Potential in VR and Building

You know, after that first blog, my parents asked me to do some more research into things that interested me at Ngong Ping, and so I did.

In this blog, there will be two focus points. one will be how the Buddha was built ( short ) and my thoughts on the VR experience center.

The Buddha was built in 1993. It stands thirty-four meters tall and weighs 250 tonnes. I did some research into this huge statue and discovered that the statue was put together, piece by piece, like a giant set of legos.

The statue’s frame was built with scaffoldings. Then pieces of the statue like the hand were transported up the hill by mules and then lifted with machines to the right place. Can you imagine how much manpower was needed to build this statue?

On-site at Ngong Ping, there was a VR experience center called VR 360. This station gives you the choice of six different VR experiences, like tightrope walking, exploring Hong Kong’s neighborhood and such.

If we could use VR to simulate realistic activities like tightrope walking, we could use VR to experience real-world places, like…the Buddha statue! If we could make this happen, then we won’t need to travel around the world to see different sites. Travel might be a thing of the past, and instead of traveling to places, we could sit in our homes and “travel” to different locations using VR. ( Speaking of VR, I watched a video once talking about the possible use of VR on planes. It said that VR could help people travel to another place virtually, just like the idea above.)

Although it would be great not to travel long distances to see monuments, it would probably impact popular tourist attractions. If VR companies did make programmes to experience different real-world locations, the VR sellers will probably get more customers, and hence more profit. Tourist attractions and economies dependent on tourists will probably see a decline in customers as more people would be attracted by the VR “traveling”.

Ngong Ping Buddha

Today we went to Ngong Ping to see the giant statue of the Buddha.

We took the MTR for about 50 minutes and landed in Tung Chung. Then we got on to the Ngong Ping 360 cable car. It was a 25-minute long trip which provided you with a fantastic view of the sea, mountains and the airport (?). It was great. The view was fantastic, and we got to look at planes landing and taking off to who knows where. ( after my trip to Peru, All the planes seem to be taking off to Lima.)

Even before we arrived on the other side of the mountain, the first thing we saw was the giant Buddha statue. It was big, rising high above the surrounding trees. You could distinctly see people around it. But we soon entered the station and the view of the Buddha was blocked by concrete.

After we left the cable car station, we entered Ngong Ping town, and hoo boy was it crowded. Just the people constantly streaming off the cable car was suffocating. To learn more about this town, we entered the natural history exhibit room near the carpool. The exhibit said that there were many kinds of animals near the Ngong Ping town like the Chinese white dolphin and tree frogs. This made me very excited. Animals, yay!

After this little detour, we went straight for the Buddha statue. It was what this place was famous for, after all. And unlike when visiting many other monuments, I was excited to see this engineering marvel. ( This was better than staring at a mountain of dirt that used to be a wall in the city of Chan Chan. )

We walked to the gate leading up to the Buddha statue. Standing in front of the gate, I looked up. Stairs made a straight path to the mountaintop where the statue perched. It looked really magnificent. We started up at once, eager to see this work of art.

When we got up to the statue, it appeared larger than ever. From afar, you had nothing to compare it with and didn’t know how big it really was until you got close to it. Standing at the base of the statue, it must have been at least 30 meters tall. it was dark in color and sat on a pedstil in the shape of a lily. The statue was made completely of bronze. Bet when it was first made, it must have glittered under the sun like gold, although it’s rusted over now.

We walked around the huge structure while admiring the view around us. From the top of the mountain, we had an excellent view of the surrounding fields, hills, and the town. If you were there, you would have been able to see far into the ocean and see little dots moving on the top that was actually boats. It was really cool.

It was a pretty fun day, and I totally recommend you go there. It’ll be worth it.

P.S: There was also a kind of cable car called the crystal car, which had a glass floor. It actually sounded pretty exciting. Maybe next time we could try it out.

More subjects

Today we had four new subjects: English, Science, Chinese and Humanities.

