Cadence

There are an abundant amount of things that I would like to discuss. First off Cadence, Cady for short, the main protagonist in the book. She has a very interesting character as she seems to be mentally ill throughout the book. From being delusional to giving away all her possession, even those of great value. Cady is a mystery, uncovering forgotten memories of a tragic accident concealed by lies. The exploration through her “lost” memories finally reveals all, which brings me to the ending of the book. The huge turn of events that inevitably shock everyone. Something that confused me and possibly others is Cady’s illusions of being “injured”. For example, bleeding, melting, or being shoot. These illusions come very early in the book when her Dad leaves and, “Then he pulled out a handgun and shot me in the chest” (5). I figure that this is how Cady feels. She, later on, describes that her blood gushes out from everywhere and her heart falls out of her ribcage spasming. This represents how she feels hollowed out and empty inside. Her heart reaches out unsure of what to do yet, longing for her beloved dad to stay. These “injuries happen” throughout the book expressing how Cady feels. My personal rating of the book would be a solid ten out of ten. While reading the book I was yearning to uncover the mysteries of Cady’s lost memories. The emotions portrayed bounced off of the pages of the book and settled down close to my heart. It made me experience every wall cutting me off to a “happy ending”. I chiefly loved how Lockhart embedded mini Fairy Tale stories deep within the book. They were an altered version of what was going on around Cady. Cady calls these stories “A variation, I am saying, of a story you have heard before” (43) although I don’t think she realizes that the stories she is writing have a closer meaning to her than she thought. My main critique is that I found the overall story a bit confusing. That is in the sense that there was a lot of different time period switches taking place all over the book. At one point Cady would be fifteen back with her Dad, and then she would be on Beechwood Island with Gat by her side. It made me sort of lose the flow of things. The most meaningful idea that I grasped from this book was the effects of tragedy and grief on people. It wasn’t till the end of the book that this meaning became very clear to me. The tragedy that happened to the three other liars and the passing of Granny Tipper sent everyone and everything spinning out of proportion. Not even realizing it, but the grief of the missing liars in her life, Cady created her own delusion of them. Tragedy and grief eat away at people every day when you might not see it. The ever beautiful Sinclair family seemed to be this perfect rich family living life to the fullest, but deep within their confined walls is deep sorrow and grief that they have to much pride to show for. We can always see the happy smile that people put on for show, but we need to look deeper and become more aware as to how people feel.

Japanese Kamikaze in World War II

What Were They Dying For? The Battle of Okinawa in 1945 was called "among the most intense and famous in military history" by Churchill. During this battle, the Japanese Special Attack Unit—Kamikaze—initiated suicide attack which was designed to destroy battleships. Those young pilots under 24 attempted to crash their aircraft into enemy ships. Around 19% Kamikaze aircraft succeeded in hitting their targets(Higgins, 2016). Warfare is an eternal and heavy topic in human history. However, this suicide terrorism that pilots intended to kill others by killing themselves is inhuman and eerie. What motivate themselves to suicide, and what they were dying for? In the record left by kamikaze participants, three contents are mentioned most repeatedly: honor, family, and country (Orbell and Morikawa, 2011, 13). Therefore, Japanese Bushido culture, altruism, and nationalism should be taken into account when explaining motivation of the kamikaze suicide terrorism. The influence of Bushido culture on kamikaze could not be neglected. According to a research conducted by Liddle, religious belief is a leading factor in the occurrence of suicide terrorism. Although the majority of kamikaze participants are not Christians (Orbell and Morikawa, 2011, 13), the impact of unique Japanese Bushido culture is similar and strong also. Seppuku is a typical example in the Bushido culture. Warriors who lost honor would demonstrate his allegiance and courage by cutting the belly. As Arthur Knapp wrote in his book Feudal and Modern Japan, samurai is a thousand years of training in the law of honor, duty, and self-sacrifice. In poems and letters left by Kamikaze participants, 79% mentioned honorable and beautiful death (Orbell and Morikawa, 2011, 13), which is consistent with appreciation of the heroic spirit in Japanese culture. When sacrificing personal interests could reduce the threat from aggressors, honorable death would be in line with the loyalty and self-sacrifices in Bushido. Additionally, altruism is another important factor. Suicide terrorism happened probably because it provides benefits to relatives of terrorists (Liddle, Bush, Shackelford, 2011, 16). This kin altruism could be explained by Hamilton's kin selection theory. According to kin selection, if sacrificing oneself could increase the benefits of kin, then this sacrifice would be made. In Orbell and Morikawa’s research, over 52% mentioned "family love" or "I’m doing it for my family". Accordingly, their death in the war could bring both honor and benefits to their family and children. Their efforts and sacrifices against aggressors could increase the probability to win the battle, which also would increase the opportunity for their relatives to survive. Except for larger surviving chances, their family could obtain compensation from the government. Subsidies for martyrs in Japan are up to 800,000 dollars (2017). Therefore, even if they died and cannot pass their genes directly, their genetic kin would have a large number of opportunities to pass genes and benefit from their suicide behavior. Moreover, 70% of kamikaze participants mentioned that they died for the country and emperor (Orbell and Morikawa, 2011, 13). The kamikaze thought themselves died not just for their relatives but 100 million people in the country(Orbell and Morikawa, 2011, 19). According to kin selection, people are more willing to sacrifice themselves for people who have kin relationships with them (Buss, 2015, 225-248). Dying for other people in the country could not benefit their kin. So why do they have this kind of patriotism and nationalism that being willing to sacrifice themselves for the country? Considered a conflict between two alliances which consist of both kin and nonkin. The coalition whose members are only willing to sacrifice for kin would be less efficient compared with a kin-emotion based coalition. Therefore, the alliance based on kin emotion is more likely to win, and more likely to pass genes down. Consequently, genes that just having kin emotion with true kin members in the coalition would not be be favored by natural selection. On the contrast, genes that respond to all members in the coalition as if they were kin would be favored and passed down. In the kamikaze case, when the country is threatened by the Unites States and individual death could decrease the threat, members in the coalition would emerge kin emotion with others and then accept death. The willingness to sacrifice for relatives is transferred and expanded to sacrifice for people in the country. The letters and poems left by Japanese Kamikaze contained abundant themes related to honorable death, family love, and emperor. Those evidence suggest that motivation for this suicide terrorism is not only affected by the Bushido culture but also due to altruism and nationalism caused from kin selection. Although the three factors mentioned above are not the only reasons for kamikaze behaviors in the battle of Okinawa, they provide a possible way to understand suicide terrorism mechanism from evolutionary psychology perspective, and also a feasible process to understand the bright and dark side coexisting in human nature.

