Archive for April, 2006

Can You Believe It?

Posted in Uncategorized on April 30, 2006 by legolasandfrodo

 Have you ever seen a rabbit this big?  You can read his story here.

 

 

Frodo and Legolas

 

 

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You're An Author!

Posted in Uncategorized on April 29, 2006 by legolasandfrodo

Have you ever wanted to publish a book? Well, did you know that when you blog, you are an author just as if you were writing a book? The fact is that more people will have access to your blog than people would have to your book. If you were to have one published, than it would only be sold in the country you live in at first and it would be hard for people to find it among all the other books out in the vast world of books but anybody owning a computer can find your blog and even people who don’t own a computer can go to an internet café and have access to one.  So remember, when you write on your blog you are writing words that six billion people can read!

 

Speak with care.

 

Frodo

 

 

 

If You Don't like Chemistry, Skip this Post

Posted in Uncategorized on April 28, 2006 by legolasandfrodo

                 

 

Okay, the semi-scientist is back. Today I did a very interesting experiment. I had just run out of experiments in my book and was disappointedly cleaning up, when some of my bromocresol purple accidentally got mixed with a little bit of acetic acid (vinegar), and the purple bromocresol became a yellowish orange. Excited, I took the mixture and tried to figure out why it did that. I still don’t know, but I figured out that sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), when added made the mixture back to purple, but not the exact same shade. I thought it was very interesting. This boosted my confidence. For the next half hour (or more), I experimented from what I knew, not following the book exactly, until I had conjured up two mixtures.

 

One contained:

  • Acetic Acid
  • Bromocresol purple
  • Polyvinyl Alcohol
  • Aluminum Sulfate in Sodium Tetraborate
  • Sodium Bicarbonate, (added last.)

 

The second contained:

  • Acetic Acid
  • Bromocresol Purple
  • Ferric Chloride
  • Polyvinyl Alcohol
  • Sodium bicarbonate (added last.)                         

 

Sodium Bicarbonate turned the Bromocresol, which had been turned yellow by the acetic acid, back to purple only in the first mixture. The ferric chloride exchange for the aluminum Sulfate (in sodium tetraborate), seems to have made a difference.

My hypothesis is that perhaps the ferric chloride, which is orangey-brown may have diluted the effects of the sodium bicarbonate. (Being too strong for the purple color that the baking soda was supposed to bring back.) Personally, I don’t think the aluminum sulfate had anything to do with it. But I used it so I thought it best to write it down just in case it had some little trick to do with the magic. Unfortunately, my mom is not a chemist so the wizard hasn’t found out the reason for that one either. But he will, some day.

            While looking up ferric chloride on the encyclopedia to see if I could find an answer to the above question, (I never found it), I came upon a document and learned that ‘small amounts of sodium hydroxide are produced by the soda-lime process in which a concentrated solution of sodium carbonate (soda) is reacted with calcium hydroxide (slaked lime); calcium carbonate precipitates, leaving a sodium hydroxide solution. I looked up calcium hydroxide and found how it can be made. It is prepared by reacting calcium oxide (lime) with water, a process called slaking, and is also known as hydrated lime or slaked lime.

            So that is my next experiment  (some time in the next five years. . .)- attempting to make sodium hydroxide. IF I can get lime and IF I can figure out how to react lime with water and IF it all works and, well, a lot more “Ifs…

 

Legolas

 

 

What Are We Holding Onto?

Posted in Uncategorized on April 27, 2006 by legolasandfrodo

“It's like in the great stories, Mister Frodo. The ones that really mattered, full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened?  But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something; even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mister Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back only they didn't. Because they were holding on to something.”

 

Frodo: “What are we holding onto, Sam?”

 

Sam: “That there's some good in this world, Mister Frodo. And it's worth fighting for.”

 

This scene is my favorite scene in the Two Towers. I cried when I saw it and when I read it in the book. I think that those lines are some of the best ones in the whole movie. They give you hope every time. The last part, where Sam says that we are holding onto the belief that “there is some good in this world and it’s worth fighting for,” is true and yet, I think we are holding onto so much more than that! I would say that we are holding onto something of greater worth than that belief. Promises. God’s promises. He promised us a Savior and a Savior came. He promised that all who believe in Jesus as their Savior will have everlasting life and, best of all, He promised us that He will come back for us and we have that promise to hold onto. When the earth around us falls, we will have that promise to hold onto and we will not fall with it. That’s worth fighting for! So whatever you are doing right now, just take two minutes to think about what that means. We've got something to hold onto!

