Friday, March 23, 2018

Should you get a phone that folds? By Steven Roberts

So apparently last year ZTE launched the Axon M- a foldable smartphone with dual screens. This 2018 Samsung is also making plans for releasing their very own foldable phone. Pretty soon more and more companies will develop these devices, which will start a new trend in the industry. But the real question is should you really buy one. Lets take a look at some of the pros and cons of a foldable smart phone. One of the advantages is that obviously, you will have two screens in one portable phone. Also the foldable smartphone has versatility which you can switch from different viewing modes, Like single screen, running two separate apps in each display, same app running on both screens, and merging the two screens to become a single, and a large display. You can also take better selfies because the companies installed  high-end lenses on both displays. Despite its fun advantages, it also has disadvantages. For example these devices can be thick and heavy because each side of the  screens will have a separate set of hardware, the battery may no last as long because there is two screens it has to power, the hinge to fold the phone may get in the way of videos, the starting  price for the Axon M is $725. So reading some of the pros and cons about the foldable phone it  is now your choice if you should by it or not.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Easter Egg Origins By Robert Cohan

Easter is a big part of Christian and most of the world’s culture. Its Christian significance comes from the day Jesus rose from the dead. But where does the rest of the celebration fit in? What does a bunny and colored eggs have to do with Jesus? Well, in most cultures the egg represents re-birth and new life (obvious connection is obvious), but it meant this long before Jesus was born on earth. The Nowruz and the Iranians started painting eggs way before Jesus was born. Easter eggs (as previously mentioned) take the eggs symbolism of re-birth and apply it to Jesus.

H1Z1 Backlash by Grayson Perry

H1Z1 is a popular Battle Royale game that started the Battle Royale trend on YouTube and Twitch. It just recently surpassed 10 million players on Steam. Since its original release on steam, which was on January 15, 2015 as an early access title, it has gone through many changes and had major competition from PUBG and Fortnite. H1Z1 was incredibly popular, being the first of its kind years ago, but now faces being one of the most disliked Battle Royale games today. Recently, H1Z1 was made free to play, which caused much backlash from players who paid $10 to $20. So far, the developers have been silent about this and are not issuing out refunds. H1Z1 has also received negative reviews due to massive game changes. The developers have dramatically changed how the game works multiple times, which has caused frustration among players. Finally, H1Z1 developers hardly listen to the player opinions, and often make huge decisions without listening to the community first. Despite all of this, H1Z1 is still trying its best to maintain its current players and bring in new players as well. Adding new game modes, just as Fortnite does occasionally, and pushing constant updates to keep the game afloat. H1Z1 is not a bad game, or a boring game, but just as all game developers must do, they need to pay more attention to the community.

Monday, March 19, 2018

I am Annoyed by Negativity by Allyson Reyna

Why has negativity, self-deprecating tendencies, and an overall sourness consumed people? Constant jokes which bring one’s self and others down, complaining, and annoyed expressions fill the behaviors and attitudes of people. And why is this considered normal?

It is considered normality within today’s society since it has consumed media and everyday interactions. Things do not always go our way. This can lead to a couple different avenues in one’s reaction to it… either looking at it in a positive or negative way. The easier path, to many, would be negative tendencies. It is easier to complain when things do not go our way than it is to see the positive in it. This behavior, overtime, can become habitual. When it becomes that, it becomes this constant source of refuge for that person to turn to. Something goes slightly wrong? Quick solution is for that person to simply say something negative, make a sardonic joke, be self-deprecating, etc. Overtime these so-called jokes, remarks, and so on are not so entertaining; they become somewhat annoying to listen and to watch. Sometimes it gets so annoying that it becomes just sad to witness.

Personally, I am downright tired of this negativity. Whatever the source of negativity may be… it is just annoying. So, just stop. Simply, stop. Please, stop. I am asking you to STOP. When I say stop, I am not intending to dictate your words or actions, or refute the idea that sometimes tragedies strike. My intentions are for there to be more positivity in everyday normal occurrences. There is not enough positivity in this world. Everything is apparently “wrong”. That is not true, though. There is so much goodness which seems to be hidden away since people’s attention is not placed on it.  There attention is focused in on the downsides to things and this brings an overall negative outlook which seeps into the way they act.