23RD ANNIVERSARY

THANK YOU, MOM AND DAD, ON YOUR 23RD ANNIVERSARY We fall, they pick us up. If we are discouraged, they encourage us. If we are insecure about ourselves, they tell us that you are the only one of your kind. They raise us and try to fulfill every desire that we own. They teach us how to love ourselves. I am talking about our parents. Mom and dad as you are miles apart from me, the geographical distance separated us, but surely the hearts are sturdily connected. Mom and Dad today I would like to thank you on your 23rd anniversary for being outstanding supportive parents, supporting me from the day I took my first step and till now. You have supported me throughout my entire life in my education, the decisions I made, emotionally, my goals and dreams. You were delighted and you were proud of me since the day I was born especially in a place and such an era when daughters were not considered a blessing. Thank you for the affection, inspiration, and guidance. Thanks for standing by my side and giving me the strength that I needed to pursue my dreams. The dream of studying what I wanted, the dream to marry a man I wanted. I still remember my childhood when you spent countless hours teaching me the basics of English and Math’s, I know it was hard and frustrating but thanks for keeping up with me. I still remember how we all celebrated after every class I completed, every award I received, even till this day when I sent you a picture of the letter I received from GTCC that showed that I was in president list of Spring Semester 2018, I remember that you told me that you read it again and again and expressed that how proud you were of me. You not only supported me in my studies, but also when it came to marrying the man I wanted. I remember introducing my husband to you guys with fear of rejection and you accepted him and that changed my life endlessly in a positive way. Thanks for supporting me through the emotional phases of my life. Even today when I feel depressed; you show me ways to resolve my problems effortlessly. Thanks for giving me your shoulder to rest upon whenever I was feeling down. Mom and Dad, thank you for teaching me how to cook. You guys worked together to teach me something I wanted to do passionately, and now when my husband and people give remarks like “Ayesha this looks so good, it tastes so good” I know you are the reason behind it. I remember cooking and baking horrible dishes and cakes that used to be raw and burnt but, you still somehow managed to eat those and told me that they were good to increase my confidence. In the end, I will thank you for supporting me in my studies, the choices I made, emotionally, my goals and my dreams. Thank you for being the best and being there whenever I wanted you. I feel privileged to have parents like you and I promise I will visit you soon. I found this quote online that I would like to share, “The fingers that held me when I felt lost, the support that stood by me at any cost, dear mom and dad you’re always in my heart, Even though I’m away for life’s new start.” Once again happy 23rd anniversary mom and dad.

Issues and Analysis of “Loss of Fertile Land Fuels’

As issues involving politics in the United States continue to dominate the world media, lesser-known problems in other parts of the world, most notably in the continent of Africa, are being less looked at or completely ignored. If asked, current problems in the US are ignorance of climate change, police brutality, racism, classism, etc. However, these issues are also plaguing African countries with the same levels ranging from the same to more extreme. Jeffrey Gettleman writes in his New York Times article detailing Kenya and the “loss of fertile lands” ravaging the country, and how people are losing not only their homes, but way of life for people in Kenya and other nations inside the continent. Added with the rise in population of many African countries, what are the issues that caused these current situations? With many issues happening in Gettleman’s article, finding the main issues is the theory to really get a grasp of what is currently happening not only in Kenya but also in all of Africa. One issue is with the rise in better health care, population growth, and living longer. This is making way for big families to compete for bigger and better land. “More than in any other region of the world, people in Africa live off the land.” (Gettleman, 2018) With bigger families comes bigger needs, a constantly growing family needs access to food, and water. As the quote mentions, living off the land is key and another issue that has arisen is climate change. Nevertheless, climate change is a topic that has many levels and with the case of families in African nations, it is clearly affecting them at a high level. With climate change comes different seasons from a year ago. Rain may take longer to fall or not fall at all. This can cause famine, since plants cannot grow for both people and animals that graze and farm the areas. “Scientists say large stretches of Africa are drying up, and they predict more desertification, more drought and more hunger.” (Gettleman, 2018) With large portions of Africa being devastated by climate change, it brings up more problems of overuse. Consequently with less and less of growing wildlife and overuse of what there is, has become a problem intersecting these problems and creating a cycle which is causing the current situation to unfold. With as previous mentioned growing population, climate change, this is causing the issue of overuse. “Fast-growing populations mean afford the land to sit fallow and replenish.” (Gettleman, 2018) Humans are not the only ones to take a hit. The wildlife preserves with lions, rhinos, cheetahs, and other animals are also struggling as poachers and deforestation run rampant in the continent because of previous said issues. In places like Gabon and The Democratic Republic of Congo, rainforests are being cut down for better farming prospects, but crippling the environment at the same time continuing the cycle of what is causing tougher access to food and water. “Cutting down all those trees to make way for farms could have serious consequences for the climate of the entire earth.” (Gettleman, 2018) With all these issues arising, the governments are not helping much of the situations. As the romanticized wild west of the US is seen by Americans is being lived now by Africans. Poor herdsmen, wealthy landowners, and farmers of all sizes are dealing with stressful and deadly situations right now. The issue of territory warfare has been a constant struggle happening for many years, but seemingly getting deadlier every passing year. As said in the article, the community of Laikipia, Kenya like many other West African villages are going through the territory bloodshed. In Laikipia “at least 80 people have been killed, and the violence has not stopped. In mid-July, a large group of herders killed a half-dozen police officers and stole their weapons.” (Gettleman, 2018) Where does the government play a part in this issue? It can be discussed that many parts play into the government involvement of territory fighting for landowners in Africa. Kenya’s politician Mathew Lempurkel a district politician of Laikipia seen as con-man or villain in the community. Lempurkel uses not only bribery, but also bigotry of ethnicity to get more votes. “Some contend Mr. Lempurkel is trying to displace people in Laikipia who members of his ethnic group the Samburu are not, so that he can bring Samburu into his district and get more votes.” (Gettleman, 2018) Mr. Lempurkel would say thought that all of this is caused by “a problem of drought and climate change” (Gettleman, 2018). In doing so, this brings all these issues back together. So, what is the cause of all of this? There is no simple question, answer or maybe even the solution. Politics, ethnicity, class, and other issues are plaguing not only Kenya but also all of Africa. Gettleman gave multiple underlying issues of what is happening in Africa when it comes to the current climate in life, land, and politics and this is what we need to know if we can ever help the problem and hopefully fix it.

