Guest Bloggers


Fight by Anna

I know what it’s like to lose hope in yourself and not want to stay

I know how hard it can be to make it through a simple day

I know how tiring it can be to tell others you’re okay, when that simply isn’t the case

I know that it can be hard to pick up the pace and join the societal race

Feeling as if  everything is out of place

I understand how it can feel when you eat something and there seems to be no taste

I feel you when you don’t think you deserve to ace something because you think you aren’t worthy of such praise

I know what it’s like to fall to your knees, crying so much that your vision turns hazy

I know what it’s like when others call you lazy, but you’re trying so hard you think you’ve gone crazy

I know what it’s like to go numb to the point where nothing can faze you

I know what it’s like to think everyone has turned against you

I know what it’s like to have people shame you

I know how frustrating it is when others try to “save” you

I feel your pain, but with pain comes gain

You need to claim yourself again

Maybe not now or tomorrow, but soon

Strike back at those demons

And don’t let them scare you

For you are strong

And you need to learn to open your soul to the goodness in life

Not the negative knife that stabs you in your back

This battle is up to you

Do however you please, but please remember this

What may seem like hell now

Could actually turn your life around


Fight or Flight: the Real Effect of Pain Relievers by Gracie

As an athlete and as a female in general, there are days when I rely on advil or tylenol to keep me going. In the world we live in, relief from most any type of pain is just a few pills away; ‘pain killers’ are dealt consistently to the human population. Ibuprofen and acetaminophen are the most commonly used for a variety of different aches and illnesses. Though acetaminophen is recommended to be used for fevers, headaches, muscle aches and joint pain, it is often used for different reasons that may gain no benefit from the drug at all. Acetaminophen overdoses are actually the leading cause for calls to Poison Control Centers across the US; more than 100,000 instances per year, and each year is also responsible for more than 56,000 emergency room visits, over 25 hundred  hospitalizations, and roughly 458 deaths. The recommended doses for acetaminophen intake are manipulated and followed depending on the recipient, but there is no doubt that people are using acetaminophen consistently over the course of many days because the pain that they are using it for returns once the drug wears off every four to six hours. It is understandable that acetaminophen is not the ‘cure-all’ in the world of medicine, but at times it appears to be used as if it was. When a person is consistently ingesting any said pain reliever, not only can the body grow more immune to it, but it can also lead to an overdose or liver failure, which can eventually lead to death. Although it feels as if the pain reliever is helping to fight the root of the pain, what if it is simply tricking the brain to a flight instinct instead of a fight instinct? The flight instinct would infer that the body is choosing the path to a short period of relief instead of fighting the actual cause of it. If this were to be true, acetaminophen and many other pain relievers may actually be simple stress relievers; so is acetaminophen helping to fight pain as thought, or a triggering a flight instinct instead?

Predictions and Inferences

Because of research and previously known data, it is believed that when placed in the pain reliever group, the stress levels of the zebrafish will drop back to normal, but there will be no improvement in the root of the pain. This hypothesis is based off of the “Fight or Flight” mechanism in the brain; cortisol is a reaction hormone that occurs in the brain when under stress or blood-glucose levels are low and contributes greatly to this “Fight or Flight” response; this response lets off a temporary increase in energy production, which helps to lower stress level for a short period of time. Cortisol and many pain relievers seem to be similar in a way that they cause for a short period of relief in stress level, but may not actually be helping the root of the stress. These mechanisms which are thought to be fighting the stress may actually be triggering a flight instinct instead, for even though stress levels may drop, the cause of the stress may not actually be helped. I’ve wondered if this were true for quite a time now; you always hear about testing anxiety medications versus sugar pills, but it never seems to occur to anyone to test the legitimacy of the so called ‘pain killers’ we use on a day to day basis. So at some point, you just have to take matters into your own hands; I decided to turn my annual Scientific Discovery Project towards this issue.

Research Methods

The pain reliever being used for this project was acetaminophen. For this project, the zebrafish will have induced cardiac edema, which is inflammation around the heart caused by increased pressures on the heart. Cardiac edema is the chosen source of pain for two main reasons: it is a muscle ache, which acetaminophen is recommended for, and it includes inflammation, which acetaminophen is not recommended for; this is necessary for testing acetaminophen in all ways that it is used in humans, whether it is the recommended use or not. The acetaminophen will be given to the zebrafish following the induction of the cardiac edema for the purpose of treating the pain. For the zebrafish being as small as they are, there isn’t a specific suggested dosage. So, in comparison to a high dosage pill for humans, the zebrafish will be placed in a 50mg/L pain reliever solution. Unlike humans, the zebrafish will breathe in the medication and continuously digest extremely small dosages of the pain reliever and not get a high dosages all at once. If this would be compared to humans, it would be like a person digesting a 500 mg pain reliever continuously for 24 hours, not just consuming and digesting 500 mg every 4-6 hours.

Three groups of thirty day zero post fertilization zebrafish embryos were placed in three different petri dishes; Pain Reliever (acetaminophen) , No Pain Reliever, and Control. To start, each group besides control will be placed in a 750 ppm nitrite solution.  This solution is often used as an effective way to bring up cardiac edema in the zebrafish embryos, which is the source of pain or discomfort being used in the project.  After being in the nitrite solution for 48 hours, the zebrafish in each group were transferred into different petri-dishes with regular embryo water. After 24 hours of being in regular embryo water, the amount of zebrafish in each group that had developed a case of cardiac edema were recorded. Next, and before moving them into another petri dish, tests for the stress levels 50% of the remaining zebrafish in each group were conducted by using heart rate tests; higher heart rate is a sign of higher stress level. Note that it is common for not 100% embryonic survival, no matter the circumstances, this is why the zebrafish reproduce so often in such high numbers. Following the stress test, photographs and data of the cardiac edema in the zebrafish were collected; this was needed when determining if the pain reliever is working only for pain or if it is actually helping with the improvement of the root of the pain.  After all stress tests were recorded,  the zebrafish were transferred into separate petri dishes with the specific pain reliever solution. After being in the designated pain reliever groups for 48 hours, again stress tests were taken and data was recorded regarding the cardiac edema.  48 undisturbed hours were necessary for the zebrafish because the zebrafish breathe in the medication and continuously digest extremely small dosages of the pain reliever and not get a high dosages all at once. Once all stress test are taken, the zebrafish were again placed in their designated groups for the final 48 hours. Following those 48 hours, the final stress tests and pictures were taken.

Conclusion of Results

Data showed that just after the first 48 hours in the pain reliever solutions, the average heart rate of the zebrafish with cardiac edema dropped from 137/bpm to 92/bpm, which was nearly exactly matching the control heart rate of 93/bpm; however, there was no improvement in the state of the cardiac edema. In fact, the acetaminophen seemed to cause other defects in the zebrafish such as loss in pigment and lowered movement. The data showed to be the same on the final day that data was taken, which leads to support the hypothesis that acetaminophen may not actually have any contribution to fighting the root of pain, but instead it simply triggers a flight instinct, or stress relief, in the body.  This response supports the idea that pain relievers are much like cortisol in the way that they lets off a temporary increase in energy production, which helps to lower stress level for a short period of time, but does not actually help in fighting the root of the stress. This conclusion may help in explaining the many unnecessary deaths due to accidental acetaminophen overdoses, and will hopefully lead to further research on this consistent issue. If anything were to be taken away from these findings, I would hope that it would be a new respect for suggested pain reliever dosages and less abuse on the use of them, for it may end up saving your life.


Mayo Debate by Ethan

Last Mayo debate season was a bittersweet season for the Mayo debate team. Last year in the 2015 season the debate team coached by Judge Kevin Lund took home the Governor’s cup which is awarded to the team with the highest number of speaker points throughout the season. The cup was previously held by the Eastview debate team who had won the governor’s cup for 15 consecutive years in a row. As well as winning the governor’s cup, Mayo varsity debaters Ryan Olson and Travis Turner won first place in the varsity division. The debaters helped kick-off homecoming and the 2016 debate season by marching in the homecoming parade along with judge Lund. The first topic that the debaters debated in the 2016 season was whether or not the U.S. federal government should pay reparations to African Americans because of past racial injustices. The debate year was off to a good start with several wins on the varsity and JV levels at Mayo’s first meet here at Mayo High School. The Mayo debate went on to have multiple students in the novice division go 3-1 for their debate record including Henry Lange and Noah Mitchell, as well as Braydon Crum and Ethan Thompson-Jewell placing 5th in the novice division. After the Stillwater meet the topic of debate changed to weather or not the U.S. Government should increase military intervention in the South China Sea to stop Chinese expansionism. The Mayo debate team went on to debate at Mankato high school and South Saint Paul high school before completing at the state tournament. When the season came to a close at the state tournament Mayo sadly did not take home the governor’s cup for a second year in a row, the cup was lost to the Eastview debate team with the Mayo team coming in third in the state. Despite the tragic loss of the governor’s cup the two Mayo debaters Bella Dunbar and Ingrid Wilder won first place in the JV division, and The junior varsity team of Pujan Patel and Max Walters-Smith advanced to the quarter final round. In the novice division, the teams of Henry Lange-Noah Mitchell, Lisa Alexander-Matthew Mikell and Brendan Chen-Rohan Patel also placed in the top 16 teams before being eliminated. Senior and varsity debater Ryan Olson won the outstanding speaker award for the second year in a row as well. With the debate season over the debaters look forward to next season where they will hopefully reclaim the Governor’s cup once again.


