Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Tennis Tables

Posted: April 22, 2011 in Uncategorized

We didn’t learn any new techniques in class.  Luckily, I was able to advance my skills in a series omf friendly matches.  I’m finally fully comfortable with the smash technique and am ready to call myself an average table tennis player.  I can consistently beat a little over half the class, and can sometimes beat a little more.  Of course, the class’ ping pong titans (Michael, Junichi, Yusuke) can still crush me easily.  I can sometimes score 1 or 2 points against them, which I had been unable to before.  I think this unit, my main areas of growth were in my smashing and my positioning.  I no longer just sort of stand at the edge.  I’m always moving around the table trying to get advantageous angles to score many points.

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It was the final day of doubles.  I was on the table with my partner.  We were looking death straight in the eye.  We basically improved on our overall game by using such techniques as establishing a base location, and keeping my arm tight for smashes, and just keeping my eye on the ball.  My main tactic was still to use push shots until my foe failed, but I was able to incorporate scoring shots.  I scored some pretty good smashes off of high bouncing balls.  I still can’t hit smashes off of regular balls, but I don’t expect to anytime soon.  I was working on the placement of my push shots too.  I kept hitting them into corners and that seemed to work for me, so I kept doing it.

We played doubles in ping pong today.  I was lucky because my partner was Michael, so we automatically won a few games.  While we were winning, it was only because of Michael’s skill.  We started the class out by doing a really weird rotation method.  It’s kind of hard to describe because it changed so much, but it was sort of like this – Michael would hit and then go back, and then I would come in from the side and hit, then I would leave from the other side.  Then Michael would go forward and hit.    We changed our rotation technique to a more efficient one when BT told us to.  There was a rule that you could only serve to the right side.  I got tripped up by this once, and lost a point for my team.  Now I know though, so I won’t be making that mistake again.  I did get consistent smashes in, which was a milestone for me.  I ended up being very successful today.

Pictures

Posted: April 19, 2011 in Uncategorized

http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.hickerphoto.com/data/media/164/fishing-boats_T4850.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.hickerphoto.com/fishing-boats-6499-pictures.htm&usg=__5LBfDZe3HanSvqUbrwZ1W9Shypw=&h=312&w=468&sz=54&hl=en&start=16&zoom=1&tbnid=_pl8rNmfPZJnOM:&tbnh=145&tbnw=211&ei=AMWjTY_eIcnB0QHJtMD4CA&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dfishing%2Bboat%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dsafari%26rls%3Den%26biw%3D1280%26bih%3D639%26tbm%3Disch0%2C648&um=1&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=345&vpy=155&dur=289&hovh=183&hovw=275&tx=136&ty=81&oei=-cSjTcfQC4T0vQO02ZX6CA&page=2&ndsp=15&ved=1t:429,r:6,s:16&biw=1280&bih=639

This is a picture of a fishing boat, pulling its net up from the ocean.  This is  an example of humans engaging in resource extraction.  This particular case of resource extraction involves the removal of fish (a resource) from the ocean.  Resource extraction is the removal of natural resources from the ocean, and often times converting them to capital resources.

http://www.svwsticker.com/dubai-beach-hotels-leisure-and-recreation.html

This is a

Palm islands, Dubai.  Tourism and recreation, this is the #1 tourist location in the Middle East, and is a series of man-made islands.

http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_rku6deQBORg/S7hMHtMSaZI/AAAAAAAANak/MVHjDPNII9Y/s1600/barrier.jpg&imgrefurl=http://cempaka-marine.blogspot.com/2010/04/australia-alert-over-oil-leak-on-great.html&usg=__7Tjk331GqL6RMIcKk7vB_Pw8fac=&h=800&w=600&sz=127&hl=en&start=0&zoom=1&tbnid=rHg2yER543Y8vM:&tbnh=152&tbnw=114&ei=UMajTeOYI4imuAPAxsX-CA&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dgreat%2Bbarrier%2Breef%2Baustralia%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dsafari%26rls%3Den%26biw%3D1280%26bih%3D639%26tbm%3Disch&um=1&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=295&vpy=105&dur=214&hovh=259&hovw=194&tx=81&ty=171&oei=UMajTeOYI4imuAPAxsX-CA&page=1&ndsp=18&ved=1t:429,r:1,s:0

This is the Great Barrier Reef, off the coast of Australia.    It’s the #1 marine wildlife area.

Table Tennis

Posted: April 6, 2011 in Uncategorized

Today we played another tournament style game.  I stayed sort of in the middle when we were going up and down.  I kept playing against Michael, Junichi, or Yusuke at this one table and sent down.  But then, I kept beating the people to get back to that spot.  I was definitely still comfortable with my push shots, but my serves and smashes caused a little bit of an issue for me.  My smashes, while getting more accurate, are still falling into the net.  I think what I’m doing wrong is waiting for the ball rather than going and getting it.  Since I’m waiting so long the ball isn’t getting hit at the apex of its ascent and not returning at the angle I want.   My serves, the other problem, are actually really good.  I scored repeatedly with my fast serve and got a lot of points.  The problem was that I kept getting called out, it turns out that the way I had been serving was illegal.  I was hiding the ball and not throwing it up (which is against the rules), so I had to switch to a legal method of serving.  This legal method is much more difficult and it tends to bounce more.  I’ll definitely need a lot more practice with that new serve so I can play the game well without cheating.

