There are two kinds of people in the world: those who make excuses and those who get results. An excuse person will find any excuse for why a job was not done, and a results person will find any reason why it can be done. Be a creator, not a reactor. — Alan Cohen, A Deep Breath Of Life

Latin Quotations

aut viam inveniam aut faciam
I’ll either find a way or make one


facta non verba
Deeds, not words

timendi causa est nescire
Ignorance is the cause of fear.

amor vincit omnia
Love conquers all

damnant quod non intelligunt
They condemn what they do not understand

Concordia cum veritate
In harmony with truth

bonis quod bene fit haud perit
Whatever is done for good men is never done in vain

primum, non nocere
Above all, do not harm

denique non omnes eadem mirantur amantque
All men do not admire and love the same things

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After an intense day of taking dreary notes, waiting around at a bus stop, or a night of tossing and turning, for some, energy drinks are all they can turn to. Energy drinks are produced under many different names, including NOS, Bone Chillin’ Energy Drink, and Red Rain, each bearing a variety of interesting ingredients. “Energy drinks can give you a heart attack,” and “energy drinks are really bad for you,” are two speculations regarding the outcome of these sugary drinks; there are many more. Jane decided to fabricate her own energy drinks, including many of the properties found in popular energy drinks today. The properties we investigated were Taurine, Caffeine, Ginseng, Guarana seed, Vitamins B2/3/5/6/12, L-Carnitine, Inositol, and Ginkgo Biloba, to prove whether or not energy drinks are bad for you.
            Jane and I read the medicinal ingredients, and sugars, for many different energy beverages. Furthermore, we sampled three brands; NOS, Bone Chillin’, and Red Rain. We examined the ingredients. The two most previous energy drinks contain Fructose sugar, coming from citrus and tropical fruits. A re-sealable NOS energy drink of 650mL contains 2750mg of Taurine, which is an amino acid stored in muscles and the central nervous system. Taurine is considered a non-essential amino acid because the body can make it from methionine and cystein. It can also be found in milk, eggs, and animal proteins, like chicken, and beef. Taurine is a potent antioxidant, and lowers blood pressure, LDL (“bad” cholesterol) and triglyceride levels. Taurine helps regulate heart beat and muscle contractions, which is why consumers of energy drinks often have increased heart rate, which also gives them the urge to move, or run. Side-effects of high doses of Taurine, like in most energy drinks, results in the shakes. 500mL of Red Rain energy drink contains 2000mg of Taurine. 1873mg of Taurine is found in 473mL Bone Chillin’ energy drink. 
            Bone Chillin’ energy drink, as well as the other two, also contain Caffeine, and Vitamin B12. NOS, being the largest in volume, unsurprisingly contains 343mg Caffeine. Bone Chillin’ contains 142mg of Caffeine, and Red Rain has 80mg. Caffeine contains acid, harming the intestines; this is what makes people feel nauseous, when they consume energy drinks too much, or too fast. Headaches are sometimes caused by too much caffeine, but it is a stimulant, and so leaves you feeling alert. Caffeine is safe in low doses, but it is not needed for the body. Vitamin B12 helps with the functioning of the brain, and nervous system, and is involved in most metabolic processes of cells, particularly those of DNA (the forming of blood), energy production, and fatty acid synthesis. Meats, like fish, liver, pork, and beef are all good sources of Vitamin B12, as well as milk and cheese. NOS contains 16.5mcg, Bone Chillin’ contains .60mcg, and Red Rain contains 5mcg of Vitamin B12. 
