Monday, February 21, 2011
they say Mosaic Law has been Abolished
but that's just the Start
one more Clever statement, to filter the disease
one more Thoughtful speech, to put the Politicians to their knees.
Don't mind my occasional outbursts of words that fit together in a manner that I see to be positive. I shower, I think, I shower when I think; or rather think as I shower. Sometimes these things just happen.
In my Law class, I'm finding the work very easy and having troubles staying where I should be in it. Never before have I had to put off doing work so I don't get too far ahead in the class. Despite my misinterpretation, which had me thinking I had another month to finish three questions (turns out they were due last Thursday but I had them done then anyways), I believe I'm still ahead of where we are meant to be and likely most people in that class. There seems to be a fair number of individuals who don't do any work. It brings me a fair amount of amusement often.
Apart from the lack of work, which at times is dreadful but other times a blessing; especially considering my Physics class is right before or after it. It's nice to have time to continue working on work from a class that I am disappointed to find ending, especially with a break two to three minutes long only. It gives me time to walk and stretch a bit, but not let the simple concepts we're working on at the moment slip away from my main stream of consciousness. Lets try this again.. Apart from the lack of work, which at times is dreadful but other times a blessing, we have a large amount of time devoted to class discussion. At first I found this less than desirable but I have quickly grown to enjoy it.
"No, this is not how you learn at school. Where are the questions from the text book that cause us to think? The teacher is not suppose to be able to bring up topics that interest enough people for us to grind our mental gears together."
Well, it looks like what I have become very use to for a Social-Studies-related class is quite inaccurate and class discussion has proven to be great. On the most part we've been given hypothetical situations, along with a bit of knowledge to back up the statements we make and ensure they are not too ignorant to the topic we are examining. I've been quite impressed with how the group dynamic works around the topics, and how it is often apparent that the general opinion will shift over time. From what I can tell, my opinions are usualy fairly solid but will sway a little bit. The way I approach most of the topics is how I would approach any difficult situation; it would appear my mind works in a slightly legal manner already.
I prefer to think of the way I think as analytical, because that is an awesome word and I think it fits the way I tend to examine everything, very well. The topics often address morals, tricky legal situations, and I've noted how a lot of them address problems in our legal system. Canada's legal system is so flawed, but I would imagine every large government is going to have a very flawed system. I think this is just a problem with any big government, especially in more modern times. There are so many new problems that need to be addressed, and so many people who are in political positions are afraid to address them. I don't see why they do not want to put their opinion out in some way. I'm sure most people who are not politically involved are not afraid to tell everyone their opinion on touchy topics that have not been addressed in court.
I'm certain I'm going to be saying much more about my Law class. It is rather phenomenal; perhaps I could almost compare it to my Psychology class and how awesome it was.. except it is not. It is great, but my Comparative Civilizations class must take the prize for 'most like C Block Psychology.' I'm crediting this to the fact that it may as well be the same class, as for people atleast. Perhaps eighty percent of the people in my Psychology class have found their way into my Comparative Civilizations class. It's great. All my classes are great this semester. It has to be the best semester I could wish for.
Sleeping Beauty is in my Law class, but due to her being lame she has missed the past few classes; so I thought I would take the chance to brag about our great discussions and how she missed them and I'll also tack on how much she would of loved being in them. This is all.
Friday, February 18, 2011
As for Dance Dance Revolution, I've been on a one hour or more regiment of it for the past four days. Today will be my fifth if I go to it after school, but yesterday I found it brought back some of the pains I previously had in my left knee. For quite some time my knees were more or less falling apart, or so it felt like. I'm unsure what the problem was, something between osgood schlatter, something I can't remember the name of but it means my knee cap was rubbing against bones in the wrong angle, and muscles in my upper leg that were not supporting enough (which was associated with the knee cap problem). After a lot of rest, they seemed to get better. Apparently rest helped one condition, but not the other. It was a tricky balance but it looks like I'm all better except when I agrivate my knees. One to three steps a second, sometimes even four, for three thousand six hundred seconds shouldn't be too aggravating right? Well that's assuming I play the entire time, but there are breaks between songs and I will sit down to catch my breath on occasion, play an easy song, then get back to my expert difficulty.
And I'm starting to find expert to be not that difficult, again at least. When I first acquired the game I played for ridiculous amounts of time until I was great at the game. With a loss of interest in the game from my family I shied away from it. Now I'm back and working towards being better than I was before, not that I have much to use as a marker for my skill. I figure when I can play the songs on my game (SuperNOVA 2, right now I'm playing Extreme 2 which is being borrowed from Sleeping Beauty) that I could barley pass or couldn't pass before, I will declare myself at the top of my ability.
As for Assassin's Creed, which I am not sure if it should have an apostrophe or not, I'm loving the second game in this series. The story is great so far, and I'm not even that far into it. I think the graphics are better than the previous game, but they might just be done in a different style so it's more notable. I've found that I'm not always attuned to what looks better, but what looks different. Perhaps because it is in a more modern area it has a slightly more sophisticated feel to the environment. The features that were in the first game of this series, I thought were great. Of course there were a few complaints, such as a limit in some aspects of combat or problems with the climbing system. I don't have all the features for the second game yet, they need to be unlocked, but the simple features that you start off with are great. The combat system for hand to hand is great, and it gives you the opportunity to punch a guard in the face a few times even if they have a sword. I've only gotten to use a sword for a few minutes before it was smacked out of my hand by an axe wielding giant, sorry for the spoiler but it was small so I decided not to go back and put a warning in about it. I've progressed as far into the game as learning how to steal, having my hidden blade fixed, and I was about to use it on a guard who was beating up Da Vinci (easily my favorite character so far) when I messed up and then had to leave. I'm hoping the automatic save took place after the cut scene (which I think it did). The auto save icon, along with most of the icons in this game, annoy me a bit in their odd shape which just doesn't seem to fit in; but the auto save system seems to work very well so I'm not complaining too much.
