Unnecessary Embargo?

Cuba Embargo Pro vs Con

Cuba Embargo Background


This past August, my family and I took a two-week long trip to Cuba which sparked an interest for Cuba’s background in me. Before going I read about the state of affairs in Cuba and when I was there I learned even more but from the perspective of Cuban citizens instead of outsiders who for the most part hadn’t even stepped a foot in the country. Because of this visit in addition to the fact that it is a very intriguing topic, I decided to find an article on Cuba, and specifically the embargo. I enjoyed the very descriptive background written about the beginning of the embargo as well as all the attempts to abolish it in the past. For instance, I was not aware that on the night before President Kennedy signed the papers to commence the embargo, he sent his press secretary to “Procure as many Cuban cigars as he could find.” I also appreciated the in-depth insight into both sides of the argument so as to not create a biased article. An argument I found interesting from the “for the embargo” side of the argument is that Cuba has responded to past attempts to lessen the influence of the embargo with acts of hostility. In 1977, when President Carter opened the US interests sector in Havana, Castro authorized the 1980 Mariel Boatlift, in which 125,000 Cubans, including almost 2,500 prisoners and mentally ill patients, were sent to Florida. The writer does reveal an accurate interpretation of some of the Cuban’s opinion on the embargo and why it isn’t working. Talking to the people there, it seems they do not consider the United States an enemy, but a neighbor with a complicated history. They don’t think that the embargo is a good thing because it is not truly impacting the desired people. It is the ordinary citizens who are being inconvenienced because it is they who are being denied access to the resources of the twenty-first century. On the contrary, the people of Cuba seem to be exceptionally happy and as much as they would be happy if the embargo wasn’t in place, are making the best of their situation. As for me, I’m conflicted. I agree that the embargo isn’t fulfilling its purpose and technically should be abolished. On the other hand, very selfishly, I don’t really want it to end. Going to Cuba is an experience unlike any other, it’s as if you travel back in time. If there wasn’t an embargo, much of what makes Cuba so spectacular would cease to exist.

Unit 2 Role Play-PE 9

Here is the script for our substance abuse roleplay in PE9


You and your friends want to lose weight for a school dance. Your friends decide to start smoking and they are really pressuring you to start as well. They have been smoking for two weeks, and have already lost 5 pounds each. They always say “Just try it… It’s not like a hard drug or anything.”


Scene 1:

(opens on Ava talking to Ari and Erik)

Ari: Oh my god! The dance is a month away, and I need to fit into my dress! What am I going to do?!

Ava: I KNOW. School dances are so stressful!

Erik: Yes I totally understand your struggles (sarcastically). How about we start smoking. I heard that you can lose crazy amounts of weight in short amounts of time so you guys will like that plus it looks super cool.

Ari: That’s such a great idea!

Ava: I’m not sure about that. Isn’t it really bad for you?

Erik: That’s just what they want you to think.

Ava: I’ve got to go now maybe we’ll talk about this later.

( everyone freezes and Ari says Two weeks later, then we unfreeze )

Ari: Ava! I can’t believe that you haven’t started smoking with us yet. Sure, at the beginning, it’s kind of gross but look I lost like five pounds!

Erik: Even though we’re always coughing now it’s actually fun too. It’s something we can do together. It totally relieves stress, plus it’s not like it’s a serious drug or anything.

Ava: I’m not sure I really want to, how about we do something else that we all like to do?

Ari: Aw Ava, your such a baby. come on just try it.

Erik: It’s so satisfying.

Ava: You know guys, I’ve looked into it and smoking is really bad for your health and can cause serious health issues later on in life. Ari, we can go to the gym together instead, and Erik there are lots of other things we can do together for fun. I’d rather you didn’t smoke, but if you really need to, you guys can keep on doing it without me.

Erik: Wow, ok I didn’t realize you felt so strongly about it.

Ari: Ya. If you want we can do something else, I just wanted to do it because it’s an easy and fast solution to our problem, I guess I just never really thought about the problems that came with it. If you want to find another way and I’d be ok with that.

Ava: thanks guys this means a lot.

