Modern Slavery

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By Magnolia

Slavery never really ended in 1863. Slavery is still used in many forms to harm people in all parts of the world.Modern day slavery affects millions of people, especially in developing countries. People in developed countries contribute to the problem, but there are ways to fight slavery in the future. It’s important to every community that we should look out and stop slavery.

  Many underprivileged or impoverished people are threatened or controlled by others to perform jobs they would not like to do and not get paid. There are about 40.3 million people in modern slavery around the world today. Although this number is a large amount there are people around the world who are developing new ways to stop slavery. Slavery mostly occurs in countries such as India, China, Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Bangladesh. Many of these places are undeveloped economies where many people struggle to survive and slavery is their only chance.  It’s our responsibility to help these people find new opportunities.

  Most citizens of advanced countries are not aware of modern slavery and fail to prevent it. For example people are not realizing that what they are purchasing is supporting slavery. According to the Guardian, “The US was found to have imported similar goods worth $144bn (£110bn), making it by far the biggest global importer of products potentially made by slaves.” Although many governments have been warned about what is going on they have only been stopping the cases that have caused the most public outrage. As another Guardian article reports, “A total of 178 possible cases of car wash slavery were reported in 2017, 34 of which prompted investigations. Only one case led to arrests.” This suggests that governments aren’t taking slavery seriously enough. This neglect of the government is a big issue and we should try and fight it as best as we can.

  Fortunately people are starting to develop new ways to help stop slavery. One way to stop slavery is to watch what you’re buying or what communities you’re supporting. By watching what you’re buying you can support companies that are transparent such as Everlane. An anti slavery charity called Unseen has developed an app to report acts of modern-day slavery to a helpline. “Whether that is technology for businesses to map their supply chains, or an app for everyone to have in their pocket at the nail bar, car wash or take away, this isn’t just a gimmick, it’s an essential part of the fight to eradicate slavery” said Unseens CEO Andrew, Wallis. These solutions are an important part of the fight to end slavery.

People in every country should fight against slavery. Undeveloped countries are vulnerable to slavery, but developed countries help support it, and they need to do more to fight it. We should all have the same rights, and nobody should have to suffer.

The Magic of Minecraft

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By Maggie

Have you ever wondered if Minecraft could impact your school life? Creativity plays a significant role in Minecraft if you would wish to play single player or multiplayer. Sandbox games like Minecraft allow the gamer to control their avatar which allows creativity to come through. Although teachers might be suspicious of a video game, Minecraft has many potential benefits for learning.

Minecraft is useful for schools in teaching or merely to test your creativity. Most games have a straightforward quest or mission, but Minecraft doesn’t have this. Games like Assassin’s Creed, FIFA 18, or Skyrim have quests or missions that you have to complete to continue the game, but Minecraft allows you to explore. Some new games have options to move around freely, but they still don’t have freedom in what you do. Games like Overwatch allow free movement, but you have the main quest and some offside quests. Minecraft doesn’t have required quests, but it has optional achievements. It allows you to be able to complete Achievements by doing certain things; they are not necessary, but a good challenge. Thus Minecraft would be an excellent game to play if you wanted to start on a blank slate and do whatever you dream of, which can be helpful in learning.

This open game can also help schools teach students and have them be engaged. Some blocks would be helpful for school! John Spencer believes that students could create worlds for the book that they are reading. “Let’s teach about forces and motion by using Minecraft,” shared John Spencer to his webpage. Some schools might not think as highly of Minecraft.  John Spencer pointed out that “It’s no surprise that there is a second, more reactionary group of people who view Minecraft as “just a game.” What makes it any different than, say, Tetris or Angry Birds or FIFA 17?” However, Minecraft can also teach students how to work together. They could be playing on a server trying to survive the night, and they would have to work together to fend the mobs away while another mines or cuts wood. Overall, I do believe Minecraft will help students in many different ways.

Some schools already do use Minecraft Education Edition, and it does help students to learn. Many teachers enjoy this edition as it keeps the students engaged.  “We owe it to our students to bring what they’re passionate about into the classroom,” said one teacher. The coders made edits to their script so they could make it kid friendly but still fun. They added the camera and the portfolio so the students could remember what happened in the class! They have also added more things that would help the teacher. For example, they added the Chalkboard that teachers could use to add extra goals and information. I think Mojang is doing a great job on Minecraft Education, but I think they can still improve by adding more things to encourage the students.

Most schools do believe that Minecraft helps and it does impact the student’s creativity. These sandbox games allow the player to have an open mind of how to build and what style they will build in. Before you play a game, think about if it helps you think of things beyond the game. Don’t underestimate the power hidden under the games.

Unreal Estate in NYC

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By Noah

When it comes to real estate, New York is a city of dreams. More than 8.5 million people choose to call New York home. From the crazy owners, to the crazy costs, to the crazy houses, New York's real estate market is unique in the world.

There are much more quirky houses and home owners in New York than you think. One example is Lisa Falkowski, who fills her 1993 Toyota Camry with cans she’s collected, even though she owns more than $8 million in New York City real estate. This is a strange thing to do, considering her wealth, but a perfect example of New York’s quirkiness. She calls herself an “old-fashioned bohemian.” The fact that she owns so much real estate contradicts this, though. In a New York Times article, she claims that it is a “hobby she uses to get exercise, not a hustle she needs to make money.” Some people might wonder why she doesn’t just go to the gym. This is one of the reasons why New York is unique.

Per square foot, real estate in Manhattan is the most expensive in the United States. According to Neighborhoodx some properties in New York cost more than 10,000 dollars per square foot. That is crazy, because the city with the next highest cost per square foot is San Francisco with only four thousand dollars per square foot.  According to Neighborhoodx, Manhattan real estate is an average of 1,773 dollars per square foot. The next most expensive area per square foot is again San Francisco which averages 902 dollars per square foot. Another source lists the order of most expensive city per square foot as New York, Los Angeles, Miami Beach, San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, Washington D.C., Denver, Philly, Austin, New Orleans, Portland, and so on.  Per square foot America is very expensive. Now you know two reasons why New York is unique.