Table Tennis

Posted: April 4, 2011 in Uncategorized

Today we began learning the smash shot.  You’re supposed to bring your paddle over the ball and smash from there.  I’m having troubles with my smashes, as they keep hitting the net.  I believe that this is an area in which I need to improve.  Aside from learning the smash we started to learn tournament style play.  This was good because it was one of the first “real” game experiences.  Of course Michael crushed everybody, but that’s because he’s incredibly skilled.  The rest of the matches were actually pretty close, which made them very exciting.  I used the push shot a lot, and I attempted smashes several times.  I got one or two good smashes in, but the majority of them just got points for the enemy.  I scored mainly by using safe push shots and just waiting for the other player to mess up.  While this worked for me today, as the class gets better this technique will probably be useless.

Table Tennis

Posted: March 31, 2011 in Uncategorized

In the second class of ping pong, we learned the rules of the game.  This was actually pretty easy since we just finished the badminton unit.  Badminton and ping pong have very similar rules, just completely different sizes.  These rules regulate the amount of hits you can have (1) and how many times the ball can bounce on your side (1).   The rule about how many bounces you can have was actually different from badminton, in which you can have 0 bounces.  We have previously learned the push shot, but I had already known how to do that.  I’m no expert at ping pong, but we had the unit in middle school PE and the push shot was a basic hit.

Conflict VIDEO!!!

Posted: March 15, 2011 in Uncategorized

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cc0HjD2buEk

My favorite WikiLeak.

Posted: November 30, 2010 in Uncategorized

My favorite WikiLeak is the article about extrajudicial killings in Kenya.  I am highly critical of the existence of WikiLeaks.  I am a firm believer in freedom of speech, but I also believe in responsibility of speech.  The creator of the site clearly has not weighed the pros and cons of spreading secret documents.  He’s already been warned that his site risks the lives of military personnel and civilians.  His publication of the article that describes the plans to reunify Korea was one of exceeding irresponsibility.  The thought of spreading the plans of the entire world, and North Korea’s only ally, when the affected rogue nuclear-powered state has access to that information.  There has been very little in the way of Kim Jong-Il following through with his threat of “turning Seoul into a sea of fire”.   In another part of the world, it is threatening Middle Eastern relations.  It’s been found that Saudi Arabia asked the United States to “cut off the head of the snake” in a reference to Iran’s nuclear program.  Qatar, Jordan and the UAE all backed this position.  The reason why they didn’t want this made public is likely that it would provide even more instability to the region, and make Iran feel isolated.  A covert operation led by the United States to thwart a potential Pakistani nuclear program was made public as well.  WikiLeaks is an irresponsible, pointless, and selfish website.  The creator of the site is using it for personal gain, and clearly is not doing it for social justice.  If he were creating this site for social justice, and I believe the site could be used for that and it has been, he would take the lives that he’s pointlessly risking into consideration.  The reason why I chose the article about extrajudicial killings in Kenya is because  it was when the website was still a noble cause.  The documents it released actually shed light on situations, without risking the outbreak of armed conflict.  The man, Julian Assange, an Australian-born protesting the American government, doesn’t realize that the very fact that he’s alive makes his arguments invalid.  He complains about an authoritarian government that crushes all those in its way.  Fortunately for him though unfortunately for his stance, the United States is not that government, and his protests continue to be heard.  Assange generally seems to not think things through, and has stated plans to release documents detailing “despotic regime’s in China, Russia, and Central Asia”.  The American government has not called for his execution, but China and Russia have no objections to covert executions against “political dissidents”. I hope for the world’s sake that Assange realizes the irresponsibility of his website, and plans to only put up documents that no longer hold the security of the world in balance.

Black Death Reflection

Posted: September 13, 2010 in Uncategorized

The Black Death activity was an activity in which we learned about the historical and economic effects that the outbreak of the bubonic plague had on Medieval Europe.  We also discussed scarcity in more depth and various different types of resources.  The bubonic plague, also known as the Black Death, first arrived in Europe in the 1340’s.  It’s believed that fleas that lived on rats, which were abundant at the time, carried the disease.  At least one-third of the European population were killed by the illness, the population took around 150 years to return to its original state.  However, in these 150 years the structure of feudalism began to crumble as the peasant farmers were becoming scarcer and more valuable.  Traditional feudalism is a system based on loyalty.  The monarch would give some of his land to individuals of a class lower than his, but not a serf.  These men were called nobles and in exchange for the land they had to protect the monarch.  The nobles were given large plots of land and had peasants farm it for them.  The Nobles enforced strict taxes on the peasants and the peasants were highly discontented.  After the Black Death pandemic, the amount of peasants was greatly reduced.  Therefore they could demand tax relief and get it.  In the activity we were portraying a Medieval Lord and we were presented with certain amounts of land, peasants, and resources.  We were given elements of all different types of resources.  Our natural resource was the land we were given, the human resources were the peasants, and the capital resources were either the food or sheep we attempted to grow or raise.  At first, when peasants were plentiful it was an economic mistake to bring more onto your land.  However, once the population was reduced by a third, the land owned was going to waste and not making maximum profit.  At this point, it is a good economic decision to hire new peasants.  Once it’s economically wise to hire someone, they can demand higher wages, thus making the economy boom.  In this activity we were given an overview of resource types and an in-depth examination of scarcity.