Chess for starters

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Have you ever played chess? Chess is a game that has more ways to play than possibly the stars in the known Universe. It’s a strategy game where the opposing enemy has to capture the king to win. In a game of chess, you could win, stalemate (also known as a draw), or lose. There are people who play chess and yet, they don’t know the three stalemates. This article will show the two special moves, and stalemates, that regular players could possibly not know of or should know about.

To win, you need to capture the king by putting the opposing enemy’s king in checkmate. To do this, you need to put the enemy’s king in a position where no matter where the king goes the king would be captured.

There are three ways to stalemate in the game of chess. Threefold repetition,           50-move rule, and a stalemate where the king can’t move but isn’t in check. Threefold repetition is when the same position has occurred for 3 times by the same players. The 50-move rule is when the last 50 moves are made without the capture of any pieces or the movement of a pawn. Lastly, the regular stalemate, that many players know of, is when you or the opposing enemy can’t make a move without their king being captured. This means that you or the opposing player can’t make a move and the game ends in a stalemate.

Two special cases for the game of chess, that some players still don’t know of, is the castle and the En passant. The castle is a special move, and the only move that allows the movement of two pieces on the board at once. They are the king and the rook. The castle could occur on the left or right side of the board and could be played if there are no remaining pieces between the king and the rook. The castle could also only be played if the king plus the rook haven’t moved, and can only be played if the king isn’t in check, the rook isn’t being targeted by a piece, and if all the spaces between the king and rook is not being targeted with any enemy moves. To do the castle, the king would move two spaces to the right or left. The rook the king moved forward to, would jump over the king and go directly to the other unoccupied space next to the king.

The other special case is the En passant, and it is a special capture done with by the pawns. The En passant is allowed when your pawn is either on the 5th rank or the 4th rank. If you are white, your pawn would be on the 5th rank and if you are black, your pawn would be on the 4th rank. This is because to do the En passant your opposing enemy’s pawn needs to do a double jump. As many starters know, the pawn is allowed to jump two spaces forward on their very first move. Any other move is just one space forward. To do the En passant, the enemy’s pawn would need to jump two spaces, and is right next to your pawn. Once the enemy’s pawn is next to your pawn, you would capture the pawn diagonally towards them. Your pawn doesn’t capture the pawn next to them like moving the rook, king, or the queen, but moves forward as if the enemy’s pawn has only moved one space instead of two. However, the En passant could only be done immediately after the moment the enemy’s pawn moves. If you or your opponent waits a turn before doing the En passant then it will become an illegal move.

How to: Finish your senior year strong

The end of our last year of high school is slowly coming to an end. It’s no surprise that the majority of the seniors have been hit with a mild case of “senioritis.” After four long years, it’s definitely time to say goodbye to high school. Here are some simple steps you can follow to help you feel motivated to finish the year strong.

Step #1: Keep your eye on the prize

Picture yourself walking across the stage and receiving your diploma for your four years of hard work. Graduation is not far away, and for those excited for college, the gap is quickly shortening, but there is no need to panic. Whether your goal is graduation, college, or just summer, you need to keep your eye on the prize. The biggest challenge during senior year is finding motivation. By remembering what your goal is, and how soon you’ll be there, you’ll find the excitement and energy needed to complete the year strongly.

Step #2: Failure to plan, is planning to fail

Senior year is by far the most important year of high school; falling behind is not an option. Although, all four years are crucial toward your academic future, you want to make sure that you’re completing your senior year with strong grades rather than barely getting by. Also, make sure that you do not overcompensate, balancing out school with extracurriculars, and/or a job is extremely difficult, don’t bite off more than you can chew folks! The goal here is to be able to complete all your activities and school work, while still having enough time to yourself.

Step #3: Have fun

Reward yourself for working hard, attend events e.g. Prom, senior field trip, senior lock-in. Having events, or activities to look forward to, can help you pass the time between now and graduation. It can also motivate you to get through the days. It’s highly recommended that you not only attend these events, but also to make as many memories as you possibly can before we close this chapter in your life.

Step #4: Use your resources

Highland is filled with resources, and it’s your job to make sure that you are exploring all these opportunities while you still have time. Make sure to stay connected to your counselor, and stay informed on what you need in order to graduate. Also, while you’re busy staying connected to your advisors and teacher, make sure to stay connected to your peers as well, because they’re also living through this experience. You can use your peers as resources to help you with your school work; study dates are such an easy and fun way to spend time while learning.