The Science of Quicksand by Mary

Movies have often showed adrenaline filled scenes of characters being sucked down into an endless pit of quicksand, only to escape last minute by grabbing onto a nearby vine. Panic surfaces as they face suffocation but they have no need for anxiety. Though it makes for a dramatic film scene, quicksand is rarely life threatening.

Quicksand comes to exist when a solid ground made up of grainy soil has been saturated with water and liquified. It can happen anywhere under the right circumstances. Once liquefied, quicksand has a density of about 2 grams per milliliter.

Humans on the other hand have a density of about 1 gram per milliliter. This essentially means that people can float in quicksand. Bodies will sink until they have displaced their weight. Because quicksand is twice as dense as humans, your body will only sink to about the level of your hip (or halfway).

So we’ve established that quicksand won’t suffocate you, but how do you get out? The key is not to panic. Frantic movements will only prolong the process. The quicksand creates a vacuum around your body so trying to pull yourself out with a vine or branch is ineffective. You can free yourself by first laying on your back. Your body will float to the surface making it possible to slowly paddle to the edge or the pit and escape.

Quicksand may seem like a terrifying movie trap, but there is little to fear. By keeping a cool head, you can easily free yourself from its grasp.


The History of Hockey by Will

Not many people may watch hockey compared to the other major professional sports, like basketball, football, and baseball, but it sure is one of, if not the most entertaining. For how entertaining hockey is, hockey gets very little credit.

Hockey was brought to the Americas by the students in the military in the 19th century. The first organized game of hockey was played in 1875 in Montreal. They switched to using a round, wooden “puck” instead of a ball because they had more control.

In the first professional league players were mostly Canadian and Fred “Cyclone” Taylor was the highest paid athlete in North America at one time. Hockey players didn’t make very much money at the time, most made around $900 per season, but some of the good players made around $10,000.

The ‘90’s were tough for the NHL. Salaries were increasing at a very fast rate. Teams were being sold because of bankruptcy. The Quebec Nordiques were relocated to Denver to become the the Colorado Avalanche. The Minnesota North Stars were relocated to Dallas to become the Dallas Stars. It’s crazy because Minnesota is the “State of Hockey”.The Winnipeg Jets were bought and moved to Atlanta to become the Atlanta Thrashers. Most Canadian teams could not sell out their games so they were losing out on a lot of money. Another big blow was that the best player in NHL history, Wayne Gretzky, retired in the spring of 1999.

In 2000 the NHL introduced the Minnesota Wild and the Columbus Blue Jackets. The NHL was now 30 teams. In 2000 the Blue Jackets and Thrashers were historically bad. This was a consequence of becoming a new team. No new teams have been added since. Next year there will be a new team added, the Las Vegas Golden Knights.


Memories of the GR 20 by Saskia

The GR 20 is considered to be one of, if not the, most difficult treks in Europe. The name GR is the shortened version of Grande Randonnée, meaning big excursion in French and Gran Recorrido in Spanish. The GR20 is a long distance footpath on the island of Corsica, extending from north to south. The island is stunning. It is lined with gorgeous beaches with cerulean, Mediterranean water. The inland is ridged with mountains. The trail itself is a 180 kilometer trek along footpaths over the mountains and is expected to take about two weeks for most hikers.

Imagine walking high up in a mountain looking at the spectacular views below you as you walk, carrying the a large, heavy backpack, with a cold, harsh wind nearly blowing you over, as you follow the thick red and white blaze on the occasional rock. Yet, there was something extraordinary about it. Possibly it was the fact that you were carrying everything you needed on your shoulders or, maybe it was that you discover you are pushing yourself so hard, that you can test your limits. We set out in June, I understood that it was supposed to be warm at that time of year and for the first few days it was, until we started gaining altitude and the weather deteriorated, getting colder. This was unusual for Corsica but we continued on. I remember one time the weather had turned so cold and so foggy, we had to stop at a hostel along the way and stay there for a few hours.

I was particularly captivated by a stretch of trail on the GR 20 called the Cirque de Solitude. That particular section of the trek is considered one of the most difficult and dangerous parts. You descend down the mountain to circle an edifice of rock and climb back up to resume the trail. Along the most difficult portions, you use a chain and, in one case, a small ladder. Upon arriving at that section, a thunderstorm struck. It continued until we had ascended to the top. Some rocks were so slippery from rain, you could barely grasp a foot or hand hold on the slippery boulders. At the end of the day, we were rewarded with an incredible hostel. Two dogs greeted us as we roamed the grounds. One, a Cocker Spaniel, was kind, social and had only one eye. The other, a mixed breed, was an wonderful and sweet, but nervous dog. We awoke after a long night of needed rest and I remember eating a wonderful omelet, the refuge’s specialty, before resuming the trek.

This memory I have of the trail reminds me of the best meal I ever had in my life. At one point in the trail we were running out of supplies and were forced to hike to the nearest town. The only option that we had was a hike along an old mule trail from to Corte. We started off in high spirits, with plenty of water. We ate lunch along the route at a refuge where we refilled our water supply. That day was hot and dry and hiking on the uneven ground of the mule trail didn’t help. The guide book stated that this hike was eight hours, so by the time we ran out of water, we expected we were near. The city was nowhere in sight but we trudged on. About two hours later we started seeing people running along the trail and we sped up, assuming that we were very close. After an hour passed, we finally arrived at a public water pump and chatted with fellow travelers as we rested our sore feet and refilled our empty water bottles. We learned that the runners we had seen were training for a marathon that was happening within the next few days and we were about an hour out from Corte.

Within the next hour we approached the city and I practically ran towards it. Unfortunately, every hotel, gite d’etape, or overnight accommodation we approached were filled up with marathon runners. We plodded through the city trying to find a room to stay. After walking along the trail and through the city for twelve hours, we finally managed to find what seemed like, the last room in the city. Luckily, finding a place to eat turned out to be providential and we discovered a charming little restaurant where we ordered a few splendid meals. My ravioli may have been nothing special but, after all the heavy work of the trail, I found it to be the most amazing meal of my life.

Despite the hardships, I miss the grind of the GR 20. I long for the times I was climbing across the rocks while the mouflon scrutinized us, eating the leaves of the nearest bush, as though we were their daily entertainment. I loved every minute of it, even the parts that I never thought I would. The GR 20 was truly a wonderful and marvelous experience.

“GR 20 Corsica.” 18 Dec. 2015. 13 Dec. 2016.

Organ Donation by Ben   

As our population rises, and an increasing number of people get put on the waiting list for a vital organ donation, it has become clear that today’s America needs more people to register as organ donors. The number of deaths from a lack of organs has increased in the past couple of years due to an escalating number of people getting put on the transplant waiting list. The number of people registered as organ donors is far too low due to false myths, which have prevented people from registering as organ donors, even though registering is one of the simplest things you could do which, in effect, causes the death of an increasing number of people.

However, in the past couple of years, there has been an increasing number of people put on the waiting list, which in effect, increases the number of deaths per day.  According to the American Transplant Foundation, “twenty-two people die each day from a lack of available organs for transplant.”  In the U.S. alone, nearly 120,000 people are currently waiting for an organ available for transplant. In 2003, there were 80,000 people awaiting an organ transplant. There has been a fifty percent increase in the past thirteen years. Also, in the past five years, there has been an increase of twenty percent in the number of people on the waiting list. This shows us that there has been a great inflation in the past decade due to the lack of organ donors.

Becoming an organ donor is the easiest thing you could ever do. There is one simple step that you need to do to become an organ donor. All you have to do is check a box. The massive level of simplicity makes many people on the waiting list question the cynicality of non-organ donors. According to The Atlantic, “about 45 percent of American adults are registered organ donors.” This sickening number may make people feel contemptuous because it is one of the easiest things you could ever do, yet not even half of Americans have the basic sincerity to check off a box. American citizens play an essential role that is detrimental to people on the waiting list staying alive, but why don’t some Americans check off the box?

False myths play a major role in why people don’t register as organ donors. One major myth is that if someone is an organ donor, the hospital won’t work as hard to save their life. According to the Mayo Clinic, “When you go to the hospital for treatment, doctors focus on saving your life — not somebody else’s. You’ll be seen by a doctor whose specialty most closely matches your particular condition.” If you pass away, the doctors will do even more tests than they would on a non-organ donor to see if the patient is dead or not. If someone is unsure about any myths, just ask a physician because most myths about organ donation are false.

In conclusion, many people in the United States need an organ transplant, but with the high number of people who need an organ transplant, and the low number of people willing to register as organ donors, the number of people dying from a lack of available organs for transplant has risen greatly. Anyone can help by registering as a donor. The number of people registered as organ donors is far too low due to false myths, even though registering is very simple. It is clear that not enough people register as donors which, in effect, causes an increasing number of deaths.


Sleep Deprivation by Kalista

The human body is a very complex system that needs many things to be healthy and happy, these things include water, food, cleanliness, vitamins, and so on. One thing that most people overlook when thinking of health is sleep. Though it seems small sleep is just as important as food or water. Teenager especially need more sleep or the effects may be dire. Sleep deprivation is a situation when you suffer from a lack of sleep. So now i will be talking about the effects of sleep deprivation and it’s effects on the human body.

