Saturday, April 20, 2013

AltHist & Movie: Confederate States of America

I was traveling in time and through parallel worlds, and I happen to chance on this documentary from an alternate universe. ;) The documentary from the British Broadcasting Service (the counterpart of our BBC in that world) is about the history of the Confederate States of America from its victory in the War of Northern Aggression.

I won't spoil it for you, but there is definitely some very racist elements in the movie that made me almost gag, so don't watch if you're easily offended. It would have seem that the Confederate society did not evolve much from its focus on slavery. The almost unrealistic Cold War with a certain north country (and it's not Russia) leaves a bad aftertaste in my mouth. It's not a balanced documentary, because only the aspect of slavery in society is focused upon. The Confederate States as presented is as a very isolationist and almost totalitarian country. I would have thought as well that abolitionism would have a stronger resistance to the "slaveocracy". The Presidential family Fauntroy is too much of a focus in the film. The movie's mockery of Christian values, while understandably corrupted by the slavery question, also touches a nerve. 

All in all, the documentary made me think. Today, our rights are being assaulted by politicians. We aren't free anymore from government, as the slaves from the past weren't free from their masters. 

The video is the whole film, so tell me what you think below in the comments.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Midwest Homeschool Convention

Had such an awesome time at the Midwest Homeschool Convention in Cincinatti! It was my very first time, and though it wasn't what I expected, I wasn't at all disappointed.

We arrived on Thursday, April 4. Beforehand, we visited the Newport Aquarium to look at fishies.

The first session I attended was the Historical Clues to Great Spelling by Barbara Beers. She taught on how the Latin, Germanic, and French and other language influences created the nuances in our English language. Grammar structure, pronounciation, plurals... everything starts to make sense once you know the history of the words.

The next session I attended was Biblical Worldview As It Relates to Science, hosted by ministries. Kinda a repeat of what I already know, but reiterations are good. I had to stand up the whole time since the room was packed. Basically, the difference between Creationism and Evolution is not evidence, but the interpretation of evidence.

The last session for Friday that I attended was Professor Carol Reynolds's Russia in the Dark Age of Communism. She talked about her dream on living in Russia, and how her folk tale perceptions of it was shattered when she arrived as an American professor working in the country in the heat of the Cold War. She talked about the Russian Eastern Orthodox Church and how Communism sought to replace and eradicate religion. Professor Carol, who loves music, also taught some musical history of the Russians. It was one of the most interesting classes I attended in my life.

I bought a book called The Writing of God. It's about the real Mount Sinai in Arabia, across from the Sinai peninsula, not on it. The lady on the booth was very shrewd in selling it to me. But I don't regret it. It has some interesting archaeological pictures and essays.

So the first day ended, but the fun was only beginning! Onward to Friday, April 6th.

We woke up a bit late, so we missed the morning session, but I went straight to the class titled Throwing Light on the Dark Side: Good Vs. Evil in Contemporary Literature by storyteller Jim Weiss. He talked about how evil is presented in fiction and real life. He introduced to us the idea of mythology and how its a reflection of a culture's true beliefs, with one example as George Washington's cherry tree. Evil is manifested in four ways: a pure evil, evil with a different perspective, deliberately chosen evil, and banal evil. He then proceeded to relate it to works such as the Lord of the Rings, Narnia, Harry Potter, Hunger Games, the Twilight series, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Shakespearean plays, and other works of fiction.

Afterwards, I headed to the Ed Zaccaro's session, Ten Things All Future Mathematicians and Scientists Must Know. It was a reminder that math and science are ways of objectively looking into something and how statistics are manipulated to deceive us. It was also a point that many solutions are counter-intuitive, and that causes and correlations must be discerned among other things.

Attorney David C. Gibbs III of the National Center for Life and Liberty spoke on Bodly Standing in a World of Compromise. He reminded us that the only way to change our nation was to bodly proclaim the gospel. To do so, one must must actively tell and convert a person to Christ, and actively disciple them enough so that they would then go and convert and disciple others.

Homeschool Programming, Inc., a small business by a husband and wife team, did a session on Creating Android Applications. It was a bit boring, as you can probably tell if a computer programmer showed you how to code something simple in a monotone voice, but I did learn something about Android emulators and the market share of Androids compared to iOS devices. I think I should focus in on Android apps with Game Maker instead of the iPod.

I then met my good friends the Proffitts from CollegePlus! I got a sudden call from Bridget telling me to find them at the CollegePlus! booth. We went to the Bible Bee booth, because Bridget worked for the Bible Bee, and met a of their few friends. They went and hanged out with us as we walked around the exhibition hall. Then we had a dinner of pizza, kinda expensive(although the food in the convention was really expensive as well).We caught up with the ending of a session from John Stonestreet, the one who does the Worldviews Course at CollegePlus! He spoke on New Spirituality: Engaging with New Age, Eastern Religions, and Neo-Paganism. He showed quite an interesting movie trailer about "The Secret" and dissected it.

