Visual Basic

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Wanna know how to make a program that can do anything you can imagine?  Try Visual Basic!  Visual Basic is one of the great beginner programming languages a person new to coding could start off with.  To start coding in Visual Basic all you need is some experience in basic math, common sense, a good memory and a lot of imagination. 

            Visual Basic was originally invented by Microsoft to make windows form and console applications for use by developers to run simple tasks like self-extractors or file deletion console applications.  Now it can do things like make games and advanced programs like Office Word or Powerpoint. 

            Visual Basic’s code is based off of the Binary number system of 1’s and 0’s called machine code (The most basic of all coding).  It then takes it and converts all the 1’s and 0’s into understandable variables and lines of words and punctuation.  An example of the Binary that Visual Basic or any languages are based off of is:    

1          =          0000

2          =          0001

3          =          0010

4          =          0011

5          =          0100

6          =          0101

7          =          0110

8          =          0111

9          =          1000

And on and on and on until you get a pattern that makes up words!


Ulrich Zwingli

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          Uldrich Zwingli was an early Swiss reformer in the 16th century AD.  His main goal was to remove all the pressure provided by the Catholic Church from the common people.  The main reason these early reformers like Zwingli or Martin Luther came about was all the restrictions the Catholic Church provided that restricted people from doing simple things like owning their own copy of the Bible. 

            This restriction included all the bans on sinning, different laws about having kids and more.  However, what really made many of these reformers mad was the fact that the pope was selling these little pieces of paper that got “rid” of all your sins.   These “Miracle” papers where called indulgences and the profits where used to use build a GIANT cathedral for the pope and his people only.  The reformers hated this because it gave people a false sense of relief from bad stuff they did and all the money went to a bad cause.

            Ulrich was an interesting reformer because he did not put himself out there about his beliefs Except about his belief that everyone should be able to read and own their own copies of the Bible (At that time only the church leaders owned copies of the Bible.  This got him into trouble later when he started getting more famous for his small rebellions.  His followers started getting angry when he was not “putting in his all” during the reformations.  The followers had had enough of his weak dedication to the reformation.  Therefore, all the followers decided to form a group of hardcore rebels called the Anabaptists they took the early reformers ideas even farther and they ended up getting themselves in much more trouble even than some of the famous reformers. 

            Some remaining examples of Anabaptists are the Amish and Mennonite religious groups.  One way the Anabaptists took it to far was they baptized there children before they where eight days old which caused a lot of early deaths that could have been prevented.  Some of the lasting changes to the Catholic Church was that the church was no longer allowed to use Organs for music, also the priests where now aloud to get married freely without shame and being shunned.

            There you have all about the latter part of the early reformation and Ulrich Zwingli and his followers.  That part in time was very important to western civilization because it allowed people to warship the bible in the way and amount they wanted without being shamed or even killed by the church.  One thing that allowed the people to get copies of the Bible was the new invention of the Gutenburg Printing Press.  Without that they might never have gotten the Bible out there.



Computer Parts

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            Most computers contain several key components including: A Graphics Processing Unit (GPU), A motherboard (or MoBo), A CPU (Central Processing Unit), Some RAM (Random Access Memory), A Hard Disk Drive (HDD) A chipset (Basic Integrated operating system or BIOS), and A Power Supply Unit (or PSU).  All these parts come together to form a complete computer now of course there are some other parts that can be added like expansion cards, extra ram or hard drives, but for the most part those are the main parts.  Now lets go over each one individualy: 

            The Motherboard is the main part of a computer like the home base.  it brings all the parts of a computer together and connects them electrically.  It holds everything except the power supply and hard drive(s).  The motherboard also constains the chipset which is a tiny storage device chich conatins a BIOS(basic integrated operating system) that allows you to control the computer without a hard drive and also allows you to perform functions like overlcokcing the CPU and Graphics card, Aswell as configuring a new operating system.                                   Image

            Next is the CPU, the CPU is the brain of any computer.  A CPU consists of over a 100 billion transistors operating with a 1 or 0 binary code.  The CPU makes all the calculations that go on inside a computer.Image

            Now there is the RAM (Random Access Memory) RAM is used as temporary solid storage while a program is running to store temporary files concerning the project.  The more Gigabytes of RAM you have the more programs you can run at once.  RAM clears itself when the program is shut down but it is completely wiped when you shut off your computer to clear the OS (Operating System) files off. Image

             Next, there is the ALMIGHTY GRAPHICS CARD!  The graphics card is the piece of hardware that displays pixels and movement on your desktop or in a game. The better the graphics card you have the more graphical capability you have.  Some graphics cards can go from under $50 to over $3000 depending on the amount of graphic cores and amount of GDDR5 Video RAM.  


