Saturday, September 25, 2010

Friday, October 1st.

Happy October! This week's post topic is your choice. It is a little tough to find articles about the American Revolution. You may be able to find some interesting pieces about rebellions/conflicts internationally, however. Have fun finding something that interests YOU. Stick to the format and keep up the good work. Your posts to date have been informative and thoughtful.



    In Salt Lake City, Utah, paleontologists discovered two new dinosaur species: the Kosmoceratops richardsoni and the Utahceratops gettyi. Both species appeared to have many horns; the Kosmoceratops was noted to have fifteen horns on its head and was also identified as a herbivore. The Utaceratops only had five horns on its head, but was described to be the larger of the two species. It is said to resemble a large bison, with horns petruding toward the side rather than upward, and is estimated to have weighed three to four tons. Its skull itself was seven feet long, and was estimated to be about six feet in height and twenty-two feet in length. On the other hand, the Kosmoceratops only weighed 2.5 tons and was 15 feet in length. Both species have similar facial features, and their horns were estimated to be about six to twelve inches tall. Paleontologists believe that these horns formed during puberty and were used for mating purposes.
    I think it is really cool that two new species of dinosaurs have been discovered. With modern technology, we are able to find so many new things, but we've also reached the point where it is difficult to discover something new. Because of our technological advancements, it's surprising that new species have been discovered. Paleontologists have been searching for so long, so it almost seemed impossible to find anything new. The fact that the dinosaurs had horns shocked me; not many dinosaur species with horns have been discovered near our area. This discovery has probably excited many paleontologists. Many of them probably expect to find more in the near future. I anticipate a lot, too, and I'm excited to see what they discover next.

  2. Wow, Nicole, two new dinosaurs? I never would have heard about those dinosaur discoveries without current events posts. Thanks for keeping me informed! :)


    Questioning of the Shooting of an Arizona Deputy

    Back in April, deputy Puroll went out to patrol an area for drug smugglers. The area he had been patrolling was known to have been a prime area for smugglers. While patrolling, deputy Puroll was shot in the back. Although the bullet only grazed him, this can still arouse worry amongst citizens living near this area. The case almost seemed to had been called closed, until September 25. It was once again debated whether the gunshot was from 25 meters or whether it was from possibly inches away. Evidence shows that the shirt that Puroll was wearing had little burn marks on it caused by burning gun powder exiting the barrel with the bullet. This can not happen unless the bullet had been fired from almost point blank. However, Puroll convinced the investigators that the bullet had been fired from about 25 meters away. After further investigation, it had been concluded that the bullet had, in fact, been fired from a farther distance. It had been noticed that he had been patrolling alone in a well-known area for armed smugglers. In fact, his mission was to capture smugglers. He did not have anyone else with him nor any back up. As a result, there are no more solo missions of this type.
    I can not believe that this guy had run a solo mission that was expected to have armed smugglers. I mean, his life was on the line, and he is very lucky to still be alive. In my opinion, this should have never had happened. There should have been multiple people patrolling plus backup that was close by. I am relieved to hear that there will not be any further solo missions. However, this should have been established way before hand. This story grabbed my attention not so much do to the shooting content, but mostly due to the fact that he did not have any help. Even if the smugglers were unarmed, I would still believe that there should always be backup no matter what. In our military, missions are always run with backup. This was not any less lethal than a mission performed by military personnel. Instead of focusing on from what distance the deputy was shot at, they should be debating whether they should charge the leader of this. Even if the leader can not be charged, there should be a law that makes sure that our armed forces and police always have backup, no matter what the situation may be. Even though the police department changed their policy to no solo missions, I believe that this should be turned into a federal law. If this can be achieved, there is less danger involved and we could have a more powerful police force if people work together. One person can not take on five armed people, however, if it was five cops versus five people, people would feel less obligated to commit a dangerous crime do to a possible increased level of intimidation and brute force in police departments.


    Countless people across the world have been impacted by the effects of climate change, yet few harbor the incentive to pave a cleaner future. Due to initial costs and uncertain monetary returns in the future, many companies are reluctant to buy into the green market. Barbara Landau, an environmental and land-use lawyer, plans to build a new house in suburban Boston. Along with countless other sustainable features like a virtually sealed envelope and energy efficient appliances, the characteristic green design of the building will eliminate the need for an active heating system. 25,000 of these "passive buildings" are located in Europe, yet only 13 currently exist in America. Due to the extremely small population size of this radical building idea in the United States, each prospective house insurance provider refused to take a chance alongside Landau and provide insurance for her green home.

    I find it ironic that the America of the past fought for freedom from economic oppression; the America of today exhibits various inhibitions toward facets of the global community due to economic obsession. The resources used to maintain buildings in the United States constitute 40 percent of national energy consumption, 70 percent of national electricity consumption, and 40 percent of national carbon-dioxide emissions. I think it is completely logical to invest in the reflection and reinvention of the way America designs its buildings. Our global society is living on the verge of a green technology revolution, the third greatest prospective revolution of mankind, and the benefits for the environment and for our economy will unquestionably offset any initial investments from our businesses. I believe it is time for large companies to take monetary risks in the right direction. There has been so much potential in the field green technology, waiting in the shadows for their time to bloom.

    Jessica Gao
    6th Period


    In his speech at the United Nations meeting held in New York,
    Iran’s recently re-elected president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made speculation claiming that the U.S. was behind the 9/11 attack in order to revive the economy. Over the years Iran has gone through many sanctions from many different countries such as Russia, U.S., china and many more. Mr. Ahmadinejad believed that the U.S. was behind the 9/11 attack in order to assert its influence over the middle east, because of all these comments all the U.S representatives and dozens of other nations walked out of the meeting. Many of the world leaders criticized the Iranian president, on Friday president Obama’s response to the comment was “hateful” and “offensive”. The British prime minister, Nick Clegg had also believed the comments made were “bizarre, offensive, and attention-grabbing pronouncements” all aimed at deflecting the topic of Iran’s nuclear program. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s response to Nick Cleggs speech at the General Assembly was “did I say something wrong?” he argued that his comments would be unlikely to have any bearing on diplomatic efforts on Iran’s nuclear program.
    I believe that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad shouldn’t even be president in the first place; it’s obvious that the 2009 election was rigged since so many people were against Ahmadinejad, and many people favored Mir-Hossein Mousavi. He would’ve focused on solving all domestic problems within Iran rather than just focusing on building a nuclear bomb just to show off to the Israelis. So many people hate him and I’m sure more than half of all Iranians hate him even more, after the elections many were protesting and were shouting “death to the dictator” and shortly after they were brutally attacked by the police . If you saw Ahmadinejad making his speech on T.V. you wouldn’t even know people were protesting and were being beaten. This is a great example of the negative side of theocracy, it’s impossible to know who is actually ruling, the president or the religious leaders. I really think it’s laughable because if we look at it the tension between Israel and Iran closely, it can easily be compared to two children fighting over who has the better toy, since Israel has nuclear long ranged missiles, Iran feel like they have to get a nuclear bomb. I hope the problem gets fixed soon, many people are being oppressed by this “piece of fudge”, he’s off doing something that he claims that will protect the people (I use the term protect very loosely), instead of caring for his people. I believe that the domestic disputes should be the first thing on the governments list, I could go on for a while talking about how the Iranian government is corrupt and all that but I feel like I should stop here.

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    A new robotic suit, named the Exoskeleton (XOS 2) was released during a demonstration Monday. The XOS 2 was developed for the military by Raytheon Company. This suit is the second generation of its kind and it incorporates many new upgrades. The XOS 2 is lighter, faster, and stronger than the first model and the suit uses fifty percent less power. The intentions of the suit are to help with the many challenges faced by the military logistically. The suit aids in heavy lifting and in a recent test a man in the suit was easily able to lift two hundred pounds several hundred times without becoming tired. The suit makes the lifting easier and reduces the strain of the work so that it can be done faster. “One operator in an exoskeleton suit can do the work of two to three soldiers. Although the user is completely encased in the suit, their range of motion is practically unrestricted. The user is able to climb steps, punch a speed bag, or even run around and kick a soccer ball. A vice-president at Raytheon Company hopes to see these suits in the field within five years.

