What to do over winter break

Winter break is coming up very soon and I think everybody can agree they are looking forward to leaving the school this Friday. Though you can only imagine two great weeks of lounging and relaxing, what are you actually doing? Here are a couple of ideas that may inspire what you will do this winter break.

  1. Relax and take advantage of the break. Ever since school started, it’s hard to go one day without saying you’re tired. This may be the break you were waiting for to catch up on some much needed sleep. Also, just relax and hang out. School is pretty fast paced and any extra curricular activity only helps to fill up your schedule, leaving barely any time to just sit down or do anything with your loved ones. So if it’s possible, try your best to build in some time to wind down this winter break and do whatever you’d like to. 
  2. Hang out with friends. In general, it can be kind of hard to make time during the week or the weekends to hang out with your friends, especially the ones that don’t go to the same school as you. So maybe you could find a time during break to get together and catch up. 
  3. Do something outside and have fun with the snow. Going outside, especially with snow on the ground, may not appeal to everyone’s interest but for those who like outdoor activities, do something outdoors. You could try something new like skiing or snowboarding, or something more fun based like sledding or a snowball fight. This also gives you the perfect excuse to get all your friends together for a good laugh. 
  4. Stay inside and take the opportunity to make some hot cocoa. A warm fire, blankets, and a comforting cup of cocoa is always a great idea considering the conditions outside. Maybe just take a moment this break to get as content as you can and relax in the comfort of your own home. 
  5. Find the balance between relaxed and lazy. Though winter break sparks a sense of laziness in everyone, don’t let it get the best of you. Some teachers will still be giving out homework during break, so don’t put it off and just get it done as early as you can so you don’t have to worry about it. Also, make the most of your break and do more than just camp out in your room doing nothing. And if you take part in a sport, don’t skip practice for poor excuse like sleeping in or just not wanting to go. Stay on top of what you have to do, but still make sure you relax over the two week long winter break. 

5 DIY Christmas decorations

Here are 5 different DIY Christmas decorations you can make at home to get everyone in the Christmas spirit! 

#1 Wooden Christmas Trees: 

For this decoration you will need: 

  • Paint brushes
  • Craft paints
  • Liquid gold leaf
  • A wooden pyramid block

You will first need to decorate your wooden block by using the paint brushes and craft paint. You can then use the liquid gold leaf at the top to create the star or a snow cap. 

These trees are easy to make and hard to break which makes them perfect decorations to be out and about during the Christmas season!

#2 Marbled Ornaments:

In order to create these marble ornaments you will need:

  • Enamel paint
  • An ornament
  • Water
  • Tablespoon
  • Paper towel
  • Wooden skewer stick

You will first need to put about a tablespoon of water into the ornament and swirl it while it’s inside the ornament. You will then need to add in the enamel paint. You can use a wooden skewer stick to swirl the paint around. After this you will need to lightly tap the ornament against your hand in a circular motion; hold the top of the ornament closed with your finger and a paper towel. 

Once the paint is looking the way you want it to, let the ornament sit for 24 hours. During the 24 hours, turn the ornament on different sides so that the paint doesn’t sit in only one area. This will get you a marble ornament!

#3 Popsicle stick snowflakes:

For this decoration you need:

  • A hot glue gun
  • Popsicle sticks 

All you need to do is come up with a design, place the popsicle sticks to mimic your design, and then hot glue the popsicle sticks together and get a nice decoration that you can hang up anywhere!

 

#4 Plastic spoon Christmas trees:

For this decoration you need:

  • Plastic spoons
  • Spray paint
  • Hot glue gun
  • Paper mache tree 

You will first need to cut the top of the plastic spoons off. Then you can spray the spoons with spray paint and give them some color. You will then need to wait for the spray paint to dry off.

After you wait for the spray paint to dry off, you will need to hot glue the bottom part of the spoon and place it on the paper mache tree. You should vary the spaces on the different layers that the spoons go and work your way up the tree. And that will get you a cool looking Christmas tree!

