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 Phone Wars: Students pick Apple

Delaney Appelhans
Opinion Editor
March 18, 2015

   The dispute between two of the smartest phones the industry has seen, the iPhone and the Galaxy, is giving each company, Apple for iPhone and Samsung for Galaxy, a run for its money.  While both phones have their similarities and differences, each has its positives and negatives that give customers the difficult decision of choice.  And yet, users tend to feel strongly about one type or the other.

   For example, having been a user of both, I feel strongly that the iPhone is better than the Galaxy because iPhones and Apple in general tend to have better quality products that run a lot smoother than those from Samsung.

   “[I prefer the] iPhone because there’s a larger range of apps than there is for Galaxy,” explained Gabby Antenore, sophomore.

   In the App Store on Apple products, most new games and other applications are available to iPhone customers quicker than they are available in the Play Store on the Galaxy.

   But in the most recent years, iPhone users have criticized the product’s unreliability when it comes to the wear and tear of the product. Customers complain that the phone’s screen can crack at the slightest drop.

   “Let’s be realistic; Galaxies are better because they don’t bend, unlike my iPhone 6,” said Terri Doby, freshman.
   The latest problem with the new iPhone 6 and 6+ seems to be that the phone can be bent when a user simply puts the device in a back pocket.
   Although the iPhones have some durability issues to resolve, many choose this product because of how many people already use it.

“[I choose the iPhone over Galaxy because] everyone in my family owns an iPhone,” stated Marisol Rodriguez, sophomore.
   The influence of family members or friends having a certain phone can push customers to one side or another.  However, the Galaxy has not been the go-to cell phone for the past few years because they have their flaws as well.

   “I don’t like the fingerprint unlocking [on the Galaxy],” stated Ethan Friedman, sophomore, “On the iPhone all you have to do is push gently on the home button; when on the Galaxy, you have to swipe down on the home button instead of just pressing gently.”

   Customers also have complained that the Galaxy does not have as good of camera quality as the iPhone.

   In our day and age, people tend to conveniently use their camera phones instead of carrying around a large camera, so this is a major downfall for Samsung.

   This draws most customers, like me, toward the phone that will ultimately have the greater advantages. Being the large Apple consumer that I am, I have been team iPhone since the day I purchased my iPhone 5. I accept any disadvantages to this product in order to be the most pleased with the cell phone of my choice.


 Retain Gitmo
 
 

Ben Szalinski
Staff Reporter
March 18, 2015

Author’s Note: Most Muslims are good and peaceful and do not support the actions of radicalized terrorist groups referenced in this article.

  The fear of terrorism is at levels the world has not seen since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, has grown into the most radical group on Earth in the past year, calling on sympathizers to attack places in North America, Australia and Europe. In the last few months, the world has witnessed deadly attacks in Paris; Ottawa; Queens, New York; and Sydney, all inspired by radical Islam.

  In the last 15 years, al-Qaeda and the Taliban have carried out attacks in the United States and around the Middle East, as well as increasing in frequency in Europe. In January 2002, following the invasion of Afghanistan, President George W. Bush opened up Guantanamo Bay, a section of land in Cuba the U.S. acquired during the Spanish American War, as a prison facility for captured Taliban and al-Qaeda members  in response to the 9/11 attacks.

  Currently, President Obama is calling for the release of all who are detained at “Gitmo” and its closure following his signing of an executive order in 2009.

  “It has served its purpose and should be closed,” said AP World History Teacher Neil McCarthy.

  Guantanamo has done its job well, but it is still necessary to the safety of our country, as Sophomore Jack Dahlinger argues.

   “We should be able to do it [imprison terrorists] if they present harm to our country,” Dahlinger said. “[If we release them] we could plant a tracking chip in them, and [it would] lead us to other terrorists [if they rejoin].”

  Despite the end of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Middle East is still filled with unrest. ISIS has taken over Syria and Iraq. Yemen, a nation the President once used as an example of a successful policy in the region, has fallen to Islamic extremists.

  And now, President Obama is looking to release more than 100 terrorists back to these unstable regions. President Obama has made a terrible mistake. Instead of trying to end conflicts in the Middle East, he will only make them worse by supplying radical groups with more jihadists, people who fight in the name of Islam.
   
A popular argument in favor of releasing prisoners is that one man cannot make a difference.

  “One extra terrorist is not [going to be] the next 9/11… One individual is not going to bring down the mightiest country in world history,” said McCarthy.
   While McCarthy is right, one man can blow up a building, kill children in schools and cause terror for an entire community. The FBI has recently warned about “lone wolf” attacks similar to the January shootings in Paris. Sending even one man suspected of terrorist activities anywhere in the world has the potential to cause terror. A Canadian man shot and killed a soldier. A teen from Bolingbrook was arrested for attempting to join ISIS. Terrorists will strike even if they aren’t in the Middle East.  

