Dear God

Dear God, please supply me with the strength and the will to survive. Send the rescue boats soon, and tell my family that I am alive and there is no need to worry about me. I thank you for giving me the tools for survival, but the biscuits are running low. I will either live in hunger and terror, or I will die in a fury of claws and fangs, followed by peace. I will accept whichever fate you bring upon me. Amen

Lord please punish me for I have sinned. I have ripped the life from an innocent living being. It was running for his life too. Please Lord, let this prayer be heard and accepted by the fish that now swims in the oceans of your heaven. Let him be at peace. Although I am not worthy to be asking for compassion at this time, please my lord, let my family be safe, let Richard Parker’s fury be doused, and let me live to see my family again. I know they are out there somewhere. Amen.

Thank you for the Dorado this morning, it satisfied our hunger very well. The only wish I have is that you would have given me the strength to kill the fish in a less painful and messy way. My life raft has become very bloody from bludgeoning the fish with the axe’s butt end; sharks and Richard Parker might smell it. Send my prayers to my family in your gardens, may they look upon me and give me the will to survive for them. Amen.

Oh God, I love you for creating turtles. Yes they have tough shells, but the food inside it is worth it. I’m sure you know this though. Thank you for supplying us with food today. It was delicious as always. Amen.

Lord please save me. I am growing weak from hunger, I can barely drag my beloved turtles aboard to butcher them. Anything that can fill the gaping hole in my stomach would be savoured. Please. Give me something. Amen.

You are a cruel God. The choice you made me make is a choice no human being should ever have to. All I have to say is this. The man was right. Men do taste like pork.

Thank you Lord for letting me leave that forsaken island. I don’t understand though. Why would you create such an abomination? Creating something that welcomes incoming visitors. Yet behind what seems to be paradise is a vicious monster that would bid its time for the right moment to ensnare and eats its pray alive while it screams for death to come. Changing to live, killing to survive………. Is this what I am? Am I a monster such as the one we have escaped? A vicious, cannibalistic monster floating the seas, eating whatever comes his way? Is it your virtue that causes me to live on? Or your damnation? Or is this really the person I am…. How else would I ever be able to change, if being like this was part of my soul the whole time? What I want to know is, will I ever be able to become the Pi I was familiar with again. Will I be able to become the gentle Pi I used to be? Or will stay a barbarian eating the flesh of my own kind. I trust you will guide me to be the person I must be. Amen.

That was something i wrote a while ago trying to display the changes between Pi throughout his journey on the boat. I forgot about it after I presented it, and thought it might be something nice to blog.

IN-depth night game plan

In-depth night is at the end of this month!! Which indicates that my project has finally started to come to its end. So what we gotta do for in-depth night is basically show what you’ve learned about your topic in the last 4 months. And what better way to show them what I’ve learned in the past months is actually do it right in-front of them, and have them eat it as well. So here is what I’m planning on doing for the night.

Physical fruit:

I’ll be carving at my station

There will be samples of of things I made at my station as well

There will be edible samples of my carvings laid out at my station

Fruit on Cardboard:

Pictures of my progress through the months

about the origin of fruit carving

why I chose fruit carving

and why certain fruit are used in certain objects

And that’s generally the what I’m going to do. With the fruit samples what I’m going to do is have a pre-carved watermelon flower out of half a watermelon and with the other half I will recreate what I already made.

I’m really excited, its one of those big markers for TALONS along with the adventure trip and eminent person night. I hope i don’t mess up :S. I’m going to need a lot of fruit too. Apples, carrots… lots of carrots, potatoes, watermelon, and maybe some strawberries. The good thing is everything will get eaten one way or another. I should get going on poster board! In-depth is only a few weeks away. I’ll post pictures of the the big night a little bit after its done. Wish me luck 😀

Oh you Canuckleheads

Kesler has the puck. He flies across the blue line closely followed by Burrows and a Black Hawk. he goes low fakes the shot, passes to Burrows who one-timers and SCORES!!!!!!! Those were the good old days before this years playoffs, the time when the Vancouver Canucks were highest tiered team in the NHL. Now look at them. Although they barley beat Chicago by a hair and are hanging in there with the Predators, the intensity the Canucks used to have has diminished. I don’t know if its just a coincidence but the Canucks game play seems to have changed. In a classic Canucks game Vancouver goes out and smokes the team in the first and second period skating circles around the other team, then in the third they would lose their momentum and ultimately loose the game. They would do this with every game throughout the year. Now, the Canucks can actually play a full game without slumping, if its a good game. but if you  look at the general out line of everything, the Canucks have just changed their third period slump into the Play-off/ last third of the season slump. Don’t ask me why I see this but thats just me. I can’t really complain though, they are still winning games. Hopefully they can just keep winning them.