Ultimately, it’s your senior year and you want to make sure you make the most of it. You’ve worked so hard for this, and you deserve it; continue to give yourself small rewards for overcoming the challenges throughout this year. For those seniors continuing to higher education, use this time to practice locking in those good habits and self-motivation. Get a jump start on better study habits or organization, because you’ll definitely need it for college.

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Anticipated movies coming out in 2018

By Aicha Minoui and Jamie Zarn

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So far, 2018 has had its ups and downs but, in the section of movies, now that is a different story. 2018 is bringing forth new sequels, or ending movies to a franchise, such as: The Maze Runner: The Death Cure, The Incredibles 2, Pacific Rim: Uprising, Wreck It Ralph: Ralph Breaks The Internet. Even new single movies like Winchester, a horror movie, and Ready Player One, an action movie.

One of the listed franchise movies such as, The Maze Runner: The Death Cure finishes off the Maze Runner series in a way which leaves the audience wanting more, and missing forgotten characters, as well as answering some unanswered questions from the last two movies. The movie also sets the series to rest in a way where you can leave the theatre astonished, and be assured that the series has ended, which is usually never the case but, this time, it does seem like that is the case.

Wreck It Ralph: Ralph Breaks The Internet, is a new and upcoming sequel from a favorite movie released in 2012. In this film, not much has been said about the plot except that it’s set six years after the previous movie, and that Princess Vanellope Von Schweetz (or just Vanellope) and Ralph go to find a replacement part for the game Sugar Rush after a Wi-Fi router is connected to the arcade. What that replacement is, is still not known but, it’s said that an algorithm Yesss, which is another version of Youtube called Buzztube, will be included, as well as an appearance of the Disney Princess line-up (voiced by the original voices), Stars Wars characters, and Marvel characters. This is something to look forward to.

I think everyone can agree that Incredibles 2 is the movie everyone is looking forward to. The sequel to the favorite animated superhero movie, released in 2004, is finally being released. Not only are children excited, but people who grew up watching the Incredibles over and over again are super excited for the sequel as well. Regarding the plot, the movie is about Mr. Incredible taking care of Elastigirl and his kid, Jack-Jack, while she is out saving the world.

Two movies I’m personally excited for, are Pacific Rim: Uprising and Ready Player One. Pacific Rim: Uprising is the sequel to Pacific Rim, which was released in 2013. Pacific Rim was about mecha robots, called Jaegers, fighting Kaiju that are trying to destroy the world. Uprising is about Jake Pentecost, whose father was Stacker Pentecost, abandoning Jaeger training and getting caught up in the criminal underworld. Suddenly an even greater threat than the Kaiju come and Jake Pentecost gets one last chance to live up to his father’s legacy, given to him by his estranged sister, Mako Mori. This movie stars John Boyega, well known for his role as Finn in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Ready Player One is an action movie about the creator of a virtual reality game called OASIS who dies and challenges every OASIS player to find his Easter Egg. Whoever finds it will win his fortune. Wade Watts finds the first clue and starts a race for the egg. To me, this movie just seems like a fun action movie, and I’m pretty excited for it.

Winchester is a new horror movie about one of the most haunted houses in the world, on an isolated stretch of land outside San Francisco. It follows Sarah Winchester, as a prison for the vengeful ghosts that have a score to settle with the Winchester family. It is currently pulling 10% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Treats and gifts for Valentine’s Day.

It’s that time of the year again, when the stores start putting out heart shaped everything and love is in the air. Another Valentine’s Day is coming up quickly; a time of year to show your loved ones just how much you appreciate and love them. So, here are some treats and gifts that’ll show just that!


Sweetheart Cherry Pies:

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If you’re looking for an easy but very delicious treat, this is the thing for you! It only takes about 25 minutes to prepare and bake. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Pie dough (you can usually find this in any grocery store)
  • Fresh Cherries
  • Ricotta cheese
  • Sugar
  • 1 tbsp of butter, melted
  • Heart cookie cutter

Step 1: Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees and make sure to line a baking sheet with some parchment paper.

Step 2: Take your pie dough and roll it out to about an inch thick and then take your heart shaped cookie cutter and press them into the dough. Make sure to use all of the leftover scraps to make more!

Step 3: Take all of your cherries and make sure to remove the pit, an easy way of doing that is by using a straw to help push it out. After you’ve removed the pit, chop up the cherries into small little pieces.