  Many Americans also argue that the treatment of Gitmo detainees is unfair, calling it torture. Some argue that this treatment has even killed nine prisoners. However, this is also false, as seven of those committed suicide, one died from cancer and one had a heart attack, according to the American Civil Liberties Union, an organization that supports closing Guantanamo. Also, 86 percent of Gitmo prisoners were captured by other nations; therefore, any argument that says the U.S. is solely responsible for this is invalid, and this organization that supports closing Guantanamo contradicts itself.

  These men are also not common criminals. They are threats to people around the world who do not share the same values as them. These types of people must be kept from the rest of society, so they do not cause more harm to the world.

  Former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel recently said in a late January interview with CNN that he felt pressured by the White House to perform tasks he did not feel were correct and thus decided to resign. This, along with their recent refusals to acknowledge the Taliban as a terrorist group, shows that the Obama Administration does not understand the significance of terrorism on the world.

  The American people do not understand either. No one would want their neighbor to be a known killer. The people of the Middle East have suffered long enough. Terrorism is not just an issue that involves the bombing in Boston, attacks on New York City or the shooting in Paris. It involves every human who believes in freedom. The people of the Middle East cannot do it themselves. By keeping Guantanamo Bay open as a prison for all suspected terrorists, the United States can do its part in keeping the world safe.  

 
 

 
Chromebooks make learning more convenient  
 
Karlee Busscher
Staff Reporter
November 21, 2014

   This past August, Chromebooks were issued to every student here at MHS, a trend becoming popular nation-wide.   
   According to San Francisco Gate, a news organization based out of San Francisco, hundreds of middle and high schools within 41 states are now testing Chromebooks in classrooms. 
   Only time will tell if these Chromebooks are as beneficial as originally intended. 
   But after using one for nine weeks, the verdict is in for me-- the Chromebooks are beneficial. 
   Not only can the Chromebooks provide more student involvement, they provide students with a 21st century tool that allows for better communication and more efficient use of one’s time.
   “Chromebooks are convenient and available any time we need them, especially beneficial for class projects,” said Illya Kats, junior.  
   This technology allows students to continuously work online and have access to class websites beyond the school walls.
   Pete Nadler, English teacher, agrees that Chromebooks are a plus when it comes to efficiency.
  “With Chromebooks, it makes things simpler because there is no need having to rent a computer cart, which just wasted more time,” he said. 
“With each student having their own, [it] makes them responsible for charging their Chromebooks whenever needed. Students can close their laptops and continue working where they left off at home with no problem.” 
   While the Chromebooks offer several positive conveniences, it also makes it more convenient to be distracted during class. 
   “It is tempting for me to go on and play games or watch videos,” said Drew Breitenreiter, freshman.
   While this can be a negative aspect of giving students a Chromebook, it doesn’t mean Chromebooks aren’t working. It just means that it is up to the students to be mature, young adults, get their class work done and pay attention in class.
   After all, the Chromebooks provide students with a resource that they might not have had otherwise.
   “Other than the school Chromebook, I don’t have a computer, so it makes it a lot easier to do and turn in my homework,” said Maritza Castro, sophomore. 
   As a result, these Chromebooks are able to provide equality for everyone. Now, no one is at a disadvantage because he or she can’t access a computer outside of school hours.   
   Despite all the benefits, I recognize technology alone is not going to alter what’s going on in every classroom or make every student more responsible, but it will give every student the chance to increase his or her productivity, responsibility and communication skills.
 

Professional electives need quality computers
 
By Kate Siltman
Features Editor
November 21, 2014

Note: Since this article was started, the technology department has been looking into updating the computers in the journalism classroom.  
   Professions like journalism and photojournalism require computers. For students who want to excel in professions along those lines, they have to be well rounded and comfortable with software programs those jobs use. 
   Kathryn Serby, technology trainer, noted that MHS wants to build a professional environment in electives. This requires training with certain computer programs to better prepare them for the world. 
  The journalism class at MHS teaches students all about becoming a journalist by producing throughout the year two products-- the newspaper and the yearbook.  In order to get these quality products out, students are constantly working on desktop computers; however, the computers in the class are not efficient and need to be updated.
  “The desktops provide necessary programs [needed for journalism] that the Chromebook does not,” said Stefani Zeiger, entertainment editor for the newspaper.    
  While MHS has provided each student with a Chromebook this year and while they are very useful in many classes, they do not help as much in journalism. The desktops provide students with such programs as InDesign, which is used for newspaper layout, and Photoshop, which helps enhance photos for publication.
   Even though the desktops are essential to journalism, 
they have become more of a pain instead of a tool, And that needs to change.
  Serby commented that the computers are not as robust in order to run high-end graphic programs.
  “[The computers] are slower than molasses,” said Ashley Wolfe, editor-in-chief of the newspaper. “With new computers, I can get my work done in a more orderly fashion.”
  As everyone knows, slow technology does not only cause frustration, but it also slows down the process of getting work done.
  “The work that should only take a half hour takes an hour because I am waiting for everything to load,” said Melissa Burgett, sports editor of the newspaper. “New computers would be less frustrating for the staff and for me to get our work done.”
  The inconvenience of the slow computers can be difficult when there are deadlines that the students have to meet, not only for their grade but in order to get products out. 
  “The desktops are not satisfactory at all,” said Natalie Stuckslager, editor-in-chief of the yearbook. She noted that the computers that are currently in the journalism room get the job done, but they are not user friendly.
  “The computers we have now have had a good run but need an update,” said Burgett.
  Serby explained that the computers might just need enhanced rams, and with that, the speed should be faster. 
  She said, “There would be a cost [with the new computers], but the benefits for the students would outweigh the costs.”


