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Showing posts from May, 2008

Spontaneous Poetry II

The ache of success
follows to rest
the weariness of living in time.

But time is not real
and sleep is forgotten.
What's left is the good that you feel.

Diplomacy

In this blog post I would really like to talk about one of my favorite games. It can be a game that you begin to love just in principle when you hear about it, and you can certainly learn to love it after playing it the first time. I have only completed the game twice, maybe three times; it depends on your definition of completion, and it has to be pretty loose for me to say that I've ever completed it at all.

The game is Diplomacy, and it is probably the purest board game of its genre. At first it may seem much like Risk, which is in fact probably the most popular game of this "conquest" category. Diplomacy is entirely different than Risk, however, in that there is no element of luck involved beyond the selection of one's starting position. Once you get to a certain skill level in the game of Risk, you may as well be playing Candy Land, as the outcome depends totally on luck.

In Diplomacy, success depends on each player's ability to interact with, cooperate with…

Every Alaskan Should Watch This Video!

(As found by this author on the Progressive Alaska blog- see my list of blogs to visit.)

A Brief Thought on Bush

I think I may very well be creating a post overload here with my posting over the last few days, but I just read this on the internet (on IMDB, of all places) and was immediately struck: "Without 9/11 Bush would have lost in a landslide in 2004 and faded away into history and remembered only by presidential trivia buffs." I think the person got it right on! Not surprisingly, before 9/11 Bush was perhaps the lamest president ever. It was 9/11 that made him begin doing dangerous things. On the other hand, there's significant evidence that Bush and co. (or at least just the co.) were planning to go back to Iraq even before 9/11. But 9/11 certainly provided the climate in which to attack Iraq, and even some justification- at least in the minds of the stupid. Just something to think about...

Comments, Happy Feet and Kayhi English

First off, readers, (now that I know you exist) if you enjoy what you read here, please comment on the articles and vote in my polls as well. Or if you think there are things I can improve- for example, my insertion of updates about the blog into the beginnings of other articles- please tell me so I can address your issues and concerns. I track the visits to the site, but maybe all you many diverse people who have come here from all over the world aren't reading this at all. Maybe you just glanced at it and then went on, or when you do stay it's just because you leave it up on your computer and are doing something else. Maybe you do read my posts, but you don't understand a word! How can I know unless you comment? Thank you!

Tonight I watched Happy Feet for the first time, and I thought it was a pretty good movie. The combination of CGI with real people was well done and the music and dance were good. If there had been enough music to make the story a musical it might ver…

Google is Inflating My Ego! (Plus Don Young)

I have boasted previously on this blog about its progress in certain Google searches, namely in the search of "Ketchikan blog". I'm happy to say Peter's Publisher is holding its own at #10 for that search, as of a few minutes ago. But there's much more!

I had previously put "Peter's Publisher" into the Google search engine when this site was much younger, and needless to say my blog was not to be found. But as of a few minutes ago, this blog is in fact now result #2 when one searches "Peter's Publisher". But that's not even close to this next thing!

I have held it as almost a life-goal of mine to become a top hit when my name Peter Stanton is googled. On Facebook alone, there are dozens and dozens of other Peter Stantons as well as people whose names incorporate both Peter and Stanton whether by having Peter as their middle name or in other ways. I have long thought that the addition of "Alaska" into the search was requ…

Stars, Animal Rights, and Lactose Intolerance

Last night I went out for a walk and began to think, as I usually do when I go out on walks. Before I got across the street, however, I noticed that the stars were absolutely brilliant that night. I am not one to have a special fascination about the stars. As I then thought about the stars instead of whatever it was that had been in my mind before, I realized that if I lived in most any other place I would probably get bored of the stars very quickly.

