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.

Is the City the Best Place for a Young Person to Live?

By Bailey

Will you live in a city when you’re in your 20’s? In the last decade there was a large rise in young adults in their 20’s who are moving to cities. These millennials are turning cities into desirable places, with lively culture and desirable jobs. Once you get out of college you should move to a city because you will have more opportunities there.

Over the last few years, lots of cities in America have been altered by millennials. These cities have been turned into desirable places to live. These young people are bringing in new businesses that are modern and fun to be in. The experience of living in a city is profound. Because of this group of new young people the city have become a fast-paced, exciting place to live.

Cities can provide a hip environment with a colorful and lively lifestyle because of their fun entertainment. In cities there are are many more fun things to do, like go to a museum, or shopping with friends, going to restaurants, and some of the best entertainment you will see nowhere  else.  You can meet so many different kinds of people and notice how much diversity there is. Because of these amazing entertainment options the city has become a fast-paced, exciting place to live.

Cities have jobs that can be better than suburbs . Some cities, especially big ones by water, like New York and San Francisco, have more “city like jobs,” like business and just normal jobs.  But now, urban job growth is increasing more quickly in those cities than before. Because of these amazing jobs the city has become a fast-paced, exciting place to live.

In your 20’s living in a city is better than living in the suburbs. Overall you should live in a city because cities in America have been altered by millennials, cities can provide a hip environment with a colorful and lively lifestyle, and the desirable jobs that are fun for you. So, what are you waiting for!

Digital Identity: How are you Portraying Yourself on Social Media?

By Lizzie

On social media, are we millennials really presenting who we are or are we presenting a hyper-idealistic version of ourselves? Teens are drawn to social media like moths drawn to a flame. About 90 percent of U.S. internet users visit a social media site each month. Clearly, social media is a popular place on the internet for millennials to post pictures with captions about their life. Although there are many benefits to social media, it is often misused. Many kids, especially young girls, are portraying themselves as people that they're not on social media. Instead of creating a false persona, a healthy social media presence should be aligned with a real sense of identity. 

Social media is a great outlet to share your life with friends and family, but many young girls today misuse this great tool in pursuit of approval from their peers. It has been argued that the social media effect creates a false sense of self and self-esteem through the use of likes, fans, comments, posts, etc. For many social media users, it is an esteem booster, which explains why so many people spend so much time on social media. It provides many individuals with a false sense of self and an inflated sense of who they really are.  

Because of this, the version of ourselves we show on social media is not who we really are. New research conducted by the Girl Scouts indicates that many teens are reinventing themselves. In a 2010 survey of more than 1,000 girls about how they portrayed themselves online:

- 74% of girls agree that “most girls my age use social networking sites to make themselves look cooler than they really are,” and 41% admit this describes them.

-Most girls portray themselves as more well-rounded in person than online.

Girls with low self-esteem are more likely to admit that their social networking image doesn’t match their in-person image (33% compared to 18% of girls with high self-esteem). Interestingly, 56% agree that social networks help them feel closer and more connected with their friends, but only 30% think that social networks have increased the quality of their relationships. Evidently, this is a very common theme for teens today. 

How can you make sure you online portrayal is what you want? Here is my top 5 list for keeping a healthy profile online:

  1. Don't post any pictures you wouldn't want your Grandma seeing. Remember, anyone who follows you can see "that picture of you in a bikini." 
  2. Remember, fake profiles DO exist. Anyone can create an account posing as a 13 year old girl, who is actually a 31 year old man. Be aware of this.
  3. Before you let someone follow you, a good rule of thumb for Instagram is: When someone requests to follow you, and you click on their account it will usually say, "followed by ___________, __________, __________. Those in the blanks are people you know and/or follow. If the person that is requesting to follow you and yourself have mutual friends, it is most likely ok for them to follow you. 
  4. Make sure you are always keeping up your relationships in real life, not just on social media. Technology is powerful, but real life communications are always the better route.
  5. See the world! Leave your phone at home for once! Make sure you are actually seeing the world in person, not just through a camera.

So, what are you waiting for? Go be with your friends in family! Go see the world! Leave your phone at home. It will always be there when you come back. Don't let someone determine who you are, or will be. Be who YOU want to be on social media, and in real life. 