The story of “We Were Here”

The story of "We Were Here" starts off with the main character, Miguel, getting his verdict of a crime that is unknown to the reader. Miguel is sentenced to live in a group home for a year as well as writing in a journal for a counselor to figure out the way that Miguel thinks. Miguel had to go to Juvie for a few days until he was transferred to a group home. While Miguel was in Juvie, he met a guy named Rondell. Miguel and Rondell got in a fight since Rondell kept on naming Miguel Mexico even though Miguel has never been to Mexico. Miguel and Rondell did not get along until Rondell started asking Miguel religious questions once he trusted him. Miguel got transferred to a group home later that day. Mentally, Miguel wasn’t ready to face the reality of his brother being dead. He keeps on pondering over all the memories he shared with his brother, Diego. Miguel loved Diego, and it’s hard for him to face the fact that Diego’s not going to be part of his life anymore. Miguel cannot admit the matter of how he killed his brother to anyone, including himself. Miguel and Rondell ended up crossing paths again when Miguel became Rondell’s roommate because Rondell transferred to the same group home as Miguel. Miguel and Rondell became friends along with another guy named Mong. Mong brought up the prospect of running away to Mexico to become fishermen to Miguel and Rondell because the group home was going to get stricter rules. Miguel is on the fence about running away to Mexico at first, but he ends up complying in the end. Miguel decided to steal the group home’s funding along with files of everyone in on the plan. Escaping the group home was easy for the boys, but their ride to Mexico with Mong’s cousin, Mei-li wasn’t there until the next day. Miguel, Mong, and Rondell ended up having to find a different way to Mexico because Mei-li had the intentions of bringing Mong to his grandfather instead of Mexico. The boys had to figure out another way to get to Mexico with only the $750 that they had on them. Miguel, Mong, and Rondell had encountered a racist cashier while they were at a corner store, so they decided to put the cashier in his place. Mong ended up taking it too far, with slapping the cashier. Miguel got Mong to stop, and they all left the corner store without paying for the food because of the cashier’s racism. The boys went to a beach for a place to sleep, and Miguel found a cave. They all agreed to stay in the cave for the night. While Miguel was in the cave, he thought about the whole corner store event. Miguel realized that he had nothing to lose now because of everything he cared about was different in his life. Miguel was about to write in his journal, but he decided to look at all of the stolen files instead. Miguel found out that Mong a tough life from the very beginning. Mong witnessed his father killing his mother and attempting to kill him, and proceeding to kill himself after. Miguel also found out that Rondell had a tough life as well. Rondell’s parents were terrible people, so his grandmother had to take care of him. Rondell’s grandmother died when Rondell was six, so he was adopted by his highly religious aunt and uncle. Rondell started making accusations of the devil making him do crimes when he was eleven and had to be in the system for Juvie ever since. Miguel got to his file, but he couldn’t read it. He tore up all of the files instead, and went back to where Mong and Rondell were. The next day, Miguel woke up with a feeling that something was going to go wrong that day. Miguel looked around, and he saw Mong going into the water with his clothes still on. Miguel knew that Mong was going to try to drown himself. Mong wasn’t getting out of the water despite Miguel and Rondell’s protests, and Mong succeeded with drowning himself. Miguel and Rondell started walking to a path closer to Mexico with an uneasy silence of knowing that Mong wasn’t there with them anymore. Miguel and Rondell met a group of girls when they were at the park to eat their cheap meal. Miguel ends up falling for a girl named Flaca in the group. The girls invited Miguel and Rondell to a party, but everything started going downhill when Rondell kept on kicking a guy for insulting Miguel. The group of girls didn’t want to hang out with Miguel and Rondell anymore, so Miguel and Flaca said their goodbyes to each other. Flaca told Miguel that she was going to meet Miguel in secret the next day, but she ended up scamming him and taking his money. Miguel and Rondell now had to figure out a way to find food without any money. Miguel and Rondell finally got to the border of Mexico by getting money from strangers that thought they were donating to a basketball team. Miguel had an epiphany before crossing the border and felt like he couldn’t go to Mexico yet. Miguel and Rondell parted ways, but Rondell decided to go with Miguel instead of running off to Mexico before crossing the border. Miguel and Rondell are now left clueless of what to do next because they didn’t have a destination to go to anymore. Miguel decided that he wanted to pay back the stolen money from the group home. Miguel didn’t know how he and Rondell could pay back the petty cash, so Miguel decided to go to his grandparents’ house to ask if they could work on the farm for money. Miguel’s grandmother would visit Miguel when he finished working to have conversations with him. One of the conversations that Miguel has with his grandmother makes him finally break down because of the subject of Miguel’s crime. Miguel’s mistake of accidentally killing his brother is revealed, and Miguel is reliving the whole scene while he was grieving. The scene of how Miguel’s life took a wrong turn is how Miguel and Diego were messing around with each other, and Diego kept on trying to get Miguel into arm locks. Miguel got out of them, and he grabbed a knife as a joke for self-defense from Diego’s arm locks. When Diego lunges towards Miguel to get him in an arm lock, he is stabbed by the knife. Miguel is left trying to process what happened and trying to save his brother, but it was too late. Miguel decides to serve the rest of the time at the group home once he and Rondell got enough money to pay off all of the petty cash. Rondell decides to go try to find his aunt or one of his cousins to live with until he was an adult. Miguel and Rondell parted ways with promises of how they were both going to go to Mexico one day. Miguel is left with the task of trekking up to the Lighthouse. When Miguel arrives, Jaden is glad that Miguel is back, and he has to make calls to work out the situation. Shortly after Miguel arrived, Rondell came back to the Lighthouse to serve the rest of his sentence as well because he didn’t want to leave Miguel behind.

