Early 1900s Entertainment and The Titanic

Around the turn of the 20th century, modern entertainment was quickly developing, including the sports and movie industries which are rather dominant in today’s America. It was around this time that the a landmark film, The Great Train Robbery, was released. It was a 1903 indie western short about a group of bandits that robs a train of bags of mail. In order to find out how it ends, however, you will need to watch the film for yourself, which can be done below. The film was written, produced, and directed by Edwin S. Porter, an American pioneer filmmaker originally working for Edison studios. At just over ten minutes, The Great Train Robbery was quite a milestone in the early movie industry.

To get the original experience, you may want to mute the soundtrack that the YouTube creator has added.

Though not as dominant of an industry as the up and coming movie industry, the growing sports industry was also increasing in popularity around the turn of the century. Sports like football, basketball, and even the Olympics were all evolving into what would become major parts of today’s culture. None of these, of course, were more prominent in America than baseball. It was in 1903 that the first Major League World Series took place. Known today as “America’s pastime,” baseball was actually invented back in the mid 19th century by a man named Alexander Cartwright.

It is quite a debatable topic whether it was Cartwright, or one of several other men believed to have been involved in the creation of the sport. The most popular of these misconceptions is that a certain Abner Doubleday invented baseball in Cooperstown, NY, in 1839. However, there is no evidence to prove this, and the fact that Doubleday was never believed by some historians to have even played the sport, and had in no instance claimed the game as his creation, completely disproves this.

Contrarily, the game of basketball has a very clear origin. The game was invented by James Naismith in 1893 as a less injury-prone alternative to football and baseball, and was originally played by throwing balls into peach baskets. It was not long before the game had evolved into what we know it as today, that is, a very popular sport not only in America, but in dozens of countries worldwide.

Finally, it was also around this time that the Olympics were officially revived. This began in the mid-19th century when there was much enthusiasm about the idea of reviving the ancient Greek Olympics, which had rather faded out after the overthrowing of the Greek empire. After the restoration of an old stadium for the purpose, the very first of the modern Greek Olympic Games were held in the mid 1870s. Following the great success of this sporting event, an International Olympics Committee was formed, and by the late 1890s, the first official Winter Olympic Games were held, fittingly, in Athens, Greece. In 1900 they were held again, this time in Paris, France. Today, both the Summer and Winter Olympics are held, the latter of which always falling two years after the other.

The last entertainment topic which I shall mention is the children’s literature by Edward Stratemeyer, of which over 500,000,000 copies were sold. His series were so popular that he had to hire freelance writers to help him author them. Each series had its own pen name used by the various authors who wrote them. For example, his series The Bobbsey Twins, while authored originally by Stratemeyer, were eventually authored by various individuals, all of which writing under the pen name of ‘Laura Lee Hope’, a non-existent person.

Stratemeyer’s ability to tell a good children’s story was what caused his series to be so popular. Popular series that he created, and wrote the beginnings of, include The Hardy Boys, Tom Swift, and The Rover Boys, his first major success.

The other main topic which I will cover in this essay is the sinking of the Titanic, a ship that was originally thought to be unsinkable. At the time it was built, the R.M.S. Titanic was the largest man-made object ever to be movable. It was because of the recent introduction of steel as a building material that such creations were able to be built. However, it would soon be found that the Titanic was not as “unsinkable” as it was believed to be; for no ship is truly unsinkable.

It was in the year 1908 that construction began on the Titanic and its sister ships. Three years later, the Titanic, the largest of these ships, was completed. On April 10, 1912, the Titanic set sail from Southampton, England, destined for New York City. Attempting to cross the Atlantic in just six days, Captain Edward Smith sailed at full speed in his seemingly unsinkable ship.

Four days into the voyage, the Titanic was nearing the coast of Newfoundland, Canada, when Captain Smith received a warning from several other ships in the area of nearby ice in the sea. Following these warnings, the lookout crew on the Titanic was working long and hard to spot any potential hazards. Nevertheless, it was impossible to see the iceberg that would pierce through the side of the ship until it was too late, as the crew was working at night without the assistance of binoculars. When the iceberg was finally spotted, the officer in charge decided that it would be best to steer around the iceberg rather than to run directly into it, but was unable to miss it entirely.

Upon hitting the iceberg, a large seam opened up on the side of the ship, and water poured in quickly, overwhelming the ship and causing the front to gradually sink. Sure enough, the “unsinkable” ship sank, claiming the lives of 1,500 people on board. This was mostly due to the fact that the Titanic carried with it only 20 lifeboats, enough to carry just over a third of the 3,327 people on board. Because women and children were taken in the life boats first, very few men survived this tragedy.

Thank you for reading this essay about early 20th century entertainment, as well as about the tragedy of the Titanic‘s sinking. Please leave your feedback in the comments, thanks!

History Week 19


The Industrial Age in America

The turn of the 20th century was a time of great industrial development in America. This time period is often called the Industrial Age in America. This time period really began several decades before the turn of the century. Men such as Cornelius Vanderbilt, John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, and Henry Ford were all important contributors to this era in industrial development. In the following paragraphs I will be detailing on each of these men’s lives and accomplishments during the Industrial Age.

Cornelius Vanderbilt was born in 1794 and was an American business magnate during the beginning of the Industrial Age. Vanderbilt built up much of his massive wealth ($215 billion in 2016 dollars) from shipping, and later, the railroading industry. Vanderbilt’s ways of doing business put him at a great advantage over competitors. While in the shipping industry in the northeastern United States, Vanderbilt lowered costs to free or cheap for his services in order to gain a larger customer base, as well as buying out his competitors. He applied these same techniques in his railroad ventures, causing his railroad empire to be the dominant one in the United States at the time.

John D. Rockefeller was born in 1839 in Richford, New York, and went on to become one of the richest Americans in history. His wealth was derived from his dominance in the oil industry. One major contributor to his success in the industry was his purchasing of his suppliers, such as those who produce the barrels for his oil. After years of dominating the oil industry with his company Standard Oil, the company was at last found to be in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act in 1911, and the company was forced to be broken up into 34 different companies. By this point, Rockefeller’s company had begun to lose its dominance in the market because of controversies surrounding his business practices.

Andrew Carnegie was born in Scotland in 1835, immigrating with his parents to America at the age of 12. The beginning of his career was spent in the railroad business, but Carnegie is most well known for his work in the steel industry. His company, Carnegie Steel Co., was only around for about nine years before Carnegie sold the business to the United States Steel Corporation for $15 Billion in today’s dollars, one of the largest business deals in the world at the time. This deal helped Carnegie to achieve a net worth of $372 Billion in 2014 dollars at his death in 1919 at the age of 83.

Henry Ford was born in 1863 on a farm in Michigan. He is best known for creating a large American car manufacturing company, Ford. Fords continue to be the bestselling American automobile brand to this day. Henry Ford was always interested in tinkering with things at a young age, so it is no surprise that it was he who created the first mass produced automobile. The Model T was a huge leap in transportation development in America. In a matter of several years Americans went from traveling by horse-drawn wagons at several miles per hour to driving Ford’s cars as fast as 30 mph.

Ford also advertised a wide variety of options on his car, saying that his buyers could have any color they wish, as long as that color is black. But perhaps Ford’s most notable invention was the assembly line. This way of producing vehicles greatly reduced the time spent producing a single automobile, as each worker would be in charge of doing a certain job as each automobile passed by on a conveyor belt. This greatly increased productivity in factories.

History Week 18


Grover Cleveland and Benjamin Harrison (History Week 17 Part 2)

Grover Cleveland was born Stephen Grover Cleveland on August 20, 1833, to Ann and Richard Falley Cleveland in Caldwell, New Jersey. Cleveland attended the Fayetteville Academy and the Clinton Liberal academy as a child. When he was 16, Cleveland was hired as an assistant teacher alongside his brother at a school for the blind in New York City. In 1855 Cleveland decided to head west to Buffalo where he was given a clerical job by his uncle at a law firm for which Millard Fillmore, the thirteenth president of the United States, had once worked. Cleveland was admitted to the New York bar.

In 1862 Cleveland left the firm to start his own practice. The following year he was appointed to assistant district attorney of Erie County, New York. Following a congressional act that same year stating that able-bodied men must serve when called upon or hire a replacement to take his place, Cleveland chose not to serve in the American Civil War, hiring George Benninsky as his replacement for $150.

Cleveland was always a staunch democrat, and was against Abraham Lincoln and other Republicans of his day. In 1865 he lost his run for district attorney to his friend and roommate Lyman Bass, a Republican. Five years later Cleveland was nominated as the Democratic choice for sheriff of Erie county, and won the election, taking office on January 1, 1871. His term as sheriff was rather uneventful, with the exception of several executions which Cleveland carried out himself.

In 1881 Cleveland ran for mayor of Buffalo, taking office in 1882 following his defeating Milton C. Beebe by a margin of approximately 3,500 votes. The following year Cleveland was elected as governor of New York.

Three years later, Cleveland was nominated as the Democratic candidate for president. Running against former Speaker of the House James Blaine, Cleveland won the presidency and was inaugurated in 1885 as the 22nd president of the United States. In 1888 he ran for re-election against republican candidate Benjamin Harrison, but lost. After Harrison’s four-year term was completed, Cleveland ran once again, this time defeating Benjamin Harrison and becoming the first U.S. president in history to have two non-consecutive terms as president.

After the close of his term in 1897, Cleveland retired to his estate in Princeton, New Jersey. On June 24, 1908, Cleveland died of a heart attack at the age of 71.

Benjamin Harrison was born on August 20, 1833, in North Bend, Ohio, to John Scott and Elizabeth Ramsey Harrison. He was the second of ten children in the family, and was the grandson of William Henry Harrison, who would become the 9th president of the United States when Benjamin was 8 years old. Benjamin Harrison was also the great-grandson of Benjamin Harrison V, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

Harrison schooled in a log cabin near his home as a child. He was much interested in the outdoors, spending much of his spare time fishing and hunting. At the age of 14, Benjamin and his brother Irwin were enrolled in Farmer’s College near Cincinnati. After studying there for two years, Harrison transferred to Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where he graduated two years later.

Following his graduation, Benjamin Harrison studied law with Judge Bellamy Storer of Cincinnati. In 1853 Harrison briefly returned to Oxford to marry Caroline Scott, whom he had met at Farmer’s College several years earlier. The following year Benjamin Harrison was admitted to the Ohio bar, shortly before moving to Indianapolis, Indiana, where he began practicing law at the offices of John H. Ray. In 1857, after serving as a bellman for the Indianapolis federal court, as well as a Commissioner for the U.S. Court of Claims, Harrison was elected as the Indianapolis city attorney.

In 1858 Harrison and a man named William Wallace formed the law offices of Wallace and Harrison. Two years later Wallace was elected as county clerk, prompting Harrison to begin a new firm with another man William Fishback, called Fishback and Harrison. This partnership lasted until the beginning of the American Civil War, when Harrison joined the Union Army.

Following the war, Harrison entered the realm of politics, starting off locally, and eventually serving in the U.S. Senate after declining an offer from President James Garfield’s administration of a cabinet position. He served in the Senate from 1881 to 1887. Just after the close of his Senate term came is nomination as the Democratic candidate for the 1888 presidential election. Although Harrison received less of the popular vote than his opponent, Grover Cleveland, the electoral college votes were the deciding matter in this election, as Harrison received 233 votes to Cleveland’s 168.

The U.S Presidential Election of 1888, Electoral College Votes by State. *Public Domain*

There was some controversy over how the electoral college votes were handled, and it was alleged that Harrison’s friend and supporter William Wade Dudley wrote a letter bribing voters in “Blocks of Five” (groups of five trusted men to vote for Harrison) to ensure Harrison’s election. This letter was published in the Indiana Sentinel on October 31. Harrison neither defended nor repudiated this action. Harrison never spoke to Dudley again following the election.

Harrison attempted to run again in 1893, but was this time defeated by Cleveland. In February of 1901, Harrison came down with what was thought to be grippe (today referred to as influenza). His condition worsened, and Benjamin Harrison died in his home of pneumonia on March 13, 1901, at the age of 67.


The Scoop on College Finances Today: Interviewing Recent Full-Time College Attendees

I recently interviewed two recent college attendees about financial matters in college. I asked both persons three questions about their financial situation in college. Here are each of the questions, followed by each of the two answers I received, summed up into a paragraph or so each.

Question #1: How much did you spend per semester (or trimester) on books?

Person 1:I would say on average, between $100-$200. At [redacted] there were some courses where the book included online material for $150….”

Person 2: “I spent about $900-1,000 on books every semester.”

Question #2: What was the largest unexpected financial burden you faced in college?

Person 1: “The only financial things I didn’t expect were the $50 parking pass for the semester and a few $150 books with the online content, but that isn’t saying much compared to what others may have gone through.”

Person 2: I think the biggest financial burden was the software that came with the classes I took. There was often other programs you had to purchase to complete the course, not just the textbook. There are a lot of classes now that are more reliant on computer programs than the book and you can’t buy the programs used or rent them like you can a textbook.

