Thursday, August 9, 2012

What do you think about faith?

For Webelos (one step before becoming a Boy Scout), one of the requirements is learning about faith. I chose to learn about Buddhism.

Nico and Tzu Chi Foundation
Nico and Auntie at Tzu Chi Foundation Center in Cleveland
This week, I learned many things about Buddhism at the Buddhist Tzu-Chi Foundation center in Cleveland. When I lived in Cleveland, I used to go to Tzu Chi school there on Saturday afternoons. I learned about Buddhism, Chinese culture, helping people, recycling, and other things. My grandmother goes to Tzu Chi as well. 

This information was collected through an interview of me and and an aunt who works at Tzu-Chi. Please note that these quotes and responses were not the exact phrases spoken. 

One thing I learned was that Tzu means a loving kindness, and that Chi means to help people from suffering. So together, it means that a loving kindness will help people from suffering. The person who founded the non-profit Tzu Chi Foundation was Master Cheng Yen.

I asked Auntie about her personal religious beliefs and she replied that Tzu Chi defines religion as the meaning of life. "How we act and perform will help us to promote peace to our world, and purify the mind," she says. "We must do all goods and avoid all evils so that we will help people [a]void natural disasters and war."

Auntie's favorite thing about being a member of Tzu Chi is that she loves to be a volunteer and go to the homes of the sick and elderly. She says that to help people is to help yourself. She says that is the source of happiness, and that when other people are happy, it makes her smile. I agree with Auntie about helping others. 

What Auntie said about doing her duty to God and helping other people is part of the Scout Oath, which says:
On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times, to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.
Auntie also talked about things that fit in with the Scout Law, which says:
A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.
I agree with everything Auntie said. I really believe in the part of the Scout Law that says "A Scout is FRIENDLY:

A Scout is a friend to all. He is a brother to other Scouts. He offers his friendship to people of all races and nations, and respects them even if their beliefs and customs are different from his own.

My mom and I also talked about faith and about how some people don't believe there is a god. I think God does exist. My grandfather (Ah-gong) said that some people think that when you die, you have an afterlife or you are reincarnated. I believe in that too because sometimes things happen that make me think there is a God, like when something really lucky happens.

Two ways I have lived according to my beliefs is helping other people (like my brother sometimes) and being friendly to new people. I have also been thrifty by saving up my money for 8 months to buy a Nintendo DS. {#emotions_dlg.rolleyes}

What do you think about faith? Do you believe in God?

Monday, July 30, 2012

Special Interview with Nolan, LEGO Ninjago Expert

Nolan says hi!
Today I will be interviewing my little brother Nolan, who loves his toys. He is a LEGO Ninjago expert, and will guide you about it along the way. So far we have created a game called "Ninja-Mania," which he will also tell you about. 

Q. What is your favorite Ninjago set?
A. My favorite set is Epic Dragon Battle. [It comes with Elemental Dragon, Jail Trap, and the Great Devourer. Characters are Jay ZX, Lloyd ZX, Sensei Wu, Lord Garmadon, Acidicus, and Skalidore.] 

Q. Who is your favorite character?
A. My favorite character is Jay ZX. [Jay ZX is the blue lightning ninja. Scroll down and click on the blue ninja.]

Q. What is your favorite Ninja game?
A. My favorite is Ninja-Mania. [This is a game created by Nico and Nolan. To play, you start out with a character and spinner, collect items and customize yourself along the way. You must knock over your enemies to gain points.] 

Q. What would you say about Ninjago?
A. I like it. It's a fun game to play because you have weapons and defeat your opponents. 

Q. Who is your favorite snake?
A. It is Acidicus. [Acidicus is the Venomari Tribe general. Go to snake clans while and keep clicking on the right arrow key button until you see a green snake with a tail appear.]

Thank you for listening to Nolan's interview! {#emotions_dlg.rolleyes}

Friday, July 27, 2012

My Brother's Field Trip

Nolan's class barbecue
Brothers at the BBQ (Nico is the one on the right)

Arriving at the Field Trip

Today at my brother's school, his preschool class had a field trip at Ortega Park, and mom and I joined them. As my mom and I walked toward the barbeque area to help make the fire, we spotted Nolan at the drinking fountain with his friends. We had just finshed parking, and started to help his teachers set everything up. Then I went to the playground to take photos of Nolan playing with his friends.

Photographing Nolan

When I walked to the playground, I found Nolan and climbed up a ladder. Then I started to snap photos of him, but while I was doing that he asked me if I wanted to play Ninjago with him and his friends. I said yes, but he asked me what character I wanted to be, and I said "Pythor." Nolan said that he was "Rattla" and that his friend was "Skales." Instead of playing, I mostly took photos.

Building Sand Castles

After thinking about it, I asked Nolan if he wanted to build some sand castles with me. He nodded, and so we slid down the slides to the sand area. We started to build some mountains, and then another kid from his class helped. Pretty soon all of the kids were helping, and we ended up with two holes (one deep, one wide) and three mountains (all unique). Then we partnered up to go back to the BBQ lunch (my partner was Nolan).

