Last year, the first Khmer Modeling United Nations was hosted. Surprisingly, another one this year happened. It is my greatest honor to have this opportunity for the second time. The main organizer of the event, Sopheak, offered the role of a head chair or president–the same as last year. There are two topics in General Assembly 3.
The Question of Improving Air Quality Around the Globe
The Question of Addressing Equality and Legal Rights for LGBTQ+ Community
As always, the head chair has the responsibility of writing a report for the topics, explaining the problems expressly and suggesting reasonable solutions. Excitingly, it was my first time to write the MUN chair report in Khmer. Of course, there were some challenges arose during the time I wrote the report like being precise and cohesive with my writing.
On the event day, there was a multitude of students and guests from many private and non-private organizations joining us. Obviously, it was the first time for some students, participating in MUN conference. Therefore, I clearly understood the stress and excitement they had at that time and it is my responsibility to assist them throughout the event.
When debate session arrived, it was extremely mesmerizing for me, to observe everybody in my assembly actively participated. We firstly debated on the topic of air quality; then, the topic of equality of LGBTQ+ community. Throughout the debate, every delegate strongly stood their grounds, representing their country’s point of view. Some delegates were bombarded with many difficult questions and teasing speeches. For example, the delegate of Senegal; he did not agree with the equality for LGBTQ+ community because the religious traditions. Consequently, he received many questions and responses that were overly unanswerable. However, this was the perfect demonstration of how each student is required to represent their country well, even though he or she personally does not agree to.
Overall, my experience with this conference had got better. I always enjoy every moment, specifically when everyone participated wholeheartedly and actively. I have learned the different topics or plights which are happening in our society. It is extremely important for everyone in the event to share their own voice, speak for their country, and make change.
After the gender summit, Change, happened last year (2018), another summit had happened this year: Rainbow summit or In-tha-nu. This time the summit is a student-led project, consisting of eight members, working together for over a month. Rainbow is a summit that helps to advocate the LGBTQ+ community and disseminate the message and information from the community to many Cambodians across the country. In Cambodian society, addressing the problems of LGBTQ+ people is very sensitive. There are still many young individuals who live in various provinces are still lacked with information of the LGBTQ+. Because of this, it leads to countless assumptions, discrimination, violation, and exploitation. Therefore, the Rainbow summit aims to “encourage people to provoke meaningful discussion, to embrace differences, and to inspire Cambodian youth to create positive change in their own communities.”
I am one of the members of the Rainbow summit. There are four distinguished topics that cover many problems which are LGBTQ+-related: Language, Culture, Politics, and Health & Violence. I am one of the two session leaders responsible for presenting the latter topic. During the process of organizing the summit, all members have learned and discussed the common LGBTQ+-related problems in Cambodia. Each week, we met each other to research, read over many texts, and discuss for the better comprehension of chosen topics. Of course, there were many confusions, questions, and difficulties during the discussion of our meeting. For example, we tried to understand what cisgender really means and translated English words of different sexualities into our language, Khmer. However, these challenges the team went through actually empowered everybody to keep being persistent and channeling against their difficulties.
On the summit day, the team was prepared to share what they have. It was the day for everyone to finally feel that they can change the world. Establishing momentous conversations, participating in powerful activities, and listening to educational information were moments of enlightenment. One of my highlights of the day was the activity I led, Imagine How You Would Feel. This is the activity that allows participants to understand the feelings and pressure of homosexual people, especially the LGBTQ+ people. The reaction I received from the audience was inarticulate. I could sense the heartbeat of the people fastening and echoing every faucet of the room. There were gasps, tears, and silence. That Silence was the moment that hinted me that they completely understood. It was the moment where I can find light in the darkness.
To be honest with you, I do not want this day to end at all. I want to sit with the participants all day, talking about anything. Unfortunately, it ended, but I believe that what the people have learned that day will innate their mind forever. It is not just us who organized the event are the change agents. They are too.
Do you want to hear a fabulous new from this trip?! You guess it. We finally surveyed our block! We were extremely excited and again, ready to rock and roll! Ordinarily, MCC had always organized the schedule for us when we are there, but this time and from now on, we take the initiative to make our own. To be honest, I feel that this trip is the most productive trip we ever had. I personally learn a lot from this trip.
Here are the three day summaries written by all of us when we were there.
