Blackdown CTC Part 5 – Basic Drill and Ceremonial

Read Parts 1-4 first – Blackdown CTC (Part 1-4)

The eleventh day of camp was originally going to be spent doing biathlon (running and shooting air rifles), however it was too warm outside (nearly 40 °C). Instead, we spent a few hours shooting without being allowed to run.

After this we had an assessment on our ability to preform drill whilst holding a rifle. Although I expected to do horrible on the assessment, I completed it ‘without difficulty’.

The next day, Saturday, was filled with lessons. We also got assessed by our ability to call commands for drill/marching. The majority of our ‘mark’ on the assessment was based off of how loud we could shout. I completed the assessment ‘without difficulty’.

That night, I was able to go home. My parents picked me up during our free time, and brought me back to Blackdown later on Sunday.

I learned on Sunday night that we would be going on an FTX from Monday until Tuesday. (FTX stands for Field Training Exercise. FTXs are generally spent camping/doing activities in a forest.)  When I got back, we had to begin packing our bags.

On Monday, the FTX began. We hiked into the forest with our bags, taking about thirty minutes. Once we arrived, we had to put our things away. Just like most other FTXs we had three people per tent, in tents meant for 2 people.

A large portion of our time on the FTX was spent sitting around. We did learn to use compasses, and we were assessed on our ability to lead a team in the act of putting up and taking down a tent.

That night, I slept horribly. It was extremely warm in our tent due to the fact that there was little ventilation. It was likely over 30°C inside of our tent. However, we couldn’t leave our tent open because mosquitoes and other insects were getting into our tent.

We returned from our FTX the next morning. When we got back, everyone was told to take a mandatory shower. Later that same day, we returned to the pool.

On Wednesday, we went to the ropes course. (The ropes course is an area, in which we had to cross a gap walking on one rope while holding one [two ropes course] or two [three ropes course] other ropes. We also had the option to do the one rope course, in which you had to climb across the gap with a single rope.)

Last year, I did the three ropes course, so this year I decided to try the two ropes course. I had to stand on one rope while holding onto another rope at my arms height. This task would have been simple if it wasn’t for the wind. About three quarters of the way through the course, I fell off due to the wind. (We had a harness on throughout the course.) After the ropes course, we went zip lining.

Thursday was the second last day of camp. The majority of the morning was spent packing, returning parts of our uniform, and practising for graduation parade. During the afternoon, we got to play sports.

On Friday, we spent about an hour marching on graduation parade. Once this ended, we grabbed our belongings, and got ready for the bus ride home.


(until next year?)


Blackdown CTC Part 4 – Basic Drill and Ceremonial

This is the story of my second year at Blackdown CTC. If you would like to read about my first year (3 part story), click the any of the following links:

Blackdown CTC (Part One – Blackdown Christmas)

Blackdown CTC (Part Two – The Blackdown Burglar!)

Blackdown CTC (Part Three -Going Home)

Blackdown CTC (Part 1-3)

This Summer, I was accepted to a camp in Blackdown, Borden, with the army cadets. As an army cadet, I was able to choose three different cadet camps that I wanted to attend. (Of course, I could only be accepted to one of them, and there was a large possibility that I wouldn’t be accepted to any of them.) The third option on my list was ‘Basic Drill and Ceremonial’. This was the camp I was accepted into.

(To those who don’t know, drill is marching.)

This camp was set to last three weeks, from July 10th to 29th.

On the first day of camp, I had to endure the normal procedure to get into camp, which involved a lot of waiting in lines. After this process, I entered my tent/bunk for the first time. Within a few hours, I realised I was in the worst possible tent, as the group had already managed to get into trouble multiple times.

When the second day began, we were told to clean our tents – for the entirety of the day. About four hours into the day, when our tent was decently cleaned – floor swept multiple times, dusted, beds made to a specific standard – I was moved into a different tent. Albeit this tent was not as clean, I was glad we weren’t getting lectured every hour. The rest of the day was spent moving my things and cleaning the new tent.

The third day arose, along with activities that didn’t involve cleaning. We spent a few hours being taught lessons on how to be a successful leader, followed by lessons on how to march/do drill with rifles.

On the fourth day, I was able to see the weeks schedule. However, I learned that we wouldn’t be doing much until the second week, except for lessons, cleaning, and drill. After this, we were taught a few lessons about team building games, how to lead a team while playing aforementioned games, and why it’s important to play team building games. This was followed by learning more drill.

Days five and six were basically repeats of day four with slightly different lessons.

Finally, it was the seventh day, the first Sunday of the trip, also the first ‘free-day’.

