Week 5, Part 2.1

Part 1 of part 2:
Summary of pages 216-321

In this next part of October Sky, Sonny continues to build rockets. He found his new material at the shop. Sonny ended up trading an entire chain of things with people to get what he needed, but in the end he was able to get the new rocket build. When they had found this new cone material, the machinists made the new rockets to their specifications, however they also took the liberty to make one extra rocket that was 3 feet long instead of 2′. When they tested these new rockets on the following saturday, they used their melted rocket candy. At this showing, they had nearly the entire machine shop show up along with a few of the town’s people. The first Auk went up at achieved about 3000 feet. The next had an almost repeat performance, achieving nearly the same altitude. The third Auk would be the 3′ one. When they launched this one, it too went up well, but it only made 2000 feet. The machinists loved the rockets even when they didn’t go as high…and so did Quentin. From the final test they were able to conclude that the longer the rocket was from about 2 feet up, the lower the maximum altitude would be. At least with rocket candy. Quentin then decided that it was time to look for a new propellent. For Christmas 1958, Sonny had received a gift he thought was impossible to get. He had gotten a signed picture of Wernher von Braun with a note written to him attached to it. Sonny’s mother had written to him about the rocket work he and the BCMA had been doing, and von Braun had replied, telling Sonny that he just might end up in space or with NASA if he keeps working at it. Sonny took this and kept it as a motivational image for him and the rest of the BCMA. When school was back in session, Sonny was ready to be back. it was the first time he had seen Quentin since break. When they got to chemistry class, Ms. Riley took them out to the football field to demonstrate zinc and sulfur’s reaction to flame. It was a hot blast that made them think of making it a new propellant. After class, Ms. Riley had asked Sonny to see her after school because she had something for him. By the end of the day, Sonny had forgotten and by the time he remembered it was too late. The next day it was snowing hard. School wasn’t canceled, but the busses weren’t running and those able to get there were expected. Sonny, Roy Lee, Sherman and O’Dell all sledded to Big Creek High. By the time they got there, school had been closed but they were told to get their homework from teachers. Sonny went to Ms. Riley and apologized for forgetting to come in the day before. She gave him a book about designing rockets. It was one of the few things they still hadn’t been able to get for the BCMA. This book told him and the rest of the BCMA that they were going to need to know calculus to find they needed to know in order to build more efficient rockets. The first problem with this came with the fact that the school had no calc course. When the asked the math teacher to teach them he said no, and even if he wanted to he couldn’t. They next went to the principle. He had never liked the idea of building rockets…nor did he like von Braun. He kept calling the BCMA “the Pipe Bomb Club”. When they first asked, he said no because it was above him….but after some time the group was able to get him to look for authorization to have a small calc class. Within a week they were all called back to the office. The principle told them he was able to get them to allow such a class, and then he was able to allow 6 people in it instead of 5. He told the boys that a signup was going to be circulating for them and that they all better signup. The next day a pillar exploded in the mine. The pillars are what hold up the mine. If a pillar breaks, something has gone very wrong. Homer went into the mine even-though it isn’t his job to do rescuing. Ike had been in the machine that was under the detonated pillar. He died, and Homer, who had gone down anyway, had saved 12 people. In the process, he had been hit with a cable that snapped and hushed to a hospital. He was now more or less blind in one eye and had plenty of stitches across his head. For the next month or so Sonny felt terrible. He stopped building rockets, despite the new design that had been built for them at the shop, and he didn’t talk to anyone. When Mrs Bykovski, Ike’s wife, was leaving town, Sonny said he was sorry about Ike. Ike had been in the mines because he had been caught helping Sonny build rockets before his dad realized he should be encouraging him. Mrs Bykovski, however, said that it wasn’t Sonny’s fault because Ike could have gone back to the shop at any time he wanted to….but he liked the pay better in the mine. She then told Sonny to do the thing Ike would have wanted him to do: keep building rockets. Within the next few days Sonny went to the shop to pickup their latest design of rocket. The BCMA was back on track to enter into the science fair and win it. The new rocket had also received a new fuel: Zinc and Sulfur. When it shot off with the crowd of spectators (mainly machinists), it got about 1000 feet up and exploded. When the looked at the fragments that came falling to the ground, they couldn’t figure out why it had done what it had. The machinist who created the rocket looked at it and said it looked like it exploded at the weld. It turned out that all of their rockets had been welded in the center instead of being one long tube. They hadn’t know this, and were sure that it was the cause of the explosion. Now they needed to get the more costly long tubing from the company.