Day 1: “Learn from mistakes and failures.”
LMRT’s back on the island! Not eight students but 11 (including three younger students from Liger!) Everyone was excited to be back again and, for some of us, for the first time. We started our first work day by surveying our first deployed artificial reef block!
Here are what we learned.
To snorkel! Our three newbies snorkeled for the first time in the ocean! To them, “it was so weird and strange to breath under the water, but at the same
time it was an amazing experience to get to explore all of those marine species. We also got to see how the artificial reef block and clusters help to create the habitat for lives under the ocean.”
To be more focused. Our first survey wasn’t successful, part of the reason being the lacks of planning and communication. When the first team laid the transect line for surveying, there were confusions that led to inefficiency. If we were more focused, we would have known to Stop; Breathe; Think; Act.
To learn from mistakes and failures. We are young scientists and
conservationists, and we aren’t perfect. Mistakes and failures are inevitable, which we can’t fully prepare for. But what we can prepare for is how we response to them. Like today, we were struggling with diving, but that’s a sign we need to review. Besides that, the visibility did not support us with the survey, and there’s nothing we could change about it because it is SCIENCE, but what we can do is learn from it.
Life goes on no matter what; same with our project! Things didn’t go as expected, but it is all about how we response to and learn from it, like we did today.
Day 2: The Liger Marine Research Team was finally able to conduct his survey this morning at our old artificial reef site; the visibility was still not the best, but it was at least good enough to see some species. We saw a burst of biodiversity at our survey site; there were a lot of java rabbit fish, black spot snappers…. there was even a huge grouper!
From one of newbies: We had a fun snorkel this afternoon and saw many types of fish. We saw two long-beaked coral fish along with many other cool ones that we don’t know the name of (yet…) 😉 particularly the big ones under the pier. We also saw our very first seahorse (there were two of them)! But we were a bit scared by the sea urchins 😛
To end the day, the whole group did a beach cleanup and collected 60kg of trash in an hour. Well done, team!
Day 3: We hope everyone is having a great weekend so far; we definitely are! At 6 am, bright and early, two teams took off to do a boat-based dolphin survey–with the assistance of our younger LMRT members–and a reef survey, conducted by the older LMRT members with MCC’s facilitation.
After hours of searching through the binoculars, the dolphin team finally spotted 7 individuals! Two were traveling together while others were diving individually and exhibiting a variety of behaviors.
Meanwhile, under the water, the surveyors were roaming along their 100-meter transect line scanning for fish, invertebrates, and substrates. Fortunately, the visibility was decent enough for them to conduct a baseline survey in the afternoon at their soon-to-be second artificial reef site.
After a long break from LMRT–about eight months–we were finally back on the island. The reason of having a long break is the rainy season. We always survey our block and dive during the sunny season because the visibility is better. Sadly, for this trip, the visibility was still bad due to the illegal and destructive fishing and seasonal change. Therefore, we could not survey block, but that did not mean we could not visit our block.
During our journey visiting our block, there was a surprise: our block’s structure changed its shape. About one-third of the block buried in the silt. Furthermore, there are four hollow cubical blocks in the middle of the main structure; one of them was found under the main structure. Last, our cluster was missing. Nobody knew what knew how did that happen neither the LMRT nor the MCC. However, we hypothetically think that the main cause is from the illegal and destructive fishing: trawling.
We are not consider this situation as a failure. It was actually the starting point for LMRT, to finally understand what is “real science.” We cannot keep thinking that our study is always perfect. This is an experiment in a “real” laboratory; anything can happen. From now on, we still keep surveying the block. We want to see how the modification of the block affects the lives there. Will there be new species? We do not know, but we believe that no matter what happens, our block is still doing its job, protecting the ocean.
On Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018, Our school, Liger Leadership Academy, hosted a conference called, “Khmer Modeling United Nations.” This event has been organizing by all the Seniors learning in Khmer Literacy essential. Across the globe, Modeling United Nations conference (MUN) had been conducted in English. Therefore, Liger had conducted the first MUN conference in Khmer language−as far as I know−with all the participation from the seniors.
The whole conference was divided into two different assemblies with two different topics each. The topics were about biological weapons, internet privacy, the growing billions, and air pollution control. Conducting the conference in Khmer was extremely challenging. There were many requirements for preparing and practicing. I was one of the four chairs who was responsible to the lead the debate in the assembly. I partnered with my friends, and we were responsible for leading the debates and discussion in our assembly.
