The Mysteries of the Bermuda Triangle

A few days ago I was doing a little snooping about youtube when I came across the Bermuda Triangle and I decided that I should write about it and the different theories that people have about it.

So the Bermuda Triangle is an area in the western part of the North Atlantic Ocean. It is also known as the Devil’s Triangle. The Bermuda triangle is a region where several ships and aircraft have been told to have disappeared due to inexplicable circumstances. This area is around 500,000 square miles of ocean, which adds up to a large region.

When Christopher Columbus has sailed through this area on his way to the Americas/New World, on his first voyage he apparently claimed that, “A great flame of fire crashed into the sea one night and that a stranger light had appeared in the great distance a few weeks later. “ He had apparently also written about aimless compass examinations.

Strange?

I would think so.

To add to the mysteriousness of the region, William Shakespeare’s play “The Tempest” is claimed to be based on a real-life shipwreck which could have taken place in the Bermuda Triangle. However, what is questionable is if the play is based on a shipwreck in the Triangle, how did Shakespeare find out?

Nevertheless, these unexplained disappearances didn’t capture the attention of the public in the 20th century until the infamous tragedy of ‘The Cyclops’ in March 1918. ‘The Cyclops’ was a “542-foot-long Navy cargo ship with over 300 men and 10,000 tons of manganese ore onboard, sank somewhere between Barbados and the Chesapeake Bay.” Yet, the ship never sent an SOS call despite the fact that they were equipped to do so nor was there any wreckage.  “Only God and the sea know what happened to the great ship,” U.S. President Woodrow Wilson later said.” Strangely, ‘The Cyclops’ had 2 sisters which too had similarly vanished without a single trace through the identical course. Now a steady pattern appeared of crafts which crossed the Bermuda Triangle, would either disappear or be found abandoned.

Although all the stories about the Bermuda Triangle sound mysterious and convincing. The one which stood out to me the most was the story of Amelia Earhart. Amelia Earhart was an aviator and had gained a lot of publicity as she was one of the first female aviators. She was known as the first female to fly around and across the Atlantic. The flight was from Newfoundland. Canada to Wales, Great Britain. This bought her a lot of great fame. After a few successful flights in March, Earhart flew a plane to Miami (on June 1st) to attempt at flying around the world. Amelia and her companions made stops in South America, Africa, India, and Southeast Asia and they arrived in New Guinea, on June 29. Around 20,000 miles of their journey was completed however, 7000 miles was left over the Pacific Ocean to complete their expedition.

However, Earhart sent radio messages about her position (to Howland) which was around Lockheed, a ship nearby. But, Howland was unable to pinpoint their destination or the Lockheed’s. It could be possible that Amelia tried to land on water, but if she landed Earhart and Noonan (her partner) may have been able to escape the plane with a ‘life raft’. There was no physical evidence of the plane found by the Coast Guard or the U.S Navy. Several other searches failed to find any traces to Earhart and Noonan.

Was it because they were in the Bermuda Triangle that they were unable to contact Howland? Was there another force which took control of the Lockheed and later Amelia Earhart?

There are several theories which could possibly help to better the understanding of the activity in the Bermuda Triangle.

The first is the Methane Gas Theory. Large amounts of gas are known to exist under the ocean floor and be trapped in the form of ‘Methane hydrates’. If a gas like this can find its way out and rises through the water, then it can reduce the density of the water. Hence why ships can sink over time. Methane gas can also create explosions and the gas can cause planes to crash.

The second theory is of the Sargasso Sea. The Sargasso Sea is actually an area within the Bermuda Triangle. It apparently has no shores but is “bounded by the current of the ocean from all sides”. This could possibly be the trap for the several ships which pass through. This region of the sea is covered with dense seaweed which creates a thick mat on the surface. This seaweed is also known as Sargassum, hence the name. It has been said that “the Sargasso Sea remains calm with its surrounding currents, a subtropical gyre is formed here. As a result, the entire sea area with its mat like weeds slowly rotates clockwise.”

The third Theory is of the Hexagonal clouds which form Air Bombs. Scientist and meteorologists have confirmed that there is a formation of strange hexagonal shaped clouds which have straight edges in the Bermuda Triangle. It has been confirmed that these clouds are like air bombs. These air bombs can send out winds to the sea at speeds of 170mph which is dangerous for aircraft and ships. These bombs’ explosions can also create gigantic waves (45 feet) and create winds around 100mph which can similarly be extremely dangerous.

