Aside

Launch a Project Experiment: Gibberellin and Brassinolide

AP Statistics Project Proposal

(It has to be an experiment, no observational study will be accepted)

Group members:

Name ID
Jiayi Liu 2014530054
Ziyi Wang 2014530070
Fan Xu 2014530268
Junhui He 2014530723
  1. Topic (What is the research question)

Comparison of the Effects of Gibberellin and Brassinolide on Soybean Seed Germination

  1. Sampling (Be specific about how subjects might be selected)

Randomly select 120 soybeans that are purchased from the same source.

  1. Variables:

Explanatory variables:

Type of plant hormone being used: categorical, no plant hormone (control), Gibberellin, Brassinolide, or both.

Response Variable: the height of seedlings after 2 days; the height of seedlings after 7 days.

  1. Treatment:

We have 4 kinds of treatments.

For the selected seeds, randomly assign them to different treatments, which is soaking the soybean seeds in specified solution for 12 hours. Each treatment has 30 seeds:

No plant hormone 10-6 mol/L Gibberellin
10-6 mol/L Brassinolide 5×10-7 mol/L Gibberellin + 5×10-7 mol/L Brassinolide

After soaking, transplant the seeds to soil. Water the seeds every 12 hours, take an account of the proportion of germinated seeds. Also measure the height of seedlings after 2 days and 7 days.

  1. What extraneous variables might influence the response?

Environmental factors, like temperature, light intensity, water, and even soil conditions all could have impact on seed germination.

  1. How does the design protect against its potential influence on the response through blocking, direct control, or randomization?

We would use preliminary experiment to ensure the optimal conditions for plant growth. Despite that, we would also apply:

Direct control: All the seeds are grown in the same room and are expose to the same environmental factors so that the extraneous factors’ effects are not confounded with those of the experimental variables.

Randomization: Randomly assign the seeds to different treatment groups to ensure that the experiment does not systematically favor one treatment over another.

Replication: There is considerable amount of individuals for each treatment to achieve an adequate number of observations for each experimental condition.

  1. Statistical method (e.g. we plan to use…method to explore … We hope to have a …result)

Normally, we would apply what we learned from descriptive statistics: Calculating important statistics, like the mean heights of seedlings, and representing them in the form of a bar chart for comparison.

For the part of inference, we plan to use two-sample t-test to explore whether there is a significant difference in the effects of different plant hormones in the heights of seedlings. We hope that there is significant difference so that we could have evidence to support that one plant hormone is greater in promoting germination than the other.

We also plan to use regression analysis to explore whether there is a linear relationship between the heights of seedlings after 2 days and those after 7 days for a specific treatment group, thus implicitly see if each hormone has prolonged effect.

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The Reason, Process, and Meanings behind Gregor’s Transformation in the Metamorphosis

The Metamorphosis presents a story about a man’s alienation from his family: Gregor, working arduously for his family, suddenly turns into a bug, and progressively gets abandoned by his parents and sister. However, beyond this abrupt event, Gregor already is a social “vermin” – justified by his inability to execute individuality; his transformation is, in my opinion, also a gradual process that not only symbolizes the changes in his perspectives toward his surroundings, but also the alteration of his family’s thoughts about himself.

Gregor’s transformation illustrates his problems about general isolation from modern society that put expectations to his hard-working. Long before Gregor turns into a vermin, he has wished to get equally well-treated with his colleagues and family members but fails. As Gregor says, “That’s all I’d have to try with my boss; I’d be fired on the spot. Anyway, who knows if that wouldn’t be a very good thing for me. If I didn’t hold back for my parents’ sake, I would have quit long ago.” (1.5), he is constrained by the working conditions that force him to get up early while seeing other workers enjoying their breakfast. Turning into a giant bug seems a fulfillment of his will to get rid of this job. In addition, he is the only one who can support the family, but after this transformation deprives him of the ability to work, every member attempts to expel him without considering his contribution, further suggesting his verminous position before the metamorphosis really takes place.