In New York houses can be very expensive. The people who paid 85 million dollars for the 45th floor of 635 west 42nd street, also get a yacht, a Lamborghini, courtside season tickets to the nets, a private chef, a butler, and a mansion rental in the Hamptons. There are definitely many bonuses to buying that house, but it’s questionable whether the 85 million dollars is for the house and everything else as a bonus or it would be cheaper to buy the house by itself. Found in midtown, the penthouse of 432 park avenue is in the tallest residential building and costs 9,933 dollars per square foot and is 82 million for the entire penthouse. One of the many advantages to this house is that if someone is coming to your house they won't need directions, because they will be able to see it from a mile away. The duplex penthouse of 50 United Nations plaza looks over the empire state building, the chrysler building, the east river and all of the manhattan skyline. Real  estate agents might want to buy this house because it looks over all the buildings in manhattan. This is one of the many reasons New York is unique.

In New York the real estate market is unusual. From the crazy owners, to the crazy costs, to the crazy houses, as Michael Bloomberg once said “No matter who you are, if you believe in yourself and your dream, New York will always be the place for you.”

 

Does Homework Help?

By Eloise

Many people dislike homework or think there’s no point in it, but, does homework really help, or is it just a waste of time? In middle school, teachers assign an average of 3.2 hours of homework each week, writes Allie Bidwell. However, homework may not be helpful for younger students, if they don’t do it correctly. The only homework that helps before high school is studying.

Homework is not necessarily beneficial before high school. The Scholastic article “Is Homework Bad?” cites Alfie Kohn’s book The Homework Myth: Why Our Kids Get Too Much of a Bad Thing, in which he says “There is no evidence to demonstrate that homework benefits students under the high school age.” I think that this is accurate because your brain is more developed when you’re older, but I’m not saying homework before high school is completely useless. Homework can also be unhealthy. Some people have after school activities, and with homework too they might not get enough sleep. Kids need sleep to be able to pay attention in class. Web MD writes that 7-12 year olds should get 10-11 hours of sleep. With homework that’s a lot less. This is why if the only homework you have is studying you will get more sleep.

  Homework can be beneficial to some people because it can help them learn more information, but only if it’s done correctly. An argument to make for homework before high school is that if you need help with a subject, or in a class, homework is the answer.  I think that teachers should give study packets, which the students can use to learn on their own. “The child who develops good study habits from an early age will find it easier to adjust to an increasingly difficult academic environment” writes Jennifer Ruther.  Studying is always successful if you do it right, as I have learned from self experience. If you study correctly it can be beneficial for quizzes, and can help later on in life.

So homework isn’t that beneficial before high school, but studying can help, and a tutor is a useful tool. Studies show that younger students especially don’t always benefit from homework. Homework should be a responsibility for kids, but it should be assigned in moderation, so there is a balance.

Fortnite Fever

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By Jake

Parents say that it is hard to cheer up teens, but now there is Fortnite. Fortnite is an online video game in which 100 players battle to be the last one alive. Although some kids’ addictions have become dangerous, nothing will stop the popularity of Fortnite. Over the last year Fortnite has taken over the charts, and has taken over the minds of children.

Fortnite has taken over kids and teens, and kids stay up all night playing Fortnite Battle Royale. According to one parent on Mashable.com, “I’ve asked him to turn the game off and go to bed. He agrees and turns it off and heads downstairs to his room. I wake up around 4 or 5 on a Saturday morning and he is in front of the TV playing the game." People are so addicted that they play all night, and get no sleep. “I found her backside was red-raw. She was so hooked to the game she wouldn’t even go to the toilet,” the father said. Afterwards, she admitted to playing the game until 5 a.m. This nine year old girl was so hooked on to the game that she wouldn’t get up to go to the bathroom. Unbelievably, this girl ended up going to rehab.  Fortnite is going to continue to take over kids’ free time, and their brains.

Fortnite has so many users, and they are going to continue to get more. Alex Salkever illustrates “School’s out for summer. For so many American kids, that used to mean meandering stretches of unstructured time playing outdoors. But for my kids, summer means a battle over Fortnite.” When I think of summer I think of people playing at the beach and having fun outside, but this summer Fortnite has taken over. If you haven’t heard, Fortnite has snagged more than 125 million players in less than a year, mostly kids under the age of 18. Many play for 10 or even 20 hours per week. This is a problem, because people should only be playing 30 minutes a day. On June 5, 2018 Tencent gave us an update on Fortnite’s user base. It said there were 40 million users logging on to Fortnite every month. This statistic is important, because this shows people aren’t just downloading the game, but they’re actually playing it. There is no sign that this growth will stop, and people will stop using Fortnite.

Fortnite is the most popular game ever. Epic Games rakes in over $300 million per month selling skins, pickaxes, and other digital enhancements to help players compete more or simply look cool. Although Fortnite is a free game, people can buy vbucks (Fortnite money) to purchase skins to change their look. Skins, pickaxes, and emotes do not even help you win. Fortnite was said to be making $2 million a day from its players. This shows that this business model is working, where the game is free but you can buy other stuff.

Fortnite Battle Royale has unlocked the secret to creating a perfect video game in 2018. Fortnite has attracted 125 million kids, teens, and adults to play their Battle Royale, even to the point where it can become dangerously addictive. If Fortnite keeps on making new updates, and attracting users it will forever be popular.

Nintendo Switch

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By Charlie  

 Have you ever wondered how much of a difference the Nintendo Switch made? Or how much Nintendo was falling before they made this console? The Nintendo Switch has made a big difference to the company of Nintendo, all the people that play on this console enjoy it, and there is more to come in the future. The Nintendo Switch is a revolutionary system that saved Nintendo’s Company.