Grammar Video Project – Adverbs, adjectives, pronouns (types), articles, common vs. proper nouns

By: Elisabeth and Erik

Our Grammar Concept:

The grammar rule that will be explained in this video is how to properly use Adverbs, adjectives, pronouns (types), articles, common vs. proper nouns. Firstly, we have adverbs. Adverbs are used to describe or qualify a verb, adjective or other adverb and tell when, where, how, in what manner or to what extent the action is performed. They help writers to convey in more detail what the subject Is doing in the sentence. Next, we have adjectives. It is important to be able to distinguish adverbs from adjectives because they are both very similar. They technically have the same function, with one major key difference. Where adverbs describe verbs or even an adjective, adjectives describe nouns. This means that if the word is describing a person, place or thing it is an adjective not an adverb. So hypothetically, if there was a sentence such as “He quickly baked a chocolate cake.” How could we tell what is an adjective and what is an adverb? To find the adverb you simply must find the verb (baked) and then find the word that is describing it (quickly).  To find the adjective, locate the noun (cake) and then find the word describing it. The cake was what? The cake was chocolate. How did he bake? He baked quickly. Moving on to pronouns. On the surface, pronouns seem simple but they’re actually the most complex on this list. Pronouns are words that can function individually as nouns or replace repeated nouns. There are six main types of pronouns: Personal pronouns, Subjective, Objective, Possessive, Relative and Indefinite. Personal pronouns are used when talking about a person. For example, Anna can be replaced by she. Subjective pronouns always replace the subject of the sentence whereas objective pronouns replace the object. To remember which is which, think of who is doing the action (subject) and whom or what the action is happening to (object). Possessive pronouns are used to show possession (that is my umbrella) and indefinite pronouns are used when the subject is undefined. This includes words such as anyone or everyone. Finally, two of the most commonly used relative pronouns are who and whom. When in doubt, an easy way to tell whether to use “who” or “whom” is to try replacing it with “he” or “him”. If it can be replaced by “he” or “she”, then you should use who. If it can be replaced by “him” or “her” then you should use the word “whom”. Next, we have articles. Articles are used to specify what noun is being written about. It can show how specific or important the noun is. If the article used is “an” or “a” then it is referring to a non-specific noun (look, an elephant!) in that sentence, we don’t know what elephant is being talked about and so we use “an” instead of “the” which would be used if we were to speak of a specific elephant. Lastly, the difference between common and proper nouns. This is really quite simple. Common nouns are nouns that are not specific and are not capitalised unless at the beginning of a sentence and are much life the article “an” or “a” whereas proper nouns are always capitalised and are a specific person, place or thing. An example would be “a mountain” vs “mount Seymore”. Thank you for taking the time to read about all our grammatical concepts, we hope that this will help you to remember what they are nd when to use them.

Test Questions:

A – which of the following is the adverb in the sentence the bird gently flew away.Bird

  1. Away
  2. Gently
  3. Flew

B – which of the following is not an adjective?

  1. hungry
  2. Soft
  3. Shy
  4. abruptly

C – if your sentence is ‘The boy ate cake’, you can replace boy and cake with

  1. He and it
  2. Him and that
  3. He and that
  4. Him and it

D – In the sentence Bob owns some cats, is the article some

  1. Specific
  2. Non-specific

E – In the sentence ‘We live by a river called the Nile’, which of the following is an example of a proper and common noun?

  1. Nile and River
  2. nile and River
  3. Nile and river

Answers: A:3 B:4 C:1 D:2 E:3

Community Connection

Who I Interviewed

I chose to interview someone named Delphine who I first contacted through Instagram about a month ago when I started to look into the possibility of going abroad for a year. I had seen that Delphine was in India for a year of school through one of the programs that I was looking at and thought that she could give me some insight on what I could expect if I chose to go through with it.  Delphine is 17 years old, lives in Quebec and is in the equivalent of our grade 11, however as she explained to me, school in Quebec is different from here. She actually completed her secondary school the previous year and is taking a year in between secondary school and university to gain some global perspective. What Delphine is doing isn’t really a job, so she doesn’t have any responsibilities in that regard, however she does attend a local high school in Gujarat which is considered to be a conservative and traditional region of India and is near the border with Pakistan. There are responsibilities that go along with this just as with any high school experience, and Delphine has also taken it upon herself to become somewhat of an ambassador for  AFS (the program) as well as for her host country through her social media account. I’m very fortunate to be able to complete this project, because as I write this, Delphine is on a four-hour bus ride texting me the answers to my questions while on her way to go with a group and meditate for ten days without electronics or even talking! This is just another example of the extraordinary things that Delphine is doing.