So now lets talk Canucks and the cup. The Canucks have never won the Stanley Cup in NHL history, although Vancouver did win it some time ago when they were called the Millionaires. Although I say this every year, I think Vancouver has a really good chance at stealing the cup this year. One reason why is because we sent the Black hawks home in the first series, getting them out of the way will they couldn’t get any momentum.  The other is that we are against Nashville, they are a strictly a defensive team as the Canucks are, but we have the edge. We actually have a fair amount of people who can shoot up high (although some choose not to *cough cough Henrick cough cough*) So With the series at 3-1 for Vancouver, I think we got it in the bag, *knock on wood* 😛

Facts Create Believability: Mr. J. RE Modern Media

My friend Jonathan is reading the same book as I am and he recently blogged about how when people write about facts it creates believable stories. Our teacher Mr. Jackson responded to this with some quotes and a question to Jonathan. Since he hadn’t answered yet I took the liberty of at least giving my own take on the subject. This is what I wrote:

“There is nothing like the unimaginable to make people believe” to me I think this quote explains why stories and movies are so popular. People seem to love the idea of impossible things happening in worlds that have rules and complications that are different then ours. The other thing about the unimaginable is that the writer is creating the story with such detail and subtle writing that when a surprising thing like a spaceship landing happens its almost expected yet it still surprises then and draws them further into the book. Just like what it explained in your quote Mr.J. The readers have no idea what the fictional world they are delving into is like. So they read as much as they can so that they can try and understand it.

This topic about people believing facts create better stories is part of our modern media mind set. Why else is there so many comedy shows, dramatic doctor shows, series about troubled teenagers in High-school, and programs about people that can’t drive. We love the fact that there are people in the world that have problems and excitement, and we want to live up to it. Its kind of like how the media shows us all these good looking people as characters in their stereo-typical shows. People want to be like them. I’m sure I wouldn’t mind if I had abs like Taylor Lautners. Its all what people wish they could be and do that makes them entertained.

Believing

Just letting anyone who reads this know that this blog post has a very high “spoiler alert” for those of you who haven’t read The Life of Pi.

People say that stories that are true and factual are the best stories of them all. I think this is why so many of our favorite television shows today are reality based. Its easier to make jokes, things are easier to believe, and people can almost put themselves into the show creating a sense that they are living the drama of the characters. This is one of the reasons why true, factual books are considered the best books.

Another thing about true stories is that some of them are so un-believable that they must see for themselves how it really happened. When people hear about a movie that was ‘ based on a true story’ they all watch it with a different intensity then they would with a movie like Thor or something like that, and even then in those movies some of them have reasons that explain why all these things are happening and that they could possibly happen. Who’s to say a person couldn’t dress like a bat, have a high skill level in martial arts, own a multi million dollar company that supplies the person with advanced technology, and fight crime at night in a big time city like New York or Tokyo? Sure its a one in a billion chance, but there is around 7 billion of us on this earth. Its possible.

When I read the Life of Pi I thought the story was true. How else would the Author be able to describe the hunger within Pi’s belly, the longing for water down his parched throat, the urgency to tame the tiger, and the need to eat anything that he could come upon. It was when Pi started feeling the need to eat not only the excrement of a tiger but also himself that I felt the words I was reading was of a true experience. Who would ever make up a story where a 16 year tried to consume his own urine and a tigers stool? Apparently one person, and for the right reason it seems too. I was baffled when I heard that not only the story where Pi survived 227 days with a tiger wasn’t true, but the story with out animals and cannibalism was fiction as well.

Believing the impossible, is the theme of the book to me. In the book it almost covers the fact that its fiction when two Japanese people interrogate Pi about what happened on the boat. Pi tells his story and the first thing they don’t believe is that an orangutan floated to the boat upon a ton of bananas, they say bananas are too heavy to float. Pi shows them they are wrong by placing a banana in a sink full of water showing them that it floats. They keep trying to find a weak point in Pi`s story still not believing the plain truth about what happened to the skeleton of a boy that lay before them, yet they still cannot prove him wrong. Finally they give up and ask Pi to tell them a different story of what happened, and after a long while of thinking, Pi tells them a story that could have actually happened but is filled with gruesome deaths and cannibalism. The interrogators believe this story, but after asking them which they liked better, they thought the animal one was better.