The Nintendo Switch has been one of the best Nintendo game consoles ever. When this console first came out it only had 10 games, so most people weren’t interested in the console. Later in December, there about 20 fun enjoyable games that anyone could play. Even though it cost 300$, it sold over 9 million copies worldwide in the first 9 months! This is how much the Wii U sold in its whole lifetime. Jake Kazdal claims, “It’s what the Wii U should have been.” The Nintendo Switch is an amazing console, and Nintendo might not be able to make it any better.

When the Switch first came out it was not what Nintendo predicted it was going to be like. Some people like critic Brian X. Chen called it, “mediocre as a portable gaming device, with short battery life and an O.K. screen.” Nintendo did not like these reviews, and had to figure how to make their console better. When games like Super Mario Odyssey, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the wild, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and Splatoon 2 came out everything looked better for the company. People like Brian X. Chen now claim, the Switch hardware “felt sturdy and well made.” Now everything is looking better for the Nintendo switch when more games came out.

Even right now Nintendo is getting bigger by the minute. Right now Nintendo is trying to promote the Nintendo Switch by making new games. The new games include Mario Tennis Aces, and Super Smash Bros Ultimate. At this moment the Nintendo Switch is the most popular game console that Nintendo made.This has been one of Nintendo’s most successful years. We are hoping to see something bigger and better in the future for Nintendo.

The future for Nintendo seems amazing! Moreover the Nintendo Switch has made a big difference to this company. Nintendo’s future looks very successful with the new games coming out. Hopefully Nintendo has something better and less negative reviews for the future.

 

ICE Under Trump

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By Sy

“We are managing illegal aliens” said an ICE officer in Tennessee. Have you ever heard of ICE? ICE stands for Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Currently ICE is cracking down on workers in Tennessee, taking children who are being stored in an old Walmart and being put in cages, and attacking protesters. Although ICE has some positive effects, currently they are messing up.

ICE invasions have been on the rise since Trump was elected. In one raid, 100 workers fled in all directions, but were eventually rounded up. This is an example of ICE at its worst. In April 2017, ICE raided a northeastern Tennessee meatpacking shop.  A lot of the workers were latino so ICE arrested a lot of them, including an American citizen. The raid happened in Tennessee, a state where Trump won 61 percent of the vote. This makes sense, because Trump supporters usually oppose immigration and support ICE and Border Patrol. This may be an example of one of ICE’s biggest mistakes.

ICE’s response to immigrant children is also concerning. 1,475 children have been missing since Trump has been elected. This shows that ICE is also violent against children.  According to a report by Rachel Maddow, children are being stored in an old Walmart and are being put in cages. Children are easier to capture and are smaller so it's especially inappropriate.  Although ICE has a good purpose, it has done many violent things.

ICE is also being violent against protesters. Hundreds of protesters are being deported out of the country. This is a very big mistake and many people want to “melt” ice

One protester recalls being at one of the protests. The protester says that ICE deported three people that day. Because of moments like this thousands of protesters are mad at ICE.

Under Trump, ICE is getting a bad reputation. In the recent years ICE has had more raids, and is being violent against children and protesters. Immigrants are not a bad thing, and ICE is making it seem that all immigrants are bad, which is unfair.

The Stanley Cup Finals, 2018

 
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By Liam

What was the most exciting moment of the Stanley Cup Finals? This year’s Stanley Cup Finals were played by the Washington Capitals and the Vegas Golden Knights. The series was hard fought, but at the end the Washington Capitals were eventually the winners, winning the series 4 games to 1. It was a monumental series for both teams, as it was the Vegas Golden Knights’ first year in the NHL and the Washington Capitals first NHL Title. Devante Smith Pelly was a surprising force for the Capitals in the playoffs with 6 goals. Braden Holtby made the save of the year for the Capitals, eventually turning the momentum of the series to the Capitals. Plus the Vegas shooting turned into an influence for the Golden Knights to do well in their first season. For all of these reasons this year’s finals was one of the most exciting.

Devante Smith Pelly, an unlikely high goal scorer, scored 6 goals in the Capitals’ successful playoff run for the cup. Smith Pelly became the Capitals’ highest goal scorer in the playoffs. This was surprising because of the amount of teams he was on in the past 6 years. He was on the Anaheim Ducks, Montreal Canadiens, the New Jersey Devils, and the Washington Capitals.  “As a coach,” Trotz said, “you want to know what you’re getting all the time.” Barry Trotz, the Head coach of the Capitals, felt good about his decision to pick Devante Smith Pelly up from free agency from the New Jersey Devils, and he definitely added to the excitement.

Braden Holtby made the save of the year that changed the momentum of the series. With 3:18 left, Alex Tuch (of the Vegas Golden Knights) dumps the puck in the Capitals zone, Cody Eakin (also of Vegas) pursues the puck and gets the puck off a weird bounce off the boards. He gets the puck and passes it back to Alex Tuch who is backdoor for an easy put away, but Holtby sprawls across the whole crease and with the end of the stick he hits the puck away. “The save of the year,” Washington center Jay Beagle said,“maybe the save of a lifetime.” Beagle emphasized the importance of the save especially because of its timing, with only 3:18 left in the game. Holtby’s save was one of the factors that made it such an exciting finals matchup.

After the Vegas shooting the Vegas community came together around the team. According to George McPhee, owner of the Golden Knights “It’s unfortunate that thing happened, and sometimes beautiful things follow something like that, and the way that this community came together and these people helped each other really was a beautiful thing to witness and experience.” George McPhee’s statement shows how the emotions of the Golden Knights influenced their amazing cup run. This tragic event was part of the atmosphere of the series and the whole for Vegas.

For all of these reasons this year’s finals was one of the most exciting ever. Devante Smith Pelly was essential for the Capitals in the playoffs with 6 goals, Braden Holtby made the save of the year, and the Vegas shooting had a major impact on the Golden Knights. Let’s hope next year’s finals are as exciting.

