Thursday, July 25, 2013

Great Student Resource for IB Economics

An excellent source of information for IB Economics students including Extended Essay, Internal Assessment and other video lectures...

Good luck!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Am I Wasting My Time?

Robert Atkinson and Michael Lind seem to think so.  What do you think?  

IBDP HL Microeconomics Lecture Slides

Summer Reading List

Quick reviews of what I am reading this summer.  I was on science fiction and fantasy binge this summer...

1. Science in the Capitol Trilogy - Kim Stanley Robinson
Perhaps the most non-fiction science fiction I have read.  Dealing with the very real issue of climate change and the condition of scientific research and political machinations, this is one of the most immersive works of science fiction I have read.  It creates a believable reality that draws you into a future you believe is very likely.  It does not have lasers and fancy names... and that's the scary part.

2. The Kingkiller Trilogy - Patrick Rothfuss
Fantasy in the form of song and poetry, a combination of coming of age and immersion in the world of science and magic.  Wonderfully written, the first book "The Name of the Wind" and the sequel, "Wise Man's Fears", sets the stage for one of the most anticipated climaxes in popular literature since Harry Potter 7.

3. The Mistborn Trilogy - Brandon Sanderson
A trilogy in four parts by master fantasy writer Sanderson (who finished The Wheel of Time series).  A work of high fantasy, "The Final Empire", "Well of Ascension", and "Hero of Ages" weaves together religion, philosophy, magic, and politics with superb insight into the human condition.  I'm presently reading the fourth - "Alloy of Law".

4. Bloodsong - Anthony Ryan
Another high fantasy novel, the start of a trilogy, this self published work by Ryan feels like an homage to "The Name of The Wind", but what a wonderful homage it is.  A coming of age story, of love and politics, it is like "Game of Thrones" with a hero.  A great addition to the genre.

5. Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card
I re-read Ender's Game in anticipation for the movie release.  I can see no way a film can do justice to the sheer scope and angles of the book.  I'm also presently reading "Speaker for the Dead", book 2 in the Ender Sextology.

6. The Gate Thief - Orson Scott Card
I was a little disappointed by OSC's latest, a work of contemporary fantasy.  The characters seem crude and even the cruelty, which was poetic in "Ender's Game", seems forced and random.  I trudged through the sequel too, but no more.

MLA Citation and Other Resources

This is an excellent resource to ensure that your work is properly formatted.  Please remember, if you are using a cover sheet you do not require to have the same information repeat on page 1.

Please make sure you adhere to the norms before submitting your work.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

"Plaudite, amici, comedia finita est." [1]

I haven't written about my journey into the foray of "classical" music for some time now, so here goes...  You can read the previous installment here.

This time I am going to concentrate on familiar pieces, familiar names, and familiar faces, and we begin at the beginning, with Beethoven.

1. Ludwig V. Beethoven - The 9th Symphony, Opus 
What can I say about this piece that has not already been said?  I'm reaching for the dictionary of superlatives.  Sure, it's long and there are times when I've dozed off all through the 2nd and 3rd movements... (like I said it's freaking long), but if you think about it as the summation of man's life, his work and his genius, it is truly deserving of the title magnum opus.  We use it as a benchmark for personal achievement.  Don't just listen to the Schezero Choral from the 4th Movement.  That's the crescendo, the previous three movements set up the scene, the themes, and motives and it all culminates to "Ode to Joy".  See also, the 3rd, 5th, and 7th Symphonies.

2. J.S. Bach - Cello Suites (Six Suites for the Unaccompanied Cello)
When Voyager 10 was being sent beyond the Kuiper Belt, a "Golden Disk of Music" was included among other things for aliens to learn about us (Remember Star Trek: The Motion Picture?).  Anyway, Carl Sagan was deciding what music to put on the disk and someone suggested Bach, to which Sagan quipped, "Now that would just be showing off."  I think the Prelude to the First Suite is evidence of that.

3. Liszt - Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2
One of the most difficult pieces of music to play, and Rachmaninoff had some excellent renditions and then Horowitz perfected it.  Seemingly cacophonous in nature, it ties together quite beautifully.

[1] - "Applaud my friends, for the comedy is over" ~ Beethoven on this deathbed.

Whatcha Readin'?

An interesting article about the state of micro-finance in Nepal.

WHO starts a panel to estimate the cost of climate change on health-care.

Welcome Back!

Dear class of 2014, 
Welcome back to your senior year at KIS.  I hope you all had a refreshing summer and now let's get ready to put the pedal to the metal...
We have a new tardy and absence policy as well as a new late submission of work policy.
We also have a lot of ground to cover, so I hope you are all prepared.
I will continue to use this space by putting up new thoughts, ideas, data resources, and interesting news articles, so keep an eye out.
Good luck!