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All video posts created by candidate 太郎 has recorded several videos. Watch Video Playlist

Subject: What your keepsakes/valuables? Show us!

Forum: What your keepsakes/valuables? Show us!

Hey there CNet members! It's my first video forum... a little nerve racking! I don't talk and you can't see my face because I want to wait until my much better, much newer webcam arrives in the mail next week! Be excited!

What I show you in the video are my three "keepsakes" or valuables that I always take with me when I move from dorm to dorm and I usually leave them on my desk. Whenever I feel quite annoyed with the city or distraught with my homework, I look at them and they remind me of some very fond, very peaceful memories.

The first one I show you is a broken seashell from the Oregon coast. While not as warm as the Caribbean or sunny as the Californian beaches, it reminds me of the fierce storms, the wild winds, the freezing waves, and the smell of salt and rain. Somehow that calms me down.

The next thing I show you is a rock I picked up at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. We hiked in and out of the Canyon in one day-- no easy feat. It serves as a reminder to persevere in the face of difficulty; and to remember that the sense of accomplishment that comes after hard work. The colors of the rock also remind me of the fiery sun, the dry heat, and the stunning scenery-- everything lacking in Boston.

The final object I show you is a piece of obsidian rock, and I discovered it right outside my house in Oregon. It's meanings are a little more complex, but I often think of the mountains, the wind through the trees, and the endless silence that pervaded throughout the forest near my house. Again-- peace, quiet, and physical beauty are all qualities Boston lacks.

So what are your keepsakes/valuables? Why did you pick those objects? Do you keep them nearby all the time, or stored for safety? If you can, showing us a video would be great!

Subject: Ask me anything!

Forum: Ask me anything!

Hey there! So... my first video with the webcam. I think my status as a video novice is quite apparent... oh well.

Anyway, this forum is an "Ask Me Anything"-- and I mean it! (Just don't expect to get the precise answer you wanted if you ask anything too difficult, like "the meaning of life". I might just answer 42 and move on.) I encourage all sorts of questions-- personal, philosophical, CNet-related, what I ate for breakfast etc.

So like I said in the video, if you have any short questions you can ask me on twitter @la_neira.

Also, in a gesture of my gratitude for your votes, I am temporarily relaxing my restrictive privacy settings on facebook so you can add me (if you want). Here's a direct link . Just send me a message with the friend request indicating you're from CNet and tell me your username! (Please :)

Finally, a little technical feedback would be appreciated. Does the video work? Can you hear me? Too quiet? Should I wear a bag over my head in the videos? Just a sentence or two concerning those issues would be appreciated.

Looking forward to your questions!

Subject: Re: A way to get to know my fellow cnetters :)

Forum: A way to get to know my fellow cnetters :)


So I expand on my questions in the video. Check it out!

Short answers:

1) Introverted
2) Saver
3)Book Critic
4) i)To be the smartest person in the world
ii)to have as much money as I wanted
iii) to live forever

Great forum!

Subject: Re: Readers and Writers: What Are Your Elements?

Forum: Readers and Writers: What Are Your Elements?

Sorry if I rambled a little, still getting used to this video thing.

The main elements that appeal to me are character development (how "real" the characters are) and "believability". The second primarily applies to science fiction worlds and practically impossible technologies like time travel or faster than light travel. Sure, they may be developed in the future, but only if we COMPLETELY destroy our current understanding of physics. It just doesn't seem believable.

Also, what really irks me about some works of fiction are "Deus Ex Machina"-- events where a plot hole is filled in by a random, out of left field event or where the characters are saved from imminent doom by something that hasn't been heavily foreshadowed. The first example that comes to mind is the eagles saving the "good guys" at the end of Lord of the Rings-- where did they come from?!?! I appreciate explanation, description, and detail, not random plot twists.

Finally, my absolute favorite element about good fiction is carefully crafted foreshadowing-- my favorite moments when a detail is revealed that triggers a realization about all the other facts contained in previous parts of the story. I think it shows real mastery, planning, and imagination to do this effectively (so the reader can't guess it will happen and that it is truly significant).

Just out of curiosity, what do you write about?

Subject: Re: What are you looking forward to?

Forum: What are you looking forward to?

I responded to everyone above peacelover in the video! Check it out.

Peacelover: I also hope to finish with all A's! That would be awesome. Good luck with medical school!

Elenaweed: birthdays are always a nice distraction from the constant stress of life. You deserve a break every once in a while! (BTW: congratulations on your first win! Hope you stick around :)

minibeast: before school started, I was also utterly bored. But now I am swamped with activity! After a long period of no school, however, I find yself actively looking forward to it. Good luck with your semester!