One the most common and obvious effects is sleepiness, though it seems small sleepiness can cause the body to be sluggish. A lack of sleep also causes concentration and learning new thing difficult which can make a day of school difficult. Sleep deprivation also affects memory and emotions, and if not dealt with soon enough sleep deprivation can cause hallucinations, depression, paranoia, and if severe enough it may cause suicidal thoughts. These symptoms are only focused on the nervous system.  The rest of the body also can be damaged by sleep deprivation. The immune system is another part of the body that can have dire effects. At night when sleeping the immune system produces infection-fighting antibodies that keep you healthy. Sleep deprivation makes it so the body can’t build up the forces needed to protect the body from viruses and bacteria. If a lack of sleep is persistent it can start to affect the cardiovascular system. While sleeping the body repairs and heals blood vessels and the heart, sleep deprivation can cause heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke all which can cause many more problems.

In conclusion, sleep deprivation is very common but isn’t always thought to be as dire as it is. It affects many parts of the body that need the time that we use sleeping to heal and power up for the next day.


Quick Facade Rant by Ellie

Do you ever wonder how someone is really feeling? Because I do. People walk around everyday, all are showing emotion. Some is real and some is not. What if we took down the mask, and showed everyone else what was really deep inside us? Sure, it’d be scary, but maybe then we’d start to appreciate the differences we all have from each other instead of pretend to. I mean, saying you don’t judge, and actually not judging are two very different things. I’m not saying you aren’t entitled to your opinion, but respect and learn to appreciate the positive things in other people’s opinions and not just your own. Maybe one might be more inclined to share their beautiful selves with the world if the world wasn’t so full of crap. Today’s society is so weird. We SAY we want to be accepted and loved and so on and so forth. But we’re hypocrites! If we can’t show love toward others, how can we expect love in return? Why would we even deserve it? At the same time, people just need to become more confident. Because we’re all great! And there will be people wherever we are who will think so too. There will be haters everywhere you go, but there also be supporters. You just have to go out there and find them! It starts by taking down the mask, and then leaping out into the world. Everyone makes a difference and an impact, good or bad. But the least we could would be to make it a real, sincere impact. You don’t have to feel exposed, just feel genuine. People really appreciate that.


Birth Order Characteristics by Kelly

Have you ever wondered what makes you, you? Of course your surroundings such as friends, teachers, and parents have affect on your behavior and characteristics. However, have you ever wondered what the science is behind it, and if there’s a reason you are who you are? Some of these answers can be answered by looking at birth order. Some common affecting birth orders in families include first born, middle child, and the youngest.

To start, being a first born child may be affecting. First borns are infamous for their strong egos. When parents take home the first child, they are overwhelmed with excitement. Constant  attention, endless pictures and photo albums, and no one else to share the attention with can leave a mark on a kid. As they grow, they won’t be used to not always being the center of attention. To add, first borns are leaders. Typically, families decide to have more children after the first. The oldest must learn to become a leader for the younger siblings and maybe help out a little more, almost like an assistant. This can affect positively in life. Overall, studies show that first borns are known to be reliable, cautious, controlling, and achievers.

Next, middle childs have unique characteristics. It’s very common for middle children to feel out of place or unimportant by not being the “baby” of the family or the leader. However, this feeling is proven to lead the children to be more likely to blaze their own trail in life and be more drawn towards independency. Another factor that sparks independency is not being the only child in the family and providing for his/herself sometimes.

Lastly, last born children pick up different behavioral traits that others. It is normal for last borns to feel unimportant or overlooked, since the parents have already seen their older children go through the same milestones and accomplishments. Also, being the youngest is helpful in the fact that they follow in footsteps and know what to do because their older siblings have already paved a path. This can help lead the children to successful lives. All around, last borns are proven to be uncomplicated, self-centered, attention seeking, and outgoing.

To conclude, birth order can tell a lot about a person. For instance, their study habits, work ethic, and personality traits. Of course the surroundings and people in lives affects greatly as well. However given all of the facts and statistics, personality and behaviors can be changed. By reading this a goal in mind is for people to learn more about themselves and potentially decide to do something about it.




Very few people who live in America have heard of VOCALOID. VOCALOID, a voice synthesis software and technology created by Yamaha, can be used to make a virtual singer sing by inserting lyrics and melody to the software. Like the software name, the virtual singers are known as Vocaloids.

There are about seventy different Vocaloids, and some of them have gotten many upgrades and variations, creating over a few hundred different voicebanks. These Vocaloids also come in many different languages including Japanese, English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Catalan. There may possibly be more Vocaloids who can sing in different languages in the future.

These Vocaloids not only have a voice, but an animated humanoid persona as well. For example, VOCALOID’s mascot, Hatsune Miku, is more often than not, portrayed as having bluish green twintails and wearing a Japanese school uniform. These Vocaloid images look so much like anime, that many people confuse it as such.

Although the Vocaloids are animated and may only seem two dimensional, they also perform live concerts. This is made possible by having a large glass screen on a stage and putting a projector behind it. This creates what looks like a three dimensional hologram, which makes the dancing Vocaloid look as if it is actually dancing in stage. While dancing on stage, a vocal recording of the song is played, and real people play actual instruments for the background music. And during these concerts, the attendees stand and hold glow sticks while waving them in the air.

VOCALOID, to say the least, is very impressive. Anybody can use the software, and people show up to concerts despite the fact that no real live human beings are singing on stage. To me, that seems pretty incredible, and I hope to one day be able to use the VOCALOID software or even go to one of the concerts to see what it’s really like in person.


Procrastination by Sophia

Everyone has those little, quirky ‘bad habits’ that they either can’t break, or haven’t quite noticed yet. Surprisingly, some of the things you do everyday that you consider a habit that could be bad for you, may actually be good for your health and well-being. According to studies by the Huffington post, patterns such as procrastination, coffee addictions, and being a chocoholic, can be truly beneficial.

Procrastination is a very controversial topic, because in some cases it can cause tons of stress, but in other situations it can be less stressful. The procrastination of little things in order to supply more time to do the big tasks, can reduce loads of stress. Stress because of workload is a huge issue to the health of humans everywhere. Stress can lead to poor sleep, weight gain, and high blood pressure. Although, procrastination can be a huge issue and lead to more stress if what you’re procrastinating should take more time than you have left to finish it. So, to take care of your body, only procrastinate the little things and get the big things done with time to spare.

Depending on the time of day, coffee can affect a person’s body in different ways. If drunk during the afternoon hours, it can lead to sleep deprivation. Although, if you drink a few cups of coffee in the early hours of the day it provides certain health benefits such as increasing mental alertness and reducing the risk of type 2 Diabetes.

It can be easily proven that some chocolates, including milk chocolate, are unhealthy for your heart and can cause unwanted weight gain. This gives chocolate an unfortunate negative stereotype, when in reality not all chocolate is horrible for you. Dark chocolate contains high amounts of cocoa content that is believed to have positive health effects such as improving memory, heart health, and possibly weight loss. So next time you feel the need to splurge on some sweets, a small amount of dark chocolate won’t hurt!


Tornadoes  by Haley

A tornado is nature’s most violent and mysterious storm. They tear buildings to shreds, uproot trees, and hurl debris into the sky. From Tornado Alley to the Wizard of Oz we have all heard about tornadoes, but what do we really know about them?

There is still a lot about tornado formation that we don’t completely understand. Scientists do know that tornadoes come from large powerful storms called supercells. Supercell thunderstorms have stubborn updrafts and strong wind shears. Wind shear is when wind is going at different speeds or directions based on its height. Speed shear, a type of wind shear, helps create tornadoes. During speed shear, the wind all goes the same direction and its speed increases the higher you go. This creates a rolling effect and contributes to forming mesocyclones. The updraft of the storm lifes this rolling air which either creates a clockwise or counterclockwise rotation. Directional shear pushes out the counterclockwise rotation which then creates a mesocyclone. Scientists still do not know how exactly the tornado funnel that we picture when we think of it is formed after these steps.

The tornado funnel is visible because of the water droplets coming from the moist air inside of the funnel. Because of the wind, dirt and debris from the ground will start to begin rotating with the funnel and be lifted off the ground. When the tornado reaches the ground, the funnel color will change depending on the color of the dirt beneath it. Scientists are also unsure of how tornadoes end. Tornadoes need something to disrupt it in order to end. There are many theories such as an outflow of wind  the stoppage of updrafts but none are proven.

There is a national average in the US of about 1300 tornadoes a year. Tornadoes can last from several seconds up to hours. Typically tornadoes happen during the spring and early fall. The average tornado lasts around 10 minutes and travels about 3 miles. The United States has around 75% of the world’s tornadoes. Tornado alley is the most common area of the US to receive tornadoes.

In conclusion, tornadoes are nature’s most violent and mysterious storms. Scientists don’t know much about the formation and end of these deadly disasters but they do know that you better get out of their way when they come.


The History of the FIFA World Cup by Dario

The World Cup is a massive international soccer tournament, held every four years. It was founded in 1930 and has since been labeled as one of the greatest soccer tournament in the world, if not the greatest.

The idea for this tournament sprouted in the 1920s from a group of French football administrators. This group was spearheaded by Jules Rimet, which led to the early trophy being named after him.

