The City That Never Sleeps

This is a travel report about my trip to New York City last spring. I have always wanted to go to NYC because I want to live there when I grow up. Finally my dream came true… My dad told me that he had booked us 2 tickets to NYC! I was so excited, I packed my bag a week before! I was super happy. These are all of the places I went, things I saw, and feelings I had 🙂

 

Enjoy!

 

NYC

 

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Goodbye Obamas!

The Obamas 

The Obamas have become an important part of the United States. After moving into the White House in 2009, Barack and his family have taken control and changed the face of the U.S.A.

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How did Barack’s Presidency effect the Obama’s lives:

Although Barak is the President, he is always a father first. This is how Michelle Obama feels about Barak… “I don’t want to leave this interview without saying how proud I am of my husband… because of his leadership and the example he set. Not just as President but as a human being, as a father, he has been a role model to millions of people from all backgrounds, and no one can dispute that.”

The effect that ‘White House living’ had on the Obamas was that they eventually got to spend more time with each other. (dinner, soccer games, movie time, etc.) Michelle thinks that the experience has brought the family closer. Barack says, “By the time it gets to me, and ‘Oh, I did have an interesting conversation with Prime Minister so-and-so,’ it’s like ‘I got to go do my homework, sorry.” Another quote, “I also think that watching Michelle as First Lady has just increased my awe and respect for her. She had to adapt to a life that she might not have chosen for herself, but also there’s no blueprint for being First Lady.”

 

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Barack with his daughters.
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Obama playing with his dog, Bo. 
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Barack and Michelle Obama.

 

Struggles:

There was a lot of racism, misogyny, and bigotry after Barack Obama got elected as President. Many believed that America shouldn’t have a black leader, and that he would drive our country into smithereens. But he showed us otherwise, Obama has done many great things for our country in his 8 years of presidency. What he has to say about that, “I’m somebody who never believes the hype when things are going good and doesn’t despair when things don’t work out your way. The truth of the matter is that when I got elected, there was still racism and misogyny and, you know, antigay sentiment in America.

 

Success!

In conclusion, I believe that Barack Obama has been a great president. He may not have fixed every single problem in the U.S, but he did his part and tried his best. 

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2016 Rio Summer Olympic Games

As you all know, the 2016 Rio Summer Olympic Games have ended… But here are a few tidbits I wrote about some of the athletes I found interesting and worth watching. Enjoy!

Simone Biles:

At just 4 feet 9 inches, Simone Biles is a legendary gymnast. Simone didn’t have the best childhood, but she had many people along the way that supported her as best they could. Biles mom wasn’t ready to raise children, due to her drug and alcohol struggles, so she put Simone and her siblings in foster care. After a few years, Ron, Simone’s biological grandfather, adopted her and her sister Adria. He and his wife Nellie, are now Simone and Adria’s parents. Aside from this, Biles is successfully moving her Olympic career forward. During the 2016 Rio Olympic games, Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas, Laurie Hernandez, and Madison Kocian all became the Final Five. They all worked hard and won gold for the U.S in gymnastics. No matter what Biles faces, she will always make it right back up to the top.

 

Katie Ledecky:

At the mere age of 15, Katie Ledecky proved that she was destined for greatness. During the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Ledecky won a gold medal in the women’s 800m freestyle and also broke the American record.. She continued to show her potential at the 2013 World Aquatics Championships, by setting 2 world records and winning 4 gold medals in the 400, 800, 1500-meter freestyle and the 4×200-meter freestyle relay. This is year during the 2016 Rio Olympics Katie Ledecky won gold in the 200, 400, 800-meter freestyle, and getting gold in the 4×200-meter freestyle relay (with Allison Schmitt, Leah Smith, and Maya DiRado)… Along with all of that, she, Simone Manuel, Abbey Weitzeil, and Dana Vollmer all earned gold, and broke an American time in the 4×100-meter freestyle relay. Katie Ledecky continues to impress us all, with her amazing swimming powers!