            Now, there is the hard drive, a hard drive is the main source of storgae for a computer as the RAM is wiped every time there is no power.  The most common type of hard drive is the HDD or hard “disk” drive.  The disk drive had a disk that spins at 7200 RPMs standard.  The newer type of hard drive that is becoming more and more popular is the SSD, which uses conductor chips instead of magnetic disks.  This type of hard drive is very hard to break unlike the HDD which can break from a small drop.  SSD’s also has a much faster Data transfer rate when compared to a standard HDD.


              Next is the PSU (Power Supply Unit) this is piece of hardware that powers all the parts of a computer.  It has many different electrical components inside including transistors and a small ICB (Integrated Circuit Board) to hold everything together.  Most PSUs have a fan for cooling the transistors and ICB that is on the top of the box.  The final component of a PSU is the wire harness, which comes out the side and has tons of different connectors for each piece of hardware.


              Finally, we have expansion cards that might add more of a type of port or more slots for RAM chips or graphics cards.  The one below is a expansion card which adds more of the new USB 3.0 via a PCI Express mini slot on the motherboard.


            Now to round up I will show you the back of a computer with labeled ports so you know which ports are which.  I hope you enjoyed learning what different parts of computers do.Image





Photo credits: Royalty Free Images from Google, Photoshopped and labeled by Artie LaVigne

English Book Report One On: Michael Vey: Rise of The Elgen

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           This is one of the best books I have read in a long time.  It just stands out so well against other teen novels and blows your mind.  The way it’s comprised is just amazing and the attention to detail is also very, very good.  Michael Vey is a kid from Meriden, Idaho who has something very special about him.  He is electric, in other words he can shock people, sometimes not on purpose.  This being the second Book I will briefly run over what happened in the first book in this series for references.  

            At first, only Michael and his mom knew he was electric, well that’s what they thought….  They constantly had to change location from California to Tennessee to Idaho and so on.  Michael thought the main reason for all this moving was to keep from being discovered by regular people, but, his mom knew they were being hunted by a company called the Elgen. 

            The Elgen is the only reason Michael was electric.  When he was born, his mother put him into a beta for a scanner that scans babies for cancer and other illnesses.  The scanner killed over 50 babies and only 17 survived.  The 17 that did survive had electrical powers each with their own special ability.  Michaelwas one of those 17, his powers at the time was just shocking people through touch. 

            He met a cheerleader at his school that also had electric powers and they formed a group of electrical people and people associated with them called “The ElectroClan”.  Michael and the cheerleader, Taylor, found out about the Elgen because their birthdays are within 5 days of each other.  They Googled the Elgen to find more info about how they became to be electrical and discover who the Elgen really where. The Elgen found out they were searching for information and the Elgen ended up capturing Michaels mom leaving the ElectroClan: Michael, Taylor and Michaels nerdy friend Ostin to find Michaels mother. 

            They travel with one of Micheals school bullies who has a car to drive to Pasadena.  They did not end up saving his mom but, they did end up destroying the Pasadena Elgen base in the progress.  They escape with other electric kids that where held there against their will.  There was however, a lot of other kids who were on the Elgens side.  Michael, Taylor and Ostin bring back with them four other kids and the two-childhood bullies Jack and Wade.  The four kids are Ian, who is blind but uses electro location like bats or dolphins see through every material except copper.  Then, there is Abigail, she can make peoples pain go away by touching them. After her, there is McKenna, she can go bright like a glowing ember or get super hot and melt through things.  Finally, there is Zeus who can shoot lightning out of his hands.  Zeus was once loyal to Hatch (The main manager of the Elgen).  That was until hatch disgraced him and told Zeus that he had accidentally shocked his parents in a pool and killed them.

            So now, the kids are out to find Michaels mother and imprison hatch and the other electric children who are loyal to hatch.  Now I’m going to talk about the characterization throughout the book and cover the story along the way. 

            Michael is very self-conscious about his powers and sometimes shows it a lot when he is stressed.  Something else he is very self-conscious about sometimes is his turrets syndrome.  It is not the kind that makes him swear all the time but a kind that makes him blink, gulp or make small sounds and such when he gets nervous or is in a stressful situation.  Everybody freaks out and doesn’t want to be around him when they hear he has turrets but it doesn’t really bother him.

            Michael’s only good friend at the beginning of the first book was Ostin.  Ostin means a lot to Michael because Ostin is the only person besides his mom and the Elgen that knows about his powers.  That means a lot to Michael because it really hurts him to have to hold that caliber of secret in.  The reason he tells Taylor about it is that she witnesses him shocking the bullies Jack, Wade and Mitchell.  After Michael tells her, she tells him about his powers and they form the ElectroClan with Michael, Ostin and Taylor. 

