TALONS TED Talks

Notes and Script

Works Cited

AquariumStoreDepot. (n.d.). Best RODI Systems – 2019 Reviews (What’s Best for your Saltwater Tank). Retrieved from https://aquariumstoredepot.com/blogs/news/best-rodi-system-reviews

Kershner, K. (2018, March 08). How Reverse Osmosis Works. Retrieved from https://science.howstuffworks.com/reverse-osmosis.htm

Myers, C. (2019, March 12). What Minerals Does a Plant Need to Grow? Retrieved from https://www.gardenguides.com/98709-minerals-plant-need-grow.html

UNDERSTANDING RO WATER FILTRATION & PURIFICATION. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.espwaterproducts.com/understanding-ro/

What is Deionized Water? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://puretecwater.com/deionized-water/what-is-deionized-water

What is the acceptable TDS level of drinking water ? (2018, February 21). Retrieved from http://awaterpurifier.com/acceptable-tds/

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Ecological Footprint

My original ecological footprint score was 3.74 hectares. Compared to Jian’s score, 2.37, I have a relatively high score. However, compared to Kate’s score, 7.2, my score seems pretty low. I feel that I had a pretty average score, perhaps a bit on the lower end. My score was also influenced by the activities I did the weekend I recorded; I recorded my activity during the Juan De Fuca overnight practice hike, so I didn’t have the same resources as I usually would. This likely influenced my score noticeably.

Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about things I do that increase the size of my footprint. I’ve noticed and have been trying to reduce my:

  1. Use of single use plastic products
  2. Use of single use cotton/ paper products
  3. Long showers
  4. Consumption of meat (especially red meat such as beef)
  5. Driving to school up to 3 times a week
  6. Wearing mostly first-hand clothing
  7. Eating food with individual packaging
  8. Baths
  9. Use of public transport for short distances
  10. Getting food delivery (lots of packaging + transportation)

Although I’ve been trying to reduce my footprint as much as possible, I’ve focused on reducing my:

  1. Use of first-hand clothing – second hand clothing is both low cost and reduces waste. I’ve been trying to shop at second hand shop like Value Village and also donate my clothing when possible.
  2. Shower time – reducing my time in the shower is an easy way to influence my footprint greatly. I’ve been trying to keep my showers to about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Consumption of meat – meat, especially red meat influenced my footprint greatly. I’ve been trying to use vegetarian or vegan alternatives or simply cutting it out of my lifestyle.
  4. Use of car for transportation – I can avoid driving to school easily by waking up early or packing up the night before. I’ve been trying to be more organized with getting ready in the morning in order to walk to school more.
  5. Use of single use plastic products – I can easily reduce my use of single use plastic products by using reusable or compostable alternatives, or simply cutting it out of my lifestyle. I’ve been investing in reusable water bottles, cups, straws, and other necessities in order to reduce my plastic consumption.

At first, I was a bit worried that it would be difficult to reduce my ecological footprint. However, I realized that I could make major changes in my footprint by making minor changes in my life. Buying second-hand clothing, taking shorter showers, and walking to school more. I realized that although it may seem daunting, reducing my footprint wasn’t nearly as difficult as I thought it would be.

Probably the hardest change to make was reducing my meat consumption, which I’m still working on. Although I haven’t stopped my intake of meat entirely, I’ve been consciously trying to eat other alternatives when possible. However, its difficult to change this, since it’s a big part of my lifestyle. Recently, I’ve just been looking for an alternative whenever possible, but I hope to reduce my consumption more as time goes on.

It was also difficult to reduce my plastic use since many companies use lots of plastic or foil in their packaging. But I’ve been trying to combat this my simply trying brands with less packaging, or using my own alternative.

In the future, I’m hoping to continue what I’ve started and also reduce my footprint further by:

  1. Further reducing my intake of meat
  2. Walking to school virtually every day
  3. Buying the majority of my new clothing second-hand
  4. Using more alternatives to single use products

I’m really passionate about reducing my footprint and I know that preserving the planet is a crucial and pressing matter. I’m happy with the work I’ve done so far, but I’m also hoping to improve greatly in the near future.