Are you Ready for Halo 6?

By Aidan

Are you a Halo superfan? 343i's new release to be announced in E3 2018, Halo 6, is theupcoming Halo game in the "Reclaimer" saga. This successful franchise is coming out with this new release, but the Halo Community has some speculations and wishes for it. There are still many questions and rumors about the next Halo, but we will find out the truth in 2018.

The "Halo" franchise is one of the most successful franchises on the Xbox consoles. The series has been around since 2001, and will "continue through the next 20 years," Franchise Manager Frank O' Connor says. The fact that the series has been around for so long shows that the franchise is very successful. The most popular Halo game is Halo 3 with over 12.1 million sales. This was Bungie's greatest release before 343 industries took over, and this shows that Halo is a great franchise. After Bungie left the development of Halo, 343 Industries took over and made Halo 4 and 5, which the fans didn't love as much. The sales in Halo were going down, and 343i was a bit more unsuccessful with the franchise. Halo has been successful for many years, but now that the sales have been going down, fans are hoping for a better story in the upcoming release.

Halo 6 is the new upcoming Halo game in its series. Halo 6 has no current release date, but it is to be announced at E3 2018. Instead, Microsoft has announced the Xbox One X. Microsoft announced this consle as a "teaser" to what Halo fans will be playing on. 343i is trying match the story of Halo 3, for it was thrilling and very exciting. The fact that 343i is trying to create a good story means they listen to their fans. Even though Halo 6 may be exciting, there are many wishes from fans.

Fans are very hyped for the next Halo but there are some speculations and wishes they would like in it. In the last game, there was no split-screen play, which is an iconic element in Halo. Fans are really hoping for this to return in Halo and hopefully 343i will do so. Also, in Halo 5, the story lacked the main character, Master Chief. The Halo community is dying to see if the next Halo will have this iconic character in the next story. It appears fans want more of the mode called "Firefight" at the launch, for in Halo 5 it was almost a year before firefight came out. The fans want this because they miss the old games that incorporated that game mode.This new game is getting a lot of excitement from fans, but we won't know if it will be the best until later.

There are still many questions and rumors about the next Halo, to be discovered in 2018. Even though Halo is a best selling franchise, with passionate speculation about its new story, new games may be stealing its fire in the future. Halo fans may get what they want, or be very disappointed.

The Starbucks Evolution

By Sami

Do you know how many people go to Starbucks every day? A little more than 5 million. Even though they have so many customers they are responding to competition from Panera and Dunkin' Donuts, and Starbucks used the unicorn frappuccino idea to draw in customers. Starbucks is making every move to deal with the competition and to pull in business.

Panera is trying to take Starbucks’ customers. According to Anna Dale, “Starbucks is still in the consumer mind a very coffee-led concept.” Panera offers a bigger menu for the customers. Starbucks Chief Executive Officer Kevin Johnson is “betting big on food.” He made a big deal in the news the other day about Starbucks food. Starbucks has added fancier menu items, including sous vide egg bites, for there is a better selection of food. This is so they will get more customers. Starbucks is responding to Panera by changing their strategy.

Dunkin' Donuts is also trying to take Starbucks customers. The first day of spring Dunkin' Donuts gave out free ice coffee. Starbucks chief executive made a big deal on food the other day. Despite building an identity as a coffee seller, food is still an important element of Dunkin' Donuts' offering. Starbucks brands itself primarily as a beverage provider that offers a more typical coffee house dining experience.  Starbucks is getting  hard competition from both places.

Starbucks began selling “unicorn Frappuccinos” as a way to pull in customers. They got they idea from Adeline Wauge after she made a video talking about her unicorn idea. Starbucks did this because they saw how many people were watching her video and loved it. Starbucks spokeswoman said there was no one we could interview about how they make a unicorn Frappuccino.

That’s because they did not want others to take their idea about the unicorn food. Starbucks is having a hard time with all of the competition  that they are getting, and because of that they're trying new things.

Starbucks is making every move to deal with the competition and to pull in business. Even though they have so many customers they are responding to competition from Panera and Dunkin' Donuts,and Starbucks used the unicorn idea to draw in customers. We will have to what and see if all the things that starbucks have done helps them succeed.  