            Michael’s mom is captured at a pizza place where another electrical kid named nichelle saps him of his powers.  It scares Michael because of the circumstances in which is mother was kidnapped.  After all this Michael just takes a break for a few days and lets all of this sink in and by doing so he makes himself emotionally stronger.  When they fail at rescuing his mother later on he doesn’t think a lot about that and instead focuses on other things like staying safe from the Elgen and keeping all his new friends and allies safe at the same time.  Now I will go into the second book and Michael’s characterization during that book.  Michael and his friends get trapped inside of wades house which isn’t so bad, seeing wades parents are always gone and his dads a millionaire. 

            They train with their powers and the ones of them who don’t have powers, physically trained.  Ostin mostly just ate jelly donuts though.  Grace had downloaded the Elgen mainframe computer when they were in the Elgen place in Pasadena.  It was amassed over three Terabytes (3,528,892,416 Bytes) in raw data including text documents and pictures about everything Elgen.  Ostin goes through all the data, finds where Michael is, and his mom is in Peru in a jungle compound that looks like a prison. 

            There was a man that helped them escape the Elgen once.  He will help them get to Peru if they give him Grace so he can keep her information safe from Hatch.  

            Hatch is forced to stop holding all the electric children and let them go including to stop hunting Michael.  He does not like this and neither does the electric children that are loyal to him.  They still want to stay with hatch so they decide to capture Michael, kill him, and keep their “Family” together.  Michael is clueless of this and is still planning to go to Peru, capture hatch, and get his mother.  When they get to Peru, they have a lot of trouble getting in to the compound without Hatch finding out.  They get in and get Michaels mother but Michael is captured while the others make a close escape with some genetically engineered electric cannibal rats.  The group finds out these rats are actually part of a program called “Star Source”.  The Elgens plan is to use the rats to generate power to power the whole world thus letting them control the whole world.  The rats they have in the Peru compound are enough to power tons of major cities in Peru and the compound itself. 

            Ostin comes up with a plan to save Michael and it works.  Michael is saved and they get away just in time before Hatch can get them.  Nevertheless, Hatch sends helicopters through the jungle to search and Michael is found by the Elgen but a tribe of aborigines saves him by shooting the Guards with darts.  The tribe thinks Michael is some sort of god and they worship him and treat him very good.

            The book ends there very abruptly leaving everyone hanging.   Over the entire book Michael is very good at keeping his cool even with the off the wall things that happen to him and the group.  Ostin did not keep his cool in the first book but during this one, the author let him have some courage throughout this book, completely changing the book.

            That’s basically an overview of the whole book in a nutshell without going into all the minute details.  Michael characterization in very random throughout the book with big spurts  every once in a while.

The War of the Roses

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The War of the Roses


            The War of the Roses was a war between 1455 and 1487 fought by the Lancastrians (Henry III {Not related to Henry VI}) and the Yorks (Henry VI) fighting for the English throne.  It was a very interesting war because there were so many powerful people taking over all the time.  The reason it was eventually called The War of the Roses is that the symbols of either side was a rose, White for York and red for Lancaster.

            Therefore, since Henry VI was the current leader of the Yorks when the war started, it did not start good for the Yorks.  The reason being because Henry VI was a poor military leader, why he was a poor leader is because Henry VI had a sort of mental illness that made him think very slow.  That cost York with quite a few battles during Henry VI’s rule.  Eventually, a man named Richard III got the peoples vote to be the successor of Henry VI.  He successfully took over the York throne after Henry VI died in a battle.

            After a few years, Richard ended up dying in The Battle of Wakefield by his own men do to some heavy fog and confusion.  His successor was his son, Edward VI, Edward went on to march to London and make alliances with The Earl of Warwick,  He was welcomed very well and was given great support while there.

            Edward eventually claimed that Henry VI was not the true Heir to the throne (and he was not) but Edward decided to challenge Henry III to a battle with no truces, treaties or retreating.  The battle was supposed to settle the war and it did.  York won and nearly 20,000 men were killed in the process, even to this day it was the bloodiest battle to date that Europe has had. 

            Edward eventually died in The Battle of Burnet; Richard of Gloucester took his place.  Henry III also died and a man named Henry Tudor took over and married Richard of Gloucester’s daughter Elizabeth.  This strengthened relations between the Yorks and Lancastrians a lot and there have not been many more problems with them since.

So, now you know all about the war of the roses.  It cost both sides a lot in the end.  That fact also led up to the poverty of The Hundred Year’s War later on.  It also ended up with them losing their supreme rule over Europe and other powers taking over.