Week 5, Part 1

Directions: Post #1: Read two other students’ blogs and comment on their blog about their level of insight in regards to their memoir, their blog in general and also something they could improve upon. If two comments have been submitted for a blog, go on to a different blog to comment.

Here are the blogs I commented on:



Hope I did this the right way…but it seems I am the only person to comment at all! Again, I will be writing my summary in the next hour or so, but I might get side tracked looking for comments in other classes! :P

Before I Do My English Blog Post…

Here is an interesting tid-bit:

Of my entire first hour class, 27 people, only five of them, six including myself, have done their blog posts for the last week. What happened to the other 21 people? Well, about 1/3-1/2 of them did week 3 posts…and the rest either haven’t posted at all or only did the first assignment. First off, I’d like to congratulate the 5 other people who did their posting…and I hope they find this one ok. Next off, I am gonna hate to see the complaints when Mr. Hatten does his grade updates and just half of the class will be passing. I do realize that these posts are time consuming, and they really are longer than they should be for homework with no in-class work time…but how hard is it to write a summary and click post? Oh well…I guess it’s not mine to argue…my post in coming in about 1-2 hours for week five, so stay tuned if you need to comment!

Attached you will find a picture of the 5 people that have posted updates. NOTE: this is a picture so you CAN NOT copy and paste the links. If you need the links, please goto Mr. Hatten’s blog at [edinaenglish10.blogspot.com] picture-4.png

Things getting behind…

Well…I guess I’m starting to really get behind on my outside of school work. My icon set hasn’t made progress for a week, my forums are permanently doomed (well…), my tip of the week on Home.MNT is missing this week’s tip (not sure what to do yet), and now I can’t find the mistake I made in version 1.5 of Attack of the Snowmen (nor can I think of a better name yet)!! Anyone with ideas on how to fix my databases is welcome to comment, but I doubt anyone reading will have ideas on this. 

End of The Forums… For Now…

Well… I updated my forums to the latest version, phpBB3 release candidate 7, and ended up having my entire forum die. You can see the types of errors you get if you want by going to the old url [mntcomputers.com/forums2.0] … but after all of my attempts to use my backups I just can’t get them back to where they were **sniff**. I’ll be giving more efforts still when our shortened week ends, but for now I have created the new forums which I will do nothing to until all hope is lost for The Forums. Feel free to see the RC7 version of my empty forums at [forums.mntcomputers.com]. 

Another thing to note is that my forums share what’s called a mySQL database with this blog. While I could have made a seperate database for the forums, I didn’t know how when I created them…so I’m stuck sharing one. Since I will be doing a lot of database tinkering in that area, don’t be surprised to see my blog go down for a couple of days unnoticed.

[UPADTE!!] Good news!! I am still having major trouble with my link, but I have gotten as far as to see the old index page and topics! [http://www.forums.mntcomputers.com/index.php] is where you can see it… and no, simply typing the url without index.php doesn’t work right now.

Week 4, Part 2

Summary of October Sky, pages 114 – 215:

