Thursday, January 31, 2013

Student Assignments for February

First off, congrats to Anya re: her front-page Scholastic news story!

Next, feel free to start the morning, practice typing using this website.
  • Happy New Year! The Ramblers and I are excited to start off 2013 with our favorite place to play in SF – at the Randall Museum theater - Hope you can make this fun, all ages, family music show! All the best, Gayle The 2013 SF Bluegrass & Old Time Festival Presents: Gayle Schmitt & the Toodala Ramblers On guitar, fiddle, banjo, mandolin and stand up bass! Saturday, February 9, 2013 Randall Museum 199 Museum Way, SF - Two Shows @ 1 & 3 PM $6 Kids / $9 Adults (limited seating at each for plenty of dancing room!) These shows are part of the San Francisco Bluegrass and Old Time Festival which takes place at venues all over the Bay area from February 8 - 17th. Advance tickets and more information visit: Email with questions or any trouble getting tickets Foot stomping fun for the whole family!
  • Angela:  Look at The Times' "Teenagers of the Times"; anything worth sharing with the Hillwood community?
  • Claire: Please pick one or more of the items below to write about:
  • *Snack Sale!*  Don't forget that the snack/bake sales to benefit the "Pennies For Patients" program will begin next Thursday.  Healthy snacks are encouraged.  If you cut or portion them out, try to make them all about the same size (makes it easier for us to price them)if you use any ingredients that are known allergens please list them so no one has a reactionsweets are OK, but we would like encourage healthy eating so healthy snacks would be great!appearance counts!  When you wrap them up make them pretty and appealing so they sell out fast!if you send them in a container that you need back, please make sure your name is on itAnd don't forget to send your kids with a little extra spending money to buy a tasty snack so we can raise lots of Money for "Pennies for Patients"There is a flyer at the counter about the program and it is also attached to this email.
  • *Fashion Design Class*  Lidia's after-school Fashion Design Class will start on Monday and will be 10 sessions long. Lidia will help the kids make wonderful and cool outfits out of things you aren't even using now! There is a hand out the counter about this after-school class and it is also attached to this email.  Checks should be made out to Lidia Cortina
  • *School Uniform* As you all know, we do have a required uniform at school. Lately we have noticed that it has been not adhered to as well as we would like.For Boys:  Blue pants, solid white shirt or white Hillwood t-shirt, green sweater or Hillwood Sweatshirt.For Girls:  Blue pants, blue/green "Blackwatch Plaid" skirt or skort, white shirt or white Hillwood t-shirt, green sweater or Hillwood Sweatshirt.Tights or leggings should be navy, black, white or green.  For All Students:  Shoes should be appropriate for school yard.  Jackets can be any color but are only to be worn outside.  If kids are cold inside please send an extra hoodie to school. It is best for everyone if all students follow these guidelines. Do not hesitate to ask if you or your children have any question about whether a particular item is appropriate for school.  
When you are done:

Bat on flower from Carl Zimmer on Vimeo.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

New York Times Scavenger Hunt

1. What article appears in the upper left hand corner of the home page?  What kind of article is it?  new or opinion? 

 Dozens Still Feared Captive, Algeria Seeks ‘Peaceful’ End


2. What article is featured in the middle of the home page, with the picture?  Is it news or opinion?   


3. What heading do you see in the box on the right hand side of the home page?  What can you assume about the articles whose headlines you see here? 

To say what they think.

4. Write the headline of the editorial.

 The opinion pages.

5. What Op-Ed pieces do you see in today's paper? 

  • Brooks: Next Four Years
  • Krugman: The Dwindling Deficit
  • Cohen: Blight of Return

6. Write the names of the columnists whose work appears.

  • Adam Nossiter
  • Rick Gladstone
  • Steven Erlanger
  • Michael Cooper
  • Dalia Sussman
  • Al Baker
  • Mark Santora
  • Gina Kolata
  • Michael Barbaro
  • Matt Flegenheimer
  • Jad Mouawad
  • Christopher Drew
  • Margalit Fox
7. Scroll down the menu on the left hand side of the page.  In which section are you sure you'll see opinion pieces? 

