Contest - Page 4

The Language-Capsule

Lili Forgács


There was silence when the man in the chimney-pot hat appeared on the stage.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I am Federico Vespucci and I am going to introduce the invention that will change the world for sure and solve the problem of understanding languages in the easiest way. This is the language-capsule.”

Light applause could be heard at this point. Mr Vespucci wasn’t bothered by the lack of enthusiasm from the audience, and he went on.

“Do you know what it is?” he asked. “It enables you to understand languages that have not been learnt by you before. But this is not all! You could understand what your own pet says, as well. Isn’t it interesting?”

I thought it was, but also creepy. Rather creepy.

“You don’t have to do anything special to use this magnificent, unusual ability, just take one language-capsule. The pill makes some modifications in that part of your brain that is responsible for learning and understanding languages. Your brain will interpret the ‘programmed’ language as a familiar language, and you can then understand the meaning of it.”

It sounded absolutely weird. What if something goes wrong? It would be too risky. Your brain is not a toy. However, the crowd was all ears and listened carefully. I could see on their faces how much the idea appealed to them.

“Twelve types of language-capsule have already been invented, tested and produced. One type enables you to understand only one language. There are capsules specialised in the seven world languages: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Arabic and Mandarin Chinese. The other five make you understand what the most common pets (dogs, cats, hamsters, rabbits and fish) say. I am sure that if there is huge demand for other types, their development will begin.”

Talking with my dog? It’s the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. I know what it says, and I also know that it understands me. I feel it without any pills.

“It sounds amazing, doesn’t it? The idea comes from my little son, who always wants to know what is said if he does not understand it. I know he is not alone. I know you have already felt it at least once in your life.”

The audience started to bestir themselves. They liked the whole intention; they smiled and whispered. They couldn’t wait to get the pills. Mr Vespucci sensed the passion too.

“You can check our website on the Internet if you wish. www.my_language_capsule.com. Your orders can be sent through it, but you can also visit our shop at 23 Kings Street, Washington D.C., USA. I hope I will meet some of you in the near future. Thank you for your attention. Goodbye.”

The crowd broke into loud applause. They believed every word he had spoken. I did not. I tried to leave the room as quickly as possible to escape the brainwashed mass.

The Portal

Eszter Aletta Hevesi


In every city, regardless of whether it is small or large, there are several portals, generally on the two opposing sides of the settlement, at the ambulance stations, the country’s Parliament, the homes of powerful politicians, and in schools. Of course in major cities they are located in the banks and other important institutions.

But let’s talk about what a portal actually is. It can teleport people, cars and nearly everything, depending on the size of the portal (of course a portal in the bank won’t teleport a truck, just money and people). It helps city life immensely: the citizens don’t need to use the bus, trains or planes, because they can easily commute between cities, counties, even between countries, continents. The ambulance doesn’t need to take a relatively long road to save a person’s life; they use the portal and arrive in a maximum of 10 minutes after the call. I could list a thousand other benefits of this invention, but I think everybody can imagine how useful it really is.

The portal works in a complex way: the person walks into the black hole— which is noticeable from any distance—and types in the destination of his or her journey. If it is a reachable destination from the first teleportation, the system automatically shows it as an offer, but if it isn’t, then it shows the number and the name of the portal the person needs to go through along the way. After he/she chooses a destination, the portal breaks him/her into tiny particles, transfers him/her into the nearest quantum world, and sends him/her to the outportal of the chosen place, builds him/her up again, and extradites him/her to the given city/county/country/continent. To come back to the hometown, we need to take the same steps, because the outportals work as inportals too, depending on where we approach them from.

The portal was invented in 2084 by a woman named Elizabeth Safarg. She was a very intelligent, smart girl since birth, and everybody knew that she was destined for major things in the future. She worked on the portal absolutely alone and received numerous awards in the following years.

She agreed to have an interview with us, and we asked the most popular questions.

—Thank you, Elizabeth, for having us in your house and letting us ask some questions.

—Of course, it’s my pleasure.