Speaking in Khmer for the whole conference was a worthy experience. It was very similar to English since they are using fancy and very technical words. It was the same for Khmer! We had to use many technical and difficult Khmer words to communicate during the conference. Before the event was approaching, we, the chairs, were already translating the chair scripts, printing out placards of distinguished countries, guiding and helping our friends who were new to the conference through research. All of these activities we did in class before were actually enhancing many of our literary skills including writing, speaking, listening, and reading. We learned to write an open speech in Khmer standard forms, research in different Khmer resources, and write a resolution of solving the problems.
On the actual event, everything was in place. Everyone was dressed up professionally and ready to debate and have a fruitful discussion. Each delegate was on their role and filled with information that was standing the position of their country. During the debate, many delegates were bravely engaged with formal manner. There were difficult questions (points of information) being raised up by delegates. There were many delegates who were serious during the conference, for example, the delegate of America. He was submitting many amendments, asking questions, and even speaking for his country position. Overall, the conference was a blessing and hopefully, we are going to do it again next year.
Here is a short video of the whole event, and I hope you enjoy it!
LMRT was back on the island! We were ready to rock and roll! First of all, let me take a moment here that the first we were on the island, it was actually my birthday! Now, so far I ended my first three sentences with exclamation points; what’s good! Another one! Another one! Another one…..
I was so blessed to actually having LMRT trip on my birthday, I mean, what could have been better. My friends and I were so excited getting back into the water and checking our blocks! However, we could not do any of those things. Due to the illegal fishing, the visibility of the water was extremely bad, causing the sediments to stir up. Zero dive, but that did not mean zero productiveness. We already keep ourselves busy because that is LMRT.
We helped with and did many activities:
Continuation of cluster creation
My friends and I were splicing the ropes.
Instead of splicing the rope, we braided each others’ hair.
Dolphin Survey and Plastic Survey
My friend, Somphors, joined us this trip.
Nina, our plastic survey data collector, explained us the structure of the survey.
The MCC volunteers and LMRT were participating in the dolphin survey activities.
Fun dives (forget the visibility)
I was blowing the octopus to check my buddy’s air system. Buddy checked!
Art project with rubbish we collected around the island.
Making the basket out of drinking straws and the fan frame.
Preparation of presentation and poster for the upcoming conference we will attend: The 5th International Marine Conservation Congress in Kuching, Malaysia. Unexpectedly, we are the youngest attendee there!
Have you ever wondered how a blind person see? Do they live in a different kind of universe? What do they “actually” see? Well, we have an answer now. It is not an “actual” answer, but it is an explanatory answer which it could explain how a blind person sees. We read two different articles that explain about blind people and the optical illusions of colors. Right down below are the two questions I answered in physics class of my comprehension from the article
What do blind people actually see?
Blind people actually do see the thing that is indescribable. It is this nothingness that they see. A “normal” human cannot explain this nothingness because nothingness that could be explained is “how it “looks” behind your head.” Nowadays, blind people can live their normal lives like us; it is just that fact that they do not have that one sense of vision. Mr. Wächter is the subject of the experiment of the article. He is a blind man who has put on a belt whose ability can release out the vibration, which it can tell Mr. Wächter any direction. But when the experiment was over, without the belt, Mr. Wächter can still feel some vibration known as, but he was lost. “He was experiencing the same thing you do when you try to look at what’s behind your head.”
Why colors can trick us?
Colors can trick us when our brain tries to perceive or figure out what is the object’s color. According to Wired’s explanation, when you are concentrating on the figuration of the object’s color, our brain will neglect the background colors and light around it. Colors are also tricky when it comes to your eyes need to subtract the lighting or background colors because it is not happening rapidly. As a well-known example, some people might see the dress in white and gold while others see it as blue and black. For the people who perceive the color in white and gold, you cannot just tell your eyes or brain to neglect the right background colors and lighting. Consequently, all of these theories or ideas have become an inspiration for many artists to create the art of optical illusions. Humans know what is the optical illusion, but it takes to make us realize that it is a trick from colors.