    In my opinion this invention could radically change the way wars are fought. These suits give us a tremendous advantage over our opponents. The suit’s agility and maneuverability allows it to perform many tasks and not restrict it to one specific unit. Also, this suit would greatly reduce the number of injuries that occur on the battlefield and could save lives. A person in a suit can maintain a ten mile an hour pace which means that if need be, a person could run back to save someone. The lifting capabilities of the suit mean that carrying one person will not significantly restrict the speed of the runner. One problem I foresee with this suit though is cost. These suits will more than likely cost well over a million dollars because the suits are run by a complex system of sensors and high pressure hydraulics. For the suits to be practical in use the military would need hundreds of suits. The national debt has surpassed one trillion dollars and buying these suits would only cripple our taxpayers even more. The suits do have the potential to protect and save overseas but at home they could do more harm then help.

    Zach Visco
    September 28, 2010
    Period 6

  8. Kendall Simms 6th pd. 9/28/10

    A study recently taken called “A Global Update of Social Technographics” surveyed Americans on their online social networking and acquired interesting results. It revealed that majority of the people joining and using social networking sites aren’t uploading photos and messaging other users. In other words, they aren’t truly using the site. Only ten percent of online users upload videos to sites such as YouTube, and facebook. The report says that this is due to a lack of creativity and fresh ideas in the online community. It also found that social networking sites are continuing to grow but most of the people using these sites are becoming inactive and labeled as “spectators”. Multiple blogs also support the fact that many users are comfortable simply viewing what others post and taking the more passive course.

    This really doesn’t come as a surprise to me. I know many people who make up the statistic of online spectators. It seems to be a common thing in this day and age to be inactive and passive in countless instances. Some people just don’t like to share even the slightest personal part of themselves by blogging or posting videos on YouTube. Instead, they enjoy witnessing other’s social lives and activities. I thought that the article used a very good word for describing such people, lurkers. Not that I have anything against said people. I simply think that this study merely confirmed what has already come to be known as a common practice for social networkers. My main concern is that the increasing lack of creativity will lessen the amount of amusing things on the Internet, subsequently leaving me with nothing to satisfy my boredom.

  9. Brinklee Bailey
    Current Event 3

    This week my current event was about the stink bug infestation effecting different parts of the United States such as Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New York. They are causing damage to many crops leaving some farmers with less to sell and to make profit off of. This infestation is also having an effect on homeowners. Stink bugs get into peoples houses and when their agitated or stepped on they give off a bad skunk like smell. Government and university researchers are still studying the bug to determine why the population has increased so much this year. The stink bug has been around the United States since 1998, even though it is a Native of Asia. The stink bug has been found in 15 states across America and specimens have been found in 14 other states. The bug is a very good traveler, especially when it is trying to find somewhere warm to live for the cold seasons. The research station is part of the 3 laboratories trying to find a cure for the stink bug problem even though there is no immediate relief in the near future. “We don’t even have a way to monitor the pest.” said Kevin Hackett, national program leader for invasive insects for the Agriculture Department. This research does not come at a cheap price though. With the entire stink bug research there has been $800,000 spent, which is almost double of what was spent last year. Since this is such a wide-spreading problem more researchers will be needed to complete all the work needed to be done. There will need to be an estimated 7 full-time researchers which is going to cost an additional 3.5 million dollars in salaries and research expenses. One solution has been brought up though; it is to bring over a parasitic wasp which would help control the stink bug population by attacking the stink bugs eggs. However this will take years to take full effect.

    Personally I think that this is disgusting. I feel really sorry for the people living in these select states and having to cope with the out of control stink bug problem. I’m not sure about any other type of solution that could be used to solve this issue besides what the scientists are already doing which is researching and testing. I also think that it’s a bit ridiculous that all of this money is being spent on stink bug research, when there are larger problems facing our country.

  10. Ruling allows stem cell research to continue during appeal

    Stem cell research can continue because of an appeals court ruling. The ruling lifts any bans on stem cell research while the Obama administration fights an original ruling that disallows public funds used for stem cell research. This lift of the ban is permanent as opposed to an earlier temporary lift on September 9. President Obama has made groundbreaking research in this category a priority since he has been in office. These appeals are in effect while the government tries to change the original ruling, which restricted the use of the taxpayer’s dollar on the destruction of embryos for stem cell research. One of the groups that filed the original lawsuit, the Nightlight Christian Adoptions, say they aren’t opposed to the stem cell research itself, but the destruction of embryos to recover stem cells.
    To start off, I am in the supporting category for stem cell research because the pros definitely outweigh the cons. That being said, I am happy to hear that stem cell research can continue. We will make so many advances with this research in motion, such as cures for diseases otherwise incurable, and not to mention making organ transplants much easier. In my opinion, religion should not get in the way of groundbreaking research such as this, as long as the manner in which the stem cells are retrieved is humane. I hope that the original ruling is completely overturned to let the tax dollar be spent towards such an important cause.

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  12. Stink Bug Invasion
    Maria Miggs

    While everyone has been wrapped up in the infiltration of bedbugs, a new insect has made its presence known in our houses: the Stink Bug. In the Middle Atlantic, these pests are wreaking havoc on crops and are infesting people’s homes. Lately bed bugs have been found in 15 states and their population is increasing by shocking amounts. Although the Appalachian Fruit Research Station in West Virginia has been working on finding a solution to these insects, no answer has been found, and there are no animals that feed on these invasive insects in the United States.
    I think everyone can agree that these bugs are repulsive and an annoyance to people having to put up with them. Fortunately I don‘t have this problem but I can sympathize with the families who have this burden. For one thing these bugs are gross. When you squish one they emit a horrible odor, like that of a skunk. But more importantly they are literally eating away at farmer’s crops, which is their livlihood. I believe that we should put more money in research so we can find a way to reduce the population of these Stink Bugs.


    French police closed the Eiffel Tower for the second time in less than a month due to a bomb threat on Tuesday night. The bomb threat was made from a nearby phone booth, not far from the giant landmark. Two-and-a-half hours later, the tower reopened for visitors. One man was standing underneath the Eiffel Tower when police started wrapping crime-scene tape around the base of the 1,063-foot tall tower. He said that officers told him that an unspecified “problem” caused the evacuation and that “everybody was told to cross the streets and move about (490 feet) away from the tower”. Many tourists didn’t let the threat bring down their morale as they applauded when the tower began its customary sparkling at the top of the hour. Another bomb threat was called in on September 14th at the Eiffel Tower. That bomb threat was deemed bogus shortly after it caused the evacuation of 2,000 people from nearby homes and businesses.

    This event is important because it shows that the government in France is being very cautious when it comes to potential terrorism. This can kind of tie into the American Revolution because, in this situation, the police were very cautious and ordered the evacuation of many visitors due to the fact that they believed that the lots of people were in danger from this bomb threat that was called in. When the British realized that the colonies could threaten them with independence, at first, the British were very cautious to try to make sure that we were happy with them governing us by being very lenient with their laws towards us. I think that it is important that bomb threats are taken seriously because it only takes one real bomb threat to devastate tons of people and families. It is better to take all the precautions when it comes to bomb threats and it is good to see that people all over the world are doing just that.

    Andrew Cohen
    7th period

  14. BP's Safety Division
    Riley Hutchison
    7th Period

    On Friday Robert Dudley will take over the position of chief of BP, the position is currently held by Tony Hayward. He hasnt even taken the position yet and he is already making a promise to emphasize safety. He is planning to "oust" Andy Inglis who was in charge of drilling and sealing the well that was damaged. A new safety division is being set up to hopefully prevent another disaster. When the rig blew up it killed 11 workers, and it spilled millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. When this occured America lost most trust in BP, and Dudley wants to work towards rebuilding that lost trust. Some of the steps that Dudley will take are to; establish strong safety practices, be responsible for all operations, and he will look over how employes are rewarded and are surpervised. This isnt the first time that BP has had a problem. In 2005 there was an explosion at the Texas City Rfinery that killed 15 workers and injured more than 80, and in 2006 there was a leak in the Alaska pipeline that caused lots of damage. BP is making a comeback, but lots of things will have to change before the American public fully trusts them again.

