that it is mostly unedited, so things may not flow as well as they might otherwise. But hey, it was fun to write. I’m glad I did the research and learned about this stuff, because while it may not be practical knowledge, it was at least enjoyable knowledge.


So, yeah. This was an interesting year, my first and last time doing “proper” home school. I had a lot of control over my own education, and I think it worked out. I do believe that I’m smarter than I was at the start of the year, and have some more perspective on myself before I go to college.


This blog was fun, but all good things have to come to an end, right? So to everyone that read this blog, all 3 of you, good luck with your own learning, and I say, Farewell.

Continue reading “Post 158: April 29th-May 26th – Final Post”

Post 122: February 24th, 2017

First order of business today was Marine Biology. I started learning about Coastal cities, and some of the characteristics of the sea floor. So, for starters, the composition of the sea floor is determined by the items that it accumulates, be it plankton, wastes, or detritus. It’s also determined by the activities of organisms that live in or on the sea floor, and in some cases, the strength of waves and currents. Fun fact, a lot of marine animals live in close association with the sea floor, so it makes sense that they have an impact on the composition.


Next up, English. I learned about Taoism,  founded by Lao Tse in the sixth century BC. Taoism states that there is an impersonal ultimate reality that is both the creator principle and the eternal truth of the universe. The Tao is the immutable and unchanging principle that is the basis of multiplicity and the impulse that generates all forms of life.


And finally, economics! Today we have… um… wait. Looks like it’s just the reference section.

We’re done economics! Well. Wasn’t expecting that. Somebody get some confetti! Because soon… we’ll be going back to sociology.

Post 121: February 23rd, 2017

First order of business today was Algebra. I learned about Ellipses. An ellipse can be defined as the set of all points in a plane such that the distance from two fixed point is a constant. The two fixed points in an ellipse are called the foci of the ellipse.


Next up, Economics. I learned about applying an economic way of thinking. Here’s the economic way:

  1. State the problem or issue
  2. Determine the goals to be attained.
  3. Consider the main means of achieving those goals.
  4. Select the economic concepts needed to understand the problem, and use them to appraise alternatives.
  5. Decide which alternative leads to the attainment of most goals, or the most important goals.

Another good thing with economic thinking is cost-benefit analysis, which is pretty self explanatory.


Finally, Programming. I learned about compiled and interpreted languages. So, for a compiled language, the compiler will translate code directly into a language that the machine can understand, and then the machine runs that code.

In interpreted languages, a separate program looks at and executes the source code, translating it into a form that the machine can then understand well enough to turn it into “machine code.”

Interestingly enough, compiling and interpreting aren’t mutually exclusive, and can be implemented at the same time in some instances.

Post 120: February 21st, 2017

First order of business today was Algebra. I learned about circles. So, a circle can be described as the set of all points in a plane that are equidistant from a given point on the plane, called the center. Any line segment whose end points are a point of the circle and the circle’s center is a radius of the circle.

Circles also have equations. With center (h, k) and radius r units, the equation is: (x-h)^2 + (y-k)^2 = r^2.

Also, if a line only intersects with only one of the circle’s points is tangent to the circle.


Next up, Economics. I learned about global economic challenges that people face. For example, pollution. Pollution can cause problems down the road, but limiting or preventing it can be expensive and difficult in the short term. Population growth is another issue, as more people means that more production is needed, but resources can be limited. Eventually, a nation may only be able to support so many people with the resources it has.


Lastly, Programming. I learned about series and parallel circuits, which are pretty easy to summarize. A series circuit is a circuit which only has one path for the current to flow through, which are simple, but can have problems. For example, anyone dealing with Christmas tree lights that won’t work, and you need to check every bulb to find out which one is bad.

As for parallel circuits, it’s a circuit that has two or more connections running through it, and different ways for the current to travel. This means that if one part of the circuit fails, the current can still travel.

Post 118: February 17th, 2017

First order of business today was Marine Biology. I learned about environmental pollutants, and how estuaries can be affected a lot by pollution. Since water tends to circle in an estuary, pollutants get trapped and build up over time. There are also some pollutants that might seem benign, like agricultural fertilizers, but can actually be dangerous. For example, they can spark phytoplankton blooms which end up robbing the estuary of oxygen.


Next up, Economics. I learned about the characteristics and trends of globalization. One of the major characteristics is the emergence of multinational corporations, which essentially the same product/brand in different countries. Global production is also common, where products may be made in multiple countries and sold in completely different ones.

There are also trends such as interdependence between nations, and a lot of economic integration around the world.


Lastly, English. Continued with Buddhism, learned about the more liberal branch, the Mahayana School. It emerged later than the other, between the first century BC and the first century AD. The texts of the school claim to be a recollection of early speeches of the Buddha, revealed after his death because the world would not be able to understand them. The writings contradict some of the conservative doctrines of the Theravada school as well.

Ultimate reality in the Mahayana School is an ultimate truth, called the truth of emptiness that is a quality attached to any physical, mental, or doctrinal concept.