You must be the exotic one if you have not heard, seen, or read the “Marvel comics” or the “Marvel movies.” It was created in the United States of America since 1939 with its first release of a comic book called, “Timley’s Publication.” Throughout the time, Marvel entertainment published abundance of new and adventurous comic books including many distinguished characters especially the superheroes. Those superheroes were illustrated and put into the stories whose astonishing superpowers possibly could be explained by our modern physics whether it is practicable or impractical.
As mentioned, in the entire Marvel history, there are a lot of established fictional characters who significantly play her or his roles in the comics or movies of their mind-blowing superpowers. Moreover, you must be wondering who is the man above. Generally and as written above, his name is James Howlett and also known as “Wolverine.” He is actually one of the top Marvel superheroes: Spider-Man, Captain Marvel, Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, Luke Cage, Black Widow, Daredevil, and Captain America. His first appearance in Marvel comics was in the “Incredible Hulk” since 1974.
Who is Wolverine?
Wolverine is a mutant (meaning his DNA is changed) with many incredible powers who has the “ability to regenerate ability to regenerate damaged or destroyed areas of his cellular structure at a rate far greater than that of an ordinary human.” People have deemed him as a “subspecies of humans (Homo sapiens superior). Furthermore, he has the powers of withstanding all types of poisons, resisting aging, and having an acute sense of seeing far distance. So you can say that he is immortal; in fact, he is mortal. He could be dead if there are potential accidents that he got injuries at the “vital organs” and loss of physical form.
Despite his superpowers, he does have abilities like other humans. He did train at many tasks as a C.I.A operative, a soldier, a Samurai, a spy, a member of X-men, and hand to hand fighter known as the “combatant.” In addition, Wolverine is also an expert in many types weapons, vehicles, computer system, explosive, and assassination techniques. If you are a truly a supporter of Wolverine, you might notice that he could speak in multiple languages such as Japanese, Russian, Chinese, Cheyenne, Lakota, and Spanish.
As a matter of fact, you may experience regeneration at some points while playing your video games. The best example is Minecraft. There is a portion that you can drink to regenerate the player at a fast speed and limited duration. But for Wolverine, his ability to regenerate is overwhelmingly impressive. Regeneration is a permanent ability he has; it is inherently working when he got cuts or even in an intense situation of someone poking him with a sword.
When a normal human received a wound or cuts, it takes times to heal or regenerate which depends on the wound condition. And by means of regeneration, it is the “process by which some organisms replace or restore lost or amputated body parts,” or biologically, it is the “reactivation of development in later life to restore missing tissues.” In reality, there are actually some organisms who can regenerate itself when it lost its limbs or some other parts of their body. For instance, the salamanders, axolotls, starfish, spiders, and other types of lizards have the ability of regeneration.
Wolverine’s regeneration in the fictional comics or movies is actually a complicated one. The first explanation that can crack this enigma is related to Wolverine’s last name, Howlett; it is surprisingly a protein. According to the paper was submitted to the Journal of Superhero Mutational Science by graduate students from the University of British Columbia, stated that “Wolverine’s healing abilities have striking similarities to that seen in axolotl, an amphibian with the capacity to regenerate amputated limbs.” The Howlett protein within Wolverine is characterized similarly to the protein within the axolotls, called “Amblox.”
However, it clearly shows that it definitely takes sometimes for the axolotl to heal when it takes a second for Wolverine to heal.
How does that work? Howlett protein is everywhere in Wolverine’s body and to answer the question, it is all about an activity of Howlett within his cell. “Wolverine has a significantly elevated amount of Howlett per cell than the axolotl by a factor of 100,” but that does not explain the reason why the rate of Wolverine’s regeneration is rapid. Therefore, the students set up a simulation of observing “the rate of product formation by Howlett” compares to the rate of product formation by Amblox. As a result, it expressly demonstrates that Howlett protein has a greater rate of healing Wolverine rather than the axolotl’s protein.
Besides Howlett, there is another key protein that contributes to the regeneration; it is called, “Lin28a.” As an American digital media company, Inverse stated that “In embryonic cells where the protein is fully activated, Lin28a becomes more and more dormant as the organism ages.” This could possibly apply to one of the reasons of how does Wolverine’s regeneration works. It further explained that there is a simulation when the researchers changed a mouse genetically by injecting the substance to keep the mouse produces the Lin28a protein. It turns out that it is working. When the mouse got cut off one of its toes, it grew back with a fast speed back to a normal toe.