Nintendo's First Lawsuit

By Faatima

The Nintendo Switch has been very popular ever since it came out. It sold out in almost every store! Nintendo has since made over 2 million dollars from the Nintendo switch. It is mostly known for its detachable controllers. Nintendo was doing so well with the switch along with the 3ds and Wii U. However Gamevice, a game company, has sued Nintendo for these detachable controllers.

On August 6th, 2017 Nintendo was sued by Gamevice for the Nintendo Switch’s design. This is because Switch is too close to Gamevices design.  Even though the Switch and the Gamevice controller are different products, there may be some truth to this argument that the Switch is trying to compete with Gamevice products. The Switch is a device which the Nintendo users can use to play with at home and while they are on the go. The sides of the console’s controller are detachable. They can be attached to a tablet and can be carried anywhere.

The detachable controllers are what they have been sued for though. Gamevice is suing for damages for the “irreparable injury” caused to its business by Nintendo violating its patent, and the company is asking a court to block Nintendo from “making,  using, selling, and offering for sale the Nintendo Switch. Nintendo and Gamevice have been pretty quiet on the lawsuit with both refusing requests from multiple outlets to speak on the matter. This is showing that there is not much information on this lawsuit which is creating curiosity in the gaming community

The WikiPad and the Nintendo SwItch can actually be very similar to each other. One example is that they both have detachable parts (Nintendo has the detachable controllers and Gamevice has the detachable tablet). Along with that they both have a tablet that comes with it. Other than that there is not much that the Switch and the WikiPad have in common.

The results have been silent on this lawsuit. Will Nintendo have to pay or will Gamevice have to stop selling the Switch? The answer will come down soon.

Gaming in China

By Kaiser

Do you think video games should be violent? In America you play video games a lot, but in China there are a lot of bans for playing video games.  In China they are changing certain parts of video games, because there are different restrictions, and so the future of video games is uncertain. The culture in China affects video games which is not the rule in America.

China is ending some  video game restrictions. China had banned consoles like Xbox and Nintendo from 2000 to 2015. The console ban was enacted (put in place) by China's cultural ministry “to shield its youth from the corrupting influence of games.” In 2015 China ended the ban. That meant 1.379 billion people get to play those games. The point of this is after they put video game restrictions they ended it and many companies are getting into China.

When Wizard101 is played in China they are changing things in the game. As Wizard101 is being played in China they are changing skeletal enemies into non skeletal enemies because there is a law against showing certain pieces of art that relate to exposed bones. “ Whenever we had a skeleton walking around, that was seen as being disrespectful for the dead,” according to an employee,  so they spent hours looking for bones to cover.  According to a worker at the game company, “there can’t be any sight of blood, so we make it black. There can’t be words like ‘kill’ or ‘die’, and use of English is banned.” This affects a lot of games like Wizard101, Pirate101, and many other violent games. In China there are more rules about games which means there making changes to American games.

In the future everybody in China has different opinions about how video games will grow. Authorities in China are banning Pokémon Go as well as similar augmented reality games. That means they’re continuing to put rules on gaming. However more and more  people are playing and companies are worried about addiction. One company named Tencent is planning to limit the time to be able to play games.  As Reuters  reports, “the Chinese internet will begin limiting play time for users below the age of 18 on Tuesday. Players under the age of 12 will be limited to one hour of playing per day and will be blocked from accessing the game after 9PM.” Tencent notes that “users between 12 and 18 years old will have a two-hour daily limit.” This could affect future video games because of addiction.

Making video games in China is hard because there are a lot of restrictions.  Now since China is ending restrictions they are changing parts to the video games like Wizard101. Nobody knows what is going to happen.  Americans may think these rules are very weird but in China it is normal.

The Spinner Craze

By Gaby

Have you joined the craze of fidget spinners? Well, they are no longer found in schools, though more than 30 million spinners have been sold. Schools banned them for negative reasons even though there are also positive reasons  according to pediatricians. After considering the facts you can choose what you think.