#5 Ornament Wreath: 

For this decoration you need:

  • Glue gun
  • Wreath frame
  • Different ornaments
  • Tinsel garland 

You will first need to wrap the wreath frame in the tinsel garland. Then you can use a glue gun to glue the bigger ornaments on the wreath, and then glue the smaller ones on to fill in space. You will then have to wait until the glue dries and then you can put your ornament wreath up for everyone to see! 

All images taken from: https://www.housebeautiful.com/entertaining/holidays-celebrations/g3952/diy-christmas-decorations/?slide=25

Top 5 gifts for hockey players

  1. Pacific rink hockey bag

Image taken from: https://www.pacificrink.com

I’ll start with the most expensive gift at $150, a pacific rink hockey backpack. 

These backpacks are admired by all hockey players because of their perfect design to carry your skates, gloves, helmet, and any other clothes or items you choose to bring with you. This backpack is the perfect travel bag for adventures out to play some pond hockey, or just going to the outdoor rink. As one would say, the price is worth it.

  1. Lizard skin stick grip

Next is a very affordable stocking stuffer, called the Lizard Skin. It’s a better substitute for your usual hockey tape; instead this one lasts 10 times and long and has 10 times the grip. This product is 10 dollars and comes in many patterns and colors. 

  1. Light up puck

The Lit Puck is a super cool invention to keep the hockey player out of the house until the cows come home. Instead of hockey fun being over at dark, this light up puck allows you to see the puck and play the game from dusk to dawn (if you can handle the cold). This product starts around $19.99.

  1. Sauce kit

The hockey sauce kit is a portable, all year around and fun product. It’s two small individual nets that you set apart from each other very similar to bean bag toss, except you’re trying to shoot a puck into the net. This product can also be used for accuracy training in your shooting. This product starts around $30-40.

  1. Stanley cup glass

This legendary trophy could be the next cup for your favorite drink (like root beer). You can use it for the next championship or just to show off to your friends. This product is a hockey collectable, and would surely impress a hockey player or hockey fanatic. This product goes for $30

The dangers of working for Amazon

By Toby Groves

Whether you use it or not, everybody knows about Amazon. This worldwide company has grown to be one of the most successful businesses in recent history. Amazon has grown a lot over the years since its creation in 1994, but they are not immune to issues. One problem they face is the way they treat their employees. Here are some of the dangers of working for Amazon.

ROMEOVILLE, IL – AUGUST 01: Workers pack and ship customer orders at the 750,000-square-foot Amazon fulfillment center on August 1, 2017 in Romeoville, Illinois. On August 2, Amazon will be holding job fairs at several fulfillment centers around the country, including the Romeoville facility, in an attempt to hire more than 50,000 workers. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Amazon employees are packaging, bending, running, and lifting boxes for 10-12 hours a day just to get your order to your house in 2 days. Having severe working conditions can have an effect on the company’s employees. One problem is that, aside from breaks, employees don’t have any time for leeway or mistakes. If they stop for a few seconds outside of their designated breaks, it hurts their performance evaluations.

Of the 145 Amazon employees surveyed in a recent study, 66% said they experience physical pain while performing regular duties. From the same study, 42% said they still experience pain even when they’re not working. The pain stems from mostly their feet, but also their lower backs and knees.

Having a working environment in which employees are in constant physical pain throughout their shift, and even when they’re off duty, is an injustice, and needs to be changed. Not to mention that these pains are not always temporary. Experts are saying that these constant strains on muscles and your body can lead to musculoskeletal disorders.

“I feel pain in my back, in my waist, because I do a lot of bending … Even if you squat, you still feel the pain in your waist. It’s a full-body workout all day every day.”

-Anonymous Amazon Employee

Amazon employees also face a mental strain as well. They can feel as though they are pressured into performing past their limits in order to receive good performance evaluations and maintain their career. These issues have shown to affect their sleep and cause psychological stress.

Just because Amazon is a successful company doesn’t mean it is immune to safety regulations and proper support for their employees. Amazon is an ever-growing company and requires a lot of management and staff to keep things moving. However, with the lack of support that they show for their workers, it is hard to see if this company will change their rules, or have their regulations stay the way they are.

