Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Day 3: A favorite book

This is BY FAR the hardest day out of all... I love SO many books! Therefore, I am going to post about 3 of my favorite books.
But before I do that.. I just have to mention that I love any book by J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S Lewis and Sharon Creech. And of course, the Tintin adventures and the Sherlock Holmes mysteries are my favorite books as well.

The 3 books that I am going to talk about are "Journey to the River Sea" by Eva Ibbotson, "The Enchanted Castle" by E. Nesbit, and "Replay" by Sharon Creech.

First, "Journey to the River Sea" by Eva Ibbotson.


This book follows the story of 13 year old orphan Maia as she journeys to Brazil to live with her relatives the Carters. Maia leaves her boarding school in England and travels to the Amazon River with her new governess Miss Minton. Maia is very excited to reach her new home, especially since the Carters have twin girls Maia's age. But when Maia and Miss Minton reach their new home they are sorely disappointed. The Carters are mean and selfish - not to mention neat! Mrs. Carter keeps the house too clean and kills any bug that happens to crawl past the doorway. The twins are even worse. They tease Maia and blame her for things she didn't do. When a boy that lives in the rainforest, a child actor, and two investigators from England are thrown into the picture, things start to get complicated.
I love this book. I'm not even sure why. It has adventure in it and the characters are very well developed. I love the setting which is in the rainforest. This is definitely one of the best books I have ever read and I would suggest it to anyone who needs a light read.

"The Enchanted Castle" by E. Nesbit.


This book is about three siblings, Gerald, Kathleen, and James. Instead of spending their holiday at home, the children have to spend it at Kathleen's boarding school, which is empty other than the French tutor. The siblings go for a walk and get themselves lost... Then they find a tunnel that leads straight into the garden of a castle. Thinking it to be enchanted, the children wander around the gardens for awhile until they come across a sleeping girl, dressed in old fashioned clothing. Thinking her to by an enchanted princess, the boys kiss her and she wakes up! She says she's a princess that's been asleep for a thousand years. The siblings follow the girl into the castle and after she gives them some food, she shows them her treasure room, which seems to appear by magic. She picks up a ring and says it will make her invisible when she puts it on. She slips on the ring and she's gone! Gerald, Kathleen, and James are amazed and call out for the princess. She replies, out of thin air. She seems concerned that they can't see her... Then the truth comes out. She's not actually a princess, she's just the housekeeper's niece.
....How did she become invisible if everything she had said and done previously was a joke? The ring. The ring was a magic wishing ring.
The rest of the book follows the four children and their adventures with the magic ring. Some of their adventures include James turned into a grown man, Kathleen seeing the statues in the park come alive, and the audience the children creates to witness their made up play, coming to life.
This is by far one of the best books I have ever read. I love how there are so many different stories put into this book but there's an over all storyline that ties up all the loose ends. Again, I would recommend this book to anyone.

And now the final book, "Replay" by Sharon Creech.

Replay is about a boy named Leo who finds his father's journal in the attic and starts to read it. He is also preparing for his part in the upcoming school play and dealing with his three siblings.
Like most of Sharon Creech's books, I have NO clue why I love it so much. It's just a good book that I go to when I need a break from reading heavier stuff. It's entertaining and short and fun and the characters are lovable.

I'm thinking I should start calling this the "Every other day challenge" because I've been posting every other day instead of every day.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Day 2: Your Favorite Movie

This is SUCH a hard question.... I have so many movies that I love.
I guess I'll just pick one off my list.... I suppose I should talk about Star Wars or Lord of the Rings or one of the more "familiar" movies on my favorites list but instead I am going to talk about the movie "The Great Race."

