Books

As you may have noticed, I am writing a series of posts on certain topics.  This one is entitled, “Books.”

Books are mysterious.  You can be transported to a whole new world if you can just read.  Sit down in front of a roaring fire while it’s snowing outside and crack open a book.  You can let go of your troubles and just engross yourself in a whole new world.

Some good books you should read are below:

Dormia

Here, There Be Dragons

Harry Potter

Artemis Fowl

The Chronicles of Narnia

The Girl Who Could Fly

Eragon

Airman

Every Soul a Star

Percy Jackson

The Kane Chronicles

The Heroes of Olympus

The 39 Clues

The Hunger Games

The Giver

So B. It

The Book Thief

Some of these books start out slow, but keep persevering and you’ll like them in the end.

That’s it-

Coleman

Movies

I think it’s strange that movies are as popular as they are. I like them, of course, it’s just that all you do is go to a huge, dark, room and sit for 2 to 3 hours. It’s not a waste of time, it just uses time that could be used other ways.  But, enough of my feelings about movies.  I am going to talk about two things:  Books that have been made into movies and movies that have not been made yet.

In general, movies based on books are not as good as the book.  However, that is a general rule.  There have been movies that are better than the book.  The Princess Bride, for example.  Now there was a good movie that was a bad book.  Some movies are at the same level of the book.  Harry Potter, for example.  For those of you who have read this book, yes, Here There Be Dragons and The Search For The Red Dragon are being combined into one movie.  For those of you who have not read these books, they are by James A Owen.

I think that the worst thing about movies is waiting for them to come out.  Especially when you read a good book that the company said they are going to make, but has not yet.   Take The Book Thief, for example.  The Book Thief has been announced as a book to make into a movie, but it has not happened.  There isn’t even an IMDB page!  We can only hope these movies will be made.

That’s it-

Coleman

Snow

The first thing that comes to mind when I think about snow is silence.  Isn’t it true that when you go outside in the snow, especially when the snow is falling, that everything is silent?  It’s not the kind of silence that you get in the classroom, when everybody’s working on a test.  It’s a special silence.  However, it’s not really complete silence.  You can hear the wind blow and the light footsteps of the snow falling on the ground.  The snow muffles the honking of the cars and the chugs of the cemi trucks.  It’s simply magical, the kind of silence you get snow’s falling.

The second thing that comes to mind when snow falls is SNOW DAY!  You hope that the next day will be a snow day.  You know the next day is going to be a snow day.  So, you get a book, get the fire going, and make some popcorn.  Today’s a snow day!

If you live where it snows a lot, the third thing that comes to mind is sledding.  Nothing is more fun to do in the snow than sled down a hill.  I live close to a hill that my friends and I dubbed “Suicide Hill.”  It’s pretty steep, but that alone does not add a thrill close to what that of the jumps people make do.  There are some jumps that have been made that send you airborne for 2-3 seconds.  That may not sound like a lot, but consider this.  In the NFL, punts have a hangtime of 4 seconds and the fastest players can run 40 yards in 4 seconds. 

The fourth best thing about snow is sleeping in it.  Over the past weekend, I made a 5 foot tall snow pile that was 8 feet wide in all directions.  Then, I hollowed it out.  It made a room with a ceiling of 3 feet and a diameter of 7 feet.  Then I slept in it.  This is called a quincey.  I know you can build igloos and such, but a quincy beats them all.

So, what are you waiting for?  Start wishing for your next snow day now?

That’s it-

Coleman

It’s the New Year…So What?

So, it’s the new year.  So what?  It’s a great celebration and all, but it’s not all that good for us.  We’re all turning a year older, it’s a year closer to 2012, and we’re all getting closer to 2035.  What’s 2035?  The year this planet runs out of oil.  So, it’s a lot of hubbub about not a lot of hubbub.  In fact, we should all be de-celebrating the new year.

I was asked to write about my resolution for the new year, but it can’t.  For the record, I have  a private one, but I won’t mention it here.  I think resolutions are useless.  Everybody says they make one, but most people don’t follow through.  I think most people just forget about their resolution at the end of January.  In my opinion, people should make end-of-year resolutions.  People would reflect back on the past year and think about how they could’ve made themselves better.

I was also asked to write about the past year.  2010 went well for me because good things kept happening.  There was always something to get me through the week.  It marked the first decade in the third millenium ending.  Because of that, there were a lot of reviews and such of the best of the decade.  Again, a lot of hubbub about nothing.

That’s the depressing end-

Coleman

Gratitude

Gratitude

Definition: the state of being thankful; thanks

Gratitude is interesting.  It can mean many things.

You can make a gratitude journal or just not be gratitudal.

Is that even a word?  I don’t know.  It should be a word.  Gratitudal.

It describes how you feel when you feel gratitude.  Gratitudal.