In Blackdown, every Sunday was a day off for cadets partaking in courses, in which we could stay in Blackdown and be with our friends all day or go home for the day with our parents. I stayed in Blackdown for the day, but I was sleeping for a large portion of my free time, due to the fact that I had only slept 5-6 hours a night for the past week.

Luckily the rest of the trip was much better, as our first activity on Monday was going to a pool outside of Blackdown. A bus drove all of the Basic Drill and Ceremonial cadets to a pool about ten minutes away.

Later in the day, all of the cadets (including me) were assessed on our ability to lead a team. We were assigned a specific ‘team building game’ that we had to teach to a group of other cadets.

When I was assessed, I had to get a group to play the human knot. It was simple enough and I completed the task ‘without difficulty.’ (When you  are assessed, your ‘mark’ is one of the following labels; incomplete, completed with difficulty, completed without difficulty, or exceeded standards.)

On the eighth day, Tuesday, I was brought to to the confidence course (an obstacle course in Blackdown.) After this, we were taught a few more lessons.

Day nine involved a large amount of lessons, while day ten was mostly spent practising drill/marching.


Read Part 5 – Blackdown CTC Part 5 – Basic Drill and Ceremonial

25 Fascinating Facts

  1. After his death, the inventor of the Frisbee had his ashes molded into Frisbees. [Source]
  2. Twitter, Facebook, and Skype have all been banned in China. [Source]
  3. A DNA survey found that all human DNA is 99.9% the same. [Source]
  4. Some experts believe that dogs can’t feel guilt. [Source]
  5. The human to ant ratio is estimated to be 1 person per 1.6 million ants. [Source]
  6. On Jupiter and Saturn, diamonds fall from the sky. [Source]
  7. Any whole number between 0 and 999 does not have the letter ‘a’ in its name.
  8. Apple Earns $4540 per second. [Source]
  9. Samsung earns approximately $6486 per second. [Same Source as #08]
  10. A third of all murders in USA remain unsolved. [Source]
  11. There is a Japanese village where life sized dolls outnumber people. [Source]
  12. A camel can drink 200L of water in under 3 minutes. [Source]
  13. Until 1809, Finland was a part of Sweden. [Source]
  14. 31% of the world’s uranium is from Australia. [Source]
  15. 95% of people living past the age of 110 are females. [Source]
  16. Some scientists believe that sunshine is as addictive as heroin. [Source]
  17. Most aphids (also known as plant lice) are pregnant from the moment they are first born. [Source]
  18. Boanthropy is a rare psychological disorder that causes people to believes they are cows/cattle. [Source]
  19. The world’s longest tunnel took nearly two decades to build, and 12.2 billion dollars was spent on it. [Source]
  20. Gold is being used to fight cancer. [Source]
  21. In 50 billion years, it is estimated that days will be 1,000 hours long. [Source] [Source2]
  22. If a subject had good table manners, King David I of Scotland would give them tax rebates. [Source]
  23. Cats can sleep between 16 and 20 hours every day. [Source]
  24. Every year, 98% of your atoms are replaced. [Source]
  25. You burn calories faster sleeping than watching television. [Source]

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What Comes After Infinity?

What comes after infinity?

One might think counting past infinity would require multiplying infinity by two. That is wrong. Infinity multiplied by two is, infinity. Then how do you count past infinity? Well, first, before explaining how to count past infinity, you need to know what a cardinal number is.

A cardinal number is a number that can be used to describe the amount of something. This is how we normally use numbers. If I have four apples, the cardinal number for the set is, four. The set can be described as having a cardinality of four. The numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and anything you can count to after that,  can be used as cardinals.

Infinity can not be a cardinal number, because you can always add one to a cardinal number to make it larger.

However, to find infinity, you would need to count all of the different numbers that can be used as cardinals. This infinity is called aleph null (or aleph naught/aleph zero.)

Aleph null, can also be described as the amount of multiples of 2, 3, 4, 5, etc, since there is an infinite number of these multiples.

Although infinity plus one is infinity, a question remains. What would you label the number that you added after infinity on an number line? If there are infinite numbers, and you add one, what would come next? Omega. The number after infinity is an ordinal number called omega.  An ordinal number is a number that describes the order of something, like ‘first’, ‘second’ or ‘third’.

After omega, is omega plus one, omega plus two, and omega plus three. These are all ordinal numbers.

Omega squared, squared, squared, etc, will eventually create another form of infinity known as epsilon naught.

After this comes omega one, aleth omega, and aleth omega squared. The list can go on forever, thus creating another infinity.

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Split Brains

Split Brains

Everyone’s brain is made up of two halves, called hemispheres. These hemispheres are connected by a part of the brain called the corpus callosum. In the past, the corpus callosum was cut to treat epilepsy. However, when this part of the brain was cut, the two brain hemispheres would not be able to communicate, thus creating a split brain.