We started with Good old Chinese! I’m in MA now! And I have new classmates! A few of the people I know were in this class as well, but the majority were strangers to me, but I’m sure we’ll get along.

Our teacher was Ms.Yang. In Chinese, she introduced herself. We introduced ourselves too by saying our name, then where we were from, and then where we went in the summer. It was a simple and direct way to know each other.

Next, we had English. Our English teacher was very humorous and cracked many jokes. In class, we also played a pantomime game. We split up into three teams. Each team chose three people to go stand in front of the whiteboard. The teacher then wrote a word or a short sentence on top of the whiteboard for us to act out by pantomiming. Then the people standing in front of the whiteboard have to guess what the word of short sentences was by looking at our pantomimes.

Then we had science, which was, thankfully, in our homeroom. yay! No need to rush around in crowded corridors to get to a class! In science, we did an experiment: using the gas released by a pill of dissolving aspirin to pop the cover of a container…and the time that the can pop must be as close to the beginning of the chorus in “Firework” by Katy Perry. So we’re making a time bomb. We tested with different amounts of the tablet and they all popped at different times. The closest we got was one-eighth of a tablet. So that was the amount our group used in the contest.

It never popped. Even funnier, canister popped in my hands. Why do you hate me, ya little bottle?

Lastly, we had humanities. Our teacher explained that the humanities would be about geography, history, and basically things about humans. In class, we played bingo, in which we were given a sheet with sentences like this: Someone who has gone to Africa. Then you run around asking people if they’ve been to Africa until you find a person who has been to Africa. Then you ask that person so cross out the sentence your question was based on and sign their name beside it. When you have every single sentence signed off, you win. Well, I didn’t, but it was fun nonetheless.

Things that I will probably remember. During the game in English class, everyone realized just how freaking hard it is to communicate without words. Our team won in the end, but we nearly lost because we couldn’t use pantomiming to communicate well. So, learn English well people! ( Or whatever language you’re comfortable with. )

Yes! I have survived the second day of upper school. It’s actually pretty fun ( up till now ) and not as half as bad as I had imagined and what I was told. Let’s see what happens next week.

My first day of school 2

Today is the first day of school. it’s also the first day of seventh grade as well. Today we were introduced to our new teacher, and we were given copies of the schedule.

There were a lot of changes in the seventh grade Instead of staying in one room, we needed to move from room to room for different subjects because now different homeroom teachers teach different subjects. So every time one class ends, the hallways will be packed by people, making their way to different classes. The result is fully packed hallways with people going to different classes. and since it’s the first day, nobody really knew their way around the seventh grade, the result was chaos in the hallways.

Today was all about getting to know each other and back to school preparations, like getting our lockers and knowing our way around. We also had an assembly in which our principle welcomed all the students back to school and introduced us to the new teachers. We also met our math teacher and fine arts teacher.

Fine art is a new subject. We had a block of this lesson today, in which we played some icebreaker games. Our fine arts teacher said that, through the year, we will have rotations for this subject. For instance, we would do fine arts for a while, then in the same class, learn about visual arts, then drama.

Math was pretty fun too. We made a “figure me out sheet”, where we would use math formulas to tell other people things about us: how old are you? I’m 24/2 years old and such.

Reflection: Today was fun. But the most fun was a game we played during fine arts called atom. In this game, we needed to group up in the numbers instructed. This game helped us learn about teamwork, and who is on that team doesn’t really matter whatsoever.

So ok, great day!

The Meg

So I just saw the movie The Meg and it was not so bad.

The movie was about scientists trying to kill a megalodon. it was pretty thrilling and had good action scenes, but there were also several things I weren’t so clear about. A lot of times they were just taking so unnecessary risks.

So the movie started with the main character going to a nuclear sub to rescue some people. But then something starts to crush the hull and he ditches his two friends and eight other people to save the eleven people they already had on board the escape pod.

Then the movie cuts to some people on the South China Sea research base thing and the people in the research center are saying that the bottom of the Mariana trench is hydrogen and the real seabed is underneath it. And they send three people into a sub to investigate. Why don’t you just send an automatic minisub to the seabed? Don’t you think that sending a machine will be less risky?