The establishing process of transformation stems from Gregor’s tedious lifestyle. Working as a traveling salesman, he can presumably get to know a lot of things from outside world. Instead, he complains that there cannot be long-enduring relationships with other people around this business. Besides, he cannot have the time like his family members to get relaxation from reading newspapers, playing music instruments, etc. Such monotonous life mode makes him distasteful, as depicted after his waking up: “His room, a regular human room, only a little on the small side, lay quiet between the four familiar walls.” (1.2) Though Gregor is familiar with the room, he feels uncomfortable about it, as emphasized by the phrase “regular human room”.

Despite Gregor’s literal transformation, there are more, symbolically, transformations about his entire family. His father most directly shows the outrage toward Gregor, and as he returns to his job, wearing up the clothes, he regains the authority of supporting family and controlling Gregor’s will. His mother, being stunned by the moment as she sees the vermin, feels desperate about her son’s mishap but later turns in to suppress her anxiety. What’s more is about Greta’s transformation: “She had in fact noticed that Gregor needed plenty of room to crawl around in; and on the other hand, as best she could tell, he never used the furniture at all” (2.22). As Greta notices her brother’s needs, she comes to be more decisive in taking care of Gregor, accompanying the decrease of Gregor’s agency. This is even testified later when Gregor scares the boarders away, it is Greta who makes the ultimate decision to get rid of Gregor as the family is dealing with a kitchen bug.

Summing up all the points about the why, how, and what about his transformation, Gregor is unhappy about his situations, living with a verminous lifestyle. The transformation makes him lose respect and the ability to support family, but also changes the entire family’s roles, as exemplified by Greta’s increasing agency of making decisions.


Works Cited

“The Metamorphosis.” by Franz Kafka. Trans. David Wyllie. Sweden: Wisehouse Classics, 2015. Print.

Compare and Contrast the Force from A New Hope and the Way from Taoist ideals

The Force from A New Hope and the Way in Taoism present two great distinctive beliefs. The Force, an energy field created by all li

ving things that bestows individuals with idealistic courage, surrounds and penetrates them; the Way, on the other hand, is the mysterious, unnamable process through which everything in the universe happens, teaching people to be less attentive to the glory from material world.

The Force provides people with means of completing some challenging quests that could render great results, regardless of what they have. In A New Hope, it is a natural power contrary to a more technological power the Death Star uses. To show this, the Rebels and heroes are seen in more natural settings like deserts and forests while the Empire is seen in large technological settings. As the mentor Obi-wan Kenobi always says to Luke, “May the Force be with you.”, this sentence acts as a spiritual guide to Luke’s journey and gives him determination, which is a clear distinction with Darth Vader’s emphasis on brutal destruction. For instance, when he is going for a mission to destroy the Death Star, there are many missiles from his enemies that block his way. Commonly, he is not able to handle this situation by himself, but every moment the sentence flashes back to his mind, he can pay more attention toward the mission and be less stressed. In a way, the Force goes beyond the superiority of technology and makes something impossible come true.

By contrast, the Way emphasizes more about the balance between gain and loss throughout lifetime. If people is enlightened by it, they will be guided to understand the benefits and drawbacks of certain deeds. Also, the Way reduces the distinction between different things but rather integrate them into a whole. “Heaven and earth are ruthless, and treat the myriad creatures as straw dogs; the sage is ruthless, and treats the people as straw dogs.” (5.1-2) Under Taoist view, all the living things are under the same world, that they should be treated equally, since their existences have certain meanings that people should not depreciate. To reinforce the idea, Daodejing points out that the Way in which stricter and stricter laws create crime and stifle a country’s productivity. As people are members of the society, they need to obey the law of nature regardless of how powerful they are. In conclusion, it is feasible to say that the Way goes beyond the superiority of rules – the confinement – and makes something absurd explicable.

Though the Force and the Way differ in many perspectives, they share the ideal intellect of having people completing certain important goals. As Luke is able to defeat dreadful enemies and finally save princess Leia and her planet behind so many challenges through the encouragement of the Force, he has to think about the negative effects about his journey, like what the Way considers. Even though A New Hope does not have any mention about the Way, it actually exists throughout the storyline: As the Death Star’s evil plan irritates the Rebels, the Force comes into action to urge the heroes wiping out the vicious authority, giving Darth Vader a painful compensation.