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Du 17-20 novembre, je suis allée en voyage dans l'état du Rajasthan avec ma famille d'accueil ainsi que la tante, l'oncle et la grand-mère parternels. On est parti en train dans la nuit et avons ensuite exploré la ville de Nathdwara pour son célèbre temple Shrinathji et son grand marché. Nous avons également vu dans la ville voisine de Kankroli et son autre temple. Puis, on est allé dans Chittorgarh, ville reconnue pour son fort historique. Dans les fortifications, nous avons pu voir des tours, des temples, qui ont d'ailleurs été utilisés par les rois et reines dans les années 1400. J'ai vraiment adoré! Le plus difficile a été de nous faire rentrer 8 dans un rickshaw pour toutes les visites! Même si le Rajasthan est le voisin du Nord de mon état (Gujarat), j'ai pu remarquer d'importantes différences culturelles au niveau de l'architecture, de l'habillement et la gastronomie. Ça nous montre la grande diversité de l'Inde, qui varie du Nord au Sud, d'Est en Ouest, de villes en villages. Le plus intriguant, c'est les stations de train, car c'est l'endroit où tous les gens de tous les tissus sociaux, religieux, ethniques se rencontrent!•••• From the 17-20th of November, I went with my host family along with my paternal aunt, uncle and grandmother for trip in the state of Rajasthan. We left by a night-train and then explored the city of Nathdwara with its famous Shrinathji Temple and huge market. After, we headed for the small village of Kankroli to see its other temple. Our last stop was Chittorgarh, a city known for its historical fort. Through the fortifications, there were temples and towers, which were used by the royal kings and queens in 1400 DC. I really enjoyed! The hardest part was to make all the 8 of us fit in one rickshaw! Even if Rajasthan is the neighbor state of Gujarat, I could feel the cultural differences between these two states, such as the food, the architecture and the dressing style. It again proved me that India is a completely diverse nation, from North to South, East to West, cities to villages. The most fascinating part is the train stations, because it's the place where people of all ethnicities, religions and social background meet

A post shared by Delphine AFS India 2018-2019 (@delphineeninde) on

(Photo of Delphine from her Instagram account)


Why I chose to Interview Delphine

There are a couple reasons that I chose to interview Delphine. Firstly, because of what she’s doing and how it relates to my passion for travel. Delphine is going completely off the beaten path and is being completely immersed in a culture very different from her own. This is something that I’m striving for, and hope to be able to accomplish either during high school or shortly after. I love the idea of going out of your comfort zone and experiencing something completely foreign, which is evidently something Delphine and I have in common. Secondly, I admire her for her courage to go through with all of this and felt like she would be an exceptional person to interview for this project. I thought that there would most likely not be many people in situations similar to Delphine’s as the interview subjects for this project and that it would be interesting to talk to someone who is doing something completely out of the ordinary. I doubt that there are many if any people at our school who have thought of going abroad for an extended period of time anywhere during or after high school, never mind somewhere as foreign as India. I think that this is a shame because as Delphine will tell us over the course of the interview, it is most definitely an experience worth having.


The Interview
1. Why are you passionate about what you’re doing?

Because every day I am doing something new, meeting new people, learning new skills or lessons. For example, I am living with an Indian family and going to an Indian school, so daily I interact with people from a completely different background who are having their own opinions and way to do things. By creating deeper relationships with them, instead of criticizing their mindset, I understand them and become more open-minded. Also, since I arrived, I tried so many activities: I danced on Bollywood music, on folkloric songs, and on some classical hymns, I learned one language and am working on learning another one, I got introduced to delicious food items and how to prepare them, I tried to put some mehndi, I attempted rangolis (mehndi and rangolis are both typical Indian arts), I played cricket, I watched some dramatic Bollywood serials, I sang Indian National anthem on Independence Day, one of the many festivals that took place here! Being in India is getting out of your comfort zone, everything is different, but it is the nicest gift ever because I will never have the chance to do all this stuff in any other place in the world! I also feel I am gaining a better global perspective and understanding about world issues.