Question #3: If you could start college all over again, how could you have saved money by doing things differently?

Person 1: “I think I did everything I could to save money the right way, and I don’t think I did anything wrong, really. What I did do that was the reason I wouldn’t have done anything differently is I just chose to do a community college for an associate degree and chose a degree that would actually be marketable or useful…. Also, living with your parents make things a lot cheaper….

Person 2: “I think the best way of saving money would be to stay on top of your grades and get as many scholarships as you can. Find things that interest you or thing you want to major in and see if there are any local organizations that are related to that that offer grants or scholarships.” 

Person #1 lived with his parents to save money, and his parents paid for his college expenses. He seems to have done the right things to save as much money as possible, attending a community college instead of a university.

Person #2 attended a state university and thus spent more on books per semester than person #1. She noted that finding local organizations that are related to your interests that can potentially offer scholarships.

Thank you for reading!


What's Inside A Computer?

The inside of a regular desktop computer has four main components. The motherboard is a circuit board to which many items like USB ports are connected. The motherboard also holds the CPU, which is the brain of the computer, as well as the RAM (Random Access Memory). In addition to this main board, there are also several other circuit boards inside many computers that are made for more particular aspects of the computer.

Next, the power supply in the back corner of the computer takes the power from the wall plug and distributes it to the various components of the computer. The power supply is a small square box with a fan attached to it to prevent it from overheating. Lastly, the computer also contains at least one hard drive, which houses permanent files (as opposed to flash memory storage devices like SD cards and flash drives), as well as a CD ROM.

Computers Week 1 (Science Week 31)


Chemistry Week 6 – The Cell

The human cell is a very complex organism, of which there are trillions within the human body. The interior of a cell is lined with what is called the cell membrane. Surrounded by a membrane in the center of the cell is the nucleus, which contains the chromosome. Inside the chromosome is deoxyribonucleic acid, or, DNA. The blueprints for the cell are comprised of the DNA and an organelle inside the cell called a mitochondrion.

As the DNA never leaves the nucleus, the blueprints are duplicated. These duplicates are called ribonucleic acid, or RNA. This is simply a transcription of part of the DNA into a form in which it can travel as a messenger to the proper ribosomes in the body. This type of RNA is called Messenger RNA, or mRNA. RNA is also used to select the correct amino acid for each ribosome in order to create new proteins in the body. These are called Transfer RNA, or tRNA.

The interior of a cell is a very crowded place. A certain type of cell called an Escherichia coli, which is just one five-hundred-thousandth of a meter in length and two-millionths of a meter in diameter, can hold nearly 4,300 different types of proteins. This crowding is beneficial in a lot of ways; for example, the strength of interactions between cells because of the interior crowding is believed to be of key importance in such processes as DNA transcription.


Science Week 30


Did God Create life? Ask A Protein

Today I read an article by this same name on creation.com, discussing the various aspects of proteins that prove the existence of an intelligent Creator. I highly recommend this article, especially to those of you who are atheists.

One of several aspects of proteins that is described in the article is the folding of proteins. In order to function properly, each protein must fold itself into the exact right shape to fit in its position, similarly to the way keys work. This must be done countless times per day inside the human body. How does it fold by itself? With the help of specialized proteins called chaperones. These are in charge of assisting the other proteins in folding and in finding their way towards the one spot where they will fit in a vast spectrum of places they might travel if unassisted. These too have chaperones to fold and direct them, which eventually begs the question, how was the original chaperone created and directed?

This is impossible to answer if there is no intelligent Creator behind it. You cannot tell me a random huge explosion billions of years ago followed by millions of years of evolution could have developed such an intricate system for human life. There lies the argument that Charles Darwin, the well-known 19th century author of On the Origin of Species who created the theory of evolution was a scientist who put in a lot of research to come to his conclusion about how life began. This argument is not invalid. But his theory is impossible based on the evidence found through modern discoveries like DNA and the intricacies of the human body.

Think for a moment. How foolish is it to believe that all this came from random fluctuation of the universe that perfectly designed life and it’s most complex aspects? The only reasonable conclusion is that an all-knowing, all-powerful Creator as described in the book of Genesis is behind it. Thank you for reading.

Science Lesson 148


Can People Who Are Not Famous Be Better Role Models Than Those Who Are?

In my opinion, those who are not famous can actually be a better role model than those who are. This is partially because fame often gets in the way of things, and famous people do not always set a very good example. A good role model does not have to be famous; they can be anyone in your life who has a positive impact on you that you choose to follow. Many humans are easily influenceable, so it is important to be careful who’s example you are following.

Before we go any further with the topic of role models, let us take a look at the dictionary definition so as to get a better understanding of what we are talking about here. Oxford defines a role model as “a person looked to by others as an example to be imitated.” With that in mind, let’s think about the question again. Should we try to imitate those who are famous over those who are not? I beleive that those who are not famous can often be better role models over those who are because we are more likely to be imitating something good, and we can learn very valuable lessons from friends, family, and others we see on a regular basis in a vast array of different areas.

As Christians, our role models should be those who, by being our role models, are helping us in our walk with Christ. Many of today’s most influential people are doing the exact opposite. Our ultimate role model should be Christ. When we are in a certain situation in which certain role models would have us doing one thing, think about what Jesus would do in your situation. This is the way to live your life as Christ would want you to.

Conclusively, while some famous people may be a good role model for some, a person who is not as well known as the same, if not better, ability to influence those around him or her for the better. Be careful who your role models are, as they are your biggest influences, and remember, Jesus is the ultimate role model.

Disagree? Please comment below, and be sure to point out any other errors you find in this essay. Thank you for reading!


James Garfield and Chester Alan Arthur (History Week 17 Part 1)

Note: This essay has been divided into two parts so as to make it two normal length posts instead of one long essay.

James A. Garfield was born November 19, 1831, in Orange Township, which is today, Moreland Hills, Ohio, in a log cabin, to Abram and Eliza Garfield. He was named for an older sibling who had died in infancy. His parents joined the Church of Christ in 1833, a decision that helped shape Garfield’s life. It was that same year that Garfield’s father passed away, leaving him to be raised in poverty by his mother, who remarried briefly, only to leave her second husband, soon after. James took his mother’s side, noting in his diary years later his satisfaction upon Belden’s death in 1880.

Garfield first attended school at the Geauga Seminary in Chester Township, Ohio, at the age of 16, shortly after leaving home. There he learned many different subject which he had not previously learned. While there he worked as a carpenter’s assistant and a teacher to support himself.

After leaving Geauga, James wanted to go to college, and thus sought out a school that could help prepare him. He decided upon the Western Reserve Eclectic Institute, known today as Hiram College, in Hiram, Ohio. After three years at the Institute, Garfield had learned more than enough to move on to college, and had become a full-time teacher. He then enrolled in Williams College in Massachusetts as a third-year student, having received credit for two years while at the Institute.

Two years later, Garfield graduated from Williams as salutatorian of his class. In the next few years, Garfield would enter the field of law, and he was admitted to the bar in 1861. It was shortly before this that Garfield first entered the realm of politics, accepting a senate nomination from the Republican Party upon the death of Cyrus Prentiss, the previous nominee. Garfield won the nomination and served until 1861.

During the Civil War, Garfield served as a brigadier general for the Union army. In 1862, Garfield, still serving, was elected as a congressman in the 38th Congress. He later served as a minority leader during the Hayes administration. In 1879, President Hayes recommended that Garfield run for governor of Ohio, mostly in an effort to put Garfield in a position where he could eventually become president. Garfield chose to run for the U.S. Senate instead, but he lost the race.

The following year brought the Presidential election of 1880. While Garfield believed that John Sherman was the best choice for the Republican ticket, many believed that Garfield was the best choice. At first Garfield was not in favor of the idea, but in the end, it was he who would receive the Republican nomination.

Garfield ran against Democratic nominee Major General Winfield Scott Hancock, a veteran of the Mexican-American and Civil Wars, with Chester Alan Arthur as his vice-president. Sure enough, the two won by a landslide against Hancock.

Just four months into the presidency, James Garfield was shot by Charles J. Guiteau. Six weeks later, he died, and was promptly replaced by his vice-president, Chester Alan Arthur.

Chester Alan Arthur was born October 5, 1829  in Fairfield, Vermont, to Malvina Stone and William Arthur. His father was of Irish descent, while his mother was of English. Chester was named “Chester” after a family physician and friend, Chester Abell.

From a young age, Arthur was a supporter of the Whig party, and once he even participated in a brawl against students who supported James K. Polk along with some fellow Whig students. Arthur attended college at Schenectady’s Union College. During his winter breaks he served as a part-time teacher at a school in Schaghticoke, New York, where he would become a full-time instructor upon his graduation from Schenectady in 1848.

Whilst he continued his teaching career, Arthur also began studying law. In 1854, he was admitted to the New York bar and joined Erastus D. Culver’s law firm, for which he had read law the previous year, thus prompting the renaming of the firm to Culver, Parker, and Arthur.

Arthur served as brigadier general during the Civil War, returning to civilian life to begin his political career in 1863. In 1870, President Ulysses S. Grant appointed Arthur to the position of Collector. The Collector was responsible for the hiring of employees and the collection of tariffs at the Port of New York to replace Thomas Murphy, then the current Collector. Grant had offered the appointment to several others, all of whom declined and recommended Arthur.

In 1875, Arthur’s term as Collector expired.

It was during the 1880 presidential election that Arthur was made vice-president. This came after Republican nominee James Garfield’s supporters’ top pick, Levi Morton, declined the appointment. Garfield’s second choice was Chester Arthur. When Garfield won the presidency and was inaugurated in 1881, vice-president Arthur had no idea he would soon take office himself.

Arthur was at his home in New York City when he was told of the President’s death. This came several months after Garfield’s being shot. Several days later Arthur took the oath of office and was sworn in as the twenty-first president of the United States.

Chester Arthur completed Garfield’s term, but in 1885 he quickly gave up his bid for re-election. Who won the presidency in 1885, and what led up to it? Find out in part two of this essay, coming very soon to Colton’s RPC!

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Butterfly Life Cycle – Mind Map and Outline

  • Introduction
    • Introduce topic (butterfly life cycle) and briefly describe it
    • Introduce type of butterfly to use as example throughout paper
  • Body
    • Introduce egg stage
      • Describe the egg stage.
        • Egg is placed by female butterfly on or near intended food for caterpillar
    • Introduce the caterpillar/larva stage
      • Describe the larva stage
        • Long and worm-like
        • The stage of feeding and growth
        • Sheds skin often
    • Introduce chrysalis/pupa stage
      • Describe the chrysalis stage
        • The stage of transformation during which the larva transforms to a butterfly while inside a cocoon
        • This usually takes several weeks
    • Introduce butterfly stage
      • Describe butterfly stage
        • The final stage of the butterfly’s life
        • The process is repeated during this stage
  • Conclusion
    • Summarize stages of butterfly life cycle
      • Egg stage
      • Larva stage
      • Pupa stage
      • Butterfly stage
    • Concluding statement(s)

Full report coming soon!

English Lessons 64-65

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Is Most Of What People Buy Totally Unnecessary?

Today, many of us cannot imagine being without certain modern conveniences that were unheard of just 50 years ago. But are all of the random things we put in our shopping carts on a daily basis really as necessary as we think they are?

Enter any local retail or department store today and you will find shelves full of useless novelty items and overpriced goods that we simply don’t need. Perhaps it is the way the item has been arranged that makes us look at it. From there, the companies that produce these products use visuals to make their products appealing, such as unique packaging. Often, we will put some gimmicky products in our cart impulsively. Next time you find yourself doing this, think about it for a moment. Why do I need this? Will this be useful, or will it just sit around and waste space? If you cannot answer the first question, or if you chose the latter answer on the second question, this purchase is a waste of money.

Another common occurrence is when we receive money from a birthday or something of that sort, we often want to spend it as fast as we can, and end up buying things we don’t need. Rather than doing this, why not save or invest this same money?

As for many of today’s modern conveniences, we are often too set on getting the latest trend or the newest innovation because everyone else is doing it, or because we think it will make life easier. The truth is, a lot of these products are really more for the benefit of the producer than for that of the consumer. The consumer is convinced by the producer that this product will make his or her life better, and thus pays the price, often only to use it once or twice.

It must be said that I am not against all purchases of this kind. I think that without many of today’s modern conveniences, things would be unnecessarily difficult. The point is, we must balance three things out; price, convenience, and necessity. If we successfully do this, we should be able to purchase only that which is convenient, reasonably priced, and necessary.

English 8 Lesson 61 – Timed Essay (30 min)

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What College Majors Would I Consider?

For the particular careers I plan to pursue, I believe that there are a few certain majors that would benefit me greatly. In my case, the most beneficial of these would most likely be a business major. This is beneficial because it can offer a lot of different business opportunities down the road, and a lot of the careers I have in mind for my future involve the creation and/or management of a business.

In a more particular way, the other major which I believe would benefit me the most would be a major in engineering. One field I might go into, the creation, production, and marketing of innovative automobiles, would certainly call for an engineering major, possibly in addition to a business major, called a double major.

