Entertainment and News

Sleep Deprivation, I Need a Nap

Written by Reagan West 

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Sleep deprivation has hit us once in our lifetime and usually pretty hard too. You know how hard it is to get up, get ready and focus on what you must do all day. Although sleep deprivation is already hard enough, imagine how hard it is for high school students. On top of that they must deal with the real world. How do we even cope with it? 

Imagine getting up at 5 or 6, not being hungry or not even eating a semi-healthy breakfast, having to drag yourself out of bed, getting ready for learning, and dashing out the door for either the bus or the dreadful car ride to school. From a high school student’s point of view, school takes a pretty big toll on the body and mind. It’s exhausting being a teenager in high school; the learning and our personal lives are almost unbearable. On top of that, social stress and normal high school stress is draining. 

Sleep deprivation is something we can avoid by being more proficient during the day. Put down your devices an hour before you go to sleep because your cognitive stimulation suppresses the release of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin and makes it more difficult to fall asleep. Okay I must wrap this up now… I need a nap. 

When people get insufficient sleep or sleep deprived, they can get frustrated easily, they can get goofy, they have a hard time focusing, they can develop eye bags, they have puffy eyes, their brains slow down, and their skin ages. The brain of an adolescent is scientifically proven to start working at 10 AM. High school should start later because our brains would be more active, and we would be in a better mood.  Okay I must wrap this up now… I need a nap. 

Book Review – Less

Written by Keira Geary

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The 2017 novel, Less, was written by Andrew Sean Greer. Winner of the 2018, Putlitzer Prize, The New York Times has hailed this book as “inspired, lyrical,” “elegiac,” and “ingenious.” Less has been widely praised for its mixture of humor and emotion, and for its lyrical descriptions that accompany the protagonist as he embarks on a rollercoaster of a world tour. The adventures of the main character bring a comic relief and a satirical look at growing older, the pains of heartbreak, the struggles of an author, and the abasements and surprises that come from traveling internationally 

Less opens with the introduction of the main protagonist, Arthur Less, a failed novelist about to turn fifty. Arthur begins in a state of comic despair, as his life seems to unravel before him. He finds himself faced with the wedding invitation of his ex-partner. He can’t say yes, because that would be too awkward; but he can’t say no as that would look like defeat. In order to look like he’s unavailable to attend the wedding, Arthur decides to pull out a series of invitations to literary events around the world, and piece together an excursion long enough to miss both his birthday and the wedding.  

It is at this point that the novel takes a more episodic picaresque. Arthur Less travels the world, encountering bizarre and surprising customs and people, and allows for Greer to mock the types of events that aspiring writers must attend.  

Juul Is Not Cool

Written by Rosebelle Toledo  

With vape culture on the rise, teens are easily exposed to different methods of smoking such as the use of electronic cigarettes, also more commonly known as e-cigarettes. While these devices are typically marketed to help adult smokers quit the act of smoking, the JUUL is one of the largest delivers of nicotine to adolescents today. JUULing and its effect has been a cause of a widespread debate between users and nonusers – in which users claim it is a safer habit and less destructive than actual cigarettes, while nonusers argue it poses substantial health risks overtime. 

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Picture from Truth Initiative

I, for one, believe in the latter argument. Although JUULing does prevent exposure to harsher chemicals found in regular cigarettes and other tobacco products, we cannot ignore the fact that the amount of nicotine of one JUUL pod is equivalent to a pack of cigarettes, as well as the fact that users usually use multiple pods a day. That is to say, the exposure of these large amounts of nicotine can cause nicotine dependence. Already some health professionals have used the term “gateway drug” since JUULing can lead to future addictions of more harmful drugs. In addition, inhaling considerable amounts of nicotine can have other adverse effects that prove to be detrimental in adolescent brains that have not yet been fully developed, including harming parts of the brain that deal with impulse control. Another negative matter that deals with JUULing is the fact that it is common for users to share their JUUling devices. This can result in the transfer of many orally transmitted diseases between users.

While the act of hitting a JUUL and using e-cigarettes are becoming trends in today’s society, the JUUL is anything but consequence-free. Therefore, I strongly advise that anyone who wants to follow this destructive trend as a method of stimulating a sense of euphoria or feelings alike, should consider the long-term ramifications it will cause. As illnesses and deaths linked to vaping continue to rise, I urge students to stop the use of e-cigarettes. 