People will believe the impossible if they think there is at least a shred of truth hidden within it. My friend Jonathan Toews (not the hockey player) explains this and relates it to our modern times very well.  In his blog he talks about how people essentially trick each other into believing things and how they set their victims up for it. Yann Martel tricked many of us by writing a fictional book with the detail and back story of a true story. It is this skill and art of getting people to sincerely believe what they are reading is true makes The Life of Pi one of the best books I’ve ever read.

Orange eagle

So I’ve finally got down to carving my cantelope That has been sitting in my fridge. I was going to carve a traditional swan from it, But I decided to shake things up and improvise a bit and made it an eagle instead 😉 I am a TALON am I not? So here is the end product:

This piece wasn’t that hard to make, all I had to do was trace the outline of the carving I wanted on the outside of the fruit and then cut on the line. I used a water-washable marker so that i could correct my sketching mistakes and then wash it off entirely after I was done cutting leaving a clean orange eagle.

Religion

I’ve been reading the Life of Pi for my novel study in English and we are told something we can talk about for an assignment could be a passage from the book. I have found a segment of the book both interesting and funny on pg 70-77. I’ve cut out some parts due to its lack of meaning to me. If you want to read the rest of the book go here.

“Alas, the sense of community that a common faith brings to a people spelled trouble for me. In time, my religious doings went from the notice of those whom it didn’t matter and only amused, to that of those whom it did matter-and were not amused.

“what is your son doing going to temple?” asked the priest.

“You son was seen in a church crossing himself,” said the imam.

“Your son has gone Muslim,” said the pandit.

Yes, it was all forcefully brought to the attention of my bemused parents. You see, they didn’t know. They didn’t know that I was practicing Hindu, Christian and Muslim. Teenagers always hide a few things from their parents, isn’t that so? All sixteen-year-olds have secrets, don’t they? But fate decided that my parents and I and the three wise men, as i shall call them, should meet one day on the Goubert Salai seaside esplande and that my secret should be outed. It was a lovely breeze, hot Sunday afternoon and the Bay of Bengal glittered under a blue sky. Townspeople were out for a stroll. Children screamed and laughed. Colored balloons floated in the air. Ice cream sales were brisk. Why thing of a business on such a day, I ask? Why couldn’t they have just wlked by with a nod an a smile? It was not to be. We were to meet with not one wise man, but all three, and not one after another but at the same time, and each would decide upon seeing us that right then was the golden occasion to meet the Pondicherry notable, the zoo director, he of the model devout son. When I saw the first i smiled; by the time I had laid eyes on the third, my smile had frozen in a mask of horror. When it was clear that all three were converging on us, my heart jumped before sinking very low.

The wise men seemed annoyed when they realized that all three of them were approaching the same people. Each must have assumed that the others were there for some business other then pastoral and had rudely chosen that momen to deal with it. Glances of displeasure were exchanged.

After the “Hellos” and the “Good days”, there was an awkward silence. The priest broke it when he said, with pride in his voice “Piscine is a good Christian boy. I hope to see him join our choir soon.”

My parents, the pandit and the imam looked surprised.

“You must be mistaken. He’s a good Muslim boy. he comes without fail to Friday prayer, and his knowledge of the Holy Qurian is coming along nicely.” So said the imam.

My parents, the priest and the pandit looked incredulous.

The pandit spoke. ” You’re both wrong. he’s a good Hindu boy. I see him all the time at the temple coming for darshan and performing puja.”

My parents the imam and the preist looked astounded. “There is no mistake,” said the priest. ” I know this boy. He is Piscine Molitor Patel and he’s a Christian”

“I know him too, and i tell you he is Muslim,” asserted the imam.

“Nonsense!” cried the pandit. “Piscine was born a Hindu, lives a Hindu and will die a Hind1!”

Th three wise men stared at each other, breathless and disbelieving.

Lord, avert their eyes from me, I whispered in my soul.

All eyes fell upon me.

“Piscine, can this be true?” asked the imam earnestly. “Hindus and Christians are idolaters. They have many gods.”

“And Muslims have many wives,” responded the pandit.