Conclusively, the two majors that would work best for my possible career choices are a business or an engineering major. Thank you for reading!

Personal Finance Week 26

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Personal Finance Course Reflection

As I am now two-thirds of the way done with the Ron Paul Curriculum Personal Finance Course, I have been asked to write a brief reflection on the course, answering several questions about the course, such as what I have enjoyed, and what I look forward to learning about throughout the rest of the course. Here it is:

What parts of the course have been your favorite(s) so far? 
I liked the Time Management and Buying/Selling/Maintaining Car sections.

What parts of the course need revision or improvement? 
Well, the Week 20 Assignment could be a little easier if this bankrate.com calculator were linked to (This is the one we were supposed to use) https://www.bankrate.com/calculators/auto/auto-loan-calculator.aspx Also, a few links were 404 in Lesson 117.

What have we not covered yet that you are looking forward to the most? 
Nothing in particular, we have already covered a lot of interesting topics.

Thank you for reading, more is to come very shortly!

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Originally posted here: https://www.ronpaulcurriculum.com/members/forum/openthread.cfm?forum=29&ThreadID=447261#447261

Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos was born Jeffrey Jorgensen on January 12, 1964, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to Jacklyn Gise and Ted Jorgensen. After his mother divorced Ted, she married a Cuban immigrant, Miguel Bezos, in turn causing Jeff, who was then four years old, to have his surname changed to ‘Bezos.’

The family moved soon moved to Houston, Texas, where Bezos attended River Oaks Elementary School in Houston from fourth to sixth grade. Then the family moved again, this time to Miami, Florida, where Jeff attended Miami Palmetto High School, during which time he also flipped hamburgers at a local McDonald’s. In 1982, Bezos graduated from high school as valedictorian. Moving on to Princeton, Jeff received Bachelor of Science degrees in computer science and engineering before his graduation in 1986.

Upon graduating, Bezos was offered jobs at companies like Intel, Accenture (formerly Andersen Consulting), and Bell Labs, all of which he declined. Rather, Bezos worked at Fitel, a telecommunications company where he was tasked with creating an international trade network. After climbing the ranks there, Bezos transitioned to the banking industry, working at Bankers Trust as a product manager from 1988-1990. After this, he joined a multinational investment firm based out of New York City, D.E. Shaw and Co. It was after four years of working here that Bezoz had the idea of opening an online bookstore, and after leaving D.E. Shaw in 1994, he did just that, and Amazon was born. Bezos warned investors early on, stating that the company had a 70% chance of failure or bankruptcy.

While it was only a bookstore at it’s creation, Bezos planned to eventually Amazon, formerly Cadabra, to selling other products. In 1998, Amazon began selling music and video, and had expanded to other consumer goods as well by the end of the year. Over the following two decades, the company continued to expand, introducing Amazon Web Services in 2002, followed by the Kindle in 2007. In October of 2013 the company was widely recognized as the largest online shopping retailer in the world. In late 2018, Amazon became just the second company in history to have a market capitalization in excess of $1,000,000,000,000. Bezos also became the richest man in modern history in 2018, reaching a peak net worth of over $150,000,000,000.

Jeff Bezos in 2017

Jeff Bezos is also known for founding the human spaceflight firm Blue Origin in 2000. In 2006 the company purchased a large piece of land dedicated to testing and launching. It was not until 2017 that the company successfully flew and landed dummy passengers in its space vehicle New Shepherd. Tickets for a Blue Origin ride to space are currently priced at about $200,000 – $300,000. However, the New Shepherd still has yet to transport human passengers to space as of January 2020.

How did he do it?

It is evident that Bezos’ higher education played a big role in his career and great success. Getting degrees in computer science and engineering certainly helped him to create a successful online retailer. What is interesting to note here is that Bezos did not get a business degree, but rather seemed to be learning as he went along, entering the tech industry upon his graduation from college. It is likely that his expertise in computer science and his interest that began at a young age in tinkering and in the way things work that helped Bezos into the industry. From there, it was those skills that allowed him to create such successful technology businesses.

Thank you for reading, and if you have any questions or feedback, place them below. If something didn’t make sense, please be sure to comment as well.

Personal Finance Week 24

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Johnson, Grant, & Hayes

Andrew Johnson

Andrew Johnson was born to Jacob and Mary Polly Johnson on December 29, 1808 in Raleigh, North Carolina, into a poor family. When Johnson was eighteen, he married Eliza McCardle, who tutored him to improve his writing skills and mathematics. Johnson worked as a tailor before entering the Tennessee house of representatives in 1835. He was later elected as a U.S. Representative, U.S. Senator, and Governor of Tennessee.

During the Civil War, Johnson remained loyal to the Union in spite of his southern roots. He was a Brigadier General in the Union Army from 1862-1865. Johnson ran as Abraham Lincoln’s vice president in 1864 as a Democrat so as to appeal to both the north and the south. Sure enough, Lincoln won the re-election. However, just a month after his inauguration, Lincoln was assassinated. It was then that Andrew Johnson became the 17th president of the United States.

Throughout his presidency, Democrat Andrew Johnson did not get along very well with the then-majority-Republican Congress. At the end of the war, Congress enacted several measures with unrealistic goals for reconstruction, not providing enough time for the changes to settle in. Johnson, however, tried to implement more realistic goals, but to no avail. This put Johnson and Congress at odds.

Finally, the situation reached a point where something needed to be done about it. In 1867, Congress passed the Tenure of Office Act, a rather unconstitutional law which prevented several Cabinet members from being replaced by Johnson. Then, when Johnson replaced Secretary of State Edwin M. Stanton, Congress decided to call for him to be put on trial, or, impeached.

The trial lasted only 14 days and ended in Johnson being acquitted of all charges. Even after he was acquitted, Johnson and Congress were still at odds for the remainder of his term. Had the trial resulted in Johnson being found guilty, Johnson would have been removed from office. Only one more vote had been needed to achieve the two-thirds vote necessary to remove him.

Since then only two U.S. presidents have been impeached. The 42nd president of the United States, Bill Clinton, was put on trial in 1998-99, but was never removed from office. In December 2019, Donald J. Trump, the 45th president of the U.S, was impeached as well following a vote by the Democratic-majority House of Representatives on December 18.

Johnson served the remainder of Lincoln’s term and did not run for re-election. He died six years later of a stroke on July 28, 1875 at the age of 66. He is commonly remembered as one of the worst presidents in U.S. history.

Ulysses S. Grant

Grant was born to Jesse Root Grant and Hannah Simpson Grant on April 27, 1822, in Point Pleasant, Ohio. His childhood was somewhat uneventful. Grant was a rather shy and reserved individual during his childhood, taking after his mother rather than his outgoing father. Grant steadfastly refused to work at his father’s tannery business, a fact which his father was forced to accept. At the age of 17, Grant was enrolled in the United States Military Academy. It was in this occurrence that the “S.” in Ulysses S. Grant came about, following a clerical error. Not wanting to be rejected from the school, Ulysses Grant promptly changed his name to Ulysses S. Grant.

After graduating the academy, Grant was stationed in St. Louis, where he met his future wife, Julia Dent. Two years later, the Mexican-American War began, and Grant served under Generals Zachary Taylor and Winfield Scott. It was during this war that Grant proved that he was a brave and courageous soldier, which he would later prove once again during the Civil War.

Upon his return from the war Grant finally married Dent. They had four children in the next six years, during which time Grant was mostly not present. He tried and failed to raise the money to move his family closer to his posts on the west coast. Grant continued to miss his family for several more years, until he had a run-in with a commanding officer at his post in Eureka, California, in 1854, shortly before resigning from the military altogether.

Finally returning home, Grant and his family returned to St. Louis the following year. There, Grant tried desperately to make a living and failed in many different business ventures. After several years of this miserable experience, Grant was down to selling firewood on the streets, just to barely make ends meet. After this, Grant reluctantly went to work at his father’s tannery business, which he had been so much against doing as a teenager. He worked under his younger brothers as a clerk.

The following year marked the beginning of the Civil War. Grant joined the Union army, and would be instrumental in the many northern victories that led to the eventual end of the war four years later. But Grant had been and was still followed by rumors of drinking and the like. The press was unrelenting about this. Even so, Grant continued to serve his country willingly, and this service was important. Read more about it here.

Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Grant in April 1865 at Appomattox Court House. Grant and the Union were generous in their terms of surrender, allowing the Southerners to keep their animals and weapons, and even giving them meal rations. All things considered, Grant was a vital part of the war, and will always be remembered as such.

In 1869 Grant succeeded Andrew Johnson and became the 18th president of the United States, the youngest person to be inaugurated as such at that time. Grant, a member of the Republican party, strove to promote civil rights during his eight years in presidency, disagreeing with Johnson’s more moderate policies.

Grant passed away in 1885 at the age of 63 of throat cancer. His last words? He only uttered one–“Water!” Grant’s good friend Mark Twain published Grant’s memoirs four days after his death.

Rutherford B. Hayes

Rutherford Birchard Hayes was born on October 4, 1822, in Delaware, Ohio, to Sophia Birchard and Rutherford Hayes Jr., both of New England descent. His father, a former Vermont storekeeper, had moved the family to Ohio in 1817. He died just 10 weeks before Hayes’ birth. Sophia never remarried, and later, her younger brother Sardis Birchard moved in with them, serving as a father figure to Rutherford.

Hayes attended what is today considered public school in Delaware, Ohio, and enrolled in the Norwalk Seminary, a Methodist school in Norwalk, Ohio, when he was fourteen. After he excelled there, he was transferred to a college preparatory in Connecticut called The Webb School. at which he studied several foreign languages. Upon his return to Ohio, Hayes attended the Kenyon College. There he continued to do very well in his studies. During his time there, Hayes joined several student societies and became interested in Whig politics.

Graduating as Valedictorian in 1842, Hayes headed eastward to Harvard Law School to pursue a law career. Several years later, he graduated with an LL.B. and was admitted to the Ohio bar, and he opened his own law firm in Sandusky County, Ohio, in 1845. Two years later, Hayes came to the doctor with what he thought was tuberculosis. While Hayes wanted to enlist in the army and fight in the Mexican-American War, his doctor insisted that he not. Rather, he visited family in New England per his doctor’s recommendation.

Business was slow in the quiet Sandusky county, so Hayes moved to Cincinnati in 1850 and began a law firm with John W. Herron, a lwayer from Chillicothe, Ohio. After Herron left for a larger firm, Hayes teamed up with several other lawyers.

Until the Civil War, Hayes continued his successful law career. Although he was not completely in favor of the idea of a civil war to resolve the country’s differences, Hayes joined a volunteer company with some of his Literary Society friends. That year he was promoted by the governor to major, along with several other men from the company.

Hayes served throughout the war before entering the field of politics, first becoming a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, and later, the Governor of Ohio. He looked forward to retiring from politics, but when he was preparing to leave his post of governor, he was urged by many to run for Senate. Declining, Hayes finally accepted an offer to be nominated for his former House seat in 1872, but was glad when he lost the election.

After several years of civilian life, Hayes again returned to politics when he accepted the nomination by the Republican state convention to Governor again in 1875. Running against Democrat William Allen, Hayes won the election and became Ohio’s governor once again. He was the first person to receive a third term as Ohio governor.

Having such a successful political career in Ohio put Hayes towards the top of the ranks in Republican politicians being considered for the 1876 presidential nomination. In the end, Hayes won the nomination and ran against Democrat nominee Samuel J. Tilden.

There was quite a controversy around several electoral college votes in that 1876 election; Tilden appeared to have won, with 19 votes from several states still in question, just one vote short of a majority. These votes proved As Inauguration Day came closer, Congressional leaders were forced to come to a compromise. In the end, Hayes won the presidency, promising to withdraw troops from the south.

Hayes’ single four-year term was quite a busy one, with such events as the Great Railroad Strike and a currency debate taking place during his term. Having pledged that he would not run for another term, he declined offers for re-election, and quietly retired that year. He died of complications of a heart attack at his home on January 17, 1893.

Thank you for reading! Did I make any mistakes? Factual errors? Please share. Thanks! I would also love to hear how I could make my writing more interesting.


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My Tentative Plan Following Graduation From High School

Although I am only 4,666 days old as of today, I do have some idea of what I plan to do after graduating high school. I hope to graduate in the next few years by getting ahead in school. We will assume I finish high school at the age of 15, perhaps after one year of dual-enrollment in college. I plan to go to college because many of the careers I wish to pursue require some extent of higher education, including business and engineering. For the latter, I will most likely need to attend some kind of engineering school in order to get into that field, which could potentially come at a very high price.

One important thing to consider if I plan to get into college at an early age is the cost. At this point in time, I am still unsure as to how I plan to earn the money required for college tuition, books, and the like. Perhaps it is better to start a small business first or work somewhere for several years before entering college. What I know now is that I plan to attend college for at least a few years and hopefully earn degrees in engineering and/or business.

Lastly, I hope to find a college at which I can learn the above trades that is a Christian, preferably Baptist, college, so that that which is taught at the said college does not undermine my faith. This may yet further increase the cost of the education, however.