So we ended the day with just hanging out, going to different booths and shops at the exhibit hall. We didn't go to the Tim Hawkins comedy show because we heard that his jokes were getting less funny. And I kept getting teased on my April Fool's joke on getting engaged. XP

And the final day, Saturday, April 6th....

On about 9:45 to 10 AM, I was supposed to meet the Spydog of GMC Jam fame, but due to lack of wifi and miscommunication, we weren't able to. :( Still, I might meet him next year.

I proceeded to go to another of Jim Weiss' sessions, again. This time, he was speaking on G.K. Chesterton and how he influenced C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. He ended with a narrative retelling of his mystery short story "The Blue Cross". The story was very engaging, and I wonder how I ever missed this author! Unfortunately, I don't have much time nowadays with reading, so I don't know if I should look for his books.

I got a text from the Proffitts to meet them after one of the twins takes the Medical Transcriptionist class. She needed the job, but I warned her, since I tried to take that job before. So we agreed to meet at the CollegePlus! booth again afterwards. I went to Thomas Purifoy's session, Why Every Christian Needs to Understand Economics. He reminded us that economics are the choices man makes with limited resources as a steward of God's kingdom. Mr. Purifoy then proceeded to give us a model of history as a struggle between the Augustinian city of God and city of Man, where economics of one conflicted with the other. In the end, I got a free economics DVD.

Meeting again with the Proffitts and one of their friends Kaitlyn(Caitlyn? Katelyn? *shrugs*), we decided to attend the Teen Track session Keeping Cool Under Fire: Handling Objections with Grace and Truth. Scott Klusendorf did a roleplay on being a pro-choice supporter, which made me almost mad... and then I realized it was a roleplay. -.- He gave us pointers on how to graciously debate by asking the Columbo questions: "What do you mean by that?", "How did you come to that conclusion?", and "Have you considered the implications of your view?". I'll find this very useful in the future.

Took a small break at the Starbucks. The twin sisters didn't go to the coffee shop much, but I recommended that they get a frappe. We then went back to the Junior Ballroom to hear Sean McDowell speak on the factual evidence for the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Along with the cold, hard, historical facts, I learned about his once having doubts about the faith. I did learn that the resurrected Jesus did show Himself to people that did not believe on Him, including Saul and James, His half-brother.

Another break, then finally the last session. It was Mr. Klusendorf again, but this time, he spoke on Moral Relativism. Basically, the philosophy is self-refuting. He also spoke on the 'intolerance of the tolerance crowd'. I'm glad for the Christian speakers equipping us with tools to engage our culture.

I had to say goodbye to the Proffitts (but hopefully I'll see them in two weeks). Then the finale... An Evening With Dr. Ron Paul! We got as close as we could to watch Dr. Ron Paul speak. As the Prime Minister and Chairman of the homeschooled Valiant Defender's Party, it was one of the most inspiring political speeches I have heard. Sadly, I didn't have a recording device, and the event wasn't recorded. I then understood why he stood on his foreign policy as he did, and that he's going to start a new homeschooling curriculum. He encouraged us, the young people, to get involved locally and to spread the message.

Ending the night and today on Sunday, we started for home. We did attend Fellowship Baptist Church, the home of the Fellowship Tract League for the morning service. It was a very awesome weekend, one that I will remember the rest of my life. I thank God. :)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Book: Secret Sabotage

We at CP Group Churchill have written a book! I did the basic plot for it, but it was the writers and editors that brought it to life. I present... Secret Sabotage!

As the war effort against Hitler ramp up in England, more threats await Winston Churchill than he knows. Even as he declares his readiness to fight, "in France, in the seas, and on the oceans," his close friend and long time associate, Brendan Bracken must fight to protect him from a Nazi plot which even Churchill could not have conceived. Meanwhile Victoria Livingstone, Churchill's ward, must confront her difficult past to fight from the home front, which has unknowingly become the most treacherous front of the war. Can they save Churchill from the Nazi's sabotage, which has the capacity to alter the course of history?

Authors: Andrew Eddy, Sarah Eddy, Tori Larson
Editor-In-Chief: Will LaValley
Publisher: Daniel Diedrich
Cover Illustrator: Joshua Cole
Planning: Samuel Garcia, Katie Follett
Proofreaders: Jonathan Lyons, Aaron Campbell

Buy Secret Sabotage here!