There are many pro’s about using fidget spinners at school. Fidget spinners help people stay focused, and  it can keep your hands busy, so you can focus on the teacher. This shows that they are positive to learning because kids with ADHD can learn more easily. Studies show that fidget spinners are a good social activity they make a lot kids feel included.  This shows that  fidget spinners are more than a toy because it becomes a connection with other kids. Fidget spinners also help students expel nervous energy. This is important because if they expel nervous energy they can probably be able to do better in school. All of this shows that fidget spinners are positive and helpful to kids in a learning environment.

Although there are many good things about fidget spinners, you should also consider  all the not so great stuff about fidget spinners. Not all kids need the same amount of sensory input ( fidgets) to be successful.  This shows that not all kids need fidget spinners to help them with problems in school. For some people, it could make it even worse.  Fidget spinners are a distraction for some people that don’t need them. It can cause them to do worse in school because it can make them  worried about the fidget and then take their eyes off the teacher.  This proves that fidget spinners have a negative impact on people. If they use it too much as a fidget it can become a toy instead of a therapy tool.   Toys are not allowed in school so this is a distraction, and it should not be allowed in school.  Overall, this shows the con’s of fidget spinners and how they are negative in a school environment and they can cause issues.

Schools have banned fidget spinners, because they have been focusing on the con’s instead of the pro’s.  Principals started banning fidget spinners from their schools because they are a distraction and they are unnecessary. Clearly, principals have been  listening to critics about fidget spinners. "Kids are trading them or spinning them instead of writing," Ellison said. This shows how they can not be useful in class and just become a distraction and this is why they made the ban; anyway a lot of people disagree with them.  A lot of people disagree with this ban because they didn't just start banning fidget spinners they started banning all fidgets. This could really affect kids with ADHD which could lead to them having trouble focusing.  This is a big controversy between people in schools today.

All these conflicting facts prove that fidget spinners cause disagreements.  Though there are pro’s and con’s most schools only focus on the con’s which lead to a ban of fidget spinners. This is wrong because there are people who need fidgets, and schools are taking it away from them. Maybe the school could take notice of each individual and focus on their needs and make separate rules for them.

Los Angeles vs. Mendez

By Ani

Imagine you were sleeping in your house, and you heard a knock at the door. Three police walk in and start shooting at you. How would you feel? Well that’s how Angel Mendez and his wife felt one night in 2010.  A recent development in this case changes the legal rights of police officers. After years of argument over the Mendez case, this decision will have an impact on future police invasions. The supreme court’s rulings strengthen the power of police, even if they make a mistake.

Recently, the Supreme Court has ruled that it is legal for a police officer to shoot you if you pull a toy gun in the case Los Angeles County v. Mendez.  In 2010, a police officer looking for a wanted man entered a house, saw a man holding a rifle sohe shot him, but it turns out he pulled a toy gun.  The legal situation of this was not really about the shooting. It was more about that at the when they pulled their triggers, the police must have believed that they were in danger. The reason that there was an argument in the first place is because the police entered without a warrant which isn't legal. This shows that the police made a mistake, but they might have felt unsafe when fake gun was pulled at them. The couple might have felt unsafe also when the police went into their house also. So it was like one big misunderstanding. All of these unexpected events caused lots of confusion and fear, and it resulted in this very interesting and legal case.

His case has taken many interesting turns. In 2010, Angel Mendez, who lost his right leg below the knee in the shooting sued the county and was awarded 4 million dollars because of the damage.  This decision satisfied the Mendez family and the county left it alone for seven years.  Seven years later, in 2017, the county took the money away after this new court case.  That is when the court ruled that is was legal for the police to go into the home. You might argue that it Is violating the fourth amendment because the police officers did not knock. The police still won the case. It wasn't really constitutional, but since the house was technically a shack, they might not have known.

Now that the supreme court has ruled that police men can just search your house, what does this mean for the people?  The future of police men barging into your house does not look good for the people.  If police can just legally just come in and search your house, how will that affect peoples private lives? For police men, this means more rights as you might guess. What the police men will do with their new rights is unknown. I hope the police men make good choices.

The end of this case gave police many more rights. The case did take seven years to make a final decision, but in the end, Los Angeles County won the case. Do you think that Mendez should have won the case, or the police were fully in their rights to enter the home and shoot. What does this case mean for every one else who are faced with a police invasion? 

Dresscodes: Unfair for Girls!