The Future of Facial Recognition

Facial Recognition was initially developed with good intentions in mind to assist individuals and businesses nationwide with a safer means for citizen identification. Since its initial development, it has morphed into a platform that is being used all over the nation for good intentions, as well as bad intentions. Certain government entities and businesses feel like this platform is a wonderful extension, because they can use it to assist with payment transactions, make boarding a plane more efficient and track down wanted fugitives more easily. Certain people feel like this platform is helpful, because it gives you a sense of being able to identify yourself via cell phone or computer without having to enter passcode's or other personal information. (Face ID: Apple's Most Intriguing and Impressive New Feature) On the other side of the spectrum, this platform could be a catastrophic event in the making. It is possible that this platform could end up in the wrong hands and create a degree of identity theft that effect individuals on a greater spectrum. Businesses and government entities could also use this practice to violate citizens’ rights and privacy under the Amendment. (Lynch) Some regular everyday citizens could be tracked while going about their daily lives for no apparent reason, and without their consent. (Solon) The author states that this technology is known as Facial Recognition Technology. She confirmed that is was created in the 1960’s, by a man named of Woodrow Wilson Bledsoe. (Bledsoe). It works by using various features of the face to identify someone in a digital framework database. The author states that following the invention of this technology, various individuals and companies made various revisions to the platform and started implementing it within their organizations. The invention was intended to explore a safer way to identify citizens, as well as gain the ability to share information without private personal information being breached and compromised by the hands of cyberthieves.(Stroup) Although the author feels like the concept behind the initial idea behind the concept is brilliant, she also feels like the whole idea can result in negative consequences; due to mistaken identity, security breach, or decreased privacy due to organizational breaches of consumer data information and government interrogation. She states that there are several countries who have already implemented this practice in place, regarding the use of a citizen’s face for methods of payment or a source of identification. Singapore is implementing the platform by attaching a camera to their lamppost to help the authorities identify wanted suspects. (Loh) The United States have built a biometrics database that assist the law enforcement agencies with having on demand photos of people who are wanted and even people who favors a sketch of a potentially wanted criminal using mobile devices. She states that law enforcement agencies use surveillance cameras for more current real time photos to track people as move about in their daily lives. These tools, along with the use of Facial Technology could jeopardize the very reason of what this country symbolizes. Freedom, creativity, and the ability to go where you want without being targeted for no apparent reason. The author states that Malaysia is using the platform to assist passengers in boarding flights more quickly. The author states that China’s traffic division is utilizing this platform to publicly embarrass citizens who jaywalk by publicizing their photo and pick wanted fugitives out of a crowd. (Loh) She states that China also uses the platform for the completion of fast food transactions within local eateries. She states that even though, there is a huge benefit in the diversity of this platform, it does not stop citizens from being concerned; because of the amount of information that is being shared with these countries about someone. Regardless as to how anyone feels, the author feels like this is the current trend that is setting the stage for the future, and more countries are jumping on board by the minute to utilize this technology in one way or another. The author states that there are many disadvantages to this facial recognition platform, and those disadvantages could potentially have catastrophic effects for everyone involved. The authors talk about the aging face or cosmetic changes that occur in the life of a human being for one reason or another. The author states that according to a study conducted by Michigan State University, a biometrics expert concluded that the platform could pose an accuracy concern, and have difficulty tying the face of an aging participant to an older picture after a 6-year time span. She states that the timeframe could be sooner, dependent upon various external factors that could affect an individual in a negative manner. (Adler, and Jane) The author states that some organizations such as Facebook are using the facial recognition platform to breach citizen privacy but storing biometric photos into a digital database without the user’s permission. (Bennet) She states that every time someone post a picture on the social media platform, their data is collected and could be later sold to third party organizations. The author feels like this could potentially open the door for life shattering identity theft cases, and well as pose a breach in privacy; especially if the user did not authorize the platform giant the permission to collect such data. The author states that there was a proposal of bills that were unsuccessful in its attempts to provide consumer data protection for facial recognition to everyone involved. She states that only one state was granted that protection, but the scope of its protection is extremely limited. The factors in the author’s life that has influenced her interest in this topic was due to her being a victim of identity theft. She states that she knew what it meant to go through the hassle of having to deal with all sorts of headache and frustrations in attempts to get her life back on track from her personal data being stolen and used in a fraudulent manner. This is an experience that the author states that she will remember for the rest of her life, because of all the hoops that she had to go through to prove herself. The author states that she had to show that she was not responsible for all the new collections accounts that piled up quickly on her credit report. From the, growing amount of companies that had to be contacted, to the mounds of paperwork that had to be completed all in the hopes to restore her good name. It was a long, grueling process, that the author states that she would never wish on anyone. The whole experience has made her extremely paranoid to this day when it comes to sharing her personal and private information with anyone. The author states that even when it comes to her sharing her personal information over the phone to a reputable source, she remains very leery. Due to what the author has experienced in her personal life, the whole idea behind facial technology is intriguing, but it does come with some pros and a lot of cons. The author states that although it’s not the worst idea, the advantages and disadvantages that can be very costly for people worldwide. The author does reference advantages such as ease of transaction, using stored biometrics information. She also points out the shortened timeframe that it takes for people to easily board flights due to the use of this technology. She states that this use of technology is great because identity thieves are everywhere, and all it takes a person being in the wrong place at the wrong time for the wrong person to gain access to your personal information and wreak havoc on your life. The author wants one to do a real hard reality check and imagine the type of detrimental effects that would arise if someone’s identity and biometric information is taken or shared without the consumer knowledge. This could easily occur with the use of the facial recognition platform being released into the wrong hands with ill intentions. The author states that this day and age, identity theft could stem from sources that you never would have imagined. She states that social media platforms or government breaches could easily be hacked by organizations who are posing as a third party looking to buy stored consumer information as a sales tactic. The author feels like that if these companies who collect consumer information without consumer knowledge are not stopped, this alone could produce catastrophic results. She states that the advantage of this type of technology could have more of a disadvantage than an actual advantage. There are so many reasons why the author states that she is not comfortable, but the main ones that the author constantly reference is due to mistaken identity, security breach, or decreased privacy due to organizational breaches of consumer data information and government interrogation. Just like the world is always changing, so are people. She states that there are so many things that could influence the way a person looks from one day to the next. The author states that sometimes people are involved in terrible accidents or start messing with drugs that could completely disfigure them. People can also change their facial features; for personal reasons. Before you know it, that person can also transform into someone that looks completely different to the person that they once were. The author feels like these changes would disrupt the memory of the biometric system and cause more harm than good. She states that even though some countries make it mandatory for a citizen to update their picture every 6 years, all types of physical changes could occur within that time frame. (Adler, and Jane) The author feels like this flaw could cause someone to gain access to things that they were not entitled to or even cause someone else to be targeted for a crime that they did not do. The author would like laws to be created to protect consumer data if organization are posing as third-party retailers, who turn out to be an intelligent ring of identity thieves looking to gain illegal access to personal information. The author feels like if this technology will not be discontinued, then there should be a department dedicated to maintaining the integrity of this platform, since this holds the key to our livelihood. The author feels like this facial recognition is a massive platform that has outgrown the realm for which it was initially created. She states that this platform has too many loopholes that can be infiltrated, because it does not have (Adler, and Jane) the proper security measures in place. The author feels like the outcome of keeping it around is not worth the devastation that millions of citizens would endure due to carelessness and negligence. She states that the ongoing problem of security breaches and misidentification is not worth the risk of producing a massive catastrophic event that would affect everyone involved. The author is devasted by the outcome of future generations, that would be affected by this platform. She feels like the world as we know it, would change forever in a negative manner. The author feels like there should be laws put in place to govern and track everyone who has access to the information stored within this platform. For these reasons, the author feels like the facial recognition platform has to be stopped. Works Cited Adler, Jessie, and Anil Jane. “Aging Faces Could Increase Security Risks.” MSUToday, Michigan State University, 1 Mar. 2017, msutoday.msu.edu/news/2017/aging-faces-could-increase-security-risks/. Bennet, Jared. “Facebook: Your Face Belongs to Us.” The Daily Beast, The Daily Beast Company, 31 July 2017, www.thedailybeast.com/how-facebook-fights-to-stop-laws-on-facial-recognition. Bledsoe, Woodrow Wilson. “A Facial Recognition Project Report : Woodrow Wilson Bledsoe : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming.” Internet Archive, The Library Shelf, 1 Jan. 1963, archive.org/details/firstfacialrecognitionresearch. “Face ID: Apple's Most Intriguing and Impressive New Feature.” Dotsquares, 23 Mar. 2018, www.dotsquares.com/news_events/face-id-apples-intriguing-impressive-new-feature/. Loh, Lainey. “Which Countries Are Already Employing Facial Recognition Technology?” Which Countries Are Already Employing Facial Recognition Technology?, Asia Correspondent, 17 Apr. 2018, asiancorrespondent.com/2018/04/which-countries-are-already-employing-facial-recognition-technology/#ViAGF5lZsBS7A3zo.97. Lynch, Jennifer. “Face Off: Law Enforcement Use of Face Recognition Technology.” Electronic Frontier Foundation, 23 Feb. 2018, www.eff.org/wp/law-enforcement-use-face-recognition. Solon, Olivia. “Facial Recognition Database Used By FBI Is Out Of Control, House Committee Hears.” The Guardian, 27 Mar. 2017, www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/mar/27/us-facial-recognition-database-fbi-drivers-licenses-passports. Stroup, Jake. “Why Biometric Identification May Not Be All It's Cracked Up to Be.” The Balance, The Balance, 7 Apr. 2018, www.thebalance.com/biometric-identification-and-identity-theft-1947595.