Eating time

Now it was time to eat. We had hot dogs, chips, watermelon chunks, baby carrots, cookies and bottled water. I helped with it a little bit. When some of the kids were finished, we played (chaos) tag. Nolan played too, but for some reason then started to cry. Then we played hide-and-seek when he was feeling better, but it was time for everybody to check in to return to school. Nolan was still hiding and since nobody knew where he was, some of the teachers and parents called for him. He dashed out of a bush, and was happy at first but then saw everyone looking at him and started to cry again. He was pretty embarrassed from what just happened.

Going Back to Preschool

My mom and I drove back to Nolan's school after the field trip was over. Instead of walking back with his teachers and classmates, Nolan came with us because he was still not in a good mood. When we arrived, all the cots were laid out for the kids to take a nap. I looked at the snake, mantis, and bird (not to mention silkworm/moth), while Nolan put his cover and blanket on his cot (today he didn't have his Pillow Pet, Bumbly Bee). Then the rest of the kids who walked from the BBQ back to school came in and got ready to nap, too. We waved goodbye to Nolan, and when we were about to leave, it looked like Nolan was about to cry again. 

I hope this turned out a happy ending! {#emotions_dlg.whistle}

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Nick Chicken's Food Show *Special Edition*

Hi guys, in case you didn't know, I host a web series you can find on YouTube. It's called Nick Chicken's Food Show. So far, we've had three seasons, with a few unaired episodes coming soon. Here is the show, starting with the first webisode I hosted when I was in first grade.


About Nick Chicken's Food Show

Nick Chicken's Food Show stars Nick Chicken and is produced by Lisa Pizza. There are many characters, and there are still new ones who may join! In this interview, you will learn who the characters' names are, what they like about the show, and much more! Here are the characters' "fooditific" names.

Featured characters

Host: Nick Chicken                              Nick's buddy: Charlotte Cha Siu Bao
Producer/mother: Lisa Pizza                 Father: Bob Broccoli (new name)
Younger Brother: James Fishy              Puppy: Henry McMuffin                
Aunt: Sarah Pancakes                         Aunt's partner: Katie Bread

The Questions

1. What do you love about being in the show?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. Who is your favorite character?
4. Why would you recommend watching the NC web series?
5. Are there any behind-the-scenes secrets you would like to share?

(Self-)Interview with Nick Chicken

1.  I love being able to make/eat different recipes, and working together with my pals.
2. You would expect me to say that it would be chicken, but it is actually ice cream.
3. I don't have a favorite character, I love everybody (and their personality) who participates in the show!
4. It's fun for everyone to learn about food with a little bit of humor sprinkled in. And the more watches the better (don't forget to watch James Fishy, Season 2, and Nick Chicken's Nature Show)!
5. Well, if you really want to know where the "Chicken" part of the Nick Chicken name came from, it's because it matches well with Nick. That's all!

Interview with Lisa Pizza

1. I enjoy collaborating with my son - I think we make a great team. I love doing things that involve food and family. I'm a Hungry Ghost!
2. I love many different kinds of food, but I'll say Chinese/Taiwanese dumplings.
3. I love all the characters, but my favorite is the main star and show creator Nick Chicken.
4. It's fun for families to learn about food together.
5. All of our "fooditific" names were created by Nick Chicken. We didn't get to choose them.

If you have a show idea, leave a comment!!{#emotions_dlg.rofl}

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The London Olympics Preview

London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic mascots Wenlock and Mandeville. 
Photo credit: London 2012
This summer, on July 27, 2012, the London Olympics will officially commence. This year, many things are going on like the two rivals who will compete: Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte. Lolo Jones has made it through the trials this year, but sadly gymnastics superstar Nastia Liukin has retired, and will not be part of Team USA anymore. The competitions will really be amazing!

Arch Rivals
The legendary Michael Phelps is not alone. Another star in the swimming Olympics is Ryan Lochte, who has beat Michael Phelps in a couple of races. However, that does not mean that Phelps will not beat him. Originally, Phelps was planning on retiring, and doing some other sports like golf. But then he eventually decided to go to the next Olympics which is the 2012 London Olympics that will begin in a few more days. These two stars are going for the gold!

Lolo makes it to the team
After some rough years, Lolo Jones has made it to the 2012 Olympics, and is competing in Track & Field Hurdles. At the trials, she just barely made it, and the crowd went wild. After her victory lap holding the US flag, she began signing autographs to her fans. Lolo has been training for this event for years, and now it has finally paid off. Lolo has won many races, but one she will never forget is the penultimate hurdle race, where she placed in 7th.  She may not be the very best...yet, but she is definitely one of the most popular US athletes currently.