Ketchikan is one of the rainiest places on Earth, and I would say it's certainly one of the wettest that doesn't go through rainy seasons or monsoons that make other places very wet. As you can imagine, even when it's not raining, the sky is usually overcast anyways, so being able to see the stars any good amount is a rarity. So because of their rarity, my vision of the sky was a blessing, at least for a few wondrous moments before I returned to the standard euphoria of my night-walks. I found only beauty in the stars- noth…

Two of Three

Here is the scenario:

You are searching for your ideal partner in life- your husband, wife, muse, whoever you want. Out of the following three qualities, two of them are wondrously exhibited in your ideal partner, but the third is very lacking. Which two out of the three would you choose to be present, and which one would be almost completely absent? Here are the three:
Intelligence Attractiveness Kindness
The second and third might also be appropriately termed 'physical beauty' and 'inner beauty', respectively.
What would your choice be?
I'm not saying that your ideal person would have to be either brain dead, physically deformed, or downright evil, but they would either have to be below average mentally, quite unattractive or very self-centered.
I think that's more than I need to say about the scenario. I often find such unrealistic imaginings to be annoying and not worth a person's time, but here the topic is light enough and I think a person's answer …

Accomplishment on Web and Paper

I believe I have found my preferred method of measuring this blog's success, at least for now, because remember when I said that I saw that someone came to this site from searching "Ketchikan blog" on Google? Well, I have now moved up to #18 for that search, and I am very proud of myself. I do not feel like running through my day today- not that it was worse than yesterday, but because I want to keep this blog sharp, and current, and cool, and basically... not... boring. I will say though that the awards assembly was today and I got awards for being one of three top three-year French students, the one and only top AP World History student and for being one of the two incoming captains for the AcDc team. That's my plug for the day.

Guess What...

In the face of adversity, our hero comes through once again! Well, I'm my own hero at least, and I think that's the way it should be. Everyone should be their own hero (or heroine, or heroin...).

 It is 5:30, and I have had a very successful Monday. My Monday never had a clear start, as many of my days don't. It was just about exactly midnight when I got a ride home from working on homework at Elliott's and then commenced doing my own work alone. I completed my second and third career interest interview reports and then did a personal response paper for an essay in English. By then it was past 4 am, so I decided to get to bed. Around 7:20 I got up and ready for school, getting the work I had done hours before printed out and going off to be just on time for the first bell in getting to chemistry. I had been unsure about my understanding of the current material in chem, but I got 100% on the big quiz that I missed and I think I got only one wrong on the smaller quiz. …

The Joys of Power

Yesterday and today I refereed four games between my school's girls' soccer teams and those of Juneau's high school. I was an assistant referee for the first three and then was the center ref for the last one. Although I usually get paid for refereeing, I won't be for my work this weekend, but it was still enjoyable.

Refereeing is almost always enjoyable for me; there have been very few instances where the job has upset me, other than when it takes away time I'm reluctant to give up. First off, I got to see the girls play, and I probably wouldn't have gone if I wasn't going to ref. Watching any sport can get a little boring if you're not working as well. Secondly, I got to be amused by a variety of people, most notably the Juneau coach, who was humorously critical of almost everything we did in the four games but then at the end of the last game was very complimentary of me. I was in fact preparing for some sort of conflict after the game ended and I k…

Thoughts on Global Warming

Blog news: Today I learned that this blog is result #29 when you google "Ketchikan blog." I discovered this because I've started using a site meter and this was how the one visitor to my site today got here. If you come back, stranger, realize that I know what you're doing! I believe they were from Bethel as well... It's amazing how much the internet links us! Apparently I've had visitors from New England and Ontario, as well as Texas and Alaska. But now I must get to what this post was intended for.

The world is in a sorry state of affairs. The zeal of the wealthy and "globally aware" has recently hurt the globe's people greatly, as we fell for the scam that is ethanol and blew food prices to hell. It's not exactly ethanol that is the scam, as it can be made from things such as sugarcane and switchgrass as well, but the idea that making fuel from corn would help the planet was a stupid one indeed. Oh let's see, instead of using somethin…

Exxon Mobil: Pure Evil?

Already my state has "expressed disappointment" over the polar bear's recent listing as an endangered species. Apparently, trying to save the polar bear will adversely affect oil and natural gas development. Wait a second- no government action has even occurred yet because of the polar bear. A recent drilling project on the North Slope was stopped because it was ruled that not enough had been researched as to the environmental impact of the plan. That has nothing to do with the ESA. I think we are missing what is really blocking development. Let's focus on the real enemy here, ok?