Flash: really hope you enjoy your weekend! They are always nice breaks from a workweek that can seem to last for an eternity.

Sammy: Be excited for college! And enjoy the final year of high school while you can-- it goes by fast!

Thanks for all the responses.

Subject: Re: Poverty

Forum: Poverty

I got through question 2 on my video, here's my answer to three:

As an individual, the only contribution that I think is helpful is to get a job, pay taxes, and advocate for reformed programs that better serve the poor than they are now (currently 15% of Americans are living in poverty). If I see a homeless person on the street, I won't give them money (as heartless as that sounds). I just think that organized programs that help people with specific needs are vastly more helpful and a better energy of my money than wondering whether my money was used for drugs or food.

Also, even though the "definition" of poverty I cite in my video (from this wiki article ) encompasses many aspects of poverty, I think it falls short when considering mental health. Many of the currently homeless people have drug issues or mental disabilities-- we should provide targeted care to these individuals, not stop at giving them food stamps.

I do, however, think significant conditions need to be put in place before a person can accept assistance. They should agree to a work program-- your ideas of infrastructure building and other public works sounds like a great idea. Imagine if we were able to replace all of our currently failing roads and bridges with low-cost labor from these poor individuals-- we would be tackling two problems at once. (Of course this might be abused and checks would have to be enforced to ensure good worker conditions, but it is a rather elegant solution to major problems confronting our society today.)

If you want to look at an interesting article discussing why we can't get rid of poverty in America, look here . It does an excellent job of pointing out that for a large portion of the population, the increase in low-wage jobs has made it ever easier to slide into the lowest income bracket. Perhaps while they work on infrastructure, they could be getting an education designed to develop skills needed in today's world. What those precise skills might be I am not sure, but I think if workers were slowly given more autonomy over the infrastructure project they would have the added benefit of developing leadership, communication, time management, and logistics skills that would be valued by an employer.

Subject: How do you care for your skin?

Forum: How do you care for your skin?

What is your skin care routine?

In response to a comment LivinLikeYOLO made in another forum, I decided to pose this question to all of you CNetters. I have been wanting to discuss this for quite some time, and her comment reminded me of that.

So what products/routines do you use to keep your skin looking healthy? Is it something you struggle with or does it come naturally? Perhaps if we share our experiences, we might find some new stuff to help our skin!

Subject: What is your conception of the American Dream?

Forum: What is your conception of the American Dream?

The article I discuss in the video: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mark-edwards/american-dream-needs-jumpstart_b_1884274.html

What is your understanding of the American Dream? Do you agree with James Truslow's Adam's definition of "better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability of achievement regardless of social class or circumstances of birth"? Are there aspects of the Dream he does not address, and if so, what are they? How do you think the Dream has changed in the eighty-one years since he coined the phrase? Do you think it is easier or more difficult to achieve the Dream in today's world? Why?

Subject: Re: Ask me anything!

Forum: Ask me anything!

Answered everything up to CE's question about a skill/trade:

I would want to learn how to draw. I find it simply fascinating that some people have this AMAZING skill to recreate what they see in front of them on paper-- but unfortunately I have no talent for that sort of thing. If I had enough time, though, I feel like I may be able to make passable drawings.

Your last question is difficult-- I can't really say people have influenced me. It sounds like a cop out, but it isn't-- books, movies, and music have inspired me, not people. And yogurt is the one thing my cafeteria does not have! At least something I would call "yogurt", if you know what I mean.

Avillalp--My dream career sequence is engineer first to invent something awesome and lucrative, become a science professor teaching others the science behind my invention, then get recruited as a science advisor for a politician, then become one myself! All the while writing science fiction stories meant to inspire kids to pursue the technical majors. My only other passion is playing piano, it's my only musical outlet! I really enjoy it.

Nice branding tool! Haha. Basically I consider myself a "dreamer" because I am not always in touch with reality, and because I am always coming up with new ideas for a story, post, invention, law, etc. But the real reason is that the device I want to invent (a virtual reality interface) would enable you to live in a dreamscape-- hence residents would be called "dreamers".

And my "school" ( I mean college within the university) is famous for that because the engineers are really smart-- yet they notoriously struggle in basic writing classes. It's kinda funny :)

My favorite music is usually piano with strong, simple vocals-- Adele for example. Some others I like are Lana Del Rey, Imagine Dragons, Of Monsters and Men, The xx, Foster the People, and Florence and the Machine.

Perhaps one day! I certainly won't rule it out :)

Thanks for the responses!

Subject: Re: Is being mean a hereditary trait?

Forum: Is being mean a hereditary trait?

Hey Alexandrea, the articles I mention are right here:

This candidate's