Sam Pepper’s actions raise controversy over social experiment or harassment
Dani Adaska
Staff Reporter
Novemebr 21, 2014

YouTuber Sam Pepper, within a matter of weeks, went from famous to failure, all because of a prank. The video, “Fake Hand Ass Pinch Prank” was posted mid-October to Pepper’s channel. The video received multiple complaints after it was posted and was taken down by YouTube not long after. 
   In the video, Pepper wears a baggy gray hoodie. One of the sleeves contains a fake arm in it and is stuffed in his pocket. The other is free, but the hand that was replaced by the fake limb is behind his back. Pepper, in the video, walks up to random women, asks them a question, and proceeds to pinch their butts, up to two times, with his hidden real hand.
   When showing the video to multiple students, their opinions all had different degrees of disgust. 
   “I think it was harassment. He’s done [pranks] like this in the past, and there are other issues that multiple girls have anonymously come forward with. Very similar issues, all involving him,” said Celeste Cruickshank, sophomore. 
    In my opinion, what Pepper did was inexcusable, and for him to further label it as a ‘social experiment’ after all the uproar is disgusting. Multiple YouTube celebrities have come forward in response to Pepper.
   Hank Green, brother of award-winning author John Green responded to the uproar in a tweet after Pepper was banned from a YouTube convention called VidCon- a convention in Florida for fans to meet multiple YouTube celebrities. “For people asking, it’s safe to assume that people who sexually assault women in “prank” videos will not be welcome at future VidCons.”
   A YouTuber named Laci Green (no relation to John Green) also wrote a letter and posted it on her Tumblr. The letter was to Pepper, written on Sept. 21, addressing the issue. Green received signatures on the letter that include names such as Tom Ska, creator of viral ‘Asdf Movie’ series, and Tyler Oakley, a YouTube blogger.
   Green writes, “We are deeply disturbed by this trend and would like to ask you, from one creator to another, to please stop. Please stop violating women and making them uncomfortable on the street for views….Please show some respect for women’s rights to their own bodies.”
   Pepper attempted to counteract his mistake by posting ANOTHER video, showing females going around and attempting the same prank on men. This was also flagged and taken down from YouTube. Pepper labeled the videos as a ‘social experiment’. To discover what exactly?
   “I don’t think it was an experiment. He didn’t say it was [until after]. It seems like he was doing this to hit on girls,” said Noah Ballek, senior. 
   YouTube celebrities like Sam Pepper need to realize that they can’t let the fame reach their head and that fame does not excuse them from the consequences of their actions. Just because they’re famous doesn’t mean they can get away with harassment. 
   As of late, Pepper has only lost 3,800 subscribers on his YouTube channel in result of the situation. He has deleted all of his social media except for his Twitter account and his YouTube account although many of his videos have been deleted. Pepper has been banned from Vidcon and Playlist Live, two YouTube conventions, and has been removed from a program he participated in called YouTubers React, created by the Fine Bros.


 

The truth about animal experimentation should lead to beauty product boycotts
Hannah Koehler
Staff Reporter
November 21, 2014

Maybelline, Neutrogena, Revlon--these popular brands are among several of America’s favorite cosmetics, but they are also among the several companies that experiment on animals, according to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the largest global animal rights organization.
   PETA states that in the world each year more than 100 million animals are poisoned, burned, crippled and abused in other ways in U.S. labs, but why? 
   The answer is simple: so that we can safely and happily enjoy our prized beauty products. 
   The main issue with vivisection (experimentation of animals) lies completely in morals and ethics. Some animals spend their entire lives locked up in cages and subjected to pain day after day. 
   “It is extremely cruel and unethical because animals don’t have a voice as to what happens to them,” said Carmen Gutierrez, sophomore. 
   The Humane Society International explains that the types of tests vary from forced chemical exposure, genetic manipulation, ear-notching and tail-clipping, food and water deprivation, killing by carbon dioxide asphyxiation, neck-breaking, decapitation and other such means. 
   Mice, fish, rats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, birds, and even cats and dogs are being exposed to such cruelty that we cannot let this endure any longer. 
   Animals have the right to live just as humans do, and we should not take that right away from them for the sake of make-up. We must ask ourselves, is it really worth causing blindness in a rabbit just so a girl can purchase her favorite type of mascara? 
   Not only is animal experimentation cruel, but it is also not always reliable. 
   According to PETA, 92 percent of experimental drugs that are safe and effective in animals fail in human clinical trials because they don’t work properly or are too dangerous. 
   It’s true that animals and humans have similarities, but it cannot be guaranteed that a test on an animal will produce replicated results in a human subject.   “Chances are that the results are not certain, and 
humans won’t necessarily react the same way,” said Greg Godellas, sophomore. 
   The New England Anti-Vivisection Society, a non-profit organization that advocates for the termination of animal experimentation, explains on its website that species differ in anatomy, organ structure and function, toxin metabolism, chemical and drug absorption, and mechanisms of DNA repair.

