Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday!!

Hey hey hey Herald readers!! I haven't been posting for how long....about 3 months :( But I got the four-day weekend off - same as you guys! So, how is everyone? Stuffed from last night's Thanksgiving dinner? I bet that you are! I had turkey and spaghetti but my parents came down with food poisoning so it wasn't exactly a cheery dinner.'s Black Friday people!! There are crazy sales everywhere including stores at Stonestown Galleria, Hillsdale Shopping Center, Border's, and a whole lot more! This is the perfect time to get some presents for the upcoming of Christmas! Plus, some of these stores' sales extend past today!

Have fun everyone! But don't end up in fights if you and someone else grab the same item! :O

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thank You, Judy and Adam

Read more about Jude and Adam in my post today.

Behind the Scene with the Production of A Harry Potter Scene

When you watch Harry Potter movies, you probably only watch the movie and not think about the production behind it. David Yates is the director of many of the Harry Potter films, and he put a great deal of his time into every scene, most of which are only a couple of minutes long. Today, for The Hillwood Herald, I am going to watch -- and annotate -- one of the scenes of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows, where David Yates turns a coffee shop into a tense battlefield.

You can watch this scene, with Mr. Yates narrating it, on The New York Times. Throughout this whole scene, there is a coffee machine running in the background to make the setting sound more suspenseful.

In this part of the scene, Mr. Yates tries to make this part of the scene feel uncomfortable, cold, and harsh. He positioned the cameras to be above the characters' heads to make the room feel awkward and claustrophobic.

As the men approach our heroes with wands, the coffee machine grows louder to indicate a battle arising.

In this part, a.k.a the battle, the director tries to remind the audience how dangerous magic can really be.

And, finally, in this part of the scene, Mr. Yates tries to make it as moving as possible. We are seeing the three wizards that we watched grow up throughout all of the movies do something very invasive. They're obliterating the death eaters' memory. He says that the whole movie is basically about all of them breaking out of innocence.

Harry Potter in a Hillwood-Made Video

This video I made was about the new Harry Potter movie, Deathly Hollows Part 1. I decided to make it because I was very wrapped up in the description of the movie. You can read my post about the film's director's efforts to create a tense moment here.

Also, here is a link to Animoto, so you can make your own video about Harry Potter or about anything else.

A 100-Year-Old Guitar

Two men, Kornel Mariusz Radwanski and James Kline, are musicians who play 100-year-old guitar-like instruments. The music James and Kornel play is called "nyckelharpa."  Nyckelharpa is ancient Celtic, or Irish, music.

Though the guitars are 100 years old, they sound beautiful. James and Kornel play a song, "Greensleeves," that was referenced in William Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor, a play with a main character called Lady Greensleeves.

Kick Stick Challenge with Judy and Adam

Judy and Adam, engineers working with PBS Kids DESIGN SQUAD, made a new challenge, called the kick stick. The items that make the kick stick possible are paint sticks, duct tape, a battery holder, a battery, aluminum foil, a washer,wire, a ping-pong ball, and popsicle stick.

The kick stick is like an automatic ping pong ball hitter. First, you stick the washer on the motor. Then put the battery in the battery holder, and connect the wires so the motor will work. Check to see if your washer spins. Tape some paint sticks together to make that the handle on your automatic ping-pong ball hitter. Then attach your motor to the sticks. Make a blade with duct tape or your popsicle stick, by attaching them to the washer connected to the motor. Now see if your blade(s) spin. Now test it out with a ping-pong ball.

You can see Judy and Adams video at the Design Squad website. Also, you can read older Hillwood Herald posts — both Adam and Judy were nice enough to come to Hillwood, so we could interview them for this blog.

On January 26,2011, Judy and Adam will have a new show coming out on PBS Kids T.V. The show will inspire kids to "Dream it,Build it, and Live it." The show is expected to attract families, tweens, and teenagers to watch the show. Over 10 episodes will be premiered with the help of the co-hosts Judy and Adam.

Also, The Hillwood Herald has been reporting on Judy and Adam for the last month. You can read our posts and watch how our challenges went here.

Harry Potter: No Where Is Safe

This new phenomenal Harry Potter film will without a doubt capture the hearts of thousands of viewers. In the beginning, there is an amazing music piece.

