Bamboo Bridges

For my first Action Project in Urban Planning (Math and Science) I designed a bridge with HM and GL.  This project was difficult because I’m (obviously) not an engineer, and have never tried to build something like this.  Our goal was to hold 15 pounds, which we did way better than.  We used bamboo and duct tape to build the bridge, and it took about two days of building.  We went through a great deal of trial and error, but ending up having the best bridge in class!  See the video below of our bridge in action.

26.5 LB in Books on a Bamboo Bridge! from JH on Vimeo.

How Rugby Changed the World

For my first Action Project in 162 (elective on how baseball changed America) we created a presentation about how a certain event changed the lives of people.  Myself and HD choose to work on The Apartheid and how it was stopped by Rugby.  This report was extremely interested, and I found a ton of information; there is even a movie about it!  If you are interested in learning about how Rugby ended The Apartheid in South Africa check out my slideshow below.


Dev Journal #001

For the third trimester of my junior year I’ve decided to do an Independent Study.  I will be learning how to make apps for the iPhone.  This requires quite a bit of work, more so than I expected when I first thought of the idea.  In these Dev Journals (standing for Development Journal) I will be documenting my process and sharing what I have been working on!

Expect a lot of technical terms in my upcoming Dev Journals ! 

Right now I’m in the learning process, I’m using to learn all my videos, I have in total more than thirty hours of videos to watch before I start making apps!  You can see my playlist of what I’m giong to be learning here.

In the past two weeks I have done a few things.  I’ve found a mentor who will be guiding me through this process, and I’ve started on my lessons.  iPhone apps are written in a language called Objective C.  It’s a logic-based language and has a lot to offer, one of those features being the ability to develop iPhone apps.  My end goal for this class will (hopefully) be to have made an apps.

That’s it for my first Dev Journal, expect these to change as I find a new format that best fits what I’m doing.

Dear Mr. Mayor!

For my first milestone for my Policy class our goal was to request a change in our neighborhood.  This was a difficult, yet rewarding milestone because we got to do something that matters.  I did something which I find very important: adding a basketball court to my neighborhood.  If you live in bucktown, or are interested in change, see what I sent to my alderman below!

Scott Waguespack
32nd Ward Alderman
2657 N Clybourn Ave Chicago, IL 60614

Dear Mr. Waguespack:

As you may or may not know, Holstein park is in disrepair: specifically the corner of the park along Shakespeare & Oakley.  I suggest that a basketball court be installed in that area.  This is because there is not a single basketball court in the Bucktown area.  The closest basketball court is at Le Moyne & Damen (Wicker Park).  This court is five blocks away from the outskirts of Bucktown, and is (roughly) twelve blocks away from my house.  I suggest the court be put in Holstein Park because it is near the middle of Bucktown, and is only four blocks from Pulaski International School of Chicago.  Having a basketball court in this area would be an excellent idea because: It would raise land value of nearby buildings, would allow nearby children to be active and promote a healthy lifestyle to the people of Bucktown, and would allow my friends and I to have a safe area to play basketball over summer.  Unlike other proposals you get, I am not only submitting an idea, but I would also like to donate my time (and money) to helping raise money to fund the basketball court.  If you agree that this is a good idea and would like to follow through I would be more than happy to meet with you so we can plan how much money I would need to raise.  This way we wouldn’t have to use the city’s money, and would have a great basketball court in our great neighborhood.  I hope you find this to be as great of an ideas as I do.



Can you have your cake and eat it too?

For my final milestone in Art of Rhetoric I created a topic to discuss, that being how can someone be fiscally conservative, and socially liberal. I was extremely interested in this project because it’s something I personally am interested in. I had the opportunity to talk to an amazingly smart entrepreneur about this topic, check it out below!
For my final Action Project in A Nation’s Argument I studied dialectics as a method of argument. In dialectics one side forms a thesis on an issue. The other side forms a antithesis which combats the thesis. Out of this debate these two arguments create a new synthesis. I interviewed Chicago-based members of the Entrepreneurs Organization. I wanted to see how someone could be fiscally conservative, yet socially liberal. Thesis How can someone say they want to do good while not paying for the good? To test and support my thesis, which began as an interest in hearing that Warren Buffett gets taxed at a lower rate than his assistant, I listened to an interview with him. In it I found out 337 million dollars go uncollected every year in the U.S. because the top 1% use other means to avoid paying taxes. This thinking became the question, “How can you advocate and want good, without wanting to pay for it? Many entrepreneurs and upper-class businessmen declare themselves fiscally conservative, yet socially liberal. Meaning more conservative on topics including money and spending, but being more liberal on subjects like giving public goods to others. I’m interested in how people can justify wanting good without paying for good.
You can want to make the US a better place while wanting to keep your money. The government does a terrible job of using our tax dollars. If there were other ways to help the public good (not taxes) I would be willing to do that. I talked to an entrepreneur BB on the topic, and below is my email exchange with him:

To me, being socially liberal and fiscally conservative means wanting the greater good for society, while not wanting to pay for it.
It will be interesting to see if you still think this way after additional education and life experience.