   Because of this, the risk is too great to allow for animal experimentation to continue. It is far too dangerous to depend on a result that cannot be replicated for the majority of the time.
   Even though vivisection is exercising cruelty and negligence of ethics and morals, some advocates for experimentation on animals argue that it has allowed for many medical breakthroughs. 
   This is true, but as the modern world around us advances, our technology and capabilities do so as well. There are several types of alternatives to animal testing that exist. 
   For example, Harvard’s Wyss Institute has created “organs on chips” that contain human cells grown in a way to mimic the structure and function of human organs and organ systems. They can be used for disease, drug and toxicity testing. 
   Cell-based tests and tissue models can also be used for testing the safety of drugs, chemicals, cosmetics, and consumer products, according to PETA. 
   The reality is that so many options for testing product safety exist that it is not necessary to force innocent animals to suffer through harm and pain day after day.
   Putting animal experimentation to an end will require the voice of everyone. 
   “People can do research and take a stance and send letters or emails to the people who work in those labs,” said Hannah Carroll, senior. 
   Not only that, but all of us as a population can simply boycott the purchase of any product that has been experimented on animals.  These products include brands such as L’Oreal USA, Dove and Clean & Clear, but PETA’s list goes on and on. 
   We cannot continue to strip animals of their rights. We need to open up our eyes and see what is really occurring behind those laboratory doors.

 
Red Rage: Are members like-minded or left behind?
 
Natale Fiocchi
Staff Reporter
November 21, 2014

 It’s half way through the third quarter, and we are down by 20. The team is struggling to make it to the end, but no one is there to cheer them through it. The stands are empty and abandoned-- not a student to be seen. 
   Apparently claimed Red Rage members have more important things to be doing on a Friday night than coming out to support their school. 
   Don’t get me wrong; there is a handful of students who show up - for the first half - but before the game is even close to over, the stands are deserted.
   Here at MHS the student section, also known as Red Rage, has been known to be involved and attend all sporting events. Lately, there has been some speculation whether or not we have been showing enough school spirit. Are we really as dedicated as we seem to be, or are students just saying that they are a part of Red Rage but are not actually getting involved?
   The blame of not having enough school spirit should not be entirely put on the leaders of Red Rage. They try the best they can to get everyone involved but are not responsible for everyone else's decisions. 
   The school as a whole needs to get more involved. It would just make us closer as a student body, especially if all grade levels participated; this way people wouldn't feel segregated.
   “We do not have enough school spirit,” said Junior Isac Banuelos. 
   Banuelos mentioned that since he is on the football team, having a big crowd cheering them on really makes a difference. 
   If no one comes to watch (besides for fun), what is the point of even playing? 
   The turnout of the crowd really affects how the team plays. If no one is there cheering, there isn’t much motivation for the team to play well. 
   At the home game against Warren High school, MHS was winning in the beginning of the game. 
  “People left after the first quarter, and it went downhill from there. We ended up losing 42 to 12,” said Banuelos. “It really [upsets] me that people come to the game, take pictures in the bleachers, post them on Instagram, and then just leave. People are supposed to come to the games to support the team no matter what, win or lose.”
   Former Red Rage Leader Michael Ventrella, senior, also expresses the idea that there is not enough school spirit. Ventrella recently stepped down from a leader position in the group because of the criticism he had been receiving.
   “People were just smashing Red Rage. We did the best we could, but people just wouldn't show up,” said Ventrella. 
   He added that people were putting all the blame on him for Red Rage not being as involved as they should be. 
   At the end of the day, he wasn't the one who was responsible for getting every person to come to games. He was just in charge of promoting spirited energy throughout the school.
   “Students aren't making an effort to come to games. We are just stuck in a downward spiral because there hasn't been a change of attitude. It just keeps getting worse,” said Ventrella.
   Junior Maria Hidrogo feels that the school spirit is simmering down compared to previous years. She mentioned how the seniors were slacking on motivation to continue the spirit throughout the school. She thinks they have given up.
   “I think we can turn this issue around if we get all grade levels involved with school events and having a more positive attitude towards the school itself,” said Hidrogo.
   At the end of the day, we are still a school, and we still have a chance to turn things around. There is always room for more spirit at MHS; no matter what grade you are in, we can learn how to come together and fix what has been broken. 
   We ultimately just need to show up.