Where it says Opinion.  The article is called The Long Wait.

8. Write two headlines in the Arts section.  Are these news or opinion articles? 

  • The Spirits Are Back in Force in Brooklyn:  News
  • A Place to Put All Those Curiosities:  News
9. write down two headlines from Health.  Are these news or opinion articles?

  • Comparing the Quality of Care in Medicare options.  News
  • Segregation Linked in Study with Lung Cancer Deaths.  News  

This is the scavenger hunt that i did.  The answers may not all be right but i did and tried my best to figure them out.  I hope, if you are one of those people who did it, I hope you got all of the right answers as well!!!

Written By:  Claire :) 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Rubina and Anya Interview

I interviewed Anya on the story she wrote on the Herald.
Today Natasha and I Built a pasta car. I now what your thinking didm't you do it with Oliver and did it before. Ya I did it with Oliver, but now I did it myself because Natasha did her's so I told her I can put her name on mine. First I made the wheels       and then add the outside it took ann hour but it is good and it rolls. This is how I made the macaroni  car.

River Otters Returning to San Francisco!

A River Otter named Sutro Sam by local biologists searches for fish to feed on at the Sutro Baths on December 30, 2012 in San Francisco, Calif. Photo: Sean Havey, The Chronicle
Sutro Sam
A new furry friend has come to San Francisco, Sutro Sam the river otter.  San Francisco hasn't had a single river otter in 50 years!  Sutro Sam is eating the large goldfish that residents have left in the pond in Sutro Baths.

Sutro Sam is not afraid of humans surprisingly.  Also, he looks very well fed.  Sutro Sam is believed to have swum all the way from Marin to San Francisco.  Sutro Sam is a young male.  He came to San Francisco, because once an otter reaches maturity, they break off from the group.  Sutro Baths is a perfect location for Sutro Sam, because it is filled with fresh water from an underground well, and it is right next to the ocean so he can catch fish.

River Otters are only two-feet long and only weigh 17-25 pounds.  River otters are an endangered species, because they were hunted for their pelts and they were poisoned by gold mining.  River otters can live in freshwater, saltwater, and brackish water.  They are very agile on land and they can even climb trees!

A river otter, not Sutro Sam, climbing a tree.

MEFISTOFELE at the San Francisco Opera

Ever heard of Goethe? What about Faust? The San Francisco Opera proudly presents Mefistofele by Arrigo Boito. The cast includes Ildar Abdrazakov, Ramon Vargas, and Patricia Racette. The story is based on Goethe's genius play Faust. There is an opera called Faust by Charles Gounod. A few years ago, Patricia Racette starred in Gounod's Faust as Margarita in the SF Opera. This year, she stars as Margarita just in Boito's Mefistofele. The performance is conducted by Nicola Luisotti.

The Paste of Pasta

    You may have an electric car, or a gasoline powered car, but do you have a pasta car?! Here at Hillwood we've been working on cars made of only glue and pasta! After the first day, we learned wheels aren't very easy to make, especially the kind we were using. Pasta wheels aren't the best due to their bumpy surface. The next time we used mint lifesavers instead. This time worked a lot better than the last. My partner and I finished our first prototype. Turns out that we also needed to move the wheels farther out so they didn't hit the sides.
    We learned a lot about pasta cars and how they work. So far it was one of our best and most educating projects! I personally can't wait for our next work shop style class.
    You can make your own speget-tacullar car invention! If you do, tell us about it! We'd love to hear!
                    -Kennedy S.

How To Prevent Liars From Lying

The only way to prevent liars from lying is to know the truth before hand. But not all of us know the truth.  Consider what the person is saying and think about the facts you already have. For example, Manti Te'o fooled journalist to the point that they didn't know what was a hoax and what was not. Supposedly, Manti Te'o's girlfriend and grandmother died. The existence of his girlfriend is doubted.