—So first of all, congratulations on the awards you got this year, it is wonderful to see that a young talent’s breakthrough work is recognized, which is as it should be, because your invention is everywhere.

—Yes it means a lot for me to compete with my idols in the same field of technology that I have been interested in since middle school.

—How did you get the idea of the Portal?

—When I got into high school, I needed to commute to get anywhere. By commuting I mean at least one hour a day to get to school and back home in the afternoon. It was a big struggle for me, and I knew I was not alone. Unfortunately, my grandpa passed from a seizure because the ambulance could not arrive in time. At that exact moment I knew that a portal would be an amazing invention and would be used by everybody.

—My condolences for your grandpa. How did you start the process of working on the Portal?

—At first I didn’t tell anyone about my plan, because I worried that somebody would try to talk me out of it. I did a lot of research, read a lot of interviews of different inventors and physicists, and tried to make small steps forward after compiling all the information about anything that would help me make the first portal. After that, a long road of failures made me restart the whole process, but I didn’t lose my focus on the original idea.

—And approximately how many times did you need to go back and start over from scratch?

—At least a hundred times; don’t forget that I worked seven years on the first working Portal, which is not even the one that we use today. I had enough time to fail as many times as I wanted. But the 101st time, the Portal worked. I could go from my room to the backyard. Once the machine worked, the only thing I needed to do was experiment with both the distance and the capacity of the portal.

—When did you announce the Portal or even the plan of the portal to your parents?

—Of course when I lived in my parents house, I couldn’t keep it a secret for long; they figured it out pretty quickly but thought that I would give up. When I was very close to my first teleportation, they realized that it was not just a game anymore.

—If you didn’t get any support from anyone, how did you get the components for the Portal?

—I worked at the Component Store for a long time, and they gave me the ones that weren’t selling.

—How did you get the governments and the whole world to use it?

—When I had the final working Portal (which we use today), I took it to the Parliament of Inventions and asked whether they would like to use or try it out, and they said yes, even though they were skeptical. After a few months, they offered me a partnership and a dealership, the first one to be their partner in developing the Portal further, and the second one to sell it to them. I agreed and sold it to them. After two years it appeared in the main countries, and slowly but surely it expanded throughout the world.

—You are just twenty-six now; what are your plans for the future?

—I would like to start a company where I can work with young talents on their inventions and a charity too, to donate to countries that are not developed.

—These are remarkable plans. Thank you for your time and answers! We look forward to your new inventions.

Life Consists of Choices

Defne Lal Koçer


Sometimes life comes with many options. You suffocate in thoughts and you can’t pick one. Deeply you want to but you just can’t. There are some scenarios where I have observed people and myself trying to decide something important (maybe the chances of their lives).

You are between two possible life opportunity options;

1. You sit, think, then you suddenly realise what you actually want and you choose.

2. You sit, think, you can’t decide. You go and talk to your family, they convince you, you choose.

3. You sit, think, you can’t decide. You watch a film, the character suffers from the exact same situation as you. You like his/her choice, it influences you, and you do the same thing.

4.You sit, think, you can’t decide. You write everything down, it just makes everything more complicated and you can’t decide or you make the WRONG DECISION.

So, these are some of the scenarios that you can easily observe in people trying to make the decision of their lives. I want to ask you something: what is a WRONG DECISION? How can someone know if they have made the wrong or right decision?

The only way to figure this out is to EXPERIENCE it. Do you regret or are you happy with the decision? That is the way you understand it.

“But no more worries!” I would say if I were an advertiser.

With my invention, people won’t be worrying about regretting or being stressed.

How did this pop into my mind?

A couple weeks earlier, I learned that I had passed an exchange program exam. So I might go, but I can’t decide, so I would love to have this app.

It’s called “lifeconsistsofchoices.” You will upload it to your cell phone. So, how does it work?

Unfortunately the only thing which knows you better than you is your phone (unless you’re a wise person).