So, I have a proposal; lets be more positive. See the goodness within the circumstances that occur. If something seems not so bright, know that it will pass, and everything will be just fine. Will all complaining and negative words be completely put to rest?Absolutely not. But we do hold the capability of turning our attention towards something else. And it is completely fine to tell someone how you are truly feeling about that assignment or complain about how the weather is just too hot. However, our entire vocabulary should not be honed in on everything that is just soooo horrible, and we must remember that everything will turn out alright. 

Now that I have finished complaining about negativity, lets try to be more positive…

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Double Standards in Academics by Amy Yarbrough

       Growing up in a half math, half English home was interesting. My father is the math man, and my mother is the english teacher. My dad definitely wanted my sister and I to be engineering minds, but he still never forced us to pursue it, nor did he try to steer us away from our artistic interests. Being homeschooled meant that we had time to pursue many different artistic interests. Not having school every day gave us time to develop skills that we would have had to leave behind otherwise. Even though we had plenty of creative support growing up, the world has one or two things to say about “artists”.
Someone who is great at mathematics and scientific studies is considered smart. It doesn't matter how bad they are at writing, or bored they are of books, or uncreative they are with other endeavors; they are still the smartest. What about the one who is great at english? The one who can understand great pieces of literature and pick them apart to find different meanings in text and scriptures from a variety of years. What do people think of them if they're bad at math and science? They’re seen as the dimmer half of the population. The problem isn't that one is better than the other. The problem is that people have put one side on a pedestal, and it’s seen as the pinnacle of intelligence. Never mind that illiteracy has literally caused dark ages, it’s clearly not that bad…

Don’t get me wrong, math is important. There’s absolutely no denying that our technological advancements aren’t due to Shakespeare. But the double standard lies in schools. Get all A’s in your english and writing classes? Great! You're pretty smart!.. Wait what? You got a D in Math? You’ve brought dishonor to yourself, your cow, and your family. You can leave now if you're not too dumb to find the door. 

Got all A’s in math and science but D’s in english? That’s fine sweetie! You're a smart cookie you'll find your way around the world. We need you to survive. You're the ticket to discovering new life. You’ve cured all diseases by choosing “C” on a multiple choice question. We need you to copy our brains and put them in computers. Humans are evolving. Because of you. 

Creating a Good Story by Autumn Snow

Within the realm of literature, there is an extremely various amount of subjects to be pondered over in the pages of any book. Within the realm of fictional literature, there are endless examples of good, bad, and downright ridiculous tales that have been entertaining (or not, in certain cases) people for centuries. But creating a good, wholesome story that people will want to read is not easy by any means, so here are a few pointers for the aspiring author.

First comes the title. Well, actually, the title may be the last thing a writer comes up with, depending on how formulated the story already is in his/her mind. A great title is one of the most important components in drawing attention toward your brilliant novel. You want to give it the grandest name ever to be thought up, a symbolic phrase that could sum up the book in a few graceful words. Even one word might do in certain cases, though it would have to be a pretty sensational word.

Next comes the storyline. Now, this is perhaps the most crucial part of constructing a good story since it's . . . well, since it's the story. It's also the hardest part of your venture. It may not seem so, but it takes a good amount of work to come up with a story that hasn't already been created in some other form. It can also be very difficult to generate a narrative enticing enough to keep people's attention, but also make it open-minded enough so that you aren't the only one taking interest. Take a lot of time thinking over your ideas before putting them to paper. And make sure it's something worth writing about. As they say, if there is a story out there that you want to read that has not yet been written, write it yourself. Just make sure it isn't stupid.

Next is the use of proper grammar. If this tool is utilized correctly, you'll end up sounding smarter than you really may be, and that's all any author can hope to achieve.

Lastly for today are the characters. Characters should be the most interesting objects within your story, for it's the characters that help you begin and end your book. Developing your characters properly is very, very important. You have to make your characters your own, but you have to make them relatable enough so that people might actually become somewhat emotionally connected to these completely non-existent beings. Make these characters appealing, but don't make them without fault. No one is going to take interest in a perfect individual, for it's not realistic. Give them memorable names, unique personalities, and intriguing quirks and features.