Well, anyways. The crew go underneath the layer of hydrogen and find a really cool seabed area with a lot of fish. Then they deploy a rover to furthermore investigate more of the seabed. Why don’t you just send the rover down to the seabed with some airbags to slow it down?

Suddenly the sub starts getting attacked by something and the ground control loses communication with them. They also calculated that the people in the broken sub had 18 hours of air. And their first reaction was to go find the guy who was on the rescue mission at the first bit of the movie because he is good at diving and rescuing! And he is in fact in Thailand! I went online and the flight time from Shang Hai to Thailand is four hours. Why don’t you just send a few of your own subs? And diving doesn’t really help because you are literally at the bottom of the Mariana trench! The pressure is enough to fold a navy carrier in half!

Now the boss and the investor of the research center people come up to the main character and say:”Hey your ex-wife is stuck in the ocean wanna come help?” And he does. But while they were gone the other main character leave the research station in a tiny sub to try and tow the ship that is easily two times its size. And she gets attacked by a giant squid. Just when everyone was freaking out the squid got killed my a megladon which survived the extinction.

Freaking great.

Now they have two subs stuck on the seabed because the other main character refuses to come up to the surface until she had rescued the others. The main character comes in another big sub and attached his sup with theirs. maybe they should just have done that in the first place and not run across the world for some random person who happened to experience this animal before.

One of the people trapped in the sub sacrifices himself for the others and immediately everyone blames the main character for his death! Why are you all blaming him?! He didn’t close the submarine hatch, it was the person who sacrificed himself! And shouldn’t be giving the person who sacrificed himself some credit? They don’t mention him a single time in the next scene.

They realized that because of the sub’s fast speed on the return journey, they made a rift of warm water through which the shark could swim through. Great. And they also decide to try to kill it with medical drugs and a harpoon gun. the movie also makes it clear that they have working phones and radios. Why don’t they just call the authorities? “Hello? Chinese navy? I work in a research lab and we believe a dangerous animal is on the loose and may endanger many people! Please send a helicopter to kill this thing!”

So they set out on a boat, which is strange because it is clear that the megalodon attacks boats and they have a private helicopter. They could call the helicopter and shoot the shark from there. So the second main character gets into a super strong shark cage and shoots the shark with the drug-harpoon and it does kill it. they then raise the shark onto the boat…and a second megalodon comes over and eats it up.

Shoot!

So there are two sharks now! Great. Maybe now you will contact the authorities? No?! Ok…

So the investor man hires a helicopter and makes a bunch of depth charges to blow up the shark. They do blow something up and the investor man wants his crew to get him some megalodon teeth. Then the investor man told him that it didn’t have teeth and that they probably killed a whale. And the megalodon shows up kills him.

so the crew decides to use whale noises to attract the shark and then kill it. This was actually pretty smart. They then use a homemade torpedo to bomb the shark. But the main character’s torpedo release system is broken and has part of the ship reduced to jagged metal. He then uses the jagged metal sides to cut open the megalodon and lets other modern sharks eat it.

So it’s not the best movie, but it wasn’t so bad. The actors were good at acting out their characters. And the scene where the sharks eat the megalodon was really cool, and I definitely recommend this movie. ( I did just spoil the movie for you.)

 

Even more fish

Today another tetra died. I have an issue now.

So today I need ed to go buy tetras. I also needed some snails for feeding my pufferfish. ( expensive fish have expensive tastes, eh?)

So…I went to Mong Kok and looked around for the stuff I wanted to buy. Tetras were really easy to find, and I soon bought 12 for my tank. now I needed something to clean my tank. So I’ve got a few options: Clown Loach, Khuli Loach, Corydoras and plecos. I, again being really caring about how my tank looked like, I chased the idea of plecos out of my head. They won’t look very nice in a brightly coloured tank. Khuli loaches are also an impossibility because they require hiding places, which does not exist in this tank yet.