In general, the Force and the Way both in a degree present people’s ideals about the right behaviors, but the Force can also be seen as a metaphysical power that prompts individuals to be dedicated to their actions, while the Way puts more emphasis on the two sides of a single event, benefiting, also punishing, the person who takes part in it.

 

Works Cited

“Star Wars: A New Hope” 20th Century Fox. Washington D.C.: L. George, 1977.

“Daodejing.” The Norton Anthology of World Literature. Trans. D.C. Lau. Third ed. Vol.A. New York and London: W. W. Norton, 2012, 1347-1354. Print.

Analysis of Beowulf: Conflicts between Religious Beliefs and Actions of Characters

Although Beowulf was written after the Anglo-Saxons were slowly converted to Christianity, their old Pagan traditions still had great residual influences and made Beowulf an integration of pagan heroic ideals and Christian beliefs. Despite of gradually accepted Christian beliefs at that time, the opposite pagan Germanic actions emerge throughout Beowulf. Particularly, Christian values of God’s judgment, humility and eternal rewards conflicts with characters’ actions of making judgments by vengeance, proudly boasting and pursuing secular rewards.

The mortal makes judgments due to vengeance violates Christian beliefs of judgment by merciful God. For instance, at the celebration at Heorot after Beowulf defeating Grendel, Beowulf says, Grendel, “like a man outlawed for wickedness, he must await the mighty judgment of God in majesty” (134). But later, after recognizing Grendel’s corpse, “Beowulf cut the corpse’s head off” furiously (148). Beowulf’s own words demonstrate his Christian beliefs that it is God who makes judgments of Grendel, Beowulf’s enemy. However, Beowulf’s ensuing action of decapitating Grendel indicates that it is Beowulf himself who decides the outcome and doom of Grendel. Therefore, the Christian belief that God judges the mortal, including the enemies, contradicts to Beowulf’s action that indicates the right of heroes to take revenge and judge their enemies.

Furthermore, Christian ideals of humility and mighty God contradict to individual boasts. For example, at another celebration at Heorot after Beowult defeats Grendel’s mother, he says, “if God had not helped me, the outcome would have been quick and fatal” (150). But, previously, as Beowulf encounters the Danish watchmen when arriving at the coast, he proudly boasts about his great lineage and former heroic triumphs. And during the first feast at Heorot, Beowulf again formally boasts himself. The quotation here indicates that Beowulf attributes his heroic deed and victory to the mighty Christian God. In the contrary, his frequent actions of boasts show little about Christian typical humility but pagan heroic pride. Therefore, the Christian belief of humility and that all mightiness belongs to God stands in contrast to the action of proudly boasting oneself.

Finally, Christian idea of eternal rewards stands in contrast to worldly pursuits in reality. For instance, at the celebration at Hoerot for Beowulf’s successful fights against Grendel’s mother, Hrothgar speaks to Beowulf, “Choose, dear Beowulf, the better part, eternal rewards. Do not give way to pride. For a brief while your strength is in bloom but it fades quickly” (152). Hoerot’s words demonstrate that life is fleeting and people should pursue eternal rewards instead of worldly ones. Meantime, Hrothgar gives Beowulf significant amount of worldly rewards for his defeats of Grendel’s mother, indicating that it’s right to reward worldly treasure to honor heroic deeds. As a result, the Christian belief of pursuits for eternal rewards contradicts to giving secular rewards as accumulation of honor.

In all, characters’ pagan ideal actions of making judgments by vengeance, frequent boast and pursuit for worldly rewards violates their Christian beliefs of judgment by God, humility and pursuit for eternal rewards, resulting in undeniable conflicts between newly accepted Christian beliefs and traditional pagan actions.

 

Works Cited

Martin Puchner. Beowulf. Translated by Seamus Heaney. The Norton Anthology of World Literature. 3nd ed. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2012

Contrast of the Deeds and Character Traits of Beowulf and Aeneas

Beowulf and The Aeneid present two great heroes with distinctive characteristics and stories. Beowulf, disbelieving about determinism, is a brutal and arrogant warrior who kills monsters for glory without any god’s help; Aeneas, on the other hand, is a person who, called by fate, defeats enemies with supernatural aid and shows responsibility for people.

