Saturday, November 29, 2014

Debate Dubai 2014

Lets start off on this flabbergasting note. My team won second place in Debate Dubai 2014.

Here's the story...

Winning second comes off as a massively big surprise to me if i were to read that in the past. For those who don't know, there is a debate competition that is held in Dubai, with multiple schools taking part. It was hosted by the Jumeirah College (JC). My sixth form team in Sharjah English School comprised of me and two of my friends. We were capable debtors without past experience in an actual competition, therefore we weren't expecting the best. In fact, our English teacher just believed it to be a good experience for us. So we gave it a shot.

It was a little intimidating seeing all the schools, especially the big Dubai schools that were there. The sheer amount of people itself put us all off from having any hopes. People from many different ethnic groups were there, which was nice to see. Our first debate was an unprepared one, which meant that we had 45 minutes of time to prepare from a given topic or motion. Again, i'd like to remind you that we weren't in tune with what we'd have to do. Our first debate was against none other then the host school JC. We lost. Yes, it was a bad start for us. But i'd like to point out that we were just getting 'in tune' with the debating system. We vowed to do better the next round.

Following the loss, we had a debate against another school with a prepped topic, something we had prepared beforehand. Astonishingly, we had won. We believed that we had used all of our days luck there and that the win would be our only victory. Man were we wrong. We followed up with a consecutive three in a row victory after that, making it past the quarter and semi finals. In total we had won FOUR debates in a row and lost, a close one, in the finals. As a result we came in second place. Out of six debates, we won four. Not bad for a first try. Not bad at all. My team spent a total of twelve or more hours participating in the competition. We brought our school back the second place trophy with pride. It was a good day for us, but we weren't complacent, we could and will work harder.

However, now that we know how things go, our team will return next time a lot more lethal than before. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

The END of Naruto? 5 Weeks left?

Factual Evidence:

It is confirmed from Shonen Jump, the publisher of the number one manga, Naruto, that it will reach its conclusion on November 10th (Monday). November 10th is the day of the manga release in Japan and for subscribers of the Shonen Jump. However, scans on the internet will receive the manga on either November 5th or the 6th. That means that for a majority of us, our beloved manga will reach its end on a Wednesday or Thursday. This confirmation is probably directly verified with Kishimoto too. Therefore it is 100% legitimate. 

Plot Ideas and theories:

I believe that the fight will be very one sided for it to end this quick. Naruto will end up a victor, however Sasuke and Naruto will make amends. Of course this is a generic cliche ending. 

Another possibility is that Naruto TnJs (Talk No Jutsu) Sasuke into turning good. Sure they fight but only for a while. The fight will be more meaningful than full of action. Sasuke will ultimately be swayed by words.

Lastly something else utterly different may happen. Who knows. Surprise me. I really hope that there is enough time to wrap things up. I'd wish to see sentimental moments of Jiraiya, Minato and Nagato. Whatever happened to the Ninja tools near Tenten, Infinite Tsukuyomi, Kaguyas needed army, Madaras dead body? 

We knew it was coming. But 5 weeks. Are you kidding me? This news to me was shocking. Utterly shocking. I thought Naruto would last for an additional fifteen chapters or so, at the least. At the moment, it is the final battle, Naruto v Sasuke. It has just begun. Literally, the last page of chapter 694 shows Naruto and Sasuke exchanging fists. That's it. Now we will have to expect this fight to reach its conclusion in five chapters alongside the wrapping up. How will that happen? God knows. However, i trust Kishimoto to wrap it up sufficiently and no matter what or how it ends, Naruto will go down as my favorite manga. 

What does the Naruto ending mean to Naruto fans? 