If you had a split brain, each of your brain’s hemispheres would be capable of having their own emotions, opinions, and personalities. The two hemispheres are also capable of disagreeing. Since your right hemisphere controls the left half of your body, and your left hemisphere controls the right side of your body, your hemispheres could have physical disagreements.

For example, if the right half of your body picks up a piece of food, and your right hemisphere doesn’t want you to eat it, your left hand (controlled by the right hemisphere) could try and remove of the food.

Usually, the left hemisphere of the brain controls speech. The left hemisphere’s dominant functions include math, logic, and language. The right hemispheres dominant functions include visualizing images, facial recognition, and music. The right hemisphere and left hemisphere can both see through your eyes on the halves of the body they control.

If you showed the left hemisphere an object, then asked a split brain patient what they saw, they would be able to tell you. However, since the right hemisphere cannot speak, if it was shown an object, and you asked, “What did you see?” the left hemisphere would be the one to respond, saying “Nothing.”

This fact is extremely creepy as it reveals a separate mind in a split brain patient’s head that is mute and sentient.

What would you do if you had a split brain? How would you cope with the two hemispheres of your brain constantly fighting over decisions?



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Strange Things

The Hum

‘The hum’ is a strange noise that has been heard since people became aware of its existence in the 1970s in Bristol. The hum is a rumbling noise that is only heard in certain parts of the world, in completely silent areas. The thing that makes this even stranger is that the hum is only heard by certain people.

Some have tried to explain this, however they have failed. The sound has never been located, and after hearing tests, it was declared that those who heard the sound had normal hearing.

Some people who have heard this noise claim that it is like torture. There has been one suicide directly related to the noise.

One person who heard the hum said “It’s worst at night… It’s hard to get sleep because I hear this throbbing sound in the background. You’re tossing and turning, and you get more and more agitated about it.”


UVB-76 is a Russian radio station that has played a static buzzing noise since the 1970s, however, every few months a coded message is said aloud on the station. It is unknown why this station exists or what the messages mean. You can still listen to this at any time.

The WOW! Signal

On August 15th, 1977, a radio astronomer named Jerry Ehman was looking for evidence of alien communication in radio waves. He discovered a signal that said “6EQUJ5”, and he circled it writing the word ‘Wow!’ next to it. This code was distinguished from various 1s and 0s.

Some people claim this signal came from Earth, but if this was true, it would have been received in other places. It was not. This signal has not been repeated since. Wow_signal

Room 428

The Ohio University (in Athens, Ohio) is commonly thought of as haunted. Room 428 of this university has been considered to be haunted so horribly, that it is inaccessible to students. There have been witnesses claiming to see things flying across the room, falling off shelves, doors randomly opening, and unexplained dark shadows.

One of the doors in the room has a strange demon-like face imprint in it. Whenever the school has replaced the door, the imprint has returned. The ghost is said to be a student who committed suicide in the room.


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Mysterious Deaths

Elisa Lam

On February 19th, 2013, Elisa Lam was found dead in a water tank, after the hotel owning the water tanks started receiving complaints about the water. After checking the security cameras, footage of the last time Elisa Lam was seen before her death was released.

In the video, Elisa makes strange gestures to an unseen figure in the distance, and appears as if she is attempting to hide at certain parts. She presses many buttons in the elevator multiple times, yet nothing appears to be working. Finally, after she leaves the faulty elevator it immediately starts working.

Many people have questioned her strange behaviour in  the video,  yet there is no explanation. Some have claimed she was taking hallucinogenic drugs, yet it has been proven that there were no drugs in her body.

Many people also wonder why she was in the hotel in the first place. The hotel was not one of high quality, and it had many negative reviews.

Despite countless theories, nobody knows what happened to her.

Taman Shud


In 1948, a man was found dead on an Australian beach. All pieces of evidence that could have been used to identify the man had been removed. However, police discovered a hidden pocket inside of his trousers. The pocket had a small piece of paper in it that said Taman Shud, which is Persian for “finished” or “ended.” The paper was ripped from a poem. The rest of the poem was found nearby in a parked car, next to a code that is yet to be deciphered. Nobody has figured out who this man was, who killed him, or anything else about the case.

Who Put Bella in the Wych Elm?


In 1943, four boys were poaching in a forest near Hagley, Worcestershire. They found a tall tree called a Wych Elm, and they decided to climb it in attempts to find bird’s nests. They soon found a skull inside of the tree and a severed hand nearby.

When the boys showed the police the area, the police found a wedding ring and tattered clothing nearby. The body could not be identified, and no suspects were ever found.