As stated, Wolverine is one of the incredible characters in the Marvel history. His phenomenal power, regeneration, clearly surprises all the Marvel supporters; however, there is a lack of explanation of how it is actually working. It is very complex to comprehend expressly about Wolverine’s power since it is all going down to the system of his protein within the cell. The explanation of all the introduced proteins including Amblox and Lin28a are existing in this real world.
Furthermore, it seems realistic that human can be healed close to the speed of Wolverine’s regeneration by following the procedure of injecting the Lin28a protein. However, this is not reasonable since researchers, or us do not know what are the consequences. Not only the Lin28a injection seems to be unrealistic, but also the Howlett protein. After all, Howlett protein is literally a fictional protein which the author characterized it similarly to the Amblox. But for most of the parts from the explanation, it still could be possible and durable with our modernized technology and knowledge that we can have the power of regeneration as Wolverine.
What a remarkable night attending the event, “Public Speaking,” hosted by INSPIRED.Cambodia and Leadership Community Toastmasters at Impact Hub. It was inspiring and fun for all of us (Rika Chan, Sovannary, and Thathiny Tep) to listen and participate in the discussion about public speaking. The main focus was on the word “content,” and how the “quality content” provides us confidence in public speaking and life. We met many inspirational guest speakers who were sharing their speaking skills with different topics such as Morality, Worth or Waste, etc. The event was ended up with the evaluation from the judges (timer, language, “ah” counter, etc) to those speakers. https://www.facebook.com/events/1778143455827679/?active_tab=discussion
This was a small research we did during our “sound waves” study in physics class. Our facilitator, Samantha, assigned us many different topics to research on with the purpose of dot-connecting our lessons to the world information.
BATS AND ECHOLOCATION
BY: VENGHOUR THAN & SAMNANG HOR
What is Bat?
Bats are found all around the world and there are hundreds of different species of bat. These bats are living in caves and forest, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere. Bats are mammals that have fur or hair covered their bodies and are warm-blooded. Bats are the only mammals that can fly, it’s wing has a very similar bones to our human hand and arm, connect the skin that stretched between long finger bones and the body to form the wing membrane. This mammals hunt at night by using their exceptional sight to pick out their preys. Bats prey such as insects, frogs, and small rodents. Bats have a slight sixth sense known as echolocation to locate prey by the sounds that are reflected back to them.
What is Echolocation?
The use of sound waves combining with echoes is called “echolocation.” It is to determine the location of the objects are in space mostly at night. Bats are the most standout mammals that use echolocation to navigate and find their food since they are blind. Bats’ uses of echolocation are the same as humans’ uses of eyes to see. Its process of using sound waves and echoes to survive every day is very complicating. But do not get it wrong here, there are others animals having the ability to use echolocation for the same reasons of navigation and food searching including dolphins, whales, other birds and even humans.
The Process of Bat’s echolocation
In order to echolocate, the bat is required to have three essential things: voice, ears, and echoes. Echo is “a sound or sounds caused by the reflection of sound waves from a surface back to the listener.” Down here is the picture of bat’s ear. First of all, the bat will let a chirp (ultrasonic sound); as the sound waves reach the targeted object, it will bounce back as echoes reaching back the bat’s ear. Now, the echoes will pass the ear cartilage into the ear canal. Then, it continues its way to the eardrum where it starts to vibrate, and that vibration will pursue its way to cochlea until the basilar membrane. In brief explanation, the vibration from the ear canal cannot be transported to the basilar members; it had to go through a conversion. It is all happened in the “cochlea.” If you look at the diagram down below, it is explaining how the cochlea works. When the vibration approaches the cochlea, it instantly converts into nerve impulses. Nerve impulses are the smooth flows of vibration. Then, those impulses transport to the brain for interpretation. Since bat does not live in the space with one object, it had its owns technique of knowing multiple of objects at the same time. To do so, the bat had to chirp for several times with distinguished frequencies in a different location. Therefore, when the echoes reach back its ears with different frequencies, it can figure the destination, sizes, and shapes.
Bat is a very special kind of animal among the others with the ability of echolocating. The object’s location, size, and shape can be figured out by its chirp. In addition, by letting a chirp, the bat can produce and hear the sound at the frequencies over 100,000 waves every second. With its complex and amazing life survival skill, it is actually the birth of many modern sonar technologies.