Alaskans, wake up! Have you forgotten that your state is suing Exxon Mobil and BP for intentionally leaving oil and gas fields untapped in order to raise prices? We have had to sue them to bring oil and gas to market, which is what we basically hired them to do. Have you forgotten that Exxon Mobil is now suing the state of Alaska- for $800 million? Did you even know these things? Alaskans-…

A Quote and the Inherent Problem in Today's Conservatism

Last night I was flipping through the past two years' yearbooks looking at senior quotes, trying to get an idea for my own quote. Most, to be sure, were unimpressive, and although most were creative, most were just creative ways of saying the same things, and they didn't say anything of profound meaning or perhaps didn't mean anything at all. Then I found Emily Dell, who graduated last year.

I didn't really know Emily at all; she was just in my AP European History class last year when I was the lone little sophomore. She dropped the class at the semester, too, if I remember correctly, so the very little I knew of her wasn't all that impressive either. Her choice of senior quote though was practically enough to make me fall in love with her.

"Your soul is the whole world." -Hermann Hesse

She chose a quote from my favorite author of all time addressing one of the most meaningful ideas that I possess. In fact, before last night I had already put that idea into …

Problems in West Virginia

West Virginia- I had nothing against you. In fact, I love the reason for your entire existence. Well, I don't love the Civil War, but I think a state created as the part of a state that was open to change and progress should be quite proud of itself. Not today, West Virgina, not today.

Ok, to be serious, I have nothing against West Virginia. In fact, there's nothing wrong with it. Criticizing states is just stupid. But don't think I'm not going to be critical in this post; it's coming. The people I do have something against are those 20% of white West Virginians voting in the primary who said that race was a factor in their vote. I have serious problems with people who see "race" as a factor in anything, let alone something as important as a presidential election. I do not have a problem with the many West Virginians (not included in the above) who voted for Clinton. I don't have a problem with Hillary Clinton continuing to run, either. Both these ac…

Highlight of the Day

The highlight of my day was finally setting up my schedule for next year, which is going to be wonderful. Here it is: AP Calculus: This promises to be my least enjoyable class, but I'll survive and it should be worthwhile. American Government: This will be fun fun fun.AP Literature and Composition: From what I've heard of Ms. Kummant, she will likely amuse me or make me mad; I don't know yet. Probably she'll do both. Regardless, English is good.Debate: I've not been in debate before, but it should be somewhat enjoyable and I may get to go to a competition or two, depending on conflicts with AcDc.Advanced French: There are going to be a lot of people in it next year. It'll be fun!And then -this is the best part- I don't have to take a sixth class! I don't know what all I'll do with myself, but I know I'm going to put a lot into being Academic Decathlon captain, especially on days when we have meetings after school.

12 May 2008

My 12th of May 2008 began at midnight while I was doing homework, or at least while I was planning on doing homework. For some reason though I developed a headache, which is really strange for me, and it was definitely one of the most painful in my memory. I got myself ready to the point that I would survive in school without needing to do any more before going to sleep, and then went outside to get some fresh air. Standing in the doorway in the cold strangely moved the pain more than lessened it, although it did decrease the ache.

Then I went to sleep, and the following words sum up all that happened after I woke up: chemistry worksheet, busy careers, Bowlen back, AcDc bar, history review game (2nd despite boom-pow), no tuna, French puppetry drudgery, trig to logs, ride, tuna, computer, ultimate college guide, computer, food, France meeting, computer (email dead), dinner, House, interview call (Mayor Bob), secret pockets and Euros, King 5, Leno, walk, shower

I would also say "b…

Spontaneous Poetry I

Cold toes and a bad-bent back
support a plane of finger taps
upon a bed that passed its prime
or perhaps never really had a time
that it was good for backs now bad
but was simply unnoticed until the back broke
these fingers wrote
as their master aimed anew for sleep
despite the adversity.