Thank you for reading!

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A Practical Car For me: Considering Price, Operating Costs, and Monthly Payment

Upon briefly researching various vehicles for this topic, I have settled on a 2007 Toyota Avalon Touring, a full-sized luxury sedan, with 70,000 miles and a rather standard set of options and color. The standard price for this vehicle is approximately $7,200. Using the bankrate.com auto loan calculator, I figured that the average monthly payment on this vehicle with a four-year loan and a 25% down payment with the current interest rate of 6.01% would be $124.

With a combined average of 23 MPG, the Avalon will consume about 522 gallons of gasoline per year, assuming I drive approximately 12,000 miles. In my city, gas prices currently sit at about $3.50 per gallon. Thus, one year’s worth of fuel for the car would cost roughly $1,827. As I have no previous driving record, it is hard to get a good estimate on insurance costs, but the average for the 2007 Avalon is about $2,040 per year.

Combining these with the estimated annual repair costs of $463, the 2007 Toyota Avalon costs $5,818 to operate per year, including the payment on the car itself of only $1,488 of that amount. Conclusively, the vehicle itself can often times cost much less than keeping it operable.

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Personal Finance Week 20

Cars: New Or Old?

Both new and used automobiles have their advantages and disadvantages; so, which one is better? Today we are going to analyze the pros and cons of each, assuming the theoretical vehicle in the “old” category is around 30-40 years old, and the vehicle in the new category, about 1-7 years old.

In his article Plastic Not-so-fantastic, Eric Peters discusses the advantages of older vehicles. He explains that the glass headlights found in old cars are much more durable and easily replaceable than the plastic so-called “headlight assemblies” of today. The glass headlights do not wear out and become yellow as plastic ones do, and if they do need to be replaced, are easily available for $25, as they have been for years. Peters also mentioned the longevity of old cars, even as old as Model T’s, as opposed to newer plasticy cars of the current era, that are still driven today. Lastly, Peters noted that today’s cars probably will not be classic cars in the future because it will be nearly impossible to keep them operable.

In my opinion, the newer car does have its big advantages over the old car in that it is still much more reliable, at least within the first seven years of its purchase. True, many of the first major automobiles are still running today. However, I do not think it is by any means impossible to find and replace parts like plastic headlight assemblies today, or other major plastic pieces on a vehicle.

Conclusively, the older car may be better built and thus more long-lived than its newer plastic counterparts, but that is not to say that parts on newer cars will be irreplaceable in the near future. Thank you for reading!

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Personal Finance Week 21

A Few Generals of The Civil War

The following essay will be discussing two generals from each side of the American Civil War, comparing their careers and characters, and discussing their lives.

General Thomas Jackson was born in Virginia in 1824, and was the third-born of Jonathan Jackson and Julia Beckwith Neale He was one of the most well-known Confederate generals during the American civil war.

Better known as Stonewall, Jackson attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1842. Jackson, albeit older than his classmates, struggled at the school, and was also teased and made fun of by the others because of his modest education and poor family. This simply pushed him to succeed, and in 1846, Jackson graduated, just in time for the beginning of the Mexican-American War.

Jackson joined the 1st U.S. Artillery as a 2nd lieutenant in Mexico under General Winfield Scott. He quickly proved to be a brave and tenacious soldier, and had been promoted to brevet major by the end of the war. During the war, Jackson met Robert E. Lee, with whom he would serve on the Confederate side of the American Civil War in his latter years.

After the Mexican-American War, Thomas Jackson continued to serve in Florida and New York. Three years later, he retired from his military career and was offered a professorship at the Virginia Military Institute. He accepted this invitation and taught artillery tactics, in addition to natural and experimental philosophy. It was not until November of 1859 that Jackson returned to his military career, when he served as a VMI officer at the execution of John Brown, an abolitionist.

During the following two years, as several states began to secede from the Union, Jackson hoped that his home state, Virginia, would side with the Union. But when Virginia seceded, Jackson showed his loyalty to his state, now in support of the Confederacy. In April 1861, Jackson was ordered back to the VMI to lead the VMI Corps of Cadets. Soon after this Jackson was commissioned a colonel by the state government and was relocated Harper’s Ferry. Soon, Jackson was again promoted, this time to the positions of brigadier commander and brigadier general under General Joseph E. Johnston.

It was during the first Battle of Mannassas that Jackson received his nickname, Stonewall, which would stick throughout history. It came after General Barnard E. Bee, impressed with Jackson’s leading his troops to bridge a gap in a Confederate Defensive line, exclaimed, “There is Jackson standing like a stone wall.” Forever Jackson would be referred to as Stonewall.

The impressive military career of Stonewall Jackson came to a close in 1863 when he was accidentally wounded fatally by friendly fire, dying of complications at the second field hospital in Guinea Station, Virginia, at the age of just 39. His last words were this: “Let us cross over the river and rest under the shade of trees.”

Throughout his years, Stonewall Jackson’s Christian faith showed through everything he did, and was a major part of his life.

The other Confederate general which I shall mention, Robert E. Lee, was born in 1807 to Henry and Anna Lee in Stratford, Virginia. His father was a colonel, and has served as a cavalry leader during the American Revolutionary War. His performance during the war made him a war hero, and it won him General George Washington praise. Robert attended West Point Military Academy when he was 18, and graduated with perfect scores in infantry, artillery, and cavalry.

Soon after, Lee married Mary Custis, the great-granddaughter of George Washington. They had seven children. While Mary and their children lived on Mary’s father’s plantation, Lee was committed to his military work, and was thus not present much of the time, as he was forced to move all around the country with the Army.

In 1846, the beginning of the Mexican-American War gave Lee the chance he had been waiting for for his entire military career. He served under General Winfield Scott, like Jackson, and soon distinguished himself as a brave soldier and a skilled strategist. General Scott was quite impressed with Lee’s performance during the War, telling Lee that if the U.S. were to enter another war, the government should consider taking out a life insurance policy for Lee.

Life off the battlefield proved to be difficult for Lee. The mundanities of every day life back at home was not preferable to him. Upon the death of his step-mother, Lee returned home for a time to manage the estate.

In 1859, Lee returned to the military, accepting an unenviable position at an isolated cavalry outpost in Texas. Later that year, Lee got a break from the outpost when he was summoned to help fight against John Brown’s revolt at Harper’s Ferry. The attack Lee organized ceased the revolt within just an hour. This continued success led Lee to be put on the short list of men to lead the Union army in the scenario that a war break out. However, Lee, like Jackson, was loyal to Virginia, and thus refused Lincoln’s offer to serve the United States. Lee retired once again from the military.

Although he had his doubts about the war, Lee agreed to help the Confederates after Virginia seceded in 1861.

Throughout the Civil War, General Lee distinguished himself once again on the battlefield. In 1862 he led the Confederates to several important victories, including the Seven Days Battle victory in May, as well as the pivotal Confederate victory at the Second Mannassas in August. However, not all of the battles Lee led the Confederates through went well; trying to cross the Potomac was a failure. The battle of Antietam cost the Confederates over 14,000 men, captured, wounded, or killed.

The Battle of Gettysburg was a major turning point in the war for the Union, obliterating most of the Confederate army in a three-day standoff in July 1863. The war would not turn around, and by early 1865 it was evident that the Union would win. In April 1865 Lee surrendered to General Grant at the Appomattox Court House in Appomattox, Virginia.

In late 1870, General Robert E. Lee. suffered a massive stroke and passed away at his home surrounded by family on October 12.

Ulysses S Grant was born to Jesse Root Grant and Hannah Simpson Grant on April 27, 1822, in Point Pleasant, Ohio. His childhood was somewhat uneventful. Grant was a rather shy and reserved individual during his childhood, taking after his mother rather than his outgoing father. Grant steadfastly refused to work at his father’s tannery business, a fact which his father was forced to accept. At the age of 17, Grant was enrolled in the United States Military Academy. It was in this occurrence that the “S.” in Ulysses S. Grant came about, following a clerical error. Not wanting to be rejected from the school, Ulysses Grant promptly changed his name to Ulysses S. Grant.

Grant’s studies at the USMA went averagely. He was not too interested in the goings on of the military, and often received several demerits for tardiness and shabby clothing. Grant had planned to retire after his four years of mandatory service; little did he know what would really happen after his graduation from the Academy in 1843, finishing 21st in his class of 39 students.

Upon his graduation, Ulysses Grant was stationed in St. Louis, Missouri, where he would meet his future wife, Julia Dent. However, after his proposal, Grant was immediately shipped off to service as the Mexican-American War was beginning. Serving under General Zachary Taylor, and later General Winfield Scott, Grant observed the skills of these great soldiers. When he himself was given the opportunity to lead a company in battle, he proved his bravery under fire.

After the war, Grant and Julia were finally married. They had four children in the following six years, during which time Grant was assigned to several different posts. Missing his family, the youngest of which he had not even met yet, Grant tried and failed at several business ventures in an attempt to move his family closer to his location in present-day Washington. In 1853, Grant was moved to Fort Humboldt, near present-day Eureka, CA. While there, Grant had a run-in with the commanding colonel of the fort, and he resigned from the military not long after in July 1854.

Grant and his family moved back to Missouri that year. The return to civilian life was not very pleasant for Grant, however, similarly to Robert E. Lee. Grant tried farming land that had been given him by his father-in-law, but to little avail. He also attempted a real estate venture, but his efforts were again in vain. He was denied employment multiple times in St. Louis. After all this, Grant resorted to selling firewood on the streets to support his family. It was after seven years of these business failures that he finally went to work at his father’s tannery business as a clerk, his two younger brothers his supervisors.

The following year, the American Civil War began. The Confederates’ rebellion prompted Grant to join the Union forces. Initially rejected for military appointments, Grant was finally put in command of a disorderly volunteer regiment in Illinois. In applying the skills that he had leraned from the generals whom he was under during the Mexican-American War, Grant had the made these inexperienced volunteers into a battle-ready regiment.

After the state of Kentucky decided to secede from the Union in late 1861, Grant and his men captured the city of Paducha, KY. The following year Grant and his men applied pressure with their ground forces, and, with the help of the navy, led the Union to victory at the battles of Fort Donnelson and Fort Henry. Now called “U.S.” Grant, Grant was soon promoted to major general of volunteers.

In April of 1862, Grant and his men took on Confederate forces at the Battle of Shiloh, one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War. Initially, after a surprise attack threw the Northerners off guard; soon, however, reinforcement arrived eventually, and Grant was able to defeat the rebels on the second day of the battle. He actually faced criticisms for the large number of casualties he caused the Confederates, and was for a time demoted.

The year 1863 brought the Union the pivotal victory at Gettysburg, as well as the important capture of the Mississippi River, which would be crucial in splitting the Confederate states and eventually winning the war. Grant’s forces raided Vicksburg, which finally surrendered on July 4 of that year. This was a great victory for Grant; but looming rumors of heavy drinking followed him. However, many of his close associates claimed that these were untrue.

For nine months, beginning in 1864, Grant’s forces pursued Lee’s in the forests of Virginia. This event, called the Siege of Petersburg, tired Lee’s army and eventually caused the surrender of Petersburg, as well as the Confederate capital of Richmond, to the Union. It was just days after the end of the Seige that the small battle of Appomattox Court House led to the end of the war; Lee formally surrendered to Grant at the Appomattox Court House.

Four years after the end of the war, Ulysses S. Grant became the 18th president of the United States, the youngest ever to be elected at the time, serving two terms from 1869-1877. Grant passed away in 1885 of throat cancer. His last words? There was only one–“Water!” Grant’s good friend Mark Twain published Grant’s memoirs four days after his death.

William Tecumseh Sherman was born in Lancaster, Ohio, on February 8, 1820, to Mary and Charles Sherman, one of the Shermans’ eleven children. When William was nine, his father unexpectedly passed away, leaving his family with little to live off of. William was raised by Whig Senator Thomas Ewing of Ohio, a family friend. When Sherman was 16, Ewing secured him a place at the USMA. While there he did well academically, but had little respect for the demerit system, having numerous minor offenses on record. Sherman graduated from the Academy in 1840, sixth in his class.

Rather than serving in the Mexican-American War following his graduation from the Academy, Sherman was instead forced to serve as an executive officer in California. Thus, having little combat experience, Sherman resigned from the military in 1853. Staying in California he became a banker during the glory days of the Gold Rush until 1857, when he moved to Kansas and began practicing law, but with little success,

In 1859 Sherman was headmaster of a military academy in Louisiana. When Louisiana seceded from the Union, Sherman did not want anything to do with the Confederacy, and thus moved to St. Louis. When war broke out at Fort Sumter, William Sherman asked his brother, Sen. John Sherman, to commission him for the army.

In 1861 Sherman was appointed to colonel, commanding a brigade under General William McDowell. Sherman fought in the first Battle of Bull Run, a terrible loss for the Union. It was around this time that Sherman began looking at the negative side of things, and not the positive, exaggerating the strength of the Confederates and complaining to his authorities. This would spell trouble for him, as he was soon considered unfit to serve and was put on leave. The press called him “insane.”