Minecraft, the game of simple graphics (which I love) and frightening creepers. This must be the most frightening game I have ever played. I know I have not played many games meant to be frightening, but I know several people who have and who play Minecraft often. They will agree that it has a ridiculously uneasy feeling at night time or in caves. I am just getting to exploring my first natural cave, after several hours in the world I am working on. I was shy to go to the caves, because I have been doing a lot of above ground work. I have my own cave system that I hollowed out entirely by hand except for a (maybe) 100 cubic meter area that has lava and some natural water. I intend on harvesting all of the lava, well moving it to a cave closer to the surface so I may use it for my glass tube lighting system eventually, and then once I get a diamond pick I will be removing the obsidian from the area. I'm in the process of moving everything I have underground, more or less. Above ground I have a sugar cane farm, that is useless considering when I harvest it I get two or three stacks of sugar cane and at most I'm only ever going to need five pieces of it. I also have a wheat farm which is a good size, but I also have one of the underground which works well. I have an artificial island, in the shape of a cube, that has the dimensions 25 x 25 x 25 m and I was going to put a castle on top of it, but it is too small. Instead a log house will go there. I almost have two large chests full of cobblestone for my castle, which I may put on top of the entrance to my natural surface cave. Bleh, that's a frightening cave. There's a lot of sudden drops in it. A few drops that I'm sure would kill me if I were to step off of them by mistake. This combined with a lot of corners and paths that split off in all directions quite frequently, it is not a friendly place. Another underground feature I have is a tree farm that I put in the 20 x 20 x 8 m (8m deep) room. It is entirely underground, and I carved it all out. It may be easy to see where I'm getting so much cobblestone. My glass collection is also becoming huge, and may be taunting me with the idea of an under water fortress. One tunnel I have runs under the ocean, and the ocean was slightly deeper at one point. This would make it very easy to create an underwater glass castle. Did I mention my unground tunnels? I needed a way to get around, so I started to make a tunnel system with rails in it. I ran out of iron quickly, but once I get them working my three minute walk will be much less I'm sure.
At the moment my plans for my world is a pyramid, that I must just put lava on top of and declare it a volcano; a cobblestone castle, which I have the materials for but I'm going to wait until I'm done exploring the cave I found so I have even more materials to work with, a underground tunnel system that will reach every point of my world if I continue expanding it; I didn't mention it before but I think I'll make an underground cactus farm, branching off of my tree farm, just because I can. I already have more cactus than I'll need (over a hundred planted and almost four stacks in a chest); some glass tubes filled with lava for lighting outside, because I think that would be the best way to detour mobs; wooden house on top of my giant island, that really is not all that big but it looks big; hmm, and I'm sure in a few days I'll have more plans.
It's so tempting to make a pun about Dance Dance Revolution now, but I think I'll leave my statement as 'at the school dance, I can honestly say I enjoyed next to every moment of it.' This may not seem like much, but all the previous dances I've been to, I have not enjoyed very consistently. I usually leave dehydrated, which didn't happen this time despite the fact I forgot to get some water before I left. The water fountain seemed to keep me alive properly this time. I usually leave with headaches, which may be due to the water but I credit it to the loud music which bothers me in most cases. I like my music to be quiet. Despite there being a lack of dancing, I usually leave with sore knees as well, which didn't happen. I even played DDR for an hour before it and I ended up with a slight ache for a few minutes once I got home but that quickly subsided. For the first time though, I found myself actually enjoying the process of dancing. It was odd, though I'm sure my statement saying it is odd will be much more unusual for most readers. Everyone seems to enjoy dancing, I never have though. I'm not fond of how everyone forms circles and always arranges a collective mindset it seems, everyone moving at the same time and all that. I would much rather stand in the middle of the room, with few people around me, dancing with Sleeping Beauty. This happened a few times, and I was pulled into a few circles that I promptly got out of in most cases, but all in all it was enjoyable.
You could say, I had a dance dance revolution.. nope. You couldn't say that, well you could but you would sound really cheesy. Yes, I'm glad I didn't say that at the beginning; turning off my readers to any serious words I may hold.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
I feel a bit nerdy at the moment for this, but I'm curious. I'm making a handful of assumptions, such as a black hole has maximum density (minimal distance between atoms), the area that I will be theoretically sampling will consist of only H atoms (the most common atom to find, and I'm assuming due to the density atoms are prone to breaking down into the simplest atom it can). The area that will be sampled will be 1m squared. Hydrogen is diatomic, it usually exists in groupings of two atoms. I will be ignoring this.
So density is calculated by dividing mass by volume. I already know the volume is 1m squared. I need to find the mass. This will be a bit trickier.
by finding the diameter of a hydrogen atom, I can find how many can fit in a 1x1x1m area. After looking at a few sources, such as a question on a forum, Wikipedia article, and a Yahoo question. One note that someone made in the first link, that when looking at an individual atom (especially hydrogen I suppose) the wave properties of it become very apparent rather than the diameter. Never less, I came to the conclusion a hydrogen atom will be approximately 1.6x10^-15m or 0.000000000000016m. I'm not sure how accurate this is, but it is an easy number to work with.
This means a 1m length, of only one dimension, will hold... lets see. 1/1.6^-15 will equal about 625000000000000 or 6.25x10^13. Considering signifigant figures, it should be 6.3x10^13, but I enjoy it the way it is. 6.25x10^13 cubed will equal 2.453125x10^41 hydrogen atoms. I'll round this to 2.45x10^41.
Now that I have the number of hydrogen atoms in the given area, I will have to find the mass. 1 mole of hydrogen will equal 1g, or 0.001kg. Physics works better with kg, or it's what I'm use to at least. Physics 11 class got me in the habit. 1 mole equals 6.02x10^24 atoms. I need to find out how many moles are in 2.45x10^41 atoms. I think I'll grab my graphing calculator for this.
Some number crunching later; 4.069767442x10^16 moles of hydrogen atoms in a 1m cubed area. This will weigh (going to a rounded number) 4.07x10^41 grams or 4.07x10^39 kg. Check my numbers for me? I think they're right so far.
To finish this up, the mass we have found will be divided by the volume. The volume being 1, there doesn't need to be much math. According to my quick calculations and forty minutes of talking to my friends while a throw numbers together has produced my decision that a black hole must have a density, or at least could have a density of:
4.07x10^39 kg per cubic meter. That wasn't all that exciting at all, but I've had the idea to do this for a few months. The idea was written down in my idea book, and it's been one of the few ideas that I have actually perused in it. Next up may be my particle vibration theory.
Mark Emery was his name, if I am correct. The controversy comes in he has done no crime in the U.S. Far as I'm aware, the sale of marijuana seeds is legal in Canada; and if not is it tolerated at least. He has broken no law in the states, however the individuals who have bought the product by mail order may have. They should be charged, right?
If you buy a gun from the United States, through mail order (as these seeds are being bought), and this fire arm happens to be illegal in some way, the individual shipping it will not be charged. You, in Canada, will be charged for picking it up. The same goes for shipping over the boarder to the U.S. so why should Emery be charged? I'm sure this will last a while, but if he does get taken to the states and is charged he's going to have some sentence to deal with.
They consider one seed to be one plant, which is reasonable considering it may grow one plant. Many of them may not grow one plant, but many of them could also be cloned.
I recall there being two points that I mentioned in my previous post which may of not been very accurate, and now that I think of it the previous post I am mentioning occurred two posts ago. My most current previous is related to my comparative civilizations class. If you wish to read it, for the font ended up quite small, try IE. I'm on Firefox, at school, and the font appears very small when I view that post.