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J'ai écrit en anglais et en français mais Instagram ne voulait pas me laisser publier parce que c'était trop long… Désolé les francos, ça m'apprendra •••••••••••••••••••••••• This is my Indian family!!! I met them on July 8th and I was welcomed with Genda flowers around my neck and a bindi on my forehead. I have two elder sisters (moti ben) that I love, with whom I become closer everyday. My parents are also very gentle and they helped me so much with my card problems, school, AFS, FRRO, and all my adaptation. Even if their house and their lifestyle are different of what I'm used to in Canada, I quickly felt comfortable. ———- Now, I can eat on the floor, without forks, knives, or spoons: with my right hand only – I frequently go out in a scooter, around the chaotic Indian streets. By the way, the famous Indian honk is used to let people know you are here, not to express anger! It's for security! —————————- Cows in the streets have become a normal thing for me, at every corner, just like every other creature I could encounter —————— Toilet paper? Good one. – I learned to say no, because around 30 times a day, people offer me food! – Bollywood has become a part of my daily life: music in the morning and TV shows at night – I eat paratha for breakfast, chapati for lunch and dinner, and a lot of Chai in between! I started school few days ago and last weekend, I went to an engagement in Indore! I'll keep you updated :)) Hu tamne prem karu chu! #afsindia #afscanada #afseffect #exchangestudent #studyabroad @afs_india @afscanada

A post shared by Delphine AFS India 2018-2019 (@delphineeninde) on

(Photo from Delphine’s Instagram of her host family shortly after arriving in India)


2. What obstacles have you faced to get you where you are today?
Before going I didn’t really have any obstacles, but after lending, I realized that an exchange year is not easy. My first challenge was my lack of language skills at the beginning: it was very frustrating not to be able to understand anything around you and to always need an English speaker who translates… But with a lot of efforts, this time passed, fortunately! AFS actually really well prepared us about the typical problems we could have, such as loneliness, homesickness, culture shock or feeling nothing is happening like you would like it to be. Except for homesickness (I think it’s because I am too busy here haha), I went through all of them, but the thing is that I realized they were all in my mind. I understood that feelings are just a matter of how you see things, when I got that, I could easily take control again. «You are feeling a certain way because you allow yourself to». The craziest thing is that even if I had some hard times, I would never say I had a bad experience. like if the brain was magically remembering all the nicest moments. I actually think that I learned a lot about problem-solving and my personality. The easiest solution was simply to talk to someone, just a small chat, whatever the topic, made me instantly happy after!
3. What advice would you pass on to someone interested in what you are doing?

You will be proposed a lot of things and be confronted by any kind of situation, you should always be open about it stay positive! Basically say yes every time you are asked to do something, like a speech, or an activity, attend an event, etc. Also, I would say (very basic) but never give up! Like some days, you will feel discouraged just by very small reasons (the emotions you go through an exchange make every small things way bigger!) maybe like a family member saying you are not able to speak the language properly or still feeling not at ease in your environment, but in this moments, remember why you came here and that you are progressing even if you don’t feel like it. Take hard times as a growing experience, and use them to get closer to your host family and school friends :)) They are the one who can help you easily and we forget it most of the times. For me when I was feeling bad I tended to ask help to my Canadian friends and family, but it’s not going to change anything. An exchange year is happening in the host country only.

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Version française sur @del.phinou ••••••••••••••••••••••• In only two months, India has given me a crazy amount of joy! I discovered a whole new spirituality and a universe where religion is still predominant, which is different than what I’ve experienced in Quebec. In India, everything is around family and community. We call elders auntie, uncle, didi, bhaiya, like if we were all related. Everyone is curious about me, and the moment I look a bit confuse, people immediately ask “what happened??” and that’s the most adorable thing ever. It’s inspiring to see people that much warm and caring with others. India taught me to share more, even the food, and to make it enjoyable. India taught me to be grateful and to help more, because when you see your mom doing all the work in the house alone or your classmates who must study so hard that they cannot do any other activities besides it, it changes your perspective. But the most important thing is that India has given me another family, which whom I create a stronger bound everyday. Now I cherish all the time we spend together. India never gave me problems, I only have new challenges and I love that. #afsindia #afseffect #afscanada #exchangestudent

A post shared by Delphine AFS India 2018-2019 (@delphineeninde) on

(Photo from Delphine’s Instagram)

4. Would you be open to further contact from Riverside students and if so, how can someone contact you?

Yeah, of course, that’s why I have this Instagram profile! I wanted to share my experience because people are having a lot of prejudices towards India and I wanted to show them how is life here really like! You can contact me at any time on this profile.

