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



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


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?