Now, the first point was something mentioned in the video but I cannot remember what it is. The second I wanted to note, was the price of marijuana. The video mentioned something about the price being more than gold, depending on the area (maybe?). When I looked up the price of gold, I found it to be more pound for pound. You can check the current price here, at GoldPrice.org, far as I'm aware it updates regularly.
Flex has started, and my free block has ended. The library just became too loud for me to be in and try to write at the same time; so I think I'm going to find a seat in the computer lab.
Monday, February 14, 2011
So, my comparative civilizations teacher wanted me to make a one page reply to the first chapter of our studies. I have a habit of having a lot to say, and I thought the world may be interested in it. I'm quite impressed with how structured it ended up being. We could address the full chapter, or just one aspect of the chapter. I quite enjoyed the ancient sacred sites aspect of this chapter, and have put my thought towards it and what I thought should of been included in this. It lacked aliens.
The Study of Archeology; Response
Ancient Sacred Sites
In this chapter I found the most interesting aspect to be surrounding the Ancient Sacred Sites; however I felt it was not expanded enough for my liking. I would imagine it would be because the chapter had to cover several topics, and if I had my way this aspect could have been a chapter in itself. Several of the aspects approached in this topic, Sacred Sites, were lacking much information that I have acquired due to my habit of listening to the History Chanel as I drift into sleep. There were several ideas, theories, concepts, and facts (well, facts according to the currently accepted theories) that were not addressed that I have come across.
Firstly, in regardance to the topics that were addressed, we approached the ideas of spirituality, religion, and electromagnetic (EM) upwelling’s. We also looked at astrological significance, the idea of calendars relating to the years, events within the years, and significant days (such as when the sun lined up with something, or when the day/night ratio is equal or at its greatest difference); along with the materials, natural significance, and beauty of the sites.
The idea that you are more likely to have a supernatural experience when at a location that has a higher EM charge, is a common theory regarding why the locations of these sites are picked. Religion has a decreasing amount of importance in modern societies; however at the times that we are examining it was often a staple of life and a uniform feature for an entire society. It was not until later in history, where trade and social interaction extended out of local regions, when religions began to spread from more than just their original source and intermingle with other ideologies. With this change in philosophies and views on life, came the loss of religious values of these sites. This was enhanced by the loss of several civilizations who originally constructed the sites. The relevance of the sites, in regardance to a supernaturally charged area, or EM charged area, is a newer development in the study of ancient significant site, and is one of the connecting pieces between sites all around the world.
Another common theme found in ancient sacred sites is a celestial significance. Buildings frequently line up with astrological bodies, such as stars, the sun, or the moon. Frequently they will have several alignments. It is impractical to think of this as just a coincidence, considering the number of stars and the number of buildings that have relation to various stars such as the North Star. This star is one of the brighter stars, from most perspectives of the world. Naturally, those who would worship being who were thought to live in the sky and those who simply observed the heavens would consider this star to be a significant ball of burning gas; however at the time the stars had more of a supernatural appeal than just burning balls of gas that are so far away the numbers are difficult for our human minds to comprehended. Imagine the stars were your only way to get home if you are far from your origin. What if your entire population relied on planting the crops or harvesting them within a small time period, only identifiable by the sun? Just as we have calendars today, they were needed in the past. Large, repeating objects in the sky were often worshiped for their significance to a calendar or their sheer power it appeared they must hold in order to stay there. No matter the reason why the sun or moon may have been worshiped, it is a common practice (or rather was) to create large scale objects or buildings to act as not just a practical piece of architecture, but also to please the Gods of the region. Who would not enjoy having the largest building in the world, at the time, to be devoted to them with such precision that every day when you came over the horizon to view your followers, it greeted you with perfect alignment.
The reasons to why a people may feel obligated to align a building with a group of stars or the sun has several theories; however I feel the reasoning behind the materials chosen to be used in construction to be a very simple idea. It is what was what was available, and it has proven to be very durable. If people were to cease to exist, in this very moment, what human structures would last the longest? Concrete breaks apart, paint peals, steel rusts, and plastic may last forever (or so it seems) but it isn’t used for building large structures. It’s the stone objects that are placed with such precision that they do not need to be jointed together with anything more than puzzle-piece resembling shape. The pyramids of Giza and of the Aztec still stand after hundreds to thousands of years, just as many other buildings still do. It is not uncommon for a building of modern building to be declared unsafe to live in, and is destroyed. Disregarding the historical value of the sites, no one will ever need to take down the Great Wall of China or an ancient city that has been buried under dirt for thousands of years. The use of natural building materials always brings about the idea of beauty. We, in modern times, find nature to have a strong aspect of beauty; just as the ancient people who came before us must have. If a site is devoted to a supernatural cause, it may be desirable for the surrounding area to be beautiful. This is only enhanced by the natural growth of plants, brought about by the sites being left absent for a great amount of time. The hard corners may become worn down, but they are replaced with a soft, vibrant moss. The dirt floors will become covered in lush vines and flowers. Even the natural destruction of some aspects of a monolithic structure will give it the sense of history, which we require to declare something ruins. This natural aging brings about significance to nature, which may have been intended or may have not. It is a matter of the individuals who built it was much more conscious of nature, in comparison to our modern views on the outdoors.
Personally, I do not there to be much of a religious or supernatural value to these sites; however I have not visited any of the sites we have looked at nor any sites I would consider to be ancient or modern sacred sites. I understand the idea of there being an EM charge higher than most areas, but I do not know if I would be able to note it at all. Perhaps the people who built these sites, due to their different views surrounding nature and their knowledge of it, would be more sensitive to the slight differences. The significance to the stars, sun, and moon (and a handful of other celestial bodies) must have been a great idea for the people who created them but they are no longer needed. It is interesting though, to consider how they would have created these and the efforts put into them. I have very little of the stars, and if I were to learn about them I doubt I would try to learn from first hand observations. We have become so disconnected to nature, and do not take the time to observe the stars. Far as I’m concerned, once the sun has gone down and the sky’s are clear the stars are nice to watch as I walk home but nothing I would spend the time watching to learn their patterns. I have books and the Internet for that. I think it’s great that the natural beauty of the sites can be addressed, still after such time. Many of the sites I would love to see as they were built, to see the original paint and all the features that time has deprived us of. Perhaps, in some cases, time has enhanced the appearance of the sites. Ruins have an ancient, mystical appearance. Modern large scale buildings have a sense of functionality, and rarely many artistic features. I think it’s nice though, that more buildings are leaning towards an artistic view. Perhaps we are moving back to our origins?