There are several other theories such as the Electronic one which states that there is an electronic fog which causes electronic instruments to malfunction and later cause ships to disintegrate. Another theory like the Treacherous Underwater reefs which could have possibly sunken the ships. There is always the possibility of Whirlpools and Blue Holes which can cause ships to get sucked into. Strange weather, hurricane and freak waves (as high as 30m) could also possibly be the cause.

The truth is that we will never really know what happens in the Bermuda Triangle, nor will we know what happened to the 50+ ships and 20+ planes which have disappeared in this incredibly dangerous region.

Like many other phenomenon of the universe, this remains unexplained.

Image result for bermuda triangle

 

sites:

https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/amelia-earhart-disappears

https://www.history.com/topics/bermuda-triangle

https://bigthink.com/paul-ratner/the-mystery-of-the-bermuda-triangle-may-finally-be-solved

https://www.bermuda-attractions.com/bermuda2_000061.htm

Columbine High School Shooting

At Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, two teens went on a shooting spree on April 20, 1999, killing 13 people and wounding more than 20 others before turning their guns on themselves and committing suicide. The Columbine shooting was, at the time, the worst high school shooting in U.S. history and prompted a national debate on gun control and school safety, as well as a major investigation to determine what motivated the gunmen, Eric Harris, 18, and Dylan Klebold, 17.

The pair had killed 12 students and a teacher. 21 others were injured.

Carolus Linnaeus and the Classification of Living Organisms

So the other day, I was studying Biology – Characteristics of Living Things, when I came upon a Swedish Botanist, Carolus Linnaeus who devised a system of classification, which is still used today. Personally, I found this incredibly intriguing as the idea of classifying organisms in specific patterns and tables can help to explain the great diversity of life on Earth.

Image result for carolus linnaeus

 

In 1753, Carolus Linnaeus formulated a system which would help to classify these organisms.

 

In total, there are 5 Kingdoms,

1. Prokaryote – Bacteria

2. Protista – a collection of single-celled organisms and some simple multicellular ones such as seaweeds;

3. Fungi – mushrooms, toadstools, and molds;

4. Plantae – Green plants

5. Animalia – the animal kingdom (including us humans)Image result for 5 kingdoms of life

 

Within each Kingdom, the organisms are further classified into several phyla, also known as divisions for plants. A division/phyla are made up of different classes. Each class contains an order which includes a variety of families. The families are further classified into a number of genera or genus. Similarly, the genera comprise of its own species.  Thus, from simply analyzing the biological system of classification, it is evident that it is considerably complicated.

 

example of Linnaean classification

Kingdoms:

Kingdoms are the most basic classification of living things. Currently there are five kingdoms. Living things are placed into certain kingdoms based on how they obtain their food.

 

Phylum:

The phylum is the next level following kingdom in the classification of living things. It is an attempt to find some kind of physical similarities among organisms within a kingdom. Physical similarities suggest that there is a common heritage among those organisms in a particular phylum.

 

Classes:

They are the way to further divide organisms of a phylum. Organisms of a class have even more in common than those in an entire phylum. Humans belong to the Mammal Class because we drink milk as a baby.

 

Order:

Organisms in each class are further broken down into orders. A ‘taxonomy key’ is used to determine to which order an organism belongs. A taxonomy key is nothing more than a checklist of characteristics that determines how organisms are grouped together.

 

Families:

Orders are divided into families. Organisms within a family have more in common than with organisms in any classification level above it. Because they share so much in common, organisms of a family are said to be related to each other. Humans are in the Hominidae Family.

 

Genus:

Genus is a way to describe the generic name for an organism. The genus classification is very specific so there are fewer organisms within each one. For this reason there are a lot of different genera among both animals and plants. When using taxonomy to name an organism, the genus is used to determine the first part of its two-part name.

 

Species:

Species are as specific as you can get. It is the lowest and most strict level of classification of living things. The main criterion for an organism to be placed in a particular species is the ability to breed with other organisms of that same species. The species of an organism determines the second part of its two-part name.