"The Great Race" stars Tony Curtis as The Great Leslie - a dare devil stunt performer, Natalie Wood as Maggie Dubois - a fierce woman's rights advocate, Jack Lemmon as Professor Fate - The Great Leslie's enemy (also a stunt performer), and Peter Falk as Professor Fate's bumbling sidekick Max.
The movie is set in the early 1900's during the women's rights movement and starts out with The Great Leslie and Professor Fate standing off in a battle of stunts.
Then Leslie has an idea. He wants to have a car race from New York to Paris.
Professor Fate and Max take up the challenge.
Maggie Dubois, who has got herself a job as a reporter, refuses to be left behind and enters the race as well, to report it from start to finish.
The competitors run into many things on the way to Paris such as Indians, cowboys, melting ice burgs, a plot to destroy a foreign government whose kind looks exactly like Prof. Fate, and a pie fight.
Who will win in the end?
And who blew up the Eiffel Tower? ("MAAAAAAAAAAAXX!!!!!!").

I love this movie because it takes place in so many different locations and each location has it's own separate story that goes with it.
I also love the slapstick humor.
The music is amazing to! =D
Stay tuned for tomorrow's question!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Day 1: A Favorite Song

Day one of the 30 days challenge is, "What is your favorite song?"
My favorite song is "Stay Strong" by the Christian group Newsboys.

Here is a link to the song on youtube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9m96MtNlMz8

Newsboys is a band that has been around for over 25 years. They came over from Australia. Up until 2009, only one of their original band members was still in the band and that was their lead singer Peter Furler. Then Furler decided to retire and former DC Talk member Michael Tait took over as lead singer.
Ever since Furler left, Newsboys hasn't been the same... They'll always be my favorite band. But without Peter Furler's unique song writing flare, Newsboys just isn't the same. Before, Newsboys songs sounded so full of God. The songs are still very God-centered but they just seem to fit with all other other recent Christian music. There's nothing super unique about them.

Stay Strong is my favorite song because it reminds me I need to stay strong in Christ and not rely on myself or worldly things to keep me happy.

Speaking of music.... Here is a video of me playing saxophone!

video

Friday, February 24, 2012

30 Day Challenge.... and Rosey.

I have decided to do a 30 day blogging challenge! For 30 days I will try to blog every day on the following topics:

Day 1: A favorite song.
Day 2: A favorite movie.
Day 3: A favorite book.
Day 4: A favorite television program.
Day 5: A favorite quote.
Day 6: A moment you wish you could relive.
Day 7: Five things you couldn't possibly live without.
Day 8: A thank you letter to someone who has changed your life.
Day 9: A photo you took.
Day 10: A photo of you taken over ten years ago.
Day 11: A photo of you taken recently.
Day 12: A song that you want played at your wedding(or was played).
Day 13: A guilty pleasure.
Day 14: A vacation you would like to take.
Day 15: A person you admire.
Day 16: A song that makes you cry.
Day 17: An art piece.
Day 18: A time when you felt passionate and alive.
Day 19: A talent of yours.
Day 20: A hobby of yours.
Day 21: Something you know you do differently than most people.
Day 22: A website.
Day 23: A way in which you want to be remembered.
Day 24: A movie no one would expect you to love.
Day 25: A recipe.
Day 26: A childhood memory.
Day 27: A physical feature you love.
Day 28: A scar you have and it's story.
Day 29: Hopes, dreams and plans you have for the next 365 days.
Day 30: A motto of philosophy.

I probably won't get a blog post in every single day.... but I'll try!
Anyone is welcome to do this with me... Just comment below and tell me so I can check your blog every (or nearly) day!
The idea came from this amazing blogger:

http://fashionandmodesty.blogspot.com/

And now.... Some pictures of Rosey!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Propaganda

Propaganda comes in many shapes and forms. Perhaps you have seen some that look like this:


Or this:
Or even this:

For a class I took two years ago we were given a handout with different kinds of propaganda.
The top of handout says, "A number of techniques based in social psychological research are used to generate propaganda. Many of these same techniques can be found under logical fallacies, since propagandists use arguments that, while sometimes convincing, are not necessarily valid."
Some different kinds of propaganda are,
Ad nauseam: A simple slogan repeated enough times that it might be taken as the truth.
Appeal to fear: Pretty self explanatory.
Appeal to prejudice: Pretty self explanatory.
Beautiful people: Depicts famous or beautiful people and makes people think that if they can look like that certain person, they'll be perfect.
Black and white fallacy: There's only two choices. For example, "Join us or die."
An example of World War 1 propaganda that I thought was kind of funny was, "Bond slackers are Kaiser* backers."