A Day in the Life of a Peasant

My dearest Rohesia,

The days have been longer without you. Life has been the same, bland and colourless; the only hope in sight is your returning. It seems as if the crops have noticed your absence since the harvest this year has been scarce. Despite this, we are still holding on. It’s difficult, as most of the days begin to look the same.

I wake up to the familiar scent of manure and cattle. I sigh deeply as I push myself off of our makeshift bed and brush off my week old cotton skirt. The wool on my stockings itches, but it doesn’t bother me anymore. I stretch as I admire my crops and watch the early birds harvest theirs. I brush myself off before heading to the corner where my handmade tools lie. I always begin with the reaping, so I grab my sickle. Most days, we don’t have enough food for breakfast, so I head out the door, remembering the meals we had when you were here.

Once outside, I begin my short walk towards the crops. I start by reaping the crops, eventually moving onto sowing. By the time I complete the strenuous task of tending to the crops, the day is nearly approaching dusk. I head back towards the house, the muddy walls appearing evermore bland.

Since I’m the oldest now, I get back sooner to prepare dinner. I dip my hands in the stream behind the house as I watch the traces of dirt fade from my hands and head downstream. After I lift my hands out of the water, I shake them dry before heading into the house to prepare the bread and porridge. It only takes several minutes for everyone else to arrive, their eyes are as shallow and tired as I imagine my own to be. Unfortunately, we only have a small loaf of bread for the 9 of us, but we could make do. We ate the bread in silence as I pondered what other meals we would have soon.

Realistically, we won’t have any food other than bread, plain stew, or fruit, but I look forward to the next time we could have ale— even if my last taste was years ago, I could still taste the pleasant tingling on my tongue. I sighed, breaking the silence.

Since you’ve left, we’ve been struggling to feed the family. Without your presence, there’s a an emptiness noticeable in our family; although we are fed adequately and healthily, our spirit is drained and hollow without you. I just pray that we’ll have enough food until the next harvest.

After dinner, we migrate to the other side of the room— the sleeping area. Once everyone is on their correct mats, we lay in silence until dawn.

Animal Farm

I

Is it more important to have a strong ideology or a strong leader for revolution to occur? What tactics to leaders use to convince others of their ideologies?

Strong leaders and strong ideologies are both crucial elements of an effective revolution. Ultimately, revolutions begin because there’s a strong ideology that many people agree with; with a weak ideology, the revolution will never gain enough momentum to begin. On the other hand, without strong leaders who are willing to fight, ideas will stay unheard and the revolution will never start. A lack of either of these elements will be problematic and will likely result in a failed revolution. While lacking a strong leader, the new ideology will never be heard, and there will be no change. While lacking a strong ideology, the revolutionists will likely get attention but there will never be enough passion to make a change. If a weak ideology did manage to be implemented, it would likely be challenged and eradicated quickly.

To answer the question, it’s hard to say whether ideology or leadership is more crucial in a revolution. In George Orwell’s Animal Farm, the pigs began the revolution, and are unanimously recognized as the leaders on the farm. The animals were united by their common yearning for freedom, and the pigs pushed for their idea to be implemented. Old Major inspired the animals by telling them that if they “remove Man from the scene, [then] the root cause of hunger and overwork is abolished forever” (p 2). After their freedom was granted, the resources were spread equitably throughout the animals. However, as time goes on, the pigs begin to manipulate the other animals by reminding them that they are responsible for the farm’s freedom, and that “if [the] pigs failed in [their] duty […] Jones would come back” (p 11). The rest of the farm is grateful for the pigs’ leadership, blind towards the inequalities they’re experiencing. Although the pigs began the revolution, they’re beginning to lose sight of the initial ideology the animals all shared; the pigs’ leadership is beginning to stray from the basis of Animalism. In this case, the leadership from the pigs was enough to get the ideas implemented, but eventually cause the initial ideology to be lost. The power imbalance between animals and humans simply shift to an imbalance between pigs and other animals.

II

To what extent to power and privilege, or lack thereof, affect the beliefs and actions of individuals in a revolution?

In George Orwell’s Animal Farm, many of the animals’ willingness to cooperate in the revolution was heavily influenced by the way that the humans treat them. For example, Mollie the horse is very reluctant to join the revolution since the humans treat her with a respect that the other animals don’t get. Clover even claims that “[he] saw […][One of Mr. Pilkington’s men][…] talking to [Mollie] and [she was] allowing him to stroke [her] nose” (p 14). Mollie is never very enthusiastic about the revolution, and she shows more and more signs of disloyalty until she eventually defects. Although she may not notice, the things that she takes for granted are rights that the other animals on the farm don’t have. Snowball tries to reason with her by explaining that “[the] ribbons that [she is] so devoted to are the badge of slavery”; he asks if “[Mollie can] not understand that liberty is worth more than ribbons?” and “Mollie [agrees], but she [does] not sound very convinced” (p 6). After the revolution, she misses the prime treatment that she once had, so she is the first to defect back to the humans when “the pigeons [report] that they had seen her on the other side of Willingdon […] standing outside a public−house […] [with a] man […] stroking her nose and feeding her with sugar” (p 14). Although the other animals have a better life after the revolution, she never noticed, because she was too focused on her own treatment and the respect she used to have.

III

In your opinion, was the revolution successful? Were any other available to bring the animals’ desired change? If so, what might have been done? If so, what might have been done? If not, why was the revolution inevitable?

In George Orwell’s Animal Farm, the animals’ revolution was successful in obtaining the freedom the animals unanimously desired. However, it’s evident that the initial foundation of their ideology was lost gradually over time, until the farm found itself in the same unjust environment as before— this time with pigs as tyrants. Although the pigs are seen abusing their power throughout the plot, it isn’t until the end of the novella, during the pigs’ card game with the humans, that the pigs truly become equal with humans. The animals witnessing this find that “[looking] from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; […] it was impossible to say which was which” (p 42). This doesn’t necessarily suggest that the pigs are becoming physically humanoid, but rather signifies that the other animals have found themselves in the same situation as before the initial revolution. This slow descent back into oppression transpired throughout the story and is subtly revealed multiple times. For example, the animals have a small disagreement about several pails of milk. All of the animals want some, but the pigs tell them to “never mind the milk, […] that will be attended to” (p 9). However, “when [the animals come] back in the evening it [is] noticed that the milk [has] disappeared”, leading us to believe that the pigs used the milk for their own enjoyment (ibid.). This is the first of many signs that the pigs are beginning to abuse their power.

Despite these multiple abuses of power, it’s clear that the revolution was initially successful. There was a time when the animals lived virtually equal. Before the initial revolution, Old Major told the farm that “[he does] not know when that Rebellion will come, it might be in a week or in a hundred years, but [he knows][…] that sooner or later justice will be done” (p 3). This could apply to life after the revolution as well, when the farm is tired of being exploited by the pigs. Old Major may be suggesting that the oppressed will always stand up against the oppressors. It may take eons to occur, but there will always be a power shift once the abused are ready to stand up to their abusers. True freedom can never be achieved with unchanging leadership; leaders will always begin to abuse their power. Revolutions are inevitable, and when the revolutionists come into power, they will inevitably be overthrown again. Perhaps Old Major was not simply telling the farm to stand up to the humans, but to stand up to anyone who is mistreating them.

Wheel of Revolution

Wheel of Revolution

2. The Olympics was a revolutionary idea where athletes from all over the world could unite and compete in a variety of events. Now, this biennial event is still extremely relevant in today’s society. Since the first modern Olympics, it’s become a common tradition in society. Like many common traditions, the Olympics started off on a smaller scale, but more and more people began to catch on and participate until nearly the entire world was staying tuned updated. Although there are few international events of the Olympics’ caliber, this basic trajectory for the spread and normalizing of a tradition is common in society.