The reasons for William Shakespeare creating such sinister character

Patton took a deep breath as he picked up the four mugs, thoughts bouncing like rubber balls in his head. The three other main sides were already sat on the couch, spread about as far from He made all but Logan and himself hot chocolate- Logan liking tea and (Despite the popular belief) Patton having a soft spot for coffee. He did hide the coffee grounds and creamer, but that was just because his friends had this sort of adorable image of him, and he didn’t want to ruin that! Especially with his adult-y taste buds. All three of them looked at him when he started to set down the drinks, desperate for something to distract them from the awkward silence. It really did not help. The only difference was that Patton had been added to the group of uncomfortable sides and now they had the excuse of having drinks to stop talking. “So…” Roman started. “Today has certainly been…” “A mess?” Virgil filled in for him, resting his head in the palm of his hand. The prince noticeably cringed, but he tried his best to keep up a pleasant smile when he spoke, which Patton appreciated. “I would have gone for interesting.” Surprisingly, Logan was the first to dismiss everything, scoffing. “Who are we all kidding? This has been a complete disaster. Two accidental confessions-” He glared at Virgil and Roman pointedly, and they each shrunk back. “Patton, you broke Virgil’s nose, for Kant’s sake!” “I really didn’t mean to.” He put on his cat hood so he could hide his face, doing his best to avoid looking at Virgil’s nose. Logan had taken care of the injury for the most part, making quick work with a small pad and medical tape. The bruise had turned purple already, but you could barely see it from behind the white bandage. “We need to talk about this. I am sure that Roman and I could take the lead here, as Virgil and Patton have a bit more extreme of an issue.” Logan straightened, and other than the constant adjusting of his tie and glasses, you wouldn’t be able to tell he was nervous at all. Roman, on the other hand, looked a lot more panicked. “We will?” The comment got a sharp look from the intellectual side. “I mean, we will! Yes! Wonder…ful.” Roman sighed, messing with the bright sash around his shoulder. A small, fond smile creeped it’s way onto Logan’s face, but he stamped it out quickly with a cough. “I am sure you are aware of certain affections that I have for you due to…” He glanced at Virgil from the corner of his eye, who waved sheepishly. “Recent events. I do not wish for this to change your view of me now that you know. Of course, it would be ideal if you returned the previously stated affections-” Roman took Logan’s hand in his own, effectively shutting him up. Patton squealed happily as Roman pulled Logan flush against his chest. “You even talk about love like it’s a business deal. It is… strangely endearing, you know?” “No, I didn’t!” He squirmed a little in his arms. “I will- have to do that more often, then.” Logan let out a surprised cry when Prince left a kiss on his forehead. “I would love to be your knight in shining armor if you so wish.” The grin on his face was wider than probably considered healthy, and it was shining white. It almost sparkled like they did in the movies. Virgil clapped, ruining their romantic moment by making a fake vomiting noise. “Alright! I think we’re done here so I’m just going to go are we good I think we’re good byeeee!” his words were strung together as he tried to stand and escape, but Logan let out a low, “Virgil.” That alone made him groan and sit back down, even if he didn’t have to. Patton took a sharp breath at the bad reaction. Did he really not want to do this that badly?