Now, to prevent such things from happening to you, you should investigate more before publishing a story on the matter. There are three types of liars: compulsive liars, sociopaths and chronic liars. A compulsive liar lies for the fun of it. He or she doesn't care whether he/she will gain something from it. A sociopath lies to gain something. He or she does care about what effect his/her words have over people around. Chronic liars are usually people with Antisocial Personality Disorder and Munchhausen's Disorder. Narcissists also have a tendency to lie all the time. 

Pathological liars KNOW that they are lying. They are aware of it, but once they say the lie they believe it is true. When a liar is lying, physical movement is limited. Liars try not to make eye contact and they are not comfortable with pauses in the conversation. 

Well, that's all we can tell you, folks! Do you believe us...? We may have been lying but you can't tell because you can't see us... :)

Written by: Rubina and Angela 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Noodle Car

Anya's and my first prototype Gollum. Unfortunately, I dropped him on the car seat and he won't be membered for a while.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Making A Car Out Of Pasta

Today Oliver and I made a car out of pasta! This was very hard to do. We all watched a video how to make a car out of pasta. They said they want to see if the car actually moved when you are done with it. At the end of the class Oliver broke the car. But, he is trying to fix it once again at the last minute. We used many types of pasta. The hardest part was the wheels. Every time  we tried to make the wheels it would break for everyone, so we cheated a little bit and used mints but some people did not use mints. At the end of the day Oliver and I did not succeed in making our car out of pasta. It was still fun, but we did get burned by the glue gun a little bit. At least we tried and we had fun!

The Years Most Annoying Words

"Whatever", "like", and "just sayin'" is in the list of the most annoying words of the year.

"Whatever" has been the years most annoying word for the past four years according to the Marist Institute for Public Opinion in Poughkeepsie, New York.  In December, researchers interviewed 1,246 adults in the U.S.  Thirty-Two percent said that whatever is the most irritating.

Next on the list is "like".  Twenty-One percent said that they dont like the word. People between ages 18 to 29 are the most common to say "like".

People under 45 were more than twice as likely to say "just sayin'" than people over the age of 45.

Now you know not to say these word because they are part of the annoying word list. Just sayin'! :)

project: speedy spagetti

   Today we learned that not all things you make with spagetti are easy. Sure mac n' cheese and pesto are easy to make out of elbow pasta, but what about a working mini car?! Seems simple but its not. Wheels and a roof is all you need, but its not just that. Turns out getting turning wheels isn't  all too easy. You've got to use spagetti ravioli and tube pasta and even then it wont work! Add glue or mints to make something round, nope.  Practically no one finished their project. We learned not to judge a project on its instructions. Next time maybe we'll get the picture and finish our UPO... Unidentified Pasta Object!
-Kennedy S.

Noodle Cars

Today, everyone made a car out of raw noodles. Natasha and I worked on one car but couldn't get the noodle wheels to roll. We tried to make them rounder but it didn't work. Then Natasha made another body of a car but it looked like a skateboard. Mrs. Moorhead gave out a few mints and Natasha grabbed four and since they did not have a hole in the center, we tried to make one. We split the mints in half and then glued them back together without a center. We then put them onto the skateboard looking car but they kept falling over because there was so much space.

Anya and I Make A Noodle Car

This week during our meeting of The Herald, Anya and I have teamed up to make a car out of noodles. The whole Herald is making a noodle car. We have four types of noodles as our sources: Lasagna, Spaghetti, De Cecco, and Maestri Pastai.

Mastri Pastai are going to be our wheels. Anya and I are cutting the sharp edges off to make them more round for wheels.

After five minutes of hopping pasta we have finally produced four round wheels. Maestri Pastai has not let us down!

I have finally produced a prototype! Unfortunately, this prototype does not work at all. I glued the wheels, Maestri Pastai, to Spaghetti which was placed inside De Cecco. Lasagna served as the body of the car. Anya is working on the next idea. It takes a while to make it actually stand. I shall call my first prototype Gollum, (hehe). I await with anticipation Anya's first prototype.