In late-1861, Sherman returned to service, providing logistical support for Brigadier General U.S. Grant at the capture of Fort Donnelson in early 1862, one of the first major Union victories. On April 6, 1862, the Battle of Shiloh broke out. Sherman and Grant fought the Confederates well, winning the battle on the second day of fighting. This experience bonded the two Union generals. Sherman also served with Grant during the capturing of Vicksburg and the Mississippi. These two brave generals, however, underwent much criticisms from newspapers. For example one such newspaper said:

[The] Army was being ruined in mud-turtle expeditions, under the leadership of a drunkard [Grant] whose confidential adviser [Sherman] was a lunatic.

Still, Sherman continued to serve, and in 1864, he burned the Confederate city of Atlanta to the ground.

Five years later, when U.S. Grant became president, William T. Sherman replaced Grant as general commander of the U.S. Army. In 1884, he retired. Sherman passed away in 1891 at the age of 71.

Confederate Generals Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee had a lot in common. Both were born and raised in the state of Virginia, to which both would be loyal during the Civil War. They were both graduates of the USMA, Jackson, just in time to join Lee, twenty years into his military career, under General Winfield Scott during the Mexican-American War. Neither held much of a career outside of the military; Jackson was for a time a professor at the VMI, and would later serve the Cadet Corps there. Finally, both professed a Christian faith. So, what is different about these two men?

One major difference between the two, it would be the large gap in their ages. Lee was Jackson’s senior by fourteen years, a substantial difference. As for their character, they are quite similar. Even their careers were strikingly similar, as both were dedicated to the military for their whole lives. Thus, it could be reasonable to conclude that these two Confederate heroes had more in common than they had not in common.

Union Generals Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman met while serving in the Civil War, and would thereafter be lifelong friends. Both, like most of the other successful generals of that era, went to the USMA at West Point. Both underwent tons of criticisms from newspapers during the war, while both played prominent roles in the Union victory. So, how were they different?

For one, Sherman did not serve in the Mexican-American War like Grant and many other soldiers of that time did, but rather served as an executive officer during that time. Also, while Grant’s childhood was rather uneventful, Sherman’s was full of adventure, with eleven siblings. When Sherman’s father died, he went to live with Senator Ewing. Another item of note in the way of differences between the two was their career paths. Grant planned to not serve in the military for longer than the required four years. However, he ended up serving so much that he had to make failed business venture after failed business venture to raise the fund to move his family closer. In contrast, Sherman led a more civilized career path between his two military stints, first staying in California as a banker during the Gold Rush, then practicing law in Kansas, and finally becoming the headmaster of a military academy in Louisiana.

Thank you all for reading! Please leave your feedback below, and I will be happy to correct any typographical or factual errors promptly. Thanks!

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The Civil War

The Civil War began in 1861 when seven states seceded from the Union, forming the Confederate States of America, or the Confederacy. This took place, of course, because there was a disagreement, in this case on whether or not slavery should take place. Thus, the latter of the belligerents was pro-slavery, and the former against it.

The war officially began on April 12 of that year, when Fort Sumter was attacked and captured by the Confederates. This was soon followed by the first major battle of the war on July 21, 1861, the first battle of Bull Run. This battle, known to the Confederates as the first battle of Mannassas, was another victory for the Confederates, despite both sides’ poor training and leadership at the time, as the war had only just begun. General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson led the Confederate Army during the battle, and it was here that he earned his nickname after a remark from the impressed Confederate General Barnard E. Bee. in reference to the former’s skillful filling of a defensive gap in a defensive line, “There is Jackson standing like a stone wall.”

Following these first few losses for the Union, they fought back, winning the battles of Fort Henry and Fort Donnelson under General Ulysses S Grant , opening up the rivers of Cumberland and Tennessee to the Union. Another important Union victory was the battle of Shiloh in April 1862, which proved to be the bloodiest battle in the early part of the war. Even though the Union was the victor, both sides had to recover from the major losses caused by Shiloh.

The next battle of note during the American Civil War was the Second Battle of Mannassas, or the second battle of Bull Run. This battle was similar to the first battle of Bull Run in many ways. Both took place near Mannassas Junction, and both had similar results. This Second Battle, however, was different in that the battle was fought much harder and with more men, better trained men than those who had fought in the first battle of Bull Run. This battle was, again, won by General Robert E. Lee and his Confederate men.

Following the second battle of Bull Run was the first battle of the war fought on Union soil, the Battle of Antietam, fought in Sharpsburg, Maryland in September 1862. Today Antietam remains the bloodiest one-day battle in American war history, claiming the lives of 22,717. Victory was the Union’s. The Battle of Fredricksburg in December of that year marked nearly two years since war had broken out, with no one side at any apparent advantage over the other so far. General Lee and the Confederates did win the battle once again.

The year 1863 would, however, be a very pivotal one for the good of the Union. The beginning of the year brought the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing hundreds of slaves to the great satisfaction of the anti-slavery Union people. However, the first half of the year brought some substantial losses for the northerners, including another great Lee victory at Chancellorsville, beginning a campaign north. However, this battle did cost Lee’s army a large number of men, and The Union fought back, however, and suddenly ended this campaign at the pivotal three-day battle of Gettysburg, a Union victory which forced the Confederates to retreat south. This battle again caused the rebels great losses.

Just one day after Gettysburg, the city of Vicksburg surrender to General Ulysses S Grant, giving the Mississippi River to the Union. This caused the Confederate states of Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas stuck on one side of the river, and the rest of the States on the other, spelling disaster for the Confederacy. In spite of this, the final battle of the year, Chickamauga, was the first Western victory for the Confederates,

The beginning of 1864 would bring little success to the rebels, winning the Cold Harbor Battle in May-June near Mechanicsville, Virginia. This battle would be Lee’s last victory of the war. The Confederates’ last glimmer of hope was shatter at the Battle of Cedar Creek.

Following this was nine months of trench warfare between General Lee and General Grant. Called the Seige of Petersburg, the entire duration was spent circling the area in an attempt to out-strategize the other. Nine months of this tired Lee and his army, and caused for the surrender of Petersburg, as well as the nearby capitol of Richmond, to the Union. The battle is considered a Union victory, although things went back and forth between the two for months.

In April 1865, shortly after the end of the Seige of Petersburg, came the short battle of Appomattox Court House, which led to Lee’s official surrendering of the Confederate army to Grant at the Court House following the Union victory. Grant decided to give generously in his terms of surrender. The Confederate soldiers were allowed to keep their horses and mules, and were even provided meal rations by the Union.

The Civil War was and is the bloodiest war in American history, claiming the lives of over 1,000,000, roughly 3% of the U.S. population at the time. Of these, about 620,000 were soldiers. The war resulted in the complete abolition of slavery in the United States, as well as the re-uniting of the States. Slaves freed from slavery because of the war now had to find out where they fit into society.

Thank you for reading this description of the American Civil War.

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History 08 Week 14

What I would Consider When Purchasing a Car

When young teens think about buying a car, they often think about sports cars or huge pickup trucks. These are often very impractical for any first car. Do you have a use for a pickup, or do you just want it for the tough look? Teens often like sports cars because they want to look cool and drive fast. This is also unreasonable because driving fast is not the use of a car, and is not legal in almost any circumstance. Not to mention insurance costs…

Rather, in buying a vehicle I would look for an affordable car that has good gas mileage and low mileage. I would not want to drive a compact for safety reasons. A mid-sized sedan would most likely be the best size of car for me. Reliability is important to consider as well. If I were to buy a very inexpensive pre-owned Jeep Wrangler, for example, that is proven to be unreliable, I may have scored a good deal on the model, but I am potentially causing myself immense additional costs to get the car fixed. Rather, it is better to buy, for example, a Honda CR-V from the same year, proven to be quite reliable and worth the cost.

Insurance costs are very important to consider. If you have a sports car or a vehicle with low safety ratings, you are very likely to pay more in insurance. This should most certainly be taken into account if considering a sports car. A Ford Mustang, for example, is likely to have twice, or possibly triple, the insurance costs of a safe, reliable Mini Cooper, one of my personal favorites.

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Personal Finance Week 19

Tax Preparing methods and Tax Refund Advances

There are three different methods of preparing your taxes, and those are to have them prepared by a profession tax preparer, to use a tax software or online service, or to simply do it yourself by hand. Personally, I would prefer the latter option. For one, it is not a good idea to do this on the internet because you are putting private information like your social security number on a platform that can potentially be hacked into by attackers, causing loads of trouble for the filer. As for a professional, the additional cost simply is not necessary, unless you do not have the time or abilities to prepare the taxes yourself. If you do, I believe that simply doing it by hand is the best option.

A tax refund advance is a short term loan that basically allows you to borrow money from your tax refund before you officially receive the money, usually with some large interest rate. For example, in 2017, LibertyTax charged an interest rate of 35.77% on its $2,500 refund advances, in addition to a $63.50 service fee¹. However, many refund advances offer 0% APR. These may actually be a good idea. But if interest is involved, a tax refund advance is only a good idea if you need the cash immediately for a good reason. If the rate is as high as the above, it is a bad idea to lose so much money in order to use part of it immediately.

Thank you for reading!

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Personal Finance Week 18

Are Snap Judgments Better Than Decisions to Which People Give A Lot of Thought?

Today’s question is whether or not snap judgments, that is, those judgments which we may make without any consideration of other’s input, your past experiences, and the weighing of pros and cons, are better than those decisions which are given much thought. I will be answering this question in the following essay.

The short answer is no. Snap judgments are often based off of what we want at that instant, or possibly how we feel. These things can change often, and if we give decisions enough time, we will likely have considered many of the pros and cons of each option. Snap judgments are a problem because we often impulsively say or do something just because of our present mood, or possibly a selfish desire.

Not all snap judgments are automatically bad. It is, however, not smart to just go with whatever we think at that moment and run with it. Giving our decisions some thought really pays off in the long run. Considering other people’s input helps tremendously because that generally eliminates any selfish aspects of the decision-making process. Weighing the pros and cons is important because you do not want to ignore major cons in order to have some pros of a certain options that may benefit us.

A third important thing to consider is past experiences. If we learn from the bad ones, we should be able to use them to make better decisions. The same goes for any good experiences you may have had. These can teach us what kinds of decisions lead to the best results. However, considering all aspects of your past good experiences, you must again consider other people that your good and bad decisions may effect. Were you selfish, causing you to have good experiences while others suffered? This should be considered.

All in all, snap judgments can often spell trouble, as we may impulsively make bad decisions, whereas decisions to which much thought is given are likely to be better, not only for you, but for all who may be effected by them.

Thank you for reading!

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Out On The Pampas: A Book Report

Out On The Pampas is a historical fiction novel written by G.A Henty in 1868. This was Henty’s first children’s book. In this book report I will be discussing the plot of this book.

The book begins with a six person family living in England. It is within the first several pages of the book that Mr. Frank Hardy suggests that the family immigrates to the Argentine Republic, or, Argentina. The children, Charley, Hubert, Maud, and Ethel, are all elated at the thought of this move abroad. The boys, particularly, are excited at the imagination of fighting Indians. Mr. Hardy, however, convinced the boys that no such thing would occur. Little did he know what would happen after their arrival in South America.

Within the first several chapters of the book the Hardy family has immigrated to Argentina and has nearly settled in to their large new property. For a while the Hardys are simply adapting to the new lifestyle of Argentina. In their first months at their new home, they meet many new people and make acquaintances that would prove important during the coming battles with the native Indians.

Six months after their arrival, the Hardy family hears from one of these acquaintances, Mr. Percy, upon Mr. Hardy’s remarking that another family they had come to know during their time in Argentina, the Jamiesons, had almost no animals, that the time of year is come when the residents of the area are to expect to be attacked by Indians. He told the Hardys of the previous year’s attacks, during which the Jamiesons had been robbed of every animal they owned. They now needed to prepare for the coming Indian attacks. This, of course, upon their hearing this news, excited the boys, although it concerned them, and the rest of the Hardys, as well.

Soon the day came where the first Indian attack took place. Ethel and Maud were on watch in the lookout tower. They watched as the Indians took all of the Hardy’s animals. Most of the second half of the book recounts these fights with the Indians, which, after a certain point, was believed to finally be a solved problem. However, wrong they were. One evening, almost five years after their arrival in Argentina, Ethel Hardy was at the home of the Mercers, as it was common for one or the other of the girls to stay there for a day or two. The following morning, a man running at full speed towards the Hardy’s home alarmed them. “What is the matter?” they asked. The man replied that the Mercer’s estancia had been burnt by the Indians, and that there had been no survivors. The only glimmer of hope for the Hardys was that Ethel might have been carried off by the Indians, as they often would not harm women.

In the end they all followed the trail of the Indians while Ethel and the Indians were a good ways ahead. After a long time of searching and following the Indian’s trail, Ethel was finally found and rescued. This was about the end of the book Out On The Pampas. I hope you enjoyed this essay, and I recommend this book!

Please let me know if there were any typographical or factual errors, thanks!


