Week 5

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 20 August, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 20 August, 2005, 12:00am

Jermaine Wong, 16

St Paul's Convent School

Challenge: Find out more about astronomy

Hi everyone, I'm back from Japan! On the flight home, I read a really interesting article in a newspaper.

The article was about a man, John Titor, who claimed that he was from the year 2036. He said he had come 'back' through a black hole. He 'landed' during 2000, and 'prophesied' that CERN (the European particle physics laboratory) would publicise news related to mini black holes, which they really did during 2001. He also prophesied about an 'Iraqi attack' and 'IBM's confidential secrets' which happened as he had said.

You might ask how this relates to my week! Well, it stimulated my interest in time travel and got me reading books about the topic.

I looked up some scientific evidence about the possibility of time travel in an encyclopedia and learnt that time travel seems to be both possible and impossible.

It seems that time travel may be possible through black holes but the biggest problem is that the time needed to travel to the nearest black hole is not a year or two but thousands of years. So, how could this be achieved?

But, who knows, these technological problems may really have been solved by 2036! What we need to do now is to investigate more and more about black holes.

Amy Yang Miu-yuk, 15

Hong Kong Chinese Women's Club College

Challenge: Lose weight

My progress has been very slow! This week I faced a dilemma: whether to keep on or just give up because I have only lost 1kg, which is far behind my target. In the end, I decided to keep going with my challenge.

Every day I have spent one hour exercising and have stopped myself from eating too much. I also considered buying some weight-loss products from Watson's or Mannings but I heard from friends that they might have side effects so in the end I didn't buy any.

Instead, I reconsidered my weight-loss strategy. I decided not to sleep so late. Over the past few weeks, I have been going to bed at 2am and only getting up in the morning at 11am. So, I designed a new routine for myself.

Every day I will get up earlier and do some assignments because school will be starting again soon. Then I will step on the stepping machine and do sit ups, for a total of one hour.

I think that going to bed earlier and getting up earlier are very important because they will increase my metabolism which should help me lose weight.

Mandy Chu Ka-man, 16

SKH Bishop Mok Sau Tseng Secondary School

Challenge: Learn how to ballroom dance

I learnt the rumba this week. Although its name is similar to Twins' new song Samba Queens, the music used in dancing the rumba is much slower than that. Actually, it's very similar to the cha-cha. However, instead of 'one-two, cha-cha-cha', the beat of the rumba is 'two-three-four-one'.

As we had already learnt the cha-cha, learning the rumba was easy. First, we learnt to count the 'two-three-four-one' rhythm. Despite counting four beats, you have to dance three steps only. That is, you dance when 'two-three-four' is counted, and relax your waist when 'one' is counted.

Many of the things that you have to pay attention to are the same as for the cha-cha. For example, you have to bear in mind that your body is kept straight throughout the dance so you can dance beautifully and gracefully. Also, you must remind yourself to dance in a straight line.

After practising many times, we could dance the rumba smoothly. Of course we couldn't do it perfectly, but our teachers still commended us in front of the whole class! We were heartened by this and so we practised much harder. I believe I can achieve my goal by the end of this summer.

Inga Choi, 16

CCC Ming Yin College

Challenge: Play a Grade Seven piece of music on my trumpet and all the minor scales

I have practised playing my trumpet a lot over the past week. I think I have improved a bit, especially after I had a trumpet lesson.

My music teacher taught me a new method for memorising the scales. He says I should do this every time as a warm-up exercise. Then I will be able to remember all the scales and store them in my long-term memory.

He pointed out where I had misunderstood some rhythms, and taught me the correct rhythm. He then taught me the importance of articulation so that I can play the music with the required style. He also showed me how to make the dynamic changes more natural and how to breathe so that I can make the music more fluent. I really learnt a lot!

I listened to a CD of trumpet solos which my teacher had recommended. The trumpet concertos were amazing. If I had half the skills of that trumpeter, I would be extremely proud of myself!