The tournament is one of the most watched events in the world. In the 1998 World Cup, an average of almost 600 million watched each match. The final brought over 1.3 billion people to their televisions in awe of the wonderful spectacle.

Over these 87 years, only eight different nations have won this prestigious competition. Brazil has won the most World Cups with five titles to their name.

The latest champion is Germany from the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. This was their fourth title, however the previous three wins were under the name of West Germany. This World Cup had a few surprises. One of which was the semifinal matchup between Germany and Brazil. Going into the tournament, the host nation of Brazil was favored to win the competition. The first half went horribly for Brazil, putting them down 6-0. The second half went slightly better but they were only able to salvage one goal, while also giving up another. The 7-1 loss was the largest Brazil has ever suffered in FIFA World Cup history.

In summary, the World Cup is one of the most prestigious competitions in the sport of soccer, bringing millions to the various venues of the competition, and billions more to their televisions.


Personality Typing by Clara

    For people interested in psychology, there are many different tools out there that help you determine your personality. One of the most successful and reliable tools is called MBTI, or the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. It was developed by Isabel Briggs Myers and Katharine Briggs in the 1940s. Many studies have been conducted that show its reliability, and millions of people have used the tool to find out their personality type since it was developed.

    The system is based around four pairs of traits. The first is Introversion or Extraversion (I or E), respectively meaning focusing on the inner world and a focus on the outer world. The second pair is Sensing or Intuition (S or N), Sensing meaning practicality and paying attention to details, and Intuition meaning creativity and focusing on the big picture. The third pair is Thinking or Feeling (T or F), which determines if someone makes decisions with their logic or their emotions. The fourth and final pair is Judging or Perceiving (J or P); a Judging person prefers closure and is usually planned out and organized, while a Perceiver prefers openness and is usually more impulsive. A person’s dominant trait in each pair would then determine their personality type; for example, someone who prefers Introversion, Intuition, Thinking, and Judging would have the personality type of INTJ. As there are 16 different combinations of the four letters, there are 16 personality types.

    The 16 types are also grouped into the 4 different categories of Radicals (Intuitive Thinkers), Idealists (Intuitive Feelers), Guardians (Sensing Judgers), and Artisans (Sensing Perceivers). Radicals are logic-based and independent, Idealists are empathetic and diplomatic, Guardians are practical and reliable, and Artisans are spontaneous and quick thinkers.

    The test to determine your personality can be taken online at Knowing your personality type as well as other people’s can help you understand yourself and others, and build healthier relationships. It’s a way to help yourself grow, and it’s also one step closer to understanding the complex human mind.


The History of Germany after 799 A.D. by Davis S.

This paper is about the history of Germany, and I decided on this topic because I am part German, and couldn’t think of much else, this is all the main things that happened in German history that were important I left out everything before 799 AD because it was not important, and was truly quite boring. This is the history of Germany, in a nutshell.

The first big event that happened in Germany after 799 AD is That the Frankish Ruler of France and Germany, Emperor Charlemagne, crowned the Roman emperor by Pope Leo III. This is back when Germany was in part of a huge empire, that was very powerful. The Next big thing that happened was in 843 AD, The Frankish empire broke up, then Germany emerges as a separate country. Then, fast forward just about 600 years, and in 1438, the election of Albert I in the Habsburg Dynasty, based in Austria.

Now we have an Era in Germany’s history called the Early Modern Germany Era.

From 1618-1648, the thirty years war happened in result to failure of the Habsburg emperor’s ability to restore Catholic dominance.  In 1648 the Treaty of Westphalia confirms almost total independence of territorial states. After, about two hundred more years later, in 1806 Napoleon’s armies impose the French ruling over most of Germany. Seven Years later, Napoleon is defeated at the battle of Leipzig. Then, In 1888, William II reigns; he starts to trend toward the colonial  expansion and build up the German Navy to compete with Britain, and that causes rapid growth of Germany’s economic power.

Next, the time of World War One. 1914, marks the start of World War I. 1918, Germany is defeated, signs armistice. Emperor William II dethroned, gets banished. 1919, Treaty of Versailles: Germany loses loads of land to neighbors, pays tons of money to other countries. Lastly, Hyperinflation leads to the economic collapse of Germany. In 1929, the Global depression happens, and the US goes into great depression, and there is mass unemployment.

           The next time period is the time of the Third Reich.

The first part of the Third Reich happened when Hitler became chancellor, and the Weimar republic gives way to a one party system in 1933. This is when Hitler tries to take complete control over Germany. Then Hitler is planning to take over other places again and decides to rearm in 1935, he comes up with the idea to have Jewish rights deprived. 1938 Germany takes over Austria, and Sudetenland, and the “Night of Broken Glass,” this is when Jewish shops get destroyed and burned, and this is when it gets bad for Jews. Then is 1939 the invasion of Poland causes World War II, which goes to 1945. In 1939 we have the Holocaust which caused six million Jews to die, along with millions of other people such as Gypsies, along with other races. In 1945 Germany is defeated.

The next part of time, is the time of the Berlin wall. This is when Berlin was split half to the U.S and France, and the other half to Russia. West Germany gets tons of economic growth. Then the Germans start to put up the Berlin wall, because too many people are trying to get to the U.S side of Berlin, because it is free, and the Russian side is communist. In 1961 the construction is started. Then, in 1989 the Berlin Wall is tore down.

Lastly, we have the present day Germany, which is much more peaceful.

There is not as much action going on in Germany as their was in the past, but there are some highlights. In January 2002 the Euro replaced the Deutsche Mark, which was the old currency. The in 2005 Germany elects Angela Merkel as the first woman to be elected as the chancellor of Germany. And, in 2015 Germany starts to help with the refugee crisis, taking in most, who are trying to flee war torn countries, such as Syria. About 800,000 arrived last year.

Overall, this was the history of Germany. This was all the highlights I found while searching for the history. The country has had a lot of war, and now has mostly peace, which is very good. They are now stable, and overall a good country.


Population by Lara

In 1830 the worldwide population was one billion, a century later two billion, and reached five billion in just sixty more years. Overpopulation has caused many problems in the world including, but not limited to a loss of resources, diseases, and a decrease in the standard of living. It has become extremely obvious that the world is overpopulated due to extreme growth in the amount of people in recent years. Despite these problems, not much effort has been used to solve them. Although most people consider this a problem an issue for future generations, it is one that should have more attention now.

Ever since the mid-eighteen hundreds there has been a huge population explosion. This is most likely because of improvements in technology increasing life expectancy. Even though this seems like good news, a longer life expectancy causes many problems including poverty, death by food loss, famines diseases, battles, and bad standards of living. Due to this, it is suspected that as the population grows we can expect an ecological and social crisis. An ecological crisis means that our environment would no longer be sustainable. A sociological crisis means that the people on earth would not be able to live in a well manner. The population explosion shows no signs of stopping and could make said problems a reality.

The world population is currently at 7,308,607,872. The recommended population size is around five billion. Every dozen or so years the population increases by one billion, and it is very likely that the population will be greater than nine billion in nearly thirty-four years. These numbers suggest the world already has too many people to live comfortably.

With our ever growing population we are killing our environment. Americans produced about 250,000,000 tons of trash in 2010 alone, and that amount is growing. As a result, thousands of species have become extinct because of human life. Equally important, the ozone layer that protects us from the harmful effects of space is now decreasing by four percent every ten years. At the same time, air quality has also become an issue largely because of overpopulation. The number of kids with asthma has hugely increased in the last two decades. To conclude, with the population growing earth could potentially have a major climate change, making earth no longer sustainable.

All in all, these reasons provide evidence for why the world is overpopulated. While this may be true the effort to solve overpopulation is not there. This shows just how badly this topic is in need of attention and eventually a solution. In the end, the world is overpopulated and this issue causes many problems and needs to be solved in order to have a safe future.


Living in Germany by Daniel P.

Life in Germany is very different from life here in America.  When I first moved here, I was surprised on how drastic the differences are between two countries.  The three main differences that are easily noticeable are the food, transportation and the housing.

        First, food is very important to Germany’s culture.  When going out to eat, it is encouraged that one dresses more formally with collared shirts and long dress pants, and it can be considered disrespectful to dress informally.  As for food, most restaurants sell and serve wild seasonal game and healthy well-prepared food.  Restaurants are often decorated in ways to make their customers feel like at home.  In addition, the chefs and waiters working in restaurants often are all related and frequently ownership of the restaurant is passed down through the family over generations.  The area I am from in Southern Germany is known for its good cuisine.

        Secondly, traveling is a lot different in Germany from America.  The main difference in traveling is that within the city, people tend to use more subways, buses, bicycles and walking to travel.  A popular way to travel between different towns is by train although many people also drive a car.  The main reason why driving automobiles is not easy in Germany is because of the expenses.  There are not nearly as many parking places in Germany as there are in America so paying for parking does cost quite a bit of money.  Gas is also very expensive in Germany; it tends to cost around five dollars and fifty cents per gallon.

Finally, the housing in Germany contrasts with American housing.  If you live in the city, it is more likely to live in apartment blocks than in a single-family house.  They do this so they can increase the population density of the city.  In suburban areas people tend to live in single-family homes because they are away from the city.  The owners of apartment blocks are normally just regular people who also live in the building that rent their extra floors to people who wish to live there.  In the apartment buildings, everyone shares the cellar that includes storage, entry to the garage and a laundry room.  In older apartment buildings, air conditioning is not a standard feature.