5. What did you learn from your time abroad?
– Learning to live more minimalistic
– Learning to share and to give back to others
– Learning your best strengths but also your weaknesses, then being able to improve them
– Learning to take to good, and to leave the bad, in every situation
– Learning to live like every day was the last day you are living. One year is so fast: maybe you will probably never meet this person again or see this part of the road. You get to enjoy more and not to regret!
– Learning in details about another country, like the deepest parts of its culture. AFS is a total immersion and with that, you can really understand what the country you’ve picked is going through. You also understand more about your own culture, its ups and its downs. My favorite thing is also to interact with other exchange students from all around the world, to get to know them! I will come back with friendships from all around the world!

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(Sorry I’m a bit late) Du 10 au 19 octobre, j'ai célébré le festival Navratri! C'est un des festivals principal de l'état dans lequel je vis (le Gujarat) et littéralement dès que je suis débarquée ici en juillet on m'en parlait déjà. Cette fête a un aspect mythologique important: pendant les 10 jours (et 9 nuits), on raconte une bataille entre une déesse, qui finit par remporter, et un démon. Dans mon état, à chaque soir il y a une prière et on danse de la danse folklorique (Garba) en habits traditionnels presque toute la nuit entière (première nuit ça finit vers 1h et dernière nuit à 7h30)! La danse garba se pratique lorsqu'on forme un cercle, donc si on ne connaît pas les pas, on risque de foncer dans les gens…Heureusement que j'avais pris des cours avant, j'étais pas top perdue! Il y a deux types de terrains, terrain local (genre pour petite communauté) ou terrain public (immense et c'est la fête absolue!). J'ai eu la chance d'expérimenter tous ces lieux (+ un voyage à Ahmedabad) et même d'aller danser dans un village une 10e nuit parce qu'ils célébraient encore! Maintenant ça me manque…•••••••••••••••••••••••••From 10th to 19th October, I enjoyed Navratri festival! My state (Gujarat) is well known for its celebration and literally the moment I arrived in July everyone was already talking about it. There's a mythological story behind it: during 10 days (and 9 nights), a battle is happening between a goddess (who will win at the end) an a demon. In my region, there was every night a prayer, followed by folkloric dance (Garba) in traditional outfits, lasting all night long (first night it ended at 1am and last day at 7:30am)! Garba dance is played when we form a circle, so if we don't know the steps, we will bump in others… Luckily I took some classes before, so I was not too confuse! There's two types of ground where we play: local (small, in a community) or public (huge, totally crazy!). I consider myself lucky to have tried these different places (+ a trip to Ahmedabad) an I even went in a village for a 10th night because they were still celebrating there! Now I miss it… #afsindia #afscanada #afseffect #exchangestudent #studyabroad #india #navratri

A post shared by Delphine AFS India 2018-2019 (@delphineeninde) on

(Photo from Delphine’s Instagram talking about a local festival)
6. What are some cultural norms/things you do on a daily basis in India that would be considered foreign concepts or unusual in Canada?
I think here I’ve danced more in 7months than in all my life! Here danced is used to express happiness and I love it so much! Every event is incomplete without music and some moves, and everyone participates, even your uncle and this old lady! We would clearly not see this in Canada!
Also, I talked with so many people, whatever their age. In Canada, I feel we are unconsciously separating ourselves with generation gaps, like for example saying that these high school students of the grade below us are so stupid. But this approach stops us from interacting together and building friendships. Here, I learned that I can be friend with little girls, my friends’ parents or elders. I have nice chats with people I am sharing a rickshaw with or a train bench. In such a big world, why don’t you turn yourself to your neighbor and talk?

It is also frequent here that we go visit friends or relatives without advertising them earlier! It is totally normal here! In fact, people come also visit us at our home, whatever the time (it happens sometimes at 9-10pm!). We always welcome them and treat them as guests. Hospitality is incredible! I don’t know if my Canadian friends will appreciate my surprise visits to their houses…

The last thing is a bit funny: here I eat with my hands! I first was a bit hesitant about it, but I realized the house environment was really clean. But yeah eating rice with dal and mixed vegetables using hands will probably scare Canadians… Let’s try it when I come back!