Beowulf, being regarded as a pagan, possesses pride about his glorious past as well as violence toward foes. It is not difficult to see that Beowulf challenges what he deserves to be. “Often, for undaunted courage, fate spares the man it has not already marked.” (572-573) Beowulf makes this claim early in the poem when he describes his swimming contest. Though the narrator of Beowulf believes God determines everyone’s fate, Beowulf claims that if people’s fate has not been decided yet, they can succeed through sheer courageous behavior. This tenet becomes Beowulf’s path toward glory which could be illustrated by his fierce single combat against Grendel without any weapon. Actually, his courage is so strong that swords even weaken his abilities, as evidenced by Hrunting (1458) and Naegling (2680) that both render futility of battle. It is to his Scandinavian nature that Beowulf pursues for treasure as a symbol for his victory, since he realizes that death is inevitable. Therefore, any reward for him can be regarded as significant for his individual achievement. Even he perishes after fighting against the dragon, his reputation has been deeply established in his fellows’ mind.

By contrast, Aeneas is empathetic with his people and destined to accomplish many quests with the help of divinity. “I am Aeneas, duty-bound, and known / Above high air of heaven by my fame, Carrying with me in my ships our gods / Of hearth and home, saved from the enemy. I look for Italy to be my fatherland, And my descent is from all-highest Jove.” (1.519-524) This is how Aeneas introduces himself to the huntress he meets in the forest of Libya. They reveal how much his mission and responsibilities make up his identity. He perceives duty as more important than his own gain: when he falls in love with Dido, he is reminded of his goal and quickly decides to leave her but continues his journey toward the revival of his followers. Although his power is finite and limited, he is able to achieve great arms from gods that propel his triumph over his opponents. Through the war against Turnus, it can be deduced that he also has the will to ask for help from other groups of people if he is not able to handle some situations by himself. Even he wins, however, Aeneas may show sympathy for his enemies and spares them when they are powerless.

Though Beowulf and Aeneas differ in many perspectives, they share the courage and wit of completing their important goals. As Beowulf is able to defeat dreadful monsters without any other people’s help and grab his treasure for his glorious commemoration, Aeneas, being blessed with his additional strength, can also walk through the dangerous adventure and reach his fulfilling accomplishment. Both Beowulf and Aeneas are great figures during their time when certain ideologies play a large role in contemporary societies, regardless of how they overcome the many challenges place in front of them.

Summing up all the points about the two heroes’ deeds and character traits, Beowulf and Aeneas both in some way present people’s ideals about great men, but the brutal and boastful Beowulf can also be seen as an individual who pursues for his own lifelong glory, while the dutiful and fateful Aeneas is more like an idol who is able to conquer the quests for his folks.

 

Works Cited

“Beowulf.” The Norton Anthology of World Literature. Trans. Suzanne Akbari. Third ed. Vol.B. New York and London: W. W. Norton, 2012, 112-182. Print.

“The Aeneid.” The Norton Anthology of World Literature. Trans. Robert Fagles. Third ed. Vol.A. New York and London: W. W. Norton, 2012, 965-1072. Print.

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On the Current Situation of Chinese Business & Science Students: What’s our future?

This problem has long been controversial since the strong wave of studying abroad. Chinese students, especially those who are in high school, who would like to pursue their profession in an international setting, go to foreign countries for college.

However, recent statistics show that most of those kind of Chinese students take business as their major. At least in our school which sends them out of China, the percentage has been up to about sixty percent. No wonder that since most of the students in SMS have their parents being in high positions hoping their children to replace them year long, the competitions among us are rather intensive, yet destructive to certain kind of students. I do not mean to say that debate – the activity which is deliberately emphasized as the “most” valuable event among SMS students by those “authority figures” – is what makes someone extremely reputed. But we cannot escape the atmosphere of debate. Even during presentation of researches, students still want to debunk others in order to highlight their presenting skills.