            There are many other B vitamins in energy drinks, including Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, and Vitamin B6. Bone Chillin’ energy drink contains 3mg of Vitamin B2 and 31mg of B3, which stimulate skin, nail, and hair growth, the breakdown of protein, fats, and carbohydrates, correcting high cholesterol and the prevention of heart disease. Milk and green leafy vegetables, are both good sources of Vitamin B2, and B3. Red Rain and Bone Chillin’ contain Vitamin B5, and they all contain Vitamin B6. Another name for Vitamin B5 is Pantothenic acid. This acid is vital for human growth, reproduction, and . Too much Vitamin B5 (10-20mg) causes diarrhea, but Red Rain only contains 5mg, and Bone Chillin’ has 6mg, making both completely safe options. Vitamin B6, on the other hand, can cause nerve problems, and because the safe limit is unknown, even a small amount could be harmful. All three of these energy drinks sampled contain Vitamin B6; NOS contains 5.5mg, Red Rain contains 5mg, and Bone Chillin’ contains 3mg of Vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 is important in energy beverages, because they help absorb carbohydrates and proteins. Although there aren’t as many B vitamins in energy drinks as other ingredients, their little jobs go a long way in preparing your body for the jolt of energy to come. 
Some of the other energy drinks we looked at contained some of the previously mentioned properties, as well as common ingredients like Ginseng, L-Carnitine, Inositol, and Ginkgo Biloba. Ginseng is a root that is believed to enhance memory and cognitive functioning, like reasoning, and concentration, boost energy levels, lower blood sugar, and increase “good” cholesterol. Despite the many positive reasons for consuming ginseng root extract, the side effects include nervousness, insomnia (which can lead to psychotic episodes) when taken in large doses, interference with blood-thinners, and allergic reactions, like asthma-attacks. The amount of ‘active ingredient’ in supplements can vary from brand to brand, therefore it isn’t recommended for children, pregnant, or nursing mothers. L-Carnitine is an amino acid that plays a role in fatty acid metabolism. It is also an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties, which improves fatigue and lipid metabolism. Inositol is a member of the vitamin B complex, but it is not an official vitamin because the body can synthesize it. Inositol prevents excessive fats in the livers, promotes hair growth, and nourishes the brain. It is important in enegry drinks, because it converts nutrients from the body into energy. Ginkgo Biloba is made from the seeds of the ginkgo biloba tree, which enhance memory, concentration, and circulation. Ginko Biloba is so useful that the German government recognizes it as something that helps with memory loss, concentration, and depression. This seed extract can be taken in a small dose, like 60mg, or a large dose, like 240mg, without causing substantial harm. However, possible side effects include headaches, dizziness, restlessness, blood-thinning, and diarrhea. For this reason, it is recommended that one doesn’t consistently consume large amounts of Ginko Biloba. Guarana can be found in popular brands like Amp, Rockstar, and Talon; Ginseng is in Amp, Talon, and Monster; Inositol can be found in Monster and Talon drinks. L-Carnitine and Ginko Biloba are ingredients in Monster and Rockstar energy drinks.
In conclusion, we weighed the benefits against the side effects, and chose how much of each ingredient we’d need for our energy drink. We chose to make our energy drink 473mL, to match the size of Bone Chillin’ energy drink, Amp, Monster, and more. Unlike the other energy drinks, however, we chose to incorporate a little less Taurine, to discourage the shakes, and anxiety attacks. Because vitamins B12, B2, and B3 are not dangerous, even in excess, we included higher-than-average levels. Vitamin B6 is important, as previously mentioned, because it helps prepare your body for adsorbtion of the carbohydrates and proteins, which is why we stuck in a mid-range volume of Vitamin B6. Inositol is included, in a mid-range dose, to nourish the brain, and help convert nutrients into energy.We included a slightly lower level of Caffeine, and balanced it off by adding more L-Carnitine, to improve fatigue. We reduced the amount of Caffeine so our clients don’t feel nauseous, or obtain headaches. Another reason we added L-Carnitine to our drink is because it is an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties; this would help fight side effects. Ginko biloba is a perk in our energy drink, because it enhances memory and concentration. Throughout our investigation, Jane and I discovered many ingredients with numerous health benefits, and a few items with alarming side effects; the key for energy drinkers is to know yourself, and know your health, before dousing your body with unknown chemicals. 