By Sami

Have you ever been dress coded? Girls everywhere are being dress coded for the most unfair things in the world. Dress codes prevent freedom of the students. Dress codes don't work. These dress codes are so unfair to girls and should be removed. 

Dress codes are unfair to girls all over the world who havebeen dress coded for a tank top and shorts. This is unfair because BOYS CAN WEAR WHATEVER THEY WANT. They have the same rules as us, but they don't get dress coded. This is unfair, because this is America and we all have the same rights. And who wants to end up in a uniform? According to the Anti-Defamation League, “In recent years, a desire to stop conflict over designer labels and create a more “professional”  school environment resulted in dress codes and uniforms becoming more popular.” This shows that unfair dress codes are on the rise. 

Dress codes don't give the students the freedom of speech that they desire. People have to wear what the school says to wear and not what they want. School districts will lose most of the cases against parents and students if they where brought to court. At one high school dance, the girls could not wear dresses. Now that is what I call unfair! This was because they were afraid of what the girls were going to wear. But they have no clue what they would wear; they’re taking other things from other events and making it a part of this one. 

But if the girls wear the clothes that are primarily being offered to them, do we have a problem here? Many think we do, including Catherine Pearlman, a mother of two who wrote a funny letter to her daughter's middle school principal in a blog post for that was viewed more than 2 million times. Pearlman said “her daughter, now 13, had been told in the fall by a teacher that she couldn't wear yoga pants because the boys would get turned on and then be embarrassed.”

Then, for two days in a row, her daughter, who is 5 feet 7 inches tall, was told she violated the school's dress code for wearing shorts that were too short: They are supposed to be longer than students' fingertips when they have their arms at their sides. She had to put on boys' gym shorts instead and return to class. This shows that dress codes are unfair to girls and don't work. 

For all of these reasons, dress codes are unfair to girls. They are unfairly applied to girls, they restrict freedom of speech, and they don’t always work. Dress codes are like chains that keep everyone from being free. 

The Problem with Pokemon Go

By Kaiser

Do you think Pokemon Go is good or bad? Pokemon Go is the most played game ever with 7.2 million downloads in the first week, according to Kids play Pokemon Go, teenagers play Pokemon Go, adults play Pokemon Go. I think Pokemon Go can take over lots of things because it puts you in dangerous situations, and I think it is bad for driving. I really think Pokemon Go is a bad, bad game. Pokemon Go is a bad, addicting game.

I think Pokemon Go can take over screen time and play time. I read that one kid that was playing Pokemon Go was playing for seven hours; it can make people want to play the game all the time. I think it stops kids from doing other things like going on trips. It makes kids not want to do things that they used to do. I read one New York Times commenter who said “if you're too focused on your phone and the game then you're not going to know about your surroundings and what's going in the world.” This shows that it can affect reality in the person's perspective.  I think there are much more real things that you can do instead of playing Pokemon Go.

I believe that Pokemon Go can put you into dangerous situations in the real world. I read that Jerson Lopez de Leon, 18, died after being shot along with his 17-year-old cousin. The two broke into a home in Guatemala in an attempt to catch a Pokémon, the Daily Mirror reported. The teen’s death is the first reported fatality related to the game. This proves that misusing Pokemon Go can be dangerous. I read that two men in their early 20s “fell an estimated 50 to 90 feet down a cliff in Encinitas,” while playing Pokemon Go. This is another way of Pokemon Go being dangerous. These examples prove Pokemon Go can put you into dangerous situations in the real world.

Pokemon Go is an AR game which is bad for driving. I know in Baltimore a driver that was playing Pokemon Go crashed into a car. I think AR  games can be good when you are playing in a building but it can be bad while driving. I read when you are driving you need to look at the road not play Pokemon Go. I think Pokemon Go can be a good game but you don’t play it while driving and balance screen time. This is proof that Pokemon Go is an AR game which is bad for driving

For all these reasons Pokemon Go is terrible. It takes over play time, and it puts you in dangerous situations. Pokemon Go can be harmless to some people but, it is too dangerous to be so popular.


