Hello. I’m Eric. Grade 10. Northern Manitoba. Remember me? Maybe not.

I very rarely use this blog anymore, so I can’t guarantee that anything anymore.

My favourite food are mangoes.



Have some pointless time wasters.


The Scale of the Universe.


Calculator Words. All of them.

Tone Matrix.

Average Face.


The Complete List of Colours.

Don’t Click it. (Probably my favourite!)



Infinite Click and Read

How the Internet Sees You.

Flabby Physics.

Wikipedia Vision.

Rare Phrases.

Emergency Yodel Button.



Colour Quiz.



School is weird.

But boring.

You get up early, go to school, then go home.

Wash, rinse, repeat.

Some days, you add the bleach. Y’know. Those kids who either make life miserable for you or the person you sit right next to.

The detergent is the information teachers feed you. One soggy brain-numbing spoonful at a time.

But where’s the spin cycle?

The next step is the dryer. This is where the powers that be put you through the furnace to see the good that’s left. Or, more specifically, exams. Tests. Quiz’s. Mid-terms. More broadly; assignments.

But where’s the fabric softener?

After all that, you get folded. This is where teachers fold new teaching into the information-less holes that exams have sucked off. They pack every bit of knowledge in there, and then it’s off to another round.

But where’s the iron?



Huhduhgello euhduhgevruhduhgee wuhduhgun!

Huhduhgeer Auhduhgar Suhduhgom rahdahganduhguhdom  phutuhgottos thuduhgat uhduhgie huhduggav cuhduhgoleccted.



This is the final week of Novel Study stuff.

This is about themes.

A theme is an idea that is throughout the whole entire book. From the Copyright to the Credits.

A couple of themes in the Nation are loyalty, honesty, friendship, and belonging.

The two we’ll work on now are loyalty and belonging.


This is a theme. It has to be. If not, almost every book in the world will be toasters. Loyalty is huge. It makes sense, because it’s counterpart is disloyalty, and if that’s not in a lot of books, I don’t know what is. In the beginning of the story, Mau has to trust the strange girl on the ship, even though he thinks she’s really queer. Later they get to know each  other really well, and they develop a strong sense of loyalty.

This is tested again and again. When Mau does something suspicious, Daphne wonders why, and finds out. All because they are really good friends and are tied together through loyalty.

At the end of the book, when Daphne offers the murderers a drink, and they refuse to sing the “magical” beer song and die, Mau doesn’t question her actions, because he knows exactly how she feels, and understands what she did.

Terry Pratchett is trying to tell us something here. Be loyal. No matter what happens. Now if you believe that or not… that’s your problem


Daphne feels alone on the island. She doesn’t belong. Or something. Then she meets Mau. And she feels better.

And again when a whole bunch of weird people from different islands come to the Nation for safety, they don’t feel like they belong, either. Daphne knows how they feel, so she makes them feel better.

When Daphne’s father finds her and comes to take her home, it almost seems like she doesn’t belong there anymore. She had gotten used to island life, and was actually enjoying it.

There are many more examples of belonging in the Nation, but it would take too long to find them all right now. Same with loyalty.

Oh, and once again, Terry Pratchett is trying to tell us that it’s ok to feel like you don’t belong. But if you’re stuck somewhere for a long time, the people with you better make you feel better quick. Or you are a grump.


Once more, we find ourselves staring in the red glowing eyes of a novel study blog post due date. This one doesn’t look to threatening though. Right now, the body attached to those menacing eyes is playing golf. But it’s coming.

This week, we are studying  Author’s Craft.

Does that mean that the author in question is exceptionally crafty? Depends on your point of view.

Speaking of which, points of view are things that any author has to do extremely well on. It’s ok if the book is in one point of view. Most books are. But if the book has two or more (like each chapter is from a different character’s perspective), then the author has to make all of that flow together.

That’s what author’s craft is.

Terry Pratchett wrote Nation very well. I can’t find any bad phrase, sentence or paragraph anywhere. Saying chapter would just be silly, as it’s hard to write a completely bad chapter.

In the third quarter of the book, all (most) of the islanders are holding a court to judge Daphne’s killing of a bad guy. It was self-defence, but she demands a court is held anyway, so she can feel better. She is innocent of whatever.

For an example of Terry Pratchett’s writing, here is a sentence or two when Daphne is walking through the jungle.

“Daphne had read in one of her books about the Great Southern Pelagic Ocean islands (that’s where the Nation is) that ‘with a few regrettable examples, the larger and more fearsome the spider is, the less likely it is to be venomous’. She didn’t believe it. She could see Regrettable Examples everywhere, and she was sure that some of them were drooling.