Gratitude is an interesting thing because it can change your feelings.  You can go from a bad day to an awesome one when you make a gratitude journal describing what you’re thankful for.  The holidays are supposed to be about thanks.  We have Thanksgiving, for goodness’ sakes!  There’s a saying that you’re supposed to be thankful for what you have.  Even the richest people don’t always have everything.

With my growing up, I’ve been thinking a lot about when I grow up and when I won’t get presents anymore.  Today, I’ve learned to be thankful for what I have.  I’m going to get to enjoy other kids get their presents.  Strangely, I’m going to feel gratitude for what I have.  I’m feeling gratitudal.  Here’s a short gratitude journal.

  1. My family.  I know this sounds corny, but I really mean it.
  2. My friends.  Again, this sounds corny, but I mean it.
  3. My teachers and educators.  They are just awesome and help me every day.
  4. My community.  The people I am with everyday make me feel just great.
  5. My country.  I live in the United States, and I’m so thankful for it.
  6. Everything else I didn’t list here.  I just can’t think of it all.

Gratitudal

Definition: To feel gratitude, and be thankful for what you have.

-Coleman

Harry Potter

The new movie, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I is in theaters!

In order to do it justice, I will be dividing this review into sections-Movie, Synopsis, Soundtrack, and Rating.

Here goes!

Movie

Harry Potter was an excellent movie.  I’m not just saying that because I like the books, I really mean it.  Director David Yates really uses head shots to a different level.  The lighting effects really feed the mood of the movie.  Of course, the acting is great.  The locations seem to fit the movie.  The movie also really follows the book closely.  There were only two times when the film makers created new scenes. (see my Synopsis section)  Many other reviewers feel the same way I do.  I have a feeling that it may get in the Academy Awards, not for any major awards, but maybe for some small ones.  ie; Best Special Effects, Best Sound Effects, etc. 

Synopsis

As I mentioned earlier, the movie really follows the book.  Here is a loose synopsis of the movie.  (if you don’t want to read a spoiler, don’t read this section)

The movie starts out with the traditional Harry Potter opening sequence.  (Warner Bros. logo zoom)  Then, it proceeds to Hermione, who obliviates her parents’ memories so they won’t be tortured information about her out of them.  The movie goes to Harry, who says goodbye to the Dursleys. (his aunt, uncle, and cousin)  The movie shows Ron, then goes into the sky and does a similar zoom of the Harry Potter logo.  Then, Severus Snape in Death Eater form apparates to Malfoy Manor.  Voldemort talks there, and asks for Malfoy’s wand.  The movie goes to Harry.  He realizes members of the Order of the Phoenix are there to take him to Ron’s house.  They use polyjuice potion for them to turn into a clone of Harry.  They then use flying objects to take him to Ron’s house, but the Death Eaters fight with them.  Voldemort attacks Harry, but his wand breaks.  At Ron’s house, Harry kisses Ginny. (Ron’s sister)  The minister of magic gives Harry, Ron, and Hermione the contents of Dumbledore’s will.  (Dumbledore was Hogwarts’ headmaster until he was killed by Severus Snape)  Harry then attends Ron’s brother’s wedding.  The wedding is ruined by Death Eaters who have taken over the Ministry of Magic.  The trio (Harry, Ron, and Hermione) escape to cafe, but are attacked by Death Eaters.  They then decide to go to Harry’s dead godfather’s house to stay and make plans.  They realize that one of Voldemort’s Horcruxes was a locket.  (a horcrux is a piece of your soul)  They realize the locket belongs to Dolores Umbridge, a Ministry of Magic employee.  They sneak into the Ministry of Magic to get it from her.  They successfully get it, but have no way to destroy it.  While disapparating to the house they were staying in, a Death Eater grabs Hermione’s ankle, so they have to go on the run.  They stay in a forest.  While there, they try to destroy it.  They keep going on the run for many months, with no hope of destroying the Horcrux.  Ron gets tired of this and then leaves.  Harry and Hermione visit Harry’s parents grave.   While there, a strange lady, Bathilda Bagshot, beckons them.  She leads them to her house, where a snake comes out of her and attacks them.  Hermione casts a spell to defend herself, but breaks Harry’s wand.  Harry and Hermione escape and keep on the hunt.  One night, they dance!  (added scene)  Eventually, Harry is on watch and sees a doe.  The doe leads him to a pond with the sword of Gryffindor in it.  (the sword of Gryffindor can destroy Horcruxes)  Harry dives into the pond with the locket on.  So close to its destructor, the Horcrux almost chokes Harry, but Ron shows up and saves Harry.  Then, once out of the pond, Harry convinces Ron to destroy the Horcrux.  The Horcrux puts up a fight, but is eventually destroyed.  Harry leads Ron back to Hermione, who demands an explanation.  Ron gives one.  After this, the trio goes back on the hunt.  They go to Xenophilius Lovegood’s house.  He tells them about the Deathly Hallows.  (at this point, there is an animation of the Deathly Hallows story, the second added scene)  However, Xenophilius had betrayed them and Death Eaters come.  Miraculously, the trio escapes.  They go back on the hunt.   Soon, they are discovered by Death Eaters.  They realize Harry is there, and bring the trio to Malfoy Manor.  Once there, Bellatrix Lestrange tortures Hermione.  Ron and Harry summon Dobby, a house-elf.  Dobby is able to save them, but is stabbed with a knife and dies.  Harry buries him.  This is the last we see of the trio in this movie.  The scene flashes to Voldemort.  Voldemort has realized that Dumbledore had the Elder Wand (a Deathly Hallow) when he was buried.  Voldemort is at Dumbledore’s tomb.  Voldemort takes the wand, and triumphantly shoots lightning into the sky.  This is the end of the movie.