Frankenstein

By Brianna Barron

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The Once and Future King: Book Review

Written by Keira Geary

The Once and Future King: T. H. White: 9780441627400: Amazon ...
Photo from amazon

The Legend of King Arthur is a classic story enriched with adventure, romance, and magic, that has enchanted readers for generations. The Once and Future King, by T.H. White, is a masterful retelling of the exciting saga.   

The Once and Future King compacts all five volumes of the story into one large volume. White beautifully conjured the chivalry, heraldry, jousting, and falconry, and brilliantly reconfigured the world of Thomas Malory’s Morte d’Arthur.  Written in 1958, White’s writing was initially intended for a post-WW II demographic, however, it’s written in a way where the humor and charm easily fit into the modern era.  Alongside the painful demons of his own past, White, in a very lucid and lovey prose, uses the Arthurian legend as a way of thinking about war, power, and the proper uses of violent force.   

The Once and Future King is a beautiful and thoughtful book. It is a creative and well-crafted take on the classic King Arthur story. Throughout the book, each story has a different tone, that brings something new to the book and characters.  

World Report: Iran in the News

Written by Anthony Cuffaro

From Iran’s general Qasem Soleimani being killed from an airstrike to Iran shooting down its own jet, Iran has been in the news lately. 

First let me start off by explaining how we got to that point. 

Iran and the United States have had relations since the 1950’s.  

On September 22nd, 1980 Iraq invaded Iran, starting the Iraq-Iran war. America supported Iraq with millions of dollars of economic aid, the sale of dual-use technology, origin weaponry, military intelligence, and special operations training. The war ended in 1988. 

1984, Raegan’s administration called Iraq a sponsor of terrorism.  

1986, despite helping Iraq in the war, the United States begins to improve its relationship with Iran. 

1988 the US shoots down Iran Air Flight 655. All 290 people on board are killed.  

1995. US President Bill Clinton issues executive orders that expand sanctions and generally ban the exchange of goods and services between the US and Iran. 

1997, Mohammed Khatami becomes the president of Iran. In response, Bill Clinton says he’s hopeful things will get better. 

2001, the biggest terrorist attack in US history was carried out. With over 2,700 deaths, and with $3.3 trillions of damages to the U.S, according to the New York Times. 

2009, Iran announced that it successfully carried out its first satellite launch, raising international concerns that Iran’s ballistic missile potential was growing. 

2011, U.S. intelligence officials tell a Senate committee that Iran has not yet decided whether it wants to develop nuclear weapons but is keeping that option open through development of its material capabilities. 

2013, Hassan Rouhani is elected Iran’s president on platform of improving Iran’s relations with the world and its economy.

2016, Iran and the United States conduct a prisoner swap. 

May 2018, the US withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Trump, who just got took office, said it was ‘one sided’.  

2019, May/June, Iran caused attacks in the gulf.  

2019, July, Iran shoots down an U.S. drone, it says was in Iranian airspace and seizes a British oil tanker.  

January 3rd, 2020, U.S. kills Iran’s top general Qassem Soleimani was well as Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in a drone strike at a Baghdad airport. Iran mourns the lost of its top general.  

January 9th, 2020, Iran launches missiles on two bases in Iraq where U.S. soldiers are stationed in retaliation for Soleimani’s killing; no casualties are reported. The same morning, a Ukrainian airliner crashes after taking off from Iran. A U.S. official says Iran shot down the plane with two Russian surface-to-air missiles. 

January 11th, 2020, Iran admits it shot down the Ukrainian airliner by mistake. 

Sources:  

https://www.foxnews.com/world/us-iran-tensions-a-timeline-of-incidents

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/us-sanctions-against-iran-a-timeline

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/world/a-timeline-of-u-s-iran-relations

https://www.cnn.com/interactive/2020/01/world/us-iran-conflict-timeline-trnd/

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-24316661

Book Review – And Then There Were None

By Keira Geary

“And Then There Were None” is a mystery novel by the English writer Agatha Christie. This book revolves around ten strangers who met for the first time on an island off the English coast. Each of them has an invitation tailored to their personal circumstances; and each of them has a secret they don’t want to get out.

The night they arrive on the island they are notified that the owner would not arrive until the next day. After dinner, the guests gather in the drawing room – where they suddenly hear a recording accusing each of them of a specific, unsolved murder in the past.

The guests then realize that none of them actually know who the owner is – which suggests that they were brought here according to someone’s strange plan.

“And Then There Were None” by Agatha Christie is a classic murder-mystery novel that is exciting, dark, and suspenseful – sure to keep you on the edge of your seat.

For more information on “And Then There Were None” by Agatha Christie click here.

Binge Worthy Entertainment

By Aby Mendez