In conclusion, living in Germany is very different from living in America.  Many of the differences are barely noticeable, but there are very visible ones.  Some of the three biggest changes are in food, transportation, and housing.  Traveling brings great experiences to life and it gives you a taste of diversity.


Lessons I’ve learned From F.R.I.E.N.D.S. by Elizabeth 

This summer, I started watching F.R.I.E.N.D.S and just finished the whole series last weekend. I’m happy to say that I’ve learned a few things from this show. A few lessons I learned are, how valuable it is to be clear when you’re communicating, it’s important to work at a job you love, and always seize a good opportunity.

One important lesson I learned is to be clear when you’re communicating. People have to know exactly what you want. The biggest example of this is when Rachel and Ross get into their first fight. Rachel says she wants a break from the relationship, so Ross goes along with it. He ends up spending the night with someone else and Rachel is furious with him. This one event ruined their romantic relationship for a long time. Throughout the show, they cannot ever agree on whether they were on a break or not. I’m not saying Rachel was wrong to be upset, but if she would’ve been more clear, this might not have happened.

A second lesson I learned was how crucial it is to have a job that you love. This is made clear several times throughout the show. Monica loves to cook, so she was a restaurant chef, Phoebe was a masseuse and wrote music, Ross had a passion for ancient history, and Chandler and Rachel found careers that they truly loved. Chandler worked at a job he hated for so many years, until he had had enough and got a job in advertising. Rachel loved fashion, so she quit working at Central Perk and got a job in it. The rest of their friends encouraged them to do things they love in order for them to actually look forward to going to work every day. When they made the change in their lives, they were more successful and much happier.

Last but not least, I learned the value of seizing a good opportunity when it comes your way. If you see something you want or if it comes to you, it’s important you take advantage of it. Sometimes, you never know how it could enrich your life. An obvious example of this is all the times Ross wanted to tell Rachel how he felt about her and vice versa. By the end of the show, they both want to be together, but neither of them says anything. When they see other people, it just makes the other one unhappy. If they had just said something, they could’ve avoided that feeling. Another example is when Joey and Phoebe agreed to set each other up on blind dates towards the end of the season. It didn’t seem like a big deal at the time, but Phoebe ended up meeting her husband as a result.

In conclusion, if you really pay attention when watching movies or sitcoms like F.R.I.E.N.D.S., it is possible for one to learn some valuable lessons about life. The next time you’re watching a movie or TV, pay attention. There is always a possibility to learn something and become a wiser and more well-rounded individual.


What our Eyes Truly See by Matthew O.

Over the summer, I became very interested in optical illusions and what our eyes truly see. My interest was peaked when I saw a video about optical illusions and asked myself, “ Why do our eyes see what they see?” Over the next couple of weeks, I watched videos and read articles about our eyes, light, and optical illusions. Some of the things I learned included what percentage of the electromagnetic spectrum we see, what causes optical illusions, and how our eyes work. This post is written to inform the reader about the human eye and how amazing it truly is.

The human eye is one of the most complex human organs other than the heart. What most people don’t know is our eyes can see over seven million colors. Though our eyes can see millions of different colors, we only have three different types of cones. Cone are located in the retina and help detect color. One type of cone detects blue, another red and another green. There are about six to seven million cones in the human eye. Even though the cones can only detect green, blue and red we are able to see many colors. For example, when the color yellow hits the retina it is detected as a little bit of red and a little bit of green. The retina send this information to the brain which interprets it as yellow, the color you see. This entire process takes less than thirteen milliseconds.

Many people know what an optical illusion is but most don’t know the purpose or why it happens. Optical illusions are short cuts for the brain making it easier for your brain to interpret what it’s seeing. Some scientists believe this behavior of the brain could have given our ancestors an edge in survival but most believe it’s our brain using past knowledge to fill in the blanks. Either way, optical illusions are fun to look at and are a real puzzle for your brain. In the end, don’t believe everything you see.

We see millions of color yet we only see about 0.0035% of the electromagnetic spectrum. The electromagnetic spectrum consists of radio waves, microwaves, infrared, visible light, ultraviolet light, x-rays, and gamma rays. Even though we see so little of the electromagnetic spectrum, it’s probably for the best. If we saw everything in the spectrum, then it is possible that we wouldn’t be able to see at all. The phones we use send out radio waves and some microwaves. If you were able to see the waves sent out by the phone, you may not be able to see the phone itself. In conclusion, I learned about what percentage of the electromagnetic spectrum we see, what causes optical illusions, and how our eyes work.


The Swimmer by Aleia

Swimming on the summer is like a bet you make with nature. You vow your summer mornings to a cold pool, in exchange for a chance that you just might become faster in the water than before. For those who do not know, club swimming is all year, with August off in the summer. That means that you are constantly going to practice, rain or shine. You would think I’d be joking, but we really do swim in the rain! I need to explain why summer swimming is one of the most rewarding, however grueling, things to do. Let’s begin with the start of a typical swimmer’s day. Imagine this, it’s seven in the morning. You begin to awaken and rub the sleep from your eyes. You then must drag yourself out of bed and change it it’s him socially acceptable pajamas, like sweatpants and a team t-shirt. You dash down the stairs and grab your huge swim bag and lift it onto your shoulder. You look like a kid returning from summer camp, with your dark circles under your eyes and large backpack. You are driven to the pool as you await your fate. You exhaustedly stare outside your window as you turn into the parking lot of the outside pool. You crawl out of the car and haul your bag into the aquatic area. Your feet feel like lead as you trudge on to the pool deck. You quickly change and leap into the icy water. “Let’s go!” Your coach yells at your team as you sprint into the workout. The sun beres down on you as you work for two hours. You finally are finished with practice and walk away from the pool, feeling accomplished and proud, but mostly tired. However, nothing can compare to when you speed through the water going faster than you ever have before, knowing that all of your hard work and early mornings have paid off.


Hurricanes by Emily D

Hurricanes happen about every year. They destroy towns, tear apart homes, and even take lives. The power of this force of nature is so immense. These storms are different then other natural disasters because of how they form, the way they move, and the damage they cause on land.

These monstrous storms our born in our oceans. Hurricanes are fueled by the warm and moist air from ocean waters near the equator. As the warm air rises, the air around it fills in. The air cools off as it rises, forming clouds, this development of clouds gets greater in size and power. The storms begin to spin because of the Earth’s rotation on its axis creating an eye — a calm area in the center of the storm due to the low air pressure. They travel across the oceans and grow stronger as more moist air joins this cyclone with wind speeds that exceed 157 mph.

These powerful storms move along the oceans until they hit land, but we can never be assured of what the propagation, the path of a hurricane,  will be. It could suddenly change ways and hit an area totally unprepared for such a disaster. The trade winds usually give an indication of which way the hurricane is heading to, but sometimes it’s not accurate. Near the equator, the easterly winds steer hurricanes toward the west. These trade winds push the hurricanes from Africa, where they are usually developed, west towards the Caribbean and North American coasts. As hurricanes move north, the wind often becomes too weak since it’s out of the tropics, so the hurricanes usually slow down. When it hits land on its way up north, it becomes even weaker eventually dying off as it hits the oceans again. Though they can always have sudden turns or loops.

Moreover, the danger created by hurricanes are detrimental. When the storm first hits land, the huge waves of water it pushes flows down onto the cities, flooding the streets. Many of the deaths from hurricanes are from the instant flooding. They also bring in heavy rain and strong winds that cause lots of damage and washes away cities. Hurricanes kill more people than any other storm. The storm leaves behind thousands of destroyed buildings, debri on roads or just about anywhere, and flooded streets.

Even though this natural disaster is uncontrollable by man, there are still measures that can be taken to prevent damage. Hurricanes are formed in such a unique way that makes them very destructive. A little rain with some wind might not seem so bad, but a hurricane necessitates strong shelters and urgent warnings.


Works Cited:

Erickson, Kristen. “How do hurricanes form?.” NASA. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Oct. 2016.


“Hurricane Facts.” Conserve Energy Future. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Oct. 2016.



BTS’s Wings by Shinny

Originated from South Korea, K-pop is a musical genre with a variety of audio-visual elements. K-pop is described as a modern form of Korean pop including hip-hop, rap, ballad, Jazz, dance-pop, R&B, electronic, etc. K-pop has been around since 1992, expanding as time passes. You will be surprised of how popular K-pop is growing around the world.

A well-known boy band in the K-pop world is BTS. Debuted on June 13, 2013, BTS (also known as Bangtan Boys, 방탄소년단, or Bulletproof Boy Scouts) was formed under Big Hit Entertainment. It consists of a total of seven members, Jin, Suga, Rap Monster, J-Hope, Jimin, V, and the youngest Jungkook. They came back with their second full album Wings on October 10, 2016 with four different versions that you can get. After finishing their unsolved Trilogy (The Most Beautiful Moment in Life pt. 1, The Most Beautiful Moment in Life pt. 2, and Young Forever), they are back again with another mysterious album that is going to leave A.R.M.Ys (BTS’ official fan club).