    I thought that BP made a huge error by letting all that oil spill into the Gulf. At first it seemed like they werent taking all the steps possible to clean it up, but now it seems like they are doing everything possible. Hiring a new Chief is a big risk, and i think it is a good step. It is good that he is making a point to emphasize safety, since that has been a big issue in the past. Dudley seems very confident in what he is doing, and i think we need someone in charge that wond second guess decisions. If things work the way he is planning for them to i would say that BP will become one of the major gas providers again, and hopefully be even more environmentally and safety concious than before.


    Recently, the House of Representatives sent a message to the leaders in China warning them that President Obama may have the right to institute a tarrif on all Chinese imports. This year there were over $3oo billion worth of Chinese imports. There are tariffs on certain products like steel and tires, but Obama wants to tax all imports. The reason behind this is because Beijing is refusing to revalue its money, which makes Chinese goods more competitive in the United States.

    I think it's a bad idea to try to tax the Chinese. They are a very important part of America's economy because of all the goods they produce for the U.S. If we force the Chinese to pay a tariff, then they might refuse to continue trading between the world's largest economies. There must be a better way to figure out a deal with China besides forcing them to pay a tax.


    Bedbugs are on the rise, and are becoming a hassle across the nation. In New York City the bedbugs are now starting to show up in public schools. The number of bedbugs in the 2009-2010 school year in New York’s public schools saw an increase of 88 percent. There have been at least 22 calls this month to the city’s help line, and there is bound to be more to come. Many school officials won’t tell the public how many bedbug instances have been made, but the public does know that there has not been any school closings related to bedbugs. Many teachers and school staff are hoping that someone comes to clean all the bedbugs out soon before it spreads anymore than it already has.

    Even though bedbugs may be small they can cause many problems. The issue of bed bugs is growing extremely rapidly and the public needs to be aware of this. Just the other week even my big brother’s college, Catawba, had bed bugs in many of the student’s mattresses, and most of the dorms were evacuated and searched. This is very serious because bedbugs may cause some diseases, because if they become full of the blood they have been feeding off of then they can burst and expose you to other people’s blood. I think that many people underestimate what bedbugs can do and they just ignore them. But in reality if bedbugs are found they should be destroyed as soon as possible and before they cause any damage.

    Leah Whitney


    A new planet has come to the attention of astronomers around the world. There is predicted to be life on this planet. The new planet has been named Gliese 581g, and it is predicted that it is somewhat like Earth. It is thought that the temperature of the planet is just right to have water. It only takes 37 days for the planet to orbit around its whole orbit, but its orbit star is much smaller than our own, making th planet cooler. This new discovery of another solar systems, have led scholars to hope for the future, a future in which we will be able to visit such planets. In this future, we will find more and more planets such as our own. But in order for this future to be correct, we must find more information on the new system. The solar system is very identical to our own, which scholars hope for the best. Although this solar system is relatively close, it is still far off. If you're traveling at a tenth of the speed of light, you could reach this planet in 200 years. This could take tens of thousands of years for us to actually reach the planets ourselves.

    I think that this would be very cool if we could go to another planet and virtually live there. If you think going out of the country is an experience, what about leaving this planet? If we could make our ways over there and communicate with the unknown, scientists everywhere are going to work extremely hard to reach the common goal, leaving the planet and surviving on another. I think this sounds amazing. You could meet people that don't live where you do. It would be good to see their views on life and we could teach them our own. It would be like a support system. We could help each other, learn from each others mistakes.

  18. Maggie,
    I just read the same article! Crazy news on the new Gliese 581g (nice name, right) planet. :)

  19. Thomas Nguyen
    9/29/10 Period 7

    President Barack Obama already has a plan for the US education system because the US is falling behind in education to other foreign countries, especially in the subjects of math and science. On Monday, President Obama proposed an idea of increasing the school year in the US. In the US, a school year is 180 days. In countries with high achievement levels, the school year is 196-197 days. President Obama also supported the idea of getting rid of teachers who perform poorly. The issue with longer school years is that it requires more money. Some states and districts who are low on money may not be able to keep students in the classroom longer.

    In my opinion this is a good and bad thing. If students spend more time in the classroom, there is less time outside the classroom during vacation where the student forgets the material he/she learned. This is a bad thing because this will shorten the students' summer vacation time. Teachers also may become tired from working too much during the year. Longer school years mean more money which means school districts would have to have a small budget. Taxes could rise to cover the extra amount of time students are in the classroom. This is not a serious issue right now, but within a couple of weeks or months, this will be a major issue. A lot of students would oppose the idea of a longer school year. A better solution would be to set higher standards and expectations for each grade level.

  20. Geoff Thomason
    Period 7

    Unmanned airplanes have become so popular among our military, that they are considered common in warfare and surveillance. These remote-controlled airplanes can drop bombs, spy on terrorist camps and even threaten enemy aircrafts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The government now intends to put these new planes to work at more customary, routine operations. These include patrolling borders, transporting cargo and even as airway traffic cops. The Federal Aviation Administration is now studying how to safely fit these unmanned aircraft into the nation's busy commercial airspace. The Federal Aviation Administration's main concern is the difficulty of safely including these robotic aircrafts, into America's hectic profitable market of airways. Although the number of uses for these unmanned airplanes and the number of airplanes themselves are continuing to grow, that also increase the chance of an accident or something going wrong. The established altitudes, speeds and routes are still be tested and researched, but there is still one big question remaining in my mind. Who or what will be held responsible for a crash?

    I think that there needs to be a whole lot more testing of the unmanned aircraft before they officially enter it in the regular market of Airways. If every single detail isn't tested, then that could be very potentially dangerous to any other pilots or passengers; at the very least precious cargo. I think that this is an amazing idea and could turn out to be very helpful in the future, but I simply don't see this happening anytime soon. There are so many unanswered questions and kinks to work out. It simply needs more time before it should be approved.


    Recently, a group of letters written to and from Francis Crick (co-discoverer of the DNA structure) has been discovered. Within these letters, we find Crick, over a 26 year period, basically establishing how DNA operates in living cells. This correspondence, which seemingly shaped the progress of molecular biologists around the world, was originally thought to be long since destroyed, but we now see that this is false. One of Crick's old colleagues, Sydney Brenner, recently donated all of Crick's files to a laboratory on Long Island, where the formerly missing documents were discovered. These letters do not change the present knowledge that we have about DNA, but gives a sense of attitude and detail referring to the discovery process.

    I think that this is absolutely incredible! These letters give us a chance to see a personal account of the discovery of the DNA structure. We also get a chance to see the mistakes and mess-ups made during this process, and how they were handled. I'm glad these were discovered, and did not remain seemingly destroyed forever. By reading these documents, we get new, incredible insight into the mind of Francis Crick and the other great men and women with whom he corresponded. I'm very excited to see this new information surfacing after being missing for so long.

    Kim Rubish
    6th Period

  22. After the massive recall of toys from China in 2007, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission cracked down on regulations and inspections of products intended for children. After the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act was passed 2008, the commission was put in charge of defining what items were "children's." This proved more difficult than expected, and they have yet to come to a consensus. The issue right now is that a number of companies want exemption from the inspection requirements, as it adds on a great deal of money to check things that they believe weren't even American oversights to begin with. For example, the Halloween Industry Association claims that, as adults like to dress up just like kids do, their products should not be subject to the Safety Improvement Act. At this point, the definition of a child's product is one that is “designed or intended primarily for children 12 years of age or younger.”