So now I’m down to clown loach and corydoras. I decided to check on clown loaches first because they have great colours! I saw a tank with clown loaches. Great! Let’s see the price…

58$HKD each ( DUN DUN DUUUUUUN )

Well then, I’m not that rich and these fish have to be with at least another coach. Corydoras it is!

I found a huge shop with both saltwater and freshwater fish. I rushed to the freshwater area. Yay! corydoras! These fish had a price of 18 HKD each, so I bought two. ( This isn’t really good for these fish, because in the wild they are found in herds of hundreds. ) So now, all I needed were ramshorn snails.

I think I explained in another blog that I need these snails to file down my pufferfish’s teeth. So I walked around looking for some snails. Wait, why doesn’t anyone sell ramshorn snails? Yup! after walking around for 5 minutes in all the fish shops, not a single bag of ramshorn snails. Hey, guess what? I found the only place that sells ramshorn snails is my favourite aquarium plant store. Huh. I bought the snails and went back home.

So I dumped the corydoras and tetras into the big tank and observed ( scientific word for gawking ) and they seem ok. Then, I added the snails into a pot. Now all I need is to see if I can breed them, so I can have basically infinite live food for my pufferfish.

So there is another day of fish shopping. Man, I love fish.

A brief history of my aquarium!

Aaaand Here’s the history of my tank.

  1. First fish. I’m taking home two random fish. Two random fish that I know nothing of. They are actually dwarf gourami, and they will grow up to become archenemies.
  2. The attempted suicide. one of the gouramis tried to jump out of the tank and smacked onto the floor. It survived because it can breathe air from an organ called a labyrinth organ.
  3. First big tank, neon tetras arrive and first planted tank. The new great tank is here! It’s quite big and is now hosting one gourami and the new neon tetras. The second gourami is lonely and in another tank.
  4. Wierd black fish comes. Plecos are now existing in the tank! they are not doing anything and just lying around.
  5. The death of dwarf gourami and pleco. These fish just died of ich, my soon to be enemy for a long long time. ( jk a few months. )
  6. The coming of big white fish. A pearl gourami now exists in the tank! It is chasing the gourami. I have a problem.
  7. The day I leave for Peru with no one to take care of the tank.
  8. Cannibalism. Dwarf gourami 2 and pleco have been eaten as food. I should have let some shrimp loose in the tank.
  9. The great age of death. 5 of my neon tetras died of old age. R.I.P tetras. I will remember you and all of the fish who died.
  10. The era of nothingness. In this period, nothing much happened. The fish tank was in peace!
  11. The breaking of the peace. Malawian cichlids are now living in one tank. Soon they are separated and are living in different tanks. They are trying to kill all the fish.
  12. The great ich epidemic. The infamous ich epidemic that killed 11 neon tetras. The sole survivor is now living in a separate quarantine tank. However, none other fish died. Queer.
  13. Death of Malawian cichlid. this guy got bitten to death by a really angry pearl gourami and another Malawian cichlid who had enough of fin-nipping from this guy. R.I.P cichlid.
  14. The coming of four very weird fish. Today I bought four green spotted puffers! Best fish ever! They are the best.
  15. The second ich epidemic. Ich is now back in town and killing tetras! Now 4 tetras remain. Put in the sole survivor of the first epidemic. looking good.
  16. Present everything is great. I need new tetras, but with a water change and a clean tank, they should be fine!

Fishy Fish

Well, this tank of fish has some fishy stuff going on.

A few weeks before, I bought a bag of three tetras. By now, some experienced aquarists will probably be shouting:” If you want to keep tetras alive and healthy, you need at least five of them!” And yeah yeah, your right, they do need to live in a group, but I bought these to ensure that the ones I had at home could have enough numbers to be happy. Hmm, guess what? the shop charged me forty dollars for three. Turns out that they were a “new” breed of tetras, and were more immune to many diseases.

