Illusion of Depth in Virtual Reality


Woman in VR headset looking up and trying to touch objects

One of the most significant advances in the history of technology and, as some may argue, art, is the creation of virtual reality. What is virtual reality? According to Wikipedia, it is a “computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional image or environment that can be interacted with in a seemingly real or physical way by a person using special electronic equipment”. In simple words, a person uses equipment that has sensors in it which when the person puts on, stimulates one’s senses, causing them to experience a “new reality”. The gyroscopes and sensors in the equipment sync with the user’s movements as well. This allows for an almost life-like feeling. Oculus Rift is one of the leading brand in the industry of virtual reality. One of the main components that causes virtual reality to be so real is its ability to create a sense of a three-dimensional world. Virtual reality allows it’s users to experience depth through illusion.

Similarly, the painting, The Red Room by Henri Matisse, also plays around with the idea of the illusion of depth. But while the virtual reality accepts this technique for it’s advantage, Henri Matisse tries to reject this. He attempts to create a flat canvas/painting using various techniques such as using the color red,using linear perspective the wrong way, as well as reverse lines in order to stop the canvas from achieving the illusion of depth.

Aisha, Team Ares


The Trivial Aspects of Life

Dear Creeped Out,

For the love of God, please don’t follow the advice that columnist gave. You would be harming your reputation and potentially ending the relationship between your daughter’s and her friend Emma’s. The columnist said that you should be persistent and stand up to the mother. But by doing this, you might be risking a whole lot. If the mother of Emma can prevent her from going out, don’t you think she’ll stop Emma from staying friends with your daughter. The best thing to do, if you ask me, is to not be persistent. That will only make you sound annoying. Instead, you should leave it be. If Emma’s mother won’t let her daughter come to your daughter’s birthday party, then so be it. I’m sure your daughter will live. These petty arguments are the trivial aspects of life. Learn from Juvenal. In Juvenal, it says, “—these are considered glories more than human” (133-187).  Thus, you trying to win your fight against Emma’s mother is not what a real human would do. You should try to be above Emma’s mother. Even the great Marcus Aurelius would disagree with what the columnist is saying you should do. He once said, ” It is possible to depart from life at this moment. Have this thought in mind whenever you act, speak, or think.” (page 14). If today, you speak ill towards the mother of Emma and she retaliates by preventing both your daughters from seeing each other AND you end up dying….your daughter would be very, very, very sad. What will she think of you? Instead of blindly listening to the columnist, you should think before you speak and not force anyone to do something. Perhaps with your gentle reassurances, Emma’s mother will change her mind.


Auleria Flavilla


Hax, Carolyn. “Carolyn Hax: Mother of daughter’s friend wants to commandeer party planning” Washington Post, 10 Dec. 2017.

-Aisha, Team Ares


Quote:  “Beware the frozen Ides of March..”

Citation: Goodman, Henrietta. Hungry Moon, University Press of Colorado, 2013. ProQuest Ebook Central,
Created from brooklyn-ebooks on 2017-11-27 13:36:02.

This quote is from the book “Hungry Moon by Henrietta Goodman. It is line from a poem called “Fairy Slipper”. This poem talks about intimacy and the reluctance of the narrator in taking her lover back even though she desires to be with him. Goodman is referring to the Ides of March in order to warn the reader of the approaching cold. The Ides of March is a metaphor for the confusion and coldness that will undertake the narrator (or reader) when their lover comes back to them. After reading the poem countless times, I came to the conclusion that Goodman expects the reader to know what the Ides of March is. Since the author is telling the reader to beware the Ides of March, I assume that the Ides of March has a bad meaning for her.

In Cassius Dio, it says, “Another thing that happened not long after these events
proved still more clearly that, although he pretended to shun
the title, in reality he desired to assume it” (Cassius Dio 11). This quote is similar to the poem I read because just like the narrator, Julius Caesar wanted something but pretended to not desire it. In Julius Caesar’s case, it was the title of “Rex”.

Aisha, Team Ares

Baroque Style in the Death of Julius Caesar?!


The image above is the painting of The Death of Julius Caesar by Vincenzo Camuccini.

In Classics class, we learned about the death, or rather, the assassination, of Julius Caesar. The image above that I had searched up for while reading an article on the death of Julius Caesar depicts the moment he was being stabbed by the Roman senators.

In art, we have been learning about Baroque art. Baroque art, although it was mostly in religious paintings, also carries the style of dramatic scenes, rich and deep color, as well as a great contrast between light and dark. It also contains great degrees of movement and emotions. The image above was painted in 1798, a couple of decades after the Baroque movement. But this painting shows elements of Baroque style. If you look closely, you can see the movement of the figures. On the right there are figure shown to have their hands raised whereas the ones on the left are engrossed in the assassination of Caesar. There is also a contrast between the light and dark as shown in the background and foreground.