In regardance to the aspects we did not approach, I can think of a few however the large, largely conspiracy theory based concepts, that I felt were not even glanced upon, was the (often farfetched but still interesting) idea of aliens. Almost every one of the sites we examined has ancient astronaut or ancient alien theories attached to them. Construction of many of the large scale buildings are thought to be related to advanced technologies that could have come from the assistance of extraterrestrial beings. Along with this is the ideas of magic, and even ideas regarding ancient civilizations having much more advanced technologies than us but many of these have become lost (Atlantis anyone?). Cities that have become engulfed by the sea are found worldwide, and I thought should have been included in to underwater archaeology section.
The idea that aliens may of visited Earth, long before modern civilization was around, is often the fall back idea for those who cannot devise a method for the buildings or technologies that were before us. It has been proven that many buildings may have been built with the materials that were in the areas naturally, and projects were built with much more man power than what is considered reasonable now-a-days. It is thought that levitation may have been actually the simple use of levers and pullies. The lift a stone weighing several tones simply needed many strong ropes and a huge line of people all pulling at the rope. This does not allow the explanation of some stones that have been found, weighing amounts overcoming thousands of tones (well maybe only hundreds, but the numbers are quite large).
Another problem to address, that is frequently given the answer of ‘aliens!’ is of some icons that have been found worldwide despite a lack of communication between areas. There have been some figurines with remarkable similarities worldwide that cannot be explained. I don’t think I’ll go into detail about this, but it’s something fun to look into.
As for underwater cities, they did not start there, but the Earth has a bad habit of shifting and pulling stuff underwater. Occasionally it even spits out land where it previously was covered in a saline solution. The idea of Atlantis existing as an advanced civilization is up for debate; however the search for it has lead to the finding of several underwater cities. Some very famous underwater cities that have been located exist in the Eastern hemisphere; such as an ancient, lost, Buddhist city off the coast of India. Between China and Japan, as well as off the coast of Eastern Japan, there have been many cities located. These have suggested that the land that is now under the water there may have been previously elevated. Other structures in the Indian Ocean suggest that India may have previously been attached to Australia by a sunken land bridge. The same goes for China and Japan. Along with continental drift, land lowering and rising is a common occurrence over long amounts of time.
These cities have given us insight to civilizations that we have never considered, and filled into the missing gaps of information that the sea has eaten up. Just because I enjoy the alien theories I think I will point out a handful of the underwater cities that have been discovered have had relation to alien theories.
I’ve enjoyed this chapter, for what we have looked over and the knowledge I’ve already had retaining around what we have not looked at. Me and Will have had a great time trading alien theories through the chapter, often getting odd looks from those who are around us. I’m looking forward to the future chapters, which will likely go into more detail to several of these topics we have introduced. I’m sure I will have lots to say in regardence to much of what we will be doing.
Sunday, February 13, 2011
"Think of the first prohibition." "Alcohol?" "No, no. Before that." "Uh.." "Adam and Eve, and the forbidden fruit."
I'm aware not everyone viewing this documentary may agree with that story, but they all know it roughly. It did go to examine alcohol prohibition after that, and how it did not work well. It created underground pubs, even more pubs and speakeasies than there are now; it upped the number of users (I think) and increased the number of alcohol pointing incidents, and that is a fairly high number at this point of time; and it certainly did not stop people from drinking up when they wanted to.
When something is criminalized, it becomes more dangerous. Alcohol became illegal, and more people start to die because of it. Marijuana (yes, I decided pot looked too.. fancy lacking) becomes illegal, and it now has no regulation. There are several controversial issues surrounding the use of marijuana, many of them are due to a lack of education, but one of the health related issues is around smoking some hard chemicals.
These chemicals are not naturally found in the plant, however it is in the manure that is used to grow larger plants in less time. You are suppose to run your plant under fresh water for some time, I think it could be as long as a day, to ensure the chemicals are off of it; but if someone has a large scale grow off do you think they are going to be cleaning all of those plants? A large scale grow off is going to be for money, and as long as time is money the plants are going to remain dirty.
It may be easy to relate hippies to organic products, but due to social stereotyping hippies, pot, and organic seem to fit together very well in this situation. Grow organic. It's better for you. If you aren't sure of your source and how clean the plants are, be careful.
As for these other health issues that come up such as the killing of brain cells, 'it makes you stupid,' cancer, black lung, poor memory, and and I'll throw the laziness idea into this as well.
The 'study' that claimed it killed brain cells was not conducted properly. Instead of having the monkeys smoke the outrageous number of joints that were claimed; it turns out they pumped, the same quantity of smoke as they should of over a long period of time, into these monkeys all at once. They did not lose brain cells due to the marijuana. Rather it was due to suffocation. The idea of stupidity following a high, well of course you are not going to act as intelligent as you would when you are under the influence of any drug of that sort. Alcohol, marijuana, even too many antidepressants may do that I think.
There have been no studies to suggest that cancer will occur directly due to marijuana. I believe your chances are more likely if you smoke, but that is just if you smoke anything. The chemicals in marijuana do not effect your lungs the same way tobacco will; but the act of hot smoke entering your lungs is going to damaging no matter what. However, there are no cases of anything like black lung developing due to the use of marijuana.
In fact, there are no cases of any deaths directly due to marijuana use as well. Alcohol kills so many people every year. Street drugs claim some more lives. Pharmaceuticals are notable as well. Even over the counter drugs, such as Tylenol, claim lives every year. A twenty-four times overdose of this innocent pain killer will leave you with no pain, ever again. The amount it would take you to over done on marijuana is so ridiculous, I think it's fair to say it is impossible to do. Also, may I add in that marijuana can be an effective painkiller that may even be safer than Tylenol? I think I will.
As for the bad memory, well chronic use of marijuana will effect your hippocampus (a region of your brain that is very key in memory formation, and also a word my new spell check is rejecting) and the rumors are true. You may end up with a poor memory if you light up too often. How often is too often, I'm unsure of, however it may be little as once a week. This may not be related to memory, but I'll get to it later.
Laziness. When you are high, you might not feel very productive. The fact of the matter is that marijuana users are all around us. Half of the Canadian population will admit to trying it, at least, once through their life time. Your family, friends, coworkers and employee, may all be casual users and you'd never be able to tell. They are just as productive as they normally would be, but perhaps they enjoy the occasional joint. It's just like those who drink, but alcohol is a bit more socially acceptable.
In some areas, it has become socially acceptable to smoke marijuana. In Vancouver it is not too uncommon to see people lighting up on the streets. It's just like my favorite comparison, alcohol. Some people may not approve on it, but it would seem most people are not too bothered by it.