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History Lesson 80 

       The Black Death     


            The Black Death, also known as the Bubonic plague was the most devastating plague / disease Europe has ever seen.  It killed 30 – 60% of Europe’s population totaling close to 25 million in Europe alone.  Pictured above is the effect of the Black Death after it has completely taken hold.  If your skin looked like that you were going to die soon.

            The Symptoms of the Black Death were fever, vomiting, chills, red patchy blotches that spread rapidly and sometimes bad headaches were all symptoms of the Bubonic plague, the plague lasted for 2 years like this from 1348 – 1350.

            The plague originated from rats and the fleas that where carried by the rats.  The rats lived in almost every house hold in Europe, so that’s the reason that almost everyone got it within a short amount of time.

A popular nursery rhyme that I bet everyone knows is “Ring around the Rosie”.  It goes like this: 

         Ring around the Rosie.

         Pocket full of Posies.

         Ashes, Ashes, we all fall down.

The first line means the red lines around the infected skin (Sometimes there would be a bright red ring around the infected skin before it turned black.)

The second line is portraying how the people would carry their shirt and pants pockets full of posies to reduce the smell of rot and the plague.

The final line is the final step in the plague when the people would die (We all fall down) and Ashes, Ashes being they would burn the bodies because they lacked the man power to dig graves and bury everyone who dies, that’s just an example of how many people died. 

            The main reason this plague lasted so long is because the doctors had no idea how to treat it neither did the people.  Also since the people were not used to mass illness they didn’t know how to be clean and sanitary.  That’s another reason why the plague spread so much because they had very poor sanitary systems such as above ground sewers and poor water sources such as public wells.  Something interesting is that the people thought it was a message from God portraying they hadn’t been faithful or something similar. So, the way they thought fixed that was to publically whip themselves to “remove sins”.

            It was such an epidemic that it took Europe almost 150 years to recover and bounce back to its original population before the plague.  This really affected Europe’s military stance during that time.  It also affected Europe’s sources of food.  They had enough man power to plant it but not enough to harvest the crops.  So, they basically had crops just sitting out in the fields turning bad while they were all dying and with no way to harvest it.

            So, to wrap it up this was one of the most devastating blows the Europeans have taken in the last 10 centuries!  There was close to 75 million deaths total if you include the later epidemic in the east, that’s even more than World War II (60 million deaths).  It could have completely wiped out the whole population of Europe in another year or two if it wasn’t stopped.

Ron Paul Curriculum English 7: Writing styles

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Writing Styles of G.A. Henty and Jack London

This essay will be about the differences in writing styles of G.A Henty, the author of “Wulf the Saxon” and “The Dragon and The Raven” And Jack London, the author of call of the wild and white fang. I will go over their characterization methods, plot types, their point of view, and their overall writing speed and style.

Lets start with their plot types, usually one of the most important parts of a book. Making up the speed and pace of the story and also the way the storyline twists and turns. G.A Henty writes with a very detailed story line where it’s usually very hard to find any loopholes in his plot. For Jack London, he usually writes about animals also with a human side character to help along the storyline. usually its from the time of birth to death with the characters and usually always has a happy ending. He writes about how they learn and adapt and their overall growth as animals, with either humans or other animals helping them along.
Now for characterization, I will go over each authors way of evolving their characters. G.A Henty likes to span his books over a long period of time which makes for slower characterization. His characters are usually young nobles near England in the 9th century AD. They usually develop relations with high ranking people in the area and are usually associated with the military. Jack London likes to make his characters learn and grow into very dominant characters and usually the main characters don’t appear at the beginning of the book. They appear a couple chapters in to the book when their presence heavily effects the book.
Now for the point of view for the two different authors. G.A. Henty usually switches points of view between different characters but its still in first person point of view. Jack London writes inside of the mind of the character, this character usually being an animal. To him its all about the feelings of the character so the mind point of view is best fro this.
Finally I will go over the writing speed of the two authors. G.A. Henty writes with a very slow progressive speed and usually spans it over a very long period of time. In other words he places the period from the start of the book to the end of the book very far apart but sometimes skips boring times. However, Jack London likes to focus on very small details and feeling of the story and sometimes 5 minutes of reading is like 3 minutes of actual in-story-time. He likes to slow down the story and express very minute thoughts.
So to conclude this essay I would like to just sum up the overall differences between G.A. Henty and Jack London. They have some similarities but as you can see Jack London focuses on animals and ads humans as a plot twists. Unlike G.A. Henty where he focuses almost always on humans. Another thing to add is that G.A. Henty’s books are much longer than Jack London’s. So as you can see their writing styles very a lot because of the eras they lived in, Jack London having lived in the 19th and 20th century and G.A. Henty living in the 18th to 19th century.