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English 8 Week 10

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln was born in a log cabin on February 12, 1809, in Hodgenville, Kentucky, to Thomas and Nancy Lincoln. Abraham had two siblings, his older sister Sarah and younger brother Thomas, the latter of which died during infancy. After a disagreement over land ownership in 1817, the Lincolns were forced to move to Indiana. When Abe was 9, his mother passed away. A few months later, his father married a certain Sarah Bush Johnston, who would later encourage Lincoln to learn to read, despite his biological parents’ illiteracy. It was not until Abraham was in his late teen years that he received formal education, which did not total more than eighteen months. Reading material was scarce in the wilderness of Indiana, and thus there were few books that Lincoln could read. These included the Bible, and the books that were popular in that day, such as Robinson Crusoe and Pilgrims Progress. By reading such works Lincoln was educated.

The family moved again to Illinois in 1830 to Macon county. After yet another move the following year, the six foot four Abe finally moved out and began making a living doing manual labor. After working at and later becoming the owner of a shop in New Salem, Illinois, Lincoln soon began his military career when the Black Hawk war broke out between the States and the Native Americans. Those in Lincoln’s area elected him to be their captain. Abe saw no battle at this time, however, but he did make some valuable political connections.

Following the Black Hawk war, Abraham Lincoln began his political career in 1834 when he was elected to Illinois state legislature as a Whig, the political party that he supported at the time. This political experience led Lincoln to begin forming his opinions on slavery. Initially, Lincoln simply believed that slavery was a hindrance to the government, rather than immediately thinking slavery was bad.

Around this same time Lincoln began his law career by learning law from the book William Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England. He then began practicing law with the John T. Stuart Law firm after being admitted to the bar in 1837.

Six years later Lincoln partnered William Herndon in law. Abe’s law career payed well, but he eventually found that Springfield, Illinois was not enough work for him. So, he began following the court as it made its round through the various county seats.

Abraham Lincoln’s political career continued when he served a short, rather uneventful term in the house of Representatives from 1847-1849. During this term he supported Zachary Taylor for president and spoke out against the Mexican-American war taking place at that time. This criticism made him rather unpopular at home and thus caused him not to run for another term. Rather, he simply returned to Springfield where he resumed his law career.

As railroads and railroading increased in popularity during the 1850s, Lincoln served as the Illinois Central Railroad’s company attorney. Abe’s success in this position brought him more business from banks, insurance companies, and manufacturing firms, as well as criminal trials.

In 1842, Abraham Lincoln married Mary Todd. They had four children, of whom only one would survive to adulthood.

In 1854, when the Missouri Compromise was repealed, and the states were then allowed to decide for themselves whether or not to allow slavery per the Kansas-Nebraska Act, Lincoln’s opinions on slavery began to move towards a completely anti-slavery point of view. At this time Abe joined the Republican party. After a controversial supreme court decision in 1857 stated that African-Americans were not citizens and had no rights, Lincoln was outraged. Despite his belief that African Americans and whites were not equal, Lincoln still believed that the founders of the country had intended that all men have certain unalienable rights, and that this decision violated those rights.

In 1858 Lincoln ran against Senator Stephen Douglas for his senate seat. After he won that same year, Abraham Lincoln said that “a house divided against itself cannot stand.” He also publicly denounced President James Buchanan and other politicians for their support of slavery. Lincoln ran for presidency himself in 1860. Before he was inaugurated in 1861, seven states had already succeeded from the Union. Just a month after Abe Lincoln’s inauguration, the Civil war broke out between the Union, or the north, who were against slavery, and the Confederacy, or the south, which was in favor of slavery. In a future essay I will be explaining in more detail the events of the Civil War.

Abraham Lincoln led his country through the war and led the Union army to victory when Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union General Ulysses S. Grant on April 9, 1865, essentially ending the war. It was merely five days after this victory that Abraham Lincoln was assassinated at Ford’s Theater by John Wilkes Booth, an actor. Lincoln was there to celebrate his presidential re-election. Thus, had Lincoln not been killed, he would have been president for a full eight years.

Lincoln is often believed to be one of the greatest U.S. Presidents of all time. Thank you for reading this essay about him, and I hope you enjoyed it. Feedback is much appreciated. And, if you enjoyed it, don’t forget to give this post a Like. Thanks!

Note: If you find any typographical or factual errors in this work, please let me know in the comments and I will fix it promptly. Thanks!

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RPC History 8 Week 13

Science 8 Week 17 Review: Astronomy Week 5

This week in astronomy I first learned about the differences between asterisms and constellations. The former is simply an arbitrary group of stars, while the latter means “a group of stars.” “Con” means together, and “stellar” means “of or pertaining to stars,” combined to make constellation, a group of stars. I learned that a constellation is technically a region of the sky, and that the sky is divided into 88 of these regions. I also learned about the diurnal motion of the earth’s axis, causing the asterisms to rise in the east and to set in the west. In addition, because the earth orbits around the sun on a yearly basis, different asterisms are visible at different times on the earth. For example, such asterisms as Leo, Virgo, and Cancer are some of the most prominent of the springtime.

I also learned of some well-known constellations, including Ursa Major, or The Great Bear. This constellation contains the Big Dipper, a famous asterism with a long handle that makes it look like a “dipper” for water. This asterism is important because it allows you to be able to find the Polaris star, or the North Star, by following the line made by the ladle of the Big Dipper. This can help you figure out where north is.

A galaxy, I learned, is a massive group of stars, planets, dark matter, and all of the empty space among them, all bound together by the galactic center of the galaxy. Each galaxy contains billions or even trillions of stars. The earth is in the Milky Way galaxy, so named because of the milky color caused by the stars. Of the some 500,000,000,000 galaxies in the universe, many billions of them are not observable without special equipment.

A final topic of note which I shall mention from this week’s astronomy lessons was the subject of black holes. A black hole is a “region of spacetime exhibiting gravitational acceleration so strong that nothing—no particles or even electromagnetic radiation such as light—can escape from it. The theory of general relativity predicts that a sufficiently compact mass can deform spacetime to form a black hole.” Basically, a black hole can swallow everything around it, including light. These extremely powerful objects often form when a star runs out of fuel, causing the stars, which are commonly much larger than the earth, to condense to very great extremes, causing the force which becomes a black hole.

Thank you for reading!

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Science 8 Week 16 Review: Astronomy Week 4

This week in astronomy I learned about asteroids, meteors, comets, Trans-Neptunian Objects (TNOs), and “blue stragglers.” I read about an asteroid that is merely 535 meters long, which is incredibly small for a space object. This makes it very difficult to find on a telescope. I also learned about the various names for a meteor, which are dependent upon the location of the object. A meteoroid is a small piece that falls off of an asteroid, or a space rock of less than 50 meters in diameter. If the meteoroid is in the earth’s atmosphere, it is now a meteor. If and when the meteor strikes the earth, it is then a meteorite.

I also learned that meteors, which are referred to commonly as “shooting stars” because of their appearance from earth, are not the same as comets. Comets are officially defined as, “a celestial object consisting of a nucleus of ice and dust and, when near the sun, a ‘tail’ of gas and dust particles pointing away from the sun.” They are rather nothing like their meteorite counterpart, which have a tendency to burn up in the earth’s atmosphere.

Another topic that I learned about in astronomy this week of note is the subject of Pluto. From the time of its discovery in 1930, Pluto was long believed to be a regular planet. In 2006, however, its status was changed to a dwarf planet. Later, it was changed to a Trans-Neptunian Object, or a TNO, along with Eris, another space object similar to Pluto. Pluto was originally discovered by Clyde Tombaugh in 1930 after a mysterious unknown planet in the solar system’s gravity was interfering with the orbits of Neptune and Uranus.

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Science 8 Week 15 Review: Astronomy Week 3

This week in science I learned about the miraculous uniformity and perfection of our universe, proving the existence of an all-knowing God. I learned about how the temperature and location of the earth in the universe, if mere miles or degrees off from its average, would likely cease all life on earth, in time. It is impossible to think that all of this could be created by an accidental explosion of sorts, or by whatever theory those who deny God’s existence may come up with.

In addition to the above, the articles I was assigned to read this week discussed such topics as the uniqueness of our solar system, the uniqueness of Earth, and the miraculous location of the sun. I also read an article that discussed astronomical distance measurements. An AU is an astronomical unit, which is the distance from Earth to the sun. Neptune, I learned, is about 30 AUs, or 2,790,000,000 miles, from the sun. Regarding the location of the sun, it is, as I have said, at a point where if it were just a bit closer to the earth, the planet would burn up quickly, and, if just a bit further from the earth, the latter would most certainly freeze to temperatures of 400 degrees below zero.

The last topic of note in the articles I read from icr.org and other sites was the topic of the origins of objects in the universe. I read the following on why “friction” could not have formed the universe.

Could random “friction” have resulted in the precise alignment of our planets? If so, why hasn’t this occurred anywhere else in the known universe?


Such theories on how the precise alignment of the planets was the result of so-called “friction” are not possible because it is simply impossible to believe that something so perfect and miraculous as our universe could come out of nothing. More proof that God really is the all-knowing Creator.

Why i Think A Sole Proprietorship Would Work Best For My Business

A sole proprietorship is a type of firm that is very common, and is quite easy to start up in which there is one owner who receives all of the profits, as well as all of the liability, for the business. I believe that a sole proprietorship would work best for my small business because I plan to run the business myself. This kind of business allows me to do so. The business I plan to start would not have much liability, thus making the fact that the sole proprietorship would cause me, being the sole owner of the business, to be in charge of all liabilities, almost insignificant.

The sole proprietorship also makes the business much easier and more affordable to start up. The trash can business I discussed in this essay would already cost almost nothing to start, with the exception of a possible domain name and a DBA (do business as) name, which I may want to register. The former can be added later. Thus, the sole proprietorship helps keep startup costs low, and is very simple to start as well.

Special licenses and or permits may be required to start some types of business as a sole proprietorship.

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The California Gold Rush

The California Gold Rush took place in 1848, when a huge gold discovery took place in modern day Coloma, CA. The first gold found in the United States was first discovered in North Carolina in 1799. The story of the California Gold Rush begins in January of 1848, when John Sutter was trying to build a saw mill along the American River in Coloma, CA. Sutter had hired some construction workers to help him build this saw mill. One of them, James Marshall, happened to spot some gold flakes on the river. He drew this to Sutter’s attention.

Marshall later recounted,

I picked up one or two pieces and examined them attentively; and having some general knowledge of minerals, I could not call to mind more than two which in any way resembled this, iron, very bright and brittle; and gold, bright, yet malleable. I then tried it between two rocks, and found that it could be beaten into a different shape, but not broken. I then collected four or five pieces and went up to Mr. Scott (who was working at the carpenter’s bench making the mill wheel) with the pieces in my hand and said, “I have found it.”

“What is it?” inquired Scott.

“Gold,” I answered.

“Oh! no,” replied Scott, “That can’t be.”

I said,–“I know it to be nothing else.”

James W. Marshall

Thus, gold had been discovered in California, in this land that had very recently been acquired from Mexico following the Mexican-American War. Word of the discovery slowly spread across the nation to the east coast. When word reached the city of San Francisco, California, almost the entire city flocked to the Coloma area to find gold. As for those on the other side of the nation, and farther, there were three primary routes used to get to California.

The southernmost route, the water route around Cape Horn, South America, was quite a journey, often taking over six months to complete. The second route, through the Isthmus of Panama, cut this time down to just about a month. Finally, the California and Oregon trails crossed the States by land.

Those who traveled to California from near and far were called 49ers, for the year that they did so. Although the Gold Rush made some individuals quite rich, many ended up not rich at all, finding very little or even no gold at all. In addition to this lack of fortune for many of the 49ers, the Gold Rush also caused many other problems. First, families in the east were struggling to get by. Also, those who had moved to California for the Gold Rush were now forcing the Native Americans out. Furthermore, the Gold Rush resulted in irreversible damage to the California geography, due to operations such as hydraulic mining. All things considered, the Gold Rush caused more harm than fortune for much of America.

One of the only good results of the California Gold Rush was the expedited development of the state of California, and in 1849, California submitted a petition for statehood, which was granted in 1850.

In conclusion, the California Gold Rush proved to be quite a success for a select few, but a hardship for many more. The effects of the Gold Rush, good and bad, are still seen in today’s California. Thank you for reading.

This past summer, I visited Coloma and took these pictures along the American River at Coloma Resort:

The Murphy Bridge
The American River
“Town Hall” Building at Coloma Resort

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The Sun: What Makes it Special?

Colton Beckwith, Science 8 Lesson 67

What makes the sun so special? The sun is the most important object in the universe, and we often take it for granted. The sun’s diameter is roughly 100 times that of the earth, and its surface temperature (not even its internal temperature) is over 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

Without the sun, the earth and everything on it would soon freeze to temperatures of around 400 degrees below zero. All would be pitch black. The sun provides life-sustaining heat and light for the earth. We would simply die if we did not have it.

