2013-06-13 01:08 pm

Code Breaker

 

A descriptive essay written by Jim Holt, “Code-Breaker” is about the life story and achievements of Alan Turing. Holt talked about the various accomplishments of Turing, in spite of Turing’s experience from being homosexual. Holt successfully conveyed the idea to portray Turing’s life through his amazing accomplishments at his time.

One of Turing’s accomplishments is “breaking the German Enigma code during the Second World War,” (337) something that I was not aware of. Holt started the essay by using pathos to sympathize about Turing’s death and that his greatness was not recognized until the nineteen-seventies to eighties after his death. Turing was typically viewed by his sexuality, as a gay martyr regardless of all the things he has done to save humankind from the Nazi.

Holt mentioned how Turing “conceived the computer,” (346) designing “the blueprint for the modern computer” (337). Also, reanalyzed how the brain works, that the human brain “[could be] something like a universal Turing machine” (343). Turing was clearly a very talented man, however, it was disregarded because of again...his sexuality. 

In spite of the negative things that has happen to Turing for being homosexual, Holt was able to portray the great things that Turing has done. Holt ended the essay by mentioning again the achievements of Turing, when he “saved countless lives by defeating a Nazi code, conceived the computer, and rethought how mind arises from matter” (346).

In conclusion Holt was successful to express how homosexuality is mistreated in the past. Holt made us oversee the situation of how great Alan Turing is through all the accomplishments he has done. Even though he was a homosexual, he has done so many great things and that is how we should see Alan Turing as, not all the negative things he had suffered.

2013-06-10 11:41 am

Borders By Thomas King

The story of Thomas King's "Borders"  is a fictional story about a mother and her son trying to cross the American and Canadian border. However, the metaphorical border of the story is about oneself retaining their real identity, and being able to express their beliefs and faith to maintain that identity.

The story is written from the boy's point of view, so the general tone of the "Borders" is calm and innocent. For example, on their third night sleeping in the car, the boy kept on bringing up if Mel will be bringing them hamburgers. He does not understand what the real situation was to why they were there. He was just going along to where his mother will take him. 

The purpose of the story is for us to pause for a moment and think about our own identity. Nowadays an individual's identity is easily forgotten just to simply attain what they wanted. I admire her confidence and courage to stand up for what she believed in and not easily given up their identity as a "Blackfoot" to an "American" or "Canadian" identity. Even though, "it would have been easier if [the] mother had just said 'Canadian' and been done with it" (135). She believed that they are on neither "Canadian" or "American" side, so she fought to maintain their citizenship as a Blackfoot. I envy her boldness because if it was any other people, including myself I would have just given and said either Canadian or American citizenship.

In conclusion, the mother and the boy was able to cross the American border as a Blackfoot. The main idea of the "Borders" is that our own heritage can be easily forgotten, but we take pride and not be ashamed of our own identity, to where we originally came from. We should be grateful and not be ashamed even if other people might not be as acceptance as others.
2013-06-03 01:19 am

Women Confronting War By Jennifer Turpin

The essay "Women Confronting War," by Jennifer Turpin explained how "war has a profound and unique effects on women" (324). Turpin focused on the wartime. She used a direct tone, targeting the public to acknowledge the suffering of the women around the world.

Turpin deeply engaged the audience to demonstrate the effect of war on women. I agree with what Turpin said, “men make war, women make peace” (324). Turpin used statistical evidences to illustrate the effect of war. She said during the war, “women..., are more likely to be killed in war than soldiers” (325). Women and children in war are the vast majority killed due to direct casualties by high-altitude and powerful bombings. Also, sexual violences such as prostitution and rape affected the women during the wartime. Women are raped all over the world, and “being young and pretty has very little to do with becoming a victim of wartime rape” (326). While wartime prostitution are done by young women to provide for their families, “or women who need[s] to support their children” (328). This shows the clear structure of logic informations how the wartime affected the women.

