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 145: April 7th, 2017

First order of business today was Marine Biology. I learned about vertical migration. Interesting thing, a lot of animals will actually switch between two zones, in order to enjoy the benefits of both. Some animals can manage it better than others however, because of the differences that occur the deeper you go.

 

Next up, Sociology. I learned about deviance. What I find kind of interesting is that social norms actually make life a lot easier. With social norms, you can expect certain things to happen, like going to the store and buying milk. People also respond to other’s actions through sanctions. There are negative sanctions, like gossip or criminal charges, and positive sanctions, like smiles or formal awards. People like it when others conform to norms.

 

Finally, English. I started working on my paper, and got the order of stuff down. Not much else to say, really.

Post 143: April 5th, 2017

First order of business today was Marine Biology. I learned about vertical distribution in the pelagic zone. Fun fact, although the epipelagic zone accounts for less than 10% of the ocean’s volume, most pelagic animals are found there. Much deeper down, animals have to depend on random sinking food particles, and feeding on each other.

 

Next up, and lastly, English! I started doing some research into the special effects used in movies. For example, the first special effects in a film came from an 1895 Edison film. They recreated the execution of Mary, queen of the Scots, by having everyone stand perfectly still, and then replacing the actress with a dummy. I find it pretty cool, and apparently it was advanced enough at the time that some people thought a woman had died for the film.

Post 141: April 3rd, 2017

First order of business today was Marine Biology. I learned about horizontal distribution of animals. Interesting thing, epipelagic habitats can be differentiated by what species of krill lives there. There are six closely related kinds, and their distribution indicates what other animals live in the area.

 

Next up, English. I continued reading the video game essay, and a bit part of spacial presence is consistency. Namely, another four things. Lack of incongruous visual cues, consistent behavior from things in the game world, an unbroken presentation of the game world, and interactivity with items in the game world.

Some of those are self explanatory, so let’s cover numbers one and three. Lack of incongruous visual cues means that things look how they “should” look in a game. Tutorial messages don’t pop up while you’re doing things and break your immersion. As for an unbroken presentation, that’s similar in that the game world remains there, it doesn’t just go away like when you get stuck in a loading screen.

 

Finally, Algebra. I learned about properties of Logarithms, and relatively speaking they’re pretty simple. Since logarithms are exponents, the properties of logarithms can be derived from the properties of exponents. The product property of logarithms, for example, states that the logarithm of a product is the sum of the logarithms of its factors.

Post 140: March 31st, 2017

First order of business today was Marine Biology. I learned about pelagic inhabitants, animals that live in the pelagic division. Interesting thing about them, there are two major groups. Zooplankton and Nekton.

 

Next up, Sociology. I learned about corporations, and something kind of interesting. A lot of the time, there are self-fulfilling stereotypes. People they expect to succeed are given more work and chances to do so, while people they expect to fail are given less duties and little chance to prove themselves. So only the people they think will succeed can really succeed.

 

Finally, English. I continued with the stuff on the psychology of immersion in video games, and learned that there are 4 big parts to the richness of the experience. First, you’ve got multiple channels of sensory information. For example, a bird flies overhead and makes a noise as it does so. Second, you have completeness of sensory information, which means that there are less gaps for you to stumble over mentally. For example, you see non player characters going through their day to day routine. Next you have cognitively demanding environments, or worlds that demand attention so that you don’t notice flaws.

Finally, you have the game’s story. Like a book, a game’s story can suck you in and make the world more believable and realistic too you, while also tying up mental resources so that you don’t notice flaws.

Post 138: March 29th, 2017

First order of business today was Marine Biology. I learned about coral reef fishes. Interesting, somewhat scary thing, reefs worldwide have a lot of sharks. All the way from nurses to tigers, and even reef sharks. Who would’ve expected reef sharks to live in reefs?

 

Next, Programming! I looked at how to calculate the electric current draw. To do so, you use the formula P = V * I, where P is power, V is voltage, and I is current.

To find the current, you just divide power by voltage.

 

Finally, English. I looked at part of a rather long essay on the psychology of immersion in video games, and took notes. I’ll be looking at the rest of it in the future, but what I’ve read so far is interesting. For example, what people think of as being immersed is called spacial presence to be strict, wherein you begin thinking in the context of the world. For example, taking a carriage instead of using a menu to get somewhere.

Post 136: March 27th, 2017

And we’re back! My spring break trip was fun, got to see DC, spend some time with family, go on a little road trip. All in all, in a good time. Now, back to schoolwork.

 

First order of business today was Algebra. I learned about solving rational equations and inequalities. So, a rational equation is, in general, any equation that contains one or more rational expressions. Inequalities that contain one or more rational expressions are rational inequalities. As for solving the two, it can be somewhat complicated, but you generally start with one thing: Any values that make the denominator zero, you can safely exclude.

 

Next up, Marine Biology. I finished the lesson on coral reefs. What I find interesting is just how big they can be. They’re actually big enough that wave force, water depth, and even temperature can vary quite a bit between different parts of the reef, which can affect what animals live where.

 

Finally, English. I started looking at reality in fiction, and found an interesting essay on a Sherlock Holmes pastiche. The Seven-per-cent Solution has a foreword, which essentially states that it is an unpublished manuscript of Watson’s, presenting him, and all other characters by extension, as real people.

Post 134: March 15th, 2017

First order of business today was Marine Biology. I started learning about coral reefs, another pretty big lesson. I find it interesting how reefs are alive in a way, and yet also serve as an environment for a bunch of other animals.

 

Next up, English. I did some writing today. Creative writing. Basically, the question of what a dog thinks of an owner that has it fixed. I did not come up with this idea, it was simply the best choice out of the ones I was presented.

 

Finally, Programming. I learned about Z-Wave, a wireless communications protocol. Aside from the cool name, it boasts a pretty good range, of 100 meters. It’s mainly used for home automation, and can interact with the internet so as long as you have an internet connection, you can do things with your home.

Post 132: March 13th, 2017

The first order of business today was Algebra. I learned about graphing rational functions. Basically, a rational function is an equation of the form f(x) = p(x) / q(x), where p(x) and q(x) are polynomial functions, and q(x) /= 0. This seems pretty complex, but a rational function can be something as simple as C = 150/s.

 

Next up, Marine Biology. I learned about shallow subtidal communities. Good thing to know about them, they contain a lot of infaunal species, owing to the fact that the seafloor is blanketed with soft sediments.

 

Finally, English. We come to the conclusion of looking at ultimate reality in world religions, and frankly, thank god. I’ve been on the subject for a long time. So, what’s my conclusion? World religions on the topic of reality have very different views, a lot of which don’t work together. Some have absolute, all powerful gods. Some have limited, fallible gods. The nature of the world differs as well, with some interpretations saying that it was made, while others say it was transformed from some prior state of being.

It’s a very complicated issue, to say the least.

Post 131: March 10th, 2017

First order of business today was Marine Biology. I finished with the big lesson on intertidal communities, finally. I learned something interesting about oil spills, that in some cases, when cleaning up beaches some methods can be more harmful than other methods, with plants and animals taking a longer time to recover.

 

Next up, English. I learned about ultimate reality in Islam. Basically, Allah is presented as an eternal being, transcendent and almighty. Something kind of interesting is that the triune God of Christianity is considered a heresy, as in Islam Allah is a singular being, no questions.

 

Finally, Sociology. I learned about how groups can affect people’s behavior. Experiments have been done, that when a group agrees on a false conclusion, an individual can change the responses they would give in order to match the group’s consensus. A third of the people in the experiment’s original run gave incorrect answers that matched the group half the time.