 – And suddenly there was clear daylight ahead. She would have run towards it, but there was – good fortune not apparent at the time – a Regrettable Example using it’s web as a trampoline and she had to ease her was past it with caution.”

Hows that?

Well this is a perfece example of Terry Pratchett’s writing, some people might think that it’s not so good. So what makes it good? I would say that it depends what style of writing you like. While some people may like light and oddish stuff (like me), other people like dard and heavy stuff. Like all those vampire books going around. Sheesh.

While the above example doesn’t have a lot of description, Mr.Pratchett does some of that as well. Not enough so that you feel you have to skip paragraphs to get to the good part, just enough so you get a good picture in your head. That’s a good thing.

I would show you a bad example of the Nation, but I can’t find one. If I find it, I’ll put it in the spot below.

Terry Pratchett


Well well. Here we are with novel study again.

Back to the Nation.

The giant wave carried a schooner over with it. And there was one survivor. A girl. Her name is Ermintrude, but she hates it, so she calls herself Daphne. She sees Mau, and invites him to the wrecked schooner, Sweet Judy, to have tea. Chaos follows.

There is a lot of conflict in the Nation. There is the villagers against the raiders, villagers vs. themselves, and villagers vs. the weird grandfather things (people vs. people).

Naturally, there is a lot of people vs. nature going on. The villagers, especially Daphne, have the jungle to face. Not to mention the sea. Sea=sharks. Jungle=jungle things. There is more conflict of different kinds near the end of the book, but because we’re not there yet, I won’t tell you about it just now.

The author of the Nation, Terry Pratchett, has put a lot of thought into the conflict that goes on in the Nation. It grows more complex just when you think everything is ok. For example, Mau thought that once he buried all of the dead villagers in the sea, everything would be ok. Then Daphne shows up. Just when they are getting along (mostly), more people from different islands turn up, causing trouble. It’s like a big chain reaction.

But the one person ( I guess you could call them people) I really dislike, is the ol’ dead grandfathers.

The people of the island Nation only buried the old men in the Cave of the Grandfathers, if they did really special things during their lifetime. It seems that the grandfathers are stuffy old spirits, and they want everything done their way. They don’t give any advice, only orders. And they want everything done right now.

But why would an author put characters in a book, if they know you’d dislike them? I think the reason is that you have to know them really well to dislike them. If you don’t know them really well, how can you say you like them or don’t? That’s called a first impression.

You don’t really get to know the grandfathers that well, because there you know, dead. But you do know enough near the middle of the book, to see that their weird old fools. I just dislike them, because they seem to hold no purpose. An author can put anything into a book. Why put something in if it has no purpose? We’ll see towards the end of the book. 

You just wait. Things get really weird.

This is a mean ol' grandfather


Yes. It’s true. We got another novel study. But with a twist. Not a big twist, mind you, just big enough to be different.

We get to pick our own books.

There. That wasn’t so bad, was it?

So anywho, the book I picked is called Nation. It’s a book by Terry Pratchett, who has written a lot of other books that I won’t mention here.

Nation. What can I say? Well, from the Author’s note in the back, Nation is based in a parallel universe, much like our own, but with tiny differences. Like the fact that the island called Nation is in the Great Southern Pelagic Ocean. Look at any map! It’s there! Well, any map in the parallel universe. In fact, the good ol’ US of A is now called the Reunited States. What does that tell you?

The island Nation is a tiny little island, with a whole bunch of really small ones around it. Not too far, but not close enough to actually see them. There is an island called Boy’s Island. That’s where the story actually starts. Actually, it starts in England, where some sailors are coming off a ship, and are being washed down because of some plague.

Back on Nation, a boy named Mau has to get back to the mainland before midnight, or he won’t be called a man. There is, of course, a trick. On a huge stump in the very center of Boy’s Island, there is an ax. And carved on that stump are the words, ‘MEN HELP OTHER MEN’. So Mau takes the ax, makes a boat, and sails home. Except on the way back, a GIGANTIC wave washes over the whole island, carrying the schooner Sweet Judy with it.

Everyone on the mainland dies.

Then the grandfathers come. They are the spirits of great men, who get the honour of resting in the Cave of the Grandfathers. They tell him that he must replace the god anchors, and give them beer. All of which he doesn’t know how to do, or make.

There was one person who survived on the ship, but we’ll get to that later.

I personally think that Mau is a very convincing character. It’s just the way he thinks, and does things. Even the land is realistic. I can see it in my mind’s eye. It’s just so…perfect.