Though the reasons for William Shakespeare creating such sinister character as Iago is unknown, it can be seen as commentary on the inexplicable evil that exists in the world and how good and innocent men can fall victim to it. In Othello, Shakespeare creates a psychopathic character named Iago that visits the extremes of man’s depravity, fueled by sordid emotions whilst adhering to no morality who commits reprehensible and inscrutable actions often with little to no reason other than his own pleasure of manipulation of innocents and blind vengeance. Roderigo, upon Othello’s marriage with Desdemona, is blinded by his jealousy which Iago wields to manipulate him in promise of his own chance at Desdemona; however, it is readily apparent that Iago, in actuality, holds no concern for Roderigo and instead only uses him for his own purpose and pleasure, showing how psychopaths manipulate everyone they encounter. Though it seems Iago has developed friendship with Roderigo on common grounds of getting revenge against the Moor, this sentiment is quickly dismissed by Iago ridiculing him behind his back and entertaining himself as if he “would time expend with such snipe, /if not for my sport and profit” (1.3.376-377), highlighting early into the play just what kind of man Iago is before the audience fully see the extent of Iago’s deceptiveness. Capitalizing on Roderigo’s jealousy and naivete, Iago is able to exploit him as a pawn purely for his revenge against Othello and to fill his own pocket in the meantime. Later into the play, Roderigo gets a sense of Iago’s manipulation and goes to confront him, only for Iago to sway him once more by exploiting his weakness, promising “If thou the next night followings enjoy not Desde-/ mona, take me from this world with treachery and/ Devise engines for my life” (4.2.215-217), again, using Roderigo’s blind want of Desdemona for his own use, this time going so far as to convincing Roderigo to kill Cassio by “knocking out his brains” (4.2.230) in order to prevent Othello and Desdemona from leaving Cyprus. Through this action, Roderigo retains his chance and Desdemona; moreover, Iago upholds his promise to kill Cassio, but does so through a proxy to which all blame would go in order to raise no suspicion, showing how Iago considered Roderigo a dispensable tool for his retribution and how quickly Iago was ready to dispose of him. The same relationship of feigned interest and ultimate betrayal parallels that of Iago and Cassio, establishing that Iago has no true allegiance but to himself. Although Iago seems incapable of real emotion, his jealousy is what fueled him to destroy the life of Cassio by exploiting his weakness, because of his belief that he was more deserving of the title of lieutenant instead of Cassio, to which the title went to instead, following Shakespeare’s theme of jealousy, showing that not only does Iago exploit the jealousy of others, he himself is dictated by it. He first show his jealousy of Cassio when he talks of his military career as “Mere prattle without practice, / Is all his soldiership” (1.1.23-24), saying that he is undeserving of the title of lieutenant due to the fact that Cassio has never been a military leader before, unlike Iago who has been in charge of a multitude of deployments and is therefore an obvious better pick for the rank. Although his jealousy played a big part of his intention to undermine Cassio, given his pattern of apathy and underhandedness, it is almost certain that Iago would have ruined Cassio’s life regardless of his emotions towards him. When planning Cassio’s downfall, Iago mentions that “He hath a person and a smooth dispose/ To be suspected — framed to make women false” (1.3.388-389), turning his closeness with Emilia and Desdemona against him, enforcing the idea that Iago would have destroyed Cassio’s life regardless of his connection with him seeing as how he puts his own wife in the cross hairs in order to seek vengeance through an innocent woman. Furthering Iago’s display of immorality, he is shown exploiting Cassio through his friendship of Emilia and Desdemona, showing the extent of his psychopathy as he jumps at any chance to seek revenge on both Cassio and Othello with absolutely no repentance for any possible repercussions to those around him. Although Iago may be jealous of Cassio receiving the rank of lieutenant, the jealousy also translates to anger towards Othello for overlooking him. The ultimate goal of all Iago’s actions was the complete destruction of Othello’s life, which comes to fruition as Othello realizes his mistakes in light of the recent revelation of the extent of Iago’s deceptiveness and unscrupulousness in which everyone becomes privy to the shocking level Iago is willing to sink to, exploring his complete lack of morality and empathy as he indirectly killed four people and has to be subjected to torture before he will even suggest a motive. As touched on previously, Iago hates Othello for overlooking him in promotion of rank; however, another reasoning for Iago’s indignance towards the Moor arises when “it is thought abroad, that ‘twixt my sheets,/as done my office” (1.3.377.379). Iago’s psychopathy is never more apparent with this display of a burst of irrational anger and jealousy: he predicates his entire endeavor to destroy the lives of Othello and those around him based on a baseless accusation. The amalgamation of all his reasons for vengeance shows that he too is controlled by jealousy, and his evil intentions reveal the depth of his villainy unfounded by rationality, showing that Iago operates without reason. Though Iago does have reason to harbor hatred towards Othello, he had no reason to go so far as he did, and despite any attempts to force reason for his actions, at the end, the series of events where Othello tells Iago that “If that thou be’st a devil, I cannot kill thee.” (5.2.283) then proceeds to stab him, only for Iago to respond, “I bleed, sir, but not killed” (5.2.284) definitively shows the audience that Iago will never rationalize his actions no matter how much it is tried. The comparison of Iago to the devil, along with showing that he is unwavering in his stance on silence when he tells Othello, “Demand me nothing. What you know, you know. / From this time forth I never will speak word” (5.2.299-300), shows the audience that Iago would never be able to be forced into saying and thus will never rationalize his actions to anyone. The play of Othello introduced a physical manifestation of unscrupulous immorality through Iago with his psychopathic tendency of manipulation without second thought. Through the development of Iago’s plan to sabotage Othello’s life by any means necessary, the audience is exposed to the extreme depths he goes to with his displays of analyzing the weaknesses of each characters then exploiting it. The monstrous nature of Iago, that of remorseless cruelty fueled by his own jealousy of Cassio and Othello, goes beyond Shakespeare’s theme of the play which is that good men can be blinded by the nature of jealousy, and instead shows that everyone, good or bad, can be manipulated by the nature of man.