Post 117: February 16th, 2017

First order of business today was Algebra. I learned about the midpoint and distance formulas. So, the midpoint formula states that if a line segment has endpoints at (x1, y1) and (x2, y2) the midpoint of the segment has the coordinates ((x1 + x2) / 2), ((y1 + y2) / 2)

The distance formula states that the distance between two points is given by d = square root of (x2 – x1)^2 + (y2 – y1)^2


Next up, Economics. I learned about the transition to capitalism, the economic system in which private citizens own and use the factors of production. There are some problems towards moving towards capitalism, however. State owned factories need to be privatized, and part of that is the loss of political power. There are also some costs associated with capitalism for the unprepared. For example, during the great depression there was instability, unemployment, and social unrest. Luckily, there are policies to prevent those types of things from happening again, at least for the same reasons.


Lastly, Programming. Today I’m going to be covering something I probably should have covered earlier, master/slave communication. In simplest terms, it is when one device is given control of one or more other devices, in order to manage their actions and give them further communication. One of the advantages of it is that you could configure the main device to be as fast as possible, while configuring the others to do more.

Post 115: February 14th, 2017

For order of business today was Algebra. I learned about square root functions and inequalities. If a function contains a square root of a variable, it’s a square root function. The inverse of a quadratic function is a square root function only if the range is restricted to non-negative numbers.

A square root inequality is an inequality involving square roots. That’s it. It’s pretty simple.


Next up, Economics. I learned about achieving economic development. One of the ways that this is accomplished in some countries is through micro-loans, where there are small unsecured loans so people can buy things to improve their quality of life, and begin projects to produce revenue. Some international groups are also focused on economic development, for example the IDA makes soft loans that might never be paid back in order to stimulate economic growth.


Finally, Programming. I learned about the SPI Bus today, or the Serial Peripheral Interface Bus. It’s a communication standard for short distance communication, and was invented by Motorola before becoming an industry standard. Also, apparently they’re used in some clocks, in order for communication across different parts.

Post 113: February 10th, 2017

First order of business today was Marine Biology. I learned about salinity adaptions in marine animals, specifically how they need to be able to adapt to different salinity levels. Due to the variable salinity in an estuary, animals either need to adapt or remain in the same area. Species that can regulate the salinity are osmoregulators, while species that remain in the same area are osmoconformers.


Next up, Economics. I learned about economic development, and there was a lot to cover, so for the sake of simplicity I’m going to talk about one of the biggest parts, the stages of economic development.

Economic development starts with primitive equilibrium, where there is no formal economic organization. For example, a society where people hunt and the food is shared with everybody.

Next is the transition stage, where people move away from the primitive equilibrium and start breaking traditions.

And then there is the takeoff stage, where there is very little remainder of the first stage, and the country begins to grow rapidly, along with saving and investing it’s income. Industries appear and grow rapidly, etc.

The fourth stage is semidevelopment, where the makeup of the country’s economy changes. Income grows faster than population meaning more people have more money to spend, and technology advances.

Finally, there’s high development, where efforts to obtain food, shelter, and clothing are more than successful, and because everyone has the necessities, they look towards consumer goods that make life easier, such as refrigerators, washing machines, and cellphones.


Lastly, English. Continued with my research, learned about Tantrism, another part of Hinduism. It appeared in the 4th century AD, and may not have a vedic origin, as it’s grounded in two deities that aren’t in the vedic pantheon. These deities are Shiva & Shakti.

Post 112: February 9th, 2017

First order of business today was Algebra. I learned about Operations on functions. So, you let f(x) and g(x) be any two functions. You can then add, subtract, multiply, or divide using certain formulas.

  • Addition: (f + g)(x) = (f)x + g(x)
  • Subtraction: (f – g)(x) = f(x) – g(x)
  • Multiplication: (f * g)(x) = f(x) * g(x)
  • Division: (f/g)(x) = f(x)/g(x), g(x) /= 0


Next up, Economics. I learned about foreign exchange and trade deficits. Also, when you think about it, exchanging currency is basically selling money in order to buy money. Also, a good thing to note, the world monetary system has flexible exchange rates, also known as floating exchange rates. This means that supply and demand establish the value of a country’s currency compared to another country’s currency. It balances out, because imports lower the value of currency, while exports increase the value of currency.


Lastly, Programming. I learned about RS-485, a standard for defining electrical characteristics in drivers and receivers. It’s actually used a lot, from automation, to performance venues and even in some model railways.

Post 110: February 7th, 2017

First order of business today was Algebra. Learned about the Rational Zero theorem, which is really complicated so I won’t be putting it here, but to put it simply it’s purpose is to test different zeroes of a polynomial function using synthetic substitution.


Next up, Economics. I learned about barriers to international trade, for example, tariffs. Tariffs are taxes placed on imported goods, and there are different kinds. Protective tariffs are tariffs that are high in order to protect less efficient domestic industries. Revenue tariffs are done in order to generate profit.

There are also quotas, where only a certain amount of a domestic good can be imported, and are usually used to keep domestic prices high.


Lastly, Programming. I learned about I2C, A bus in the programming sense that is mainly used for communication within a board. I2C really means Inter-Integrated Circuit, which is rather self explanatory. Interestingly, while the format is free to use, it is not free to get the addresses needed to use it.