    I personally believe that the loopholes some of these companies are trying to find are ridiculous. Just because adults buy train sets doesn't make them unintended for kids. These regulations are for the safety of small children, something that big-time businessmen trying to save an extra buck shouldn't forget. True, the problem stems from Chinese neglect, but in reality it's just as much the fault of the United States. We have gotten used to having everyone else do our work for us that we don't think they might not care all that much about quality. I think the bigger issue here is the outsourcing of American production and jobs.


    Logan essay 4
    Connor Randolph

    Obama just restated his stand on schools being open longer in the USA due to the overwhelming amounts of countries that have higher grades and all have longer school years. On an Interview on the today show Sept 27, 2010 Obama stated his position as simple as can be,” I think that there should be longer school years.” From statistics that back up Obama’s ideas that most developed countries have 1 month longer of school ever year most countries had from 187 to 184 days and very few had 195 days or more . If u do thee math that is 15 days plus weekends that is about 3 weeks of extra school compared to the United States. Obama says that we need to “prepare for the 21st century “, this is showing that Obama pressing movement for this issue.

    I think that school are to long as it is and that they can not change some thing that has been in place for decades. This is like coming in and say that in business they can only get 4 six days in stead of weeks. He is changing some thing that will not only effect students but teachers and staff. Sure some schools are year round in the united sates but this would also subtract one of there month breaks and than students would really almost be in school all year long. As a student I would most directly be affected, school is to long and it never seems like summer is around the corner and adding 3 weeks extra would just make the school more of a drag.

  24. Leila Doerfer
    6th period

    In the past three weeks, four gay teenagers have committed suicide. Tyler Clementi, who was a freshman at Rutgers University, jumped off a bridge the day after two classmates recorded him having sex with a man in his dorm room, and posted it on the internet. Asher Brown, a 13 year old from Houston, shot himself after being harassed at his middle school. According to news reports his parents said they complained to the school but that nothing changed. The school says that there were no complaints made. Seth Walsh, also 13, committed suicide after being bullied. The police have interviewed several of the students that teased Seth, but say that their teasing did not constitute a crime. Billy Lucas, a 15-year-old that lived in Indiana, hung himself after being bullied. Billy never told anyone that he was gay, but his classmates confess that he was teased because they assumed he was gay. Gay, bisexual, transgender, and lesbian students are three to four times more likely to commit suicide that straight students says National Education Policy Center and the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law. More than 85 percent of gay, bisexual, transgender, and lesbian students say they have been harassed because of their sexual or gender identity. More than 20 percent say they have been physically attacked.
    When i heard that four people had killed themselves in just three weeks i couldn't believe it. Especially because it was about their sexual orientation. I think that schools need to work a lot harder on making a safer environment for students that are gay, lesbian, or bisexual. If someone is gay or lesbian, i don't think it's anyone's business. I can't get over the fact that there are kids my age that will never be an adult and experience things, because they killed them-selves. They thought that killing them-self was the only way to deal with the torments, harassment, and physical assaults done by other students. Schools, parents,and students need to realize when something this big is going on, and do something to change it. Students need to recognize that bullying and teasing can cause more problems than they may indent them to. We need to start taking bigger steps in making a safe social environment for everyone.


    This Sunday, Germany will finally make the last payment it owes to the allies according to the Treaty of Versailles, the treaty written at the end of World War I. The Treaty was written in 1919, just over nine decades ago. Germany struggled to pay off the money it owed the allies and went bankrupt in the 1920's. Germany sunk further and further into debt until the 1930's when, due to the depression, Germany could stop making payments. Even after the depression ended, Hitler wasn't too keen on sending payments to those he was currently locked in another world war with. In the 1950's, West Germany paid off some of the debt but there was still much left that wasn't to be repaid until East and West Germany reunited. It wasn't until 1990 that the united Germany resumed making payments on this debt. Now, twenty years later, the debt is about to be finally paid off.

    Although the repaying of the debt from almost a century ago might not seem too important compared to the hotbed of contemporary political issues across America and the World, but it does yield a stark lesson to those in politics now. That is, to consider both the short-term and long-term effects of our actions, and how what we are doing now may affect our children or grandchildren. Or great-grandchildren, as the case may be. This article really caught my eye because I was astounded by the fact that a war from so long ago with very, very few living veterans is only now being settled entirely. It really makes me wonder how long it will take to pay off the cost of certain contemporary wars that had an estimated cost of $2 billion a week.

  26. Alex Grosskurth
    6th period,0,4202241.story
    Today Fisher-Price toys had to have another massive recall of their toys. This is a second huge recall of their toys, which damages their reputation even more after the 2007 massive recall. Fisher-Price manufactures toys for children, and both times the recall has be due to them being very hazardous to children, many of whom are too young to know how to properly use a toy or not put it into their mouths. The Fisher-Price spokesman said that although the figures of the toys that are being recalled look daunting and huge, they are not really that big. Many of the toys that were recalled were distributed years ago and aren't even in circulation anymore. The parents of children with these toys are advised to dispose of them immediately so their child does not run the risk of being harmed.
    I believe that this is kind of sad that Fisher-Price, a subsidiary of Mattel, has had to run another massive recall of their toys. These companies manufacture mainly for small children, children that may chew on toys or use them improperly, which is a hazard enough itself. On top of them abusing the toys, the toys are now covered in lead of have choking hazards that haven't been properly warned of. Any parent that saw their child die of a toy that was made badly or improperly must be appalled because no parents expect their children to die from playing with an innocent car or doll. This incident, coupled with the last recall, will majorly affect Mattel and Fisher-Price. The reason that we are having so many problems with these toys lately is because businesses have become cheap and don't care about the well being of children, they simply care about the revenue they make from the toys. Most of the products that are made in the U.S are from other countries like China and Mexico where the health standards and craftsmanship standards are very different than the ones that are sanctioned here. If we started making toys in America again, where we checked to see if the paint used was toxic or that part of the toy could become a choking hazard, we wouldn't be having these problems.

    Leon Pickles

    This article is about a controversy about textbooks in Texas. People are saying that the social studies and history textbooks are 'pro-Muslim', and downgrade Christianity. The textbooks apparently say that Muslims are migrants and Christians are invaders. They also say that Islam is given more lines than Christianity.

    I believe that these people have too much time on their hands to look through textbooks to find these things. But I also think that it is ridiculous for a couple of reasons. First, our country is a free country and all different religions should be tolerated and none should be attacked. Second, The things in the textbook could be completely true. I'm not saying that Christians are invaders. But, Christians did did try to invade the Holy Land.


    Texas Textbook Turmoil-Again

    The Texas Board of Education has passed a new social studies curriculum with a discernible conservative stamp. The curriculum stresses the superiority of American Capitalism, questions the Founding Fathers' commitment to a purely secular government and presents Republican political philosophies in a more positive light. Don McLeroy, the leader of the board's conservative faction vying for the substantial change in history, said to press after the vote,"We are adding balance. History has already been skewed. Academia is skewed too far to the left." The conservative faction insists on the notion that the textbook and the teachers who use it harbor a liberal bias. Since January, the Board has made 100 amendments to the curriculum including some intending to call into question, among other things, concepts like the separation of church and state and the secular nature of the American Revolution. McLeroy has pushed for certain amendments that teach about the violent philosophies of the Black Panther, the internment of Japanese as well as Germans and Italians(to counter the idea that the radical act was not motivated by racism), and that Communists have infiltrated the American government. The board has also altered the text to give the Muslim and Christian religion an equal number of lines, and what it argues, equal representation. As Kathy Miller, president of the Texas Freedom Network, an advocate for religious freedom, said, “It’s hard not to conclude that the misleading claims in this resolution are either based on ignorance of what’s in the textbooks or, on the other hand, are an example of fear-mongering and playing politics.”

    The conservative faction is obviously letting their emotions and personal opinions slant the facts of the world. The text is relatively neutral except for the fact that victors write the history books. It is true that the Black Panthers did have a violent side and that Communists (in a vague use of the term referring to the Russians) did infiltrate the American government during the Cold War, and vice versa. McLeroy has said that the text has a liberal perspective and that he is “just adding balance” in terms of the bipolarized sides of government (conservative and liberal-as ascribed by our society). In fact what he is doing is just throwing his personal opinion into the state text that millions of children will read. I only hope this same horrible fate does not befall the rest of the nation.