The Law of Unintended Consequences

(This is my first post not written exclusively for this blog. Information was mainly taken from here and here.)

A central message of Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring is that chemical spraying causes unintended consequences; it not only attacks weeds and pests but has negative effects on the entire environment, including us. Despite being a visionary that almost single-handedly began America’s environmentalist movement, one thing that Carson didn’t see was the unintended consequences of her work.

Although DDT may have been proven to have many negative effects on the environment, the cessation of its use throughout the world has led to countless deaths because of malaria and other diseases. During the chemical era following WWII that Carson so bemoaned, many countries eliminated the scourge of malaria through the use of DDT. From 1943 to 1958, Venezuela cut its cases of malaria from 8,171,115 to 800. India had over 10 million cases of malaria in 1935, but by 1969 it was down to 285,9…

Religion, Placebo, and Japan's Alternate History

I do not belong to a religion, yet I am religious. I do not see a higher authority in any religious institution or established philosophy. I do not put any stock in any gods or any meetings with god. I do not call myself Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Atheist or Agnostic. I call myself humanist -uncapitalized- because above all I believe in humanity, and in my self. And yet, I am religious because I have faith- unprovable, irrational faith. I do not belong to a "faith," but faith is the most important thing in my life- faith in good, faith in others, faith in me. I do not belong to a religion. I, however, support religion, and I believe I always will.

Religion is a vital way in which people can connect with themselves, and I may not read scriptures, quote prophets or attend soaring structures in order to connect with myself, but I still do connect with my self. One of religion's most vital effects is to link people to themselves. I think that even when religion claims to …

KU Update and My Profile Explosion

Well, it's actually happened. Ketchikan Underground is now dead and the links provided by me regarding it will now either lead to the creator's epitaph or to nowhere at all. Rest in peace- or rather, be reborn. I think we all need you back sooner or later. I believe it was fitting for the site to die after it had been resurrected already into such a dishonorable state. It should be replaced by something grander, something that really does involve all the voiceless of Ketchikan instead of just a few clics dwindling to a few pitiful individuals- myself included. All the same, the sooner a new forum for my town's great young minds comes back, the better. I certainly won't be able to make it.

I try to make this little blog unique, but still I'm just one page of code among googles of it, and I need Google to help me with it for Christ's sake. On the more positive side, I actually have added quite a lot to this today, largely in the manner of adding to my profile.…

Sites to Visit

Currently I have a list of websites to visit on the right side of this blog. It may change sides, get edited or be deleted in the future, so here are a few of the most important and I will give you a good overview of why absolutely anyone should visit these sites- especially you, the valued reader, of whose existence I am not even sure.

Change.org is a great social networing site built around changes that you wish to see in the world. People may criticize it for not really doing anything besides saying things like "I want to end global poverty," but in reality it offers many ideas on little things that you can do to change the world and it brings together many different causes and organizations, the vast majority of which are very deserving and deserve attention. Please check it out, and if you aren't inspired to donate or support to a cause, you can at least learn from the site about the changes that others want to see.

The KGS Go Server is the best place I've found …

Current School Problems

Today I slept through school and I'm facing a few problems with some of my classes. Here they are: 

Chemistry: As far as work is concerned, chemistry is almost never a problem, but after today I have twelve absences from the class for this semester, which is the number at which a student is officially supposed to lose credit. I doubt that I really will get credit taken away and have to take a semester of science next year, but the possibility is still a little bit disconcerting.

Careers: Currently I have a D in careers class, work in which was previously just a minor annoyance but is now a serious pain. I need to do another interview before Friday and turn in a big assignment that was due a while ago. What a waste of time!

Language: English is in fact one of my least problematic areas right now, aside from the upcoming AP test. I still need to read through a book and work on other projects though, so the class isn't totally out of my work picture.