Probing Quote

“Among creatures born into chaos, a majority will imagine an order, a minority will question the order, and the rest will be pronounced insane.

Robert Brault

Louis Riel Obituary

Louis Riel died at age 41 on November 16, 1885 inRegina, where he was executed for treason. Riel was born on October 22, 1844 to Louis Riel Sr. and Julie Lagimodiere, in the Red River Settlement, St. Boniface (Winnipeg). Riel first left home at the age of fourteen to study for Priesthood. He was funded by Archbishop Tache of St. Boniface, a generous patron who saw Riel as a serious and gifted student. Riel was faithful student, and scholarly; he spent his spare time composing poetry, with lines such as this: “ in pain he consumes his days, a brim with bitterness.” Riel was thought to be a misunderstood hero.

     Riel replaced the current President of the Provisional Government in 1869, continuing on to help pass the Manitoba Act, which allowed First Nations entitlement to the land that was already in their possession. Although the Government of Ottawa disagreed with Riel’s choices, he was a brave man.

      In 1872, Riel traveled toSt. Paul,Minnesotaon a voluntary exile, to reduce the tension betweenQuebecandOttawaduring the time of the Red River Rebellion. In 1881 Riel moved toNew Yorkwhere he met and married his wife, Marguerite Monet, and they continued on to have three children. Riel obtainedU.S.citizenship in 1883, and moved toMontana, where he began his teaching career in 1884.

     December 8, 1875 was a major turning point in Riel’s life. After attending a mass inWashington,D.C., Riel had a vision of himself being anointed as a prophet of the new world. Rather than being an exiled man, and a failure of a political leader, he now viewed himself as the voice of God, a thread of hope for his Metis people. Riel’s body was released to his mother inManitoba, with the assurance that there would not be a formal burial.

Pantomime

Pantomime in writing, and pantomime in acting are different. In writing, a pantomime is basically a chunk of words used to describe a person, situation, feeling, etc. Pantomimes don’t include dialogue, and they often use exaggerated descriptions. See the example below, which I wrote using a prompt. The prompt was: a mother is nervously waiting for her daughter to come home, it is 3:00am, and she is smoking. Here it is:

Her mother paced the living room, accidentally knocking over a small glass vase, but she paid it no mind. She glanced at the clock; two minutes had passed. She took a seat, and rocked, taking long puffs from her cigarette. A moment later she jumped to her feet, and thrust her face against an opening in the blinds. Still not here. Her mother snuffed out her half-cigarette and proceeded to light another stick of tar inhaling deeply. She tapped her fingers lightly against the surfaces she passed, counting to 60 as she went. She glanced at her watch; two more minutes. As the silence grew stronger around her, the louder blood pumped within. Her mother soon found herself eye-to-eye with photographs of her, all the way from pre-school. She bit her lip, and hustled to the window for one last look; a street lamp flickered down the road, then ceased to glow altogether.

The Two-faced Man

Flash fiction is a short piece of writing, generally 250 words, so it doesn’t give a lot of time to build the characters, plot, and setting. Flash fiction typically focuses on one aspect and describes it in depth. The end of flash fiction pieces usually sport a twist. Here is an example of a character-driven flash fic.

“Mr. Groundhog should be here by now!”
“Maybe he ran into difficulty?”
“Mr. Groundhog is dead! Mr. Groundhog is dead!” the words drifted over the crowd, first in a murmur, which turned into a yell.
“Dead? How can this be?” A man in a green and black kilt, and matching cap jumped up. “We must find this wretched murderer!”

     The man looked high and low, through wilderness and town, but he didn’t notice anyone acting suspiciously. He decided to take a break at the Inn, and was just stepping inside when a man dressed in identical attire stepped out.
     “Why are you dressed like me?”
     “Uh… why are you dressed like me? Sheriff! Sheriff!” the impersonator hollered, waving his hand at a plump man who stood across the street, a few doors down. 
     “What have you done with Mr. Groundhog’s body? Tell me now!” the man growled, as he frisked the impersonator. He pulled out a vial of pink-tinged liquid, which was thin and translucent.
     “Sir, sir! Get away from there, I tell you, get back!” the pudgy sheriff had jaunted across the street, and clamped the man’s wrists in shackles. “And what’s this? Poison! You killed Mr. Groundhog! What are you doing talking to yourself anyhow, sir?”
Here’s a poem I wrote (can you guess who it’d dedicated to? <3) Riley and I have been dating going on 21 months! We have our ups and our downs, but all in all I can’t see myself with anyone better, and at the end of the day I’m as happy as I could be. Here’s a poem to help you understand…
Although it may sound sappy,
when in your arms I am ease;
I feel free, un-judged, and happy,
I feel whole, I feel complete.
You hold my hand each time I fall,
and you always care for me;
you fill my heart with strength,
and when I’m blind you help me see.
Every breath you share with me
helps me feel like I belong,
and with your heartfelt melody,
I could sing the sweetest song.
You look into my eyes, and kiss me;
suddenly stress disappears,
but when it all just bubbles up,
you wipe away my tears.
Your ambition is contagious,
and it makes me want to dream;
I can be ambitious too,
it’s easier than it seems.
I must return the favors,
not out of guilt, but choice;
you make me want to help you out,
when I hear your martyr voice.
Although it may sound sappy,
I thrived when we did meet,
I felt calm, at home, and blissful,
I felt whole, I felt complete.