Before the official release of Wings, Big Hit and BTS had been constantly dropping out short films consisting every member, including their solo track that is featured on the album. Knowing Big Hit, the short films were covered with confusion. Many A.R.M.Ys came up with the Demian Theory from the small clues Big Hit has given to them. The short films were shown to be portraying the book Demian by Hermann Hesse, thus the Demian Theory. Just like their trilogy, Big Hit had not given any answers or confirmation about any theories or ideas. In a week time, pre-orders of the album came out to be a total of 500,000 copies sold throughout the world. Finally at 12am KST (Korean Style Time) on October 10th, Big Hit and BTS released their album and music video for their title track “Blood, Sweat and Tears.”

Even though it has been only three days since the release, BTS has been rocketing worldwide. In less than ten hours of their album release, it had reached number one on iTunes in multiple countries such as Brazil, United States, Thailand, Finland, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Paraguay, Russia, and many more. Not only on iTunes that they are placing number one but also on local charts such as Melon, Naver, and Genie. Also, their music video “Blood, Sweat and Tears,” have reached over three million views in less than ten hours of its release, breaking every K-pop group recorded but PSY’s. Currently, the MV is at 14 million views.The music is filled with a refreshing exotic beat. BTS is growing their popularity throughout the whole world. Go show your support to them by watching their music video “Blood, Sweat and Tears” and buying their album on iTunes or Android. You can also purchase a physical copy of their albums. If you never heard of them, go check them out!


Jan-omega. “BTS Breaks Records With ‘Blood, Sweat & Tears’ — Big Hit Entertainment K-Pop Group.” The Inquisitr News. N.p., 13 Oct. 2016. Web. 13 Oct. 2016.


Procrastination by Sarah B.

    Procrastination. You do it. I do it. We all do it. Some just may be a little more willing to admit it, while others may not know that they do it at all. Procrastination is putting off or delaying something, especially something requiring immediate attention. For example, if someone were to write a paper but did it the night it was due, that would definitely be procrastinating. It is proven that over a single academic term, procrastination can affect your health. You are more prone to catching colds and the flu.

   There are many different types of procrastination. In this essay, I will be talking about three; arousal, the avoider, and indecisive. Then I will share a bit on how we can work on fixing these types of procrastination.

    The first type of procrastination is arousal, or a thrill seeker. Arousal procrastinators enjoy the rush and adrenaline of doing things last minute. They feel like they work best under pressure or get the best ideas at the 11th hour of a project. The problem is that they could wait to long and end up getting too stressed or lose a lot of sleep. What they can do to solve this is to set earlier deadlines for themselves, and take them seriously. That way they will still get the rush and excitement of doing things last minute and still do well academically. If this doesn’t work, then they could try to replace the procrastination thrill with a different type of excitement, like sports or other activities.

    The next type of procrastination is the avoider. Everyone can be a little of the avoider at times. Avoiders creates reasons in their head that they make sound as reasonable as possible to convince themselves to delay the task at hand. They also put other tasks or obstacles in their way on purpose so they don’t have to do that one thing. For example, someone doing their science project which is due at the end of the week instead of their math homework that is due the next day. Something that will help create a solution to this is making a list of all the thing you need to do, with the most important things at the top, and the less important things at the bottom. Then make sure you complete the list starting at the top and go in order until the list is done. Make sure to also keep yourself from other distractions such as social media, or anything else that might consume your time.

    Last, but most definitely not least, is the indecisive procrastinator. Indecisive procrastinators are often perfectionists. They procrastinate to shift responsibility from themselves to other people. They also fear commitment to a choice and the loss of other choices. The commitment to the choice is threatening to them because there is the pressure to perform once the choice is made. How to fix this is to take ownership of your own decisions and your own actions. Don’t ask for other people’s opinions unless you have already found your own. Remember that not everything has to be perfect, mistakes are what make us make us grow and learn.

    In conclusion, though many people procrastinate, they may be procrastinating for different reasons. We have discussed three of the most prevalent reasons along with some suggestions of how to overcome them. If none of these solutions work for you, and you are still plagued with procrastination then I suggest that you follow the three wise words from Nike: just do it.


By Hara Estroff Marano, Published on August 23, 2003 – Last Reviewed on June 9, 2016. “Procrastination: Ten Things To Know.” Psychology Today. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Nov. 2016. <;.

Moon, By Kat. “The 3 Types of Procrastinators: Which One Are You?” The 3 Types of Procrastinators: Which One Are You? N.p., 15 Apr. 2015. Web. 01 Nov. 2016. <;.

Pillay, Srinivasan. “A Deeper Look at Procrastination: Which Type Are You?” The Huffington Post., n.d. Web. 01 Nov. 2016. <;.

Procrastinate. NO MORE: (n.d.): n. pag. Web. 31 Oct. 2016. Journal Article

“Procrastination.” The Muse. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Oct. 2016. <;. Website


Growing Up With Dyslexia by Madison A.

All my life I’ve had to work ten times harder than my peers around me because in third grade I was diagnosed with dyslexia. Before then all my teachers told my parents that it was normal and I would catch up with my class. Until my third grade teacher was showing concern that I couldn’t spell most sight words and couldn’t read to save my life. So when we moved back to the U.S. my mom had me tested and we found out I had dyslexia so did my brother and sister although her’s isn’t that bad.

So my mom work hard to get the help I needed it started with The Reading Center. The Reading Center helps kids with dyslexia by tutoring them in Ortan-Gillingahm. They help over a hundred students per year. She all so got me an IEP which is an Individualized Education Program.

Here’s something you may be asking yourself what is dyslexia? Good question. It’s a learning disability for one. For another it occurs when some areas in the brain are not communicating properly with each other. While dyslexia is not caused by behavioral, psychological, motivational or social problems dyslexia can be the root cause of these problems. Plus kids with untreated dyslexia are more likely to drop out of school, develop chemical dependency issues, and/or develop troublesome habits.

There are always misconceptions with things like this theses are some of them I had to deal with and still do. Can I catch dyslexia? No it’s not a disease it’s something you have when you’re born till death. Can dyslexia be cured? No stilling going with the last one you have it all your life. Is there something wrong with you or how your parents raised you? No there’s nothing wrong with me I’m still human I’m still your peer I’m still trying to learn just like you. Do people with dyslexia have with low IQ? No actually people who have dyslexia have above average IQ’s and are very successful as adults. My favorite question I get is are there any famous/successful people with dyslexia? Yes there are so many famous people with dyslexia that it would take about 5 more pages to write them all down but here are some that you might known Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, John F. Kennedy, Benjamin Franklin
Henry Ford, Walt Disney, Pablo Picasso, and so many more.

I hope I brought some of your attention to dyslexia and how hard it is to grow up it.

What We Do.” The Reading Center Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Oct. 2016.


How Bones Heal by Jacob

This summer I was involved in an accident, and I broke fourteen bones. I am now wondering how bones heal, and how I’m recovering.  Also I’m wondering why I needed blood transfusions for a broken bone. This is what I found and I find it very interesting.

The first thing that happens when you break a bone is that there is inflammation. This happens because there is a blood clot around the break. Because when your bones break it cuts off the blood supply to the rest of that bone and swells up. The blood loss happens because the blood vessels in your bone are severed. The blood clot also doesn’t allow new blood cells down to the jagged edges of the bone. This happens almost instantaneously. Your body instantly wants to fix itself and heal.

The next stage of healing is when the phagocytes move into the broken area to clean it out and get rid of the germs. Then the osteoblasts and osteoclasts come in and start the healing process. The osteoblasts break down the old bone and the osteoclasts replace the tissue. This is the first part of the healing. The fracture hematoma then helps the stabilize the bone to allow the bone to grow back correctly. Then the osteoblasts move in and produce new bone this process takes about three to four months. After a few days the fracture hematoma gets some tougher tissue around the break.

The next stage of healing is the bone regrowing. This starts by the blood vessels starting to regrowing into the fracture hematoma. Then the chondroblasts begin growing cartilage creating a bridge between the broken bones. Then the osteoblasts finish producing the new bone cells creating a hard shell around the break. This process of the bone hardening takes 3 to 4 months. Once this is over your bone is almost as good as new. However it still needs to come back to its normal shape, and that is the last thing that happens comes back into the shape it should be.

In conclusion that is how bones heal, and how they get better. It taught me how I am healing, and how I am getting better. So next time you break a bone now you know what’s going on.

Osteoblasts-a cell that secretes the matrix for bone formation
Osteoclasts- a large multinucleate bone cell that absorbs bone tissue during growth and healing
Phagocytes- a type of cell within the body capable of engulfing and absorbing bacteria and other small cells and partials



How to Be the Best at Hide and Seek by Daniel P.

To win most games of hide and seek is a challenge most people ignore. To me it can be extremely important to life. In this article I will tell you how to not only be good at hiding, but also seeking. I will also discuss how the skills I am talking about can help you later in life.

To begin you must be good as a hider seeing as it is the more preferred option. You must be agile, clever, and calm. You must be agile because it allows you to have time to settle in once you have found your spot. To find a good spot is the hard part. You must think of the most awkward and elusive places in your location. To do this I think of where I would look as a seeker, and rule out the spots until I find a great one. You may now be asking why would i want to be calm. Well you would want to be calm because it allows you to stay out of view, and out of the mind of the seeker. If you giggle, breath loudly, or whisper you will be found. You must also stay still any disturbance may leave you visible. These are all thing that a seeker looks and listens for.