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That bright smile is due to 7months of diversified, fresh and incredible food! Indian gastronomy has its myths: we all know naan and butter chicken, but these items are only from northern India. In fact, there is a huge variety of breads and in one image, I explain the ones I prefer. Also, India has some unique dairy products, such as paneer and ghee. In Indian restaurants found in Canada, the dishes are mainly originated from the North Indian state: Punjab (spicy & full of flavours, the food is rich in dairy products, sometimes using the tandoori cooking style). Its food is not always vegetarian; that habit is kept by approximately 30% of the Indian population. In my state, Gujarat, that percentage goes up to 60%. To be honest, I looove Gujarati food, because locals tend to add sugar in every salty preparation, which creates something so delicious! To compare, South Indian cuisine is a completely different style, with its own spices, cereals, fishes, etc. Because I haven't been there (yet!), I presented you the most known dishes. It would be impossible to explain all the regional specialities (the number is so huge!), but an interesting tradition got spread all around India: the street food! Of course if you check the hygiene, it can be a very fast and simple way to fill up the stomach! In addition, I couldn't talk about Indian food without mentioning the two famous drinks: chai tea and mango lassi. Something that I was not aware of before coming to India, but clearly, it changed my life: the sweets!!!!! Mostly nut/flour based with dairy products, seasoned with cardamom or saffron, I have to say they are really, really sweet, but amazing! Then, I will tell you a secret: I have been mostly eating with my hands since 7months. Yes, we find spoons, and everything here, but after trying rice and dal with my hands, I really feel it tastes better like that haha! I'm definitely not getting bored by what I am eating here and I learn everyday new cooking techniques in order to prepare everything back! I will not tell you how much kgs I gained… #afsindia #afseffect #exchangestudent #studyabroad #afscanada

A post shared by Delphine AFS India 2018-2019 (@delphineeninde) on

(Photo from Delphine’s Instagram showing the variety of foods from India)


What you learned from the interview and how that connects to your passions/interests

I have communicated with Delphine on several occasions before this project, but from the answers she gave me today I’ve gained even more insight on everyday life in India and what it involves to go abroad for an extended period of time. This clearly relates to the interest of travel that I have because she is going out and experiencing this culture completely different from ours. She is doing exactly what I aspire for in my future and it’s inspiring to witness someone actually living it. I have learned a lot from our conversations about what I would have to do in order to go abroad. It’s also interesting to hear her opinions because most of the information online is completely positive and by talking to someone who is actually doing it, I can also gain insight on the struggles of going abroad at a younger age. Our correspondence has helped me learn much about life abroad with the struggles, but also all the many reasons it is worth doing and ways to make it even better. Most importantly, the interview has cemented my belief that people need to experience cultures other than their own in order to gain empathy for others. Many people might mock parts of Indian culture without even really knowing about it. People should open up to other opinions, and realize that perhaps what they were taught to believe isn’t the only way or maybe not even the best way of doing things. People shouldn’t judge others based on second-hand information without actually knowing the facts and talking to the people that they’re making assumptions about. Here it is not considered normal to eat with your hands but in India it is routine. Without trying other ways, it is impossible to know if you’re doing things right.

This project has led to connections between Delphine and I. I had already communicated with Delphine before, but even my initial contact with her was with the intent of creating connections so it correlates with the purpose of this whole project to talk to others in order to be able to communicate better and form bonds of some sort which might lead to opportunities in the future. We now remain in contact and talk over text a couple times a week, though it is difficult because of the extreme time difference. I’m not certain if our communication will lead to any opportunities in the future, but I’m glad that I reached out to her because I got to hear her amazing story and in a way meet this new person who has a life so different from my own and is very inspirational to me.

Power Solution Fluency


The installation of power conduits is a major but relatively unknown expense in the world. There are two different ways that these power lines can be installed. Above ground or below. As of now, most cities are using primarily or entirely above ground power lines, because simply put, they’re cheaper. It costs about eight times more to install the power lines below ground compared to above.

In 2008, hurricane Ike hit Texas, and caused an estimated 22 billion dollars in damage in Houston and Galveston alone, much of which was power related. The cost to replace all of the destroyed power lines in Houston using improved above ground structures was estimated to cost 800 million dollars which, compared to the daunting 4 billion dollars it was estimated to cost if they went underground, is a pretty appealing sum.

But the problem with cities continuing to use the less expensive option is that it costs more in the long term. In 2014, Toronto was faced with an estimated 106 million dollar clean-up bill after a devastating ice storm. More than 300,000 Toronto hydro customers were left without electricity for up to a week. It is estimated that it would cost 15 billion dollars to move Toronto’s 15,000 kilometers of power lines underground. However, if they had been underground in the first place, the entire ordeal would have been avoided much the same as Houston.