It keeps every single detail about you, your life, your passion, your animus, your social interactions, where you live…

This app will offer you two or more blanks into which you will write the options you can’t decide between.

Let me explain with an example:

Let’s say you passed an exchange program exam but you can’t decide whether you should go or not. So you write in the first blank: I GO

Second blank: I STAY

And then, the app does a miracle for you. On your screen, you see your future self doing the first and the second choice. First, you see yourself gone with the program, and you observe yourself. Later, you see yourself when you have stayed.

You can now see where you are happy as you always deserve to be!

The only condition for making this work is that you should have been using that phone for at least a month, as it will need to know you.

If you say “No” to regression and “Yes” to a stress-free, happy life, use the app for just two dollars per month!

Camping with a Little Bit of Magic

Alexandra Klaudia Süveges


I was looking at my old photo albums when my first camping photos hit me. The items I created are related to camping/touring with a little bit of magic behind them.

GoatBrella

  • Can be placed on a hat/one’s head.
  • Protects from UV light.
  • Can protect one’s head from medium-sized rocks (if falling from above).
  • Fireproof.
  • Its upper layer is painted with material similar to candle wax, which protects against acid rain.
  • 2 horn-looking objects can be attached for use as a lightning rod (the umbrella will not conduct the electricity.)
  • If struck by lightning, connected to the Infront Pack items, the electricity can be stored.

Infront Pack

  • The backpack does not need to be on one’s back, it can follow its owner with the remote control. (5-meter distance is the farthest it can stay from the owner.)
  • The backpack can fly.
  • Fireproof.
  • Its accumulator can be used for a light source, charging devices, keeping food/drink cold.
  • Spacious. There are separate folders for items.
  • When used as a backpack, the wings are separated/placed into the packback.
  • The limit of the items’ weight is 15 kg.

About the Contest


For the first Folyosó contest, which welcomed submissions in Hungarian as well as English, students were asked to respond in any written form, and in any way, to the following questions:

How do we determine what is important in life? What makes us change our mind about our priorities? Are priorities just a matter of personal preference, or do they have universal value? Whom do we affect with our decisions about what is and isn’t important? Who influences these decisions, and how?

There were so many strong entries, with such a range of approaches to these questions, that Diana Senechal decided to involve a jury. She, Judit Kéri, Marianna Jeneiné Fekete, Judit Kassainé Mrena, and Anikó Bánhegyesi read the finalist entries carefully and arrived at the following ranking:

First Place: Adél Mihályi
Second Place: Gergely Sülye, Erika Mária Szántó, Attila Marcell Kiss (each individually)
Third Place: Zsófia Szabina Gávris
Honorable Mention: Dániel Lipcsei, Heléna Laura Spinou, Gréta Tóth

We are delighted to present these pieces in the autumn issue of Folyosó! For information on the winter contest, go here.

own choices

Gréta Tóth

(First Folyosó Contest: Honorable Mention)

Priorities are the most determinative factors in a human being’s life. There is no one who does not have priorities; maybe it cannot be described with words, but we all have them, and they keep us going even during hard times. They do not just influence our personalities but also make us who we are. For instance, deep down all of us know that if we suddenly started liking math instead of literature, switched from physics to a language, or gave up drawing just to start learning how to sing, that would not be us anymore. That person who takes singing lessons instead of painting breathtaking pictures has nothing to do with the person we are right now.

Certainly, a question will arise in many of us: why do a person’s priorities change, then? Well, these changes mainly depend on life circumstances and can range from temporary to permanent. To set a powerful example, let’s imagine that there is a young girl with two little siblings. Their only family is their mother, who gets seriously infected by a virus and is taken to the hospital. There has been a temporary change in the girl’s priorities: her number one mission is now to manage everyday life with two siblings until her mother gets better. Some other examples, which are a bit more down-to-earth than the previous one and mean a permanent change in priorities, are going to university, having children, or starting work.

To sum up, we absolutely can’t imagine a world without priorities and without people differing in terms of what is important to them. Priorities make us strong and different from each other.

Important Things in Life

Heléna Laura Spinou

(First Folyosó Contest: Honorable Mention)

Do you think money is the most important thing in life? In my opinion, though life often seems to be too short and people often say “you only live once,” it doesn’t mean that we cannot live a beautiful life. On the one hand, I have many goals in my life and sometimes I’m a bit afraid that I won’t be able to achieve all of them and satisfy my parents. On the other hand, I think that it’s not a problem if you try to live your own life without trying to be the way others expect.

To tell the truth, I’m a bit stubborn and don’t always listen to others’ opinions. But if I do, I usually listen to my mother or my friends, because I know they are honest and trustworthy. Probably one of the most important things in life is to have somebody who you can always rely on and who keeps all your secrets. Close friends can cheer you up even if others can’t, and you can share some nice and unforgettable moments with them that you may later call your best memories.

As my Greek grandmother always says, “without a big fat Greek family you won’t live happily.”  She means that there are some friends who may later become your enemies after a big argument, so it’s better to trust your family members, who will definitely be by your side. Furthermore, I consider lifelong experiences especially important, because they make your everydays more colourful and you can learn something new from each of them.

Moreover, certain priorities come to people’s minds more readily than money: for instance, health and love, which are the keys of happiness. Not only those who have severe health problems, but also those with mental problems caused by addictions or disabilities have to face difficulties that may cause never-ending sadness. Often addicted people end up as dossers. If they can’t take a bath and they’re dirty, they can lose their job, and then it will be quite hard to find a new one.

In conclusion, I don’t agree with those who think that money is everything, because there are plenty of other things that a rich person might not have, but that would make him or her happy. A rich lonely person with health problems could give all his money to recover, have somebody by his side, or just lead a so-called “normal life.”

The Shorter Way

Dániel Lipcsei

(First Folyosó Contest: Honorable Mention)

It usually happens when I have to wake up early that I find myself in a dilemma: whether I should get out of bed and get ready sooner or fall asleep again in order to sleep a little bit more. Most of the time, I choose the second one but know that it is really disadvantageous and makes no sense. According to my experience, I am not the only one doing this in the mornings. At that moment, we consider sleeping more important than getting ready and being able to get more things done. I always promise myself that I won’t do it like that next time, but then the same thing happens. Why is this so?

There are many people whose life is ruled by laziness. Or, to generalize, we (except for a few) often do things in a particular way because another way would require more work and patience, so we arrive at an outcome that is more easily achieved but not really better. People usually choose laziness instead of putting effort into something because they think that it’s not worthy enough. In this waking-up situaton, people don’t get ready sooner, because they think that there will be another day when it will be more neccessary to get ready earlier and more comfortably. We still wait for that day to come. This is true in other cases too: “Doing my homework at 3 pm is not really important; I will do it at night.” Then the night comes, you write your homework, but it’s the end of the day; by then you are tired, so your homework isn’t as good as it could have been if you had done it in the afternoon.

To sum up, people often chose the shorter way to manage their daily tasks. Not because they’re unimportant but because they do them every day and get tired of them, as can be seen in the examples mentioned above.

Mi a fontos az életben?

Zsófia Szabina Gávris

(First Folyosó Contest: Third Place)

Azt gondolom, hogy a dolgok, amiket fontosnak találunk az életben szinte folyamatosan változnak, mivel mi is változunk. Ettől függetlenül befolyásolhatják a minket körülvevő tényezők is. Például az emberek, akikkel mindennap találkozunk, az adott családi helyzetünk, a párkapcsolati státuszunk és még sorolhatnám. Ezek mellett függ az életkorunktól is, hiszen amikor még gyerekek/fiatalok vagyunk másként gondolkodunk és vélekedünk ezekről a dolgokról. Egyrészt azért, mert kevesebb az ismeretünk, másrészt nem rendelkezünk még kellő mennyiségű tapasztalattal. Előtérbe helyezzük a szórakozást, barátokat és néha a kicsapongást. Ahogy telik az idő és érettebbé válunk, természetesen változik a véleményünk és a látásmódunk, illetve nyilván mi magunk is. Egyre inkább átértékeljük a dolgokat és felelősségteljesebbé válunk. Előrébb helyeződik a tanulás, a jövőnk, a fejlődés.

Véleményem szerint a fontosnak vélt dolgok sorrendjét a megfelelő értékrend meglétével tudjuk meghatározni. Nagyon sok esetben mérlegelnünk kell és komoly döntéseket kell hoznunk, melyek akkor sikerülnek ha az értékrendünk a helyén van. Pontosan nem tudom mikor, de kialakul bennünk egy igény arra, hogy fontossági sorrendet állítsunk fel a minket körülvevő dolgoknak. Személy szerint nekem ez az igény hamar kialakult, hiszen amellett, hogy évek óta sportolok, a tanulmányi átlagomra is nagy hangsúlyt fektetek. Illetve mindig is szerettem a barátaimmal lenni, így jelenleg is arra törekszem, hogy amikor lehetőségem engedi értékes időt töltsek el velük. A sport, a tanulás és a barátok mellett a családommal és a párommal is rengeteget vagyok, mert elképesztően fontosak számomra. Sokszor elmélkedem a sorrenden amit felállítottam, és rádöbbenek, hogy valószínűleg így a legoptimálisabb. Nem részletezném, mert szerintem ez mindenkinek a saját dolga, viszont boldog vagyok, hogy kézben tudok mindent tartani és ennek köszönhetően úgy érzem, hogy egyre több stabil pont van az életemben.

Összességében úgy gondolom, hogy a prioritás egyéni vonzódás, amit nem befolyásol az, hogy másoknak vagy a többségnek mi a fontos. Mi magunk vagyunk azok, akik ezt befolyásolhatjuk és megváltoztathatunk. E mellett legfőképpen önmagunkra van hatással az, hogy milyen sorrendbe helyezzük a minket körülvevő tényezőket. Szerintem, ha az értékrendünk a helyén van akkor fejlődéshez vezet az utunk. Ellenkező esetben, tapasztalhatók negatív irányba történő változások.

Végezetül kifejezetten fontosnak tartom azt, hogy néha szakítsunk időt arra, hogy magunkba tekintsünk és átgondoljuk az értékrendünket, a döntéseinket és a cselekedeteinket. Olykor a kérdést is feltehetjük magunknak: ”Jó ez így Nekem?”.

A kérdésre a választ pedig valahol a lelkünk mélyén kell megtalálnunk.

Life with Priorities

Attila Marcell Kiss

(First Folyosó Contest: Second Place)

During our life, priorities and decisions over priorities are the things that can turn a homeless person into a millionaire, suffering into belief, anger into regret. What looks like a small decision for others, can be a life-changing moment for someone. Hard work can turn a childhood dream into reality one day, but priorities towards yourself can create a life for you.

Priorities are like humans. They change with you. Like let’s go back to our childhoods. Until age ten my only priority was to get anything I wanted and to always be the focal point in my family. When I became a teenager I thought about one thing and one thing only: I wanted to be remembered. To be remembered as a sport icon or to have something named after me or at least to be remembered for my name. I think that generally speaking this one priority is the most important for every youngster and teenager.

However, one thing can truly create a whole new perspective in everyone’s life: a child. I learned from my family that before becoming a parent the only priority you should have is to create a good path before your child is born. For every parent, a child is the peak of their life. After that, every adult’s only priority becomes to support their children until they grow up. And maybe they can reach the heights that you set for yourself as a child. And if your children support their children the way you supported them or maybe even better, that’s when you will feel that you did a great job as an adult.

This will come when you have grown old. And that’s when you will realise that all of your priorities have been achieved. You got everything from life, a loving family, friends, children etc. You will be remembered because of your loving family. And you will rest in peace because you created a life for your children. You saw him growing up and becoming a person you always wanted to be. In my opinion that’s what makes priorities in life important. To pass them on for the future and believe that others could achieve even better things than you.