Well, for starters some people have been with Naruto for about 15 years. In my case, i've followed Naruto for eight years. That means that i've grown up alongside Naruto and his adventures. Many of us did. It is definitely sad to see it leaving. To me, it's like my best friend, a childhood best friend, leaving for good. The thought of it ending is very daunting. If i could, i would like to sit beside a lake and just stare into the waters reflecting upon my life and how Naruto influenced and entertained it for so long. No matter the ending, for better or worse, Naruto will always be part of my history in a good manner. Naruto is simply...irreplaceable. 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

American West History Essay

The railroads were a very important factor in solving problems faced by homesteaders in the years 1870-90. This was due to a multitude of reasons, categorized as push and pull factors, particularly, the railroads had offered a solution to a majority of problems at the time. Also, the railroads were one of the biggest enabling factors, its benefits seemingly more important than others.

The homesteaders were attracted to moving across the Great Plains and settling in the West. This was due to factors which essentially pushed them away from the East like the migration of people from Europe, shortages in housing, inflation, overpopulation, crime and violence. Rumors of free fertile land, stories of success and the belief in the Manifest Destiny fueled the people to travel West. However as the homesteaders were en-route to the Western frontier they encountered several problems.

The first problem a homesteader would encounter is the journey. The Plains were natural and untainted, the land was unforgiving and rough. Carts pulled by oxen would tumble and rivers would swallow up supplies. Many people died just from the journey and accidents during the journey. On arrival to an appointed piece of land from the government or by simply finding suitable land, the homesteaders faced more problems. The families worked gruesomely together to plough the land. Without properly ploughed land, crops couldn’t be grown and hence food wouldn’t be available. Secondly, water was very hard to find, or rather, clean water was hard to find. Ploughing was also done for the intention of collecting sod, to build houses, though ploughing was difficult as the roots in the plains were very deep. If homesteaders were fortunate enough to grow crops, there was a high possibility that the crops would be ravaged by storms like tornadoes, powerful winds, draughts, and heavy snowstorms. Also pests would sometimes come in large swarms and consume any plants they come in contact with. Most of the homesteaders were originally city folk and were inexperienced in building their lives from scratch with little to nothing to work from. Lastly, the homesteaders were isolated from others, their neighbours would be miles away, supplies and materials were far from reach. Additionally, Native Americans may show up, either friendly or hostile. Hostile Natives would cause problems through raids or stealing supplies, even killing.
In 1874, several inventions came into place, the wind tower was made to extract water from deep underground, barbed wire was made to separate land and the railroad was made. All of these factors were helpful for the homesteaders in facing their problems, though the railroad was the most important factor. This is because the railroad spanned across the whole of the US from the East to the West and vice versa. Travelling across the plains was now significantly easier. Furthermore, supplies, materials, people, provisions and animals could be brought across the continent with the railroad. This solved many problems, if the Natives had caused a racket, the US army would intervene as the railroads allowed for easy transport. If supplies were lacking, the homesteaders could get some delivered by the railroad. Also, isolation was no longer a problem as more and more people came to the West and even settled around the middle of the US because of the railroads. If it wasn’t for the railroads, this wouldn’t be possible as it would be significantly harder to travel across. Lives were also saved technically because if it wasn’t for the construction of the railroads, more people would've fallen victim to the death on the journey. The railroads quite essentially connected America up and had brought solutions to the problems that were previously mentioned. Families could travel along to the West at a much faster time as compared to normal travelling speed by cart.

In conclusion, the railroads were an important factor in solving problems for the homesteaders in the years of 1870-90. This was because it gave solutions to nearly all the problems that the homesteaders faced in the plains. Or if it didn’t directly offer a solution it played a role in making the solution easier to obtain and reach towards.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

CNN iReport: Starting Out

So i've taken the initiative to participate in CNNs iReport Assignments regarding Islam. I made a post there and i thought it would be good idea to give it a share over here. Basically, in the iReport, i have stated my opinions on Islam as a Muslim that is from Malaysia, raised in America and now living in the Emirates. I can't post the actual article here but the link is down below. It would be superbly great if you would give it a read!


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Homeland Poem

So i found this poem that i must've made a year or two ago. It's really reminiscing to see how i wrote in the past. Thought i'd share it!