Maybe I digress from the main topic. OK, so here is the problem: Students who are interested in business are naturally more capable of persuading. It is not an inborn attribute, but, in my opinion, due to their career requirement. Because in reality, businessmen are really charismatic, not only in their tidy appearance, but also in their grandiose speech making talent, they surely practice corresponding ideology a lot. Well, what about we science students? You probably think that we are dull, nerdish, and incapable of good communication. This prejudice, though we do not care about (Why we care?), can seriously influence our career procedure. High school, for instance, plays an important role in developing individual’s personality. And the business students, who have already been fluent in English, become leaders in various situations, for their charisma. Science students, though envy about this thing, cannot naturally achieve leadership. Just like what I mention about the debate matter, business students have their inspiring speech widely dispersed around the hall, beating up science students strictly (if science students really compete in debate). This makes the “nerds” hard to stay in a peaceful situation. They like peace, but business students despoil it.

What’s ironic is that in China, those who are sent abroad to study business have their jobs being fixed with high salary. Because of the lack of job opportunities, science students who are placed in passive situations, are forced to open up companies for themselves. That sounds weird, but it is true. Colleges are sites for science students to improve their knowledge scale, and, with the aid of philosophy, dedicate into academia. But applications have flaws. Business students are able to make what’s wrong to true, so they basically can walk through the process very easily. But science students, being relatively lack of experiences, have to look for certain materials to fit in the personal essays, and finally act as victims of the discrimination. If science students do not get their deserved education, what could they do for research?

Actually, science students are not so that bad in their school. We focus on the practical matters, and pay great respect toward different scientific researches. They, or we, can have already been unmoved by the turbulent competitions. Business students seek benefits for themselves, but science students seek benefits for human society. (There might be some charitable business people and selfish scientists, but here what I talk about is the majority.) Therefore, as applicants, business and science students, in fact, have reach the same point in a race. Though science students are not appealing for their school, they can express their intentions toward the college staff, making them really be recognized by talented individuals. As a result, we, science students, are confident about our life in high school, whenever in what occasion we are. We are prudent in field study, but we are also determined in society.

Effects of Numbers and Labels of Choices on People’s Purchasing Decisions

Here is a well-written psychology essay for our group project of AP Psychology. Basically, this research centered on two independent variables, and we used appropriate statistical methods to conduct our data collection and analysis. Please check out the abstract below:

The experiment studies people’s decision making under different labels and numbers of choices when they are buying products. The questionnaires simulate the situation of choosing set purchase for mobile phone fee and four types of questionnaires (cheaper and standard; standard and premium; cheaper, standard and premium; standard, premium and super-premium) and 360 in total are distributed in three locations targeting three types of people: the middle-age and elder, teenagers and official staff. The result majorly corresponds to our hypothesis: differently-designed labels can influence customers to select different choices.

Keywords: decision, label, number of choices, purchase, subliminal message

Aside

Change and Continuity in Russian Politics and Culture During 1750-1914

During the period from 1750 to 1914, Russia, a land empire in the age of imperialism, sparked a series of political and cultural reformation that enhanced Russia’s power over much of its territory with preservation of some old monarchical rules that were later threatened by Western ideas.

The entire Russian Empire was under the rules of tsars at that time period, with Eastern Orthodoxy as the popular religion that was widely spread and accepted over the territory. But with respect to Western development, Russia faced problems that whether to put liberalism – a branch of enlightenment ideas – into this area. In 1750, Catherine the Great of Russia was at the height of her reign. Although she considered herself an enlightened despot and selectively tried to expose Russia to Western techniques, she was hesitant to let Western advances threaten her power. During this time, Russia was still relying on a method of serfdom that had been present in the country for many previous years. Catherine imposed tighter restrictions on the serf population, extracting labor from the masses and giving them little to no voice in affairs of the State. While she continued the method of serfdom in Russia, her reforms and restrictions on serfdom further exploited the working labor masses of her country which heightened their unrest. Suffered the disadvantages of being neighbors to the rising nations in Europe, Russia had its wins and losses during the era yet managed to retain its power.

In fact, the Russian Empire had turned its attention to the west under the late 17th and early 18th century rule of Peter the Great, but the change in attitude actually happened later. As exemplified by Alexander I, who undertook top-down westernizing reforms, a lot of western industrial technologies and enlightenment ideas were incorporated into this land. In the mid-19th century, due to the modernization efforts, Russia became a huge, diverse realm that was very difficult to rule from a central location, even with the power granted to an absolute tsar. However, later resistance to Alexander I’s bureaucratic reforms initiated the Decembrist revolt, which stiffened Nicholas I’s hostility to Western ideas. His suspicion of Western ideas stalled reform and slowed industrial development. What’s more, since Russia had been continually expanding, there existed some conflicts with regions east or south to Russian Empire. Frequent confrontation gave Russia a shortage of power distributed that kept them from expanding territories.