 

Michael Phelps

  1. Michael Phelps has 28 Olympic medals (just Olympic, not counting World Championships and other competitions) and out of those 28, 23 are gold. I don’t even know what to say about Phelps… He’s basically a god. Michael was born is the most decorated Olympian ever. Even after winning 8 gold medals in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, he felt like that wasn’t enough. So he came back during the 2012 Summer Olympics and just took home some more in the 100m butterfly, 200m medley, 4x200m freestyle, 4×100 medley, 200m butterfly, and 4x100m freestyle.. Even after winning 22 medals, he still wanted to prove that he could do it. He came into the opening ceremony of the 2016 Olympics waving the American flag, loud and proud, with the rest of Team U.S.A right behind him. The first event he swam he earned a gold medal, then he earned 4 more gold and 1 silver in the 200m butterfly, 200m medley, 4x100m freestyle, 4.200m freestyle, 4x100m medley, and the 100m butterfly. Michael Phelps is truly a phenomenon.

 

Ashton Eaton:

Ashton Eaton is an American decathlete. He holds the world record for the decathlon and the indoor heptathlon events. He has 2 Olympic gold medals, 1 from the 2012 London Olympics (decathlon) and 1 from the 2016 Rio Olympics (decathlon). He holds the world record for most points scored (9,045) for the events 100m, 400m, and 1,500m races, long jump, shot put, high jump, 110m hurdles, discus throw, pole vault, and javelin throw. His wife, Brianne Theisen-Eaton is the Canadian record holder for the women’s outdoor competition for the heptathlon. The U.S decathlon team is very to have Ashton Eaton on their side!

 

Maya DiRado

The 2016 Rio Olympics were Maya’s first and sadly last Olympics. Maya told NBC that she has found a job with Mckinsey & Company, a worldwide management consulting firm. She has everything laid out in front of her, she graduated from Stanford, trained for the Olympics, and got a job offer at Mckinsey & Company. I really admire the way DiRado has everything planned out the way she wants, I like the way she added a little bit of everything! She is an awesome Olympic swimmer and has won 4 Olympic medals (2 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze) in her first Olympics! She won them in the 200m backstroke, 4x200m freestyle, 400m medley, and 200m medley. Maya DiRado is one of my idols!

 

These were just a few of the amazing athletes in the Olympic Games. I admire all the athletes, no matter what country, gender, age… I think all of them are amazing people. If you watched the Olympics and have any athletes you loves watching, please comment!


Pokemon Go: The Height of Insanity

I’m sure you have all heard of the new trending game Pokemon Go. For those of you who don’t know, it’s a game where you go around your neighborhood/city looking for Pokemon to capture.  It’s a fun game, very entertaining… But people are becoming obsessed, and obsession over anything is not good. People have been crashing their cars, getting hit by cars, walking off cliffs, going to shady places, and getting arrested… Is a game really worth all of that?
I agree that the player should be careful and whatever happens to them is clearly their fault and not the games, but what about the innocent people, who the players crash into, the people who have nothing to do with the game? What about them?  And I know games are made to be addicting, but this has reached a completely different level. People have become overly obsessed, the game is too addicting.
Overall, I think that Pokemon Go should be banned due to these reasons… People will never stop being obsessed or “greedy” for more, the only way to stop this madness is to ban the game completely.
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Tim Cook vs. FBI

I read an article in the TIMES Magazine about the fight between Tim Cook, and the FBI.

It had all started the day after the Massacre in San Bernardino. The FBI had found one of the terrorist’s phones. Their plan was to hack in and get the information. But, there was one problem… If they put the wrong password in 10 times, the phone would erase all its data. Nobody knew the encrypted passcode, not even Apple.
The FBI made another request to Apple… If Apple didn’t have the password, then they could design a new version of iOS 9 that did’t have the 10 chances. Apple started calling the idea GovtOS. Apple had many discussions with many people, and the final answer was a no.
Everyone thought that was it… But the FBI went to court and got an order from a federal judge saying that Apple had to create GovtOS because of something called the All Writs Act. In the end the FBI decided not to do it, but if Apple still didn’t agree to help, the FBI would make this a public matter.
Many people went against Cook, technology firms, his rivals, even Obama. And Donald Trump also held a boycott against him! Apple’s reason was that if they did create a machine to crack iPhones, hackers could get to it and use it for bad stuff. Nobody would be safe. “To invent what they want me to incent,’” Cook says, “puts millions of people at risk.’” This is a direct quote from the article I read.
The FBI had an argument for this as well, they said that the new code could be given to just that one phone. But even if Apple deleted the machine right after its use, many judges would be lining up to use it to crack their own cases.
Tim Cooks asks if the government should be able to access the infrastructure + when and how? Or should citizens have privacy from hackers, thieves, and the government?