Except for the Wave, which killed everyone, and Mau has to bury them in the sea. That’s not so perfect.

Unfortunately, I can’t make any predictions, because I read the whole book. I just couldn’t put it down. So sorry.


Front cover, and Mau


Today I went into our library to return a couple of books. Nothing exciting. I didn’t even hear any crys of anguish (see earlier posts). But then I looked around, and I saw that my friend was on his Gmail account. I smiled, walked on, and did a double take. Gmail?

You see, on of the sites blocked by Smoothwall at our school is Gmail. No web mail whatsoever, except the official  school one. I quickly scmoodled over to another computer and logged in. What I found amazed me. It seems like Smoothwall is gone. I quickly tried all of my favourite sites that were previously blocked were now not. I really hope that is fixed for good, not like the other false alarm we had here.

Hope is rising.


This is a blog post. On math. Odd.

Please observe the below graph. (The bar on the bottom is the total.)

Have you observed it? Good. What do you see? I see that Canada watches a lot more Drama than Comedy.
I also see that religion has hardly any viewing at all. The show type that has the most viewing in Canadian programs is drama. Annnd the show that has the most viewing in foreign programs is news and public affairs.

One of the most surprising things I see is that people still watch foreign VCR’s. That is just weird. I mean, put those old editions of “I Love Lucy” on DVD already.

There are also a couple of trends that I see from the wonderfully informative chart above. VCR’s are low. Because no one makes VCR’s anymore, one can predict that this number will get even lower.

Obviously, News and Public Affairs are quite high. People care about what’s happening in the world. Most people. Television companies and stuff will probably take advantage of this, and pump out more news shows. Not that the world needs any more.

The last trend that I see from glancing at the above chart is that the Music and Dance catagory is kind of low. If it’s low, what’s the point of having shows like So you think you can Dance, and Canadian Idol, and all of the shows like that.

There is an easy explanation. Those shows are aimed mostly at people in the good ol’ US of A. Except Canadian Idol.

So, why are there so many shows out there that people don’t seem to watch? Take religion. There are tons of stuff about religion out there. If any of it is real, that’s a different story. But, it looks like people don’t watch that kind of stuff.

To answer that question, I would have to have a graph showing all of the other countries in the world. I don’t have those. You’ll just have to trust me.

PS: I am not an antidisestablishmentarianismist.


How many of you are attending school? Please raise your hand.

Okay, I see um… one, two, three, four, five, please raise your hands, six, you in the back are seven, and me. Um Eight?

Yeah, yeah, rough estimate, I know.

So, some of you are still in school? Okay… how many of you sit in desks?

My, my. That’s a lot of people!

To put it in the other direction, how many of you sit in groups around a table, or desks pushed together?

I see. I seem to be one of the only ones.

If you were to have the choice, what would you pick? Tables or desks?

To put it from a teacher’s point of view, desks take up a lot less space, therefore making them the perfect tool for getting a lot of people into a small classroom. They also make the classroom look relatively neat and organised. That’s all fine and good.

With three or four people around a table, you encourage conversations more. This can be a good thing, or a bad thing. They also encourage communication with other people, learning how to share space, and how to work with people you don’t generally get along with.

It desks, you can’t do that.

You’re stuck in your small little island, all of the work space in front of you is yours, it’s harder to talk to people, etc.

The most important thing with tables is the amount of pure stuff you can fit on them. Even when you have to share a table between three people, you still have a good deal more space. You can fit a tremendous amount of stuff on your area, especially laptops. 

This isn’t always good, as students tend to have a lot of junk on their tables. You have to constantly remind them to clean it all out.

But lets put this question from a students point of view. Tables or desks?

As a student myself, I prefer tables. Mostly for all of the above reasons.

The best thing I like about them is the enormous potential for practical jokes.

One swift kick at the stabilization strut thingy, and the next time any pressure is put there, one side of the table collapses. Wonderful.

Not that I have actually done that, I just think that it would be a good idea. And it sure makes the class laugh pretty hard.

Even so, I think that tables are way better than desks. All for the simple idea of communication.

People have to communicate. People need other people. You have to talk to other people, pool your knowledge, share your ideas, have a good time.

If school was totally boring, would people go there?



What do you think about modern art? Good, bad, or otherwise? I think that most of it is pretty bad. Try the one below, for instance.


They could use all of the material that the builders put into this infinite staircase to build an airplane or something.

At least that would actually do something. This monstrosity is, in my opinion, taking up space that a condo could go on. Why build a useless thing, when you could build a house for a homeless person? Then they wouldn’t be called homeless anymore! Yay, right?