MHS students combat ‘ruff’ stereotypes
 
Marybeth Stone
Staff Reporter
November 21, 2014

Reputations are hard to live down and hard to disprove. People can make you into something you’re not, and others will believe it. 
   Many know firsthand what it’s like to combat a reputation, but most aren’t as helpless as pit bulls.  
   ‘Pit bulls’ is actually a general term to describe a few breeds of dogs with similar physical characteristics, grouping together Bulldogs, American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Bull Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Bulldogs, Dogo Argentinos and any mix breeds that contain previous lineage, according to The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. All these breeds are four-legged, tail-wagging creatures, just like the one that might be at home. The only difference is their reputation.  
   “I’ve heard they can be really dangerous,” said Crystal Hernandez, junior.
   For the past decade or so, the pit bull breeds have been called dangerous, vicious and abnormally aggressive by people who are concerned and not aware of the truth behind the dogs. 
   However, MHS students appear to be the educated minority.
   “They’re good dogs. You’ve just got to train them well,” said Chris Tsipis, senior.
   According to the website of popular dog behaviorist and trainer Cesar Millan, training them well includes providing them with rules, boundaries and limitations, and making sure they are well socialized, as with any other type of dog.  
   A positional statement released by ASPCA explained that pit bulls can be dangerous, but only if they were bred to be.
 
   And in this case, the dogs are almost like weapons-- an extension of human greed and aggression. 
“It is likely that the vast majority of pit bull type dogs in our communities today are the result of random breeding—two dogs being mated without regard to the behavioral traits being passed on to their offspring. The result of random breeding is a population of dogs with a wide range of behavioral predispositions. For this reason, it is important to evaluate and treat each dog, no matter its breed, as an individual,” said ASPCA representatives on the organization’s website.
   In reality, pit bull breeds are exactly like any other breeds. They are dogs.
   “All dogs can be dangerous. [Pit bulls] are just stereotyped,” said Mitchell Zaprzalka, sophomore. 
   When judging any furry canine, it’s important to base little off their breed and focus on the individual characteristics. By spending time with a dog, it’s easy to decipher whether he or she is high-energy, has a temper, is aggressive or tends to behave badly. It’s not fair to create a perception of an entire breed as vicious, based on the actions of only a few, especially since it’s mostly the fault of humans. So, pit bulls should really be treated like any other dog.
   Understandably, people who have experienced pit bull attacks firsthand are the most predisposed to a negative opinion about the breed. It can be scary to witness something like that. 
   But for some, such as Senior Shannon Streeter, such an event didn’t change her opinion. 
   While walking her uncle’s dog, three pit bulls that had gotten loose attacked it, biting its head and crushing the skull. The dog died, and the pit bull owner denied what happened, refusing to take responsibility, which is when the human owner’s characteristics are called into question just as much as the dogs’.
   But Streeter summarized what should be the viewpoint on pit bulls for all when she said, “They’re only dangerous if you make them dangerous.”

 
Lose the Zoos  
 
Elizabeth Ramer
Staff Reporter
November 20, 2014

   Even though zoos are mainly a summer attraction, people still visit them in the fall and winter to witness the seasonal specials many zoos offer around the holidays.    
   However, many people today fail to realize the truth about the circumstances surrounding the treatment of animals in zoos. 
   To most, zoos are often thought of as a positive, fun, learning environment. However, these places of boredom and imprisonment are just the opposite. 
   “It is so cruel that the animals are being held captive in zoos because they are being held against their own will and are unable to interact with the animals in their natural habitat and live freely,” said Junior Camille Nowicki. 
   According to the nonprofit organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, as animals are taken away from their homes and deprived of everything natural to them, many of them suffer from “zoochosis,” which is caused by anxiety and displayed by the animals pacing back and forth in their cages. 
   To counter zoochosis, these animals are given Prozac, a mood-altering drug, to make them seem happier, so they can more sufficiently entertain spectators. 
   “We are fascinated with wildlife, and this allows us to get a closer look and a better understanding of them, and not everyone can afford to go on a safari to do it,” said Security Guard Stephen Douglas. “But on the other hand, they’re not so great because they’re not in their natural environment.”
   While it is true that zoos allow us to get a closer look at animals that we wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to see, what people observe when they visit zoos are unnatural habits and mannerisms that would cease to exist in the wild where they live freely.
   Since the lack of allotted space is a key reason for why zoos are detrimental to animals, many people feel as though the conditions could be improved to better fit the animals’ needs. 
   “If they have a big enough place and a good habitat, then I think zoos are fine. But if their needs aren’t being sufficiently met, then something should be done,” said Senior Roman Stetsko.
   This is also a similar belief that Sophomore Rachel Baeq holds. 
   “It depends on the zoo, like some that are good leave them in a largely-cased-in environment, so the animals don’t even know that they’re being restricted so that people can see them. But that doesn’t happen in the United States. Here, we don’t treat them how they’re supposed to be treated,” said Baeq. 
   What a good zoo might look like is being developed in Europe, where animals are kept in large habitats, and humans are transported in transparent pods where the animals’ true nature can be observed with no harm threatened upon them in the process.
   But honestly, altering an artificial space when the animals could have the real deal isn’t fair to them either, no matter how good the imitated environment might be; the animals still suffer.
   Not only are these imprisoned animals expected to have a shorter life span, they are often gleeked on by kids who only care to watch the animals for a few short minutes of depressing entertainment at the most and then move on to whatever exhibit their friend has already migrated to.
   The best improvement to America’s zoo systems is to eliminate them altogether. 
   However, since zoos are relentless on capturing exotic animals for entertainment and even losing money in the process, what they could start doing is improving the animals’ habitats and try to fit their needs, as Europe has already started to do.
 