In the end, the FBI hacked the phone anyway, without Apple’s help. But here’s what I think:

I think that the government shouldn’t be able to look at citizens private things, because they could misuse the power. I believe that ISPs (internet service providers) or companies like Apple should be able to see the citizens private information, because they have no reason to use it for harm. And whenever the government needs the private information for an important reason, they can request the company to give the information. I think this can stop the conflict between the FBI and Apple (or other companies).

If the FBI have hacked into Apple’s software, then is Apple really as safe as it claims it is?

If you have any comments, suggestions or ideas please share them with me! I would love to hear them! 🙂

Reading

I love reading… But sometimes when I need book recommendations I don’t know where to look. So I thought I could blog about the books I love and could recommend them to my friends. I hope others will enjoy these and recommend other books to me! 🙂

Recommended Books:

  • Out of My Mind – Sharon Draper
    • Out of My Mind is a book about a girl named Melody Brooks who is diagnosed with cerebral palsy (can’t move or speak). Everyone just assumes that she is dumb and can’t do anything… But it’s quite the contrary, Melody is actually a very smart girl, and she will prove that to everyone no matter what comes in her way.
  • Percy Jackson (series) + The Heroes of Olympus (series) – Rick Riordan
    • Percy Jackson and The Heroes Of Olympus are series with a lot of action in them. They are fast-paced and move from one breath-catching scene to another. Once you read the books, you can’t stop!
  • The Giver – Lois Lowry 
    • The Giver is a book that makes you think of our world in a different perspective… Through a different “lens”.
  • Inside Out & Back Again – Thanhha Lai
    • Inside Out & Back Again is a very touching book. It’s about a girl whose father is off at war and she is living with her brother and mom. They have to move from Vietnam to Alabama because her home isn’t a safe place to live anymore. The book shows the struggles she goes through in a series of poems. It is a very creative and well thought-out book.
  • To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
    • To Kill a Mockingbird is about a little girl (Jean Louise Finch aka. Scout) who is living in a community where black people aren’t appreciated and aren’t treated like everyone else. Her dad, Atticus Finch, is fighting a case for a black man who is not being treated equal to white people. Scout realizes there are people in the world who haven’t done anything wrong and are still punished for being who they are. Scout and her brother, Jem Finch, want to help their dad fight this case and make equality among everyone.

Please read them and tell me if you enjoyed them! 😉

Feel the Music ….

Music lets you express yourself and inspires you to go above and beyond. To feel the magic of musical inspiration please do try this experiment. Doing this experiment let me unleash my potential and let my creativity be free.

An Alternate World :

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The first thing that comes to my mind when I look at my this piece of artwork is… An Alternate world. It shows life, and how you can, or should, look at things in a different perspective.

I created this “Alternate world” by closing my eyes and listening to a beautiful piece while my hands gracefully sketched my feelings onto the paper.

I chose “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. I chose this song because it feels like you’re in this happy, carefree world. Not worrying about anything, just enjoying yourself. It felt very self-explanatory by unraveling itself as it gets deeper and deeper into the piece. It makes you lighten up and feel more energetic.

I colored my piece randomly. Yes, I said randomly. I took all my colored pencils in my hand and closed my eyes and picked one and colored the shape in. Even though I didn’t look at the colors I made sure that no color was next to the same color. The designs I added after I finished “conducting” on my paper were things you’d see in an everyday life. For example a theater to show diversity and talent, an eye to show to change your perspective on things, a hill with a girl on top to show you can do it. It represents what’s inside me. My picture shows the way the song felt to me by letting me express myself. This project was called “Feel The Music”, and I absolutely loved it!

This project is very simple, all you have to do is pick out a piece of music, close your eyes and let your hands draw what they feel. When the music is over look over your piece and start coloring it with any colors you want. After coloring the artwork add some other final touches and “Voila!”

