Sunday, September 14, 2014

Risk Taking Researcher - Alejandro A.

One Day In the Life of Ivan Denisovich
Alexander Solzhenitsyn 
Word Whisperer 
Pages 106- 133 
       So, towards the beginning of our reading passage, Shukhov brought up the topic of where the moon goes with his squad leader, and I wondered why he had brought up that idea. Shukhov's explanation was that God grinds up the old moon into stars at the end of the night, and makes a new moon for the following night. This lead me to research the main religions in Russia, and found out soon enough that Orthodox Christianity was one of the main ones. Orthodox comes from the term orthodoxy, from Greek ortho + doxa, meaning "correct belief." This then pointed me towards researching the importance of moons in the Chrisitan religion. I found out it has ties with the calendar, and the seemingly complex method to calculate the day in which Easter takes place. It is basically: Easter must be on a Sunday, the Sunday must follow the 14th day of the Paschal moon, the Paschal moon is the Full Moon that falls on or next to the day of the Vernal Equinox, the Vernal Equinox is set on the calendar at March 21. 

       Then, I saw a connection with the rest of the phrases. I saw that in the rest of the pages Ivan was talking about Easter and Sundays in the camps. He explained how the parcels worked, and that he always hoped he received a parcel each Easter even though he knew he wouldn't get one. Apart from that he described how guards were always ruining their Sundays, and were making up things to get them to work on useless things. Because this all ties up into Easter I am able to infer that somethings will happen regarding that in the following moments of Ivan's life. I suspect it will either be something to do with parcels, Sundays and/or Easter. I enjoyed how the author put in these references that connect to each other behind the scenes, and I would like to see how it plays out in the future. If it is just pure coincidence that these evidences click together then I think it would've been a good opportunity to add some things into the book, get you more involved, and make it a little bit more intricate.

Early Astronomers Studied The Moon’S Phases To Calculate The Calendar. "Our Nearest Neighbor, Part II." DECEMBER 2004 / ASKC Cosmic Messenger / 5 (n.d.): n. pag. Lunar Occultations. The Robinson Lunar Observatory. Web. 15 Sept. 2014. <>.

Image 1:
"The Moon Reflects the Light of the Sun - Mentioned in the Holy Quran and Confirmed by Science." The Moon Reflects the Light of the Sun - Mentioned in the Holy Quran and Confirmed by Science. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Sept. 2014. <>.

Image 2:
Derbyshire, David. "The 2,000-year-old Greek 'super Computer' Used to Predict Eclipses Decades in Advance." Mail Online. Associated Newspapers, 30 July 2008. Web. 14 Sept. 2014. <>.


  1. I found it was very good how the way they described the moon and suns, actually having connected to many other things, and this shows that some people think that prisoners are just bad guys, but some actually have still their beliefs, they may have gone to prison because of something, but still they are people, and they still have their beliefs and their good self.

  2. Alejandro,

    Wow! What a thoughtful, detailed post! Your paragraphs are really well organized and you must've surely made plenty of research on the subject to find all these things.

    To begin with, I find it really interesting on how religion influences the actions and beliefs a person has, and its effect on the population is quite interesting to observe. In this case, Shukhov believes a new moon is born everyday. Though I am not so interested in the topic of religion, the idea on its own is very unusual on how these simple thoughts and beliefs could spread out to so many people around the world. For instance, the Hindu religion says that cows are sacred, thus cannot be killed there. However, in the "occidentalized" countries, it is one of the most common sources of food. Furthermore, roses in India is considered a holy object as well, which could also be interpreted in many different ways in other countries, like, say you can use it as a halloween decoration, perhaps? By the way, I don't think religion plays a significant part in my life, I mean, at all. So, for me, it is very strange how these concepts of life could apply to a person's belief so much. I am not talking about Shukhov, but religion in general that are around the world. In addition, you can see, during the Ramadan those of the islamic religion cannot eat until the sunset until this certain time period ends, in order to be thankful to God (Allah) that they are grateful for the food they have. In some TV channels during this time, there are some live broadcasts of Mecca, the holy islamic city, and of the followers of Mohammed, which circle around, kiss, and praise a black, sacred stone that is situated in the center of the city. Nowadays, religion is still causing international conflict. For example, take a look at the Gaza Strip where the war occurred between Palestine and Israel, which resulted in hundreds of deaths across the land. Moreover, we can also take a look at the past, where many people suffered with the religious system. Actually, during my trip to Spain, I actually visited a museum of the Inquisition, which was a period of time on which the catholic church had all the power of the small kingdoms. Therefore, at the time, if a person committed a sin, even if a small one, she would be captured, tortured, or even killed by the officials. At this museum, these torture devices were displayed at exposition and were truly horrifying to see. Adding on, Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom fought for years because the UK was composed of anglicans and Northern Irish people were protestants, leading to a brutal war between both, which eventually lead Northern Ireland to become independent. Overall, it is truly impressive what these beliefs had lead the world into during humanity. Sorry for bringing this topic so much, though I still think it is quite relevant to the blog post.

    Alejandro, I really liked your blog post overall. Very interesting and thought provoking, as in my mind. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me!