    Possibly one of the nations largest toy manufacturer has recently recalled 10 million toys. Fischer Price was manufacturing inflatable balls for young kids, which seemed to be a big hit. They soon realized a problem, the valve to the airway was coming loose on many of the balls. This valve posed as a possible chocking hazard for children. There were a total of 46 reports in the U.S. where the valve came loose. Of those 46 cases, 3 reported the child actually choking on the valve. This manufacturing problem also showed up in Canada, however it didn't not have as nearly high of a result. In Canada, 125,000 toys were recalled, not coming anywhere near those recalled in the U.S. AS well as the inflatable ball, a toy car model was being recalled as well. There were numerous cases of the wheels falling off, which could be possible choking hazards as well.

    I feel that it is very important for these toys to get checked better for these flaws. Children may not realize these dangerous situations can occur, which can lead to conflict. With the numerous toys containing defects, something needs to be done. We have to be able to trust and rely on our toy manufacturing companies to create safe products. By having dangerous toys possible of leading to conflicts, they are putting our youth in danger. I believe our pre-launch toy testing needs to be stepped up a notch. By knowing the harmful and dangerous situations that these new toys can create, we can find solutions to these problems and protect our kids; our future.

    Cole Shoup
    Period 7

  30. Recently, more than three thousand people were called and asked basic questions about religion. This research was a product of the the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life surveying and asking participants 32 questions about the Bible and various faiths. These participants were also asked about important figures and principles surrounding religion. Surprisingly, the group who scored highest on this survey were atheists and agnostics. The second and third highest scoring groups were Jews and Mormons respectively, two minorities. On average only half of the questions were answered right. Race, age, and education were taken into account and the results stayed the same. Sample questions included: Where was Jesus born? What is the religion of the Dalai Lama, Joseph Smith, and Mother Teresa? The lines between church and teaching was also asked.

    I think it makes sense that Atheists answered the most questions right. It seems to me that to not believe in a God who most religions believe in that you would need to do research. I have watched debates of religion vs. non religion where the non-religious person certainly knew as much, or even more, about the Bible as the religious person. I also was not very surprised that other religions scored lower. Sometimes people inherit their religion from their parents without ever really studying the religion.

    Jessica Batson
    7th Period


    The small town of Tocco da Casauria in central Italy has recently embarked on a successful local green energy project. Immense wind turbines rise above the ancient town and produce thirty percent more electricity than its 2,700 residents require. The turbines generate enough surplus money to eliminate all local taxes. An extra 170,000 euros (or $200,000) a year have been a luxury for the small town. The success of wind turbines has motivated Tocco to explore other renewable energy sources. Solar panels are now utilized to power the local offices and cemeteries, and generate an income of 1,500 euros a year ($2,000). This money is currently being used to make the local school more earthquake resistant. Wealthier families are installing solar panels in their own homes and electricity bills have dropped from as much as $700 to $0. The otherwise old fashioned town of Tocco is completely futuristic from the energy standpoint.
    I think that this is an incredible achievement. While the rest of Italy currently produces only seven percent of its power from renewable sources, the small town of Tocco is one hundred percent efficient. Other small towns throughout Italy are starting to follow in Tocco’s footsteps. Although this may not be a large-scale movement, it is surely a step towards widespread green energy, which is beginning to seem like a necessity for future generations. I believe that the success of Tocco de Casauria exhibits the fact that green energy movements do not have to be on a national or even statewide scale. Perhaps the road to energy efficiency is paved with baby steps that start with small towns like Tocco.

    Maria Yao,6th


    A student at Rutgers University is believed to have committed suicide after his privacy was invaded by no other than his own roomate. Tyler Celemti, a freshman at Rutgers University, is believed to have committed suicide by jumping off the George Washinton Bridge into the Hudson River. Clementi's roomate agreed to let Clementi to have the room to himself until midnight. However, his roomate went over to a friend's room and spied on Clementi via a webcam in their room. What they saw was Clementi having an intimate moment with a another guy. Clementi was indeed gay, and his roomate posted the videos on live chat for everyone to see not only once but twice. The roommate, Dharun Ravi, is charged with 2 counts of invasion of privacy for the first and 2 more counts of invasion of privacy for the second broadcast. Ravi's friend, Molly Wei, is charged with 2 counts of invasion of privacy for the first broadcast.

    I think that this is just terrible. No should have to cause a person to die because of their personal preference. What happened to Tyler Clementi shouldn't have happened. I think that the hatred toward gay and lesbian people should stop. However, if you do have a problem with them, don't go out in the world and say that they are sinners. Keep your opinions to yourself. No one should have interfere with someone else's life and destroy it for them. I believe that Clementi's death will raise awareness to all of the people who feel hatred toward gay and lesbian people out there. Even though they might not seem like it to you, the gay and lesbians are people too with feelings. Even if Ravi and Wei might have started this as a joke, cyberbullying and suicide is no laughing matter.

    Jenny Jin
    7th period


    After Israel ended its moratorium on building in the West Bank last Sunday, US diplomats have energetically tried to continue peace talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians. In return for an extended moratorium on illegal Israeli settling of the West Bank, the US is supposedly offering Israel diplomatic solidarity and military equipment. At the same time, US negotiators are reportedly encouraging Palestinians to accept an end to the building, along with nebulous possibilities of establishment of borders between Israel and Palestine. Although this rumor has been denied by the administration, President Obama may have sent a letter detailing the conditions for the Israeli side of the agreement to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. According to David Makovsky, an employee at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the letter offered F-35 aircraft and other military equipment in exchange for a 60 day extension on the building moratorium.
    I feel that it is absurd to offer Israel such favors in exchange for a temporary end to the building. Says Mustafa Barghouti, a Palestinian politician, "It [the American offer] is like giving a prize to a thief". I agree: offering Israel military supplies (which, ironically enough, could be used to threaten or attack the Palestinians) so that they discontinue their illegal building is unfair. Although US diplomats may sincerely feel that they are playing a role as arbiters of justice and peace, it is obvious to me that they are playing favorites, and using taxpayer money to do so.

    Shane Sater
    7th Pd.

  34. There has recently been an uproar about Texas textbooks favoring Islam to Christianity. The truth is, the knowledge of textbooks in Texas showing support to Islam was phased out a long time ago. The timing of this is very interesting because not very long ago there were many other heated debates going on between Islamic beliefs vs. others, examples would be the mosque being built in grand zero and a pastor burning Korans. Considering how the board knew about this way long ago and are just pointing it out now, it clearly shows that this is more of a political move rather than an educational one. The article later has some quotes by the chair of the department of religious studies at southern Methodist University, Mark Chancey. Chancey says that “whatever is ‘pro-Islamic’ is by definition ‘anti-Christianity. After this the article says that some people believe that Arabs have been spending money to get the publishers to write pros about Islam. Gilbert T. Sewall, who is the director of the American Textbook Council, denies this statement. The article closes with a statement by the Texas Freedom Foundation saying that board members are just trying to popularize themselves rather than care about how the children are being taught.
    I completely agree with the Texas Freedom Foundation. I personally do not believe that Arabs in the Middle East bribed the people who created the textbooks at Texas. I also find it very strange that although this issue was brought up about a year ago it wasn’t brought up then and is just starting to surface now. This does create suspicion that the board is just doing this in order to create a hot topic and for political and personal gain. I also disagree with Chancey because Islam and Christianity have many similar beliefs and practices. Also if the board were to actually be upset that the religion of Islam was getting a few more lines then Christianity, then they just have to much time on their hands, this shouldn’t be a big topic of controversy.

    Basirul Haque
    7th Period.

  35. Yesterday Jaguar released a car called the C-x75 Concept. Its a hybrid two seater sports car with a top speed of 205 miles per hour and the capability to travel aprox. 560 miles without using any gasoline due to its 188-horsepower gas turbine engine that can recharge batteries. Its said that this car will most likly stay out of production although it looks like a striking new sep in the race for electric cars.