This is a drawing that Camuccini had drawn of the assassination of Julius Caesar. I had gone to the Metropolitan Museum but was unable to take a picture. But this drawing/sketch is included in the museum.

Aisha, Team Ares

Linear Perspective in NYC Subways


NYC is filled with subways. We all take it to places around the city. If you stand on the platform and look over to the other end, you can see that the sides of the platform converge together and vanish at the distance. Another thing that can be seen is the sides of the train which come together as you look farther back. This reminded me of what we had earned in class about linear perspective. Linear perspective is a system of art in which parallel lines converge together to create the illusion of depth. But believe it or not, linear perspective is not just seen in drawing or paintings. It is seen in the real world too such as the conversing sides of the subway platform.

Aisha, Team Ares

Mosaics in Subways


This is a mosaic at the subway station at the 36th street station on 4th avenue. This mosaic reminded me of the church of San Vitale in Ravenna, Italy. The Justinian Mosaic was a mosaic in the Church of San Vitale. The similarity between the Justinian Mosaic and this mosaic is obviously the fact that both are mosaics containing people. The people in the mosaic at this subway station have various facial expressions and movements whereas in the Justinian Mosaic, the figures look more serious. There’s not much expression in them. Another thing I had noticed was how this mosaic utilizes a lot of space. You can see action happening in the foreground, middle ground, as well as the background too. The Justinian Mosaic, on the other hand, only focuses on the foreground. In fact, you can’t even see the middle ground and background.

Overall, I found it interesting how modern art still incorporates aspects of ancient art like the mosaic tiles.

Aisha, Team Ares

Slavery in Greece

I searched up Sicily Rome “Slave rebellion” “United States” on the Brooklyn Library website and came across an article called “SLAVES, STORIES, AND CULTS: Conflict Resolution between Masters and Slaves in Ancient Greece” by Sara Forsdyke. This article talks about slavery and a slave rebellion on the island of Chios. Forsdyke explains the two sides of this event. On one hand, the slave rebellion can be seen as a “heroic [attempt by a] slave over his masters”. But the event also raises the argument of how such rebellions can be controlled by masters if they “treat their slaves humanely”.

Although the author doesn’t connect the search terms together, this article can relate back to the text, Diodorus, where it states, “Those whom fate has placed in a lowly position will gladly yield to their superiors in honor and glory, but if they are denied the kindness which they deserve, they revolt against the men who act like cruel despots.” The Romans governed the slaves using fear. But fear can motivate the slaves to revolt. Similarly, the slaves in ancient Greece rebelled because they weren’t treated “humanely”. Perhaps if both ancient Greece and the Romans had treated their slaves better, there wouldn’t have been a rebellion.

Aisha · Team Ares

MLA Citation

Sara Forsdyke. “SLAVES, STORIES, AND CULTS Conflict Resolution between Masters and Slaves in Ancient Greece.” Common Knowledge, vol. 21, no. 1, 2015, pp. 19–43.


Hidden Gems in NYC

On our trip in Lower Manhattan, my group and I came across quite a few fasces, or rather, what we assumed to be fasces. I’m not quite sure if these are fasces or just coins but I did find this on the City Bank-Farmers Trust Company Building. Although the picture looks blurry (because I zoomed in too much) the fasce/coin has the illustrations of what resembles an axe. It also has the word “Italia” written on it. I also saw the head of a lion on it but then again, my eyesight has been known to fail me many times so I can’t be sure if it’s a lion or something else. Since fasces symbolize the power that the magistrate or a higher power held, it was probably placed on this building as a symbol of nobility and importance.

Aisha, Team Ares


Do You Even Know Who Alexander the Great Is?

Asad, 15, Brother, My house

Do you know who Alexander the Great was? If so, what do you know about him?

Yeah….I think he was a king or someone powerful from..Greece…yeah, from Greece.

Where did you learn about him?

From school. We learned about him in class.

Random person, age is unknown, on bus.

Do you know who Alexander the Great was? If so, what do you know about him?

He was a leader of an army. I think he was a king as well. I don’t remember much about him. Never really paid attention in history class. But uh…I think he also conquered another country. I’m pretty sure it was the Persian Empire.

Where did you learn about him?

Sometime during my prime, when I was in school.

Old lady sitting on her doorstep, age: over 50’s, on my way home.

Do you know who Alexander the Great was? If so, what do you know about him?

Alexander the Great? He was a…if I remember correctly, a king from Greece and a military genius. He led his army to defeat the Persian Empire…yeah. That’s all I remember.

Where did you learn about him?

When I was your age.

The similarity in all the answers that I received was that all of the people that I interviewed knew that Alexander the Great was someone powerful. They all said that he was a king. The answers were similar to what we learned in class about Alexander the Great defeating the Persian army. I realized that all of the people I interviewed didn’t know that he died very young (at the age of 32). No one also knew that Alexander was predicted to be a very powerful ruler. As stated in Alexander Romance (Pseudo-Callisthenes verse 13), Alexander’s mother is foretold a prophecy from a god. The god says that she is “pregnant with a boy child who shall be your avenger and become world conquering king’ of the whole civilized universe”.