Passing periods turn into purgatory
 
Natale Fiocchi
Staff Reporter
November 20, 2014

 Imagine you’re four foot nine, just about five feet. Walking down the hallways would seem to be a breeze. You can squeeze in and out of everyone and always be the first to class, right? 
   Wrong. 
   You can’t even breathe when traveling down the halls, much less see where you are going.  
   The hallways are a place to move from class to class. It is a transportation passageway. It should not be a place to socialize with friends or a place to make out with your boyfriend, and it is not the right place to run and scream at your friends.
   However, many teens use it as a socializing location.
   “I like to see my friends,” said Freshman Briana Ventrella. “Passing periods give me a chance to talk to them since I don’t get to see them during class.”
   Many students would probably agree with this opinion.  
   But sometimes teens are too focused on socializing instead of watching where they are going. 
   Just because students might miss their friends since that last text message exchanged a few seconds ago, it does not mean they have the right to stand all over the place, blocking passage to the classrooms.
   Besides socializing, some students use the passing periods as a break.
   Sophomore Jason Cordova said, “When I’m going to second period, there really isn't that big of a rush. I enjoy passing periods because I can take my time to get to class.”
   It’s okay for people to take their time during the ten minute passing period, but the other passing periods don’t allow enough time for students to get to their class.  So, when there is no time to be wasted, people shouldn’t waste others’ time by making it hard to get through the hallways in five minutes.   
   But the problem with the hallway traffic is people taking their time. 
   The bottom line is people should not be enjoying their walk from class to class; they should just be getting to class, so everyone else can get to class, too.  
   We are only given five minutes to accomplish the task of parting the Red Sea. This is hard enough on its own; we don’t need people “enjoying themselves” who get in the way when we have a place to be. 
   “People have no sense of urgency when they walk 
down the hallway,” said Junior Mitchell Alberts.
   “They act like they have no place to be, and when they stop in front of you to talk to their friends, it gets really annoying.”
   And it’s not just student behavior that is a problem in the hallway.  It’s the number of people in the hallway, too.
  As stated by The International Code Council, “Codes set predetermined limits on the number of students that can be accommodated in a classroom environment.” 
   If there is a certain limit of students allowed in a classroom, then there should be a limit to how many students are allowed in the hallways. 
   There are so many students in the hallway at once that if a person were to try to turn one way, he or she would get pushed over to the opposite side of where he or she was heading.   
   Senior Suzy Paredes said, “Height has always been an issue because everyone is bigger than me, and they tower over everything, so I can't see. They do whatever they want and just push you aside.”
   The halls are a mess, and this is not a topic that should be taken lightly.
   The upperclassmen, who seem to have a different view of hallway life here at MHS than the underclassmen, have insight into how the hallway problem can be fixed.   
   The underclassmen seem to be excited about the new freedom of high school and don’t use that as responsibility as they should in the hallways, whereas upperclassmen, who have been here longer, learn to realize the necessity of using passing periods to get to class on time.  In order to make the halls a better and safer place for students, the upperclassmen tend to follow the rules of passing period.  The underclassmen should, too.
   All you have to do is keep to your side (right side, yes?), keep at a steady pace and only go where you need to be going. 
   The rules are simple, and by following them, the school will be a more enjoyable, efficient place for all staff and students at MHS.
   If socializing is a must for you, there are other times and places to do it. In the commons before and after school is a better alternative to clogging up the halls. You have your whole day ahead of you when school is over, so why not use that time to have fun with friends instead?
   We know you're excited to see your friends, but the hallways during passing periods are not the time or place. 
 

 
Trick-or-treating needs no age limit if Halloween tradition followed

Tyler Olson
Staff Reporter
October 31, 2014

   
   The origins of Halloween date back hundreds of years ago to the celebration of All Hollow’s Eve in countries like England, Ireland, and Scotland.  On All Hollow’s Eve night, the poor would go door to door asking for money, jewelry, food, and other valuables; this act became known as “guising.”  

   Once Irish and Scottish immigrants came over to the U.S. in the early 20th century, guising was first introduced to Americans.  Eventually, this tradition would lead to what Americans know now as trick-or-treating, and instead of the poor begging for items, it’s now children seeking candy.  

   Many neighborhoods across the country have set specific hours for trick or treating to prevent Halloween mischief and to help protect the safety of trick or treaters. 

   It’s hard to imagine that these restrictions would be in place if only children were trick or treating, which makes many people wonder whether or not there should be an age limit on trick or treating as well.  Nowadays, many high schoolers go out without a costume, collect free candy, damage property, and make the whole experience less enjoyable for younger kids.

   “High schoolers are simply too old to trick or treat,” said Freshman Jonny Martin. “They make the experience for a lot of children not as much fun as it should be.  No little kid wants to be bothered by a bunch of loud teenagers.”