 

 

Frodo

 

 

Nature Scavenger Hunt

Posted in Uncategorized on April 26, 2006 by legolasandfrodo

A few days ago, my mom canceled our school lessons and instead, sent my brother and sisters and I on a NATURE SCAVENGER HUNT. We took a backpack, camera and snacks and were gone for two hours. This was the list of things we had to find. We had a little trouble with the bird’s nest but we managed to find everything. My mom graded us according to how much we found and how well we cooperated with each other. The prize was a candy bar. For us, that is a big deal because we don’t get candy very often.

 

                        1 insect (identified)

                        1 oak leaf

                        1 one acorn

                        1 hazelnut catkin and leaf

                        1 photo of a turtle or lizard

                        1 poplar tree leaf

                        1 beech tree leaf

                        1 chestnut tree leaf

                        2 different kinds of mushrooms

                        1 photo of a bird’s nest

                        5 different kinds of wildflowers (identified)

                        1 apple tree leaf

                        1 plum tree leaf

                        1 peach tree leaf

                        1 fig tree leaf

                        4 buds (identified)

                        2 photos of 2 different birds identified

                        a unique rock (identified)

                        1 photo of a baby mammal

 

        Here is a picture of some of our finds. Can you identify them?

 

 

Frodo

 

 

 

The Book I am Writing

Posted in Uncategorized on April 25, 2006 by legolasandfrodo

                                       

                   

I am writing a book called, ‘The Last War,’ at least that is its name so far, and I have been working on it for a little more than a year. I am hoping to publish it. A little bit later I will put a summary of what the story itself is about. It describes what time is like during the last days before The King returns. In it, I have made a language called, Quenish. I found it very interesting when I learned, after I had started it, that Tolkien has one called, ‘Quenya.’ You just can’t find anything you can call your own! My dad is a linguist so he has been helping me a little. It is a OSV language (object, subject, verb order).  Below I will put a few of the words to give you an idea of what it like. I will gladly take any help or suggestions.

 

harnt – sea

ankal – reign

arteno – destroy

onta – fight

lort – stop

corro – take

en – the

et – a

grary – may

canro – way . . .

 

Legolas

 

 

The Fall of Athens

Posted in Uncategorized on April 25, 2006 by legolasandfrodo

 

            Athens had long been a leader in Greece. After all, it was the Athenians that had formed the Delian League for the protection of all the Grecian cities; and Athens that had fought off the Persian invaders.  It could not be denied by any who had ever seen it that Athens was a truly impressive city. She was beautiful, strong and lovely, full of rich temples and marvelous buildings and statues.  But Athens was only a city. The Athenian people were very proud of their city and of themselves but they were slowly losing their virtues and diligence to which they owed their beautiful city, and becoming a careless people. They had seventy public festivals in their year and held many holidays. With their love for parties and feasting, grew their pride in their city and soon they were quite conceited.

Slowly, bit-by-bit, Athens was beginning to lose her power and position. When another war broke out with Sparta, the Athenians lost. This was a terrible loss, indeed, to them. Sparta and Athens had long been rivals but the Spartans had never really completely subdued the Athenians. Now, it was different. The very walls of Athens were destroyed and, although in time, she rebuilt these walls and threw off the Spartan yoke, Athens was never again the great city that she had once been.

Wars broke out frequently in the following years but they revolved around Macedon and Persia and the great young conqueror, Alexander The Great. The Athenians just refused to be roused to the danger they faced against these new powers until it was too late. Then, once again, Athens was conquered and ever after, she was only a bystander in the complex history of the world.

 

                        A narration by Frodo

 

 

Knowledge versus Wisdom

Posted in Uncategorized on April 23, 2006 by legolasandfrodo

In this modern world, people often confuse “knowledge” with “wisdom.” This is incorrect. Knowledge and wisdom are two very different things. Here are Webster’s definitions for each:

 Knowledge is the “acquaintance with facts as from investigation”.

Wisdom is the “knowledge of what is true and right, coupled with    

just judgment as to action.”

             I have been thinking about this as I learn new things each day in school.  I don’t want to be proud of my knowledge, but wise.  Alfred Lord Tennyson is my favorite poet.  He wrote a long poem that I really like. It is called “In Memoriam.” He wrote it on the death of one of his dear friends. He mourns his friend but at the same time he talks about life and death and the things that we face in life. The poem has 131 verses and is extremely difficult and long but it gives you a lot to think about. This is a verse that I particularly like. I noticed that Tennyson refers to Knowledge as but a little child that wishes to display what he has learned. Wisdom, he speaks of as “heavenly, of the soul.”