Ocean Twilight Zone and Overfishing

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By Luke

The Twilight Zone is almost entirely unknown to mankind, with one in five fish found in there to be a new species. Though it is very close to the mesophotic zone, it still has an abundance of undiscovered fish. Some of these fish are known as the “Angel Shark,” “Brittle Star,” and the “Copepod.” Scientists have found a new way to bring fish from the twilight zone to the surface, spread awareness about overfishing, and found many new species of fish. The Twilight zone, and the ocean In general is essential to the stability of the earth’s ecosystems

With the recent exploration of the twilight zone scientist have found a way to bring new species of fish out of the twilight zone without killing them. There is also a profound problem of overfishing in the ocean, which can damage the oceans ecosystem, as well as the depths. Scientists have recently created “a safer way to bring its fishy residents to the surface without killing them.” The method of bringing the fish up is possible with a decompression chamber that the fish are put into, and then brung out of the zone. Studying new species of fish should not be as much of a priority as preventing the overfishing of the Ocean.

James Cameron, a prominent director who has  spent thousands of hours in the ocean, believes that overfishing can  permanently affect the state of our world, due to it damaging the ecosystem. As Cameron puts it, “Almost every other major fishery on the planet started in this way, building on the assumption that the ocean’s resources were limitless. That is almost always a mistake”. If the ecosystem is disrupted, marine snow (phytoplankton) will mostly die out, which will warm up the planet. As overfishing is a massive problem, one of the main sources of oxygen in the ocean,  phytoplankton, or marine snow may cease to exist, along with the massive migrations done by many fish. Cameron understands the fragile ecosystem, and many factors towards keeping the Ocean’s ecosystem stable.

There are hundreds of undiscovered fish that exist in the twilight zone, as one in five fish found there are new species. Many of the fish “seem to be closely related to reef fish,” according to the scientists of the Smithsonian Deep Reef Observation Project. This could be because many fish migrate to this area to escape predators. The depths of the ocean have many undiscovered species that have unique characteristics, and are very overfished. The loss of many fish can cause oxygen production in the ocean to decrease, which is terrible, since the ocean is one of the main sources of oxygen. Overfishing is also disastrous for biodiversity, for it causes fish that migrate to this area of the ocean to be killed, which could possibly lead to the extinction of other species.

Researchers have created a decompression chamber, directors have spread awareness about people exploiting the ocean, and scientists are finding new species. Scientists studying these new species could possibly make breakthroughs in medicine and science. Without marine snow, and the stable ecosystem of the ocean, the world’s weather would never be the same, with more extreme heat & other disasters. Not only the Twilight Zone, but the ocean in general is a critical part of our ecosystem, even if a majority of it is still unexplored.

In Appreciation of Snakes

By Dylan

Do you misjudge snakes? If you do, try thinking if they really want to hurt you or of they are just protecting themselves. There are 3,000 different types of snakes in the world and only 375 of them are venomous. Three of the most fascinating snakes to me are the red bellied black snake, scrub python, and the black Mambas. Snakes should be appreciated not threatened.

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Red Bellied Snakes are one of the many poisonous snakes in Australia. According to this story in Australia, on January 15, 2018 a Red Bellied Black Snake wrapped itself on the car mirror and was trying to get inside. During the night the snake slithered into the car engine trying to keep warm when the night cooled off.  When I think about this story I want to go to Australia more than before. Even though this might happen to me, looking at snakes that only live in certain places always thrills me! Though its venom is capable of causing major harm, it’s not usually fatal and is less venomous than other Australian elapid snakes.The red-bellied black snake is one of the most common snakes on Australia's east coast and they bite several people every year. I know that this doesn’t creep me out, but if you told someone scared of snakes they would freak out; for me it’s just another adventure for me to think of all the possibilities!  Red-bellied Snakes are found in woodlands and open meadows, prairies, pastures, marshes, and bogs. They prefer moist soils but are also found in drier sites. Red-bellied Snakes spend much of their time underground or under logs, boards, rocks, or debris. I love searching woodlands and marshes. I want to look after animals sea animals and land animals. They are interesting to admire and protect. I always wanted to go to Australia and discover animals that I thought that I would never see in real life, so that’s now my main motivation.

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Scrub Pythons are non-venomous snakes in Australia but grow to extreme sizes. The scrub python is the longest snake in Australia and lives in Papua New Guinea, Australia, etc.  I like non-venomous snakes more than poisonous snakes, because that can’t hurt you as much.  Just to give you idea of how big they can grow, Scrub Pythons in the rainforests of northern Queensland have been known to take on food items as large as a full grown wallaby! A scrub python eats mainly birds and mammals. That is pretty creepy, but also really cool. Snakes are just awesome creatures! In Wujul Wujul in the far north of Queensland, a night patrol found a huge scrub python blocking the road, which must have been a surprise. I think that scrub pythons are really interesting and cool. Snakes like the scrub pythons are considered scary, but really they are misunderstood  by most people.

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Some people consider Black Mambas the most venomous snakes but there a lot more than just that snake. For these reasons, the black mamba is widely considered the world's deadliest snake. Black mambas live in the savannas and rocky hills of southern and eastern Africa. They are Africa's longest venomous snake, reaching up to 14 feet in length, although 8.2 feet is more the average. That is one long snake that I actually don’t want to meet, and that is a lot coming from someone who loves snakes. The black mamba is a highly venomous snake in sub-Saharan Africa. Its skin color varies from grey to dark brown. Juvenile black mambas tend to be paler than adults and darken with age. This range of colors shows that the black mamba’s name comes from the tongue not the color of the name. Just this Tuesday a Terrier named jasper fought off a black mamba and is now recovering in the hospital. This has been called a “miracle”by herpetologist and snake catcher Nick Evans. I don’t like it when dogs get hurt but at least he survived the bite with anti-venom. The black mamba is another example of a snake that needs more attention.

Snakes are one of the most misjudged species ever just because they look scary of creepy. I picked these three snakes because the snakes are cool and they all find prey in different ways! The 3,000 types of snakes are different because the 375 of them are venomous while the others find prey in different ways.