Nastia Liukin Retires
Following her unfortunate event of falls in the Olympic trials, Nastia Liukin has retired, but is still known for her great events in Beijing, China. After competing in the 2008 Olympics, Nastia earned the most gold medals in a single gymnastics game. Even though she will not be competing in the 2012 Olympics, Nastia will still be at the London Olympic Games. One of her closest friends in her career is named Shawn Johnson, who is also a famous gymnast. Nastia has helped served our country in the Olympics many times.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Is it wrong to be gay?

Muppets: Statler and Waldorf (photo from Toughpigs

What does gay mean?

Well in my opinion, being gay is not wrong. People have their own rights, and freedom/liberty is one of the laws of the US, correct? 

I am in Webelos 2 (almost a Boy Scout), and everything else about scouting is fine! I like learning new things to earn activity badges. I like roasting marshmallows at camp fires. I like to hike and this weekend, I achieved enough miles to earn a hiking stick. 

This is me in my Webelos uniform, the first day I wore it. 

I also have a close relative who is gay and wonderful. The fact that this person is gay does NOT bother me at all. 

Here are some recent events that I am very disappointed about:       

In a scout pack in Ohio, there was a woman den leader who was gay; she has a partner and a son. Sadly, she couldn't be a den leader any longer just because she was gay. Later, she went to the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) headquarters in Utah with a petition. In the petition, it said that gay people SHOULD be able to join scouting. More than 300,000 signatures said "yes" in approval. Unfortunately, the BSA people did not approve... still.   
For more information, go here

Eagle Scouts giving up their medals
Hearing the news of the petition, some Eagle Scouts had very strong feelings about it, and are deciding to turn in their medals after all their hard work. To me, I think that the BSA should approve the petition for two reasons: 
A. BSA encourages scouts to make their own decisions that their feelings tell them, and 
B. This is making a bad impression on them. BSA should give everyone an opportunity, because this could also let more people join, too. 

Chik-fil-A donates to anti-gay marriage organizations
Donating money for anti-gay causes?! That's one of the most silliest things I've ever of, especially when you could be donating to a charity that wants to help EVERYONE. Nobody even knows for sure if god wants people to marry a different gender. Following these actions, The Muppets organization has ended their partnership with Chik-fil-A. I support that decision.
All in all, we will not know if this craziness will cease, but we do know that this needs to stop, and together, we can put it to an end. A life without these anti-gay laws would be much more peaceful, and there would be much less conflict such as the ones listed above.{#emotions_dlg.clap}

Monday, July 23, 2012

Top 10 Hopes For My Next 10 Years

Now that I am 10 years old, I am looking forward to new experiences. Here is another Top 10 List. 

Top 10 Hopes For My Next Decade 

(not in specific order)

#1: Driving a Car
I can't believe that in 6 more years, I will be able to learn how to drive a car! I'm thinking of getting a small car like a Smart Car, Mini, or Fiat just so I won't have to worry about things like crashes. My mom worries when driving our big SUV, but luckily it has a back-up camera to make up for it.

#2: Voting
When I'm 18 years old, I'll get to vote. One reason why I'll be excited when I can vote is because then I'll be able to help the U.S decide which person should be the president, and to decide what bills should be laws. It is one important role of being a citizen.

#3: Sitting in the Passenger Seat
My dad once told me that the law was that if you are ten years old, you can sit in the passenger seat, but that you're still more safe in the back row. I just tried it this morning though, and I got a great view of what it's like to be driving a car.

#4: Attending Middle School
What I know about high school and junior high is that there are lockers and periods, and there are very many kids, especially in my school district. I'm going to be in 5th grade next year though, so middle school will be two more years from now.

#5: Wearing Deodorant
OK, I'm not really looking forward to having to use deodorant, but at least I get to choose it. All I have to be careful with is to make sure not to get the anti-perspirant because it has some chemicals that aren't good. It's not a hassle putting it on, but taking a shower every morning is. 

#6: Reaching a New Toy Age Limit
Many advanced toy sets that I really like are usually age 10+, but now I can buy those sets because I'm ten. One of those are Lego Robotics that lets you build a robot (with instructions) and program it to walk, turn, etc. It's just really expensive, but I can see why.

#7: Increasing My Allowance
When I am in 5th grade, the price will rise for my allowance, up to $5 a week. So that will definitely allow me to save up and purchase my dream toy: the Nintendo 3Ds XL which starts at $199. Or I could save even more for the future one (let's say the 3Ds XXL).

#8: Having a Job
Having a job is perhaps even better than getting an allowance. Though the tasks can be more challenging, the money earned is far greater. Some jobs that I could begin with would be an engineer, scientist, etc. Later, my jobs could be something else.

#9: Having My Own Home
Another thing I am looking forward to is having my own house. It's not that I don't want to live with my family anymore, it's just that I think that it will be interesting having my own place. I'll be able to decorate it the way I want it, invite friends or family members to parties, and more!

#10: Owning a Pet
Since I do not own any pets currently, I would like to get a dog such as a Golden Retriever. Dogs can give you company, play with you, and can do tricks. If you train them well enough, they won't do bad things like eat your homework (though then you wouldn't have an excuse like that anymore!).{}