Despite its being 93,000,000 miles away from the earth, the sun is actually the closest star to earth by an extreme distance, the closest other than the sun, Proxima Centauri, being over 2,000,000,000,000 miles away.

The sun is unique in many ways. One, the sun, being a star, is unique because over two-thirds of the stars in the universe are a part of a star system that has two or more stars; the sun is by itself. Another unique feature of the sun is its extreme temperature and brightness, compared to the vast majority of other stars in the universe are much dimmer and cooler than the sun.

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Sam Walton

Personal Finance Week 14

Samuel Moore Walton was born on March 29, 1918 in Kingfisher, Oklahoma. His family lived on a farm in Kingfisher until 1923, when Sam’s father Thomas changed occupations and began farm mortgaging, as farming was not profitable enough to support the family, in various cities in Missouri. Sam did various chores to help make money for his family during the Great Depression, as was the common practice at the time. These chores included milking the family cow and driving it to customers, delivering newspapers, and selling magazine subscriptions. When Sam graduated from the David H. Hickman High School in Columbia, Missouri, he was voted the “Most Versatile Boy.”

After his graduation, Sam wanted to go to college so that he could get a job that would support his family sufficiently. He attended the University of Missouri as a ROTC cadet.

It was while Sam Walton had served in the army that he decided that he wanted to go into the retail business. When he graduated from college in 1940 he immediately went to work at J. C. Penney as a management trainee, a $75 a month job. There he worked for 18 months before resigning in 1942, as war was on the horizon. As he waited for his military induction, Sam worked at a DuPont munitions plant near Tulsa, Oklahoma. Soon after this he joined the U.S. Army Intelligence Corps, a security supervisor at aircraft plants and POW camps at Fort Douglas near Salt Lake City, Utah. There he would eventually reach the rank of captain.

After his military career, Walton took over management of a Ben Franklin variety store in Newport, Arkansas, with $5,000 he saved up while in the military, in addition to a $20,000 loan from his father.

As Walton’s successes grew by the years, his landlord, P.K. Holmes, admired this success. He also desired to reclaim the store and its franchise rights for his son, and thus refused to renew the lease. Even though Walton lost possession of his successful store, he learned several valuable business lessons, in addition to the $50,000 given him by Holmes for all of the inventory and the fixtures, which Walton called a fair price.

Having lost this store, Walton, his wife Helen, and his father-in-law were able to negotiate a deal for a new location in downtown Bentonville, Arkansas. Walton received the title of the building, in addition to a 99-year lease agreement that he could eventually expand his shop to the building next door. However, the owner of the shop next door refused the offer six times, and thus Sam Walton gave up on Bentonville. At the same time, however, his father-in-law had finally negotiated a $20,000 lease for the shop next door without Sam’s knowledge. The new store, a five and dime called Walton’s, opened its doors on May 9, 1950 with a one-day remodeling sale.

Soon, Walton began looking for more places where he could open franchises of Ben Franklin stores. By 1962. Sam had opened sixteen stores with the help of his brother and father-in-law, fifteen of which were Ben Franklin stores. That July, Sam Walton would open the very first Wal-Mart variety store in Rogers, Arkansas.

Much different than today’s Walmart!

When Sam Walton began the Wal-Mart Discount City store, he also launched a determined effort to market American-made products. These efforts included was a willingness to find American manufacturers who’s prices could compete with those of foreign manufacturers.

Walton observed the Meijer store chain grow. This caught his attention because the format of Meijer stores was similar to his own. At the time Walton generally opened his stores in smaller towns rather than large cities. This was so that he could get his stores near the people. His business model’s big advantage was that if the store was large enough to control business in a town, this would discourage other merchants from opening other stores that would compete against Wal-Mart. Competition itself was already scarce. This is how Sam Walton built the dominant retailer that currently has over 11,000 locations worldwide, in addition to nearly 600 Sam’s Club stores across the United States, as of 2019.

Walton died of cancer in 1992. In 1985 he was proclaimed to be worth $2.8 billion. According to celebritynetworth.com, “If [Walton] was alive today, his personal net worth would be north of $140 billion.”

Thank you for taking the time to read this brief description of Sam Walton’s life and work in the retail business.

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The Technology of the Hubble Space Telescope

Science 8 Lesson 66 Astronomy Assignment

From the NASA Hubble Space Telescope Technology Section (Optics)

“Hubble’s optical telescope assembly consists of two mirrors, support trusses, and the focal plane structure. This system is a Ritchey-Chretien design in which two aspheric mirrors serve to form focused images over the largest possible field of view. Light enters Hubble’s aperture and travels down the main baffle. A baffle is a surface which eliminates stray light. Light is reflected by the primary mirror which measures about 8 feet (2.4 meters) in diameter. Because of the concave shape, the primary mirror converges the light to the secondary mirror through a secondary baffle. The secondary mirror, measuring about 1 foot (0.3 m) in diameter receives the light. It in turn reflects the still-converging light back toward the primary mirror through a central baffle. The light travels through a hole in the primary mirror, to reach the focal plane, where the science instruments examine the light.”

From: https://asd.gsfc.nasa.gov/archive/hubble/technology/optics.html

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A Small Business I Could Run

Personal Finance Week 13, Colton Beckwith

About nine months ago, I decided to open a garbage can moving business, in which I would take people’s trash cans down to the street on the eve of trash day, and pull them back up after the trucks empty them the next day. This business could have been especially profitable in my area, as there are a lot of rather long driveways. This is a reasonable business idea for me because I am homeschooled, and thus have the ability to work during “school hours,” unlike the vast majority of potential competitors in my area.

In my particular area, however, this business, which I actually already launched almost a year prior to writing this, has not been such a success. After sending out mailers to about thirty potential customers in my area, I received no replies via email or otherwise. Nevertheless, I plan to keep trying to get this business off the ground, especially if and when my family moves to a new area, where I will have new and different business opportunity.

I think this business is a good fit for me because it is not excessively time consuming, and can potentially be quite profitable, as I have said. I actually calculated that if I had 30 customers with two trash cans each, all with a medium (100 ft) driveway, at $5.00 per week each, I could make $180 per month, or about $2,700 a year. It is also good physical exercise, as it is important to be outside walking around. Lastly, I am willing to work rain or shine, which may be a good selling point.

In conclusion, I think that a round trip trash can moving business is a good small business that I can run and that is quite profitable at the same time.

Thank you for reading!

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Credit Card Debt

Colton Beckwith, Personal Finance Week 12

Credit card debt seems to be one of the most common, and quite often one of the most overwhelming, types of debt in American households today. Over the years, your credit card debt can pile up by the thousands. As of 2019, about 37% of households in the U.S. have revolving credit card debt*.In 2016, the average household carried approximately $148,590 of debt, including mortgages, car loans, and student loans, as well as credit card debt**. Of this, $16,061 is credit card debt. This includes all debtors within the household. In the way of individuals, the average has been slowly climbing over the past six or seven years; prior to 2012, the average credit card debt per borrower had been climbing down by hundreds per year, until it reached it’s lowest, $4,679, in 2011***. The slow upward trend of credit card debt tells us that Americans are gradually beginning to put more and more purchases on the credit card.

Is this the smartest idea? Credit cards simply allow you to purchase things when you do not have the money, or simply for the convenience of swiping a piece of plastic, and wait until later to pay them off, with an additional interest as payment for this “convenience”. I do not think that this is necessary. A debit card may be a better option because it simply takes the money out of your existing funds, from your bank account, thus eliminating the downsides of credit cards, and preventing credit card debt altogether.

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*Source: The National Foundation for Credit Counseling’s annual Financial Literacy Surveys
**Source: discover.com
***Source: TransUnion Industry Insights reports

Science 8 Week 13 (Astronomy Week 1) Review

This week in astronomy, I learned about what astronomy and cosmology are, astronomy tools, astrophotography, and astronomical history. In the first lesson of the week, the introduction to the astronomy section of the course, I learned that astronomy is the study of planets, the solar system, stars, and galaxies. Cosmology is the study of the universe overall, and how it began. I learned of some online astronomy tools, including Google earth and Google sky, as well as an astronomy software program for looking at outer space realistically called Stellarium. In the second lesson we discussed tools, including telescopes, different types of telescopes, some history of telescopes, and other tools used for astronomy. I learned that Galileo Galilei invented the first telescope in the early 15th century. I also learned how telescopes work, and what they do. In the third lesson I learned about astrophotography, and the various functions on cameras that can help you get good photographs of outer space, including adjusting the shutter speed and ISO. In the fourth lesson on this week I learned more history of astronomy and telescopes, including the various theories regarding where the earth is located in the universe, and whether it’s stationary or rotating. I learned about the Geocentric model, the model which was the idea that the earth was in the center of the universe and that everything else, including the sun, rotated around it. This was later proved wrong, and the Heliocentric model became the favored one. Galileo soon found evidence to prove the latter model when he discovered four moons orbiting Jupiter through his telescope.

Thank you for reading! (Way more than 150 words, I know.) Let me know if you spot any typographical errors or factual mistakes. Thanks!

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C-A-B: A Brief Explanation

Science Lesson 58 Essay

C-A-B stands for compressions, airway, and breathing. These are the three steps in CPR that are very important. The C-A-B acronym was created by the American Heart Association as an easy way to remember the order of these steps. Today I will explain CPR in adults.

First, chest compressions are properly done by pushing down between 5 and 6 centimeters with the whole upper body weight. They are to be done at a rate of about 100-120 compressions per minute, or about two per second. The purpose of these compressions are to restore blood circulation.

The next step in CPR is opening the airway. In order to do this, you must have previously completed at least 30 chest compressions. Simply place the palm of your hand on the victim’s forehead and tilt their head back while gently lifting the chin with the other hand, thus opening the airway.

Lastly, breathing. Here, rescue breathing is necessary, meaning that the rescuer needs to give the victim air via mouth-to-mouth breathing, unless the jaw is seriously injured or the mouth cannot be opened for what-ever reason. After covering the victim’s mouth with yours, essentially making a seal, prepare to give to rescue breaths. If the victim does not rise upon the first one-second breath, repeat the airway step and try again.

This process is slightly different for young children and infants, and the above has explained only the methods for adult CPR.

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How To Perform the Swimming Rescue Action Steps

Colton Beckwith, RPC Science 8 Week 11

In the following essay I will be explaining the four of eight swimming rescue action steps we discussed in this week’s science lessons.

First, the assessment step is basically assessing the situation in order to figure out what type of rescue tactic is needed. Next, you must assess the conditions, including temperature, depth, current, and any potential obstacles you may encounter between your current location and the victim.

In the second step, equipment, you must find the necessary rescue aids or flotation devices you will need. Sometimes you need to get creative if you do not have the proper equipment.

Next is the entry step, which is, in short, entering the water. If the water is clear, the slope is gradual, and the shore is sandy, it is safe to enter the water via a beach entry, running into the water. Although this is the quickest entrance, it is important to ease into the water if the water is murky, the shore is rocky, or if the slope is steep. Murky water can spell disaster, as you cannot see when a deeper area or other danger will cause harm. This is called the ease-in entry. The next type of entry is leaping entry, in which you jump from a height of no greater than three feet into a body of water that is at least five feet deep. If you cannot tell the depth of the water because it is murky or otherwise hard to tell, the leaping entry is not recommended. The last type of entry is the feet-first entry. In this kind of entry, you jump into the water feet-first from a height greater than three feet. When doing this type of entry you perform compact jump with your knees slightly bent.

The fourth and final action step we discussed was the approach. During the approach, you should keep track of the victim as you approach, encouraging and instructing them. As conditions change, your strokes need to be adjusted as well.

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Important Sections of the Safety Code of American White Water

Colton Beckwith, RPC Science 8 Week 10

The Safety Code of American White Water is a document that contains important guidelines for recreation white water activities. The code is divided into six sections. The first, titled “Personal Preparedness and Responsibility,” discusses thirteen important points for general safety, including wearing a life jacket, not boating alone, and carrying equipment for unexpected emergencies. The second section, “Boat and Equipment Preparedness,” provides some good information on how to ensure the safety of your boat and related equipment, as well as some supplies to have on hand to be prepared for the unexpected. Section three deals with Group Preparedness and Responsibility, discussing ways to stay safe as a group when on the water. These including keeping the group compact, ensuring that that group equipment is suited properly for the conditions, and not using drugs or alcohol prior to a white water activity in order to remain ready and able for the circumstances that may be encountered. The fourth section of the Code talks about Guidelines for River Rescue, discussing how to stay safe and potentially help others when things go wrong in the water. Section five explains some universal river signals that may be used, also noting that other signals can be used when agreed upon by the group. Lastly, section six explains the international scale of river difficulty, which is in six classes, as follows:

Class I Rapids
Fast moving water with riffles and small waves. Few obstructions, all obvious and easily missed with little training. Risk to swimmers is slight; self-rescue is easy.

Class II Rapids: Novice
Straightforward rapids with wide, clear channels which are evident without scouting. Occasional maneuvering may be required, but rocks and medium-sized waves are easily missed by trained paddlers. Swimmers are seldom injured and group assistance, while helpful, is seldom needed. Rapids that are at the upper end of this difficulty range are designated “Class II+”.

