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Belle Boyd

Belle Boyd

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Marie “Belle” Boyd was a Confederate spy during the American Civil War. Her career as a spy didn’t begin in the most delightful way. One day her mother and her were sitting at home when a few drunken Union officers intruded their house. They heard Belle had Confederate flags hung in her room and they went to replace them with Union ones. While they were there, the officers talked to Belle’s mom in a manner that she didn’t like, a way as Belle describes as “a language as offensive as it is to become”. Outraged, she got a pistol and killed the rude officer, thus beginning her career as a spy. She was attractive, well dressed and had a good figure which helped her get close to the Union officers. At only the age 17 she used her charm and flirtation techniques to receive information about the Union army to give back to the Confederacy. Belle would confiscate weapons, deliver medical supplies and mostly just give secrets to the Confederate Army. As she grew older, she worked from her dad’s hotel room in Front Royal, Virginia. There, she eavesdropped on Union General James Sheilds to hear that the Union army’s strength was going to be reduced. On May 23 1862, She reported this to General Jackson who awarded her with the Southern Cross of Honor. Belle was arrested seven times but released thanks to her charm before actually being held for a month. However, she was released just to get arrested again a few months later. She escaped from prison and fled to safety where she then married a Union solider later on. Belle broke the gender stereotypes by not only sneaking around and getting information for the Confederacy, but not giving up when she gets caught multiple times. She does the dirty work, as killing a Union soldier and sneaking around Union camps to flirt with men for information. Most women in the Civil War helped support from home and took care of the soldiers, but Belle didn’t take that route. She got herself out there and risked her freedom to physically help the soldiers and receive information that gave them an edge on the war.

 
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Posted by on December 12, 2013 in Women in the Civil War

 

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Broken

This slave, snatched away
from his freedom
and family.
Brutally treated,
felt misery,
in hell,
and blood,
deprived of the same privileges as whites,
he pleads.
The master is cruel.
he is barbaric.
the slave’s pain is unrelenting.
the master’s cruelness is unrelenting.
slave’s spirit is breaking.
Master gets benefit.
Slave gets punishment.
He suffers,
He’s saddened,
but no mercy is shown.
This man, broken and depressed,
finally free but always transformed into a mangled negro.

 
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Posted by on October 7, 2013 in Douglass poem

 

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The Internet is Watching You

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This assignment really opened my eyes to the modern world. George Orwell’s book, 1984, had a very interesting story. The government controlled your every move. They had telescreens that watched your every move, listened to your conversations, and even read your facial expressions too see if you are thinking about bad things, or committing a ‘thoughtcrime’. The government had so much power over the citizens of Oceania. It surprised me how much of Orwell’s book actually turned out to be true today.

1) I really found the article http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/02/science/02see.html, ‘Computers That See You and Keep Watch Over You’ written by Steve Lohr very interesting. It had a lot of interesting facts and information. In this article, it talks about the advancement of machines and systems that different businesses use. I found that this article had positive and negative points to it. At first, it was telling how in a jail they used a surveillance system to alert guards if there might be a trouble area and the location of this incident. Lohr was saying how this benefits the jail and the guards. They have made cameras to go into hospital rooms to monitor if the doctor and nurses wash their hands, and to alert them to do so if they haven’t. Also, the cameras can alert the nurses if a patient appears to be in danger of falling out of their hospital bed. Technology is beginning to help people earn success. Movie directors can see if people like their movie by showing a preview and watching people’s facial expressions. If he/she gets a negative reaction, they can make changes to the movie to ensure a larger success. Technology can also be used in a negative way. In the article http://www.alternet.org/story/153664/5_things_you_should_know_about_the_fbi%27s_massive_new_biometric_database, it explains how the FBI has cameras out all over that place that can take pictures of anyone, without their permission, while they’re in public. If the FBI can do it, of course normal people can do it. Everyday people can use pictures for identity theft or even just to stalk you. Technology has definitely made it harder to have a private life (that actually stays private) and easier to get your identity stolen. Technology is growing everyday, intended to all be positive effects, but of course there are many negatives that go along with it.

2) These topics relate to the novel because in 1984, the citizens of Oceania are constantly under watch. Based on my research and what I’ve learned, we in the U.S. are not under constant watch but we are being watched a little more than I think is comfortable. Google maps has made it possible for anyone to see a house from street view, getting possible information that is better off private. The government is always taking updated pictures of people for their database and finding new, improved ways to identify you. Such as face recognition in computer system and iris scans. (http://www.alternet.org/story/153664/5_things_you_should_know_about_the_fbi%27s_massive_new_biometric_database). I also found a quote in the article Computers That See You and Keep Watch Over You. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/02/science/02see.html?_r=2) it says,” It could be beneficial: a person thinks twice and a crime goes uncommitted. But might it also lead to a society that is less spontaneous, less creative, less innovative?”. This quote really stood out to me because it reminded me a lot of 1984. They had telescreens watching people’s every move. This could have been a good thing to some people because there was less crime. However, the people of Oceanica lived boring lives. They always did what the party wanted them to do. Because of this, Oceania wasn’t a creative country, the people weren’t spontaneous. Another big topic that I learned was related to 1984 was photo tampering. In the article Photo Tampering Throughout History,  (http://www.fourandsix.com/photo-tampering-history/) it shows tons of pictures with explanations of how it was tweaked. This relates to 1984 because Winston’s job is to change the past to make it match the present. This includes making changes to photos. I really had no idea that they made changes to photos in real life, but they do. However, the changes that we make to photos are little reasons, like to make someone look more heroic or to remove enimies. It seems a lot more harmless than the changes in 1984.