 

A very common name given to an organism may vary in different parts of the world. This can cause confusion. Linnaeus used Latin to give 2 different names to organisms. This system of naming is called ‘Binomial system’

• The first name always refers to the genus to which the organism belongs to

• While the second name is the species name and it starts with a small letter

For example the ‘Domestic Cat’

First name: genus – Felis

Second name: species – domestica

Thus the scientific name for a domestic cat is ‘Felis domestica’

Another example: Ordinary house cats

Class: Mammalia

Order: Carnivora

Family: Felidae

Genus: Felis

Species: domestica

 

I think that this was very interesting as it was something different and it was the historical element of what we learn in school. I absolutely enjoyed researching on this.

 

Bibliography:

https://www.britannica.com/science/taxonomy/The-Linnaean-system#ref498160

Biology Matters Text Book

 

 

Maths In Grade 9 p.2

Something that I could do differently is possibly focus more and make less silly mistakes I could study the things that I am weak in. Two things that I could remember would be to double check and to work faster. I would tell myself in the GCSE to not get excited every time I see a question and to read it thoroughly before I answer it. The most interesting aspect of the course was the learning technique. The most important thing I learnt was probably basic maths/ the numbers unit. I think its important because it is basically the fundamental thing to learn. You can recognise when you have done well when the questions are right and also when you know yourself you’ve put in effort. The most challenging thing was remembering everything and not being under strength. I can use this as a way to not be stressed.

 

If maths was a sport in the Olympics it would most likely be “olympic swimming”

 

 

 

A Different World: The Long Winding Road of Acceptance

 

“Why are you back from work so late, dressed like a slut? Why are my collars dirty and what’s this crap on my plate? Why are you so stupid, I need an educated woman…”

 

Sounds like a jouska, right? A hypothetical conversation played out habitually in the mind? That terse analysis, a purging talk perhaps, is Deborah Emmanuel’s poem, ‘I Love You’ – a poem about how the past should not colour the future. A powerful paean to accepting your past and yet not allowing it to define yourself, just like how the wind rustles the leaves of the trees and yet does not change the nature of the forest.

 

A Melange of Voices

Singapore, a diverse country of different cultures and communities, holds out a promise of racial inclusiveness and yet has a poet who found it difficult to fit in. Recently, the same poet, performer, and TEDx speaker Deborah Emmanuel rendered her poetry to a group of high school students at UWCSEA. It began with her past, of how she had trouble fitting into the Singaporean community. She introduced the concept of common formation in Singapore, also known as CMI, which stands for the Chinese, Malay, and Indian communities. Deborah claimed that she couldn’t fit herself into any of these categories. To a majority of these students, Deborah had proposed a point that hasn’t been discussed threadbare in the school. A contributing reason as to why students in International schools never discuss this issue is perhaps because they don’t necessarily need to worry about it. UWCSEA, well known for its inclusiveness, encourages student interaction across barriers of religion, race, culture, and gender. “Not fitting in” is an insignificant issue in the nurturing environment of the school. However, students and teachers never notice those who fall through the cracks of the school community. Through her poetry, Emmanuel helped the students realize how oblivious they have been to their surroundings.

 

Labeled for Life?

Indeed, students from schools like UWC have learned to accept different identities determined by sexual preference (LGBTQ++), race, religion, and skin colour. However, what is most troubling is that these categories have labeled us from the second of our birth, basically narrowing our choices, from the clothes we wear to the people we associate with. When the society determines who and how we are, it gives us a particular mindset that we learn to live with all our lives. But, when the mindset breaks, minds are discovered lost and unable to fit into the norms of a society. International schools break these barriers among the school communities, defending students from how societies outside the school walls really are. When Emmanuel says, “I am treading upon the same soil, muddy boots taking searching steps, backpack filled with “English stories”, looking for the place that I belong but the history alive in me is unable to speak,” it shows the mismatch between her English culture and her Malayalam history. In a way, it reveals how UWC students have this “international” English culture which is inclusive in many ways and how when they return to their home countries, their true identities aren’t accepted and they are excluded in the communities in which they belong by birth. The schools don’t equip the students to handle the world just as the world is not prepared to handle the students.

 

Although international schools have allowed their students to explore a variety of minority groups, there are still a handful of individuals who do not fit in. There will always be that single person in the classroom who will constantly be excluded from activities and won’t have any friends for reasons unknown. Similarly, Deborah Emmanuel was never able to fit into the CMI system, nor the westerners who inhabit Singapore. She could possibly have been a part of this handful of people who lurk in the background of every situation.