If this isn’t what it means to you, how would you define it?
Socially liberal = freedom of gender/sexual/racial/drug preferences Fiscally conservative = believe free market principals promote the most freedom and highest economic benefits for a society Socially moderate/liberal, fiscally liberal = Democrat Socially moderate/conservative, fiscally liberal = Republican Socially liberal, fiscally conservative = Libertarian

Do you think there is a contradiction being socially liberal and fiscally conservative?
No, I think socially liberalism and fiscally conservatism produces maximum liberty. I think any other variant is a contradiction because it would produce less freedom and reduce liberty. Social conservatism discriminates against personal liberty through abdication of human rights. Fiscal liberalism discriminates against personal liberty through abdication of property rights.

Would you be willing to pay more in taxes if it was going directly towards a cause you supported, rather than toward the government to spend?
The nature of this question posits an inconsistent premise on the role of the government. The role of the government, as I see it, is four fold: 1) to protect individual rights (provide rule of law, enforce freely entered contracts, protect individuals from monopoly coercion) 2) to manage neighborhood effects (manage common resources like air and water, commission highways, basic education) 3) to provide a defense (a military to protect individual rights from other societies) 4) paternalism to advance freedom (manage members of society which are not capable – i.e. madmen, violent criminals)

How would those social goods be funded?
Social goods should be funded directly by individuals using their free will. Any other method reduces the overall impact of social goods and distorts the intention of the people (deadweight loss, coercion, corruption).

What “socially liberal” public goods are worth paying for with your taxes?
Examples from four roles of government – education through adulthood, EPA, road systems, insane asylums, prisons, courts.
Many articles nowadays talk about how being fiscally conservative and socially liberal is the new way to be, but many are against this idea.


After talking to BB I wouldn’t say my opinion is changed, but I now understand it. Before the interview I thought it was selfish to advocate for good and want it, but not want to pay for it. I think I now understand what it actually means, and to some extent I agree. Once extremely convincing point for me was when BB said:

I think socially liberalism and fiscally conservatism produces maximum liberty. I think any other variant is a contradiction because it would produce less freedom and reduce liberty. Social conservatism discriminates against personal liberty through abdication of human rights. Fiscal liberalism discriminates against personal liberty through abdication of property rights.

Which I thought was very well put. I think from the interview I’ve had with BB I could agree that being socially liberal and fiscally conservative is a viable option. I think that this has opened my eyes to a lot of other political views, such as the views Ron Paul has.


~draw picture of obama on one side, romney on other with ron paul in the middle.~

Technologia en la futuro

For our final Action Project in Spanish (Escuela) we designed a lesson in spanish.  My topic was about how technology will change in the future and how it will help us.  The most difficult part of this project was finding a video to use, and then once I found it I had to edit the video and include my information.  I’ve learned a lot about how technology will change in the future ant how we will be able to benefit from it.  Check out my lesson plan and video below!

¿Por qué?

El proposito de esta leccion es van a ensenar la technologia a la futuro


Al final de esta lección, usted tiene que completar lo siguiente

  • Nuevo tecnológico en la futuro
  • ¿Cómo se puede utilizar la tecnología en el futuro
  • Una respuesta: ¿Cómo nuevas tecnologías podría afectar que aprendido.



Las personas que quiere saber qué tipo de tecnología es en el futuro.Los materiales necesario:

  • Computadora
  • Proyector
  • Lápiz / Lápiz
  • Papel

Introducir el video: explicar de que es el video:

¿Qué manera la tecnología cambia la forma de aprender en el futuro?

Mira el video
Mira el vídeo y dar los lápices y papeles para responder las preguntas

El video es de dos minutos de duración y consta de cinco preguntas para observar a la gente a responder.

  • ¿Como va la tecnología  a ayudar en el futuro?
  • ¿Cómo va a ayudar a aprender?
  • ¿Puede ayudarnos a colaborar?
  • ¿Es necesario esto?
  • How could this have affected your learning?

Discutir sobre el video y preguntar a las personas a las preguntas

Have a conversation, ask people the questions and ask them how this could have changed their personal education, and is this truly necessary or even needed?  Are there any problems with using so much technology in the future?


spanish final from jake hoover on Vimeo.

A story about a pendulum

For my final Action Project in my math and science class (Light & Sound), we all learned about a time keeping device, I chose the pendulum.  This was an extremely interesting project, mostly because I got to research Galileo, who in my opinion is the best engineer ever.  Although this project was interesting, it was hard to figure out the math of the concept.  Building the prototype of a pendulum was equally difficult.  See my report below.