Aisha, Team Ares



Nabeel Rajab, author of the article “Don’t profit from abuses by Bahrain”, states that in order for humans to live in an “ideal world”, we must all “..[respect] human rights and fundamental freedoms..[as a] way to attain peace, stability and prosperity in any nation; I have devoted my life to that ideal. ” The background for this statement lies in the issue between activists in Bahrain who are being persecuted for outwardly disagreeing with their government (who is also allied with the U.S.) bombing Yemen. He says, “Bahrain is also trying to crush civil society back home. This other, domestic campaign is aimed at people who, like me, cannot abide injustice and are willing to speak out…..We know we risk much in calling for this. Some of my fellow activists have been tortured, sentenced to life imprisonment, even killed.” This illustrates how extensive this issue is for Bahraini activists. The author believes that in order for humans to attain an ideal world, we all must respect “human rights and fundamental freedoms”. Only then will we be able to live in a peaceful world. I believe I don’t live in such a society. Even though a lot of people assume that America is the land of freedom, in reality, much of our opinions and ideals are censored by our government. We are controlled through mass media. Although the U.S. government doesn’t go to drastic measures such as killing activists like Bahrain, in a way, our governments are a little similar.

Xenophon believed that if everyone had the same ideals and beliefs, society would be perfect. It would be a utopia. But of course, this isn’t guaranteed. You will always have a group of people who disagree with you no matter what ideology you are preaching. There is no belief that everyone agrees on. Even with murder, although the majority disagree with murder, there are still people who are for killing others. You just can’t simply make everyone have the same opinion as you.

Aisha, Team Ares

Source Citation   (MLA 8th Edition)

Rajab, Nabeel. “Don’t profit from abuses by Bahrain.” New York Times, 18 May 2017, p. NA(L). New York State Accessed 17 Sept. 2017.

Barbaric Acts in the Ivory Trade

In the article, “LA charges 3 men in barbaric ivory trade”, the “Others” are seen as those who massacre helpless animals that are close to extinction, for their own profit. Los Angeles City Attorney, Mike Feuer, stated, “‘The ivory trade is barbaric. It jeopardizes many animals that are at risk or on the verge of extinction’…’we must protect these rare animals, who are killed so cruelly for the sake of greed.’” Feuer believes that those who engage in the ivory trade must have no emotions for the lives of animals almost gone extinct. He further states that they are killed for “the sake of greed.” This implements the notion that the “Others” must be emotionless and avaricious. The target audience for this article are those who are against the killings of exotic and rare animals, as well as other poachers. As the article states, “‘a message is being sent to others who would profit from the heartless killing of these creatures: You will be brought to justice.'” This affirms the social value that these heartless killings are inhumane and immoral.

In Herodotus’ Histories 1.4, it says, “For Asia, with all the various tribes of barbarians that inhabit it, is regarded by the Persians as their own; but Europe and the Greek race they look on as distinct and separate.” This usage of the word barbarian by Herodotus is somewhat different to the usage of the word barbaric in the article on poachers in that Herodotus used it to classify the superiority of the Greeks to those who were foreign to them. Basically to outsiders who had different customs, languages and ideas compared to theirs. Whereas in this article, the word barbaric is used to denounce the act of killing animals for your own desires.

Aisha, Team Ares


Service, City News. “LA charges 3 men in ‘barbaric’ ivory trade.” Daily News, Daily News, 6 Sept. 2017, Accessed 10 Sept. 2017.


Medea and Daenerys Targaryen

Game of Thrones is one of the most popular TV Shows. One of the important characters, Daenerys Targaryen, is shown to be dependent of her abusive older brother (named Viserys). In Season 1 of Game of Thrones, we see that Daenerys is under complete control of her male counterpart, her brother. He marries her off to a powerful Dothraki warlord named, Khal Drogo, in return for an army to support his decision to invade Westeros.

This scene shows the societal issue of a male dominated hierarchy. Daerneys, before she becomes rebellious, lacked the motivation and courage to go against her brother, Viserys. But upon the progress of the series, we see that Daerneys relentlessly pursues revenge upon those who oppose her. In Medea by Euripides, Medea, upon being banished from Corinth by Creon, plots to get vengeance for what her husband, Creon did to her. Medea, just like Daerneys at the beginning, was dependent on her husband Jason. Now, without Jason to support her and her sons, she loses everything. Another similarity is when in Game of Thrones, after Daerneys father was killed, and she was banned from the kingdom, she vowed to reclaim her position as the rightful heir to the empire. Both Medea and Daerneys were exiled from their countries. Both also are bent on getting revenge towards their opposition. For Medea, it was towards Jason and Creon and for Daerneys, it was towards all who tried to usurp her reign.