Anyway, if you go into any art gallery, chances are, there will be a section titled “modern art”. And what’s in that section?

Well, if it’s a painting gallery, it’ll probably have some type of these:

https://i0.wp.com/www.merello.com/images/Photos%20Sketches/art_modern_art.-merello._transparent_portrait.jpg http://www.merello.com/modern_art_daily/modern_art_daily_painting.-merello.-paisaje_con_luna_rosa_y_estrellas_azules-(73x54cm)mixta_lienzo.jpg

There is so many different shapes in here, that I don’t know where to start looking. All of the different colours, shapes and designs are just horrible to me.

Now, if there is a modern art sculpture, and it isn’t a totally stupid idea, I would probably like it.


Like this one. I really like how the shadows interact with the circles and the rectangles on the roof. It just makes it look weirdly mesmerizing.

Of course, there is the other category that I consider cheating. That’s the digital modern art pieces.


Even the digital ones look really cool, I think that they are cheating. The artists didn’t actually get outside and sweat as they built something. They just sat inside, and slaved away on their computers, not even getting one single breath of fresh air.

Of all the ones above, I like the sculpture ones the most. They are the ones that use the most shape and design. The designers actually use some sort of geometry and, well, design.

If the piece doesn’t use geometry and shapes, I don’t really like it. I mean, a while ago, I saw a picture of a telephone pole, and it was in the ‘good’ section of a painting gallery! How weird is that!

If I was ever asked to rate a piece of modern art, I would bluntly refuse. I can’t stand the idea of modern art. If humanity lasts for a couple thousand more years, they’ll probably call their art ‘modern art’, and the art so precious to us now, our modern art, will become something you can pick up at the bargain bin for 25 cents.

What do you suppose the future modern art will be like? Paintings, sculptures, or digital? I think mostly digital, and probably all in virtual worlds that you could spend your whole life in, drinking holographic pina coladas under a virtual palm tree. How ’bout it, eh?

If that’s not for you, I suppose you could always visit the ancient art museums that are sure survive, at least as a tourist attraction. I would rather go to the art museum than the virtual world, actually. This way, you at least get some exercise.

Below are some of my most favorite sites of life. Well, not quite. You probably know what I mean. I know I do.




Have you ever taken part in a science fair? I know that I have.

I hate them.

Ever since you were in grade one, you were taught the basics of science. You know, purpose, hypothesis, materials, method, observations, conclusion, and the newest one, application.

If you do this at least once a year for 7+ years, this can get extremely boring. The science fair takes this universal discomfort, and amplifies it by 890%. Now, instead of just doing a simple and easy science experiment, that you only have to take the occasional notes on, now you are thrust into the strange world of intimidating things like backboards. And judges.

In other things, you can muddle your way through, and hope that on one notices. In a science fair, however, you have no choice. You actually have to do something. There’s no hiding from it. Every science fair project is basically the same. There’s no variety. Always same old same old. Please see the picture below.

The image “https://i1.wp.com/sites.google.com/site/muckscience/_/rsrc/1225223617090/Home/science-fair/sciencefair.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

First, you have the tedious task of choosing a project. It can’t bee too hard, but it has to look hard. Not an easy task. Even so, this is the easy part.

Once you have you’re perfect project chosen, you have to gather everything you need. If you chose a good project, this shouldn’t be too hard. It’s even easier if you have a partner, because they can get stuff, too. Make sure you record every step of this down, because you can turn it all into a log book. That’ll make it look even better

Now comes the time to do you’re carefully chosen experiment. Make sure you do it right, and take lots of pictures. Pictures are important. If you don’t have a camera, you could always ask to borrow one from your kind and loving teacher. If you’re teacher isn’t kind and loving, it’s probably best to avoid asking.*

Now comes the part that I loath. You have to buy a backboard, and you actually have to decorate it. Whee. Make sure you make it colorful and pretty, including those carefully taken pictures you took earlier. You must include on your backboard, your title, and…

Yes. Purpose, hypothesis, materials, method, observations, conclusion, and application. Oh, the horror. Being science, the sciencey people in power have decreed that you have to include all of that.

Well I don’t have much against science fairs themselves, but I think that they are way too rule-based. You have to have a backboard. You have to have the seven steps of science. Why? Why can’t you not have a backboard, or even have something that will make the whole thing stand out more. Like a power point presentation running on your laptop. I’m not saying that the way we have science fairs now isn’t wrong, I just think that we could do without the seven steps of science. Enough already.