Cardi B Becomes the Fifth Female Rapper With a No. 1 Album

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By Valentina

Have you heard of the next Beyonce? Cardi B first became famous after posting a single that hit No.1 in the music billboard. Because of her background, Cardi has become more popular and her new album has made her a hit. Cardi has reached a goal in her life, and will only go up from here. From the Bronx to Fame, here comes Cardi!

Cardi B has been talented throughout her life, and is influenced by her childhood. Cardi was born Belcalis Almanzar to a Dominican father and a Trinidadian mother. Her hispanic heritage has always been special to her. In the song “I Like It (Explicit)” featuring Puerto Rican Rapper Bad Bunny and Columbian lite-reggaeton star J Balvin, this heritage is clear.  Cardi B came from Washington Heights in the Bronx, and was born there. In 2017, everyone in the Bronx started noticing Cardi and posting her, then eventually she posted her No.1 song Bodak Yellow, which started her career. During one of her recent concerts Cardi announced to her audience the she was pregnant, at the age of 25. Later in the show Offset, Kiari Kendrell Cephus, proposed to her. During that concert, the USA started posting so many things and started going crazy.

From these beginnings, Cardi has achieved national fame. Cardi B’s fame is on the rise. In March 2018, she had an estimated net worth of 4 million. Since "Bodak Yellow," Cardi B reached a new stage in her life and continued to make new songs. She currently holds 1 album called Invasion of Privacy, which includes 11 songs. These songs are successful because they each have a meaning to them. She didn’t just write them for no reason. The songs “Best Life”, “I do”, and “Thru Your Phone” are a perfect examples of this. In “Best Life” and “I Do” she raps about these two guys, Lil’ Kim and Too Short. In “Thru Your Phone” she raps about being convincingly broken by an untrustworthy partner. Cardi B has become the fifth most popular female artist in the USA.

Cardi B has recently came out with a new 2018 album called Invasion of Privacy. Cardi has five singles in the album. Get up ten, bicken head, ring, money bag, she bad, I do, thru your phone, and Be careful (Explicit) her 3rd ever single in her new album.  She also has songs featured with different rappers. These include "Drip" (with Migos and Offset), "Best Life" (includes positive thinking and features Chance the Rapper), and "I Like It(Explicit)" (featuring Bad Bunny and J Balvin). This is an excellent song which reworks “I Like It Like That,” the boogaloo classic by Pete Rodriguez. Cardi has clearly come far in her singing career and hopefully she will get farther in her career.  

Cardi’s fame has become unstoppable. She started in the Bronx and she’s making her way up, with rising celebrity and a great new album. As Cardi always says, “It doesn’t matter where life takes me or what life gives me. Imma be the way I am til the day I die.”

Exotic Animals Should Live in the Wild

 
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By Ava

Have you ever wanted to get an exotic pet, like a lion or a toucan? But what if I told you that millions of animals are sold in the illegal animal trade, where many of them will die. Now do you still want a pet lion? I will show you three exotic animals that do not make good pets. Even though exotic pets are cool and interesting, they don’t make good pets.

Boas are very dangerous exotic animals that don’t make good house pets. Even though boa constrictors are non-poisonous they are still as deadly as a poisonous snake. Instead of poisoning their prey boa constrictors can strangle instead, hence why they are called boa constrictors. In Omaha, Nebraska a man was strangled by his pet boa constrictor. If people don’t stop buying boa constrictors, this could happen again to another person. Besides boas there are many other exotic animals that don’t make good pets, such as monkeys.

Though monkeys are cute, they are still wild animals that are quite dangerous. Monkeys have a tendency to bite, and their bites can spread zoonotic diseases. These diseases can include viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites, which are dangerous for humans and sometimes even live threatening. This is one of the reasons why it is a bad idea to own a monkey. Even celebrities have owned monkeys, such as Justin Bieber who owned an endangered capuchin monkey. However, just because certain celebrities have owned monkeys doesn’t mean that it’s a good idea. Getting a monkey is a big responsibility because monkeys don’t mature, which makes them eternal toddlers. An example of this is when a monkey gets anxious or stressed, they throw their own feces and urine. Not only is this unsanitary but it is also dangerous. Besides monkeys and boas, Scarlet Macaws are also bad pets to have.

Scarlet Macaws do not make good pets either, especially since they are endangered.  Scarlet Macaws are very social animals that become stressed when they are left alone. If a Scarlet Macaw becomes stressed they resort to damaging furniture, plucking their own feathers, and screaming loudly. This is not only bad for the owner but also bad for the Macaw because they pull out their own feathers. Moreover, Scarlet Macaws can live to be 70+ years old. So before you get a Scarlet Macaw, you have to be ready to spend 70+ years feeding and caring for it. Besides the 3 exotic animals that I have mentioned, there are plenty more.

Having an exotic animal as a pet is a bad idea, even though they are interesting and fun. Scarlet Macaws, monkeys, and boas are good examples of types pets not to get because of how they are dangerous and hard to take care of. So next time you think about getting a monkey or a Scarlet Macaw, you probably shouldn’t.

 

Learning to Care for Animals

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By Azalea

Caring for animals is very important, and at shelter camps in the summer, kids learn how to do just that! At a program called "Backyard Buddies" in Seattle, Washington, kids learn how to help wild life. They collect branches and twigs for bird nests, and they collect nuts and food for them to eat. There is a chain of programs across the country called "PAWS" where kids learn how to handle animals with care. They learn how to be gentle with small mammals so they don't get scared. There are plenty of animal shelter camps across the US, and they're all good places to learn how to be kind and caring to animals.

The Electric World of Eels

By Alexandra

Have you ever been shocked by an eel? Well, Dr. Kenneth C. Catania, an eel specialist, spent hours studying these slimy green sea creatures, uncovering what was really behind the power of their shock. In a 2014 study, Catania measured the power of the shock, and in 2015, a new study showed the way eels deliver their shock. Catania’s work reveals the true power of eels and the way they see the world.