Of course, there may be other things I'm forgetting, but these are the key pointers I use when writing a story, and hopefully it has been of some interest to whoever it is that has had a long enough attention span to finish reading this post. Good luck to you and your story-writing expeditions.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Spring Break Ideas by Allyson Reyna

Are you bored? Do you not know what to do with your spare time? Do you even know what spare time is? Well, this spring break, you may have this thing called “spare time”. It is this thing in which you have time leftover from all other planned tasks which you have already completed or do not have to complete till later.

Here is a list of things to do when you do not know what to do... 

Read a book. To some this may feel like school but to others it is enjoyable. 

Take a daytrip to a place where there is stuff to do.

Try something completely new like rock climbing or take a painting class.                                                                                                                                           
Conquer a fear. For me, it would be going to a place where ostriches are and being relatively close to it.

Go outside and sit in a hammock.

See if your friends want to do anything and then do it with them.

Make something to eat that isn’t a sandwich or cereal.

Go to the zoo.  

Get ahead or catch up on your schoolwork. I completely am in knowledge that this is probably my least favorited idea but hey it’s something to do so…     

Take a nap. 

Saturday, March 10, 2018

 Health in America  By Steven Roberts

So we all may know that America is known as one of the  the fattest countries  in the world. Many Americans blame the fast food industry for over-advertising, selling unhealthy foods, and selling oversized portions. However, other feel that America's obesity is a matter of personal responsibility. We can all cut down on fast food sometimes because we know that its not good for us, but that doesn't mean that we have to stop eating it completely all you have to do is not eat it so much and if you do that your health will improve everyday. I mean sure it is so good i mean i love fast food but i try not to eat it everyday but if i do then after i go for a run for about three miles so the food would not just turn into fat. We could all improve our health very easily you just have to put your mind and heat to it, and say to keep saying to your self that you want to be healthy and look good, you have to be your own motivation, and to keep pushing yourself until you have reached your goal. I mean it not all about what you eat it is all about how hard you work at your goal that you want to achieve.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Fortnite Frenzy by Grayson Perry


Recently, a certain video game has been capturing the attention of millions worldwide due to its uniqueness, and that game is none other than Fortnite Battle Royale. Fortnite is a Third Person “Battle-Royale” game (hence the name Fortnite Battle Royale) available on Xbox, PlayStation, and PC, and is currently one of the most popular video games among the gaming community. “Battle Royale” is a genre of game where 100 online players are sent to an island or confined zone and are tasked with eliminating each other and being the last man standing by any means necessary. To do this, one must utilize the vast arsenal of weaponry available against each other, not doing so limits your chance of victory to almost nothing. Fortnite, however, puts a unique twist to nearly all of these tasks, making it stand out from the crowd.