Back to laziness. Did you know that prohibition of marijuana originally came to the United States because of the exact opposite reason? The government was afraid that minorities were going to get high, become violent, and attack the rich, white population. This simply would not be acceptable for such a savage act to occur. After some time the government realized that this was not the case, and for a short amount of time it became an O.K. to have marijuana. Then the cold war came about. The idea that marijuana made you lazy, in combination of the Red Fear, the Red Menace, the worst concept to ever hit the Americas even though (in retrospect) it really doesn't look like the government or the general population knew what they were talking about; Communism! Now this plant was banned so the Soviet States did not encourage us all to be zombies due to marijuana; it pulled down hemp (the plant with over seven thousand uses other than smoking, because hemp will not have enough THC in it to get you high) because it was thought hemp would be grown with marijuana, to cover up the marijuana.
Ronald Reagan started the war on drugs, which really is just a war on marijuana with a few narcotic busts and smuggling operations shut downs on the side, or so it appears to me. He started this on a few ideas that really do not seem very stable, and that isn't mentioning the direct lies regarding marijuana being dangerous or not, and his ignoring the studies that said it was fine. I won't get into that though.
With this war started, of course there is going to be some retaliation. In this case, the retaliation has been the disregard of the war. It is easy to find marijuana, perhaps even easier to obtain than alcohol for under age individuals. Most dealers won't be asking for ID any time soon, just green backs (or money, if you happen to live in Canada and have money differentiable by colour as well as the stamp on the paper).
I mentioned there being a problem with smoking often, as little as once a week. There are studdies to suggest that smoking up when your brain is still developing, will put your emotional development behind and even stop it. If you were to smoke up once a week for your entire teen years, you may have the emotional level of a twelve year old for the rest of your life. You may never be able to understand why people are the way they are, you may never be able to understand how your actions effect individuals directly and indirectly, you may never fall in love.
This is where the idea of legalization may come into play. If it is legalized, it may become regulated. The chemicals that I mentioned before, could be limited or even eliminated if the growers were some how government regulated. Age limits could be put in place, just like alcohol and tobacco. This would not eliminate the use by those who are under age. It will just make it more inconvenient, maybe. I know if I wanted to I could acquire some booze and smokes despite my lack of age. Jails will have less people in them, due to the lack of charges related to petty crimes (the S-10 bill that was recently attempted to be passed in Canada, I'm not sure if it was or not or has not finished the deciding process yet, did not differentiate between having six plants and six thousand plants), and there would be less tax dollars put towards the elimination of marijuana. Canada has a five billion dollar anti-drug budget. Four fifths of that is put towards marijuana related activities (well the governments version of marijuana related activities).
BC has become such a strong point for the plant and those who grow and sell it, that if the police were to bust one grow off a day in some cities, there would be just as many (perhaps more) by the time the year was over. Many communities have way over 365.25 grow offs.
One of the major reasons I do not think marijuana will be legalized, or even decriminalized is taxing though. The dealers do not want it to be taxed. Are you aware of how much a pound of marijuana costs? BC Bud, marijuana grown in BC, will sell for 1800 to 2000 dollars. The further South you go, the higher the price. The further East you go, the higher the price as well. One pound of Texada Gold (a term I like much more than BC Bud) will sell for up to 6000 dollars in New York. Sellers do not want their product to be taxed.
The reason for this high price, no pun intended, is due to the fact it is illegal. The price of something is always going to go up once it made illegal, an example being reflective devices for license plates. In the UK, it was declared illegal to use a device that will reflect light off of your license plate if a picture or video is attempted to be taken of it. The result of using one was your car could not be ID'd by picture or video. There are other devices similar to these that were also banned, such as a cover that only allowed you to view the numbers and letters clearly from directly behind the vehicle using it. Soon as the products became illegal, the sales of them items went up. The demand went up as well I'm sure. With more demand the price of something will natural inflate; and if the fact it is illegal and must be transported around the law's vision, will add to this price.
Marijuana being illegal creates an underground trading system, a criminal trading system, and therefore an expensive trading system. I live in Powell River, right beside Texada. It's a six-fifty dollar ferry ride to the island, I think. I live next to an island that is world famous for having superb product, Texada Timewarp anyone? and if I were go seek out marijuana, I have the lowest price in Canada, if I am not mistaken.
When I say world famous, I'm not kidding at all. I've heard stories of friends who have gone to Mexico being offered Texada Gold. A friend of mine told me of a friend of his who was in the army, and in the middle east he was offered some Texada Timewarp.
Casual users want legalization or decriminalization (don't ask me for the difference, I am unsure). Sellers want it to stay illegal. Supporters who are not users, want legalization or decriminalization. Those who are against the product are likely not to say anything because they are happy with the system; though really, I would love to have a conversation with someone who is against the use of marijuana. I see very few downsides to it, if used responsibly. If I ever find anyone who is of such a state of mind, I should ask them.
I think the final step that Canada will have to take, to get over this idea that marijuana will not kill you on spot and the use or possession of should not be a criminal offense, is the United States. I'm certain that the U.S. is still so scared of not the Red Menace any more, but rather the Green Menace, that legalization or decriminalization will lead to the boarders being shut down. I am not sure if this is true and will actually happen, but I believe I was told that this was one of the biggest problems towards this goal.
I should rap this up, it's getting onto the early hours of the next day. Happy Valentines day, to all those who celebrate it. Personally, I'm just using it as an excuse to hang out with my girlfriend and buy desert. I'm sure many people will be wearing red at school, purposely. I think I'll wear all black, to compensate for their lack of lacking colour. As for my views on marijuana, I think it should be made legal (or decriminalized). It would save many tax dollars, create a taxable commodity. Hemp could also be re-popularized. The quality of the plant being sold could be improved (organic, makes for the win), and as much as a small population will dislike it; marijuana could have an age limit instead of a price limit. Maybe some people could even grow it for the plant itself, not the effects of consuming it. I think it is a nice looking plant, the leaves are quite iconic looking not to mention a very nice shade of green.
By the way, how'd my new spell check work? Anyone see any terrible errors?
Monday, February 7, 2011
The Books of History and the Rivers of Times; my Comparative Civilizations Essay ;; Details At Bottom ;; Efficiency
The Books of History and the Rivers Of Time
Saint Augustine said, “The world is a book, and those who do not travel only read a page.” The roman philosopher, Cicero, also said, “Not to know what took place before you were born is to forever remain a child.” If one was to examine the truth behind both of these statements, it would be easy to conclude that history is also like a book; if you only look into what is around you, if you only read the cover, you will never able table to know what time has hidden between its pages. You will never know what went into making the pages of our past.
Will and Ariel Durant also approached time with a metaphor. They consider it to be a river that consists of the blood from people killing, stealing, shouting, and historic endeavors, as for the main flow of the river. The banks of the river contain everyday life and the people partaking in everyday actions. Furthermore, the actions that the kings, nobles, rich, and powerful shape the actions of everyday life for the common people in the past; just as a river will shape itself in the past and continue to do so in this present day. We, the common people, are still shaped, manipulated, and controlled by those who are powerful in our society.