The priest looked askance at both of them. “Piscine,” he nearly whispered. “there is salvation only in Jesus.”

“Balderdash! Christians know nothing about religion,” said the pandit.

“They strayed long ago from the God’s path,” said imam.

“Where’s the God’s in your religion?” snapped the priest. ” You don’t have a single miracle to show for it. What kind of religion is that, without miracles?”

“I isn’t a circle without dead people jumping out of tombs all the time, that’s what! We Muslims stick to the essential miracle of existence. Birds flying, rain falling, crops growing-these are miracles enough for us.”

“Feathers and rain are all very nice, but we like to know that God is truly with us.”

“Is that so? well, a whole lot of good it did to God to be with you-you tried to kill him! You banged him to a cross with great big nails. Is that a civilized way to treat a prophet? The prophet Muhammad-peace be upon him-brought us the word of God without any undignified nonsense and died ripe of old age.”

“The word of God? to the illiterate merchant of yours in the middle of the desert? Those were drooling epileptic fits brought on by the swaying of his camel, not divine revelation. That, or the sun frying his brains!”

“If the prophet-p.b.u.h.-were alive, he would have choice words for you,” replied the imam, with narrow eyes.

“Well, he’s not! Christ is alive, while your ‘p.b.u.h.’ is dead, dead, dead!”

The pandit interrupted them quietly. In Tamil he said, “The real question is, why is Piscine dallying with these foreign religions?”

The eyes of the priest and the imam properly popped out of their heads. they were both native Tamils.

“God is universal,” sputtered the priest.

The imam nodded strongly in approval. “There is only one God.”

“And with their one god Muslims are always causing trouble and provoking riots. The proof of how bad Islam is, is how uncivilized Muslims are,” pronounced that Pandit.

“Says the slave-driver of the caste system,” huffed the imam. “Hindus enslave people and worship dressed-up dolls.”

“They are golden calf lovers. They kneel before cows,” the priest chimed in.

“While Christians kneel before a white man! They are the flunkies of a foreign god, They are the nightmare of all non-white people.”

“And they eat pigs and are cannibals,” added the imam for good measure.

” What it comes down to, ” the priest put out in cool rage,” is whether Piscine wants real religion-or myths from a cartoon strip.”

“God-or idols.” intoned the imam gravely.

“Our gods-or colonial gods,” hissed the pandit.

It was hard to tell whose face was more inflamed it looked as if they might come to blows.

Father raised his hand. “Gentlemen, gentlemen, please!” he interjected. “I would like to remind you there is a freedom of practice in this country”

Three apoplectic faces turned to him.

“Yes! Practice- singular!” the wise men screamed in unison.

Three index fingers, like punctuation marks jumped to attention in the air to emphasize their point.

They were not pleased at the unintended choral effect of the spontaneous unity of their gestures. Their fingers came down quickly, and they sighed and groaned each on his own. Father and Mother stared on, at a loss of words.

The pandit spoke first “Mr. Patel, Piscine’s piety is admirable. in these troubled time it’s good to see a boy so keen to God. We all agree on that” The imam and the priest nodded. “But he can’t be Hindu, a Christian and Muslim. It’s impossible. he must chose.”

“I don’t think it’s a crime, but supposed you’re right,” Father replied.

The three murmed agreement and looked heaven ward, as did Father, whence they felt the decision must comee. Mother looked at me.

A silence fell on my shoulders.

” hmmm, Piscine?” Mother nudged me, ” how do you feel about the question?”

“Bapu Gandhi said ‘All religions are true.’ I just want to love God” I blurted out, and looked down red in the face.

My embarrassment was contagious. No one said anything. it happened that we were not far from the statue of Gandhi on the esplanade. Stick in hand, impish smile on his lips, a twinkle in his eyes, the Mahatma walked. I fancy that he heard our conversation, but that he paid even greater attention to my heart. Father cleared his throat and said in a half-voice, “I suppose that’s what we’re all trying to do-Love God”.

I Liked this part of the book because it made three religious people realize that when they were arguing how their religion was different they saw from a 12 year old that really all of them had the same purpose, to serve and praise God. This is almost a peaceful representation of what would happen in real life if something of this sort ever happened. If this wasn’t in a book people would most likely be throwing punches and trying to kill each other, just because of the way they chose to praise God.