Rather, Russia got into trouble with powerful England and France, when its formidable army attacked the Ottoman Empire to seize access to warm water ports around the Black Sea. Fearful of an upset in European balance of power, England and France supported the Ottomans in defeating Russian troops in the Crimean War (1853-1856). This defeat clearly showed Russian weakness, and it led Tsar Alexander II to attempt reform by emphasizing industrialization, creating elected district assemblies called Zemstvos. Dissatisfied by Russian Empire’s rules that put itself into danger, a lot of intellectuals began seeking ways to save the whole society. For instance, after Russia’s humiliation in the Crimea, the Slavophile tendency, gave rise to Pan-Slavism, a militant political doctrine advocating unity of all the Slavic peoples, including those living under Austrian and Ottoman rule. Slavophile idea fostered Russophobia that kept Western Europeans from attacking Russian Empire any more.

There were also many people who thought the centralized government as malevolent force that impeded Russia’s economic growth. In 1861, Czar Alexander II reformed Russian society by emancipating the serfs, but the newly freed peasants still had limited mobility. Although the serfs had been freed and given limited rights, they continued to suffer poor working conditions as the majority of the work force in factories. Russia’s instability became apparent when Alexander II was assassinated by one of the many revolutionary groups that were growing rapidly within the country. Some of these revolutionary groups were Marxist, and their influence would eventually take over the country in 1917. However, Russia continued on under absolute rule until then, with an intense state-run industrialization program that did modernize Russia by the end of the 19th century.

Russian Marxists revolutionaries saw capitalism – or the free market – as an economic system that exploited workers and increased the gap between the rich and the poor. They believed that conditions in capitalist countries would eventually become so bad that workers would join together in a Revolution of the Proletariat, and overcome the bourgeoisie, or owners of factories and other means of production. They envisioned a new world after the revolution, one in which social class would disappear because ownership of private property would be banned. According to Marx, communism encourages equality and cooperation, and without property to encourage greed and strife, governments would be unnecessary. His theories eventually took new forms in early 20th century Russia. Nicholas II, the last tsar of the Russian Empire, though not an unsatisfactory emperor, was threatened, and, in 1917, eventually killed by internal ideological conflicts that would later shape Russia’s social and political status with brand new communism ideas that opposed imperial laws.

pH and Personality

We are sure that pH could represent our probable personality according to the color in pH test paper. Because if pH is smaller than 7, the color tends to become red, and if pH is bigger than 7, the color tends to become blue. According to Color Psychology, red is the feeling of sensation, and blue is like the feeling of reasonable thinking.

As we all know, acid’s pH is probably smaller than 7, some strong acid may be harm to people. But if the acid is weak enough, like the cola we drink, we can feel very relaxed. That’s why the reason acid’s color is red and it represents the feeling of sensation. Too much sensation will make us behave excessively. If pH equals to 0, we even can’t feel anything. So how about the base? Its pH is bigger than 7, and the blue color in test paper can make us thinks more comprehensively. Some surveys show that with blue color, our efficient of working will be higher. Phenolphthalein is another tester which can turn to red from transparent if it is attached to base. Because phenothalin is neutral, so  Therefore base represent the feeling of reasonable thinking.

For me, my pH is about 9. Why? Because my thinking is a bit more reasonable than sensitive. Sometimes I face some problems, I will mostly think about the details of them. Then I will consider the situation. But sometimes it is not appropriate for me to think in reasonable way, so I would like to choose some sensitive methods to make some idea.

If I meet some people who behave acidly, my reasonable thinking will be decreased because they can give me some sensible things and impart them to me. So I will behave neutrally among them. But as I meet some base people, I will be the most sensible person. I can make them more sensible while my reasonable thinking will be not decreased. So I think I’m lucky to be a weak based boy, because I’m not influenced by others strongly.

In conclusion, pH is a very magnificent thing, we can determine it in many other ways. This is only my opinion.