On December 2014, Dr. Kenneth C. Catania made the fascinating discovery that eels can be used for technology, also known as ‘batteries.’ He used video footage from Vanderbilt University, and found out that an eel’s shock gives out 600 volts, and 400 electric pulses a second. Even though Dr. Catania works with these animals all the time he comments, “It’s extraordinary to me.” Catania’s goal was to measure how powerful an eel’s shock and sting is, and his discovery shows an eel’s shock is five times the power of a United States wall socket. Catania discovered the surprising power of eels.

Because of their strange appearance, distance from us, and our little knowledge of these creatures, many people misunderstand and fear electric eels. Eels live in the Amazon and Orinoco basins of South America, where they have cylindrical bodies, flattened heads, and dark green, yellowish-gray skin. It is rare to die from an electrocution, however it is possible if you have heart failure. Sometimes you can even drown from a stunning jolt. Even though electric eels can be frightening, they are only trying to survive, and have no intention of hurting humans. If we overcome our fear of eels we will be able to realize how interesting and fascinating eels can be.

Dr. Catania continued to learn how eels shock their prey. He discovered this in June 2015, by entering a fake arm into a tank with an electric eel. Lights in the arm light up when the eel strikes, so they know that nerves are being stung. This shows that eels electrify their prey by simulating their prey’s nerves. These control its muscles and cause them to freeze, and doing this makes it easier for eels to scoop up prey. Also Catania discovered that eels can make short jumps out of the water to sting their prey. According to Catania, this attack is “both literally and figuratively shocking.” He learned this from the famous battle between horses and eels  that Alexander von Humboldt witnessed about 200 years ago, when eels jumped out of the water attacking the horses with their electric shock. Because of Catania’s dedication to the study of eels, we now know more about these creatures’ ability.

In the end, Dr. Kenneth C. Catania’s discovery now makes us realize the beauty of the ocean and all the creatures and animals in it. The studies in 2014 and 2015 give us a greater perspective on an eel’s shock. After Catania’s study, the question remains: how do eels get their energy or electricity to give their shock, and how did these strange animals come to be?

Earliest Homo Sapiens to Ever Live

By Bailey

If you thought Lucy was the oldest Homo sapiens, you're wrong. Archaeologists in Morocco have recently found bones of Homo sapiens that date 140,000 years before Lucy.  Although there is not enough evidence to conclude this was a whole new species, there is enough to tell it changes everything we thought we knew.  Knowing more about paleontology will lead us to who our ancestors really were.

Earlier this June, archeologists found Homo sapiens bones that lived earlier than Lucy in Morocco. The Homo Sapiens that were found were 3 young adults, 1 adolescent, and 1 child that was about 8 years old. We know the bones were of these ages because of the extent of the size the bones have grown. Scientists have an algorithm to find the age of bones. The bones were found in a rock layer that they know is 300,000 years old, so therefore the bones are 300,000 years old. Homo sapiens will remain a mystery for some time until we figure out how to interpret this information.

This discovery changes what we thought we knew about our ancestors.  For millions of years, Homo sapiens remained very ape-like. They had small brains, and were short and could only use basic stone tools. Homo sapiens were still half ape so they were not as smart as humans today. The bones of Lucy were excavated in Ethiopia so she was there at some time, but the new discovery in Morocco suggests that our ancestors came from all over. This changes the theory that all humans came from the same place within Ethiopia. Scientists will be arguing how to interpret this data for many years.

When paleontologists learn more about what came before us we can understand who we really are. Knowing what came before us can help us learn more about our world that we live in. Overall, the bones that were found in Morocco were an amazing discovery for everyone.

Reusable Spaceships at SpaceX

By Nicholas

Have you ever wanted to go to space? At Elon Musk’s SpaceX, the first private company to go to the ISS, scientists and engineers have been working to make space travel less expensive. SpaceX has made reusable rocketry possible with its new spaceship, the Falcon 9. The Falcon 9 lowered the cost of space travel and made it possible to use the same rocket multiple times, because of the genius of the engineering behind it. If this type of progress continues, it will become possible for many more people to go to space.

The Falcon 9, a new type of reusable spaceship, has lowered the cost of spaceships dramatically. This new type of spaceship made the cost of building orbital class spaceships drop from 90 million dollars to 62 million dollars. However, companies would like to lower the price of taking someone to space to around 30 million dollars for the first flight. With more progress, they could make the price of spaceships go down to even less than 30 million dollars.

Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX, believes that reusability is “just as fundamental in rocketry as it is in other forms of transport - such as cars or planes or bicycles.” He believes that he can make space travel much cheaper and affordable: “if one can figure out how to effectively reuse rockets just like airplanes, the cost of access to space will be reduced by as much as a factor of a hundred.” If this truly happens, and the price of spaceships can go down by a factor of a hundred, then he could move the price of making a spaceship from 62 million dollars to just 620 thousand dollars, making space much more affordable. This can be accomplished through the technology building over time at SpaceX.

At 5:21 P.M. on March 30th 2017, SpaceX sent the first reusable cargo ship to the ISS, from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A), which made it out of orbit and sent the engine back to a drone ship on the earth. Later, the Dragon would return from the ISS, becoming the first reusable cargo ship. At 5:07 P.M. on the next day, SpaceX was about to send the returned cargo ship back up to the ISS. When it reached the ISS, it was to become the first returning spaceship ever, but the flight was delayed 2 days because of thunderstorms. In spite of this setback, the mission continued. Two days later, at 3:00 P.M., they tried again to launch the recycled ship which landed on the ISS, becoming the first returning spaceship. This was an important breakthrough in the realm of reusable spaceships.