It is easy to look at a book but not read its contents. It is easy to look at the flow or a river and forget how it came to be that way. It is easy to brush off history as just the past and to look at is as an event that will not help our future. It takes more effort to absorb the knowledge for which the book was created; it takes more thought to consider why the river turns at some points and is still at others, and despite the difficulty in understanding our past it will always be beneficial for our future.
Whether time and history repeats itself, or it is simply human habit to look for patterns where they do not exist, past errors made by both the mass of the river and the inhabitants of its banks are bound to resemble errors made in our modern time. Examples of this are everywhere: those who do not adapt well do not survive, such as the dinosaurs; empires may become too strong and collapse, such as the Roman Empire; and environments may be exploited, leading to the downfall of groups of people, such as the Rapanui of Easter Island. By examining the mistakes of our predecessors we can assess new situations with a better outlook than we could if we were to be ignorant of the past that haunts us.
Perhaps just as important, if not even more important than looking at mistakes and failure of the past, is to look at the successes and victories of those who flourished. It is easy to see the error in a peoples’ actions, but to understand how they were able to be so powerful up until that point allows us to use that knowledge to our advantage. Consider George Orwell’s novel, 1984. In his story, the government that is in power has considered what has gone wrong in the past for the leaders and what has worked for them. They utilize both aspects of success and failure, and create what appears to be a perfect government for the upper class.
To utilize history as the government does in this novel, to further expand the importance of history, one must consider not just the knowledge applicable to our civilization, but the actions of individuals. Even though the center of the river may act as one mass, it is compiled of individuals just as the banks of the river are. Philosophers, intellectuals, scholars, and librarians, may collect vast amounts of knowledge by their own ability and leave it hidden away for historians of our time to stumble upon. Artists of every craft may have left behind their pictures, sheet music, and statues, in private collections that were sealed up to be found in the future. The every day laborer and common housewife may even have left their tools behind to be dug up. None of these discoveries may enhance our lives directly, but it gives us a window into the past. Even though the objects we find may be artistic or useless, humans are curious, and in curiosity we find the drive and purpose of history.
Personally, I find the purpose of studying history to be much more than just a look into the past so that our future may be better. I know events and errors are going to occur no matter what we do, for the mistakes that were made in the past may be made now and we can observe them without looking into the past. The observance of the failures that previous generations may have had may not be necessary to our future, even though it may help. I see the purpose of history, for me, to be in curiosity. I find the events of the past to be interesting and I want to learn about them for the sake of learning. I have no desire to learn about them so I am able to stop our civilization from collapsing, nor the desire to go out to a dig site and look into what I may find buried away in the ground. My history intake revolves around the History Channel, the occasional website I may find myself on and classes in school.
Everyone has a different interpretation regarding what they think history is. To some it is boring; to others it is all they may spend their time looking into. To most, their interest will be a happy medium between these two. Everyone could live without knowledge of history, but I’m sure it is within human nature to be curious of what is to come; but you cannot observe the future. You can observe the past, and that is the best we can get to satisfy our curiosity.
History is the study of the past, in particular the study of the past revolving around humans. Before humans, there was no history, for history is a hu8manh concept. Events may have taken place before humans, but they may not concern us as much as the events that have taken place during our existence. History is the analysis of what we find, the piecing together of the information, and the current accepted interpretation of that information. It is dynamic, in depth, and shows us how the past has developed. It is interesting, intriguing, and as long as it is the study of the past it is forever growing.
My Comparative Civilizations class had an assignment, we had to write an essay regarding history, the value of history, what we think of it, and I'm sure a few other points that follow that idea that I forgot about. We were told that the issue of formatting was not very important, so I put mine in a blog style. I initially wrote it on here, Blogger, saved it as a draft so I could work on it at home. From there, once it was done, I fixed it up on Microsoft Word, had some friends edit, and typed it up again. A printed version was handed in one day early and a few hours later flex block has occurred (yes, this is more flex block blogging; which is going to end up being filler I'm sure). After copying and pasting the essay into blogger again, putting it over the draft I had saved, I decided to add some details about it and now I'm working on figuring out how to get rid of the MS formatting. The 'erase formatting' button is failing me. I hope this doesn't post with a double spacing, it will be far too space inefficient.
Efficiency; that's been the theme of my life recently. Perhaps not life, just several actions within it. I've been spending a lot of time playing DDR, Minecraft, and doing school work. Once you get good at DDR a lot of being good at it is related to movement efficiency, but you can just force your way into it. Fluid motion is great; it stops you from falling. As for minecraft, I've found myself doing a fair amount of calculation, testing to find out the fastest way to create walls (which is laying them two at a time, vertically. Put two down, take a step, put two more down), and in several of the large structures I've been making have needed some thinking through before building.
By digging out a 20x8x20 (x, y, z) area, I will be digging out 3200 pieces of stone. 3200 pieces of stone dived by 128 per cobblestone pick means I'll need a little bit less than 13 picks (I think). Everything being in convent cube shapes is great.
I've experimented with a few methods of speedcubbing that I usually don't use and found them to be quite useful at times but on the most part I'm sticking to my Fredrick's method.
Schoolwork, I have a fair amount of it. I've been getting it all done in less time than I would get my work done last semester. It's worked out well. I've also had a free block, something that I did not have last semester, and it's been great for getting work done. I've especially enjoyed having it with Comparative Civilizations, which sometimes brings me to the library where I do my work. When the bell goes I get to stay in the same place I'm in, uninterrupted.
Filler is terrible, this formatting is annoying. I hope it doesn't stick.
Sunday, February 6, 2011
Another note worthy note, this is relating to a Rubik's Cube. Not a Rubiks Cube, or a rubiks cube, or a rubikscube, or a Rubix's Cube, or a rubix's cube, or a Rubixs Cube, nor Rubixscube, nor Rubix Cube, nor rubix cube, nor rubixcube, nor Robick's Cube, nor any other made up cube or misspelling of Rubik's Cube. I will be looking at the Rubik's Cube, invented by Erno Rubik. To be honest, I'm not sure if the 'Cube' should be capitalized in all cases of the proper spelling of the object, but I like it that way.
I received my first Rubik's Cube as a gift from my Grandfather, Christmas 2007 I think. I have not practiced efficiently, and often go through spouts of use followed by weeks to months of shelf time. At the moment my best time I have recorded is twenty seven seconds, something rather impressive considering when I started I was proud of a two minute time. Also, at the moment my average time is around forty seconds. I'm usualy impressed to find myself in anything above thirty; but time is not very important for most people. Most people just want to focus on getting it finished.
