Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Summer Reading

Now that we're nearing the end of the semester I know you guys are going to have a lot of spare time, so I composed an awesome reading list for you:)

1. How to Avoid Huge Ships by John W. Trimmer 
2. Scouts in Bondage by Michael Bell 
3. Be Bold with Bananas by Crescent Books 
4. Fancy Coffins to Make Yourself by Dale L. Power 
5. The Flat-Footed Flies of Europe by Peter J. Chandler 
6. 101 Uses for an Old Farm Tractor by Michael Dregni 
7. Across Europe by Kangaroo by Joseph R. Barry 
8. 101 Super Uses for Tampon Applicators by Lori Katz and Barbara Meyer 
9. The Making of a Moron by Niall Brennan  
10. Underwater Acoustics Handbook by Vernon Martin Albers 
11. Superfluous Hair and Its Removal by A. F. Niemoeller 
12. Lightweight Sandwich Construction by J. M. Davies 
13. The Devil's Cloth: A History of Stripes by Michel Pastoureaut 
14. How to Be a Pope: What to Do and Where to Go Once You're in the Vatican by Piers Marchant 
15. How to Read a Book by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren

Happy Summer Reading!:D

Monday, April 20, 2009

Grammar: Passive Verbs

I write in passive voice without knowing it. It's a passive thing. But I'm going to be better. Maybe. 

In passive voice the subject receives the action expressed in the verb and the subjected is acted upon. The English translation is something like this: The boy was bitten by the dog. The correct way to write this would be to say: The dog bit the boy. Yah! Active Voice!

For more on passive voice click here

America the Beautiful

America the Beautiful: What We're Fighting For by Dinesh D'Souza could easily be my favorite piece of writing we have read this semester. D'Souza flawlessly combines a serious topic with satire, making this an enjoyable read. 

D'Souza made so many interesting points, things I've never thought of. The first thing that jumped out at me was on pg. 769 where he wrote about how Americans can't win something if they have no idea why they're fighting. And later on he mentions that Americans cannot succeed if they don't believe they are fighting for good. The only thing I would add to that is to say that not only do we have to know what we're fighting for, we have to be united in what we're fighting for. 

 Another thing he wrote about that I found fascinating is why the fundamental Islamic world hates western culture. He wrote that American culture "allows for the shaping of your own life" and in contrast Islam relies heavily upon Allah to predict the path their life takes. Fundamentalists believe that western culture is perverting the ways of Islam. They hope that by removing American troops they'll be able to eliminate western influence and hold true to the Koran. 

I really enjoyed this piece. I enjoyed it so much I made my parents read it. They loved it too:)