Right now the cheapest way to install below ground power lines is called open trenching. Where companies dig into the earth, make a trench and lay wires. Then they go back and refill the trench that they dug. This process reroutes traffic and disrupts the neighbourhood temporarily.

There is also a less invasive, more expensive option called directional drilling. Installers can place a wire through a carefully plotted, kilometers-long underground tunnel that does not disrupt street-level activities. This is limited by the length of the drill and it also requires multiple passes with different drill heads.


These are all solutions to our problem. Most of these solutions are very unrealistic.

  • controlled explosives that blow up a tunnel that you can then place the wire in.
  • domesticate an army of moles to dig the tunnels that the wires go into.
  • a machine that digs and feeds a wire through the tunnel behind it.
  • invent a shrink ray so that people can dig the tunnels with tiny shovels
  • invent a grow ray so that people dig the trenches in one fell swoop.
  • blast energy through the air instead of going through wires at all.
  • put a lot of batteries in a truck and then deliver the batteries to people so you do not have to install wires at all.
  • make a shovel robot to dig the trenches to make the process faster


Our solution is a robot that digs tunnels and brings the powerline in behind it. We have dubbed our robot the M0L3.

  1. How it works

You would think that the M0L3 would have a drill to dig ahead of it but no, our machine looks like a robotic mole. It has outurned claws for scooping the dirt behind it. Every so often the M0L3 will have to come up to get rid of the excess dirt. As the M0L3 digs, it brings the power line into the tunnel behind it. The M0L3 is remote controlled and can navigate around obstacles. It uses a sort of seismic location (or echolocation) to sense objects under the ground so that it will not hit anything.

2. How it can help

Our solution to this major problem can help because after the initial purchase of the M0L3, there are no additional costs other than maintenance, and so it will cost less in the long run. Also, it is much more efficient because instead of a team of people working for days digging a trench, placing in the power line, then refilling the hole, only a couple of engineers are needed to be there to control the machine and make sure it works properly. Another way that it will cost less is the significantly lower number of man hours needed. With less people working for less time, the overall cost diminishes.

3. Drawbacks/negatives/“things to consider”

There are however some drawbacks that must be considered when using this solution. Firstly, this is an idea, so we don’t have physical evidence that our machine will work. There would most likely be problems when it encounters larger rocks or roots, as there is no way for it to get through. Perhaps a drill would need to be added to the front for it to work. There is the initial cost to consider which would probably be a rather large sum of money, as well as the fact that as the manufacturer, we would need to purchase a factory to build the robots and find out which materials to use. Finally, each city would probably need more than one as they can only be in one place at a time.


  1. Include media that illustrates the solution

These are renders of the 3d model that Simon created to show our vision of the M0L3.

Erik’s Debrief

I believe that the product that we came up with is a unique and possibly realistic idea that could be used as a guideline for a real life prototype. If it was constructed, I think that our idea would actually provide a (at least partial) solution to the problem we found and would decrease the cost, time and effort needed in order to install underground power lines. There are however problems with our idea, as mentioned above, it would encounter difficulty when it reaches particularly large rocks or roots that it wouldn’t be able to simply dig out of the way, and would need another element in order to drill through them. In addition to this, the manufacturing and purchase costs would probably be very high.


The process that we went through in order to complete this assignment went without any major hiccups. I feel that Simon and I worked well together and completed the assignment using our time wisely. It was overall a fun project to do. It took us a while to find the perfect problem to attempt to solve, and we went through other somewhat more broad ideas such as something to do with geothermal energy in Iceland, or something to do with nuclear power and its drawbacks. Once we did find our topic, however, I believe that we had a good time doing valid research and finding out everything there is to know about installing underground power lines. Once we reached the discovery phase of the project, we found other cases of people attempting to solve the problem of power lines with things such as reinforced aboveground power poles, and the consequences of cities not using below ground power lines including all the money that needed to be spent to replace the aboveground ones. We spent a reasonable amount of time on this stage of the process and think that it was well done. I think that the dream phase is where I can start to make a more critical examination of my work. If I’m being honest, I didn’t think of many solutions to our problem and was pretty stumped. This is the part where Simon really shined and came up with our main idea as well as some… interesting other ones. In the delivery stage, I think that at the start our format for presenting our idea wasn’t the most creative although it is in-depth, but then Simon came up with the idea of making a 3D model of the robot which I believe is probably the most “appropriate” way that we could have presented our idea. I think that making the 3D model was a risk because it is not only out of the ordinary but also could have easily not worked. Also, i do believe that it demonstrates our proposal in a very clear fashion. Finally, I am proud of this debrief that I made because I believe it goes in-depth into what we accomplished and how, and completely and critically examines our work.