In the film, three little eleven-year-old wizards are now young men and women. They start on an epic journey to save the world and are determined to finish it. On this journey, there is no more supervision no more safe Hogwarts and now that Voldemort is back "no where is safe."

There is no turning back now that they have embarked on a dangerous journey to find the many horocruxes (parts of Voldemorts soul) and to kill Lord Voldemort himself.

Will they succeed on this tremendous journey? When they are on this quest all they have is each other.

Post your comments about the film in the comments section after this post.

How You Can Save Lions!

Lions are going extinct. If you want more lions to roam the land you can write a letter write a letter about lions to African leaders.

First you have to ask your parents if you can write a letter to National Geographic. If they say yes you should write a letter no more than 250 words. You can include pictures of lions, if you like. Then you can print a permission slip for your parents to sign. By doing so, you can have a chance to get your letter posted on their website.

Send your letter to
National Geographic Digital Media — Kids M-4430 1145 17th St.,NW Washington, DC 200036.

There are only about 20,00 lions remaining and 60 years ago there about 450,000, according to National Geographics.

Thanksgiving Tradition

Last year, at the White House, President Obama and the White House staff spared the life of a 45-pound turkey named Courage. The big, white feathery bird had been lucky. This year, I think Obama will spare another life of a turkey for his daughters. Unfortunately for most turkeys, Thanksgiving is coming and they will be seeing the oven soon. Now that it's almost Thanksgiving, turkeys will be taken of their lives and eaten.

Thanksgiving is when you gather with your family and eat things like "turkey, stuffing, gravy, sweet potatoes, cornbread, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and pies like pumpkin pie, pecan pie, and apple pie for dessert." Another tradition some people enjoy during Thanksgiving is get a wishbone. Two people take one end, make a wish and pull on the wishbone. Whoever gets the bigger bone gets their wish. After all this, they would play, rest, or sometimes take a stroll. At the White House, the current president makes a choice of two turkeys, to serve one for Thanksgiving at the White House or to leave them the rest of their lives.

Help Save The Lions

Lions are going extinct in Africa. The National Geographic Explorers Dereck and Beverly Joubert wants you to save lions from going extinct. There was about 450,000 lions in Africa 60 years ago, and now there is about 20,000 now. Adult lion roars can reach about 5 milesaway and they have a tuft of hair on the back of their tails. Some people hunted lots of lions in some parts of Africa. It happened about 50 years ago in parts Africa. Some people in Africa hunted lions because they thought the lions would hurt them. The only big cats that are in groups are lions and the groups are called prides.
By Erion
Soure: National Geographic Kids

Harry Potter: Scene Anatomy

Last night at midnight Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows opened in theaters.

In one scene Harry, Hermione, and Ron are in a coffee shop in the muggle world. They had just escaped Death Eaters (Lord Voldemorts followers) and are planing what to do next. In this post, I will guide you through the scene with pictures.

In this picture, Yates, the director, is trying to make it uncomfortable and cold. You can see that the camera is looking down on them. This is because it makes it look kind of frantic and claustrophobic. For The New York Times, Yates created an anatomy of a scene, in which he talks about why he did and why in the film.

Here (below), there are to Death Eaters dressed as muggles. They turn around and start a battle. Yates wants to emphasise that magic can be dangerous and this fight is more like shooting guns than spells.

In the image with Hermione, we see that she just shot a spell at one of the death eaters, and he is collapsing on the door. The bright light is the glass exploding.
Yates is trying to symbolize blood with all the red. The red doors, the red tables and so on.

In the scene with Ron, Harry and Hermione, they are standing there looking at a knocked out Death Eater. Hermione has to obliviate or erase the memories of the Death Eater which is very dangerous. Yates is trying to show the ending of innocence and having to use magic dangerously, and the wizards we knew when they were eleven are growing up in to very educated young men and women.

How Cats Drinks

Have you ever seen a cat drink? If you have, don't you wonder why a cat drinks with its tongue?

A cat drinks by sticking its tongue in the milk, while the tip is pointing up. When the cat pulls its tongue out of the milk, it brings some milk with it. Cats drink so fast, the human eye can't see cats lap, drink with the tongue. A cat laps 4 times a second. Why doesn't a cat drink like a human? I'll tell you.