If you thought that you could escape them, you are wrong. They will always find you. Of course, the excuse that every teacher uses is, ‘these are the steps that every scientist uses.’ That ruined my lifelong goal of being a scientist. If those things were in actual science, I was no way going to do them for the rest of my career. That was asking too much for I guy who doesn’t like the seven steps of science.

Thank you, science fair for ruining my dream job.

Now what do I do?

Well… I guess I could always find something sciencey that doesn’t involve the seven steps, like, work in the field of astronomy and the world ending and all that. That always looked like fun.


But even so, after all the years of doing the seven steps of science, you would think that they would think to change it up a little.


*I’m not saying that my teacher isn’t kind and (or) loving. Just thought I’d add that.


Here’s your chance. Please observe the awesome video below. It won’t seem like much at the beginning, but it is well worth it. Oh, and no, it’s not photo shopped, video shopped, whatever. Just watch it, ok?


How would you describe a hero? Is someone a hero if they save an angry cat with rabies from a tree? We’ll get back to this later.

My definition of a hero is someone who dedicates their life to a cause. They probably don’t do it for money, even if they get it on the way. That shouldn’t be the cause for their heroism.

Using the above definition, is the guy who saved the cat a hero? Well, not really. True, he didn’t save the cat for money, but he didn’t dedicate his life to saving that cat from the tree.

You could also add to the hero definition, determination, patience, and helping a whole lot of people.

Who can you think of that this all applies to?

The classic story of a hero had five very important parts. I’ll use King Arthur to demonstrate.

They had to have a special birth. For King Arthur, his mom didn’t know she was sleeping with someone other than her husband. Thanks to Merlin.

They had to have a special destiny. King Arthur’s pretty much was to become King and stop people from destroying each other.

They usually go out on one quest, or many. Arthur had many quests. Read about them in your local library.

They earn some sort of reward. King Arthur had lots of these, too. Guinevere, his wife, Excalibur, etc.

There death is special in some way. Arthur, well, you probably know about that, too.

The one person from ancient history who completes all of the above tasks, is….Moses.

Yeah. Moses from the bible.

He had a special birth. The Ruler of Egypt had the Israelites as slaves. He was naturally worried that their population would grow so large, that they would threaten the lives of his people, and eventually take over. The mother of Moses had just had her baby, when a law was passed that all the baby boys of the Israelites were to be killed on such and such a date.

Naturally worrying for her baby, Mom put Moses in a basket, and put him in the river. You probably know the rest of the story. The Pharaoh’s daughter is having a bath, she sees the basket, and Moses grows up it the palace. (With consent from his mother, of course).

Moses had a special destiny. He was to lead the newly freed Israelites to the Promised Land. How hard could herding thousands of people, their stuff, their livestock, and their complaining, through a desert be?

Moses had a quest. The quest. He actually took the task that God gave him, and lead the Israelites through the desert for forty years plus. How’s that for a life-long commitment?

He earned a reward. He is the only person in the history of everything who got to speak to God face to face. I would say that that would be a pretty good reward for forty years and more hard work.

His death was special. You see, the people of Israel were really thirsty. Well, they were in a desert. God told Moses to speak to a rock, and water would come out of it. Moses was angry at the people because of their constant complaining, so he struck the rock with his staff, instead of speaking to it.

Because of this, Moses wasn’t allowed to go into the promised land. He had to be content to see it from a distance. From a mountain.

While he was on the mountain, he died, and God buried him, so on one could ever find him. That in itself was pretty special.

Even though Moses has all of these literature Hero traits, would he be considered to be a modern hero?

Well, I would think that he would have to have lots of determination to lead thousands of people for as long as he did. That’s a hero trait.

In the bible, it’s recorded that Moses got tired of the Israelites constant complaining. He had to have a lot of patience to withstand as long as he did. Which was until the end of his life. That’s a hero trait.

Moses led the people of Israel for over forty years. This proves that he wasn’t just a part time hero. He was in for life. He pretty much dedicated his life to leading the Israelites. Once again, another hero trait.

He went above and beyond the call of duty. When the people were hungry, did he just say, ‘Oh, well, I can’t do anything about that. It’s my job to lead, not to feed you. Go eat some socks, or something.’


He prayed to God to give them food. And he did. Hero trait? Yes.

The last, (but not least), hero trait that Moses had was that he wasn’t in it for the money. He probably got some things when they invaded other towns, and stuff, but was that his goal, no. He led the people of Israel, because God called him to. Not for any riches or anything.

If I were to go on, I could talk about his fearlessness, his selflessness and things like that, but I think that this has gone on long enough. It wasn’t supposed to be a speech. Too late now, I guess.


Was Moses a hero?