 

Doing the Immeasurable

Yet, a major question asked during a period of existential crisis, depression or just pure frustration with life is “What is the point of doing something if no one else is even listening?” A question that shows signs of giving up and is perhaps used too often by the present generation. They give up too often when they think something has become too rough or too complex and has slowly become too deformed and monstrous to be taken care of. But, it is important to carry on working as there will be a time when people will start sitting up and taking notice. Take Van Gogh for example, not until his death did people notice his artwork which changed how people saw things. This is not to say that death is required to be noticed, but to engrave your existence in the world doing something immeasurable and valuable should be encouraged.

 

I Love You

Deborah had performed “I love you” a poem written for her mother. She seemed to be promoting the idea that love isn’t permanent and that love doesn’t last forever. Anyhow, both ideas do sound a bit mediocre and obvious. But they do strike a question in the mind – is there only one way for love to be? Indeed, the sense of love between people can differ widely and yet remain the same. It is true, love isn’t unchanging because, at some point, one person or the other will run out of emotions just like how one day, the sun will burn out or the world will come to an end. A line from her poem reads, “The need to have another person exactly as we want them, an unwillingness to accept that everything is impermanent.” This proves how people change to be noticed which shouldn’t be the case. The society should change, or more specifically, people should learn to adjust to accepting differences. The poem advances to the idea that accepting a person comes with loving them for who they are. It admittedly is ‘cheesy’. However, it is remarkably true. People like Deborah who had an abusive past should not be penalized in a community for expressing her ideas differently. Deborah expresses the pain from her past through the spoken poetry which is different to others who may simply decide to keep it to themselves. For her, silence is not acceptable.

 

A Wider Perspective

This talk has definitely given the students a wider perspective as to how oblivious children all over the world can be to their surroundings, as well as how they underestimate their powers. This generation is heedless about issues like recycling or global warming or racism or the refugee crisis, let alone worrying about the few who fall through the cracks of a society, mainly because they don’t want to. They feel as though these problems will go away at some point and don’t want to accept that it will only increase till something drastic occurs. Lost as they are in the digital world, they don’t notice the actions which are beyond the technology, even though historically they are the most well-informed generation. However, change can happen if only they stop for a moment to individually reflect on how they can make a difference.  

Maths so far…

So far, I feel that Maths is really good. I feel that this is really different considering how my grades are improving. I have been pleased with the way the Ms. Harper teaches, I think that her strategies are really good and helpful.  Something I want to improve on is finishing my work on time (homework).  My goal is to complete my work and show and ask Ms. Haper if I have any doubts. Well aside from check up on me… I’m not too sure what Ms. Harper can do to help.

Transient Workers Count 2

For our last session of the first week of the  Writers Workshop, we were visited by TWC2,

“Transient Workers Count Too is a non-profit organization in Singapore dedicated to improving conditions for low-wage migrant workers, perhaps the largest group of disadvantaged persons here, numbering about one million out of a total population of five million in this city. Founded in 2003, we operate with a small number of regular staff and a larger number of unpaid volunteers.”[1]

I feel that this organization is doing something great for the majority of migrant workers who go and meet them because they haven’t been paid by their employers. I think that the people who are volunteering and donating money are kind enough to do that, but the organization itself should have some help from the government seeing as the donations may or may not be consistent. Even if the government is providing health protection, it still doesn’t feel like the government is doing enough. By seeing how much struggle the migrants are going through it would be better if the government had also provided the workers with specific rights.

Learning Differences through The Student Voice

After participating in the Student Voice for half the year, I have decided to stop attending the sessions. Before I had joined Student Voice, I was ecstatic about joining especially since I have had a passion for journalism and thought that Student Voice would be a good way to increase my self-esteem. Joining the Studen Voice had never really crossed my mind until someone had told me that taking chances is logical as you never know what you may come across.

Student Voice in general I feel is really genuine, it is run by students which allows them to have a bond and requires them to work together. But the longer I stayed there, the group had lost its glimmer and shine. I started to feel as though the Student Voice was forcing the rest of the grade to become one and work together. We had decided to bring the grade together through a Breakfast during mentor time. This included classes bringing food like bread and jams or biscuits which most of the grade didn’t eat. During the next week, the whole grade was complaining about how horrible the idea was, which was when it struck me that it seemed as if the Student Voice was trying force the grade together by making them do activities they didn’t want to do.