This part of the book is sort of the kick start to exciting events that come later in the book and I think it sets a good tone of humor and realism. When Piscine started practicing these three religions earlier in the book it was almost too clear that something like this was going to happen, and it seemed even Piscine half expected something like this to happen. It ended in an unexpected way, and Piscine got to continue practicing his love for God under the disapproving eyes of others.

As I’ve read on through the book I’ve realized that this passage was a key component to the whole story line and how things turned out for Pi. It was mainly his faith in God and his will to survive that got him through the boat accident. No I did not spoil the story because in some chapters previous it talks about Piscine in his later life as a writer. It was his faith in God that gave him confidence to survive, and once he had confidence he realized that he had to actually do something in order to survive. It was his belief in God that indirectly guided him to safety and survival. This passage is a really good representation of the rest of the world where there are constant religious wars and people shun different parts of the world just because they complete the same task differently. Too many people fight to show that their way of loving God is better. Yet is it better to love God in a different way, rather then not love him at all?

Why I chose Pi

For novel study in my class I have chosen the life of Pi. Now really, I don’t really have much reason for choosing this book other then the story sounded good and people who had read it prior to me said it was  a fantastic book. One thing that made me flinch before I picked was the genre of the book. Usually I read high paced, gory, yet deep novels. This one is more low key for me but I’m expecting great things from it.

Right now I’m still just getting to know Pi with his extreme knowledge of animals, his passion for religion, hobby of swimming. I found it really interesting to know all the behaviors of the zoo animals in the book. I was surprised to know that you could tell if there was something wrong with an animal just by knowing where it stay regularly. It also brought out interesting concepts too about how zoo animals where happy and better off compared to wild animals. it just put a spin on my whole out look on zoos.

I talked with a  friend of mine who had read the book before and we got into a conversation about the events in the story and if they could possibly be true. I have no idea if they are, but it would be an interesting thing to search up. Well, I’m looking forward to reading more of this book as the topics and ideas brought in get funnier and more interesting.

Progress!

I am glad to say that I have progressed into a stage of fruit carving where i am confident and skilled enough to carve larger pieces. Lately I have been surfing the Internet looking for some good videos on how to carve larger fruits and such. It wasn’t until Saturday night when I was on YouTube that I actually found what I was looking for. In it The lady carves an amazingly detailed Watermelon flower. Skip the first minute and a half, all it is really is introduction. I then watched the video and realized I was looking at my next piece of art work. My mom went shopping the next day. Although mine defiantly does not compare to the one in the video (my flower and leave were to large) I did complete a pretty good looking flower. This is my result

I didn’t do the back side leaf veins because the first two in the picture took way longer then they should’ve and I was running out of time. So thats what I got. Earlier that week I tried to cut up some lemons…. didn’t work to well. Not really the type of fruit that you can really make stuff out of. All I really could make was my lemon basket again but minus the strands because I do not own a zest-er.

I was just recently on  one week trip to Cuba. The beaches were amazing, the people treated you like family, and the food was exquisite. When i was there though, I was surprised to see a squash carved to look like a whale. Fruit carving got big in Thailand in 1950s. It had a huge boom for 10 years then it died down for 50 years. Now it seems to be on a come back and has even extended its reaches to a Cuban Hotel, who knows where else it could have been picked up again. It just shows how amazing this art is.

So tell me what you think. 🙂

MENTOR :D

I am now okay at carving things out of plants. Over the past two weeks I have been attending a fruit and vegetable carving class led by a chef who had been carving fruit since the art became big in the early 30’s. the course required that you bring a chef knife and a paring knife so I brought both (plus my cook training apron). The teacher was really nice, he sharpened my battered twenty year old Henckle. It is now a deadly thing. In the class I learned how to make lots of things. Most of them flowers from things like carrots, turnips, tomatoes, potatoes, and citrus fruits. These are the best pictures from both classes. Lemon twisttomato rosecarrot flowerApple paradise swan

I made more, but none of them were as nice as theses ones.

Amazing news!!! I now have a mentor. The instructor of my course agreed to be my mentor. I’ll be e-mailing him pictures of things I had made myself and questions about how to preform certain techniques in carving. Things are really moving along now. I’m getting really confident and i’m becoming more of a perfectionist when it comes to my pieces. the best part too, is eating them. One thing I think I’ll ask my mentor is how to wax different pieces. I tried to wax one of his amazing potato flowers. The next morning it had turned brown… Man, didn’t know so much stuff could happen in two weeks.