 After flying their first two rockets, they finally came down to the fact that they were being limited by the cardboard fins taped to the rocket. They flew the third rocket anyway. This time, the rocket’s flight path went toward the coal mine. If the rocket were to land in the gasoline tanks there, or fly into any part of the mine at all the entire thing would explode. Thankfully, it didn’t. When the miners came out, Homer called attention to all of the miners to show the damage the rocket had done. Sonny saw the dented Auk III sitting next to the railroad track about 50′ from the building with a chunk out of the corner. “It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what had happened.” (121) Later Homer yelled at Sonny about the people he could have hurt and the damage he could have done…then telling him to stop launching rockets made of company property on company property. When Homer inspected Sonny’s rocket, he saw the weld-job. He knew who had helped Sonny and given him the company materials: Ike Bykovski. The next day Sonny went to see Ike at the mechanics shop to make sure he was still there. He was. He said that Homer had been very angry and that that night was his last night working in the shop, and tomorrow would be his first day working in the mine. Although Sonny was said sorry, Ike wasn’t angry, but he had actually built 4 new Auks for the BCMA. He told Sonny to find a better place to launch them and not to be worried about him. The task of finding a new test ground was placed upon Sonny, but not for long. In church that sunday, Reverend Lanier was to talk about fathers and sons. In short, he had told the boys to have more respect for their fathers, and for the fathers to help their boys more. After church, Homer let Sonny drive. He told him to head toward Frog Level. After they had gone past frog level, they had come to a cleared area with not even a spec of grass. it was all dirt. Homer said that this land was not company property, and that it was far enough away from the city people wouldn’t hear their rockets. This was now Cape Coalwood. Quentin had decided, along with the rest of the BCMA that it was time to find a better way to test new powder mixes beside throwing it in the water heater to see what happens. Quentin first came up with an elaborate design that would use test tubes and scientific methods; problem was they had no way to get the materials needed to use this method. Then Roy Lee said “why don’t we just put it in bottles, light it, and see what happens?” (156), to which Quentin had several reasons as to why this was not a good method, but they finally agreed that it would be better. They all went down to Cape Coalwood to test their mixes. After using this method on most of their different powders, they came to the conclusion that this wasn’t a great way to test new mixes…but they light the final powder anyway. Sonny had ground this powder extra fine to see if it made any difference. It did. The final bottle was notably louder, brighter, and it left a hole about a foot deep in the ground. From now on they would be grinding the powder extra fine for use in their rockets. The next Auk that they launched had a small crowd, including Ike, Jake*, a reporter, and a couple of other people. When their rocket launched with the new powder, it got about 50′ off the ground…then it headed for the cars/ people. This was still due to the guidance system of cardboard. The journalist told them how incredible their rocket was and that she was going to write a great story for them to show the true power of the press. And in the next issue, she had done just that. Now people didn’t thinks quite as badly of them as the had before. In later weeks, Sonny had designed a new way to attach fins. He used tin with a hole drilled through the end and used a piece of steel wire to attach them to the rocket. Now the limiting factor had gone back to being the fuel. In chemistry class they had seen a demonstration of rapid oxidization that gave them all the same idea: that this would be good rocket fuel. When they stayed after class to ask about having the left over chemicals, the teacher said no, because she didn’t want them to blow themselves up… just like Sonny’s mother. They later found a Quentin later found a similar chemical that would work fine as a substitute. So they mixed it up and put some in the water heater. They were greeted by a large pink flame. Sonny’s mother had been outside talking to their neighbor when they were doing these tests. They heard a loud woosh and saw smoke and sparks come from the chimney. The neighbor said something to the effect of “I told you Sonny was home” …and they ran inside to the basement. This new fuel had sugar in it and smelled sweet, so they called it rocket candy. When they made their first mix of it and put it into a rocket, they were greeted by a loud woosh and the rocket got into the air before exploding. They were able to determine that this new mix needed to be more solid so as to prevent too much of it from igniting at once and causing another explosion. They added the postage stamp glue and let it cure for week…but the sugar was too soluble and the mix was still wet when they light it. This time the rocket didn’t get more than a foot off the ground before exploding…but they bottom had been left, dripping out a caramel-like version of the rocket candy. This would be their solution to the glue problem. They were now going to melt the fuel and pour it into the rocket. When they finally did this about 10 feet away from the house, all went well until they re-used a pan that had a bit of the fuel dry on it, which then caused that next part to explode. No one was hurt, but Sonny’s mother came out to see what had happened, help them clean off the pans, tell them to work further away from the house and then say “Okay, Sonny, let’s go over this one more time. Don’t blow yourself up. Got it?” (190) When they next launched the rocket with the new fuel and fins, they put up a flier on the board. many people came, including the (now suspended for the entire season) football team and about half the town. They raised the BCMA flag and told everyone to get back behind their cars incase it exploded. When they light this rocket, it flew. It flew almost 800′ in the air (which they had calculated thanks to the trig. help from Jake M). After retrieving the rocket, they came back only to find the football team tearing their shack apart. After they threw rocks at the team and the team chased them, the local police man showed up and asked what was up and what happened to their shack. They didn’t rat-out the foot ball team, but they had to rebuild their shack. After trying this same rocket again, it got about 50′ into the air before loosing all momentum and crashing onto the ground. It turned out that the nose had been eaten through by the new fuel which caused rapid oxidization. Sonny was now trying to find a new cone material from Ike’s replacement…but Sonny would have to trade something with him before he would help.

