ananzi: (pensive)
Although I still have to do stuff for French, many of my classes have degenerated into movie-fests.  (8-ish days of school left!  Chouette!)

In Psychology, we've begun to watch Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho.  I like it so far (we've gotten past the famous shower scene), although I have to giggle at certain parts.  The hotel manager is terribly awkward.*

In English, we're about to be finished with The Hours.  Unfortunately, I missed the beginning of this one due to some AP test or another, so it took me a while to catch on.  I still like it, I think, although it leaves me feeling gloomy and morose for a while after watching it.  There's a lot of depression and neuroticism concentrated between the three central characters, and my ability to handle that kind of stuff fluctuates.  Before this one, we viewed Young Frankenstein, which was for the most part delightfully silly.

In European History, we just finished the film that is most interesting of the three - Der Himmel Uber Berlin, which translates to Wings of Desire** in English.  It's odd, and good, and weird, and sometimes sad, and sometimes dark.  Set in West Berlin during the Cold War, the movie mostly follows two angels who watch over the city; they are there, however, only as silent observers.  It's a lot about the human experience, as well as the general situation in Berlin at the time, and I liked it a lot.

In Astronomy, we are not watching a movie.  We are, however, working on end-of-year partnered projects.  My partner and I decided to look at sunspots and solar output as correlated with the UV index on earth to see if there is any connection.  Pictures of the sun's extreme ultraviolet radiation as taken by SOHO telescopes are really cool.  And shiny!  See:



*His hobby, which he mentions over dinner, is taxidermy.
**I think that the exact translation is actually something more like "The Heaven Over Berlin", but that isn't the English title.
ananzi: (Default)
In my astronomy class, we've taken a break from astrophysics-y type things for a bit and started researching space exploration/the space program over time.  One group (we're split into groups to research/present different topics) was assigned to the pre-1940s space exploration and came up with this:

WAN HOO AND HIS SPACE VEHICLE



"According to one ancient legend, a Chinese official named Wan-Hoo attempted a flight to the moon using a large wicker chair to which were fastened 47 large rockets. Forty seven assistants, each armed with torches, rushed forward to light the fuses. In a moment there was a tremendous roar accompanied by billowing clouds of smoke. When the smoke cleared, the flying chair and Wan-Hu were gone." (source)

...I particularly like the last sentence.  :D

ananzi: (man and goat statue)
Comment to this post and I will give you 5 subjects/things I associate you with. Then post this in your LJ and elaborate on the subjects given.

[livejournal.com profile] mmailliw gave me: senioritis, thinking, reading, orchestra, astronomy
__________________________________________________

Senioritis

Well, I am a senior in high school.  A second-semester senior.  And I am already into several schools that I am seriously considering attending next year.  This, along with my procrastinatory nature, lends itself automatically to senioritis (although I'm still quite good at getting all of my assignments in).  Moving on!

Thinking

Uh, thinking is good?  I don't know.  I always have been into, or at least interested in, philosophy.  Ideas fascinate me even sometimes when I disagree with them, just as well-thought-out arguments can earn my respect even if my own opinions are different.  I suppose that one thing I could feasibly connect to this topic would be my constant interest in the nature of belief; I love to learn about the ideas and histories behind all different religions, and have been considering a major in religious studies, among other things.

In a slightly different vein, I've always been more of a thinker than a doer.  It's not so much that I won't do things - because I will - but simply that it seems like it's more in my nature to sit and carefully ponder, consider, or deliberate before jumping head-first into something.

Reading

I like books.  Om nom nom nom.  Seriously, though, I was actually kind of slow to start reading.  Apparently I had the ability, but was either too stubborn or too perfectionistic and afraid of failure to actually start reading at my ability level until sometime in the middle of first grade.  After that, I was unstoppable.  I devoured tons and tons of books and read way above my level, although the only concrete example I can think to give of this is the fact that I probably read the Lord of the Rings trilogy around what I estimate to be the fifth grade.  I do believe I've slowed down since then, what with all of the demands of schoolwork and extracurriculars, but I still would consider myself to be a pretty good reader and enjoy reading a lot.

Hmm, genres.  I'm willing to read in a bunch of different genres, although I tend to go more for fiction than nonfiction as a whole.  I like things that I would consider to be well-written.  Because I am lazy, I am simply going to
Orchestra

I joined orchestra in middle school, where I learned to play the violin because I couldn't decide between that and the cello, and my teacher made the decision for me.  She said that the school didn't have any half-size cellos.  I was small then, okay?

In eighth grade (or the summer before eighth grade, to be precise), I switched over to the viola on my own volition and have never regretted it.  I prefer the lower, richer sound of the viola to the higher one of the violin.  Also, there's a lot less snootiness and competition among the viola sections.  (Not that violinists as a whole are an issue, but in the upper orchestras particularly, some of them get to be rather ...eh.)

In my high school orchestra, we get to do lots of cool things!  I've visited Boston, NYC, and Orlando (did not vote for that location) thus far with my school's orchestra, and am already anticipating the trip to Chicago that we have planned for this year.  Also, by the time I leave my high school, I'll have seen Blue Man Group three times!  (Yes, this is an accomplishment, I think.)  Also, I like getting to play cool music.  My favorite that I've done so far would have to be Mendelssohn's Fingal's Cave, last year.  I plan to continue with the viola in college, but I don't want to study music.

Astronomy

Let's see:

- Pictures!  This year in my honors Astronomy course we get to operate remote telescopes and take pictures of various constellations/galaxies/nebulae/star clusters/other sky objects.  Very cool!  As of recently, I've started posting some of my color images up at [livejournal.com profile] hourglass_sea .  (You can also find one or two, I think, over on this journal.  They've been tagged with "astro-awesomeness", I do believe.)

- Astrophysics!  Okay, so I used to think that I would find physics terribly dull.  And then I saw the light, with the help of books such as Brian Greene's The Elegant Universe.  And Astrophysics deals somewhat with the workings of the universe and of particles and oh my gosh, you guys, with gravity!  Do you realize how interesting gravity is?  ZOMG.  That doesn't even include all of the really cool things, like the dual wave-particle nature of light, or the awesomeness that is black holes, or relativity, or dimensions.  So, yes.  I like this subject more than I ever would have guessed because in middle school physics consisted of things like measuring velocity and that was that.  I am considering some sort of study in Astrophysics in college, although I'll obviously have to experiment a bit more with straight physics classes to see if I'll really like those.
ananzi: (orange octopus)


Clicking on the picture gives you a nicer one, I think (read: bigger).  I don't much like the lj uploader, but I'm too lazy to do it through photobucket.

And also:
Two More? )
ananzi: (orange octopus)
Well.

I'm in an Honors Astronomy class this year at my high school, mostly because I didn't feel like taking a double-period AP science.  Also, the universe and the cosmos are REALLY COOL.

Yes.  Anyhow, as a part of our curriculum, we get to use Chilean telescopes and request pictures from them in different filters and then play around with image corrections and merge the images together and fix the contrast and stuff.  And this is my first in-color one that I've done.  It's my first one!

Isn't it neat?  (You can click it for a larger image, by the way.)  I mean, I know that you can probably Google tons of these pictures and there might be some available that are better than this, but seriously.  I made and fixed this image from raw things taken from telescopes.

If I actually get into Yale (which is longshot, sadly), I'm totally going to look into a double major in Astrophysics and then something more liberal-artsy.  Just saying.
 
 
 The Trifid Nebula, in all of its glory.

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Emily

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