Fast fashion

By Charlotte Lane

The fashion industry is one of the most powerful industries ever, and so many people contribute to it everyday: celebrities, designers, and the typical consumer. With such a powerful industry, there is a downside. 

What is fast fashion? 

 An inexpensive trend that produces clothing quickly. 

The fashion industry before the 20th century ran on 4 seasons: fall, winter, spring and summer. Fashion designers used to work for months in advanced before product would come out.

Now, after the Industrial Revolution, the industry has only quickened in pace…and lower in cost.

According to The Good Trade fast fashion basically copies trends at a fast production rate, and are all made out of low quality material. This is all in order to lower prices, and offer inexpensive styles to the public.

Why does fast fashion concern me?

You should care, because of how thin of ice these companies are skating on. For any product to end up in stores at Zara, forever 21, or H&M there are inevitable consequences.

All of these brands easily make billions just by how much product they sell day to day. All this means fast fashion garment workers assemble pieces at extremely low minimum wages.

“Fast fashion isn’t free. Someone, somewhere is paying for it.”

– Lucy Siegle

Not to mention all of these clothes add extreme environmental waste to our planet. Fast fashion brands use hard chemicals, synthetic fabrics and damaging dyes all ending up in water systems in low income countries where these clothes are made. According to the New York Times more than 60% of fabric fibers are now synthetics, derived from fossil fuels. This means that when these clothes end up in a landfill, it will not decay.

There are also micro plastics and micro fibers that will end up in the ocean, and will never be able to be filtered out. Because of these effects of the earth, overall fast fashion is causing climate change.

Another alarming consequence of fast fashion is that it kills people. Yep, kills people!

In April, 2013, in Bangladesh, a factory collapsed and killed over 1,100 people.

The movie True Cost deeper explores this epidemic, exposing the ugly truth of fast fashion.

How can you make a change to fast fashion?

STOP BUYING

You may think not buying any clothes for a long duration is impossible, but really it isn’t. A great challenge to try out is the 333 project, which is where you only have 33 items of clothing for 3 months. The 33 items do include accessories, jewelry, outerwear and shoes.

If this seems unreasonable try altering the rules for yourself, but really the whole point of this is to not buy for 3 months. Learn more about the 333 project here: https://bemorewithless.com/therules/

Instead of not buying, start supporting sustainable fashion brands

Some good ones are:

And last but not least THRIFT

Be conscientious about what you buy, and what you throw away. A true cost will forever remain.

 

‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ review

Red Dead Redemption 2 was released on October 26th, of 2018. It was in the top 5 best games of the year, and has a huge fan base.

Red Dead Redemption 2 is an open world, old western game that takes place in the year 1899 and is a prequel to the original game. You play as a character by the name of Arthur Morgan, a big and tough outlaw who runs with the Van Der Linde gang. The Van Der Linde gang is run by a man by the name of Dutch Van Der Linde, a charming and like able man whose goal is to have the gang live free and avoid any government officials. The game starts with the gang in the snowy mountains, just barely escaping with their lives from a bank robbery that went wrong. 

Over time, they go out to rescue one of their teammates by the name of John Marston, the man you play as in the original game.

After a while, the characters in the gang you start to like begin getting killed off.

Eventually, the whole gang starts turning on each other and Arthur and John Marston start taking each other’s side against Dutch and Dutch becomes more crazy. By the end of Arthur’s story, Arthur gets John and his family out and away from the remaining members of the Van Der Linde gang and ends up dying (Arthur can die 4 different ways depending on the choices you make).

The epilogue in the game bridges it to the story of the first Red Dead Redemption game, bringing everything full circle.

This game’s story is what honestly made the game series a lot better. The original game is good but since this game is a prequel, it added a lot more color to the first game’s story, and overall the whole series.

The characters are well written and Arthur Morgan is a very good character; he is almost as good as the original character, John Marston. The choices you make in the game depend whether or not Arthur is a good person in the end, which makes it a lot better for you to not just go around and do bad things because there are consequences.

Dutch Van Der Linde in this game is as good as the original game and he changes a lot over time from a good man to an evil person. This helps to better explain his actions in the first game.