*Kaiser- German leader.

For my World War 2 class, each student had to create a piece of propaganda that limits personal freedom.
Here is mine (NOTE: I do NOT believe the phrase I choose! I have nothing against homeschoolers OR public schoolers).
The propaganda says, "Don't pay the fool, go public school."

My dad (who helped me with this project) and I tried to make the homeschoolers look deformed, with flat heads, empty eyes, and three fingered hands. We also gave them shirts labeling them as "Home skolers" showing that they don't know how to spell... And of course, the jester hats to show that they are "play the fool" by not going public school.

I couldn't resist putting a piece of propaganda within a piece of propaganda....


A rejected phrase for my propaganda was, "Don't be foolish, avoid homeschoolish!"
Thanks but no thanks Dad.
On Tuesday when I brought my poster to class everyone loved it.
Mission accomplished.
=)

Monday, February 6, 2012

Paramount Theater

The year is 1928.
Silent films are very popular, as "Talkies" (films with sound) are not possible yet.
To accompany these silent films are Wurlitzer Organs. These organs aren't your everyday church organs... They have many, many different sounds to accompany what's happening in the film. And they were always played live.
People would go to the theater to watch a silent film, while someone would be playing a Wurlitzer Organ in the orchestra pit.
In modern days, there are only about 8 people who play Wurlitzer Organs to accompany silent films. And although Wurlitzer is still making organs, there are only around 100 that are still around that were made especially to play with silent films.
The Paramount Theater in Seattle was built especially to play silent films. And, of course, they would need a Wurlitzer. They had one built especially to match the theater and that's where it's stayed since 1928.
Shortly after Paramount was built, the technology to make "Talkie" films appeared and silent films were slowly silenced... Luckily, not forever.
Theaters like the Paramount still occasionally show these wonderfully funny shows.

I was lucky enough to visit the Paramount this morning with my mom and my best friend and her mom.
Right now the Paramount is going through a "Silent Movie Monday" series, where each Monday evening they play a silent film.
This morning they were also doing a tour of the theater and a man was giving a performance of the Wurlitzer while accompanying a short, silent film called "Cops" by Buster Keaton.
(Here is it on youtube if anyone wants to watch it... It's quite funny! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8rf_w7w0IQ )
The Organist came all the way from Kansas to do this series. He said he started with piano but was completely self taught on the organ. He also said he only plays Wurlitzer Organs. He's been playing for 42 years. =)

Here is a video of him playing the Paramount Overture on the Wurlitzer:

video

Here are some more pictures.
The Mighty Wurlitzer:


Me admiring the Wurlitzer (it's such a fun name to write... Rachmaninoff is another fun name to write.)


All I can say is I was born in the wrong time period.... I think it would be SO cool to have been able to live in the early late 1800's-early 1900's. Vaudeville.... Silent films.... Women wearing elegant dresses to the theater, accompanied by men in top hats.
When the Paramount Theater opened, 10,000 people came the opening night, paying 60 cents at the door. Although the theater only held 3000 people, men and women came to mingle in the lobby. They came to be seen in their elegant clothes. They came to see silent films accompanied by the beautiful Wurlitzers.
As well as having a Wurlitzer, the Paramount has a "Re-enacting (or reproducing... I forget which) piano" which is different than a player piano. This piano was also made especially for the Paramount. It was amazing to see it play.... Sadly, I didn't get a video.

My family and friends and I also went to a flight museum recently to look at their exhibit on World War One planes.
Here is the first fighter plane, made in Italy before the first Great War. See how the gun is on the top? As planes became more sophisticated, the gun was moved lower down, so it could shoot between the front propeller. How could it fire between the propeller, one might ask? Well, the gun would shoot through the propeller, but would pause when the propeller was directly in front of the gun. It was quite the sophisticated technique!

Of course... I had to go through the entire flight museum and find the ONE mention of Star Trek.... I found it in this picture, when the cast from the original Star Trek series came to see the Enterprise space shuttle.