The appeal of pathos helped draw the audience in, to make the essay more effective. For example, the new technologies used in the war had a great impact on women, because this increased the percentage of civilian casualties from fifty percent in World War II to eighty percent in 1980s and ninety percent in 1990s of which the vast majority of these were women and their children. In addition, Turpin mentioned the sex violence against women. Knowing the fact that more than two million women were raped all over the world by the various soldiers. When these women becomes pregnant by the enemy’s, it “symbolizes the destruction of the community, ... forms [a] psychological torture knowing that you are carrying a child from the enemy, ... [and] may be shunned by their own families and communities” (326). It is devastating to know that the officials like the head of the U.N. mission in Cambodia and the commander of the United States Pacific Command turned blind eye to the women that suppose to be protected by “their” men. She mentioned how the “militaries around the world also support and may even enforce prostitution attached to their military installations” (327). The pathos made the essay more powerful and persuading, engaging the readers’ emotions such as sympathy and anger.

In conclusion, Turpin’s essay, “Women Confronting War” greatly captured myself as a reader. It opened my eyes to the horrifying effect of the war on women. The essay was straightforward and had convincing details that supports the significant examples that made the essay more powerful and created that vivid effect to myself and other readers. Although I wish Turpin could have maybe added solutions to how it should be engaged. Women had to bear so many sufferings and tortures during the wartime due to their gender and Turpin has achieved that purpose to raise awareness to this issue.
2013-05-21 07:53 pm

Poverty, money--and love

Jessica Jackley first heard about the poor when she was six years old through her sunday school teacher. It is our job to help the poor by giving food, clothing, and shelter because this is what Jesus asked of us. Thereafter the excitement turned to frustration when her hard work turn out to be not enough. Jackley felt like a failure until she distant herself to the poor imagining what Jesus said that the poor will always be with us. After a while, Jackley began to feel the guilt for the things she possessed and ashamed by not giving enough to make things better. Jackley generalized this idea that the poor lived with sadness, hopelessness, devastation, and nothing else. She still gave money as her "contribution" instead of genuine generosity and excitement to help the less fortunate. It became like a trade, to relieve the guilt or shame, to not be bothered by this sad news rather than relieving someone else's pain and suffering. Disguising the true meaning of loving the poor and touching another person's life.
Afterwards, Jackley's perspective once changed again when she heard Dr. Muhammad Yunus. Jackley saw a different method to help the poor by lending a small amount of money to help someone start or grow a business. She was also amazed when she heard a different standpoint that the poor was not just poor, that it was also strong, smart, hardworking entrepreneurs that helps their lives and their family's lives better. Dr. Yunus lends them a little bit of capital to catalyst their hard work much faster. Jackley was ecstatic to this idea so she quit her job and moved to East Africa for three months to interview these entrepreneurs that received 100 dollars to start or grow a business. She started to become friends and learned their personal stories. How this small capital help their way of living a bit better by providing their children to go to school, things that made them feel proud. It was very humbling to see their growth and the fact that they never once asked for a donation nor feel bad for them but what they ask is a loan to start or grow a business.
She started an experiment and created a website with her partner Matthew called Kiva where she posted pictures and stories of her new friends from East Africa to help provide money to continue their businesses as loans. Today Kiva is a great success facilitating more than 150 millions dollars, in little 25 dollar bits from lenders and entrepreneurs. She realized that the true meaning of entrepreneurship is seizing the opportunity to make tomorrow better than today and having not just the money but the encouragement from the community as well to strive to get better is such a good combination.
We all care and want to help the less fortunate but what stops us is that we don't know where to start or simply afraid to try. And to be able to change the world is not always about the materialistic things, rather by believing and motivating one another that we can all do amazing things in the world. Continue to believe, be hopeful and see the good things in all of us.


TED talk by Jessica Jackley http://www.ted.com/talks/jessica_jackley_poverty_money_and_love.html
2013-05-12 01:39 pm

The Game by Ken Dryden

"The Game" by Ken Dryden mentioned many things about how it is like being a celebrity and how fans makes up these "images" to how a celebrity should be to stay in the game and be famous. Dryden talked about "if they're inarticulate, harsh and pejorative, they're suddenly just jocks. Merely lucky, less likable, less good at life, less celebrated; finally, they even seem less good on the ice" (Ackley, Blank, and Hume, p. 134). People creates the "image" to how a celebrity should be and live their life and sometimes this leads to losing their own identity. Therefore, celebrities were able to adapt to this lifestyle by learning the "skills" to always look good and modest in front of the public to be able to stay in the game.