    The reason I picked to write about a car in my article is because i remember that around 5 years ago the chevy volt was released and its production date was 2011. The volt travels about 40 miles on electricity and that about 2 dollars on your energy bill, but with this new car, because it only charges up to 68 miles you save all that money and the turbine continualy goes giving you much more out of the car. I hope to see further improvements where they can take the engine out of the care and maybe run cars on solar energy themselvs, making them the ultimate choice for any circumstances. Personaly, if I could get any car I wanted, it would be this one because its eco friendly, fast, good looking, and unique.

    Find the C-x75 at:

    Ian Hill


    On Wednesday the discovery of a new planet was revealed, the first in what is called the Goldilocks zone of it's star. Being within it's star's Goldilocks zone means that the planets temperature is neither too hot nor too cold for liquid water to exist on it's surface. This means that it could support plant or algae life on it. The scientists have named this new planet Gliese 581g, and nicknamed it the Goldilocks planet. Scientists believe that either these planets must be relatively common, or that they are on the brink of a second Age of Discovery. One thing they have learned through massive study is that the planet has one side that faces the sun the entire time, meaning the far side is quite cold, but organisms could find a place to comfortably live.

    I think this is an amazing scientific break-through. I did not think that i would see the discovery of a planet able to hold life until I was at least 30. I think this could be the beginning of the start of a solution to the Earth's population and global warming problems. The discovery of this planets mean that are other habitable planets out there, and possibly other planets that even are habited. I think this could be one of the biggest scientific break-throughs we have ever had.

  37. Gavin Welch
    Per 7

    Recently the planet Gliese 581g has had it’s existence confirmed after 11 years of research by the Lick-Carnegie Exoplanet Survey. Gliese 581 has been found outside our solar system and has excited many astronomers because it’s the closet Life sustainable planet we have found. Gliese has a 37 day year and two sides to the planet it’s self. The planet has one side which is constantly in the light and the other side which is constantly in the dark. The dark side would be unbearably cold and the light side incredible hot. The shadowy line that divides the halves in two would be a sustainable place to have life. Professor Steven Vogt says that he is a hundred percent certain that life exist on this planet. This planet is found in its solar system with a many other planets that are either way to hot or way to cold. This is how planet Gliese got its name the Goldilocks Planet because it is not to hot and not to cold.
    I believe that there is life on this planet, I also believe that there are way more planets like this one out there. Our universe is so vast and so much of it is undiscovered that it’s almost impossible that that there is no other life than planet earth. Here in our planet we have found life anywhere that there is water. This means that if we can find a planet with an ideal temperature and oxygen that we should be able to find another form of life


    A few conservative members of the Texas Board of Education believe that the history books used in Texan school systems have a pro-Islamic bias, and they want to change that. They say that more lines in past textbooks were used to talk about Islamic beliefs and practices than Christian beliefs and practices, and described offenses committed by Christian crusaders while ignoring offenses made by Muslim fighters. In the past textbooks, writers often call Christians “violent attackers” or “invaders” while referring to Muslim conquests in Europe as mere “migrations.” Several republican board members are planning to vote on Friday for a resolution that will send a message to textbook publishers not to present a pro-Islamic, anti-Christian version of history. The conclusion was written and submitted to the board this summer by, Randy Rives, who said, “If you can control or influence our education system, you can start taking over the minds of the young people. And so I think we are real passionate that you need to make a bold statement to the publishers that pushing this agenda will not be tolerated in Texas.” We don’t know yet whether or not this resolution will take effect, since the board doesn’t intend on revisiting the standards they had already set for world history textbooks. Only time can tell.

    I understand Rives’ and the other conservative christians feelings towards the subject, but personally, I think they are looking too deep into the issue. Despite the fact that American kids will be reading and learning from these books, they are most likely not the only teaching tool that will be used in history classrooms. I think that children are more influenced by what is said by their teacher than what they read in textbooks anyway.

    Cerys Humphreys
    7th Period

    Texas is debating whether to allow guns on college campuses or not. Rick Perry favors letting guns on campus while democrat, Bill White says that individual campuses should decide for themselves. Robert Butler of the Libertarian part says, “The record shows that when people are able to defend themselves, they have a better chance of survival." He obviously agrees that guns should be allowed on campuses. Woods, a former student from Virginia Tech whose girlfriend was shot during the shooting in 2007 made the point that getting a shooting license wasn’t a very selective process, meaning that it is easy for anyone to get one.

    I think that letting students have handguns on campus is ridiculous. Thinking that letting guns on campus will prevent violence and deaths just confuses me. It really isn’t logical at all. Letting people have guns on campus will just increase violence. Especially at college parties I find this to be extremely dangerous. Drinking and guns would NOT be a very good combination. To keep these schools safe we need to get the guns out.
    Tristin Van Ord period 6


    Governor Schwarzenegger has passed a law that requires schools to offer students free drinking water. The goal is to help students be healthy, by preventing dehydration. Dehydration can affect focus and attention, so by keeping students hydrated the schools are helping their students function. Drinking water also helps fight obesity, as it's a healthy alternative and it can help you lose weight. 40% of schools that responded to a poll said that they did not offer free drinking water, which includes water fountains or water bottles.

    I think this is a great idea. I know the main reason schools would not offer this is because of money, but I can't think of many things more important than water. It's just a basic need. I think that by making it free students will be inclined to drink that instead of spend money on a soda or something else unhealthy. I'm very glad our school offers free water already (even if the only working fountain in the C building isn't accessible most of the time), and I was surprised that this was even an issue.

    -Kate Boyd (7th pd)

  41. This week I read an article about the possibility of life harbored on a different planet. According to the article a planet named Gliese-581g is capable of having water on its planets surface. This means there is the potential for plant and animal life on this planet and elsewhere in the universe. This discovery has excited many in the science community. However, the most complex living things growing on Gliese-581g are probably similar to pond scum and lichens. Gliese-581g orbits a dwarf star named Gliese-581. Gliese-581 is about a third the mass of the sun and a hundredth times as bright. 6 planets orbit this dwarf star and as Dr. R. Paul Butler puts it “It hauntingly reminds us of our own solar system.” However any attempt to reach this other planet would be unrealistic. It’s about 20 light years away meaning it would take us thousands of years to reach it.
    I think this is a pretty cool discovery. I think it’s good to know that we’re not alone in this universe. However, I don’t see what the big fuss is about. It’s so far away that we are never going to be able to reach it. We can speculate about the life contained on it, but we can’t actually go there to check it out. Hopefully better telescopes will develop in the future so we can see what the planet looks like. Scientists aren’t even sure if it does contain life. But, I do think we should pursue this kind of research. We found a life-inhabited planet within 20 years, so I think there must be a lot more of them out there. Who knows, maybe we’ll find a planet close enough to travel to with alien life on it.

    -Zach Jansen


    Ecuador is in a state of emergency. On September 30, 2010, police officials attacked Ecuador’s President, Rafael Correa, with teargas canisters, water, and stones as he attempted to speak at a police barrack. Correa was escorted out of the building and later taken to the hospital because of the effects of the gas. As they did this , they shouted, “Respect our rights!” and, “Long civil war!”This emergency puts the military in charge of keeping order, postponing civil rights and allowing soldiers to perform searches without warrants. Many officers that were engaged in this rebellion went on to set up barracks made of tires that cut off all high way access to the capital city. Basically the police was trying to take over because they didn’t were unhappy about getting their benefits taken away. This was all set off by a law that was passed by Congress, on September 29th, which terminated the custom of awarding metals and bonuses when given promotions. It also extended the period of time of which a policeman had to wait before being promoted. These uprisings have spread to three provinces creating a political crisis which could lead the president to “dissolve parliament and rule by decree until elections.” This could potentially lead to more outbreaks because people aren’t exactly fond of the president. Correa was elected in 2006 and made promises to the public which he did not keep. This was the main reason for these rebellions.