Our neighbors on the job, Angela and Natasha, decided to use mints for their wheels. We'll see what comes out of these.

Angela and Natasha have completed their first prototype but it doesn't work.

I'll add a photo of Gollum in my succeeding post.

Anya has finished her first prototype. It doesn't roll at all. The wheels aren't tall enough. But always remember: Gib niemals auf! Never give up!

Written by: Rubina Mazurka

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Hypnotism: How Can I Withstand?

Ever been hypnotized? Maybe by a hypnotherapist? Or a complete stranger? There's no difference. No matter who does it, the process is the same. But have you ever wondered if you can withstand? You'd be surprised but there actually is one simple way to avoid hypnos. Trust. If you happen to trust the person performing the act upon you, the person is your master. Or at least for the time while he is hypnotizing.

When you get hypnotized, you are capable of doing terrible things without even knowing or wishing to! If the hypnotizer tells you that you are going to get murdered by so-and-so tomorrow, you might, unwillingly, go and murder that person in order to save yourself from the potential murderer. Not to mention that the person probably had no intention of killing so. Such is the power of hypnos.

Why do we sometimes trust a complete stranger who is hypnotizing us? We don't understand that sometimes we trust a person without intending to. When a person is talking to us, we listen to everything he's saying and if he wishes to hypnotize you, he'll say nice things. Oh, you look so great today! How wonderful is your jacket! I adore your work! Your style is just royal, only kings and queens dressed like this! and other gibberish which makes us somewhat happy. When you listen to all of this, you don't realize how you begin to trust the person. Wow, he seems nice. Why should I be worried? People don't communicate with other people with the constant thought that they will be hypnotized. It isn't such a widespread thing to be aware of it all the time. That's why most hypnotizers strive in their "craft".

I don't know how much this has helped you but it surely helped me. The next step is to learn how to hypnotize yourself...

Written By: Rubina Mazurka

Friday, January 4, 2013

Big Cats

Christian the lion was bought by John Rendall and Anthony Bourke for 250 guineas. They raised him with the help of friends until he was a year old. He was then moved to the basement, that they made comfortable for him, of their store, coincidentally called Sophistocat. When Christian grew too big and costly, John and Anthony brought him to the Kora National Reserve. Christian was introduced to a older male lion name Boy who was in the movies Born Free and The Lions are Free. He was also introduced to a female cub named Katania. Christian grew to be the head of the pride. When the two original owners of Christian came to visit him in 1971, Christian welcomed them by standing on his hind legs and putting his front paws around them. Two other female lion in the pride and a cub also welcomed the two men. After John's and Anthony's second visit to Christian, they never saw him again. A book and a film were published on the lion.

Fish Eat Fish World

Human eat human. That rarely happens in populated areas. Fish eat Fish. Thats a saying and its no wonder. Most fish eat other fish. Sharks are fish, and Most of well known shark populations eat other fish or marine mammals but have you ever seen a shark eat another shark? Turns out its not too uncommon. Great Whites eat their pubs occasionally. What's apparently buzzing around is the wobbengong shark eating other shark. Its not a new discovery but it has recently been captured on camera. Hands up wobbengong!

 The wobbengong shark apparently isn't the only one with a feast for friends. Apparently this predator is also prey! The carpet shot is the killer of the killer!

This is just another day in the reef. Its a fish eat fish world as they say. I guess the sharks are demonstrating for us!

-Kennedy S.

Improve your math skills!

 Happy New Year  Everyone! There is this website called Math Chimp. It is where you play math games to improve your skills. I would recommend this site, however when you pick your grade level and play the games could be really easy or advanced. The grade levels start from 1st to 8th grade. I played mostly Dirt Bike Proportions, Penguin Jump Multiplication, Swimming Otter and Basketball Equations.  If you want to see this sight here's the link

Jakie Robinson

Did you know that it took 13 years to break the barrier? Ya, I am taking about the most famous baseball player, Jakie Robinson. April 15 marks the day of Jakie Robinson's color barrier of the year 1947. Jakie Robinson played short stop for the LA baseball team. Fifty years later we broke the barrier: in sports and in life. Until 1947 black and brown-skinned were in the Negro Leagues. Jakie Robinson changed alot for baseball teams and baseball seasons.