Pi’s Influential Symbols of Survival Topic: Choose three important, rich symbols from the novel and discuss what their inclusion in the tale adds to the overall meaning of the book. What does each symbol represent? How do they each contribute to our understanding of the text? Do they add a positive or negative element to the story? The incredibly outstanding novel Life of Pi, written by Yann Martel is “a story that will make you believe in god”. The main character; Piscine Molitor Patel, known to all as Pi, takes you through the story of his life as a child before and after becoming lost in the Pacific Ocean. Starting off with a slight backstory, Life of Pi immediately gains the reader’s attention and comfort by shining light on Pi’s life. His family operated the Pondicherry Zoo, however due to an appalling government system they decided to emigrate to Canada via ship along with all the zoo animals in hopes of a more prosperous and rewarding future. One night, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, a massive storm struck and the Tsimtsum sank causing Pi’s family and majority of the animals to drown. Pi, Richard Parker, a hyena, a zebra and an orangutan named Orange Juice all managed to escape on a lifeboat. One by one, the survivors on the lifeboat were killed and eaten except for Richard Parker; the Royal Bengal Tiger and Piscine. Piscine’s strong belief in God coupled with Richard Parker’s companionship guided them through the tremendous struggle of surviving 227 days in the Pacific Ocean. The three major and most influential symbols I found in the book were the lifeboat, water, and of course Richard Parker which all symbolize the three faiths of Pi. Genuine love, meaning and hope have the capability to smoothen out rough times in life, making the challenging journey life easier to live through. An object dipped into a loving memory, a place associated with a grieving emotion, or perhaps even an item regarded as the foundation of a concept are all prime showcases of how mundane components of life can drastically change to act as vital symbols. Surviving 227 days with a limited supply of food and water is a struggle. Luckily, Piscine was not alone. Piscine had Richard Parker as his companion. At first, Piscine was afraid of Richard Parker devouring him. As the time passed by, Piscine slowly ended up training Richard Parker with the help of an instruction book that was in the lifeboat. He used several methods, some worked and some did not. As a part of surviving with a Royal Bengal Tiger, Piscine made sure that Richard Parker knew which side of the boat was his and which part was Piscine’s. Richard Parker is a very rich symbol in this novel. Richard Parker gave Pi hope and faith that they would survive. Richard Parker can possibly have different meanings to different people such as, Richard Parker is survival and Richard Parker is god. To Piscine, Richard Parker was believing that he would survive, he was a token that god sent so Pi would not be lonely and most importantly, Richard Parker was a friend. In the quote “’I love you!’ The words burst out pure and unfettered, infinite. The feeling flooded my chest. ‘Truly I do. I love you, Richard Parker…Don’t give up, Richard Parker, don’t give up. I’ll get you to land, I promise, I promise.” In this quote it shows that Pi had motivation. His motivation was to get himself and Richard Parker onto land and survive. It shows the true feelings that Pi has for Richard Parker. Richard Parker not only represents hope and faith but also represents Pi’s inner animalistic instincts. Pi learns from Richard Parker how to survive. At the beginning when Richard Parker eats the rat and then the hyena, Pi subconsciously realizes that he must be like Richard Parker and do anything to survive. Richard Parker contributes to the text because he in one of the main characters and a major interest that the readers have in the novel. In the quote “Richard Parker, it’s over. We have survived. Can you believe it? I owe you more gratitude than I can express. I couldn’t have done it without you. . . .Thank you for saving my life” (317). He is grateful that they have survived and he is grateful to Richard Parker for being at his side through the horrible time. Pi is overwhelmed and the only one there to take in all of his happiness is Richard Parker. Richard Parker definitely adds a positive element to this story. He adds intrigue and suspense because the reader never knows what Richard Parker will do. The readers are anxious to know more about him and if him and Pi will start getting along. Water is an important part of Pi’s whole life, it’s where he got his name from. He was named after a swimming pool, an astonishing swimming pool his Mamaji had visited in France named “Piscine Molitor”. Pi’s Mamaji is a large impact on how Pi survived in the Ocean because his Mamaji taught him how to swim, Pi’s father did not know how to swim. The beautiful body of water: the Pacific Ocean is where Pi and Richard Parker floated and managed to survive for 227 days. The water represents Pi’s subconscious mind and how he is not able to escape it, although he survives, it shows how complex the subconscious mind s and how hard escaping it is. The literary device of irony is shown in this symbol. Being lost in the Pacific Ocean surrounded by nothing but water, Pi and Richard Parker still had nothing to drink. In the quote “Memory is an ocean and he bobs on its surface,” there is another literary device, in this quote it is a metaphor. This quote is saying that if memory is as vast as an Ocean, the person does not want to think too much about those memories. An analogy representing the human consciousness is the iceberg. The tip of the iceberg is what we can see but there is much more under there in the sea. With a close analysis of the novel you can make the prediction that Richard Parker and the Ocean are very similar. Both Richard Parker and the Ocean are unpredictable but they are both reasons to why Pi survived. Without the water moving Pi to Mexico he would not have safely landed and without Richard Parker, Pi would not have made it 227 days alone on the Ocean. While the ocean provides Pi’s food and water, the water is still his enemy. Drinking the seawater is very dangerous and Pi knows this well. The water contributes to our understanding of the text because it symbolized clearly how significant the water is in this novel. How it went from Pi’s name and him growing up to him surviving in the Pacific Ocean. The water adds a negative element to the story, I say this because the water is unpredictable and the reason of the Tsimtsum sinking which resulted in the whole disaster of Pi’s survival in the Ocean. In conclusion, the various symbols that were showcased in this marvellous novel such as the lifeboat, the ocean and the stunning Richard Parker have an enormous amount of meaning in this very well written piece of literature. Without the lifeboat, Piscine would not have made it to Mexico, without the water, Piscine would not have had a way to get to Mexico and most importantly, without a companion like Richard Parker, Piscine most definitely would not have learned from Richard Parker’s tactics of survival and survived himself. This novel evidently shows that our survival depends on the daily tireless use of an infinite amount of objects, yet their importance and significance only comes into light when they grow to represent an emotion, a memory, a concept; when they become a symbol. Last but not least we have the lifeboat. The lifeboat represents a zoo. A zoo meaning that in the lifeboat, Richard Parker just like any animal at a zoo has a specific time that they are fed at and on the lifeboat this is controlled by Pi because he is the main supplier. The lifeboat also represents a zoo because Pi and Richard Parker have their own designated zones. The lifeboat represents their only mode of transportation, a major key of surviving and finding land. The lifeboat is the holder of their main supplies to survival such as food and water and of course companionship. In the quote “There was not a shadow of doubt about the matter, to leave the lifeboat meant certain death.” It is evident that Pi knows the value of the lifeboat and how meaningful it is. In the end of the novel when Pi has reached Mexico, he makes sure the lifeboat is still with him to show the appreciation and importance of it. I am certain that the lifeboat adds a positive element to this story because the lifeboat represents all good things. The lifeboat adds a nice contribution to our understanding of the text. It is a simple yet complex symbol that if analyzed thoroughly, the reader will understand the true meaning and importance of the lifeboat.

Calypso Borealis, by John Muir

“It seems wonderful that so frail and lovely a plant has such power over human hearts.” This was said in the essay, Calypso Borealis, by John Muir. “And then my heart with pleasure fills, and dances with the daffodils.” This was said by William Wordsworth in the I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud poem. What is it about nature that can make the world just stop? And not seem real? On separate occasions, told in different ways, by two men describe to others that might not understand just how special and truly amazing nature is. In Calypso Borealis, John Muir views nature as beautiful and extraordinary and shares his view through diction, although, William Wordsworth uses connotation to show his view of nature as a work of art in his poem, I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud. No matter the struggles nature has put Muir through he learned something that day, and became great friends with one of the best, but numerous mysteries life has to offer. He was able to share this by the way he spoke and what words he chose, they call that diction. Muir paints a picture of his long journey when he uses words like: “lonely”, “extensive”, and “struggling”. Just when he thinks he’ll never be able to find it, he does. He finds the Calypso right when he needed it the most. Muir struggled to find the Calypso, and even then, he wasn’t supposed to make it out of the swamp alive, just like the rest of them. He was starving most of the time and was sleeping without blankets. He found the Calypso for a reason, he survived the swamp for a reason, and he survived the starvation and cold for a reason. John Muir had a once in a lifetime experience that day and got something out of it. He became closer with nature and got a better understanding of both nature and life and who’s to say he didn’t become a better person for it. William Wordsworth didn’t go through the same things as John Muir did. But he still had the wonderful experience with nature. One that is not so easily forgotten. He is able to use connotation by showing and making others feel the way he was feeling in that moment. Not only does he share his amazing accomplishment, but he makes this poem better by being able to share his emotion and his senses at that point and time. When he speaks of the exploration you can feel the “fluttering and dancing in the breeze.” And when “the waves beside them danced.” Just the simplest encounter with the natural earth taught him something and made him think differently. Whenever Wordsworth is in an upset or bored mood he is able to think back on his escapade with nature and it makes him happy. It makes him feel better and gives him complete peace and solitude. Muir and Wordsworth had such a connection to nature. They didn’t just tell their story, they made you feel, see, and actually be there in the moment with them. They were also able to tell their stories using connotation and diction. They made their stories inspiring and memorable, had a lesson to learn, something that is not easy to forget. They created their story, now it’s our turn.