However, in the years after the boys found the dead body, strange graffiti began appearing in the town. The graffiti would always say “Who put Bella in the Wych Elm?”

The creator of the graffiti was soon caught, however their name was never released. Police did not believe that the graffiti artist was involved in the possible murder.


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Rant – Simple Grammar Mistakes

Grammar is the difference between “Let’s eat, Dad.” or “Let’s eat Dad.” Grammar can entirely change the meaning of a sentence. Grammar can make a piece of writing excel, however, if one does not know how to use it properly, it can ruin the fluency of reading. I am bothered most by the fact that the grammar failures I see many people make are extremely simple.

Y, R, and U are letters not words. They are written why, are, and you. (As in; why are you so horrible at grammar.) I despise when people write like this. It takes half of a second more to write the entire word. It only takes pressing two more buttons on a keyboard, or writing two more letters with a pencil/pen.

Sentences, names, dates, and many other words start with CAPITAL LETTERS! Maybe, people don’t understand how the Caps Lock button works. If you press the Caps Lock button, EVERY LETTER YOU WRITE WILL BE CAPITALIZED. If you hold the Shift key, letters you write will be capitalized while you hold the key down. It isn’t complicated at all, so learn how to do it!

Contractions are when you use apostrophes to combine words. For example; they’re, you’re, or haven’t. I find it torturous to read sentences that use the word ‘your’ in sentences like “Your terrible at grammar.” Your is defined as “belonging to or associated with the person or people that the speaker is addressing.” (Thanks for the definition Google.) You’re is short for you are.”

One thing about these simple grammar mistakes I truly hate, is that people blame auto-correct for most of their failures. They need to be introduced to a simple action known as proofreading. If you don’t know what proofreading is, I suggest you return to the first grade.



Prison Escape ~ Choi Gap-Bok

Choi Gap-Bok was a man who was very skilled at yoga. In fact, he had practised yoga for nearly 23 years. This man was 50 years old when he was arrested because he was under suspicion of robbery. He had been in and out of jail for a large portion of his life, but on September 17th he escaped his prison cell.

To escape his cell, he received lotion and covered himself. Next, he walked up to the 5.9 inch tall, 17.7 inch wide food slot and slipped through. This took him only 30 seconds! He managed to do this while the guards were sleeping.

Prison Cell

After he escaped his cell, he climbed out of a window in the prison. He then entered a residential home and stole a credit card and car keys. After traveling a short distance, he abandoned the car and ran into Mount Nam. He moved through the mountains at night, and hid  during the day to avoid the police.

A note written by Choi Gap-Bok was found in a village saying “I am Sorry, signed Framed Thief Choi Gap-Bok”. The police managed to find him near the village, and he was caught.

He still claims that he is innocent, and that he was framed. However, he was returned to the prison. His new cell has a much smaller food slot.
Sources –,, and


True Stories of People Being Buried Alive


Essie Dunbar

Essie Dunbar was declared dead in 1915 at the age of 30. Essie’s funeral was delayed by a day so her sister could attend. Her sister was late, and saw the coffin being buried. Her sister demanded to see the body, one more time. Essie was dug up, and she climbed out of the coffin, completely alive. She lived another 47 years before actually dying.


Mina El Houari

During May of 2014, a 25 year old woman named Mina El Houari had a date planned. During the middle of the date, Mina collapsed to the ground, supposedly dead. However, her date decided to bury her instead of calling the police or getting an ambulance. Mina died, but her family and the police discovered her buried in the man’s backyard. They determined that she had only entered a diabetic coma.


Voluntarily Buried Alive

A Russian man dug a hole in a garden, and he persuaded his friend to bury him. The man buried himself with air holes in the coffin, water bottles, and a cell phone for emergencies. He was killed because heavy rain leaked into his coffin, blocking his air holes. Investigators believe that the man buried himself because he thought it would grant him good luck.


Angelo Hays

In 1937, Angelo Hays was 19 years old. He was riding on his motorcycle when he crashed into the curb, and he was thrown into a brick wall. Angelo was buried, but a life insurance company became suspicious. Angelo’s father purchased life insurance for Angelo only a few months before the accident.

The insurance company demanded that the body was dug up so that the cause of Angelo’s death could be verified. Yet surprisingly, the doctor discovered Angelo was still alive in the coffin. He was rushed to the hospital, and he made a full recovery.


Sipho William Mdletshe

In 1993, a man named Sipho William Mdletshe was in a car accident. His passenger, who was also his fiance, survived. Doctors believed Sipho was dead. He was brought to a cemetery to be buried, and he was placed in a metal coffin. He was unconscious for two days in the coffin, until he awoke and he began to scream, and shake the coffin. Workers at the cemetery dug him up, and he luckily survived.