   Children love the whole experience of Halloween.  They love dressing up, they love walking around with their parents and friends, and they LOVE the free candy.  Most high schoolers don’t dress up, don’t walk around with their parents, and can get in a car and buy candy for themselves.

   “I don’t like handing out candy to high schoolers,” said Stacy Teslenko, MHS alum, class of 2014.  

   Teslenko remembers how much fun trick or treating used to be when she was a child.  “I used to love trick or treating, but whenever I’d see a teenager, I wouldn’t want to go near them.  I remember hating seeing high schoolers trick or treating.”    
   Nowadays, Teslenko tries to give back that same joy to kids that she used to feel.

   “I always give younger kids a big smile when they come to the door,” she said. “I love seeing them all dressed up and excited to trick or treat. The last thing I want to see is a high schooler standing at my door not dressed for the occasion, asking for candy.  I feel like they’re taking advantage of Halloween.”

   However, there are plenty of high schoolers that deserve to trick or treat.  

 

   If a high schooler dresses up in a costume, is respectful to the people handing out candy, and most importantly doesn’t take away from the kids’ experience, why shouldn’t they get to trick or treat?

“I don’t think high schoolers are too old to trick or treat,” said Cathy Marcotte, mother of two high schoolers.  “I have no problem handing out candy to respectful high schoolers.  However, I would like to at least see them dressed up in a costume.”

   Halloween is all about having fun. If everyone who goes out trick or treating has fun, then that is the definition of a very successful Halloween.

   “I love dressing up in a costume for Halloween,” said Senior Michael Ventrella.  “Going out on Halloween and making kids laugh and making it a better experience for them makes me feel good.”

   In the end, maybe there doesn’t need to be an age limit, just an expectation of how trick-or-treaters should behave.

   “You’re never too old to have fun,” said Senior Ryan Jones.  “I don’t think there should ever be an age restriction put on trick or treating.  I love trick or treating because it makes me feel like a kid again.”

 

Ice buckets pour onto MHS

Sam Osisek

Staff Reporter

October 6,2014

  Created by former Boston College baseball player Pete Frates, who was diagnosed with ALS a few years ago, the Ice Bucket Challenge, the most recent social media craze, was an idea brought forth to raise money and awareness for ALS-- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

   Before the challenge, very few people knew that the disease even existed, as only about 30,000 Americans have been diagnosed with the disease, according to the ALS Association.

   I found out how few people knew about it when I learned about the disease because my uncle had it.  He passed away while battling ALS in December of 2011.  

   In the late stages of his battle, he was physically unable to move his body and was confined to a wheelchair where he used special eye lenses to type words on a technologically-advanced computer screen that was able to speak for him.

   My uncle was unable to receive any valuable medical attention because of the lack of funding ALS research was obtaining.  Even though this challenge didn’t come in time to save my uncle’s life, the money raised and the awareness that has spread may be enough to save the lives of others going through the same struggle.

   ALS is a disease about which very little is known.  It damages nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, which affects motor neurons throughout the body.  These neurons are what control muscle movement, and as they die off, the ability to control one’s movements can be lost.  During the late stages of the disease, a patient may become totally paralyzed.  

   There is no cure or cause that is known for this disease.

   But with Pete Frates’s challenge, financial funding and awareness are increasing.
   According to an Aug. 21, 2014, article from International Business Times, since the start of the challenge promoted through social media, ALS research has raised over $41 million during the first month of the challenge. 
   To put that into perspective, ALS research received only $19.4 million during all of 2013.

   The challenge is simple: fill a bucket with ice water, film yourself pouring it on your head, nominate three other friends or family members, and post the video on social media.  When nominated, a person has 24 hours to post his or her own video, make a donation to ALS research, or do both.

   “I first heard about the Ice Bucket Challenge through social media.  At first, it was just a couple videos, but as it got bigger, I looked into the background of it,” Senior Kyle Kalish said. “I was nominated by my friend Tony, and I didn’t think twice about participating.”

   The challenge spread quickly, and students at MHS were enthusiastic and eager to spread the word.

   “I got nominated; then I nominated three others,” Senior Jason White said, “And within a day, it seemed like the entire school had posted a video on Facebook about it.”

   Not only did individual students get involved, but entire sports teams nominated teams from other schools.  Both the swim team and the girls’ volleyball team participated in the challenge and nominated sports teams from other schools.

   Yasmeen Johnson, a senior captain of the MHS girls’ volleyball team, posted a video on Facebook of the entire volleyball team doing the Ice Bucket Challenge.

   “We were nominated by the Carmel varsity volleyball team, and we nominated our JV team and the Wauconda varsity volleyball team,” Johnson said.

   Jason White is a senior captain of the boys’ swim team at MHS and weighed in on the rapid spread of the challenge.

   “The entire swim team was nominated by the girls’ swim team, and we nominated the Libertyville water polo team,” said White.  “I just think it’s great that this disease is receiving so much attention because it wasn’t very well known, and now it’s reaching both younger and older people through social media.”

   He added, “Whether the students are actually donating money to the cause or just posting a video on Facebook, they are all making a difference just by spreading awareness, and that’s what is so great about this challenge.”