3) technology has greatly impacted not only me, but all of the U.S. Some in a good way, and some in a very bad way. Because of the improved technology, there are many more chances for someone to steal your identity, or find private information that can leak out to the public and ruin your professional life or even personal relationships. It is very hard to keep a private life, especially if you are a user of a social network such as Facebook or Twitter. Sometimes, these websites even have a tracker device if you have a smart phone, that can tell exactly where you are and sometimes even post this information of your page if you update something. Technology has made Americans more gullible to what they see or read. Just because it’s on the internet, they think they can believe it. Below is a video clip of an example. http://youtu.be/rmx4twCK3_I.

In the future, technology is going to continue to grow rapidly. Private information is going to be even more difficult to keep unrevealed. This could be a major problem for a job-seeking adult. Anything that an employer can find online can be used against you, for the rest of your life. You still won’t know if you are getting photographed or even your voice recorded. I imagine that this will only get worse with time. These little things will become more common. Eventually, some people might be replaced in their jobs by technology. Just like in the article http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/02/science/02see.html?_r=2, they had cameras that could tell if the patient was at risk for falling out of bed, and even talked about advancements that could tell if the patient was in severe pain or distress and could alert the doctor. Information on the internet will become less and less true, but people will still believe it. The government will continue to watch us, most likely increasingly closer with every new gadget we come up with. We have to accept technology and grow with it, with a little extra safety, you can enjoy the shortcuts that technology creates and still protect yourself.

 
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Posted by on December 3, 2012 in Beyond 1984

 

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Plato’s Republic

Plato wrote this book in 380 B.C. in Athens. He wrote this books to answer the question if its always better to be just than unjust? There are ten books to The Republic, each proposing their own input to the story.

This is a little long, but it illustrates the first book of The Republic. If this was just so interesting and you wish to watch the second half, it is below.

This book was mainly all about Plato’s philosphy.

The video below is a summary of the replblic and what it talks about.

 
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Posted by on October 30, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Oliver Twist

Oliver Twist – An orpahan’s escape of fate.

Oliver Twist was written in 1838 by Charles Dickens. Oliver Twist is an orphan, his mother died a short time after giving birth to Oliver. He lives in a poorly run orphan home for his first nine years, and then is moved to a workhouse for young adults. The owners of that workhouse arn’t fond of Oliver, so he is sent to work for Mr. Sowerberry. Oliver escapes Mr. Sowerberry and his partner, Noah Claypole, after attacking Noah for saying rude comments about his mother. Oliver runs away to London, where he meets Jack Dawkins. Jack is a boy around Oliver’s age, and offers him shelter under the control of Fagin, his sponsor. Oliver runs away from Fagin, when he is forced to pickpocket an elderly man with two other boys. Mr. Brownlow, the victim of the pickpocketing, takes Oliver in and cares for him. When things start to look good for the poor orphan, he gets kidnapped by two people in Fagin’s gang and taken back to Fagin. Fagin once again forces Oliver to participate in a burglary, where he gets shot. Two women that live in the home, Mrs. Maylie and her niece, Rose, take Oliver in and start to nurse him back to health. After spending a whole summer with them, it is brought to Rose’s attention that Fagin is planning on kidnapping Oliver again. The plan gets spoiled, and the Maylies eventually reunite Oliver with Mr. Brownlow. Mr. Brownlow adopts Oliver, and the two boys and the Maylies live happily in the country.

The Mundane World

Oliver’s mother died not long after Oliver’s birth, making him an orphan. Up until he is nine, Oliver lives in a harsh orphan home. Then he is moved to a workhouse for adults, where he is treated just as bad as he was in the home. Boys bully him and eventually the owner of the workshop offers 5 pounds to anyone who would take Oliver away. Oliver is then a worker and slave to the local undertaker and his partner. They treated Oliver bad also. He eventually escapes after attacking one of the men for making rude comments about Oliver’s mother.

The Call

After escaping three bad enviorments, Oliver runs away to London, hoping for a better life. Somewhere he won’t be harassed and abused. He meets Jack Dawkins, who appears to show Oliver a better life. But under Fagin’s control was also a bad place for him. Having more independence shows Oliver that there is a better life out there for him, he just has to overcome obstacles to get it.

Crossing The Threshold

After running away from a pickpocket crime, Oliver meets Mr. Brownlow, the victim of the pickpocket. Mr. Brownlow decides to take Oliver in and care for him. Instead of feeling worthless, and getting abused, he shows Oliver love and care, something he isn’t used to getting. This transitions Oliver from a world of hate and abuse to a world of caring and family.

The Path Of Trials

Oliver is faced with many trials on his journey. He has to find a way out of all the harsh evniorments he is put in. He is forced to go into the workhouse and then work for Mr. Sowerberry, but has to run away to get away from him and his hatered tword Oliver. After finding Fagin and his gang, Oliver realizes that is not what he needs to be apart of. He must run away from Fagin as well and stay hidden from him. It doesn’t work forever, because memebers of Fagin’s gang kidnap Oliver and take him back. So once again, Oliver has to find a way out and make a run for it. Luckily, the Maylies are there and willing to help him out, instead of leaving him to be part of Fagin’s gang, or worse, die.

Master Of Two Worlds

Eventually, Oliver finds a permanant home with Mr. Brownlow and the Maylies, out in the country. Mr. Brownlow finds Oliver again and is determined to keep him safe this time. Oliver also had found more information on his original family, adding some closure. Although Oliver is a true orphan at heart, he does end up with a loving family and finally out of trouble and abuse.

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2012 in Epic Heroes

 

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