My device looks is a pendulum.  It consists of two metal poles to hole it up, and a rope with a metal bar on the end to go from side to side hitting the metal poles and making a sound.  Every one second it hits the bar, each time it hits the first bar, hits the second bar, and goes back to hitting the first bar it completes one cycle.  The math behind a pendulum is pretty simple once you figure it out:

 1 cycle equals three seconds.
30 cycles equals one minute.
1,800 cycles is one hour

X = Cycle
Z = Seconds

10x = 30z
100x = 300z

In 1602, The Italian scientist Galileo Galilei studied the property of a pendulum. Galileo discovered the crucial property that makes pendulums useful as timekeepers, called isochronism; the period of the pendulum is approximately independent of the amplitude or width of the swing. The pendulum is an extremely key device in history for timekeeping. When Galileo invented it, it was instantly a famous and amazing idea. It goes on forever all by itself and requires very few materials. When technology wasn’t available back in the 1600’s, a sundial was the most precise timekeeping device.

“Cleveland Museum of Natural History.” Foucault Pendulum. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Mar. 2013.
Drake, Stillman. “Galileo at Work: His Scientific Biography”. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 2003. Print.
“The History of the Pendulum.” Bukisa. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Mar. 2013.

An amendment to the school

For our English/History class (A Nations Argument) we worked on making an amendment,  specifically, something we wanted to change in our school.  This was one of my favorite, yet difficult, assignments because we had to think of something wrong in our school and provide a solution.  If you want to see what I did, read below!

If you are late the amount of time you are late is added to a tally, once the tally reaches fifteen minutes, you owe fifteen minutes of community service and must pay it back in one week.  For example. if you are five minutes late on monday, you don’t owe any time, but if you are ten minutes late the next day, your tally has reached fifteen minutes and you have one week from (in this case) tuesday to pay back your time (fifteen minutes in this case). see my full report here!

I was just one piece in the puzzle for this Action Project.  My whole group also produced amendments and then we voted on which ones we would like to go in our own GCE constitution.  You can see our compiled constitution below!  My argument didn’t make it in our final constitution because an amendment like mine was more popular.  I think the reason the other amendment was picked over mine is that it had more leeway, and allowed students to be less accountable.

School relationships past, present, and future

For our second milestone in Escuela (Spanish) we created a podcast about student-teacher relationships. I learned a lot of past and future tenses in Spanish from this project. The most difficult part was researching how student-teacher relationships were in the past. This project overall has been extremely helpful because I’ve learned a lot of Spanish.

The great debate

For our english class (A Nation’s Arguement) we had a debate on ig Germany should be allowed to colonize Africa.  This debate was especially difficult because it took place in pre world war 1 (early 1900’s).  I was interested in this debate because I have always loved arguing.  Myself and HD were Great Britain for this debate.  See our argument on why we think Great Britain had the right to colonize below:

1. General Rule
2. Particular Case
3. Result
4. Quotations & Evidence for Trial

1. General Rule (Some say…)

Rule: Colonization only benefits the colonizer.
Case: Great Britain is a colonizer.
Result: Therefore, Great Britain colonizing parts of Africa was for selfish needs.

However, this deduction is invalid because Great Britain colonization helped jumpstart technology and the economy in parts of Africa.

2. Particular Case (The evidence suggests…)

Through colonization Great Britain has achieved….
1. Great Britain helped it’s own people as well as Africans to become an enriched culture.
2. We prevented other countries from taking over Europe by becoming the most prominent Colonizer (the lesser of two evils).
3. We taught advanced methods of farming and made life much easier to live.

3. Result (We argue…)

Therefore, in light of these results, we, the representatives of Great Britain and its people, urge the judges to AFFIRM THE DEDUCTION ON TRIAL AND UPHOLD GERMANY’S RIGHT TO COLONIZE, for Africa’s sake.

Rule: Colonization can benefit all parties.
Case: Great Britain (among other European countries) accomplished many technological and economic milestones via colonization.
Result: Therefore Germany, as well as the rest of Europe has the right to colonize.

4. Quotations & Evidence for Trial (Sorted by…)

Relationship to Colonizer
United Kingdom was a colonizer, they tried to colonize multiple countries in Africa pre 1914. In the picture below you can see which countries in Great Britain colonized in Africa.

“In total Britain ruled over 2,678,156 square miles of land, and rules over 44,420,000 people.”
Uzoigwe, G. N. Britain and the Conquest of Africa; the Age of Salisbury. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, 1974.

Authority to Rule
Great Britain has a Monarchy, they have more sophisticated weapons, a larger army, a larger navy, and overall a larger presence.

How we Rule
We rule a large portion of Africa by Military and economic force. During this time period the United Kingdom is one of the most powerful countries around.

Benefits to Colonization
We are benefitting from colonization because we are the ones ruling other people. We ruled a majority of Africa and made a lot of money by using the resources they had.

Our right to colonize
Great Britain helped Europe, as well as Africa by colonizing. We taught more advanced methods of farming, and an easier way to live. We colonized because countries like Germany started to colonize and become more powerful. If we didn’t nations like Germany would become some super power that then could start to conquer Europe. If we could control Africa we knew that we could control the power and not use it for domination like Germany would have. We were preventing wide-scaled war; doing a service to all and being the lesser of two evils.