*Jake Mosby had recently moved into the town and had become friends with the rocket boys. He was from the Korean war and had some math skill that would help the rocket boys later on.

Week 4, Part 1

My 2 quotes from “October Sky”:

1. “Okay, Sonny, let’s go over this one more time. Don’t blow yourself up. Got it?” -Mrs. Hickam (190)
2. “It didn’t take long before every missing thing in the town was blamed on ‘those rocket boys’.” -Homer Hickam (172)

My first quote from the book is from Homer’s (Sonny from here out) mother. When Homer started building rockets, the first thing he did was blowup her garden. While she was ok with the idea of Sonny learning to make rockets, she had one thing to say: Don’t blow yourself up. This particular quote was just after Sonny had been melting a new rocket fuel with Quentin, Sherman, O’Dell, and Roy Lee…and a bit of it dried and exploded next to the house. I think that this quote shows that Sonny’s mother wants to encourage him to keep learning, but to be a little safer while doing it.

My second quote is actually just before the first. Sonny had taken the heating element from his father’s toaster, and Sherman had taken the battery from his dad’s garbage truck. The morning after each had taken these things, Sherman’s dad couldn’t get his truck started and Sonny’s dad was no longer having toast. News spread quickly through the town about this, and the rocket boys were being blamed for everything that went missing; including dogs. I think this quote shows how the town generally feels toward the rocket boys and their BCMA (Big Creek Missile Agency).

Edina HC!

Well…today is the Edina HC parade and game (which, for those of you who don’t know, is against still water)! I went all-out and changed my desktop picture to reflect the day [View my desktop] !

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly –Reflection–

I don’t know how to begin summarizing this book as to what I thought of it…but I think overall this was a short insight into a trapped person’s life that was well-worth reading.

Why was it well worth reading

This book was worth reading because it gave us a insight of what it is like to be trapped and to have communication to others being limited to the blink of an eye. I liked this memoir…but it confuse me in the way that things jumped around from past to present to dreams to reality. I can see how this book is an international best seller: the man writing it is lucky to have the amount of communication he does to tell people what it is like…and that alone is special. Bauby talks about how he is denied simple pleasures he once enjoyed ..such as food. Now all he can do is imagine the taste…. but he makes the best of that. This book / memoir is really a story of survival. He talks about how he makes it through the days…and even the ones he hates (such as Sunday). Bauby talks about the last time he remembered doing this or that…and how it felt like it was so long ago. He is constantly reading something or remembering something… and even revising this book in his read. This is how he keeps from going nearly mad trapped inside his “Diving Bell”.

My Final Opinion

I liked this book in general…even where I was confused. I think that this book shows how quickly things can change in your life…and to appreciate what you have while you have it. Here we read about a man with in “Locked-in” syndrome, who talked about the tedious mistakes of the hospital, yet made the best of his time there… always looking for something that was right. I think a lot of us would benefit from looking to the good of what we have instead of what we don’t have… and to occasionally take some time to look around and see where we really are in the world.

Leo Canceled his icon giveaway :(

Well…since leo didn’t get as many entries as he hoped, he canceled the giveaway that has caused  me to edit sooooo many time stamps… oh well… maybe I’ll do a giveaway when I complete my icon set :)

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About Me in 10 Seconds

I am Matt. I do as much as possible. I'm always busy, but that's how I like it and hate it. My goal is to be the best.