Humans have can close their mouth all the way, creating suction, discovered by Roman Stocker and Pedro Reis, two researchers at MIT, a school in Boston. They discovered this by using high speed cameras. Cats can't. If you want to learn more go to the New York Times. You can also see a video on the New York Times.

turky pie - and a holiday comic

It's that time of year again — Thanksgiving! Have you ever wanted to have some fun with your Thanksgiving dessert instead of plain old pumpkin pie well here is a mix up turkey pie. Here is what you need :
  1. 3/4 cup of sugar
  2. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  3. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  4. 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  5. 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  6. 2 eggs
  7. 15 -ounce can of pumpkin
  8. 12 ounce can of evaporated milk
  9. 16 ready - made mini pie shells
  10. 16 nutter butters
  11. 5 pecans per pie
  12. yellow green and orange decorating gels.
  13. Pre heat oven to 425 Fahrenheit .
  14. combine sugar ,salt ,and spices in a small bowl .
  15. In a large bowl beat the eggs gently , than add in the pumpkin and spice mixture
  16. Mix the evaporated milk a little at a time .
  17. Distribute the mixture evenly in to the pie shells
  18. back for 15 min
  19. reduce heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  20. back for 30 to 35 min
  21. cool completely
  22. decorate with the nutter butters , pecans , and the decorating gels

Friday, November 5, 2010

A Thank You Video for the Giants!

Several of these photos were taken by Anya. From the upper-grade class, we (Anya and Camryn) attended the parade, and this is our video reporting what we saw.

To read our feature post on the parade and the incredible turn-out, click here.

McDonalds Goes Healthy

Will McDonalds go healthy? Yes, if they want to continue serving food to kids in San Francisco. The upper grade class of Hillwood school went to City Hall to watch the McDonalds legislation and help protest against unhealthy food being included in fast-food kid meals. The toys in there Happy Meals can lure children into convincing their parents to buy the Happy Meals.

Instead of vegetables and fruits and salads in Happy Meals, there are unhealthy french fries and chicken nuggets with grease. We would like for McDonalds and other fast-food restaurants to provide healthy options that might really interest kids.

The legislation passed on November 2, 2010. Eight supervisors voted for it as well, so that there will be healthy meals in Happy Meals. Because of the high supervisor vote, the mayor cannot veto the legislation.

Obesity is a significant reason to protest. By the time McDonalds will have healthy meals, it will be December of 2011.

The upper graders of Hillwood hope that McDonalds will go healthy. So children will be more healthier and less obese.

By Angela and Rubina

Wordle for Adam and Judy

This Wordle is for Adam and Judy. Adam and Judy are mechanical engineers who work with PBD Kids' DESIGN SQUAD creating fun science and engineering challenges for kids. They visited The Hillwood Herald, so that we could interview them about their lives and work.

You can read Clara's article about their visit.

The photo below shows them sitting at the front of the class with our DESIGN SQUAD challenges. In the photo, you can see a hidden alarm (red cup), two pop flies, and several moon rovers (look for the wheels).

The Big Cats, A Closer Look

When I was deciding what I should do with this video, my cats popped into my head. So I looked for tons of picture that had to do with all the cats' habitats and what all of them look like. The lions look innocent, some are sleeping, and some are curious about the nature around them.

They are all Big Cats, except for a little kitten looking through a water glass.
I think the video is really pretty, and leaves viewers with an impact. Many of these cats are endangered and in need of help. Of course, the cats are cute, especially if you love them, like myself, Faryn, and Angela.

A Big Thank You to Adam and Judy

Last Friday, The Hillwood Herald interviewed Adam and Judy. They talked about all the projects they did, such as the moon walk, the hidden alarm, and the newspaper table. All these challenges and more can be found at, as well as at PBS DESIGN SQUAD.

Sparkfun, a website that Adam and Judy recommend to us, is basically a website that has all sorts of  hands-on science experiments, from flying ghosts to lillypad class. For those of you who do not know what Lillypad class is, it is a class that is "Just in time for that Halloween costume, SparkFun is offering a LilyPad Basics Workshop!"