    I think it is a good thing that the people of Ecuador are standing up for their rights. The article said that there were no serious attempts at killing the president which is good, but they are still trying to prove their point. I don’t think Correa should have made all of those promises that he could not keep because he should have known that eventually the public would get angry and try to change things.

    Laura Musalem
    6th period


    Yesterday US astronomers said they discovered that a planet near earth could house life. The planet, called Gliese 581g, is approximately 117.5 trillion miles away from earth, or 20 light years. It seems like a lot, but in retrospect, its right next door to us. The planet is a little bigger than earth but a lot closer to their sun than we are to ours, having a year of 37 days. It lives right in the middle of the habitable zone.
    I think it’s exciting that there’s a new planet that can house life. It means we could have company in this huge universe. The big problem is it’s so far away it would take centuries, even millennia, to develop a spaceship to go that fast. By then, Gliese 581g might be forgotten. But the fact there might be other life out in the universe is already pretty exciting. Just think of the people that might live there. If there isn’t life on Gliese 581g, it still could be used as a space colony. So many uses, but the world won’t know about these until we see the planet for ourselves.

    Mark Stouffer
    Period 7

  44. Jay Htut
    6th Period Civics

    Ecuador declares emergency as police protest, president is attacked. The national police of Ecuador stormed the streets of Quito, the capitol. Their protest are based on the issue of the police being overworked and underpaid. They physically attacked President Rafael Correa, who fled to a nearby hospital. This coup attempt caused the injury of several people and the death of one. Fortunately, the Ecuadoran Government was able to dissolve the protest and set order.

    I think that President Rafael Correa is in a very bad place. His own police turned against him, which means that they do not trust him. Despite this event being over, I think there will be greater protest and acts of violence in the future. But seriously, if you lose the trust and respect of you own police, then there must be something wrong with you. Ecuador has 58,000 members in the military and 33,000 in the Police Force. If i was president Rafael Correa, then i would honestly resign. This mistrust and disagreement might lead to something worse, maybe even an assasination attempt. I dont know about you, but I would leave the country as fast as I can!

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  47. Chris said...

    Pakistan has cut off a main supply route into Afghanistan for the United States. This route gives supplies to NATO soldiers fighting in Afghanistan. They are blocking it off because NATO aircraft allegedly killed three Pakistan troops during a cross-border strike. The incident is under review, but the blockade appeared to be a major escalation in tensions between Pakistan and the United States. "We will have to see whether we are allies or enemies," Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik said about this whole thing.

    I think that there is obviously a little tension between the United States and Pakistan. This isn’t too big of a deal because there are other trade routes that we can use, but this one is one of the simplest trade routes to get to our troops. Right now, Pakistan is relying on our money that we give them for this alliance to support its population. There probably won’t be any major conflicts between our country and Pakistan in the future because of this, but I think Pakistan and the United States need to stop fighting and focus on stopping the real enemy in Afghanistan.

    Chris Barth
    P.7 Civics


    Thursday in Ecuador, major police protests broke out in the capital city, Quito, which caused the country to declare emergency. Ecuador’s government came close to collapse when police flooded the streets and attacked the president, Rafael Correa, over what the police say was the cancellation of bonuses and promotions. Thursday afternoon the government affirmed a one-week state of emergency and put the military in charge, who say they support the president and the nation’s democracy. As news stations broadcasted the news, police were attempting to cut the stations power supply as well as enter the studio by shoving in locked glass doors. However, officials claimed they had the situation under control. In an attempt to negotiate with the police, Rafael Correa took to the streets. This only resulted in Correa sustaining minor injuries, having tear gas canisters thrown at him, and having his gas mask ripped off. Correa was air lifted to a hospital, where protestors continued to seek assault on him. From the hospital, he went on air and claimed the attack was incredibly cowardly and said, "This is treason to the country, treason to their president." Many Latin and Central American countries, along with the US, have sent messages of support to Correa and the Ecuadorian government.

    Although there is controversy over whether the government was planning the cancellation of bonuses and promotions, I see where the police are coming from. They work fourteen-hour days, and are under paid for serving and protecting their country and their people everyday. They must feel frustrated and betrayed by their own government. However I don’t think it is by any means acceptable to protest as dangerously and wildly as they did, or personally attack their president. I fully believe that all citizens should have a right to freedom of speech, but they just took that right to a whole new level, and endangered the lives of their government and innocent people.

    Julie Wulforst
    Period 6


    Norman Archer

    This article talks about the rate of students that are held back in school in New York City. Over recent years the rate has been increasing with 8% of eight graders not going on to high school. A possible reason for these failures could be the higher standard in state testing this year, though rates were increasing before the policies were implemented. As for the consequences for these failures, kids are “required” to go to summer school thought only half show up for class on the best of days.
    I think that this is really too bad. Being a student myself, I know firsthand that school can be hard but it is important to me that I do well. It is also frustrating to see kids fail just because they don’t turn things in or forget to study. It is understandable if you do not understand something, but all together no trying is not acceptable. The fact that nearly one in ten of these kids aren’t going to high when they should is terrible. High school is hard but I is also fun, and everyone should be able to enjoy it. Grades shouldn’t be a barrier to education but a bridge to knowledge.

  50. Job loss has been a huge problem in countries dealing with poor economies, such as Africa. Recently in a city in South Africa called Newcastle, there was a factory that was shut down for not having enough money to provide. The factory consisted especially of many hard-working women who needed this job to support her family. Even though a women at a factory get $36, which is $21 under minimum wage, she needs all the money she came get to supply for her family. There has been many protests run by women to fight against the subject of unemployment and sticking up for people’s rights. Many other jobs like the factory are being shut down and causing many people to lose their jobs. Although they are centering their economics through trade, they are not receiving enough to get people from unemployment. While the rate of people being jobless has increased, it is also causing people to have other problems in their society. There is more crime and social troubles causing. It is also said to go deeper than just economic problems. Racism has been around and always will be. People are disputing over the unfairness and are trying to do something about it. Recently the factory has reopened through a reprieve. Workers are hoping this will last for a while, or they won’t know what will happen to them and their family.

    I agree with the hard-working male and females who are trying to fight for their rights of working. These people are getting paid under minimum wage, and on top of that, they get their job taken away from them. For several of these people, they have no other hope but to pray everything works out. I feel bad for the people who work so hard and are not treated fairly at all. More than half of the blacks are without a job. White men usually have say over the blacks even though sixteen years ago, the apartheid gave the blacks the majority. I think that this will always be a problem, and all the blacks can do is protest and fight for their rights.
    Stacey Cutrell
    Period 7


    Recently it has been discovered that the oldest type of tree in the world, the Bristlecone Pine, might soon be extinct. The Bristlecone Pine has been living in harsh conditions two miles above sea level in Western North America for thousands of years. These trees have been found to live as long as 4,800 years old, but they may soon meet their match by way of the White Pine Bluster Rust and the native Pine Bark beetle. The White Pine Bluster Rust has gone from Asia to Europe, and now to the U.S. It has finally made its way up to the elevation of the Bristlecone Pine, and none of the ancestors of the tree have ever been exposed to it, so it has no defenses against the fungus. The Pine Bark beetle, is a native creature to the area, but is experiencing a huge population growth due to warming temperatures in the region. It is the beetle-fungus combo that will be deadly to the tree, because although the White Pine Bluster Rust is a slow acting fungus, it is the Pine Bark Beetle that can take down the larger trees, so together they are a deadly combination. Scientists say the only hope for saving the Bristlecone Pine trees is finding the few trees that are resistant to the fungus, and then spreading their seeds throughout the area.

    I find this article heartbreaking. The idea that these trees have been around for thousands of years, but could be wiped off the face of the Earth so quickly is really sad. It seems unfair that they might be lost because of a fungus from Asia that they have no defenses to, and a beetle that has experienced a population boom because of the rising temperatures. I just hope that they can find a tree that is resistant to this fungus, so that the Bristlecone Pine, the oldest tree in the world, can keep on living.