In a great metal bird, of best breed.
Ones ear vibrates below, a landlubber.
Sounds come to the ear to feed.
Blue is Atlantic Ocean, whales fat blubber.
Air; Land to sea I’ve travelled with glee.

He could leave now or go later by jet.
He left now, the plane went SWOOSH
Jet be fast, weather be harsh, risky I bet
Moderate, safe to fast, danger I shouldn’t push
A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

Arrive safely, happy I shine.
Meet relatives was more then fine
Dancing I am, on cloud nine.
This country is truly mine!
Leaving I frown in the boat line.

Hark at him his friends tword
On boat he won’t forget memories
Next year, he’d go by the board.
Diving with ocean treasuries.
Tis the tale of a mortal one lored
From this day he waits bored.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Pendulum Drum and Bass Band

Just a brief history on my music tastes before we take dip in the world that is Pendulum. They say a person will shuffle through several genres of music in their lifetime. I can approve this. When i was a wee-little boy of the age of about 6, i used to enjoy listening to Linkin Park, Greenday, and The Scorpions (Yes, The Scorpions are quite ancient now). Simply categorized, my taste was rock music. Growing up slightly in my pre teen years of around 13, i started developing a taste in Popular music (pop) and Soul like Ke$ha, Ne-Yo, Usher. All these tastes in music still linger with me to this day, i mean, Linkin Park and Greenday were amazing! However, i now breakthrough to my next and presumably my final stage in music taste. I now fall under the category of general electronic music, more specifically i enjoy EDM (Electronic Dance Music), Dubstep (Chillstep, heavy, brutal, etc.) and Drum and Bass.

Pendulum is like the soulmate for my music tastes. This is because it has elements of Dubstep, electronic, rock and quite predominantly, drum and bass. If you don't know, Pendulum is a group of talented musicians, formerly known as a band, from the great Australia. Speaking in modern informal terms, their music is simply 'sick' (which is good). Some of their tracks are purely instrumental whilst some include vocal parts. Their latest album 'Immersion' has a mixture of both and has met or even exceeded the standards of their previous albums. My favorite song from Pendulum is actually from the album 'In Silico.' The song is called 'The Other Side.' It features really nice drum and bass, just as all their songs do. Additionally, it also has really catchy vocal parts alongside unique versus. The music itself is electronic with a theme of drum and bass which makes for a perfectionist duo.

Pendulum has a rather supporting fan base that really appreciates the music. Unlike other artists or bands, hate is very prominent. This isn't generally the case with Pendulum as people enjoy the music and praise the group. I can say that i gladly hopped into the Pendulum fan train and fitted along with it rather nicely. If you don't listen to this genre of music, give it a try. Pendulum makes really quality music. It shows. In fact, i'm listening to '9000 Miles,' one of their songs right now. Goes to show! Obviously, this is all just part of my opinion until you have a listen yourself.

Looks like your typical band but sounds way better!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Spoilers: 5 Possible Realistic Naruto Chapter 692+ Theories

Anyone who is caught up with the manga is probably either ecstatically happy or extremely annoyed. Right after the relentless fight with Kaguya, we get our farewells and epilogue material. But then something happens. Sasuke. Yes. Uchiha Sasuke does something that isn't surprising at all. He starts revolution. Having Madara, Kaguya, and the Hokages out of the way, Sasuke readily challenges Naruto. But first, he traps Narutos nine new best buddies, the tailed beasts. Naruto storms down in epic rage, ready to annihilate Sasuke, with a face of determination and steel. However, we all know our beloved main character wouldn't kill Sasuke. We've seen the sketches for The Last Naruto Movie and it shows Naruto. But no Sasuke. So now, i've devised some theories on the progression of Naruto and what i think may happen. Just a heads up, the manga is on break next week. So lets stock up on discussions.

