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Archive for the ‘Personal Thoughts’ Category

Why’s Everyone Against Pluto?

April 2, 2009 3 comments

By now, I am sure everyone is aware of the 2006 decision by the International Astronomical Union to denounce Pluto as a planet, and instead reclassify it as a dwarf planet.

Really? Are you serious?!

I find it hard to believe that an organization as big, and pompous as the IAU would waste time, and taxpayers money on going to the effort of stripping Pluto of its Planet title. It seems to me that if they have so much time, and money that they can do the research necessary to conclusively say that Pluto is not a planet, they need more work. The fact is I can find NO rationale behind taking something as well known as a PLANET and now calling it a “dwarf planet”.

And what about this new title, dwarf planet? Did you know that before they decided to bully Pluto around, the term “dwarf planet” didnt exist? That means that someone hated Pluto so much, that they created A NEW PLANET CLASSIFICATION just so they could say its not part of the “9 planets” (which are now 8). This may seem like a trivial issue, but what really gets me going about this subject is what the first conversation about this had to go:

“Hey Bert, you know Pluto right?”

“Yeah Bob, I’ve heard of it”

“Well, I was thinking, why should it be a planet?”

“What? Its fricken Pluto dude! How is it not a planet?”

“I dont know, but I dont like it. Lets call it something else”

“…”

“No, seriously! Lets call it something puny, like a midget planet.”

“Your high on crack arent you?”

“No wait! I got it, lets call it a DWARF PLANET!”

At least, this is how I imagine the conversation went. How the IAU was suckered into doing this, I will never know. But I firmly believe that Pluto still rightfully owns the title of Planet, no matter what some slack-jawed, Plutonian hater says.

pluto1

-Trenton Stahl

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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Cascade: To Love or Loathe?

March 31, 2009 3 comments

Until recently I was attending a high school by the name of Cascade Christian. As I would not have been able to voice my opinions at the time, I now am taking the liberty of airing my thoughts on the subject. Keep in mind, this is not meant to be an attack on the school but rather a range of experiences condensed into a single article.

Before I begin there are some things I want to make clear. This is a Christian school, but this article in no way represents how I feel about Christianity. I am a devout Baptist Christian, and enjoy the fact that God is very much represented at Cascade.

When I arrived at Cascade in 7th grade, the first impression I got was how small it was. Even though I had gone to a small elementary school, I still could grasp just how miniscule it was compared to other High schools. Even a local middle school that only housed 7th and 8th graders had more room, more teachers, better facilities, and higher-grade technologies.

However, even with all these faults, I still liked Cascade and enjoyed going there because of the inviting, Christ-like attitude of everyone and the aptitude of the administration. This brings me to my next point, the principal. From 7th grade, all the way to 10th, my teacher was Mr. Broberg. He is one of the smartest, kindest, most understanding people I have ever met. He connected with us students in a way that most adults never could. Most everyone liked him as what he was, the guide of the school. And I say guide, because his way of leading the school was just that, leading. He didn’t try to force us to do anything, his very self was able to persuade us.

I point out Mr. Broberg’s excellent qualities so that you will have background on why I feel the way I do about the current principal: Mr. Washburn. Prior to leaving Cascade, there was always some looming reason I didn’t want to go to school in the morning, something I could never quite put a reason to. After having gone to a local public school, I now realize what that was, Washburn. He was always a bit a thorn in the side of everyone. To give you an example, I will tell you how the first day of 11th grade went. Mr. Washburn had us all come to a start-of-the-school year assembly as we always do. But instead of explaining to us how great the school year was going to be, and how God was alive in Cascade, and how we were going to grow, he told us how he was now in charge. Literally, on the first day he made it a point to tell everyone present that he was now the big Kahuna. He dominated the stage with not only a sense of ultimate authority, but also a threatening attitude.

Unfortunately it does not end there. Beginning soon after his inauguration speech, he started using chapel as his own personal soap box. At Cascade, every Thursday, we have an hour long session called Chapel where all the students (separated into two groups by high school and junior high) go to an assembly and listen to a speaker with his sermon for us, it is usually a very good experience. Starting this year, though, Washburn took it upon himself to get up in front of everyone after the speaker was done and give his two cents. As you might guess, this many times has a detrimental effect on the impact because of our dislike of Washburn’s need for attention. I’ll give you an example of one of the worse instances:

A speaker (for sake of not involving him in this article, I won’t mention his name) decided to talk about authority, and our responsibility to it as Christians. He showed bible verses where Jesus talked about how we are to submit ourselves to it. It was after the speaker finished that Washburn came up and made an illusion, explaining that our relationship to him was very nearly the same as a Christian’s position with God. He actually compared himself to God, yes. There are many more instances of Washburn displaying ineptitude and poor judgment, but for the sake of the length of this article, I will digress.

The vice principal, Mr. Peterson, is better, but only in that he doesn’t have the same ego that Washburn does. However, to give you a small example of what the student body thinks of him, one time he was up on stage as he many times is at lunch to give announcements. The students wanted him to stop talking so bad, that they continued to clap before he could begin, until he got so fed up with it that he got off. I can assure you, it was a moment of great triumph for the students.

Let me be clear though. However much I dislike Washburn and Peterson, I love the teachers. The experiences I have had, and the things I have learned I cannot even begin to fully tell you. They are nice, cooperative, friendly, helpful, exciting, joyful, interesting, Christ-like, electrifying, thrilling, accommodating, supportive, intelligent, valuable, and more admirable than I would have thought possible. If there is one good thing you can say about Cascade, it is that the teachers are the best.

I could go on, but I believe I have made my point. If you read all of this, I thank you, I know I can be a tad big winded. These are my opinions, if you have differing ones, please leave a comment. I would be happy to get back with you. Thanks to Lindsey for the idea of this article. It should be noted that opinions in this article are mine, and not necessarily those of others. Also, opinions of Mr. Peterson has improved since the event described.

-Trenton Stahl

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

The Day I Almost Killed A Guy

March 25, 2009 1 comment

When I was about 10 years old, i went on a 4th of July vacation with my family to Ocean Shores. One of the things that has since been made a necessity to all trips there is Go-Kart racing. There is this little go-kart and ice cream parlor there that trumps all in fun and sweets. At the time of this story, I was just old enough (for whatever reason the manager thought 10 years was old enough) to use one of the “fast” karts.

So it began. Oh it was innocent enough to being, I just rode around and had fun racing my family at various intervals. However, the story comes to a head at the end of the race when the person operating the race came out into the middle of the track and started to flag everyone into the side-area where all the karts were stored before a race began. Now, you have to understand that I had never had any experience driving anything at all, so when he came out to the middle of the track, I panicked.

He saw I wasnt going to stop, so he dodged left. For whatever reason, I then went left. He went right, I went right…BAM! He went flying over my head several feet behind me. Meanwhile, I went into temporary shock, thinking I killed a guy and kept going straight until I hit the tire wall.

It turns out I broke both the guys’ legs, but it could have been worse. Now, I dont know if this is related, but the next year we went there, the age limit had been significantly increased.

-Trenton Stahl

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

The Duct Tape Story

March 25, 2009 4 comments

duct-tapeWhen I was a young lad (about 12) I had a horrible experience that will forever follow me to my grave.

It all starts with me watching Pokemon. When i was younger, I loved pokemon. I did nothing but watch it in my spare time. Now, one day while I was waiting for the commericals to get over and done with, I wandered downstairs to see what was cooking for dinner. It turns out my Mother was cooking some meat dinner that I didnt want. But, before I left the kitchen, I grabbed a roll of duct tape from the cubboard. I went upstairs and it turns out Pokemon had come on without me, so I sat right down and started to watch.

Now, here is where the story gets weird. For some reason unknown to me, I decided to wrap both my legs from the knee to the ankle with tape. Dont ask me why, I dont know, but I did it. At the end of the show I looked on my legs in utter horror and dismay. I knew my parents were going to be mad, so I hid what I had done. Too scared to rip the tape off, I let the adhesive seep into my skin for about 3 days.

Then, one morning I woke to find my dad screaming at me. Apparently he had come into my room early in the morning to drop off some clothes, and saw my legs that had drooped over the edge of my blanket. Needless to say I was quite scared with the whole situation. Luckily this was over a summer vacation, and I didnt have to go to school, for a while. this gave me all the time I needed t rip this wretched stuff off. With my dad’s help, and my sister getting me athletes tape remover, I was able to peel the stuff off (and in some parts, out of ) my skin.

To this day, I am never allowed to forget what happened, and my family is more than happy to bring up the incident.

-Trenton Stahl

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

An Attack On Science Fiction

February 24, 2009 1 comment

A week ago I was contacted, via instant messaging, from a teacher of mine regarding how my summer vacation was going, lets call him Ted. We talked about what I had been doing with all my time, and I told him about taking it easy, watching some science fiction shows and such.

It was at this point that he pointed out how useless science fiction is, that it is a waste of time and no one should give it any attention. He asserted that things like star trek and aliens have no place in this world, especially when there are things like sports.

Now, unbeknownst to him, I had done an extensive paper on the value of science fiction, and what star trek has contributed to society. So when he said sci-fi was a waste, I just smiled.

“Oh, what?” He asked “You think it is worth all the hubbub people have given it? I can give you several reasons why sports are more worth the time of the world. They give you exercise, a sense of teamwork, and belonging. Science fiction cant give you those” At this point he leaned back in his chair, looking quite pleased with himself.

Trying to calm myself from the inner anger I was feeling, I took a deep breath and looked him in the eyes before proceeding. He had no idea what was about to happen, and I took more than a little pleasure from it.

“So,” I began “you think science fiction is a waste of time do you?”

“Indeed”

“So how do you explain the technological advances achieved because of the inspiration star trek gave people? How about Martin Cooper? Because of a star trek episode he created the first cell phone. Or how about how the modern hypodermic needle was inspired by star trek?”

“Eh…” (His canadian was showing)

“Oh, but that’s not all there is. You said people that play sports get a sense of teamwork. Ok, that may be true, but so do gamers who play science fiction games with each other. Those online ties are so powerful that many games have been branded as addicting.”

He was about to start talking again

“Oh no, Im not done yet!” I interrupted “You say that science fiction in all its ways are useless? How about the millions of jobs it has given people? Whether it be writers, directors, filmers, or actors, many of them have jobs only because of science fiction related media. And lets not forget the multi-billion dollar merchandise selling business.

“But lets not just talk about science fiction, lets address these sports you admire so much. According to a study done in 2007, over 45% of the beer consumed in the united states was due to sport related activities. Whether it be the super bowl, the Olympics, a local game, or just monday night football. Now consider how many people have gotten killed by being drunk, or by a drunk person, who was one of that 45%?

“But hey, I can talk about other things. Lets take a look at the drugs. Because of the massive pressure to perform, there has been an incalculable number of people taking performance enhancing drugs. This includes the professionals and amateurs.

“But lets get back to sci-fi. What of the above things can you attribute to science fiction? What is so bad about it that you make it out to be the devil? I want to know why it is you think is do damn bad about sci-fi!”

I have received no reply.

-Trenton Stahl

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.