Class III Rapids: Intermediate
Rapids with moderate, irregular waves which may be difficult to avoid and which can swamp an open canoe. Complex maneuvers in fast current and good boat control in tight passages or around ledges are often required; large waves or strainers may be present but are easily avoided. Strong eddies and powerful current effects can be found, particularly on large-volume rivers. scouting is advisable for inexperienced parties. Injuries while swimming are rare; self-rescue is usually easy but group assistance may be required to avoid long swims. Rapids that are at the lower or upper end of this difficulty range are designated “Class III-” or “Class III+” respectively.

Class IV Rapids: Advanced
Intense, powerful but predictable rapids requiring precise boat handling in turbulent water. Depending on the character of the river, it may feature large, unavoidable waves and holes or constricted passages demanding fast maneuvers under pressure. A fast, reliable eddy turn may be needed to initiate maneuvers, scout rapids, or rest. Rapids may require “must” moves above dangerous hazards. Scouting may be necessary the first time down. Risk of injury to swimmers is moderate to high, and water conditions may make self-rescue difficult. Group assistance for rescue is often essential but requires practiced skills. A strong eskimo roll is highly recommended. Rapids that are at the lower or upper end of this difficulty range are designated “Class IV-” or “Class IV+” respectively.

Class V Rapids: Expert
Extremely long, obstructed, or very violent rapids which expose a paddler to added risk. Drops may contain** large, unavoidable waves and holes or steep, congested chutes with complex, demanding routes. Rapids may continue for long distances between pools, demanding a high level of fitness. What eddies exist may be small, turbulent, or difficult to reach. At the high end of the scale, several of these factors may be combined. Scouting is recommended but may be difficult. Swims are dangerous, and rescue is often difficult even for experts. A very reliable eskimo roll, proper equipment, extensive experience, and practiced rescue skills are essential. Because of the large range of difficulty that exists beyond Class IV, Class 5 is an open-ended, multiple-level scale designated by class 5.0, 5.1, 5.2, etc… each of these levels is an order of magnitude more difficult than the last. Example: increasing difficulty from Class 5.0 to Class 5.1 is a similar order of magnitude as increasing from Class IV to Class 5.0.

Class VI: Extreme and Exploratory Rapids
These runs have almost never been attempted and often exemplify the extremes of difficulty, unpredictability and danger. The consequences of errors are very severe and rescue may be impossible. For teams of experts only, at favorable water levels, after close personal inspection and taking all precautions. After a Class VI rapids has been run many times, its rating may be changed to an appropriate Class 5.x rating.

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Andrew Jackson

Andrew Jackson was born on March 15, 1767, in the Waxhaws region located between North and South Carolina, to his recently immigrated parents Elizabeth and Andrew Jackson. Jackson grew up modestly in the same area, and received very little education. At the age of 13 Jackson joined a local militia. Soon Jackson would serve as a messenger for the colonists during the Revolutionary war. He and his brother Robert were captured, while their older brother Hugh was killed in battle. The two were starved while in British captivity. Robert also contracted small pox at that time, from which he would never recover. When they were finally released, Robert died just days later. Their mother died soon after that. Now Jackson, an orphaned only child, was raised from thence by his uncles.

In 1787, after studying law in North Carolina, Jackson was admitted to the bar and began practicing law in what is now Tennessee. Nine years later Jackson was part of the convention that led to the Tennessee convention, which soon led to the ratification of the state. Jackson was also elected as Tennessee’s first representative in the US House of Representatives. Jackson was also a senator, and then a judge, in the state of Tennessee.

In 1801 Jackson was appointed as commander of the Tennessee militia. Jackson later led his troops to a victory against the Creek Indians at Horseshoe bend during the War of 1812, capturing some 20,000,000 acres of land that would later become Georgia and Alabama. This led to Jackson’s appointment to Major General soon after. In 1815, after defeating some 7,500 British soldiers in the Battle of New Orleans, Jackson was dubbed a national hero. His troops said that he was “as tough as old hickory,” thus giving him the nickname of “Old Hickory.”

In 1822 Jackson once again was elected as a senator, having only kept the job for eight months in 1797. From there Jackson ran for president in 1824 against John Quincy Adams. The race was so close the it was up to the House of Representatives to decide the result. Sure he would win, Jackson was outraged when he found out that Adams had defeated him. Jackson spent the next four years trying to convince everyone that he would win the next election. Due to allegations that Adams had made a deal in which if he received the election, Henry Clay could be the Secretary of State, Jackson was renominated in 1825, three years before the next election. In 1828 Jackson did win the 7th presidency of the United States, by a landslide, with John C. Calhoun as his Vice President.

As president, Jackson became one of the first to make use of the president’s power to veto laws passed by Congress. He also abolished the electoral college, so as to make the people’s votes count, earning him the nickname of the “People’s president.” Jackson was also the first victim of an assassination attempt, which failed.

Although regarded as one of the most influential presidents in US history, Andrew Jackson had his flaws, including his aggression and his controversial actions. Jackson did, however, cause many of today’s laws to go into effect, and is indeed one of the most influential presidents.

Thank you for reading!

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History 8 Week 10


Colton Beckwith

Inflation is a government controlled regulation that changes the value of currency. Inflation effects interest rates because the value of the money being loaned may increase or decrease during the loan term. If the value decreases due to inflation, the lender may lose money because the money that they have lent gets payed back has lost value. On the contrary, it may increase in value due to deflation, the opposite of inflation, in which the money actually becomes more valuable. However, in recent years inflation has caused money to greatly decrease in value. Today, due to inflation, $5.00 can get you what a mere 50¢ could have gotten you 30 years ago. Although there are sometimes very minor value increases occasionally, money has generally lost value substantially over the years. In another 30 years what $5.00 can get you today will likely cost three times that, or more.

How does this effect interest? Well, the longer the loan, the more inflation will cause the money that will be eventually paid back to the lender to decrease in value. Thus, this must be taken into account when setting up a loan. This is part of why interest rates vary depending on the type of loans, which, depending on the loan amount, will take longer to pay off; thus, if the interest rate is higher, the lender is more likely to get some sort of profit, especially considering the fact that he may lose money if the borrower does not pay him back in full, in addition to the inflation.

In conclusion, inflation, a government or central bank-controlled regulation that increases or decreases the value of money, effects interest rates because the lender does not want to lose money due to inflation, in addition to default risk, the chance that the loan will not be paid off in full, and thus the interest rates are raised to make up for these sometimes inevitable losses.

The Pencil Movie Is Hitting YouTube February 10th

Have I not already posted the trailer? Of course I have. But I am excited to announce that the Pencil Movie is coming to YouTube on February 10th, and I will be posting the film here on that day. If you are still reading this far into the post you may be wondering, why won’t you post it earlier? Well, although the film is done, I’m holding off for several reasons.

For one, one actor who appears in the film for about ten seconds has yet to sign a talent consent form that allows the distribution of his image, likeness, etc. Also, I do not want to post the film until after the official screening party event with the cast and crew has happened. (No one but my family and one other person has seen the finished product.) So, while we’re waiting, why not watch that trailer one more time? XD


The Real Neat Blog Award (Thanks Sam!)

~Thank the blogger who nominated you.
~Answer the questions they gave you.
~Nominate 4 bloggers.
~Create 10 questions for them to answer.
~Let them know they’ve been nominated.

So, let’s get started.

First off, thank you Sam for nominating me! Check out his blog, Samuel’s Essay Blog.

Sam’s Questions:

What is your favorite movie? Courageous
Do you think Politics is boring?
What is your favorite pastime/activity?
Making short films.
Do you like to read? if so, what is your favorite book?
Yes. The Holy Bible.
Which is better, Math or English?
Can you speak more than one language?
Barely. I can speak a little bit of Coine (is that how you spell it??) Greek and even less Spanish. I’ll put it this way: I couldn’t get around in a non-English speaking country without a translator.
What is your favorite food?
Cheeseburgers, perhaps.
Do you have a TV? Yes.
It’s an old fashioned HD-TV. xD
What are you good at?
Making films, figuring out tech, writing. (My readers may disagree with that last one.)
Lastly, Were these questions lame?


Brothers’ Campfire

Questions for you:

  1. Favorite book?
  2. Dream car? (Unless you already have a car, in which case, what is it?)
  3. What is your favorite time of day?
  4. No meat ever or no dairy ever?
  5. Least favorite food?
  6. What OS do you use?
  7. Have you ever moved from one country to another?
  8. Have you watched Green Acres?
  9. What do you like doing?
  10. What time do you normally get up?

Enjoy the questions y’all!


Mystery Blogger Award

I was nominated for this award by Joshua almost a month ago. Thank you Joshua! Check out his blog.

Now, here are the rules:

Put the award logo/image on your blog.
Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well.
Answer the 5 questions you were asked.
Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
You have to nominate 10-20 people.
Notify your nominees by commenting on their blogs.
Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question.
Share a link to your best post(s).

***This award was created by Okoto Enigma.***

Joshua’s Questions:

Have you ever been abroad? Nope.
What kind of music do you like?
Christian Music. Not the contemporary garbage.
Have you ever climbed a mountain?
I climbed Lassen by car. But that’s not what you mean, is it? xD
Can you ride a bike? Yep, I learned how to when I was 5 or 6.
Who’s the ugliest cartoon character you’ve ever seen in your life? Tough, they’re all ugly. Perhaps a certain purple dinosaur, if he counts.

Three facts about me:

I live on earth.
I am a human being.
I am a student filmmaker.

Nominees: {drum-roll please}

Roselynn Cummings
Elisha McFarland


Have you done the Mystery Blogger Award before?
What is the hottest temperature you’ve experienced?
What is the coldest temperature you’ve experienced?
What is your favorite restaurant?
What direction were you facing when you started your WordPress blog?

Have fun!


The Real Neat Blog Award 2-in-1 (Thanks Nick and Stormy!)

I was recently nominated twice for the Real Neat Blog Award! Without further ado, let me begin with the rules.

~Thank the blogger(s) who nominates you.
~Answer the ten questions the blogger gave you.
~Nominate four bloggers who deserve the award.
~Create 10 original questions for the nominees to answer.
~Let them know they’ve been nominated.

Nick’s Questions

  1. Have you been to six flags? No, unfortunately.
  2. Have you cooked spaghetti? I don;t think so…
  3. Have you made a fort out side? No.
  4. Whats your favorite type of storm? A good ol’ thunderstorm
  5. Do you like the out doors? Yes.
  6. Whats your favorite season? Tough. I’d say winter.
  7. Do you like cameras and do you have one if so what type? Yes. Yes. A Panasonic DMC Lumix G7-k
  8.  Whats your favorite thing to do? I don’t really know. 😂
  9. Do you like reading? Yes.
  10. Whats your favorite restaurant? Another tough one. Maybe Krispy Kreme?? 😀

Stormy’s Questions

  1. Who is your favorite celebrity? Luke Van Mol
  2. What is your favorite book? The Holy Bible
  3. What is your least favorite food? Sweet potatoes. (I also hate anything coconut.)
  4. What was the last dumb thing you did? I started The DF Daily
  5. What, in your opinion, is the worst thing that has ever happened in history? Don’t know.
  6. If you could be a King for a day, list five things you would do. I would institute free speech (it definitely doesn’t exist today), abolish vaccinations, stop climate engineering, illegalize abortion, and cut taxes to only what is absolutely necessary for the government.
  7. What do you think is the cutest animal on Earth? Tough. Perhaps dogs.
  8. Which one is easier, division, or multiplication? They’re both very easy, but multiplication.
  9. Which one would you choose to be, a snail, or a clam? Snail
  10. If you were forced to kill one person on Earth, who would you kill? I wouldn’t kill anyone. It’s against the Bible. (Yes I know I’m ‘forced’)

Now for the nominees:

Abi Lyn
Lydia Potter

The questions for you:

  1. Dog or cat person?
  2. The Diplomat or The DF Daily? (Skip if you haven’t a clue what I’m talking about)
  3. Why did you start your blog?
  4. How many minutes old are you?
  5. How old were you when you said your first word?
  6. Walked your first step? (Do you even know? xD)
  7. Classic editor or block editor?
  8. Do you think vaccines are dangerous and ineffective, or are they doing their job?
  9. What’s your favorite movie?
  10. What’s your favorite book, besides the Bible?

Have fun!


New Theme, New Layout, New Everything On Colton's RPC

Hello. I just wanted to talk a little bit about the new look of the site. If you are reading this on the site and not the Reader you have already noticed the new theme. I chose the theme Plane because it has a nice looking menu and a good but not too prominent sidebar. Speaking of the sidebar, you will notice a complete revamping of the widgets, aimed to look more professional. As a side note, if you’re wondering about the advertisements for WordPress, WooCommerce, and Jetpack that have mysteriously appeared within posts and on the sidebar and footer, those are affiliate ads, as I recently signed up for the WordPress affiliate program to potentially make money from referrals.

What do y’all think? And if you really like it, would you consider free blog customization services from The Diplomat? No but really, tell me what you think of the new look.