 

                                                            CXXVIII

                        Who loves not Knowledge? Who shall rail

                                    Against her beauty? May she mix

                                    With men and prosper! Who shall fix

                        Her pillars? Let her work prevail.

           

                        But on her forehead sits a fire:

                                    She sets her forward countenance

                                    And leaps into the future chance,

                        Submitting all things to desire.

 

                        Half-grown as yet, a child and vain-

                                    She cannot fight the fear of death

                                    What is She, cut off from love and faith,

                        But some wild Pallas from the brain

 

                        Of Demons? Fiery hot to burst

                                    All barriers in her onward race

                                    For power. Let her know her place;

                        She is the second, not the first.

 

                        A higher hand must make her mild,

                                    If all be not in vain; and guide

                                    Her footsteps, moving side by side

                        With Wisdom, like the younger child:

 

                        For She is earthly of the mind,

                                    But Wisdom heavenly of soul

                                    O, friend, who camest to thy goal

                        So early leaving me behind,

 

                        I wish the great world grew like thee,

                                    Who grewest not alone in power

                                    And knowledge, but by year and hour

                        In reverence and in charity.

 

You may have to read it twice to really understand what it means (I did) but when you do, it makes sense to you and the whole idea all fits together like a puzzle. Let us not live to acquire knowledge, but wisdom, and we shall find both.

 

 

Frodo

 

The Two Towers Critique

Posted in Uncategorized on April 21, 2006 by legolasandfrodo

I just finished reading ‘The Two Towers.’ I saw the movie recently. I think that Peter Jackson is an expert at movie making. (at least better than I would be.) He portrays evil very well but he dilutes the noble and good character. For instance, I was very disappointed in Faramir. The Faramir in the book was noble and wise. He did not wish for power and he did not take the ring. Don’t mistake me. He certainly did not want Minas Tirith to fall, but he was discerning enough to know the ring would not help. And even if he was not, he would not take the ring for he told Frodo, before he knew about it that, ‘were it lying on a highway I would not take it.’ He would not break his word. The movie Faramir, on the other hand, would take the ring by force. I was so upset when he said, ‘the ring will go to Gondor.’ I think Peter Jackson is afraid of the good and tries to change it. There was absolutely no reason to change Faramir’s character. I was very disappointed in the change he made.
             In the movie I do not think the Ents were portrayed very accurately. In the book they are slow, but wise and ancient. I don’t think Peter Jackson should have had the Ents not agree to attack Isengard at all. And Peregrin Took should not have been able to trick them into going towards Isengard. I prefer the movie to stay true to the story.

But there was a change Peter Jackson made that I did like. I like how Sméagol tells Gollum to, ‘go away and never come back.’ It reminds me of the casting out of evil spirits.  But, in the Bible it says that when one demon is cast out seven others even stronger will come. That is what happened to Gollum because he got angry at Frodo thinking he had betrayed him.

Those are my thoughts about ‘The Two Towers.’ But don’t mistake me, I still love the movie, i just like the book better.

 

Legolas

 

 

Who are the Inklings?

Posted in Uncategorized on April 19, 2006 by legolasandfrodo

Some of our readers have asked if we are the INKLINGS. Yes, we are! The Skopeo Literary Society was formed approximately two years ago. We thought that it might interest our readers to hear a little bit more about the history and customs of our society.

 

This was how it began:

 

 One day, in April (2004) we had taken a picnic outside and our mother was reading Little Women to us. When we came to the part in the book about the March girls’ literary society, we were very excited and interested. That night, as a family, we formed our own society. We decided to call it the “Skopeo” society because of the Greek word “skopeo” (meaning to “look at, consider, inspect, or examine). J.RR Tolkien and C.S. Lewis were also part of a literary society called “the Inklings.” They would read aloud each other’s writings and critique one another.  We do the same.  We all chose a pen name and assumed a different identity. We elected a president for the society as well, to keep order and make final decisions. We use “Robert’s Rules Of Order” in our meetings. No one is allowed to speak until the president “gives them the floor” and important decisions are voted on after the motion has been made. Our meetings begin and end with a gavel tap.  All participants must wear a tie or hat.

 

We have had several activities in our society as well. Once we had a masquerade party and all of the members dressed up like someone from history. We have put on annual plays, held debates, etc…It has been a very exciting learning experience for our family.  We have these meetings twice a month on our ‘Family Fun Night.’ 

 

…and that’s how it all began.

 

Legolas and Frodo