The first step to solving this demon cube, as one of my friends calls it, is understanding what you need to be doing. There are several methods, and several ways to go about those methods. There is no one set way to solve any scramble. A reverse scramble (solving the cube by using the opposite movements of the scramble) is the only way to ensure that your solve would be the same as someone else's, and this is assuming they are also doing a reverse scramble on the same scramble. Most people who approach the Rubik's Cube without knowledge of how it works will want to solve face by face. This is practically impossible. The problem that one who is trying this will run into, is once they fix part of the cube they will mess it up in the process of fixing another part of it. This is avoidable, through the use of a layer-by-layer method. This may be difficult to do without algorithms though, even if you have someone explain to you the ideas you are working with.
Some people can solve a Rubik's Cube with only intuition, no instructions from others needed. The majority of the population requires some help through the use of algorithms. I've has many people tell me that this is cheating, using instructions. Even if I have poured hours over them studying, I cannot genuinely solve a Rubik's Cube according to them because I need some help. After putting a large amount of time into learning how to use this device well, I can say I can do a full intuitive solve; kind of.
I understand how each step works, and I do not use any algorithms for the first two layers (by the way; if you don't understand what I mean by layer-by-layer, just keep reading. It will make sense) and technically do not need any for the last layer if I am using a very basic method. The conflict into if I am solving it intuitively or not comes into the fact that the intuitive algorithms that I have worked out, turned out to be the same as the ones I learned through instructions. I managed to figure out how to solve the last layer in a very simple manner only to find out even though I did figure it all out for myself, it was just a different perspective on what I already knew. This is why I say I can kind of do a full intuitive solve. It doesn't mean anything when you're looking at the numbers though. If I'm going for time, I use algorithms that I've learned for the last layer.
These algorithms that I am mentioning, are instructions relating to what side or sides of the cube should I spin. The Rubik's Cube should be thought of as a cube, and at the same time as having three slices vertically, horizontally, and what ever is the technical term for depth related. For the basic methods, you will be taught to use L, R, U, D, F, and B. This are, respectively: left, right up, down, front, and back. In many cases there will be a dash ( ' ) after the letter, indicating counter clockwise. I am in the habit of saying prime to indicate a counter clockwise rotation. It's faster and easier to say. If there is just the letter, you assume it is a clockwise rotation. Each of these rotations are clockwise assuming you are facing them, so if you run into a R rotation the top-right-front corner will rotate to the top-right-back, and the bottom-right-front corner will rotate into the top-right-front corner's position. If this doesn't make sense, take a look at some instructional videos. They'll clear it up quickly.
In more advanced methods you will run into algorithms that have lower case letters, meaning that side and one over. A u' is the top layer and the layer below it (so all but the D) spun counter clockwise. You may also find M, E, and S. These are, also respectively, middle (between L and R), equator (between U and D), and standing (between F and B). A final instruction you may run into is x, y, and z. These are rotations around the x, y, or z axis. All of these which have been listed in this paragraph may also have a dash after them, making for a total of thirty-six different instructions.
The algorithms will look something like: R' D' R D (this is repeated twice for rotation of the front-right-top corner and if repeated six times the cube will return to as it was). Most of the algorithms are much longer than four instructions though, I think the longer ones I use are around twenty? I could be wrong.
Now that the terminology and a bit of theory has been explained, your brain may of started to glaze over the text. I'm going to go into the actual solving, and how I like to.
The first step that almost every method asks for is you solve the cross of any colour. It does not matter what colour you start with, but that will be designated your D layer. On a Rubik's Cube, the cross is a center piece surrounded by four edge pieces of the correct colours and orientation. It is important to ensure you have opposite colours correct, and that you do not need to switch two colours (which is easily done but if not you will run into problems quickly). This step is easy, and ideally will take only eight movements. Often it only takes seven. If you know where all the pieces you need are, this can be done in only one or two seconds if you are going at full speed. I usually get it done in five seconds or less I think. I've never timed individual steps of speedcubing (which, if I have not mentioned already, is the practice of solving a Rubik's Cube as fast as possible).
I should of mentioned colour orientation before, for it's something that is important to take note of. A Rubik's brand Rubik's cube will have the colour layout with green and blue opposite, orange and red opposite, and white and yellow opposite. It does not matter how you remember these, but they can be difficult to do at times. I have never had a problem remembering green and blue, because I've always thought of them to be the most different colours out of the six. Sleeping Beauty came up with the concept that white and yellow are opposite because they are colours related to the sun. It may not be a sound fact, but it helps me remember. This just leaves orange and red, which are fairly similar I think.
To finish the first layer there are four corners that need to be put into place. There are algorithms you can use for these, but most people can do it intuitively. I use the same idea as corner rotation, as I do for many aspects in solving a Rubik's Cube, for putting the corners in place. When I first started speedcubing I used the idea of "I need to put this corner here, but in doing so I lose this edge piece that needs to stay in place, so I will move this edge piece that I would lose out of the way first, put the corner piece in place, then move the edge back." When explaining how to put the corners in, I often use that for my explanation.
The centers of the second layer will already be in place correctly, and lined up with the pieces that were originally put in place for the cross. This will result in four edges needing to be corrected. Sometimes some of them are already in place for you even, but this does not happen very often. Using the most basic methods, here you will run into your first need of an algorithm. There is one algorithm that is used to move edge pieces from the top layer into the second layer, and it can be mirrored if the piece is facing the wrong way. The best way to find pieces that need to be moved down into the middle layer is by finding edge pieces in the top layer that do not have the colour of the U center (the opposite colour to the colour we started with making the cross).
An alternate method to this, is leaving one of the first layers corners unsolved. Then you use a three step algorithm, or even better just a three step concept. I like to think of it as "open the door, walk in, close the door." The door is the empty edge piece that is above an unsolved corner. If you have an unsolved corner and an unsolved edge piece in the second layer, the D or E can be rotated so they line up. By opening the door, you are moving the unsolved edge piece into the top layer, usually by a R or L' rotation. By walking in, you are putting the edge piece that needs to be there into the piece that was previously occupying the spot that the unsolved edge piece was in. Finally, by closing the door, you are doing the opposite movement of opening the door (so a R' or L) and putting the correct edge piece into place, therefore solving that edge piece. The center pieces of the second layer (which I should probably mention is the E slice or layer) may now be lined up with the cross on the bottom layer (the D) if desire. This is repeated three times until there is only one F2L slot left, one unsolved corner in the first layer and one unsolved edge in the second layer. This corner may be fixed just as it would originally, as long as you avoid moving any of the edge pieces of the second layer out of place (which is not very difficult). The edge piece is fixed with an algorithm. Alternatively, since you are working with an F2L slot you could just use F2L method to fix it.