World History: I really need…

Detesting and Desiring Width

I would say with a large amount of certainty that never in my life have I been thin. Before entering school I was not thin as any healthy baby and toddler is not thin, but by kindergarten I was chunky, overweight- whatever adjective you want to use. I don't know what exactly my peak was, but I was definitely not just a little overweight. I doubt that I was ever technically obese, but truth be told I am still overweight and I really need to solve the problem as soon as possible. Obviously I am taller now than I ever was before, and I have stayed at the same weight (even dropped a little) for a very long time. Viewed from the front, some people may even think I'm just about right as far as weight is concerned, but while my stomach was spread flatter when I got taller, my rear failed to get the memo. That's all I'll say about that.

Let's move to what I'm going to do about all this. In a few weeks I will be going to France, which will involve a lot of walking, a …

Endorsements

For the upcoming elections, this site and this writer endorse the following candidates:

For President of the United States: Dennis Kucinich
If he doesn't work out, then Ralph Nader.
If he doesn't work out, then I guess I have to break down and say Obama.

Now for US Senator from Alaska:Mark Begich
And for Alaska's seat in the House of Representatives:Ethan Berkowitz

That's all for now!

Time, and the Joys of Productivity

Today I got off to a slow start. I don't even remember whether I turned on the radio after waking up once or whether it was on all night, but I do remember listening to Car Talk while I was still half asleep and was not planning on getting up any time soon. It was afternoon. Most of today I've been doing homework and I was able to get a few history assignments and a whole chapter of trig done. It's tiring, but the sense of accomplishment at the end and even the feeling of being productive while you're working can really make up for the inertia of negativity that is what makes me procrastinate so much that I have to make all this up in the first place. I feel that I really haven't wasted any of my time today. It's all been well spent.

After dinner I did a few chores and helped go through all the family's suitcases to sort all that junk out. I got the bag I'll be taking to France and found a strap to replace the original that broke and found two of my o…

SATing on the Dock of the Bay, Leading to Asian Food (Oh Yay)

Last night I went to bed early, and before I did so I had gone over some sample problems for the SAT to get myself familiar with it again. I took the PSAT in the fall so I knew basically what the content would be, but I still wanted to be more prepared. I was going to take the practice test that I had, but I really didn't have the will to do it, and using up three hours of my time for it instead of sleeping ultimately would probably have been worse for me. I got up feeling well rested- an unusual thing indeed- and I ate pancakes for breakfast in the process of getting ready. Bearing watch, snack, water, calculator, admission ticket, pencils, an eraser and my ID, I went up to the testing area at the beginning of the science hall and sat myself down at my seat. Everyone funneled in by 8 o'clock, and surprisingly the guys in the room were outnumbered almost four to one by girls. I don't know what the other room looked like, but it seems a little weird that out of the 14 stu…

May Day School Day

8:10 Ketchikan High School entered. I am ten minutes late, but today that seems to matter even less that it usually does. I do the lab for the rest of the period and finish it.

8:58 Math book discovered. I had lost my math book yesterday, which made me very distressed and had me spend a lot of time and worry looking for it, but after a tense night without it I found it this morning in Careers class, where it had traveled after being in chemistry yesterday and then getting left behind when I went on to AP Language.

Speaking of which- English was pretty lax today as it has been for a long while and seems it will be for the rest of the year. Besides taking the AP test, I believe there may only be three things left to do for the class. In AP World we continue watching Frontline's story on the Tankman. It was good of course, but there's not a lot to say about a class when you're just sitting watching a dvd. During lunch I did my trig homework, which turned out to be unnec…

Death, and the Birth of a Blog

I have been planning to create a blog for quite some time, and the recent announcement that Ketchikan Underground will be shutting down prompted me to finally do so.

The creation of KU near the end of my freshman year coincided with my juvenile entrance into regular use of the internet. (Its first post was on May 10th, 2006.) Writing on the site became a frequent activity of mine, and if I have ever had anything comparable to a blog before, KU was it. Ketchikan Underground became a vibrant online community of teenagers in my town- a host to poetry, politics, and brutal fights, a source of breaking news, a source of making news, and just a place for people to write absolutely whatever they wished. After many bumps in road including many intense conflicts involving myself, KU very suddenly shut down more than a year after its beginning.

After several months, KU began again just as an online forum and not the original website it was before. Although I again contributed much to the site i…