If you want to win as a seeker you must be alert, charismatic, and most of all observant. To succeed you must be alert. By keeping all options open and not glancing over the obvious spots is important.  It will allow you to find the hiders at a faster pace. When you do find a hider you must charm them,and this will increase the speed of the game. When you catch them be gracious, and don’t upset them. The more you look the better and more open to you they will be. If you do get to the point of aimless wander, ask them for hints. Finally you must be observant this skill will allow you to sweep through large areas with ease. Leave no stone unturned, and never run about. If you do run it is easy for you to miss the small details. Look for disturbances in the area around you. Tacer the steps of a hider in your mind. If you use all these skills you will surly will your game of hide and seek.

The skills discussed above are mixed and random in the real world, but they all can be handy. If you are a social person the charisma and cleverness can help you. If you are one who dislikes others, agile, and alert traits will suit you best. And if you are a mix being calm and observant can help you find your place. These skills can be helpful in all of life. From a small child’s game to finding the one you will love forever. These skills are learned by everyone, but only some can master them.

Learning Styles by Kellen

Have you ever had trouble studying? Does it seem like you’re studying for hours and not achieving anything? Well, it could be that you aren’t studying effectively, but also it could be that you don’t know how you personally learn best. In this article I will teach you how to find out how you learn best and I will also tell you many tips for different learners.

First, you need to find out how you personally learn. You can then use specific studying strategies for that certain type of learning style. There are many different learning styles, but there are three main groups of learning styles that most people fall into. Most people are visual, auditory, or kinesthetic. It is also possible that you can be a mix of multiple learning styles and that you aren’t simply one type. Visual means that you learn best looking at things such as graphs, charts, and pictures. Auditory means that you learn best with having a teacher or person telling you all of the information. Kinesthetic means that you learn best getting out of your seat and moving around and touching things.

To find out your preferred learning type you are, you need to review the learning styles and their descriptions and find out which one you fall under. Also, you can try to study for tests with different styles to find out what one you like the best. To study visually you could make flash cards and go through them time and time again until you get it down. You could make also make concept maps or outlines of the text.

If you want to study using audio, then you could do things such as participate in study groups and talk things out. You could also work out the steps out loud and record yourself and listen back to it and memorize how to do it. If you want to have some fun while memorizing, you can make certain jingles or rhymes that help you remember. And finally, make sure that you study in a quiet place free of distractions.

If you determine that you are a kinesthetic learner, then you should try to listen to music while you work so that you can tune out the distractions. Also, you can get up and walk or you can lie down on your stomach or back while studying to minimize the urge to move. Another strategy is that you can combine an activity or game with studying to make it more fun and enjoyable. Finally, take breaks while studying but make sure that they aren’t too long. Breaks are used to give your brain a rest and a chance to refocus.

In conclusion, there are three main types of learning styles: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. There are also many different studying strategies to support each learning style to help you learn and study the best. All in all, I hope that this article helped you with your studying issues or maybe just helped you study for a certain quiz or test.


When In Italy by Seth B.

When I went to Italy, it was probably the best trip of my life. I got to see amazing places and an outstanding way of life. The way Italy feels is different than any other place I have been to. I got to go to Venice, Florence, and Rome.

First, when I went to Italy, the air was really misty and was the perfect weather to be outside. There were tourists everywhere and local people trying to get people to buy the things they were selling. My family and I got to ride in a gondola and talk to the gondolier. He said that when he was training to be a gondolier he had fallen into the water. It was a neat experience to be able to have a conversation with a local like he was a friend. I got to see a bunch of really old churches that had astounding paintings that were from centuries ago.

Next, I went to Florence and had even more fun than in Venice. We traveled to the leaning tower of Pisa, It took a while to find the leaning tower of Pisa because the locals pointed in one direction and said that it would take about twenty minutes to get there. It took more than twenty minutes. When I got back to Florence I went to a dome that Michelangelo painted and it was impressive. The painting went across the entire ceiling of the dome. I got to climb to the top of the dome so I was able to get a really impressive view of Florence. Before I went to Rome I was lucky to go see the David statue by Michelangelo.

Thirdly, After Florence I got to go to Rome. Rome was breathtaking. When I was in Rome I got to go to the Coliseum. I also got to climb Saint Peter’s Basilica and see the fountain that was in the movie “Angels and Demons.”  My family got to take “Gladiator Training” course that taught us how gladiators fought, and we were able to fight each other. (Don’t worry, the swords were made out of foam.) One of the really fun parts was touring Vatican City. It is fun being able to say you have visited the smallest country in the world. One of the most amazing things is that we were able to be the first people in the Sistine chapel, where Michelangelo painted that Bible stories.

Italy is an amazing place full of awesome wonders. Through the different cities, the type of style lived like changed and it was fun to interact with the locals. It has many ancient and modern things that are all worth going to. Although it is difficult to go, it is worth it.


Orcas in Captivity by Serena

Imagine it’s a warm July evening, and you are just about done with your trip to SeaWorld. You had spent a lot of money on merchandise, your backpack overflowing with key chains, plushies and other souvenirs. You make your way to the last exhibit, the orca show. You watch as orcas perform tricks, leaping out of the pool and swimming around. But suddenly, something goes wrong. The orca performing grabs the trainer’s ankle and drags him to the bottom of the stadium pool. Many people think that orcas are violent, killing machines with no mercy, that an orca solely harms a trainer because the orca enjoys attacking. But this is far from the truth. Orcas in captivity are far more stressed, and with no way to release their frustration, they lash out. The practice of keeping orcas dates all the way back to the 60s, and it’s about time it stops.

First, an orca receives little exercise and stimulation. An average orca swims around 60-100 miles in a day, but because an orca in captivity is stuck in a small tank, they have to swim around 1,210 laps just to equal the same distance they would swim in the wild, and they rarely have time to do so. Not only does this lead to them not getting enough exercise, it also leads to boredom. An orca’s brain is 4 times larger than a human’s, and because they have been evolving for the past millions of years, compared to humans only emerging 200,000 years ago, it’s safe to say that their brain development surpasses ours by far. Many humans complain about being bored, but they have freedom to do things, to read, sing, socialize, and even more. Now imagine that every time you were bored, you had to continuously swim in a circle. While a free orca can socialize with their pods, hunt and swim to their heart’s content, a captive orca receives little stimulation besides swimming in circles, and being forced to learn tricks for human entertainment.

Second, an orca is a highly sociable animal. In their natural habitat, they live with several generations and branches of their family. Even after mating, they return back to their pods, choosing to live with them for the rest of their lives. As of now there are around 10 ecotypes, each with their own different “languages.” Forcing them in captivity not only rips them from their families, similar to someone kidnapping a child, it forces them to socialize with orcas from different ecotypes. It’s like forcing a group of people from different cultures who speak different languages into a small room. It often leads to tension. In the rare case killer whales in the wild end up fighting, there is always room to swim away before one of them gets too hurt. However, captive orcas fighting will usually always end up with one of them hurt, or even worse, dead since they have no room to escape. Orcas in captivity are often very lonely, with no one to socialize with.

Third, an orca in captivity don’t live as long and often live an artificial life. An average orca in the wild is estimated to live 30-50 years. An orca at SeaWorld lives only 13 years. Being cooped up with unknown orcas from other ecotypes is stressful on the whale as they don’t have their pods, can’t hunt, and swim around. To relieve that frustration they repetitively rub against the tanks, gnawing on iron bars and cement, ramming into the walls of the tanks, and other painful things to relieve anxiety and boredom. This results in teeth being worn down to a pulp, and head trauma. They also are fed a diet of thawed raw fish, which is nothing like what a killer whale in the wild would eat. Although people at orca shows promise that they are offering the highest quality of care, the orca is still living in a concrete tank. All these things can be avoided if orcas were released from captivity.

In conclusion, orca captivity is very harmful to the species because not only do they suffer from being cooped up in a cage, they are also living an artificial life that can lead to a lot of health issues. Hopefully one day there will be an end to orcas in captivity.

Works cited:
“8 Reasons Orcas Don’t Belong at SeaWorld – SeaWorld of Hurt.” SeaWorld of Hurt. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Sept. 2016.
Hogenboom, Melissa. “Why Killer Whales Should Not Be Kept in Captivity.”BBC. N.p., Mar. 2016. Web. 26 Sept. 2016.
“Killer Whales Don’t Belong in Captivity –– Here’s Why.” One Green Planet. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Sept. 2016.


Options in High School by Isaiah

What I love most about high school is the variety of options offered to me. There’s a variety of things to do in high school. High school’s just an awesome place to be at in general. The three things that comes to my mind about high school is the diplomas, friends and the quota of options you can go through with electives.

First, there are many diplomas you can obtain in high school. The primary diploma that comes to mind is a scholarship.  Scholarships are very important for getting into a vigorous college. While their pretty hard to obtain, it’s worth it in the long run. Another diploma that comes to mind is an honors diploma. Acquiring one of these bad boys takes a somber person that is enthusiastic. You need twenty-four semesters of honors credits in order to earn one of these. This has you work way more harder than the scholarship, but it will work wonders on the later life. The last diploma that comes to mind is a high school diploma. This is by far the easiest diploma you can obtain. All you need to do is pass high school and that’s it. This is essential if you want to get anywhere in life.