Thank you for reading my thoughts 🙂

Ela Kulkarni

Quality vs Quantity

When I was in 6th grade last year I wrote an essay for Language Arts. My teacher told me to write about something new, unheard of, unique. So I kept on thinking for days and days… I still couldn’t think of anything! Finally I went to my mom and asked her for help. She gave me an idea no one would have done. And the idea was “Longer Lifespans… Yes or No?” I worked really hard on the idea and the conclusion I came to was, “We shouldn’t try to increase our given lifespan… Instead we should increase the quality of the life time we have.”

 The Ultimate Threat To Humankind

 By:Ela Kulkarni

        Technology. If you haven’t realized yet, our whole world revolves around technology. It’s used for medical science, work, school, science, math, programming, and basically everything. But my question is, Should we really use technology to increase human lifespans?. It’s a two-sided argument, and there are many explanations for each side.

Medical Technology is Very Important

       First of all, medical technology is one of the foundations of the American health care system. Obviously increasing our lifespans can’t happen without technology. For example if someone is born without legs, we can give them legs with surgery… That would be considered as technology. Even for minor problems, like counting calories, we need to make technologies available to help people manage their own health. There are many examples of technology increasing lifespans in our world today. Like surgery, body part replacement, etc.

The Worst Boredom

           On the other hand, a writer, Gemma Malley, thinks that we shouldn’t use technology to increase life spans… or in that case increase life spans at all. I agree with this because depression is mostly common among retired people. Not just because their income is low, or because they are having a more relaxed and luxurious life than their children. It’s because once you retire you feel like you have no need to live anymore, or no purpose in life. Gemma Malley went to a retirement convention and interviewed a man who had been retired for a while. Here is what he thought about retirement, “I thought my hobbies would expand to fill my days. But it turns out golf isn’t so much fun when there’s all it is. I used to long for time to get my handicap down; now I’ve got all the time in the world and I barely play.” The message that this sent to me is that retirement isn’t really what you think it is.

Is it Really Worth it?

          Lastly, increasing the human lifespan is unnatural and bad for the system of the world’s population. Even if we would want to increase the human lifespan we can’t increase our childhood, or our adulthood, we can only expand our old age. Is old age what you really want, staying bored all the time, not knowing what to do, not having the desire to live? We have so many pains when we get old; back pain, knee pain, this pain, that pain. We might have all the time in the world but do the elderly really enjoy it? If they don’t then the next generations will have to suffer if we do find a cure to make you stay old for long. If we want the next human generations to stay ‘natural’ and ‘pure’ we should let life do it’s thing. Trying to ‘fix’ the life cycle isn’t right. Instead of fixing it we’re ruining it.

Conclusion

          What I finally conclude to is that using technology, or just in general, increasing the human lifespan is a bad idea. I think so because what will we do once we can live forever, relax? Won’t you get bored with that soon? Life isn’t as fun as you think it would be, plus it would ruin the future of the generations of humans ahead of us. It would ruin their futures because they would have to suffer the boredom and not have a desire to live anymore. What I got from one of the articles was that living longer could just make it life worse. In history we were learning about China, and there was an ancient Chinese king who wanted to live forever. He would go miles and miles away from his home to drink potions and gimmicks, but in the end… he died. And not because of murder or anything, just natural causes. This tells me that even though living forever sounds awesome, it really isn’t. Live life to the fullest and have fun, but don’t stretch it too much and be greedy. We should use technology to make our lives better and happier, not to make them longer. The most likely explanation seems to be that technology is amazing and helps us live our lives and fulfill them, but after that what? Once we get old what happens? I’m not saying technology and other sources can’t increase life spans, I’m saying that once we increase the lifespan our lives will be ruined.

Bibliography:

  • Gomes, Lee. “How Technology can Improve Health Care”. School of Graduate – Stanford Business. 25 May, 2012.
  • Katdare, Madhura. Personal Interview. 25 April, 2015
  • Mondal, Siona. Personal Interview. 24 April, 2015
  • Shah Swati. Personal Interview. 26 April, 2015
  • Tucker, Nikki. “72 is the new 32”. Medical Daily. 16 October, 2012.