   To see MHS administration take the challenge, see the following clip: http://youtu.be/hFddlCW2syg.


  Reuse, reduce, recycle: Buy reusable water bottles

Jessica Carrasco

Staff  Reporter

October 1, 2014 
 
   If a person were to reuse the same bottle 60 times, he/she would be able to save $75, and if that person were to buy just one $1.25 water bottle every day for one year, then he/she would spend more than $450. But if this person were to buy just one reusable water bottle, he/she would be able to reuse it as much as he/she wanted, as stated on the website of Green Living, sponsored by lovetoknow, an online company that “owns and operates a family of websites dedicated to providing high quality and useful information to internet users.”

   Despite the facts, many people believe that bottled water is cheaper, cleaner and healthier than tap water and that it’s easier to drink because they just throw them away without a second thought, resulting in the water bottles being thrown into landfills. Apart from that, there are many shocking secrets worth knowing to debunk these water-bottles-are-better myths. Once these secrets are revealed, more people should turn to reusable water bottles instead.

   “[Reusable water bottles] are better because you don’t waste much money on plastic water bottles, and with reusable water bottles, you can fill it up and use it all over again, which makes it easier,” said Berenice Obispo, senior.

   And MHS did just make it easier with the new water fountains.  There isn’t a lot of hassle like before when you had to tip the water bottle sideways to be able to fill it. Now you just place it on the water fountain, and it fills up without you needing to do anything.

   Yet, some people still might not buy into the convenience argument because they might not have time, or they might just be too lazy, as they think all the work has been done for them with a plastic water bottle. A tip for these types of water bottle users would be for that person to fill up the reusable water bottle the night before, place it in the fridge and enjoy a nice, cold bottle of water in the morning.  It’s that simple!

   Tyler Aument, junior, noted the health benefits as well.  He said that reusable water bottles are “smarter to use [because] metal and glass are better than plastic, unless it is BPA free, and water tastes better in reusable water bottles because it doesn’t get the weird plastic taste.”

   According to Medical News Today, a website owned and operated by MediLexicon International Ltd, a leading healthcare internet publishing company, most plastic water bottles contain BPA, which is usually used in many products to coat hard plastics used in food and drink containers.  BPA is harmful because it interferes with the production, secretion, transport, action, function and elimination of natural hormones.  It can also imitate our body's own hormones, which can be harmful to our health. Some problems that could occur include reproductive disorders, male impotence, heart disease, and even changes in male hormones.
   Another problem is many companies claim that they use purified water and that they check their products to ensure this.  But according to Heal the Bay, an all-volunteer environmental organization that is one of the 

most effective groups in California, many companies use tap water as well, and only about 30-40 percent of water bottles get checked and only when it crosses state lines.

   A four-year study done by The Natural Resources Defense Council examined 1,000 bottles of 103 bottled water brands.  The study revealed that several companies had bought water from a spring in Massachusetts located near a hazardous waste site. This study proves that bottled water does not necessarily mean healthier water.

   Additionally, some people make unhealthier choices when they attempt to reuse and recycle plastic water bottles.

   Marcos Beltran, senior, said that reusing plastic water bottles might still be okay because they are “a little worse, but you can recycle it.”  

   While the environmental factor is true, reusing the plastic can be harmful because the drinker is at a greater risk of getting some harmful chemicals from the plastic into their water.       

   Plastic water bottles are very harmful to our environment as well because it may seem that it doesn’t take much to make a water bottle, but truthfully we are wasting a lot of resources just by making this product.

   According to Green Living, “United States requires more than 15 million barrels of oil each year for manufacturing, transport, and disposal. That is enough oil to fuel approximately 100,000 cars for an entire year.”

   Also, water bottles are one of the least recycled products in the U.S., so since most people don’t really recycle them, according to Heal the Bay, 84 percent of water bottles litter our streets, and many flow into large bodies of water through the storm drain system.

   Many of these water bottles end up in landfills, too, where they are forgotten.

   Isustainableearth.com, an environmental issues website committed to providing real solutions for real people to make the most out of resources they have, revealed a shocking fact-- those water bottles in the landfills are here to stay since it takes about 10,000 years to biodegrade. And if we keep using more water bottles, people might not even know what to do with them once our landfills can no longer hold them.

   “The quantity of plastic on earth isn’t going to last forever, and we need to conserve our resources and reuse as much as possible,” said Min Er Chen, senior.

   The bottom line is that if you were to buy a reusable water bottle, you and everyone else would benefit from it.

   If the above reasons don’t get your attention, maybe this will-- reusable water bottles are also very stylish.  You can pick one in whatever color or lid and even in whatever material you want. They are a great for everyone, kids and adults alike.

   Reusable water bottles are usually found anywhere these days, and their prices range from $1 to $10 plus.   

  As a teenager, it can be hard to find time for small things in our lives, such as buying one of these bottles and refilling it on a regular basis, but taking these steps will make a big difference in the long run.  If we want to have a better, safer, and healthier future, then we need to start little by little, and switching from a plastic water bottle to a reusable one may be one of the best things you can do.

 
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