1. The talk: Naruto will gradually talk Sasuke out of the fight. After all, Naruto admittedly stated that they understand each other through fists, so basically they have to fight to understand each other. This method is infamously called the 'Talk no jutsu" otherwise known by the acronym 'TnJ.' Of course we can expect flashbacks along the way and some commentary from Sakura and Kakashi. [Anyone else annoyed with the way Sakura is holding Kakashi?]

2. Hamura: Hamura Ootsutsuki, the brother of the Sage of Six Paths (So6P). We still haven't seen his debut yet. I think his role is definitely not over yet. We all got a brief mentioning of him and only seen him through Kaguyas flashbacks. The thing that makes Hamuras appearance more credible is the fact that the sage himself is fading away. We haven't even gotten the backstory regarding Kaguya that we wanted? Why did Kaguya want the army of white zetsus? Why where there those ominous castles in the background of the Kaguya dimensions? What happened to Hamura? BAM. the answer to this is Hamura himself. If he somehow emerges to assist Naruto or carry on his own agenda, we can expect some major backstory talks. I'm hoping for something along those lines to occur. For sure. 

3. Indra and Ashura: The 2 children of the So6P have been mentioned over and again. Man. We want to actually see them don't we? As we already know, Naruto and Sasuke are the inheritors of the will and chakra destiny branch of Indra/Ashura. Remember that momentous time before shippudden when Naruto and Sasuke clashed at the Valley of the End. Good times! Well, something happened when the Chidori and Rasengan collided. They got to understand and meet on even terms as plain people in some white distant area. What if this were to happen again in the current fight, except this time they meet Indra and Ashura in the plain? Naruto could throw out the TnJ and have a little lecture with the Sages children. He could try to break the lineage and stop this once and for all for EVERY generation. Whilst doing this, Sasuke will be there watching this talk and maybe have a change of heart. Maybe. If all else and this fails to happen, then maybe the 2 children will appear via some sort of chakra state just as the Sage did. Who knows.

4. Hostage: I've considered to myself whether this is worth noting down but i've concluded it as a possibility. What if Sasuke were to take Sakura or Kakashi amidst the fight and kill one of them. Or why not both? I don't know. However, i do know that Naruto will freak out if this happened. Just seeing Hinata get injured at the Pain fight turned Naruto into an insta-six tails. With Narutos current powers, he could whip out something on par with a spirit bomb if he were to rage. The only problem is that it's Sasuke and we all know that deep down, Naruto loves a friend. One thing is for sure, we need more actual deaths in Naruto because there just isn't enough. I'm sure Naruto matured further so he may not go on a killing rage spree against Sasuke but it may trigger something in Naruto. 

5. Death: As i mentioned earlier, the designs for Naruto The Last Movie were released. Most characters were shown in their young adult form (about 21 years old). We didn't get to see everyone, but most people were revealed, heck even Temaris designs were made. Just not Sasuke and a couple others. However Sasuke is the important one here. Why wasn't he revealed? Could he be dead? Could his design be a massive spoiler? Or is there some massive change about him? Considering Sasuke is one of the main characters formally known as a deuteragonist his reveal should be of the utmost importance. This remains a suspenseful mystery for us Naruto fans. For sure Naruto doesn't die since we saw his designs. Narutos arm with the 'Sun' tattoo is bandaged. Why is that? Maybe he did something that injured himself there, like a RasenShuriken, or maybe Sasuke did something to him. Or it could just be cosmetic. Psh, ninjas. If the movie isn't canon and is set place as another filler type movie, then that opens the stage for new possibilities. Who knows we'll have to see. 

Of course, something else may happen. I hope that one of these five theories happens or at least a mixture of some of them. Maybe Kishimoto sensai will just pull something else thats really bizarre. But in the end of the day, i don't really mind. I thoroughly enjoyed Naruto as a manga and thank Kishimoto sensai. What will you do after Naruto is finished, in regards to anime/manga? I'm stll not even sure. Any suggestions?

Are you ready for the fight of the year? Viva revolution!

Artwork courtesy from DeviantArt and the artist.
Link to artwork: