Monday, December 14, 2015

Hover Board Epidemic

The hottest toy on the market this holiday season, what is called a "hover board", isn't just the hottest toy on the market due to its sudden popularity. It's also due to the fact that they are exploding, even burning entire houses down.

What is a hover board? A hover board is a self balancing segway that almost resembles the "RipSticks" of Christmas past. The issue with this segway of sorts is that while charging, it has a tendency to explode and burst into flames, and pouring water on the fire can only make it worse. The fire initiates from the Lithium Ion battery in the hover board. The hover boards that are currently popular (as in the photo above) are the cheapest on the market, made with inexpensive & mass produced parts coming from China, including the battery, which is extremely faulty.


This is not to put a bad name with Lithium Ion batteries, as every iPhone has one and minimal fires have come from iPhone batteries. The issue arises from how cheaply they are made in hover boards.

In specific with the burning of hover boards, a mom bought her 12-year-old son one of these just before Thanksgiving, and the hoverboard just a day later began to explode during charging.


Amazon claims to stop selling these iffy boards all together, as many people are getting hurt from this once innocent holiday gift. 


Sunday, November 29, 2015

Alzheimer's Disease


Once completely and totally ignorant to the disease, Alzheimer's disease is now a large part of my life. After my grandfather passed away from a sudden diagnosis of cancer, my grandmother expressed many otherwise hidden (by her and my grandfather) symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. While my grandfather was in the hospital, she was the most confused, running on little to no sleep and little to no food. Anyone in this situation would be confused and scared, but this is where it took to the extreme. She couldn't remember who her kids were and would constantly fight about nonsense things (which were typically directed at people who weren't even alive anymore, may I add). Since my grandfather passed away, most of the severe confusion has passed but it is evident that there is a case of dementia. She has done things like forgotten who her husband once was and their relationship to filling the coffee filter with cat litter rather than coffee grounds. How does this happen? What does this disease actually do to the brain?

Comparative illustration of a brain with Alzheimer's versus a healthy brain
The brain as a whole is affected by this disease. The main parts that are affected and noticed are the cerebrum, in charge of memory and problem solving, the cerebellum, in charge of balance, and the brain stem, in charge of breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure. The brain works by using about 25% of your blood carried by your arteries to your brain, which then uses about 20% of the oxygen you breathe.

Alzheimer's affects the neurons in your brain (the average adult has 100 billion of these neurons, connecting at 100 trillion points in your brain). The disease disrupts the electrical pulses sent by the neurons, meaning that certain thoughts can't be connected and are eventually lost forever. The brain virtually shrinks, making many gaps in the brain which causes loss in memory and later vital functions such as heartbeat.


Microscopic Illustration of Alzheimer's tissue with plaques and tangles

In the photo above, we can see plaques and tangles building up in a brain of someone with Alzheimer. The orange bits are plaques that are protiens that build up by nerve cells. The gray bits are tangles are other proteins that kill the nerve cells. There is still uncertainty of what causes Alzheimers to happen but the plaques and tangles are definitely a big part of it.

Early Alzheimer's can start 20 years before the disease is detected. The mid stages are when it becomes obvious (for reference, that's about where my grandmother is now) and this stage can last from two to ten years. The last stage can last from one to five years. Patients typically die from their diet which lacks any form of nutrition, or if they make it to the end of the final stages, they will die from the disease targeting the brain stem and killing nerve cells linked to heart rate and breathing.
Progressive illustrations of brain degeneration caused by Alzheimer's



Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Information and the American Perception

The current media will allow for the shot heard 'round the world  stop being that at the end of the block. Any street further and is the sound of joyous fireworks, patriotic fireworks. From a distance a sense of national pride is evoked and made present for others to feed off of. I am not eased to see red, white, and blue in the sky or that reversed. I am not eased to know that concealed within celebration there is the mirthful murder of the red people who walk with no concern for borders of state. There were commi actors, evil actors, red actors, peaceful actors and somehow the titles of these actors be synonymous with each other. The idea of who the enemies are is misshapen and twisted. Due to our inability to see, our inability to think, we can not stop the enemy. The spies are everywhere and they are in American banks, American restaurants, American theaters, and especially in American news rooms. They are American. They are French too. They are the viewers. They are from every country. They are people. 

I now realize that we are getting in our way. To my dearest friend to be from the other side of the world, you have my sincerest apology.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

What Does This Winter Have in Store for New England?



The prediction of how winter will be in New England during 2015-2016 has been released by the National Weather Service. The prediction is valid starting December 1 and ending on February 29 next year. Some good news about this year is that there will be less days that are extremely cold, as most of that cold air will remain in Canada. Additionally, it will be a lot warmer this year, sources predict.




Weather services cannot predict the amount of snow fall or when it will fall, but warmer temperatures and less days of brutally cold weather may help with the melting of snow.

Sources add that last year at this time they didn't know New England would receive the winter it did until it happened.

Monday, November 16, 2015

No More Shows

If you haven't read my first blog, here's a recap.
The California Coastal Commission voted to allow the San Diego SeaWorld to expand its tanks, but with a catch.  San Diego can no longer breed, trade or sell their eleven orcas on site.  This means that those will be the last to ever reside in San Diego SeaWorld.
While they try to fight this decision, SeaWorld is making a more positive choice.  By 2017, they plan to weed out all Shamu shows and replace them with something more, educational. Their new CEO, John Manby says the choice was "not conceived as a way to appease critics".  But it was rather a choice due to the audiences wishes.  People want something that's more authentic, more real.
This comes in wave with the release of the documentary, Blackfish, which caused attendance to lunge in many locations.  San Diego was it with a 17% decrease!
Manby has yet to release specific details on what the new "experience" will entail, but has said that it will focus on a more educational approach
Although people want something more authentic, watching these large creatures in their small tanks is not real.  It is still a fabricated reality.  I'm not saying this choice is a step in the wrong direction, I just wish that SeaWorld and its counterparts could empathize with the orcas.  See the horrors that they go through.
What's you stance?
Do you believe that the shows should stay or that they should go?

Friday, November 13, 2015

The Legend of !900

What is said by this movie is that plot need not be exciting to be interesting. The story of a pianist remaining on a ship for his entire life does not seem energetic. However people become accustom to the "Hollywood Jazz" of explosions and fast paced easy to follow plots. To ensure that movies remain as close to the idea of a "moving, visual book" as possible director Guiseppe Tornatore limits the degree of energy the movie conveys to the audiences. There is just as much if not more thought put into this movie as any other. However, Tornatore creates a film with more of a "contained" energy, or class, than other films. 
The two most important symbols of this film are sea and land, abstract thought and acute concrete thought.

Pessimism

This song is literary pessimism at its finest. I can imagine Holden Caulfield keeping his head down to avoid a barrage of adds for "Denham's Dentifrice" being thrown at him. Is this song true? On some level but all works of pessimism should be taken with a grain of salt for hot headed rebelliousness is not a virtue. Pessimism is to invoke the idea that things may be wrong. The purpose of this song is to say "We cannot submit. We should not be submissive." 
Is there a thing as being too pessimistic? Of course, there are times when a pessimistic view shapes the opinion of people who go on to use said view as a basis for making decisions. A well known example of this is the red scare in which most Americans assumed that citizens of Chinese or Japanese decent or anyone who contradicted the views of McCarthyism is an enemy. This view led many American citizens to be put into detainment camps and actors to be blacklisted. The idea is that all information is not objective and our goal as citizens is to adopt the perfect blend of faith and skepticism, idealism and cynicism, trust and mistrust.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

What is Feminism?

What exactly is feminism?  

Are they those crazy ladies who want to "put men in their place"or are they the girls who want everyone to be equals?
The advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.
That is the definition of Feminism in the oxford dictionary.
People are under the assumption that feminism means that women are better than men.  That feminists say they want equal rights but also put men down while doing it.
This meme is a representation of that.
Of course, this is not what a true feminist is.  A feminist is a person, boy or girl, who wants equal rights for everyone, not just men and women.  Feminism is what stands up to the double standards that our society holds.
For example, when people are in a heterosexual relationship, if the girl is skinny and the boy is overweight, he is seen as weak and not worth her time.  On the opposite end of this spectrum where the girl is overweight and the boy is muscular, she is praised for being with him.
Another example, a girl gets raped, she is told "It's your fault for putting yourself out there" and asked "What were you wearing?  You shouldn't dress that way, it makes men think you want it".  Where as is a man gets raped, he gets asked "Why didn't you just fight back?".  Or he gets told "Just be happy you got laid".
This is what feminism sets out to resolve.  Feminists want to fix societies double standards and their sexist stereotypes.
And is you think feminists all look the same (Ugly, lonely women), then think again.  Feminists come in all shapes, sizes and genders.

So to end my rant on what feminism is I leave you with two questions

What do you believe feminism to be?
and
Are you a feminist?


Thursday, November 5, 2015

NASA Claims to Have Seen Something Come Out of a Black Hole

Black HoleMany different sources suggest that NASA has evidence of something coming out of a black hole? It is common belief that the mysterious black holes in space suck things in to them, never to be seen again, so how did something come out of one? The black hole, named Markarian 335 has scientists astonished. Sources say that "Two of NASA’s space telescopes, including the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR), miraculously observed a black hole’s corona “launched” away from the supermassive black hole. Then a massive pulse of X-ray energy spewed out." There is no need to panic sources add due to the fact that this black hole is 324 million miles away, which is extremely insignificant in regards to our safety. This happening should provide more evidence for astronomers about black holes including their size and functionality. 

Sources:
  •  http://www.blastr.com/2015-11-4/nasa-just-saw-something-come-out-black-hole-first-time-ever
  • http://www.inquisitr.com/2544413/scientists-watch-a-black-hole-do-something-never-seen-before-witness-something-come-out-instead-of-in/


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Kelli Hill: "cancer warrior ~ life enthusiast"

Born on April 9, 1996 and deceased on October 21, 2015, Kelli Hill (better known as banana-soul on Tumblr) lived a life sought after by many. Even though she had battled cancer three times by the age of seventeen, she lived her life with a fire burning inside of her, yet to burn out. She lived by the phrase "cancer warrior ~ life enthusiast" (as found on her biography on Tumblr). Many of her followers adored her bravery, courage, and love of life despite her consequences. Kelli became very popular on the social media site Tumblr, after posting this blog post:


"This is me, my name is Kelli and I’m 17-years-old, battling cancer for the third time. I have less than a year to live and the only thing I want to do more than anything before I die is meet Ellen. She’s my sunshine. She’s the reason I wake up everyday and I watch her show every morning. She just radiates so much joy and happiness and she gives me hope. It’s really my dream to be able to meet her. Unfortunately, due to a long waiting list, the Wish Foundation told me I probably wouldn’t be able to meet her within my short timeline. But I see miracles happen all the time.. therefore I won’t give up on my dream. I thought that maybe if this gets enough attention, someone from the Ellen Show would come across it, or maybe even Ellen herself will know of me and my wish to meet her. Please, help me make my wish come true. " 

Kelli was hoping to meet Ellen DeGeneres from the Ellen show, because she provided her happiness and gave her hope. Kelli wasn't certain of the opportunity though due to her health, as the doctors estimated her less than a year to live. But miracles do happen, as she later adds to this post:

"thanks to all of you lovely people, my dream came true on february 6, 2014."

The lovely people who helped Kelli's dream were her fans on Tumblr, which as of now the original post was spread by them over 400,000 times. During Kelli's life, she loved every one of those 400,000 people, whom she talked to daily on the social media site with nothing but love and gratitude. Her blog was her outlet; she believed in happiness and only good things, even in sight of her cancer.

Her death (presumed by doctors) was thought to be before the summer of 2014, but she lived on to spread her spirituality and love across the internet until October 14th 2015 when she posted on her blog for the last time:

"arrived at the hospital hospice ward today because my body wasn’t responding to the sedation meds at home and i just want to go back home to my warm comfy bed :( :( positive vibes and happy thoughts would be greatly appreciated, i love you guys so much 💕 " 

Just previous to this she had been on sedation medicines administered at home to help her sleep peacefully until she passed, but as she stated, her body wasn't responding to them. Thankfully, she was much more sedated at hospital hospice on the 17th, her best friend wrote on her blog. On October 21, 2015 her best friend posted again noting that Kelli had passed away. 

One of the things that Kelli had always believed in though, is after life, and she believed that once she passed away, she would be at peace again and living without pain. She had always loved life and more notably the life she herself lived, but she wanted understandable rest from the tumors taking over her body day by day. 

She will be missed and never forgotten by the many people that loved and adored her for all that she was and the life that she lived. 


Thursday, October 22, 2015

Dreams

10/22/15

What are dreams?  Are they the farthest reaches into our subconscious, our mind telling us what we are too afraid to speak out loud?  Or are they the deepest darkest parts of our minds that we protect ourselves from seeing?  This all leads back to one commonly addressed question; are people inherently good or do we all have an evil inside of us, a vicious human nature waiting to crawl out?  Dreams are an insight into our minds.  Throughout the world there is noise, clutter, distractions.  We cannot help but be entrapped into the vicious cycle of the societies around us.  We crave social interaction, busy days, and tactile objects of greed.  These keep us occupied, keep us in a trance and away from awakening our own minds.  It is only when we set down the handfuls of distractions and allow our minds to become quiet that our minds awaken.  Then our dreams, our wildest fantasies, our darkest apparitions, reveal our true selves.  Maybe these true selves are unimaginable to the person we look at in the mirror.  Maybe society has warped our values and morals so much that our true passions and yearning are nothing but lost within the depths of our mind.  But what if our mind is protecting us, saving our humanity, our grace, our dignity, from our true desires.  Our infatuation with the inherent evil that lurks inside every human mind.  Are we driven by our demons?  Do we crave to live a life of vanity, excess, and spoils?  Dreams take us on a trip, through the most unfathomable reaches of our thoughts, longings, and hopes.  Dreams are the answers to our questions, dreams are the key to unlocking the human mind.  What truly drives someone?  How do they pursue, push past their breaking points?  What motivates them?  Are we good and choose wrong doings and a life of sin, or are we evil and choose to live a life of fight, of eternal struggle with these inner beasts?

Musical Influences on People

Image result for musical influenceMusical Influences on People
By:  Letitia Bottino


Music is an important asset to many people's lives. It provides meaning, pleasure through sound, and a potential connection to an artist or group. Because of this, the type of music you listen to can have a lot to do with how you view the world around you. For many, music can have a large impact on mood as well. But what causes one to be fond of a particular genre or artist? Psychological factors as well as your basic unique make-up can be the reason for this fondness. Relating to music and artists can form a special connection to them, thus influencing style and the amount of time you invest listening to them and learning about them. Explaining these connections is sometimes hard to do, and is simply personal to interest, feeling, and experience. Music is important to many as it provides comfort and stress-release during difficult times in our lives. One should never be ashamed of their musical interests, as it is a part of who they are, and their view on the world. There is a reason for these influences on people, and they should be embraced no matter the genre or artist. Which genre or artist(s) speak to you the most?

PCC: Project Contemporary Competitiveness

PCC, also known as Project Contemporary Competitiveness, is a summer program hosted every summer at Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts. The program is made for high school students entering freshman, sophomore, and junior year. Each student that attends pays a tuition of $2,500 (roughly) which includes room, board, and meals. The program runs on a weekly basis, meaning for six weeks students will arrive at Stonehill on Monday morning and will stay in the dorms overnight until Friday at noon. Students will live in a dorm (for girls: Boland, Sullivan, or Cacino halls, for boys: O'hara) with other students from schools across Massachusetts, or even from across the world with PCC's foreign exchange students.) Students live with a "hall", which is a group of students and one proctor. During the week, students will attend two classes in the morning (ranging anywhere from marine biology, to aviation, to dance), eat lunch in the Roche dining commons, head back to the dorms for an hour, be a part of Rec, or recreational time (which has activities from 2:30 to 5:00 pm indoors and outdoors at the Duffy quad), eat dinner at Roche dining commons, head to core course (an informational presentation by presenters such as The Brain Show and Hip Hop Fundamentals), and lastly students will report back to the dorms for bed. On some nights, when students report back to the dorms for bed, there will be what are called "hall parties", where a student's hall will get together and do something fun, like a birthday party if applicable, or a spa night. On Thursday nights, there is a themed dance such as Safari themed or school spirit themed. Students dress up in their themed attire and go to the dance in either the Merket gymnasium or the sports complex.


Many students attend PCC on their first day filled with nervous anticipation, but that wears off quickly because the magic of PCC is underway right as the students enter the campus. The same nervous students on day 1 week 1 are the same ones who are very sad to be leaving on week 5 day 5.



Overall, PCC is an amazing experience where friendships are made with kids from other schools that they wouldn't be able to meet otherwise. Students also acquire skills and knowledge not commonly found in their schools at home.

At PCC, a student can be themselves without the fear of judgement of their peers and live in a loving, care-free environment. This, to me, is what PCC is all about.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Orcas

The Orcinus Orca, or better known to many, the orca, is a beautiful, majestic creature.  Many believe them to be a whale, but they are actually the largest members of the dolphin family.  They are black with white spots near their eyes and the underside of their bodies.  They live in groups called pods which consist of 5 to 30 orcas.  Once a male calf is born, they will not leave their mother for the rest of their life.
    This leaves the question as to why we make them be "attractions" in water parks such as Seaworld. In the wild life expectancy is between 30 and 50 years.  The maximum lifespan for a male orca is between the ages of 60-70 and for females its between the ages of 80-100. Once they are in captivity, their life expectancy is only between 10-20 years. Parks claim that this statistic in completely untrue, but history has proved otherwise.
      Many people see these dolphins as dangerous animals, as shone in their nickname, Killer Whales but orcas are only known to be violent in captivity!  The small enclosure and in many cases, separation of mother and calf, causes them to become depressed, stressed and causes them major anxiety.  Parks claim that their "homes" for these creatures are a reasonable size. Orcas can swim up to 100 mile a day in the wild and in these "homes" theirs no possibility of that unless they lap their tank 1,208 times! To truly understand what these animals go through, look at the beautiful graphic drawn below.
Through the year i hope to make regular blog posts about the conditions of the Orcas residing in many parks around the country and the world.  My hope for you, the reader, is to become inspired and maybe get an understanding as to why these creatures deserve freedom.
Just recently we had another win!  At Seaworld San Diego the California Coastal Commission voted to allow the site to expand its tanks but with some catches.  They will no longer be allowed to breed their 11 captive orcas and those orcas cannot be sold, transfered or traded meaning these could very well be the last set of orcas in captivity in Seaworld San Diego!! #orcas

3D Street Art

Is it possible to fall into a volcanic eruption while walking back to your car? Almost. With 3D street art, any road or strip of pavement can take on a whole new life, like a volcanic eruption. 3D street art is chalk art on pavement that gives the illusion that it is three dimensional, with the right perspective. Edgar Mueller, a popular and very talented street artist, created the volcanic eruption sidewalk scene on the left. Another great artist, Kurt Wenner, has created many inspiring pieces, such as "Office Stress" depicting a hectic office scene, with people who seem angry being shoved and pushed into things, people with their head inside their desktop computer, and more. Personally, "Mysterious Cave" (unknown artist) is one of the coolest pieces of street art. This is like the volcanic scene, but instead of it being a deadly volcano, it's a seemingly harmless cave that is quite a spectacle to be seen.


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Artist Kristina Webb and Her Success From Using Instagram



New Zealander Kristina Webb is an artist who has become very successful by posting her drawings on a popular social media site, Instagram. Webb started small, posting mainly pencil-based drawings on her Instagram account, @COLOUR-ME-CREATIVE. About three years ago the self-made artist posted her first picture, which was of her birthday cake, stating "Birthday cake! 17 today! Oh and I stole one of the pink dots on the cake.. Kinda ruins the pic but oh well, oh and this is my first photo on my new IPHONE!! Ahh". After this post, the pictures of her drawings began to flood her Instagram account, leaving people speechless. @junk0ftheheart commented "... You've improved so much wow. In a relatively short period of time". As she posted more pictures of her work, her fan base grew and her drawings became more recognizable. Now, Webb has 1.7 million followers on her Instagram account and has posted over 400 pictures of her art! More recently, Webb has done "movable drawings" which are drawings that are turned into a video and move. She also on occasion uses techniques such as CD's on top of her drawings to mimic dresses, and spaghetti to mimic hair. Currently, Webb is traveling the world to hold book signings for her new drawing book, "Color Me Creative: Unlock Your Imagination". Webb states that she has a "dream to inspire people", and she is doing just that.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Tomatoes: Fruit or Vegetable?

The long-time question leaves people uneasy and wondering... Is the tomato a fruit or a vegetable? Some say due to its similarity to vegetables in taste and growth, that it is in fact a vegetable. Meanwhile, others say it is a fruit because it is the part of the plant that bears seeds. According to wonderopolis.com, it is a matter of opinion: "According to scientists, tomatoes are clearly fruits, since they are the part of the tomato plant that bears seeds. Cooks, however, often classify tomatoes as vegetables since they are the edible part of the tomato plant and have a savory rather than sweet taste." So, what is your opinion? Is the tomato really a savory fruit, or a sweet vegetable?
Image result for tomato? 


Sunday, June 21, 2015

Sound Waves and Movement

Sound waves can do more than just allow us to hear. Since sound is composed of literal waves that travel, the waves can move things like shown in the video. 

This amazing garden of stone is called Coral Castle. It was built by one man alone, and has a mysterious story behind it. The man who built it claims to have unlocked the secret of the pyramids, and it is claimed that sound was his tool for moving all the stone (although he never revealed his secret.) Could sound really move stone?
According to Washington Post, sound has been proved to moved objects, but on a small scale. Things like tooth picks and water have been moved with sound waves, but nothing as big as these stones weighing tons. This brings an interesting thought to my mind though; if sound waves can move objects, they must have some kind of effect on us in our daily lives. Most of our bodies are water, and water can be moved by sound, just like in the video. Could the sounds we hear everyday have an effect on our health? Could sound be used as a treatment for some illnesses? I think more research should go into sound waves and how they effect the environment. 

Finals week

Finals week has arrived and I think everyone if nervous but very excited at the same time.  They are nervous because it's finals and no one wants to do a bad job and everyone is stressing to cram some studying in.  But everyone is excited because  after finals it is summer vacation.  Also during finals week we have three half days which is also very exciting.  During this time people usually go to the beach after school or hang out with friends.  I can't wait myself.  This summer is going to be the best because it's the summer going into my senior year.  I hope I do good on my finals  and so does everyone else! Goodluck  everyone!

Best Parts of High School

          With the school year coming to a close, I find myself spending much time thinking about how I am going to be a senior next year. Time has gone by so fast! People have always told me high school flies by but I never believed them; how could these four years that people talk about for the rest of their lives (as both the worst and best part of their life) be over with the blink of an eye. Being in middle school, all I was told by high schoolers was that the next fours years would be the toughest. How, then, could it go by so fast? Well, it does. I remember walking through those doors on my first day of freshmen year. I was anxious, scared and bewildered. It was a whole new world. In no way, on any realm, is it comparable to middle school, not the classes, not the work, not the schedule, not the people, not even the teachers. I remember following my sister around the hallways until the bell rang because I didn't even know where to go. I made her walk me to my first period class, she must have been so embarrassed, but like a good sister, she did it anyway. As a matter of fact, I made her show me where all four of my classes were that day and where my advisory was. Looking back now, I cannot believe how bewildered I was in a two-hallway school with the 100s classrooms on floor one in order, and the 200s classrooms on floor two, in order. It's simpler than the middle school, and yet I feared getting lost. Fast forward to the present, and I cannot seem to take my mind off of senior year. I have five days left of junior year, and I graduate high school in less than 365 days. I move into college next year!
          As I think about what my last year of high school will be like, I ponder what memories will stay with me forever. What parts of high school will I always remember? Living in it now, it is hard to tell exactly what are the best parts of high school, so I looked up a survey. According to 150 high school girls across the country, there are six main parts of high school that make up the best aspects of these four memorable years.
           Extra-curricular activities and clubs rank first on the list. This is certainly true for me as well. I love that school does not end when the 2:10 bell rings. I am involved in numerous clubs and activities after school, as well as sports. So much so, in fact, that I am never walking out of those doors at 2:10. I love being involved and being a leader in my school so I can leave my mark on WHS.
          Second on the list is the independence of high school. Coming from the middle school, where you walk in lines to classes and lunch, and must report to homeroom in the morning, high school is a breath of fresh air of independence. You are given responsibility and this is a taste of what college is like. There are no lines to walk from your dorm to lunch, nor is there even a bell to get you to your next class. High school prepares you with just a taste of the responsibility of college. No matter what is it that makes high school enjoyable for you, it is without a doubt four memorable years of your life.

The video below shows 26 things you should do before you graduate.

To read the rest of the best parts of high school, visit Best Parts of High School.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Heaven's Gate

In the late 90s, a mass suicide occurred in California. A group called Heaven's Gate had been formed long before then, by a man called Do. Do claimed that Earth was just were souls developed, but when they were done developing, they had to leave. Looking for a sign, the group recognized the comet Hale-Bopp as the signal of their departure. A large group got together and prepared for their exit by dressing in black pants and shirts with Nike black and white sneakers. They drank a mixture of alcohol and phenobarbital, and laid in bed. They last few to drink the poison draped purple sheets over the others, and left money and even suitcases with everyone.


The followers of Do picture him as Jesus Christ's descendant. Do himself committed suicide and was in the master bedroom. He told everyone that the aliens were going to take their souls into the UFOs and carry them to the new life awaiting for them. My best guess is that Do had a mental problem himself, which made him live in a different world than the average person. 
To read more spooky mass suicides, visit http://www.oddee.com/item_98772.aspx 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Emu

Emus look like they are funny looking harmless big birds.  If you thought that a bird couldn't do some serious damage to you, you are wrong.  Emus are not out to kill but if they are in danger or feel like they are they will try and rip you apart.  They have very long talons on both of there feet that could wrap any part of your body apart.  They will bring there foot backwards and kick you so hard with those long talons that you wouldn't have a chance to react and could be dead instantly if they got you in the right spot.  One of my good friend has a farm with emus and they were recently trying to move them to a new area and one man helping got claws on the leg by an emu. His pants and skin ripped open.  It wasn't that serious of an issue but it still could hurt you way worse.  Be careful around big birds.


Sunday, June 14, 2015

Solar Power from Space

          Everybody is aware of the issue of global warming, or at least I hope so. Whether you acknowledge its existence or have not reached the mental capacity to accept the proven phenomenon is regardless; either way, you should know about the crisis. Climate change is the change in regional or global climate patterns, pertaining to temperature, rainfall and the like, as a result of human disruption to the natural cycles of gases in the atmosphere. For example, when we excavate for fossil fuel energy, we are reintroducing fossilized carbon into the atmosphere that has been buried for centuries. This carbon, no longer part of the natural carbon cycle, is brought back into the air, therefore increasing the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. This, in combination with the other gases of the atmosphere tears a hole in the stratospheric ozone, a layer of the atmosphere that blocks the sun's harmful UV rays from Earth. With a hole in this layer, humans and life on Earth now has more exposure to UV rays and is more prone to skin cancer. In regards to climate change, a hole in the atmosphere means more sun rays which means a warmer climate on Earth. This contributes to the melting of the glaciers at the poles, which leads to the rising of ocean levels. This continues to snowball and results in many harmful effects. In short, we are walking ourselves down a dangerous path for the future, but there are ways we can change this.
          There are the obvious methods to harness energy in cleaner ways, such as wind turbines, nuclear power plants, tidal energy, and hydroelectric dams, but have you ever thought to put solar panels in space? Japan has! The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) intends to have entirely converted to space solar power by the year 2040. Their plan is to launch solar panels into space that can harness the suns rays into energy that will be transmitted back to Earth and converted into electricity. There will be clusters of mirrors in space that reflect the suns rays onto secondary mirrors that aim the rays at solar panels (also in space). The photovoltaic solar panels convert the rays into microwave beams and send them down to Earth to be received in a crop field onto panels that will convert the energy into usable electricity. It may be a difficult theory to grasp but it is genius in my opinion. It will send essentially limitless energy back down to Earth in a clean, efficient way. Of course, there are also drawbacks and risks, as with anything. If the beam misses the receiving panels on Earth, it could sizzle a city, but JAXA already has a plan in place for the shutdown of the system if the beam is not on target for the designated area. Also, the startup cost of this system is extremely high. Another concern is the radiation concentration of the area around that field. There is certainly much work to be done in regards to this system, but it is certainly worth consideration! It is time to start implementing cleaner energy sources now. We must start thinking about the future of our planet and the future of human existence.
To learn more, visit JAXA.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Hagia Sophia

This ancient building has a history as rich as the ornate decorations found in it. The building itself was changed three times. First, it was called Megale Ekklesia, or great church. Riots broke out and this was burnt down. Another church was built on top of the remains of Megale Ekklesia, but the Nika riots broke out which attacked the emperor at the time. He decided to build it to be more extravagant. When Constantinople was conquered by the Ottoman Empire and became Istanbul, the church turned into a mosque, being dedicated to Allah. Hagia Sophia is almost like a melting pot of architecture, since many features can be seen in it. In the image above, columns and domes can be seen, indicating the Greek and Roman influence of its very early years. There are also mosaics of Christian emblems that have been recovered now that the former mosque is a museum. The calligraphy on the walls are connected to the prophet Muhammad. This collision of two cultures creates friction, however. Christians and Muslims fight over the fact that they want Hagia Sophia back for their religious practices.
There are not many ancient buildings that have such a diverse history as the Hagia Sophia. Along with the fact that the interior design is a gem to the eye, it is a place where diverse cultures can be seen alongside each other. To learn more about Hagia Sophia's history, watch this video.



Monday, June 8, 2015

Prison Break in New York

Think about some of the most notorious criminals you know. Now think of them out of jail.
Yes, this may seem scary, but in New York at the Clinton Correctional Facility it happened. It sounds like some movie that you would watch on Netflix two years after its release because it really wasn't that good in the theater. Two prisoners escaped from a prison in New York at 5:30 am on Saturday. They drilled through their cell walls and emerged outside the prison through a manhole. The two hilariously left a sticky note for the guards with an optimistic smiling face and "Have a nice day!" written on it. Now, this is nothing to be afraid is a common occurrence. Only 1% of prisoners are escapees, so these guys got lucky. Still, it is crazy to believe that these two criminal masterminds broke out of a high security prison in the past week. For more information go to http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crime/new-york-prison-break-a-hollywood-fugitive-fantasy-unlike-most-escapes/ar-BBkQVlB


Sunday, June 7, 2015

Taylor Swift v. Katy Perry

          The feud between these popular artists is obvious to everyone, whether you firmly take one side, or don't even listen to pop music. To be honest with you, despite being in high school amongst teens who cry about this all day (or, well I guess maybe just tweet about it all day), I've never taken much interest in it. I knew they didn't like each other, but until today, I didn't even know why. Perhaps you know of the feud and have a favorite too, but don't know why they hate each other. If so, you're just like me. I will be honest with you when I say I like Katy Perry better than Taylor Swift by far, but not because I'm some huge Perry fan, rather because I'm a huge Swift hater. Before you reach through the screen to knock me out, hear me out, though admittedly my reasoning is not the greatest. Taylor Swift, to me, lacks talent. She is undoubtably popular but I fail to see her skill. Every single one of her songs is about the same topic: a breakup, and every single one of her songs has the same beat to it. To be honest, it just gets annoying. She hardly ever varies her pitch either. She sings in the same tone with the same pitch to the same rythym about the same thing every time. Boring! Whereas Perry shows originality and can certainly hit a variety of notes! I will say I like Swift a little bit better since she has declared her official transition from country to pop. Her country wasn't even country! It was like "wannabe" country that was stuck in a pop setting. At least she has found where she belongs.

          So anyway, that was my opinion before I even knew anything about the reasoning of their feud. Well today I have had the pleasure of educating myself on this matter. It turns out that following Katy Perry's California Dreams world tour in 2011, three of her dancers auditioned and received positions as background dancers in Taylor Swift's upcoming Red world tour. While the dancers were mid-tour with Swift, Perry's camp evidently inquired of their interest in joining Perry on a second work tour for her upcoming album Prism. So, what's the problem? The dancers agreeing would mean they would be leaving Swift's tour before it was over...and all three of them agreed to leave early to join Perry. Yikes! It sure seems like Perry is a little more fun to be on tour with, and quotes from the three dancers also suggest this. One dancer said, "We weren't really dancing in Taylor's tour anyway so I had got a little bored and I really wanted to do a promo tour." Clearly Perry is more fun, that isn't her fault. Though it was a little sneaky of her to ask them to leave Swift's tour early, it was ultimately the dancers' decision and they chose to go with Perry. In my opinion, Swift should be mad at the dancers, not Perry! Is this enough to cause a feud? Perhaps, but adding to the fire is the fact that they are competition for each other by the nature of their music. They are both young pop singers, so it is natural to be envious of each other. Also adding to the fuel of the feud is perhaps the fact that Swift dated singer-songwriter John Mayer from November of 2009 to February of 2010, and Katy Perry then dated Swift's ex (Mayer) from August 2012 to February 2014. Again, I do not see why this should be a problem. It is not like Perry dated him while he also dated Swift; they'd been broken up for two and a half years. Besides, don't you know, Swift had to move on so she could write another song about a breakup. I don't mean to be harsh, because obviously she is more talented than I am and she's making a living off of what she does, so kudos to her. Kudos to both of them for being so successful! Maybe the whole feud is a lie for media attention. Hey, it's working!
To learn more about the feud visit Swift Perry Feud Theory and Timeline.
Also, watch the video above for clarity on the feud.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Climate Change

There is really no argument when it comes to the verity of global warming, irregardless of causes.
 This graph, based on the comparison of atmospheric samples contained in ice cores and more recent direct  measurements, provides evidence that atmospheric CO<sub>2</sub> has increased  since the Industrial Revolution.  (Source: [[LINK||http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/icecore/||NOAA]])
Looking at this graph from NASA's website, it is obvious that something is way off. In 2014, the parts per million in carbon dioxide located in Earth's atmosphere is about 400. This is far past the range of the normal shifting of measurements, which fluctuates between about 170 and 300. Never before has it gone higher or lower, until recently (relatively speaking). This increase in carbon dioxide means that more sun rays penetrate Earth, which means that Earth captures more heat. This is seen by rising temperature, not only in the air but in water. Water levels are also rising due to melting ice in both of Earth's poles.But as Obama and Russell Brand points out, not many people are as worried about it as they need to be:
We only have this one planet to support us, but we are pushing limits and eventually there will be no more support available. We need to act before time runs out. We need to act before we ruin this planet that abundantly nourished and sheltered us for all these years. We are exploiting, and exacerbating the availability of the benefits Earth gives us, yet not everyone takes this threat as serious as others. Why? According to Brand, because big businesses continue to rule the world.  


Coppola

Does the name sound familiar? Maybe some movies pop up in your mind hearing this name-The Outsiders, The Godfather, Apocalypse Now-which are all great works by Francis Ford Coppola. But he is not the only Coppola to take on the film industry; his daughter Sophia also is well known for movies like Lost in Translation, Somewhere, and Marie Antoinette.

All three of these movies are some of my personal favorites. I would not be alone in claiming that Sofia Coppola can reach in, twisting and pulling at emotions, even with a simple plot that is most apparent in Somewhere. That work of hers focuses on a middle-aged man who has to bring his daughter with him on his movie promotion. Along the way, his daughter brings out a side of him that is much better than the man he appears to be (which are apparent through various angry texts toward him).
Lost in Translation focuses on a washed-up movie star and a young wife who are both staying at a hotel in Tokyo. They end up having some sort of close emotional bond, even though they are both married. This relationship is not an affair, but rather a unique and indescribable connection. As the time comes to depart, a withheld secret is whispered to the girl, in which the audience cannot hear. The suspense is almost painful! But it left me with this message; when a good thing comes, do not ruin it with exploitation, everything has a beginning and ending.


Marie Antoinette is just as it appears, about the famous queen. However there is a sort of modern twist on it, even though it still takes place in the corresponding moment in history. The set is absolutely stunning; colorful pastries, extravagant dresses, expansive rooms...everything about the movie is just brilliant. It take a deep look into her life as queen, and offers a different perspective than the one that coins her with the phrase "Let them eat cake" (although there is not really evidence of her saying this).

Overall, the Coppola family has some good film-making genes!


Mispronounced Words


The average five year old will know about 5,000 words. The average twelve year old will know 12,000 words. We use words to communicate with others, to get our point across, and for many other things. But how many words do we mispronounce? When I was younger I used to say “sherbert” exactly how it looks. I did not know that the ‘r’ was silent. Wondering how many people have said something different than how it is pronounced got to me enough to want to question some of the words that a lot of people messed up on. A few of these words are, “specific,” “especially,” and even the phrase, “for all intents and purposes.” There are many words that are being pronounced wrong that we may not even know about. To learn more about some of the more common words that are being used, you can look at this website or video that is linked below.



Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcThN1dZMe4 - Top 27 Mispronounced Words by
Good Mythical Morning