At the beginning of a match of Fortnite, you are placed in a “waiting lobby” as you wait for all 100 players to join the match. Once all of the players are in the lobby, the game places you in an aircraft flying over an island, the island where everyone will be pit against each other. You have the choice of where to jump out of the aircraft and freefall to, but choosing not to will lead to getting kicked out of the aircraft, so better to jump on your own terms. When you get close enough to the ground, a Glider will be deployed, which will decrease your speed and prevent you from splatting on the ground. Upon landing, you will need to find a weapon fast, as others are likely around you, waiting to get an easy kill. Don’t fret! Weapons are easily obtainable and are quite simple to find, because they glow. Weapons will come in different rarities, Common (glows white), Uncommon (glows green), Rare (glows blue), Epic (glows purple), and Legendary (glows gold). Each weapon will be efficient at different tasks, such as the sniper is effective at long range while the shotgun is more effective at short range. Higher rarities are also more efficient than lower rarities, a higher rarity usually means that the weapon has less recoil or does more damage per shot. Although weapons are important in Fortnite, they aren’t the only items you can obtain while fighting for your life. Items such as Bandages, Grenades, Shield Potions, and others are just as important as the weapons, and only being able to hold five items total, you must decide what is more important to take with you. Now, the island is huge, so there must be some way to make people fight each other, or the match would take forever… well, there is. Roughly a minute after you land on the island, a white circle will appear on your map (which you can view by pressing a certain button), and this circle is called the Safe Zone. There will be a timer urging you to make your way to the safe zone before the area outside of the circle is no longer safe. Once the timer hits zero, a purple circle can be seen on the edge of the map slowly closing in, called the Storm, and the only way to avoid it is to make your way to the Safe Zone. If you happen to find yourself in the Storm circle, you will notice that you take one damage per second out of the 100 health (assuming that you have full health), and the storm will eliminate you, unless you are able to make it to the Safe Zone. Once the Storm reaches the Safe Zone, a new Safe Zone will appear inside of the already present Safe Zone, this time smaller, to force players to face one another. This continues until the safe zone is only big enough to fit one person inside, causing remaining players to be eliminated. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the Storm will do increased damage as the Safe Zone gets smaller, increasing from 1 damage per second, then to 2, then 5, then 10. Fortnite’s most unique feature is the ability to build structures. Using the Harvesting Tool (which is literally a Pickaxe) materials can be acquired through destroying trees, structures, rocks, and cars. You can then use the acquired materials to build walls, floors, ramps, and pyramids. This can be utilized in combat, keeping you safe, but not forever as the structures can be destroyed. In the end your main goal is to be the last alive, whether you play it safe and hide, or go in guns blazing, victory is only obtainable by surviving. But you don’t have to die alone! Fortnite also allows you to team up with one or three other friends.

 Fortnite isn’t the only Battle Royale game on the market, other games are available such as PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, H1Z1, and The Culling, to name a few. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) is fighting with Fortnight for the most popular Battle Royale game, and most recently Fortnite surpassed PUBG as most popular with 3.4 million concurrent players. This popularity could attribute to Fortnite being free, while PUBG costs around $30. Fortnite also keeps players coming back with constant updates, adding new locations to land at, adding new weapons, adding new game modes, and the Battle Pass. Fortnite is always introducing new game modes for players to enjoy for a limited amount of time such as: All Gold (where all of the weapons that you find are legendary), 50v50 (instead of playing solo, duo, or squads there are two teams of 50 that fight it out), and most recently, 20 Man Squads (5 teams of 20 face each other). The Battle Pass is seasonal, which means it usually lasts around 60 days, and is a “book” that you can complete to unlock various items. These items include Skins (different characters to play as), Back Bling (backpacks, bow ties, fake wings, etc…), Trails (lines that follow you as you’re freefalling in the sky), Emotes (dances, gestures, etc…), Gliders (think of hang gliding, its what you use when you land) Harvesting Tools (pickaxes as mentioned earlier), and Emblems (little pictures next to your name). The Battle Pass, along with other skins you can acquire, costs real money, and is how Fortnite makes money, with the game being free. What Fortnite’s creators Epic Games does perfectly here, is what they do with Microtransactions. Microtransactions in video games costs real money out of our pockets to purchase items in game, otherwise known as Fortnite’s Battle Pass. The only things you can purchase in Fortnite are considered cosmetics, which only affect how the player looks. Most games that have Microtransactions today gives players unfair advantages for having a big wallet, and usually have a large price tag for the game itself. Fortnite has done a beautiful job in restraining itself to not do this, but still work in Microtransactions. The game has also had huge success on YouTube and Twitch, two very popular media platforms. Entire channels have been dedicated to Fortnite and insane gameplay footage by people who play it. Due to this massive popularity, combined with it being free-to-play, and the gameplay style that appeals to many, Fortnite Battle Royale has been hugely successful in just about every way, and many would consider it the best game that is currently on the market.

So You Want to Bring Your Pet to College by Allyson Reyna

Do you have a dog? A cat? A fish? A horse? A pet? And do you want to bring them to college?

There is a possible chance that you can bring your pet to college, against social norms. There are some “pet friendly” colleges out there which can fit both you and your furry pal. If you would like to see what some of these colleges are and what they allow in terms of bringing along a pet…