The Sponge: Gathering Words Response

Across town lies the school with its metal doors and shelves and shelves of books and knowledge.
But the halls aren't empty They are filled with people who walk and talk about themselves, others, the weather whatever they wish to.
I walk the halls silent I have no need of talking, for each speak enough to occupy the tongues of three.
They berate, they gossip, they laugh, they joke I observe it all, and take it in Wishing sometimes that I could tune it all out.
Turn the volume down and let silence play.

On Being Brought from Africa to America Response

Cole Thompson                                                                                                                                         

This poem brings up many conflicts. It's talking about a redeemed soul, brought to Christianity.


But there is something off when you dig deeper. Black slaves may have been converted when brought to America, but they faced persecution on other fronts. They became objects, captured in Africa, forced into crowed ships, shuttled across the Atlantic, and then were expected to work hard labor, facing cruel AND unusual punishments or even death if they resisted. The picture this poem paints is incomplete. It doesn't sound like a black slave. The perspective is twisted, presenting the transportation of Africans to America as only an act of religious redemption.

The question is, why did blacks need the basis of religion to be considered worthy of whites' acknowledgement?

Evolution of the Internet

The Internet that we know today originated from two parts: ARPANET and the protocol suite TCP/IP. According to Wikipedia, The Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET) was an early packet switching network and the first network to implement the protocol suite TCP/IP. Although packet switching is the general practice nowadays, it was very new at the beginning of ARPANET. At the conception of the Internet as we now know it, all 'sites' were part of the Static Web. Information was able to be shared, but it couldn't be modified.

The next step in the Internet's evolution is the practice known as Web 2.0. This idea describes World Wide Web sites that became interactive and easily edited. Web 2.0 doesn't necessarily refer to any particular update, but rather the changing of the way Web pages were used. This form of the Internet allowed users to interact with each other through the first of social media sites. This form of the Internet allowed information to be s…

How To Separate Fact and Fiction Online

In this TED Talk, Markham Nolan discusses how his fellow journalists and he separate the real news stories from the influx of fakes and phoneys on the Internet. Mr. Nolan is the managing editor of He has watched the art of journalism change from reporting on a news story to having to find that news story among countless made-up stories. In the talk, he discusses a few of the methods his team uses to distinguish fact form fiction.

Markham starts off the talk with a view of how transmitting news has changed from something very slow to instantaneous transmission. Talking about an earthquake that struck in 2012, "The ground shook in Managua 60 seconds after it hit the epicenter. 30 seconds later, the first message went onto Twitter." He comments on the fact that news and 'news' are transmitted across the world in a matter of seconds nowadays. The job of a journalist is to sort through and find the real, engaging stories amongst the muck. Mr. Nolan then des…

Meet The Dazzling Flying Machines of The Future

Raffaello D'Andrea loves drones of all kinds. He is the professor of dynamic systems and control at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. He is viewed as an autonomous systems pioneer. This means that he works with self-controlled machines who do work independent from human influence. He also co-founded Kiva Systems, now Amazon Robotics, and an internationally-exhibited new media artist. He graduated from the University of Toronto while studying Engineering Science. He then went on to begin graduate studies for Systems and Control at the California Institute of Technology. He enjoys his work, and often collaborates with artists and engineers alike to generate mechanical sculptures. He prefers a hands-on, interactive form of work.

In this TED Talk, Mr. D'Andrea demonstrates just how far drones and autonomous systems have come. He shows off five different kinds of autonomous drones: a tail-sitter, a mono-spinner, an omnicopter, an extra-safe quadrocopter, and a swarm of mi…

Journal of a Refugee Ch. 9-10

On May 3, the UN decided to try and evacuate some refugees and I from the Mille Collines. The plan was to escort us to the airport and get out of the country. That was the plan.
We pulled out of the Mille Collines parking lot with an armed escort. I had no political connections, but Paul managed to 'obtain' one for me. The evacuation started out good, with no sign of the militias for several yards. Then it all turned downhill. We pulled up to a roadblock at Cyimicanga, and were stopped by both the Interahamwe and the Army. We were ordered out onto the roadside, and that is when things went from bad to worse. Chaos broke loose. They started beating and cutting us. I can't say I got the worse of it, but my arms were cut up bad and I had bruises all over my body. Somehow the UN got us out of there and back to the Mille Collines. The worst of us were cared for as well as the limited doctors could. Even after that, the militias didn't stop, there was a grenade shot into the …