The Falcon 9 is a new combination of the Dragon Spacecraft and the Merlin thrusters, which further increases the efficiency of these rockets. According to SpaceX’s Falcon 9 page, the Dragon is a “fully autonomous spacecraft designed to transport cargo and ultimately people to and from orbit.” It has 1 Merlin Engine specially modified to work in the vacuum, and 9 Merlin Engines to allow the ship to exit the atmosphere. It can also re-enter the atmosphere safely onto a drone ship because of its landing legs. The engines are active for 162 seconds, allowing for a thrust of 8,227 kN (1,849,503 LBS) while in a vacuum and a thrust of 7,607 kN (1,710,122 LBS) at sea level. This design allows for reusability in spaceships, and will ultimately allow for less expensive space travel.

The promise of the Falcon 9 will eventually lead to space travel being generally accessible. The cost, process, and workings of the Falcon 9 and eventually other ships will all be improved in the years of research to come. With research like this happening all the time, maybe we can even use interstellar spaceships to travel between stars.

Hackers, Malwares, and Disasters

By Ashley

Have you or anyone you know ever been hacked, or experienced a blackout?  Many countries around the world are concerned about the growing threat of the Russian government and their hackers, and the possibility that they could cause those kinds of disasters to reliable technology.  In 2016 and currently in 2017, the United States government has discovered more ways that Russia has become superior in cyberwarfare.  The U.S. is still trying to gather more information, including from the cyber attack in Ukraine, and different malwares the U.S. has found before they were put into action.  The general public and the military need to know and understand more about cyberwarfare.

Last December, Russian hackers snuck in and hid a preprogrammed genuine malware cyber bomb into a computer control room located in Kiev, Ukraine.  The cyber bomb was able to shut down part of Kiev’s power grid, and caused a terrible blackout.  The cyber bomb was put into action at 11:53, on December 16, 2016, and left 225,000 people without power, and in darkness for 75 minutes. Security researcher Robert Lee, CEO of Dragos, the first cybersecurity ecosystem, says that, “the malware wasn’t built as a one-time weapon. It’s designed from the ground up to be easily reconfigured for a variety of targets and contains some payloads that weren’t even fired off in the Kiev attack.”  United States’s power companies are worrying that the hackers are planning to attack the U.S., and poses a great threat towards the country’s reliability systems, such as infrastructure in hospitals.  The United States is trying to decide how they can defend against these cyber weapons if they ever targeted the U.S.

Dragos, the cybersecurity firm mentioned earlier, studied the malware found in one of Kiev’s computer control rooms, and found that, “ it could be deployed against U.S. electric transmission and distribution systems to devastating effect” says Sergio Caltagirone, director of threat intelligence for Dragos.  Dragos has named the disastrous malware that shuts down electrical power grids, “Crash Override.”  The malware was made from scratch, which could mean that the Russian hackers could have many more wherever they are built them.  The malware fortunately can not cause any major blackouts, but only small regional blackouts for about an hour, which can still cause a devastating effect.  Although the United States knows much more about the Russian hackers than about two years ago, they are still trying to figure out effective ways to stop cyber attacks from Russian malwares.  

The attack on part of Kiev has had an important impact on the United States’ approach on the hacking against the U.S. and other countries. If they did not know about the cyber attack, they probably would not know that Russia has already developed a working and effective weapon.  What is the next step in fighting against the threat of Russia, and protecting the citizens of the United States?

Real Madrid's Success

By Romeo

Have you ever won something so big you can remember the feeling and the joy you had when you won it? Well that is exactly how the whole team of Real Madrid felt on June 3, 2017, especially Cristiano Ronaldo, who has been on Real Madrid for 10 years and has won three Champions League trophies with the team, making him one of the most accomplished players in the game. In the last three years Real Madrid won two Champions League trophies, showing Ronaldo’s dominance, which has grown over time. Real Madrid has proven to be one of the best soccer clubs in the world, if not the best club in the world, with their star Cristiano Ronaldo.

On June 3rd, 2017 at 2:45 Real Madrid played against Juventus in the Champions League finals. The Champions League finals was hosted in Cardiff, Wales. Real Madrid defeated Juventus 4 to 1. By the end of the match, Real Madrid showed the world not to mess with them. Cristiano Ronaldo, who is the left winger for Real Madrid, scored the first goal to give Real Madrid the lead. A few minutes later, Mario Mandzukic scored an amazing bicycle kick goal to tie the game up. At the 60th minute Casemiro the Brazilian midfielder scored a banging shot from outside of the box. Later Cristiano Ronaldo scored another amazing goal to seal the deal for Real Madrid. At the 90th minute, Marco Asensio scored the most important goal of his career to give Real Madrid a for sure win. Even though Juventus is one of best teams in the world, Real Madrid made them look like all other normal teams that they play.

Winning the Champions League is a very big deal to all soccer clubs but winning it twice in a row is even more crazy. Last year, Real Madrid played against Atletico Madrid and won, showing their dominance. The score was tied 1-1 at the end of the game, so the game went to penalties. Juanfran, a defender for Atletico Madrid, missed his penalty. If Ronaldo scored his penalty, Real Madrid would win. This put all the pressure on Ronaldo’s back. If he scored they'd win, but if he missed they would have to take more penalties. Of course Ronaldo scored and won the Champions League final for Real Madrid. That made Real Madrid the only team ever to win two Champions League finals in a row. Rory Smith wrote “Real Madrid’s title was its 12th, extending its record, and its third in four years.” These two victories show that Real Madrid is by far one of the best soccer clubs in the world. Real’s success would never have happened without Ronaldo

Starting at nothing, Ronaldo has excelled to the top of the sport of soccer.  Cristiano Ronaldo was born February 5, 1985 in Funchal, Madeira, Portugal. His parents’ names were Maria Dolores and Jose Dinis Aveiro. In 2003, Manchester United signed the 18 year old Cristiano Ronaldo for 12 million pounds. This was the start of something really big. In the 2004 FA Cup Final he scored a hat-trick to seal the deal and win the championship for Manchester United. This was one of the greatest days for Ronaldo.  However, 2007 was a bad year for Ronaldo. His mom had breast cancer. He was very close to his mom and was always there. His dad also died that year, because of alcohol abuse. It made Ronaldo very mad that his dad died because Ronaldo always tried to make his dad go to rehab for his drinking problem. Two years later, Ronaldo got an offer by Real Madrid to come play for the club. Real Madrid offered 131 million dollars. Ronaldo told reporters, “It means a new challenge and is going to help me be the best footballer." This attitude shows that Ronaldo wants to be the best player in the world. Ronaldo has been a pro soccer player for 14 years now and is still one of the greatest soccer players to ever play the game of soccer. He will be remembered for ever and will always be a hero of this sport.  