After I put the new fish into their tanks, my tetras started to die in very weird ways. I would wake up in the morning with dead fish everywhere. Plus they had white spots all over them. Welp, ich.

I think I talked about ich in another blog, where I said that some of my fish died of ich. So that was happening again…except on a bigger scale. How big a scale? Well, basically the whole tank got wiped out because of this disease. ( OK, maybe not the whole tank. Some of these deaths are probably contributed to bad tank mates. )

I ran a troubleshooting sheet and listed causes. One was that the new fish had a disease and gave it to these fish, they just died or they got killed by bigger more aggressive fish. Well, they couldn’t have been killed by aggressive fish, because they weren’t bitten or mangled in any way. They were intact. They obviously couldn’t have died from natural causes, or they wouldn’t have had white spots all over them.

Freaking great.

This is the THIRD TIME I had to deal with ick outbreaks in my aquarium. And the seller said it was a new breed of tetras that were IMMUNE TO THESE DISEASES! I’m quite sure lots of professional and experienced aquarists have successfully overcome ich. However…I am not an expert in aquarium care and I don’t have any fish medications ( these are real ) lying around. I have a problem.

I added some salt into my aquarium, hoping that the salt would kill the parasite. I also quarantined the most affected fish. Oh, and by the way, the salt was TABLE SALT with iodine, which kills fish kinda. ( I am going to get a lot of hate comments on this aren’t I?)

So…a few days have passed and the tetra population has now been reduced to 2. After this, cane the journey where I went to buy more fish with my friend. And I now keep 12 tetras in the tank. Will they survive?

No.

A week later I’m down to 4. Adding the sole survivor of the great ich epidemic, ( man, to my fish this must have been like the plague ) that brings it up to five. I have a big problem

I did a water change and cut the aquarium plants. Good idea dad! Now the aquarium looks much better!

Tomorrow, I’m probably going to Mong Kok to buy fish with my friend again, because I need tetras and ramshorn snails to feed my pufferfish…Which might not turn out well.

I went online to research in on ramshorn snails, and everyone said that they’re great for pets and feed. I’ll be farming them for fresh food for pufferfish. ( The pufferfish need basically all the fishy luxuries a fish can have to just survive, ok?) The internet said that breeding ramshorn snails are very easy since that’s what they do all the time. But there’s just one little problem in this great plan of snail farming ( this sounds stupid when I say it out loud ).

These snails can lay 500 eggs in a few weeks. I’ve even heard that people have so many snails that they take a few out of their tanks every day to either feed to the fish or smash them with the great hammer of doom. I obviously need to buy very little of them, 6, three males and three females, and they’ll probably be having grandchildren in a month or two. If I but these snails, you’ll be eating live snails quiet often puffies!

I also need to mention some worrying news: my pufferfish seem to have traces of ich. There are tiny white spots on their tales. I think they got it from the wood I moved into their tank after the great ich epidemic. They don’t seem to be showing symptoms though, and if it really is freshwater ich, it’ll be demolished by the fact that I will be raising salinity in the puffer tank. If the salinity gets too high, the ich will all just shrivel up and die. So, we’ll see. Right now, they’re fine. I kinda think that they recognise me. Every time I sit down, they swim up to the surface.

Geez, longest blog ever in history. I love talking about fish. They’re very fascinating, and I think personally that they’re great as pets…and that all my tetras are jinxed.

P.S: I should write a history blog on the brief and worrying history of my aquarium hobby that came from a dwarf gourami in a bowl to four green spotted puffers living in a freaking saltwater tank.

 

Shoutout

A big thank you to all of the people who helped our team with our customer survey!

Andrea, Jun, Nicolas, Zhenye, Ada, Wenhao, Jammy, Feng, IL, Kaihua, Dorian, Yuntao, Mark, Heng, Christina, Peisong, Jason, Mike, Andy, Vicky, Tong, Grace, Yi, Karen, Tao, Fei, Lisa, Nina, mom and dad!

Thanks to all for supporting our team. Have a good night!