From everyone else’s perspective, you could say, that the Student Voice seemed like a government controlling absolutely everything the grade did. I didn’t want to be a part of something that I felt was not doing what it was meant to do. Student Voice if meant to help the grade and fix any social issues but it seemed like it was doing more harm to the grade than any benefit.

Chetan Bhagat

I was really surprised when I saw Chetan Bhagat’s name on the Writer’s Fortnight list. I was instantly excited after I realized that this man had written one of my favorite childhood stories, 3 Idiots. Chetan Bhagat’s talk had made everyone roar with laughter and at the same time, gave everyone the reason as to why English-language dramedy novels about young urban middle-class Indians are so important. I personally did not find Chetan’s talk that appealing as it seemed a little artificial to me.

Throughout this talk, I soon began to realize that fundamentally everything that is written or composed is only for entertainment. From my perspective, I see a middle-aged man who is trying to raise awareness among Indians in an incredibly cheap way by dumbing down the actual messages in the stories and increasing the level of entertainment.

Even though Chetan Bhagat’s main idea of the talk was for the Indians to adapt to the new cultures, I felt as though he brought it in, in a very superficial way but he had mentioned that if an Indian writes about an Indian developing, then other Indians would be willing to read the book as it gives them an option to see the difference in culture and education.

Aside from telling us how Urban Indian Novels help Indians to progress, Chetan had inspired us to do what makes us happy and to follow out dreams. He reminded us that our success can only come from us and not anyone else which I think was a strong way to end the talk. A reminder to keep working hard is always supportive. Even though I am not a big fan of Chetan Bhagat, I do think that the ideas he had presented to us today were worth sharing.

The Lost Heritage

Today we had a talk from Deborah Emmanuel. Deborah Emmanuel is a Singaporean poet, a performer as well as a four-time TEDx speaker.

Deborah started her talk with a bit of her past, of how she had trouble fitting into the Singaporean community. She introduced to us a common formation in the Singaporean community CMI, Chinese, Malay, and Indian. Deborah claimed that she couldn’t fit herself into any of these categories and had difficulty fitting in.

As a Singaporean Indian myself, I feel that Deborah had proposed a point that hasn’t been discussed enough in our school (UWCSEA). A reason as to why we never discuss this issue is because we don’t need to worry about it. The idea of “not fitting in” is an insignificant issue which isn’t precisely a part of our school. As a UWCSEA student, I think that we never acknowledge people who are unaccepted. We never notice the people around us who are rejected in the sense that no one understands them and no one wants to. The idea of fitting in forces the majority of us to change our personalities and the way we look. We only change to be noticed. Relating back to the CMI, I feel that this “system” or categorizing people is absolutely unnecessary as it traps people into being something they may not aspire to be.  Even just the idea of being unaccepted due to the difference in sexual preference (LGBTQ++)  is not necessary. And what is most troubling is that these categories have labeled us from the second of our birth, which basically narrows our choice of everything (religion, race.. etc).

I think that a major question that is asked during existential crisis or depression or just pure frustration with life is “What is the point of doing something if no one else is even listening?” This phrase shows the sign of giving up and it is used too often in our generation. We give up too often when we think something is becoming too rough or too complex and is slowly becoming deformed and monstrous to take care of. I myself say this many times, but I feel that it is important to carry on working because there will be a time when people start to notice you. Take Van Gogh for example, not until his death did people notice his artwork which changed how people saw things. I am not saying that death is required to be noticed, but to engrave something immeasurable and valuable should be encouraged.

There was a poem that Deborah had performed named “I love you”. It was written for her mother. What I feel that Deborah was promoting that “Love isn’t permanent” and “Love doesn’t last forever” these are both mediocre and obvious points but it does strike a question of why is there only one way for love to be? Even though the sense of love between people is different, however, it still the same. I don’t think that love is permanent either because, at some point, there will be a time when one person or the other will run out of emotions just like how one day, the sun will burn out or the world will come to an end.

I think that this was the most interesting talk I have been too, it has given me a wider perspective as to how oblivious we can be to our surroundings as well as how we underestimate our powers. We don’t care about issues like recycling or global warming or racism or the refugee crisis because we don’t want to. We feel that these problems will go away at some point and we don’t want to accept that they will only increase until something drastic happens. But, we can always turn things around by changing ourselves and individually reflect on how we can improve and how we can develop in a way that doesn’t harm our environment.

 

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