George Sand: The Woman in Pants

Ever heard of Frederick Chopin? Maybe you have, and maybe you haven't. But have you ever heard of George Sand? Probably not. Well, you're about to find out!

Baroness Amandine Lucile Aurora Dupin Dudevent, later known as George Sand, was a French novelist and memorist. Born in 1804 to a "father of aristocratic lineage" and a normal mother, George Sand was mostly raised by her grandmother. She lived on a family estate, Nonhant, in the French region of Berry. This place later became a setting in many of her novels.

In 1822, George Sand married Baron Casimir Dudevant, and they had two children, Maurice and Solange. In 1823, Sand took her two children and left her husband.

After Sand left her husband, she became to dress as a man more freely. Dressing as a man allowed her to navigate through Paris more freely and gave her access into venues which otherwise would have been closed for her as a woman.

 Her first novel was Rose et Blanche. She wrote it along with Jules Sandeau, after whom she took her pseudonym Sand.

She then met Frederic Chopin in 1831 and they became romantically attached. She left him shortly before he died of consumption.

Her most popular novels include Indiana, Lelia, Mauprat, Le Compahnon du Tour de France, Consuelo, and Le Meunier d'Angibault. George Sand also authored political texts and literary criticism.  She died at Nohant on June 8, 1876 at the age of 72 and was buried in the grounds of her home at Nohant.

I'm reading her Consuelo as my book report!

You can read more classical music posts on The Freako Diva.

Happy New Year!

Written by: Rubina Mazurka

A Game of Math

Have you ever wanted to get better at math while playing a game?  Well now you can using Math Chimp.  Math Chimp is a website filled with math games to help kids get better at math.  They have math for levels Kindergarten to 8th grade.  Even if you feel some of the math is easy, you can still practice by playing the games.  Because I am in 8th grade, I mainly worked on 8th grade math.  Math Chimp takes math games from other websites and puts them on their website, so you don't have to search the web for math games.

You don't only have to play games though.  They also have videos from Kahn Academy, a website to help kids improve their math skills.  You can see the website here.  I found the website really fun and I hope you do too.  Also, if your in 8th grade or learning algebra, I recommend the Exponents Quiz Show.

What I Did During Winter Break

I am going to tell all of you what I did during the winter break.  First of all I just stayed home and played on the kindle.  After the first week of vacation I got a stroke of blue in my hair which is really cool. Then Angela asked me if I wanted to see The Hobbit.  We finally got there and we were in a really long line for two minutes.  When the movie was over it was 10:00 pm and the movie was two hours long.  Then I didn't do anything until it was Christmas which was fun.  About a week later my sister and I switched bedrooms and we have a much bigger room with really comfortable comforters and sheets and it is much warmer and I sleep a lot better now.  So that is the story of my winter break which felt really short but was also really fun if you were me.


The Life of Jackie Robinson

Jackie Robinson was born on January 31, 1919, in Cairo, Georgia. As a youth he played four sports: football, baseball, basketball, and track. He is the very first African American to play in the major league's. He played for the Brooklyn Dodgers. He plays shortstop. He hit .387, perfected his skill at stealing bases, and was selected for the league’s All-Star Game. He went to John Muir High School and Pasadena Junior School. Since he was an athlete at those sports, he was called the region's Most Valuable Player in 1938.

If you would like to learn more about Jackie Robinson, go on this site.

P.S. If you would like to watch the new '42' Trailer: Real Life Story of Jackie Robinson

Written by Natasha and Oliver

coming to a draw.

Thank you to all who supported the washington fundraiser! We have reached a sustainable goal on our fundraising and will be headed to Washington in march! We appreciate all our volunteers and students who worked so hard to help make this dream come true! We will surely learn a lot in DC we have already heard some great comments from the students have been before! A big thanks to all who donated from Hillwood!