The Real Meaning of Christmas

I can’t believe that Christmas is right around the corner! It’s really a time for us to be thankful for what we have. Now, yesterday I received the latest Time magazine, which featured Time’s top 100 people, the #1 person being Pope Francis aka Jorge Bergoglio. For those of you who have no clue who Pope Francis is, he’s the leader of the largest institution in the world, the Catholic church (With 1.2billion members worldwide), an extremely powerful position, yet he’s incredibly kind and humble. For example, he embraced a severly disabled man, washed the feet of Muslim women and juveniles, prefers an old truck instead of a fancy limo, and is someone who actually shows that he cares for the poor and oppressed. Francis is a symbol of hope for the Catholic Church, which over the years, has been corrupted with debate over gay marriage, the controversy on sexual abuse, and failing in its duty to truly dedicate itself to the healing of people, instead, injuring them. In a Tale of Two Cities, the clergy is even worse, controlling 10% of France’s land, about 50% of its wealth, and the churches are full of riches such as gold and silver. In addition, the church heavily taxes the third estate, or the poor, so they could live luxuriously while the peasants starved. Thankfully, that doesn’t happen anymore today.
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But not only is Francis a model for the Catholic Church, but a model to us all. In our society, greed, dishonesty, and horrible crimes are the norm. We indulge ourselves to the greatest extent by feeding our minds off the scandals of Kim Kardashian, Miley Cyrus and Justin Beiber. We obsess over a selfie of  world leaders at the funeral of Nelson Mandela rather than mourn his passing and remember the great things he had done during his life. We notice in the news if the stock markets down two points but not if a homeless man had died on the streets from cold and hunger. We live in a world for entertainment, power, and the pursuit of money because society has taught us to be greedy, and to worship the god Want. This teachings tell us to rely on  only momentary happiness, to yearn for money, a huge mansion, an expensive car, etc. But these things are only momentary- they only last so long until you want something else. But kindness, loyalty, and humility? Those last for eternity. Even something so small such as the gift of a smile, does not have an expiration date.

-Heather

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Go Your(and God’s) Own Way

We all have our ways in life; to getting what we want, to behavior, to getting good grades, etc. The thing is, we never really question; Is this right? Will this bring me only temporary happiness? Will this hurt me in the long run? I faced these questions when I went to church for the first time in my life today with my friend Hunter. There, the pastor led a sermon about God’s gift to us (Jesus), and how we don’t recognize that Jesus was the greatest gift of all time. Nowadays, we satisfy ourselves with only momentary happiness but forget about pleasing God, and going His way. Society today has shaped us into literally relying on the IDEAS of being fabulously wealthy, famous, and beautiful, tricking us into thinking that it would give us eternal peace, but it actually causes us to crave for more, like Ben and Jerry’s Chunky Monkey. chunkymonkey
Now, to me, I found this all very interesting, but it also seemed overwhelming and complicated. Just like English Honors 2 class! Reading 3 chapters a day of a Tale of Two Cities, trying to translate the text into the modern dialect, in addition to symbolism, mood, characters, etc can be VERY overtaxing. In the novel, Sidney Carton, or “the jackal,” is a drunkard, nobody likes him, and he is so disappointed in himself that he feels doomed to failure and that he is unworthy of comfort. In the book, Sydney went his own way, without God in his life, and as a result, fell to poverty and the verge of collapse. Most of us aren’t like Sydney though, and back to me feeling overwhelmed, I asked; Have I been greedy? Have I been putting pleasing myself before God? Are my goals right, meaning they’re approved by God? At the end of the day, however I came down to a conclusion; Even though my way would not exactly follow the path of appeasing Christ, just having God in my life and praying to Him every day along with making the right choices is allright. I know, it isn’t perfect but it’s something, and sooner than later, that something is bound to turn into something greater than myself. I just need to go my own way, while following God’s plan.

-Heather

Guacamol E and Chips

When we think of moles, we think of cute brown fuzzy balls of fur with tiny eyes and a long snout, right? Or you might think of an annoying bump of skin with a few stray hairs. But often times, you probably wouldn’t think of mols. Now, what are mols? A mol is the number of atoms in 12 grams of carbon, which is 6.022×10^23, and they’re used to measure the quantity of each element in the periodic table, multiplied by that element’s average mass. So, one mol for each element is the same-6.022×10^23!

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Just to give you an image of you huge that number is, imagine a blanket of marshmallows 19 kilometers thick that covered every inch of the Earth, which would be one mol of marshmallows. That’s a lot of marshmallows!

 Q: Hey Heather, what’s the number of moles in 80g of Na(sodium)?

  A: The average atomic mass for Na is 22.99, which equals 1 mole, so now we need to know how many moles there are in 80g of the element. Let’s set up an equation; 22.99g/1 mole x 80g/?mols  Now multiply across with 80×1=80, divide that by 22.99, and you’ll get 3.5 mols of sodium.

Q: Why do some people leave the pit of an avocado in the guacamole?  I’m just curious.

A: Good question! Now, avocados, or hydrocarbon hydroxide, has a chemical formula of R(OH)2 and its cells contain an enzyme, or a catalyst that speeds up chemical reactions, called polyphenol oxidase. R represents the hydrocarbon radical, which is a hydrocarbon molecule in which at least one or more hydrogen atoms have been removed, and because it cannot exist by itself, it bonds with other substances. Anyway, once the avocado is cut up, some cells are broken, polyphenol oxidase is released into the air to react with oxygen, so the avocado undergoes oxidation, turning from green to brown. So the pit is placed in the guacamole to act as physical barrier against oxidation to keep the guacamole green! Source: http://desigrub.com/tag/pit-and-guacamole-browning/formula

                                           This is the formula for the guacamole once it reacts with oxygen

                                                                    Last but not least……………. Here’s some yummy pictures of avocado recipes! Just looking at these makes me hungry

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 -Heather