Soundtrack

The soundtrack was composed by Alexandre Desplat, a French composer.  He did an excellent job.  Using elements from all the instruments, he creates a beautiful score.  Here are some of the best songs.

The Obliviation-This is the intro song and has a beautiful melody.

Snape to Malfoy Manor-This is the song when Snape arrives at Malfoy Manor.  It uses slides (for strings) very efficiently and cleanly.

Sky Battle-Full of brass, this song is ready for battle.  Quiet moments and edge-of-your-seat moments bring this piece together.

Ministry of Magic-This song sounds like a James Bond piece.  Sneaky, it can catch you by suprise.

The Exodus-This song almost sounds wrong, but it uses that element to make it sound good. 

The Deathly Hallows-This song is the background music for the Deathly Hallows animation.  It is enchanting.

The Elder Wand-This is the last song in the movie.  It is a great cliffhanger.  It just keeps building and building.

To hear all the songs, go to this link.

Rating

Overall, this movie is the best movie in the franchise.  I give it 3.75 out of 4 stars.  

The movie is rated PG-13  for some sequences of intense action violence, frightening images and brief sensuality.

That’s it-

Coleman

Edublog Award Contest 2010 Nominations

I am very happy to say that it is time for me to nominate blogs for the 2010 Edublog Award Contest!  Without further ado, let me present the nominees:

With the nomination for best new blog is Ellie’s Blog!

Ellie has great posts-all the time!  She seems to constantly be updating her blog with interesting things.  I really appreciate her posts.  A big hand to Ellie!

With the nomination for best individual blog is Katherine’s Blog!

She writes cool posts about interesting topics.  She’s someone I would like to meet, so that’s saying something.  Let that speak for itself.

With the nomination for best class blog is Mrs. Yollis’ Class Blog!

This blog is so detailed and fun to read.  It is updated every time I see it.  It’s so fun to learn about what her class is learning.  Vote for this blog!

With the nomination for best student blog is Scooper Ben!

He sounds like a great student and has much positive feedback.  Vote for him in the Edublog Awards!

Here is a link to the homepage of the Edublog Awards.

I hope everyone takes the opportunity to vote!

That’s it-

Coleman

Blogging

When I was informed I had a blog, I was very happy.  I wanted to start working on it immediately.  Little did I know of the power blogging would bring to me.  I have learned many things about technology, but the most important things I have learned are not about technology.  The most important things I have learned are about other cultures, good ethics, and how to connect to other people.

I have connected to global audiences.  I have learned more about languages by reading comments.  I have learned more about what kids my age in other countries do for fun and enjoy.  This connection has helped me to better understand how people think and how different people work and do life.  Thanks to blogging, I am also able to share my talents with other people and see their reaction.  I can share my passions by writing about them and by telling other people how I feel about them.  In addition, I am able to try to convince people to share my opinions and views by writing a persuasive post.

Blogging has made a difference in my life at school and at home.  Now, at school, I am able to help my peers with technology due to my new knowledge.  At home, I find it easier to complete writing assignments due to my improved typing skills.  I also have better language skills due to my writing.  Teachers have helped me to figure out techniques.  This helps me with my teacher relationships.

The Student Blogging Challenge has been another great feed into my blogging knowledge.  It has helped me create better posts.  I have particularly found the posts with a “how to” on it helpful.  It has helped to enrich the quality of my posts.  In particular, I found the challenge on adding images to your blog helpful because before, my posts had been bland, with only writing, but now, they have images.

If I could add anything to the Student Blogging Challenge, I would ask to create a challenge with more posts about opinions.  This helps improve your persuasive writing skills and it lets you express your feelings.  Otherwise, I cannot improve the Student Blogging Challenge any more because it is already so good.

Blogging has been a good educational experience for me.  It has helped me to write, advanced my technology skills, and has connected me with friends.  I think that all students should have this kind of opportunity.  I know that I would not have unless my E.L. teacher, Ms. Schmidt, had given me this opportunity.

That’s it-

Coleman

Student Blogging Challenge-Win! Win! Win!

The Edublogger Challenge