Next, the opportunity for making excellent friendships is enhanced in high school. This is serious if you plan to go through high school. Having best friends and just “friends,” with enlighten the experience way more than if you just went as a lone wolf. If you did just go as a lone wolf, then high school might either be okay or just awful in life. Having friends also keeps up your self-esteem. By keeping up your self-esteem you’re making a future for yourself. By making a better future for yourself you’re showing potential. By showing potential you become potent in front of people. By being potent, you succeed in life.

Lastly, the variety of elective options in high school is wonderful. . Just by having the right to choose which path to follow is a way better experience than it was in Junior High. By having electives, people can follow their dream career goals in life. Another thing is freedom. By having at least some freedom over your classes makes me feel much better. The one thing I despised in Junior High is how the classes were pretty much forced except for music, but not everyone likes the music department.

High school is a breathtaking experience that I hope everyone likes. Even though it could be hard, it helps you in the end. The variety of how open high school itself is with diplomas, friends and the quota of options you can go through with electives. Overall, high school is a breathtaking experience that I hope everyone can agree with in how open they are with their programs.


The Evolution of the Horse by Marina J.

The modern horse, Equus Caballus, is a mammal of the Equidae family. Horses were and still are a great way of performing strenuous work humans cannot otherwise do themselves. They also provide transportation and can be used in the world of equestrianism as a fellow athlete. Humans first began domesticating horses around five thousand years ago.

Horses, like most animals, have gone through much change throughout the years they have inhabited the Earth. It all started with the first horse, Eohippus. Eohippus was estimated to have appeared around 50 to 55 million years ago. This mammal compared to that of a modern day dog rather than a horse and measured no more than 12 to 14 inches at the withers. It had four toes on the front feet and three on the back, with toe pads similar to a dog’s paw.

Next, came the Orohippus which was found in North America from 40 to 50 million years ago. Orohippus was approximately the same height and had similar foot characteristics as Eohippus, but with the ability to chew it’s food with a greater grinding motion. After Orohippus came Epihippus. This species appeared around 47 million years ago with minimal change. Mesohippus had some major changes conformationally. It nearly doubled in size, reaching about 24 inches in height. It’s forelegs, and hind legs increased in length. Instead of four toes on the front feet, it had only three on both the front and back feet. The neck became longer and the back was not as arched as Mesohippus.

The next species, Miohippus, appeared around 34 to 36 million years ago. It increased in height by six inches and had developed teeth that were better suited to rougher forages. The legs, back and neck increased in length. The feet kept the same characteristics as before. Next up, was Merychippus, meaning “Ruminant Horse.” This species emerged around 11 to 20 million years ago in North America. It’s height increased from 24 inches to about 42 to 48 inches. The way the feet were formed had a huge change. It stood on one toe, on both front and hind feet, with side toes that were somewhat functional. The legs grew much longer. The body also became excessively more hefty which allowed it to be able to get away from predators easier.

Now for the Pliohippus and the Dinohippus. They grew to about 51 inches tall. They also migrated to South America, Asia, Africa and Europe. These species now relied on one single hoof to walk on and had formed much stronger legs with splint and cannon bones and the toe pads they once had were formed into the frog and the sole of the hoof. They developed a much more sturdy and powerful body structure taking on the appearance of what a more modern horse may look like and the neck had become longer and more muscular.

Last we move to the modern day horse, Equus. It appeared around ten to two million years ago. When Equus first emerged, it started out at around 52 inches, still shorter than a modern day pony. Equus evolved even more and today a horse is anything more than 56.8 inches.

The horse is an elegant creature with slender but strong legs, sweet and gentle eyes and amazing power. These gentle giants have changed the world as we know it whether it be through sport or love, or transportation and way of living.



The Encounter by Matthew S.

My friend and I are urban explorers. Basically we like to roam and explore abandoned motels, houses, factories and other long dead buildings. It’s not technically legal and quite dangerous with just the two of us, but our young minds just can’t help the thrill sometimes. You’d also be surprised how many people are doing it these days. We’ve had many scary and mysterious experiences with this hobby.

While biking home from school we came across an empty barn that we’ve never seen before, for we took a different path due to some road work. This barn, as well as the land around it, was overtaken with plants and looked as if it was at most a century old. Upon closer inspection we could see that there were no vehicles, garden equipment, mailboxes, or any other man-made things in the vicinity. We got a look through one of the windows on side of the barn, but we couldn’t see the whole thing, and there was yet again nothing indicating any sign of anyone living here. We both knew what we were thinking as we looked at each other. We decided to come back to explore later that night in order to reduce our chances of getting caught trespassing.

The barn, bearable during daylight, was extremely unsettling under the moonlight. To make matters worse, it looked like it was just going to be me. Miguel couldn’t make it. I didn’t know if it was because he had too much homework or because he was scared, not that I would even blame him. Through the tall grass I made my way to the front door, with my flashlight off. I’d have wait until I was inside to turn it on so I wouldn’t get spotted, something an amateur explorer wouldn’t do.

The first thing I was greeted with when I slowly opened one of the wide double doors was a wallet lying on the ground. I tried to hastily overlook it. I had still not yet been able to see the inside of the barn itself. I could only see the dirty, mud covered floor, which was illuminated by the moonlight seeping through the many cracks in the walls and roof. I still didn’t dare turn on my flashlight. I ever so slightly opened the door some more. What was next revealed was what looked like the wallet’s contents. When I squinted, I could tell there were three social security cards laying on the ground. Not one, but three, and they were all addressed to three different people: Kyle Warber, Sara Husmann, and Mary Husmann.

This shook me up a bit. I stepped away from the door, letting my mind race and thinking about what could have possibly happened here. People don’t just leave their social security cards laying around, let alone three of them right next to one another. My curiosity overlooked my common sense. I gathered the nerve to approach the doorway again. With one hand on the door, standing as far back as possible, I opened the door more, this time even slower. It took awhile until I just barely saw what looked like blue tarp and plastic wrap. Upon opening the door more once again, I found it was wrapped up burrito-style over something; something lumpy. I stood there for a while, breathing in a horrible unknown stench, before letting my nerve get the best of me. Assuming the worst, I took off back to my bike, flashlight on, and pedaled hard. The ride home through the wet moonlight seemed hours long, though I didn’t lose speed the whole time. When I arrived, I called Miguel to recall what happened. He responded with an attitude that seemed to read,”I told you so”. I’ve mostly kept this story to myself until now. I never ended up telling my parents or any other friends. Nor did I contact the police, something I kind of regret.

The only thing about this experience that still currently scares me are the things I could’ve seen, had not I been so weary. I often find myself not asking questions like,”What was wrapped in that tarp?” but questions like,”What if I had just barged in there?” and “What if I had turned my flashlight on?” Who knows what sort of scarring things I could’ve seen or experienced in that barn. Though I should call myself lucky, I’m not happy to say that was the end of urban exploration for me.


Parts of the Brain by Daniel C.

While you are trying to learn and obtain new information, whether it’s through text or a speech, you are mainly using three parts of your brain. These three parts are the frontal lobe, the temporal lobe, and the cerebellum. This post will explain what these sections do and how to use them more effectively.

First is the frontal lobe. This part of your brain controls the working memory, also known as short term memory. “Working memory is a capacity for temporarily storing and manipulating information needed to carry out cognitive tasks such as learning, reasoning and understanding (Brogaard)”. In order to activate this area of the brain you need to keep it actively interested in the topic. If you are bored because the topic you are learning isn’t interesting, your brain will slow down and stop retaining information. If you are constantly taking notes or asking questions, your brain will stay active and engaged, letting you retain and enjoy the information.

Next, is the temporal lobe. This part of your brain has two main components that impact your learning. It also controls declarative memory, or your fact based memory. One of the active pieces of the temporal lobe is called the hippocampus. The hippocampus takes memories and processes them for context. The other active part is called the amygdala, which “binds memories together and initiates the storage of both contextual and unpleasant information (Brogaard).” You activate these parts of the brain by constantly studying to keep the information refreshed, as well as not allowing your emotions to get out of whack by taking a break if you are frustrated or taking a few breaths (Collier).

The last part of the brain is the cerebellum. This is the portion of your brain which controls your procedural memory, or the memory that lets you remember how to ride your bike or complete basic activities. In order to use this part of your brain effectively you have to stick with a method of learning that works for you. Once you have found a method of learning, note taking, etc., you will automatically take notes, study, and understand information. Because of simply making good habits, you can use the cerebellum to your advantage.

Those are the three main parts of your brain that affect your learning. The frontal lobe, the temporal lobe, and the cerebellum. These control different aspects of your learning but they all help each other in one way or another. These tricks will allow you to learn more and retain the information better.

Works Cited

Brogaard, Berit. “The Parts of the Brain That Affect Learning.” LIVESTRONG.COM. LIVESTRONG.COM, 28 July 2015. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.

Collier, Sherry. “Effectively Stabilize Your Emotions: Don’t Let Your Amygdala Hijack    Your Brain | Creative Path to Growth.” Creative Path to Growth Effectively Stabilize Your Emotions Don’t Let Your Amygdala Hijack Your Brain Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Sept. 2016.


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