All of these accomplishments prove that Real Madrid is the greatest club and Ronaldo is the greatest player. Madrid’s victories in the last two Champions League finals place them in a category that is above all other teams. Ronaldo gave it his all to become the greatest player in the world. Will any player ever be the next Ronaldo?  

The Power of Rivalry

By Matthew

Have you ever had a rivalry with someone on a sports team? Well, the Golden State Warriors have an ongoing rivalry with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The rivalry is fueled by trash talk, and newly drafted players play a big role in helping their team, but in the end there has to be a winner. The rivalry between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors is a great example of why billions of people around the world play and watch sports.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have an ongoing rivalry with the Golden State Warriors.  But in 2017, the Warriors were seeking redemption because of their loss in 2016. The Warriors are doing great as they won the NBA final to end the trash talk. But Kyrie Irving even admitted some extra trash talk is actually motivating. Trash talk is another source of motivation; if a player talks trash to the opposing team, then that team will want to make it to the finals and prove them wrong. Another good source of motivation is knowing they lost to the same team last year. Harvey Araton said that, “The N.B.A. is the most top-heavy of our professional sports leagues, the most predictable in preseason every season, ruled through the years by a chosen few.” The two main teams that have been making it to the NBA finals are the Cav’s and the Warriors, so it makes sense that their rivalry is growing.  

The Warriors have a new player who has helped Golden State to rise to an even higher level. Even though Kevin Durant is a newbie he is amazing at scoring and defence, and his height allows him to get rebounds easily. Although the Warriors have Kevin Durant they did not need him to get to the finals, but they needed him to win the finals. Kevin Durant is not the only new player who has helped the Warriors a lot; he is just the best out of the new players. There are also other other good new players like JaVale McGee, Matt Barnes, David West, and other great newbies. The newly drafted players have not only been helpful but they have also transformed the Golden State Warriors into an unstoppable, undefeatable, NBA team.

At the end, in game five, the Warriors won 129 to 120. Golden State went home with joy, but Lebron was not mad. In fact Lebron even said the Warriors are “built to last.” He meant that the new and young players are factors that make Golden State so great. The younger the players are usually means that the greatness of that team would last. However, the cycle will start again, because the Cav’s will try even harder to beat the Warriors and seek a chance to redeem themselves next year.                                

The rivalry between the Warriors and the Cav’s has grown to be more than just a rivalry. Kevin Durant and all the other new players on the Warriors added to their team’s greatness, and in the end the Warriors won the 2017 NBA finals. This means the Cav’s and the Warriors could remain the best teams in the NBA. Which team will step up to beat the Warriors next year?

Reviving Extinct Species: What’s the Cost?

By Nicholas

Have you ever wanted to ride a Wooly Mammoth? With the advances in cloning technology, scientists believe that they will be able to clone extinct animals in a few years to a decade. They would impregnate close relatives of the extinct animal making a cross breed of the two species. Bringing back extinct animals is both threatening to our ecosystem and cruel towards animals, so we should not use funding to research it.

Cloning extinct animals poses a threat to our ecosystem because we don't know what their effect on it would be. The reason that many animals went extinct if humans didn’t kill them was because they couldn’t adapt to the environment effectively, or because some other species killed them. Even scientist Hank Greely, an expert in cloning technology, agreed that “They could turn out to be pests in this new environment,” because many  of them have been dead for hundreds of years. Because of their unknown effects on the environment, these animals would be held under lock and key while being continually tested.

Attempting to clone extinct animals causes much pain to both the surrogate mothers who are supposed to give birth to the clones of the extinct species, and to the clones themselves. If we released the clones into the world it could cause many problems, but it is also cruel to make the clone spend its whole life being studied under lock and key. In an attempt to clone the Bucardo, an animal that went extinct in 2000, researchers tried to impregnate 57 different animals, but only 7 were impregnated. Of the 7 that got pregnant 6 had miscarriages, and 1 gave birth to a mix of its species and the extinct species which suffocated within 10 minutes of its birth because of an extra, large lobe that it had grown in its lung. Why keep on researching something that makes animals suffer and not spend time and money on other things?

Attempting to clone animals requires rigorous testing and lots of funding that we could be pointing towards climate change or finding and protecting new species of animals. We don't even have the guarantee that the animals would be the same as they were before they became extinct. In fact, they would be a crossbreed of the extinct animal and the first surrogate mother’s species. John Wiens asked, “Why invest millions of dollars in bringing a handful of species back from the dead, when there are millions still waiting to be discovered, described, and protected?” Many other scientists such as Glenn Albrecht believe that it is also “futile and a gross waste of money,” leading me to believe that though there are many scientists who think that bringing back extinct animals is a good idea, there are many that believe it is a horrible idea.

Scientists who believe that cloning animals is a good idea mostly just believe the same thing that Greely does: that “it’s really cool.” They think that it would be interesting to be able to see some type of long-extinct animal without considering all the suffering that they are making animals feel because they think it’s “cool”. The argument that scientists should be able to do it because “it’s really cool” is a mockery of non-human life. Humans are not the only living things; other animals have lives too.

We have no idea what effects extinct animals would have on the ecosystem and cloning is like torture for animals, so we should not invest millions of dollars of funding into the invention of it. Maybe one day cloning will be viable and cruelty free, but until that day we should not bring any type of animal back to life and instead focus on keeping the ones we have alive.