Top 5 smart speakers 2019

With new smart home speakers coming out frequently, the public needs a guide to the pros and cons of the different brands. You’ve probably seen ads for these speakers (Alexa, Google Home, Apple HomePod, and many more), but which one is actually the best?

Coming in at 5th place is the Amazon Echo Plus. It has an attractive fabric design, and has good audio drivers. It also has a temperature sensor. This speaker does have some cons, like it sometimes doesn’t work with Fire TV commands, and it has a premium price of $150.

The next best smart speaker is the classic Google Home. This speaker is great for music lovers, with it being connected to YouTube’s massive song library. It also has a customizable base, along with an affordable price of $99. A few downsides to this speaker are it misses some of Google’s own services and it sometimes requires precise phrasing for the speaker to pick up what you’re saying.

In 3rd place, the Amazon Echo has a great new look and a cheap price. It also has some new Alexa features, but it is pretty close to the old generations. Customers also have said that the Alexa app could be better, with some features being slow or sometimes not working.

The 2nd best speaker is the Apple HomePod. It’s compact, has spectacular sound quality, and has built in Siri (which is very responsive). There are a few cons though, including no Bluetooth feature, no Apple Music support, and a high price tag of $350 (or more, depending on where you go to purchase it).

The first place spot goes to the Sonos One, with a clean look, fantastic sound quality, built in Alexa, and an affordable price tag of $150. The only con that I found was there’s no Google assistant support.

All pictures taken from: https://www.techradar.com/news/best-smart-speakers

Bullet trains

As Japan has just tested the one of the  world’s fastest bullet trains, the ALFA-X, which clocks in at 400 kilometers per hour/249 miles per hour, I thought it would be a good time to revisit bullet trains. How were they invented? How fast are they? Why are they some places but not others?

Bullet trains were originally designed in Japan. The first bullet train that opened for commuter service was the Hikari bullet train which opened October 1, 1964, and ran until 1999. Hideo Shima was the first designer of the bullet train and finished his plans for Japan’s high speed railway in 1959. Japan then built the the train and tracks in just five years, in time for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

After Japan’s success, countries such as Austria, France, Belgium, Germany, China, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom built similar high speed bullet trains.

The fastest train in the world is the Shanghai Maglev, in China, which can reach speeds of 267 miles per hour. The second fastest train in operation is the Fuxing Hao, also in China, which has gone as fast as 236 miles per hour. The originator of the bullet train, Japan, has the world’s third fastest train, the Shinkansen, which can go 224 miles per hour.

The fastest trains outside of Asia are housed in Italy and both can reach speeds of 220 miles per hour. They’re called the Italo and the Frecciarossa and are made by competing companies.

In America, there are no high speed trains, at least according to world standards. There are trains in America that can reach speeds of 125 miles per hour, which is considered by the U.S. to be a high speed railway, but according to world standards the minimum for a high speed train is 160 miles per hour. California has planned the first high speed railway in the U.S., but it is not planned to be completed until the year 2040.

FFA’s annual Ag Day

You know spring is here when FFA hosts their annual Ag Day. Ag day is a day for all students to go outside, see animals and learn about different aspects of agriculture. This year Ag Day was held in front of the school.

This year wasn’t too different from the previous years. When you walked out to the area in front of the School House, there were tables lining the walls with different organizations and students ready to inform and entertain. The animals were in one corner and the John Deer was in the other. The classic vanilla ice cream booth was very popular; the line didn’t die down until the last 10 minutes of the period.

This year though, they did have some different animals. Besides the adorable dogs roaming around, this year they brought in a calf and snakes, along with the sheep, the goats, chickens, and roosters. The snakes were in a different area than the other animals. Everyone took turns showing off their bravery by holding them.

Some people said they would like to see demonstrations or skits at next year’s Ag Day event. They felt that the event is more like a fair, and there wasn’t much to do after they made 2 laps around to see the booths. Others were happy that they could use this time to see what they want, and have time to relax and socialize after.

The event lasted 2nd through 6th period. Some students went almost every hour, while others didn’t even get a chance to participate. But anyone who wants seemed to have a good time, even the teachers. It was nice to see that the teachers got to use that time as a break from their stress and relax. Hopefully, next year everyone will get a chance to go.