  • Administrator. “Undergrounding Utility Wires.” The Truth About Billboards | Scenic America, www.scenic.org/issues/undergrounding-utility-wires.
  • Cummins, Eleanor. “Why Don’t We Put Power Lines Underground?” Popular Science, 6 June 2018, www.popsci.com/why-dont-we-put-power-lines-underground.
  • “Horizontal Directional Drilling Installation Animation.” YouTube, YouTube, 20 June 2014, youtu.be/mdLCD6t6C-w.
  • Lupton, Andrew. “Ice Storm Fallout: Can’t Power Lines Go Underground? | CBC News.” CBCnews, CBC/Radio Canada, 9 Jan. 2014, www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ice-storm-fallout-can-t-power-lines-go-underground-1.2490392.
  • Simon, Darran. “Isn’t It Better to Just Bury Power Lines? That May Depend on Where You Live.” CNN, Cable News Network, 14 Sept. 2017, www.cnn.com/2017/09/14/us/underground-power-lines-trnd/index.html.
  • Gale engaged learning. “Mika, Eric. “A Robotic Cable Crawler.” Popular Science, June 2007, p. 48. Canada in Context, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A163685222/GPS?u=43riss&sid=GPS&xid=390d399b. Accessed 4 Dec. 2018.
  • “EDITORIAL: Plan to sustain power during hurricanes needed.” Victoria Advocate [Victoria, TX], 23 Sept. 2008. Canada in Context, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A185433954/GPS?u=43riss&sid=GPS&xid=481f0e75. Accessed 4 Dec. 2018

Instruments Intéressants –Podcast Épisode #2

Pour ce deuxième épisode, rejoignez-nous sur cette voyage musicale asiatique ou on apprend à propos la musique asiatique et leurs instruments uniques. Aujourd’hui on parle à propos le J-rock, L’orchestre chinoise, le Dan Day, le sasando, et le pipa.




Les membres du groupe :

Erik et Simon

Le titre de votre baladodiffusion :

Les Instruments Intéressants

Le genre :


Le(s) thème(s) abordé(s) :



Épisode #1 (Titre et description)

Pour ce premier épisode de Instruments Intéressants rejoinez-nous sur cette voyage musicale Africain ou on apprend à propos la musique Africain et leurs instruments uniques. Les instruments qu’on parle à propos aujourd’hui sont l’algaita, le kora, l’mbira, et le tambour parlant.

Épisode #2 (Titre et description)

Pour cette deuxième épisode rejoignez-nous sur cette voyage musicale asiatique ou on apprend à propos la musique asiatique et leurs instruments uniques. Aujourd’hui on parle à propos le J-rock, L’orchestre chinoise, le Dan Day, le sasando, et le pipa.

Épisode #3 (Titre et description)

Les Instruments de l’Amérique du sud

On voyage aux différents pays en l’Amérique du sud et on parle différents instruments intéressants de cette région et écouter quelques-uns.

Épisode #4 (Titre et description)

Les Instruments de l’Europe

On voyage aux différents pays en l’Europe et on parle différents instruments intéressants et inconnus de cette région et écouter quelques-uns.


Un logo

Une description de votre émission

Dans chaque épisode, on regarde un autre région du monde, et on parle des instruments intéressants là-dedans.

L’introduction de chaque épisode

(Musique) Bonjour, et bienvenue aux Instruments Intéressants. Nous nous appelons Simon et Erik. Vous écoutez le (nombre d’épisode) des Instruments Intéressants. Aujourd’hui nous sommes en (le région de cette épisode)!

Plan de production mensuelle

On fait la recherche sur les instruments. On crée le scripte. On va chez un de nos maisons et on enregistre le podcast.

-Crée publication avant le 12 octobre

-Recherche pour les instruments de cuivres le 12 octobre

-Crée une scripte le 15 octobre

-Enregistre avant le 19 octobre