By Gaby

Have you ever been piled up with too much homework and then had to stay up late to finish? Well, let me tell you most kids spend more than threehours on homework a night. When a student gets home they usually sit down at the table and pull out their homework. Piles of papers rise all the way to the ceiling. “Do I have to do all of this tonight? It’s due tomorrow, but I can’t finish this all in time!” the student complains.  Kids are getting stressed out from too much homework, homework doesn’t help with grades. It sometimes it can make it worse, and you could rather be doing other things with your family. For all of these reasons, we should have lesshomework than what we have right now.

We should have less homework because kids are getting stressed out by the amount of homework they have.  According to a pediatrician,“Lack of sleep and health could also have a negative impact on school performance.  During class, it is not uncommon to see students resting their heads on their arms with their eyes shut, because of stress that they are getting from homework.”  This is from a lack of sleep, because they have to stay up late to do extra homework.  Therefore, students will have more homework and so have a hard time concentrating during school.  According to a parent, she has seen her son struggling with his homework, and then getting stressed out that he will get a bad grade on that homework, because he didn’t have enough time to finish.  She has noticed that her son has been acting strange since he started getting more homework.  Giving a child too much homework is like filling a kid’s backpack with rocks.  All of this shows that kids are having too much homework and they are freaking out and getting stressed out. 

We should have less homework because homework doesn't help grades; it can even make your grades worse.  Kids are supposed to have 10 minutes of homework pergrade but kids are getting two to three times as much homework. 1st graders are supposed to have 10 minutes and 12th graders are suppose to have 120 minutes of homework.  This is proven from CNN whichsays that there is too much homework. Homework is proven not to help people with school work.  But if they stick to the ten minute rule, homework will help kids learn.   If kids stay up late, the next day they won't be able to focus in school, and then they will do even worse. What’s the point of too much homework when it doesn’t make your grades better? 

We should have less homework because you could be doing other things in that time. The previous paragraph demonstrates that homework doesn’t help, so it’s just wasting your time.  You should be able to hang out with your friends and have family time.  This will be a good way to hang out, and maybe read with your parents, so you can get school work done but also socialize with family.   You could also get more sleeping time and play time so you can get your energy out, and since you are a kid you should be out in the open.  Therefore, sleeping will actually help you do better in school.  You could be doing other things in this time instead of homework and you get to hang out, socialize,  and be out in the open. These are things kids should do.

I believe that we should have less homework because you get stressed out from too much homework, you could do other things in this time, and it can make your grades even worse. Even though my reasons persuaded you to have less homework, would you still think it would be helpful to have a little bit of homework?


By Aidan

Have you ever been "dresscoded"?  This rule is unfair to women, and has effects in various schools, but in the end, if people want to wear whatever they want, they should. So there are many arguments about why dress codes are good and bad, and I agree with both sides.

Dress codes are unfair to women that want to wear what they want to. On United Airlines, they have banned the use of leggings on aircraft. Women are outraged because that's the most comfortable thing to wear on a plane, but United thinks it's "inappropriate". Puma says "we fly in our leggings" and offered 20% off leggings if customers brought their United flight tickets in March to April. Puma realizes that their customers can't bring their leggings on United, and empathizes for them. It is sexist that women have dress codes, but the public feels that women who look "underdressed" may be a victim of sexual assault. Although this is a major problem everywhere, women shouldn't be assaulted because of what they wear. Women's clothes are being restricted in various places, but also to students in school.

School dress codes are good, but students want to express themselves. In certain schools, you need to wear uniforms to stay in school. This may feel uncomfortable for some students, because they are not wearing their own clothes, but it helps teachers know what school you are from. In schools that don't have uniforms, they have dress codes, like, no shorts above your knees. I honestly support this because it is inappropriate to show too much skin. Even though students may not enjoy dress codes and uniforms, it's for the best. 

Outside of school, you should decide what you want to wear, and nobody else. Vannesa Friedman argues "I am representing me, and I get to wear what I want, when I want." So, this proves that the public doesn't decide what you want to wear. Some people wear religious clothing, but others don't like that. Just because people are wearing religious clothing, like the niqab, doesn't make them a threat, even though many people think so. I feel it doesn't matter what you wear. It's what you want to wear.

Dress codes are good and bad, and I agree with both sides. It's unfair to women, although it can be helpful in school, outside, you should really get to wear what you want. Hopefully, in the future, people will realize that others have the right to express themselves.