    Brady Strine
    6th period


    Scientists at Northwestern University in Chicago have recently, albeit on accident, created edible nanostructures in the class of metal-organic frameworks. Although it is made of a metal compound, the metal used is potassium which is important for the human body anyway. The structures created are "rigid and porous" simply meaning they are very sturdy and have many holes in them, somewhat like wire gauze or chickenwire. Other molecules can be placed within the pores allowing the use of the nanstruture for multiple reasons, including doing nanoscale reactions using the pores as miniature test tubes. They are also much cheaper and easier to make because of the readily available items from the food industry.

    I think this is really cool because of the other potential uses for this nanstructure. As mentioned in the article, they could also be used to store hydrogen in future cars and for putting drugs inside the body. As a chef commented in the article, they could also be used to give "crunchy bursts of flavor" referring to the idea of adding new flavors to a dish in small amounts. It's also interesting that the researchers were able to produce such a nanostructure as before this, other nanostructures were made of other, non-edible metals and could not be used for the same things as the edible ones can. This really shows how science is progressing, even in the smallest ways.

    Jacob Harris
    7th Period

  53. Kim Jong II, the dictator of North Korea, has chosen his successor. He has chosen his son, Kim Jong Un. This young man is relatively unknown to the people of North Korea and to the world. To become a legitimate leader, one has to prove oneself to the population. Because Kim Jong Un is untested, there could be potential turmoil resulting from the change in dictator. Although this may seem like a good thing to help bring down the oppressive government, it might actually make things worse by increasing the pressure on North Korea to make more provocations. Other positions are also being changed. This is happening especially in the military. Some of these changes could be ratcheting up tensions between the leading party and the military.

    The North Korean government has long been an oppressive dictatorship. Perhaps this change in government could help bring down some of the harsh policies of Kim Jong II. The new Kim Jong Un is an unknown. He could help but he could also bring great harm, as the article suggests. This is an important topic to keep an eye on because North Korea is a potentially dangerous enemy. The upsets in the military could help any possible rebellions. If the people of North Korea are planning on fighting back at any time, the time of succession would be a good time to do it.

    Chiara Salemi

  54. Making Math Lessons as Easy as 1, Pause, 2, Pause…

    Hannah Blackburn

    Over the years there have been many debates about whether to teach kids math using “new math” or “reform math”. Now, many schools have adopted a different program called Singapore math. Singapore uses this system nationally. Singapore math takes a slower approach to math basics, which is supposed to speed up learning later on. Kindergarteners may spend a week learning the numbers one and two. They don’t move to a new topic until they have mastered the first. Singapore uses three steps to make sure kids won’t forget the topic later down the line: concrete, pictorial, and abstract. Concrete activities may be putting chips on a place value chart, pictorial may be diagramming on a SmartBoard, and abstract is using the concept or number in an equation. Bill Jackson, who teaches Singapore math to teachers, says other kinds of maths don’t include the pictorial step, and jump straight from concrete to abstract, which makes it harder for kids to remember concepts later and for them to grasp the abstract math applications of the concept. Introducing Singapore math is expensive, not because materials must be imported from singapore, but because teachers have to be taught how to talk about the number one for 50 minutes.

    Slowing math down in elementary school seems backwards to me. Many kids find elementary math too easy and need for things to be sped up for them. It would be good if kids and parents could choose between two courses of math education. One option could be Singapore math, and the other could be an excelled program for fast learners. I feel like elementary schools waste opportunities in math. Math isn’t a subject that you need to be older to understand. With math, as fast as someone can teach you and you can learn it dictates how old you are when you learn advanced topics. By the time kids got to high school, they could be taking Calculus or Pre-Calculus as freshmen. Or they could be taking Algebra II and Geometry, like many do now, depending on how fast they learn.


    The Eiffel Tower and area around the landmark were eacuated on Tuesday due to a bomb threat. The threat came into the police station at about 8:20 that morniing and the police responded right away with evacuating the landmarck and the area around it. It is thought that almost 2,000 people were evacuated. The police brought out the dogs to scan the area and tower. Luckly the tower is guaded very well with over 100 secuirty cameras and the threat was not real. It sure did give the policemen and others a scare that mourning though.
    I think that the police handled the situation very well. Some say they might have over reacted but I think it was important that they didn’t under react. Sort of like the saying better safe than sorry. Terrorist’s threats and acts have become large global problem. They are not sure who called in the threat but I also saw that another bomb threat was called in on the 28th from a near by telephone. This also caused the police to evacuate the tower and area but it also turned out to be a fake. Hopefully they can catch whoever is calling in these attacks and hopefully it is just some kids playing a very very bad joke and not anything more.

    Jack Haskins

  56. The article is about a student, Tyler Clementi who committed suicide by jumping off the Geroge Washington Bridge in New Jersey. This all started when Tyler’s roommate, Dharun Ravi posted a Twitter message saying: “Roommate asked for the room til Midnight. I went into molly’s room and turned on my webcam. I saw him making out with a dude. Yay.” After that Twitter message was posted Dharun used the camera in his dorm to stream the roommate’s intimate encounter live on the Internet. Three days later Tyler Clementi decieded he had to take his own life, and he jumped over the bridge. Those who knew Tyler said he was a sweet and shy boy who was devoted to music. Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei have been charged with two counts of invasion of privacy, they can get up to 5 years.

    This is so sad that a student felt like his only option was jumping over a bridge to take his life. That was just horrible, now Dharun purposely posted the video and message to embarrass Tyler . I don’t think that anybody should ever have to feel like suidcide is the only answer. Nobody deserves to be treated like that, and have there personal business brodcasted to world just because somebody felt the need to be funny.

  57. Jose Bonilla

    The storm that killed five people in North Carolina on Thursday soaked a great swath of the Northeast by the Friday morning commute, including New York City and Philadelphia. Flights coming into LaGuardia Airport in New York City were delayed three hours and traffic coming into Manhattan was delayed by up to an hour under a pounding rain.

  58. This comment has been removed by the author.

  59. j said...

    October 1st, in Caracas, Venezuela, the Ecuadorean police chief resigned due to forces under his command having rebelled and held the president hostage. The president of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, was in the hospital when a group of rebellious policeman stormed his room and held him captive for more than 10 hours. The very intense standoff did not end until a group of Ecuadorean soldiers stormed to room and rescued him amid gunfire from the rebels and the soldiers. The government is still in a state of emergency. All of this lead to the resignation of Freddy Mart├Čnez after President Corea stated he was going to overhaul the force after the rebellion. This situation was a continuation of security force rebellions in response to a law put into act by the president that would reduce security and police force benefits, as well as lower their salaries. Two were killed in the incident and the president was adamant in letting he media know that the country and it's forces will not get away with this. Correa was very fiery in his press statements, letting the media know "Here there will be no pardon or forgetting." It seems that Correa's dictative ways in governing are backfiring when he affects the community's salaries.

    6th Period
    Jackson Wright
    October 1st Current Event

  60. aw yikes! sorry Ms Logan. i forgot to post the link, so here ya go.

  61. Sorry, I posted the wrong link! Here is the correct one:

    Maria, 6th

  62. Geoff Thomason Commenting on Sir Zachary Visco's post

    I definitely agree with Zack. This new XOS 2 suit sounds like it could really change war and war tactics as we know them. Not only would this suit give us an advantage in future wars, but it would also help save lives. Another great feature is that manuevering wont be affected all that much. It seems that the suit is perfectly capable of easily managing tasks that are ordinary and extraordinary.

    The whole time i was reading the article, there was one major issue i kept thinking of. Zach also noticed the problem of what the costs will be and it seems like a big, obvious warning sign to me. I don't think that one suit will make a big difference in warfare. I think that in order for these suits to make a major impact, there must be at least several hundred in many different military units. These suits are so complex and advanced that one suit is bound to cost a ton of money, much less hundreds or thousands. America doesnt need to be spending money like that with the economy where it is and the debt situations going on worldwide.

    Geoff Thomason
    Period 7