This class filled up quickly, but the website's staff decided to open a few more spots. The class takes place on October 21st at 6 PM and is designed with the beginner in mind. We'll explain how to build simple circuits into almost any fabric!"

SparkFun ElectronicsThe picture below is the frount page on the website.  

In the photo to the left, I am building a hidden alarm challenge.

Judy and Adam's visit to Hillwood

Judy and Adam visited Hillwood last week and looked at our projects. They looked at our mars rover made out of cardboard. They saw that we did the paper table challenge and the pop fly challenge. They saw our buzzer and tried to make it work and it did. The whole class did the pop fly challenge and Judy and Adam saw that all of ours worked. I asked them a question about some of the problems we had with making the hidden alarms work. I wanted to know if they used a battery from Radio Shack, and I asked them whether the mars rover was hard to make. 

Adam said they used a double A battery from Radio Shack, and they said the moon rover was hard to make.

Judy and Adam saw that the class made the hidden alarm. They made some of our classmates' projects work and tried it out. We interviewed them and talked about what they do to make the mars rover.

The Giants Parade

On Monday, November 1st, the San Francisco Giants beat the Texas Rangers, and won the World Series.

Anya and I, Camryn, went to the Giants Parade on Wednesday, November 3rd. The whole Giants' team was there.

At the parade I, Anya, sat on a newspaper box and could see some of the parade. It was crazy, and I've never seen so many people in one place. I also caught some confetti. Mrs. Woods, our teacher, gave me a rally towel to wave around. I took the MUNI, but it was so crowded my mom had to pushed me on through the crowd.

At the parade, I was pushed against a barricade, and unfortunately, I couldn't see anything. I was stuck between many people, and 3 of them fainted because they couldn't get any air. I arrived at 9:45 am and stayed until about 3:15. I caught a rally rag thrown by staff. There were many news reporters who were surprised by the turn out. I also took the MUNI, and like Anya, I had to push through the crowd to get on.

According to SF Gate, the amount of passengers on BART broke a record, with 522,000 passengers. There were over 3,200 children who played hooky the day of the parade. Some people got to the parade around 4:00 A.M.

Brazil Elects a Woman as the President

On Sunday, October 31st, Dilma Rousseff was elected president of the country of Brazil. She defeated Jose Serra, the former governor of Sao Paulo, with 56% of the votes, while Jose Serra had only 44% of the votes. Dilma Rousseff is joining the democratic wave of female leaders from the past 5 years, the wave of democratic female leaders includes Michelle Bachelet, elected in Chile, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, elected in Argentina, and Angela Merkel, elected in Germany.

Although the people of Brazil still voted very strongly for the continuing of their former president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Dilma Rousseff won the title in the end.

"[Mr. da Silva] hand-picked Ms. Rousseff to be his successor, campaigning tirelessly for her." (Source: The New York Times; In a First, Brazil Elects a Woman as President) "He treated this campaign like a re-election campaign." Demetrio Magnoli, a sociologist, says on the television on Saturday night.

"But Mr. Serra struggled to articulate a consistent campaign message and, with Mr. da Silva in her camp, Ms. Rousseff, a twice-divorced grandmother who opposed and was imprisoned by the military dictatorship in her early 20s as part of a militant group, proved too tough to beat."

Personally, I think it was a big deal, since women are being elected as presidents of different countries instead of men; and women were never thought of as authority figures, in the early years of election to now. Even though women have the right to vote, some people think they're not fit to be in the presidential race. So it is a very big deal.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Brazil Elects a Woman for President

On Halloween, Brazil elected Dilma Rouseff as the first woman president in Brazil, in place of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva!

Rouseff, who is sixty-two, was up against José Serra. Serra is the current governor of São Paulo. Serra ran for president in 2002, and he has a history in politics. He said that he promised to improve schools and communal health.

Rousseff guaranteed to build millions of affordable houses. She also said that she would expand a communal-arranging agenda started in Rio de Janeiro. It is designed to better the features of schooling and communal health care.

In spite of the active fans of the old president da Silva, the election went on to another round when Marina Silva, a Green Party contestant and current nature-loving preacher under Mr. da Silva, got 19 percent of the votes. A lot of voters appreciated Ms. Silva’s protocol on sustainable development.

To learn more go to The New York Times.

By Alysen