3. Although this event isn’t necessarily positive or negative, it’s evident that it’s still relevant in today’s society. Although there’s a large variety of effects caused by the Olympics, the most prominent effects have been either societal or economic. The Olympics is widely regarded as a respected sporting event, where people from all around the world compete. Cities and countries hope to host Olympic events because of the economic benefit it produces. Overall, I think that we can say that the effects of the Olympics have been mostly positive, not necessarily for individuals (although many athletes benefit from it) but for our society as a whole.

In-Depth #3

These past two weeks, I’ve moved out of my research phase and onto my creation phase; I’ve started creating the first of my 4 final products. My classmate, Jewel, volunteered to record a song with Ukulele and vocals. In order to enhance the product beyond the sounds initially recorded, I plan to add extra chords and percussion after the other parts are recorded.

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Recording the instrumental part of the song. 

As of right now, we’ve only recorded the instrumental part of the song, but we are in the process of setting up another recording date.

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The recorded backtrack

The biggest struggle I faced while recording this was getting the timing right. I’ve discovered that it’s more difficult to stay on time with a ukulele than it is with a piano. Since I was looping a large portion of the chords, I found that it had to be played and trimmed perfectly the first time to avoid causing bigger problems later in the song.

During my meeting with my mentor, we mainly discussed ways to fix timing with MIDI instrument tracks (piano in my case). I learned that quantification is a feature that can line up notes exactly to the beat. We also discussed that this feature should be used with haste since it can sometimes make music sound “overly robotic”, which can add or take away from the general mood conveyed in the song.

Although quantification doesn’t work with the ukulele I’ve recorded, it will work for the piano chords that I plan to add to the song later. I’ve realized that it may have been a good idea to record the piano first and quantify it to match the beat perfectly before recording the ukulele on top; this may have been able to help a lot of the timing issues that I faced.

Currently, I’m planning a date for a second recording session, as well as planning ahead to future songs that I can record after this one is completed. Once the vocals of this first song are recorded, I’m going to work on improving and enhancing the quality of the sounds recorded, and also add chords and percussion. I look forward to completing my first song and being able to learn from my mistakes during the second one.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream: An Open Letter to Theseus

My name is Hermia, daughter of Egeus, and I believe that you, our mighty leader Theseus should modify the Athenian laws regarding a woman’s right to choose her husband. Currently, my father is able to choose my husband for me, and I have virtually no way to refuse his choice. I find the suitor chosen for me, Demetrius, to be somewhat distasteful and unpleasant; I would much prefer to marry my lover Lysander. Unfortunately, I have no way to object to my father’s choice—at least not yet.

Firstly, I’d like to acknowledge that Lysander is a perfectly good suitor and I believe that he possesses all necessary resources needed to provide for a family. He has proven to be financially stable, and my father hasn’t been able to identify any positive qualities in Demetrius that Lysander lacks. If I marry Lysander, I’m confident that our life will be equally if not more wholesome than if I were to marry Demetrius.

Next, I want to discuss Demetrius’ intentions. Demetrius has showed me little to no affection, and in juxtaposition to Lysander’s gifts and compliments, he appears rather taciturn. Despite contrary accusations, I believe that Lysander’s displays of affection come from good intentions. However, Demetrius gives a rather sententious aura, and has shown signs of corrupt intentions.

Lastly, I’d like to address the most revolting of Demetrius’ many shortcomings. As everyone in Athens knows, Demetrius is currently having romantic and sexual relations with Helena, daughter of Nedar. As a result, Helena has grown attached to him despite his neutral feelings towards her. This is not only a blasphemous act on its own, but it’s simply cruel to treat a woman in such a way and then promptly marry someone else. It’s unfair to all parties that Demetrius should get away with this; Demetrius needs to take responsibility for his actions, and marrying me would prevent him from doing so.

In conclusion, I strongly believe that Lysander is the better choice for my husband. He is supportive, financially stable, and has good intentions. Demetrius, although adequate, doesn’t possess the same qualities which I value in a partner. I hope that you take my opinions into consideration and review our laws.