Step 4: In the bowl of cherries add a small pinch of sugar, or more if you have a sweet tooth.

Step 5: On the lines baking sheet, take the heart shaped pie dough and lay them on gently. After you’ve placed all of the pie dough out, take a spoonful of the ricotta cheese and place it into the middle of each heart, doing the same with your chopped up cherries.

Step 6: Lay down the top dough and seal the edges with a fork. After you’ve sealed the dough together, take your melted butter and brush it over top.

Step 6: Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Make sure to let the little pies cool down before serving!

Step 7: Enjoy the sweet treat with your friends and family or with your significant other!

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Candy Heart Bark:
This chocolate dessert is one of the easiest treats to make! All it takes is about five ingredients; here’s what they are!

  • White chocolate
  • Canola or vegetable oil
  • Semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • Conversation heart candies
  • Food coloring of your choice

Step 1: Take a baking sheet and like it with parchment paper or a silicone mat if you have one.

Step 2: Using a double boiler or a microwave melt down your white chocolate, taking it out every 20 seconds to stir it thoroughly, adding about a tbsp of your oil into the chocolate. After melting the chocolate you can add any color that you want.

Step 2: Melt your semisweet in the same exact way that you did with the white chocolate. After the semisweet chocolate is melted, pour it onto the lined baking sheet, spreading it out evenly.

After you finish spreading the chocolate, use a spoon to scoop up your white chocolate/colored chocolate and randomly pour it into different spaces on top of the semisweet chocolate.

Step 3: Using a tip of a toothpick or even a fork, to drag the white chocolate into different shapes, creating a water marble effect. Before the chocolate hardens up, take your heart candies and place them all around your chocolate.

Step 4: Put the tray into the refrigerator and let it harden for about 2 hours. After its hardened, take the chocolate and break it into pieces as large or as small as you’d like!

DIY gifts:

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Heart Bath bombs:

  • Baking Soda
  • Citric Acid
  • Fine Epsom Salts
  • Jojoba Oil
  • Love Potion Essential Oil
  • Red food coloring
  • Witch hazel
  • Mesh strainer
  • Spray bottle
  • Silicone heart mold
  • Plastic gloves


Take your mesh strainer and place it over a large bowl, pour in 1 cup of your baking soda, 1/2 cup citric acid and 1/4 cup of fine epsom salts.

Stir baking soda, citric acid and epsom salts until well blended, making sure there are no lumps.

Next, slowly add 1/2 Tablespoon of jojoba oil to the dry mixture. Add 10 drops of Love Potion essential oil and 1-2 drops of food coloring.

Wearing plastic gloves, mix the oils and food coloring through the dry mixture, until it is well incorporated and pink.

Once mixture is blended, slowly add witch hazel, one spritz at a time, until the bath bomb mixture sticks together when squeezed.

You’ll need about 8 to 10 spritzes of witch hazel to get the right consistency. The mixture should not be crumbly. It should stick together when squeezed, but you don’t want it too wet or it may begin to fizz.

Pack the slightly damp mixture tightly into the heart shape molds. Be sure to pack the mixture well, fitting in as much as possible into each mold. (This recipe should make 5 to 6 heart-shaped bath bombs.)

Allow to dry for several hours, or ideally overnight, then remove the homemade bath bombs from the molds.

They should be very hard when you remove them from the molds. Wrap bath bombs tightly in plastic wrap and store in a cool, dry place, away from any moisture.

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Strawberry Sugar Scrub:

This perfect, and easy little gift is perfect for anyone who loves smooth skin! This strawberry sugar scrub is made in a few minutes, and smells absolutely amazing; here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 cup cane sugar
  • 1 cup freeze-dried strawberries
  • 3/4 cup organic virgin coconut oil, room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract

Step 1: Take a big ziploc bag and place your freeze-dried strawberries in them. Make sure to seal it real tight, taking all of the air out to make it easier to smash it. You can use a rolling pin to smash the strawberries into almost a dust like consistency.

Step 2: place your strawberry dust into a bowl and add your cane sugar. After you’ve added your sugar, take your coconut oil and place it into the bowl as well, along with your vanilla.

Step 3: Combine everything together!

You can put this scrub into any container that you’d like, big or small! Enjoy using this while showering or while taking a nice hot bath! This will do wonders for you skin.

I hope you take your time to make these wonderful little treats and gifts, whether that be for your loved ones or even just for yourself! Have an amazing Valentine’s Day this year, spend it doing something fun!