Observation

Observation is perhaps one of the most useful abilities that humans possess, an ability that allows us to view our surroundings to a comprehensive level. Through this skill, we are able to observe human behaviors and more importantly human cultures. Cultural Anthropologists strive to find connections between these behaviors and culture, and how they relate to each other. This process is known as participant observation, and I took this idea and used it within my own community to better understand the various types of cultural norms that occur around me. I decided that the type of environment that I would study should be a place that many demographics visit, and relates them all through certain activities or processes, and through that filtration, I came up with McDonald’s. This restaurant is known for its low pricing and attracts customers of all socioeconomic classes: the upper, the middle class, and the lower. I sat inside the restaurant during a peak hour of lunch (Between 12 PM – 2 PM) and recorded various things that I noticed about our habits and culture. To better participate in this, I also decided to eat lunch and found that I also participated in some cultural styles. Within this report I will discuss a couple of key points that I observed, these being: spacing between individuals, the speed of orders and expectations, and the interactions between customers. First, I will discuss the amount of space that customers would stand away from each other. This was particularly interesting as it somewhat varied depending on if it was an individual or a group of people. Most people when standing in line would give quite a lot of space between them and the people around them, almost as a personal space zone. If I had to estimate, I would say this space reached at least two arms lengths between both people. This occurred in the entire process of ordering their meal, getting drinks, sitting down, etc. Yet, there were some groups that came in that I can only assume know each other at a personal level or familial level, and it was the exact opposite. They had little to no space, and even at times would bump into one another. In American culture, space is an important factor and when this cultural norm is violated we feel awkward and typically uncomfortable. So, to observe that there was more than one norm regarding space means that American culture is made up of many smaller cultural values. Secondly, I think it’s important to mention the expectations of speed in the order taking process and food creation. McDonald’s is known as fast food, which is already a pretty Americanized industry, that values speed over quality. I noticed that when taking orders, employees tried to minimize the amount of time needed to take them and to an extent would even get irritated if the customers would take too long. Ironically, this is the opposite after the order has been taken and customers were known to get agitated if their order took too long to be produced. Some individuals would just stand and wait patiently, some would tap their feet, some would vocally complain as if it would increase the speed of the process. I think this is insightful of just how much our expectations of instant gratification reach within our culture. To the point that when we aren’t satisfied with a certain speed, it makes us angry and belligerent. Lastly, I noticed that customers interactions varied. Most individuals would just stay on their phones and wouldn’t speak to anyone, creating a lack of communication. This is something that we’ve come to accept within our culture, and while it may seem rude to some cultures, it didn’t faze anyone in ours. But while that was the most common observation I had, I did notice that – once again – groups broke this norm to an extent. Many people would come to meet for lunch, or discuss business matters, with the use of technology during their conversations. For example, there were two individuals meeting regarding a business investment, and instead of ordering food they spoke about the considerations of said investment (but they may have gotten food later). There were some people talking on the phone, and their interactions were occurring with another person in a different place. I think this puts emphasis on three things within our culture: individualism, industry, and technology. We are more likely to value these three components over traditional communication in American culture. In conclusion, through my cultural observations I made some important discoveries regarding my own culture and now I better understand why certain normative things occur. In the past, I didn’t connect some of these things to culture and just assumed that people were just being rude and now I understand it is the values within our culture that decide what is acceptable and what isn’t. Individualism was one of the biggest aspects that I pinpointed through all of my observations, and it seems to influence nearly aspect of our culture. I also noticed that we greatly put emphasis on spacing, speed, and technology. We expect our personal space, instant gratification, and we connect it through technology. Gender and ethnicity didn’t seem to have an impact on these observations, and all groups seemed to have similar interactions in this environment. Overall, I think this observation was important and gave me a new outlook on the things that I once took for granted.

In the morning

I’ve placed my mug of espresso down for only three seconds, and in that span of time I’ve already managed to yawn, rub my borderline bloodshot eyes, and had even proceeded to slam my face straight into my desk unintentionally out of exhaust. The clock perpendicular to my working table reads 1:06 am in the morning. It’s an ungodly hour in the morning and my limbs can barely move without causing me a throbbing headache. A siren that blares in the distance. No, there’s been no accident, no police car, no movie drama that I’ve whipped up in my head, instead it’s my neighbor hosting a party. He or she, I don’t know anymore, is blasting some random rap music I clearly don’t recognize, mixed with the sound of teenagers getting half-drunk on nothing more than candy and there you go, a homemade siren. Just kidding, even I can recognize the faint Cardi B chants from where I’m working. Normally, I’d be on the other side of this wall, eating a life’s supply of Kit Kat’s or maybe Reese’s, but not today. Today, it’s way too early for me to care about anything besides the feeling of nostalgia when my head finally crashes into the fluffiest pillow I own. I’ve only lasted the first hour and six minutes of today only to realize that it’s done. I almost don’t believe it myself. There’s this burning sensation at the back of my mind that tells me to go through everything one more time, because there will always be that punctuation I missed, or a sentence that doesn’t make sense. But that’s for tomorrow, the day after that, and every other day that isn’t this one. Sure, I’m alienated. My eyes are tired, sore. It’s been eight hours today, and more than a hundred combined for the entire book. But all the efforts put in have conjoined have become one complete story. So, for the past month of sleepless nights or even deliberate all-nighters, it was so worth it. Waterworks was never supposed to exist, I’ve mentioned this quite a few times now, just because I want to marvel at the fact that I nearly gave up on a story I didn’t quite think would work before I really did dive into the lives of five estranged teens we have all come to know and love. But yet, here it is. A story, one I can now call mine. Let’s just say that it’s been quite a while since I found myself writing Chapter One, Draft One. Or idea one. Let’s just give a special shoutout to coffee in general. A lot of people know my regular order, Espresso (of course), double shot, and a generous amount of milk and sugar. My god, you’ve literally pumped energy into my body when I felt everything but. Secondly, my thesaurus, for supplying me with an endless amount of options to choose from whenever my brain’s stock of english vocabulary finally runs dry. Finally, everyone who pulled me out of bed, splashed water on my face, dragged me to my laptop, and whatever creative ideas you come up with to get me to write. It’s finally paid of, yes, you were right. Will you ever do so again, absolutely not. Everything is just peachy. Waterworks is a story of misfits. How it branched out? Are misfits of Earth still misfits of a place with no relations to such? Could it mean finding yourself in your own blood even if you happened to be breathing in water two galaxies away? Earth has its own means of being discriminatory. Sometimes we judge a person without even realising or wanting to. Sure, it’s what makes us human, the difference between us and all those robots, but what if there was none of that? Would it make a difference? You tell me. Sequel. It’s come to the point of that. I’m sure there will be some people open to it, and of course, those who are against. Varying degrees of such. Well let me break it to you, I don’t really know. Let’s start from the, well, start. Waterworks was originally a prequel of another story I had thought of. The story, consisted of four, five teens reuniting in the near future and how their lives have changed since becoming a ‘group’ and outgrowing their high school ‘clique’. Anyway, I like the whole Waterworks idea much better, which is why it replaced the original story, but a sequel? There was a reason that I wrote the prequel as the original story instead of the one I actually planned. I’m open to negotiation though, and if the sequel happens, It will probably branch out from a different idea.