F2L, first two layers, is a method that involves fixing the corners of the first layer and the edges of the second layer together. This way instead of fixing eight pieces (the four corners, the four edges), you must only deal with four F2L sets. The number of moves needed are a bit more than if you were to use algorithms to correct the second layer; F2L is very efficient like that. It can be learned through algorithms (there are 58 F2L situations you can run into I think, I could be wrong, but therefore 58 algorithms) or it can be done intuitively. Once you know the concept of how to use F2L, the intuitive method comes to many people quite easily. Now that I think of it, the 58 situations may not include situations looking at the bottom-left-back and the bottom-right-back slots, which I know can be used because I use them and I think perfect F2L requires them to be used.
The concept is related to corner rotation. Rotate the bottom-right-front corner (clockwise or counter clockwise, I won't be putting the time into giving most algorithms if you have not noticed yet, so explanations like this may not make much sense to people who are not familiar with Rubik's Cubes) and observe the edge piece above it. What piece is now in it's place? Work out where it would of been, which is easy to do if you're starting with a solved cube, and consider what way the edge was facing before it 'dropped' into place. Now try this with the opposite rotation, but make sure the original position of the edge piece that was just 'dropped' is occupied by the piece that you want in place. If you do this a few times, with some experimentation, you should be able to pick up on some basic F2L concept and figure out most of the situations. This is for F2L slots on the right side, just use left handed rotations or mirror the algorithm you used for the right side for left sided F2L slots.
Just because it's fairly simple, I think I'll provide the algorithm for what I described. As an example, or for a shortcut for anyone who wants to try learning F2L by my explanation: R U R' U' R U R' U' (this is the first corner rotation) U (putting the desired edge piece into place) R U' R' U R U' R' (the second rotation, excluding a final U because it is not needed). That's R U R' U' R U R' U' R U' R' U R U' R' if you want to see it uninterrupted. Do you see why it may be better to learn this intuitively, rather than algorithms? This algorithm only has R and U based movements so it is rather confusing looking. Try using my worded instructions before the algorithm, if you are going to try both. Note, if you use the algorithm correctly it should bring your cube back to what you started with.
A final note about F2L; you should learn to solve each layer individually before attempting F2L. It's a good thing to know, layer-by-layer. Initially F2L will raise your times if you are timing yourself, but once you are good with the method you should be faster than before.
The later layer, well it's just a mess. There are several methods you can use. I have several of my own methods that I've deprived from learned methods. I'll start with the basic method.
The most basic method that I can think of, involves first correcting the edges. First you use a fun-to-pronounce algorithm (F R U R' U' F' or FRU RUF or if you're adventurous even FRURUF) that will ensure all the edges are facing upwards. Then you correct the cross so it lines up with the E centers, just as the original cross did. This is done with a fancy algorithm that only uses R's and U's like the F2L related algorithm I provided. Then you must locate a corner piece that is in the correct corner and use it as the 'nose' for your fish OLL (well, an algorithm that can be used in OLL; something I will explain soon) and in doing so you will rotate the positions of the other corners. This may be needed to be done twice if you do not look at where the pieces are and see if you need to use the mirror of this algorithm. If the pieces are out of place clockwise, and you use an algorithm that rotates them clockwise, it will be needed to be done twice. If you use an algorithm that rotates them counter clockwise, it will only be needed to be done once. Efficiency makes for the win. Then corner rotation ensues, and you are finished.
Corner rotation comes up in initial corner placing, F2L, and this. It is important you know how to do it properly and for every corner; even the up-left-back corner. I think I could write a decent sized post just on it.
Changing the position of the corners and rotating them can be done with a method that I've put together, taking ideas from situations in F2L where the corner is in the wrong corner position (ex, the bottom-right-front instead of the bottom-left-front) but it doesn't work very well and often takes many more moves than what would be needed. There are few situations where my method is better.
At this point your Rubik's Cube should be solved. The problem is, there are better ways than the most basic method that I have just described (which on the most part is my intuitive method for the last layer). For effiency you want to use OLL and PLL.
First up, OLL or orientation of last layer. This takes the last layer and positions all the pieces so the colour of the U is facing up, but the pieces may not be in the correct position. This means that (if yellow is your U colour) the top will look all yellow from a top view, however from a side view you will see the edges and corners of the U layer do not match up with the E layer. Corners will needed to be switched with other corners in the U layer, edges may need to switch also. Sometimes three or four will needed to be switched. If you have three corners and three edges that needed to be switched, you have a G-Permutation (part of PLL). They're nasty.
There are fifty-seven OLL's you may run into, and one solved case. I may be wrong with these numbers. This means there are fifty-seven algorithms that you want to memorize, ideally. OLL may also be done in a two or even three step method (though three usually just means I messed up on two step). This means that instead of needing to know all of these algorithms, you just need to know a few that will encourage you into a set of situations that you will know or learn. Instead of learning fifty-seven algorithms, you just need seven or eight; and even then you should know some of them from previous methods such as the fish situation I mentioned already.
There is no set way to OLL if you are using two step. Personally I use my own two step method, which is a bit faster than most two step methods but I have incorporated more algorithms. As I learn more I incorporate them in too, and eventually I should be able to do it in one step. My method encourages different situations than what you will find to be encouraged by most two step OLL methods that are found online. These are just situations that I know well and have found how to get to quickly. Even though you are given several algorithms to work with, you do not need to use the algorithm you have been given. For several situations I use algorithms that I have figured out myself that may not be faster but they are what I am use to so they are faster for me. This, technically, makes this semi intuitive OLL; but I'm not going to go about telling that to people just to have to explain what it means and for them to come to the conclusion that most of what is used in the method I used is learned. Not intuitive.
Past OLL is PLL, or fermentation of the last layer. This takes the corners and edges and almost magically rearranges them with the use of algorithms. There are only twenty-one situations, and one solved situation, that will be found here and it is best to learn one step PLL first. Just like OLL, PLL can be done in two steps. The two steps are focusing on the corners, and then the edges. I tend to do this for G Permutations, which are slightly evil. They are the last algorithms in PLL that most people learn, because they are complicated and difficult to remember often. After some work they become easy to use (but I have forgotten two of them and probably only need a few minutes of time to learn them again but I just have not gotten around to it), and the pictures describing them become sensible. Initially the pictures look like jumbles of arrows and lines.
And even with all these methods described, there are more ways. One method that I only use when I am thinking to use was created by Lars Petrus. It involves solving a 2x2x2 section. Then this is expanded into a 2x2x3 section. From there I'm not sure what is ment to be done exactly. I turn this into a 2x3x3 (cross and F2L complete) section. For me, this is followed by the last layer, and what ever method I desire to use. Lars Petrus's method involves ensuring that the edges are correct in only three extra moves (something I have not figured out or tired to do really) and therefore this method uses very few movements.
There are many ways to solve a Rubik's Cube. For most people they are happy just to have it finished. Many people ask why I solve my Rubik's Cube several times a day at school; and the answer is simply because I'm not happy with a simple solve. I want to do it faster. I'm going to continue to do it again better.