The gameplay in this is a lot better than the first because it’s not constant horse riding. When you are riding around on your horse there are a lot of random occurrences, or side missions, that make the game realistic or just plane entertaining to play for a while.

The graphics in this game are far better than most of the graphics in video games these days and it makes the game a lot more exciting.

The soundtrack is as well made as the original game, it’s very cinematic and the music is sad at a lot of points which makes it better. The music’s lyrics are highly based on the game’s story and often the music is different depending on the choices you make.

Overall, I give this game a solid 10/10

Flu

Influenza is a contagious virus that gets spread around fast. The flu is caused by the influenza virus. It can sometimes cause very severe illnesses, can cause a person to be hospitalized, and can even cause death. Babies, older people, and people with severe health conditions are at high risks. Each year millions of people get sick with this flu. 

People sometimes get influenza mixed up with the stomach flu. The stomach flu is called gastroenteritis. They are two different things. 

The symptoms of the flu are: having a high fever, coughing, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body sore, and muscle aches. Headaches and vomiting a lot are also possible signs of the flu. Also, little kids may have diarrhea. 

63581880 – sick man with thermometer in his mouth vector flat illustration character. flat icon set of cold and flu season items. Image taken from: https://www.abqjournal.com/1373502/flu-hits-three-county-residents.html

People can sometimes not tell the difference between the flu or a cold. A cold comes in slowly and is less severe. Colds often just cause headaches, fevers, and a runny nose. Influenza is way more severe then a typical cold. 

The flu can cause other illnesses such as: bronchitis, ear infections, sinus infections, and pneumonia. Many people with the flu recover on their own without any medications, but if anybody is diagnosed with the flu they need to stay home and not go around anybody else.

If you have high symptoms of the flu you should reach out to a health care provider. The best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu shot every year. 

Places to visit this Christmas

Looking for somewhere to go this Christmas, here are some places to consider if you have the funds: 

  • London, England- London has great things during the holiday season like going on a Christmas river cruise, visiting one of the Royal Parks, and going ice skating at JW3.
  • The Maldives– The Maldives is a chain of 1192 islands located south-west of Sri Lanka and India in the Indian Ocean. Flying time from the United States to the Maldives takes about 20 hours, 4 minutes. In Maldives you can snorkeling, go diving, go fun tubing, have a private picnic on a sandbank, and go whale watching.
  • Jerusalem, IsraelIsrael is a holy city for Muslims, Jews, and Christians. You can explore the Western Wall, Holy Sepulcher, Tower of David, Bethlehem, Nazareth, the Sea of Galilee, the Golan Heights, Haifa, and the Mount of Olives.
  • Honolulu, HawaiiFrom Minnesota to Honolulu, Hawaii, it takes about 13 hours to fly. There are plenty of fun things to do in Hawaii like: go on a Makani Catamaran, go to the Honolulu Museum of Art, go to Pearl Harbor Historic Sites, go on a Diamond Head Hike, go to Waikiki Beach, and go snorkeling in Hanauma Bay.
  • San Jose, Costa RicaCosta Rica is a rainforested Central American country with coastlines on the Caribbean and Pacific. In Costa Rica you can go ziplining; it is one of the most essential things to do there. You can also go horseback riding, go on a sunset sailing cruise, go on a private boating tour in the Gulf of Papagayo, and you can go canoeing.

Visit these sites for more information: https://www.townandcountrymag.com/leisure/travel-guide/g12919081/places-to-go-for-christmas/

Sports schedule for: Dec 16-21

MONDAY DATE:   December 16th
TIME BUS DEPART/RETURN EVENT DETAILS Notes
         
TUESDAY DATE:  December 17th
TIME BUS DEPART/RETURN EVENT DETAILS Notes
3:45 p.m. 2:20 p.m. Boys & Girls Nordic Ski Race at Theodore Wirth Park  
4:30  / 6:00 p.m.   Girls JV / Varsity Basketball vs.

St. Agnes

HOME  
5:00 / 7:00 p.m.   Girls JV / Varsity Hockey vs. Simley at WSP Ice Arena  
5:30 p.m. 2:45 p.m. Boys JV / Varsity Swimming Meet vs. Hopkins at Hopkins North

Junior High

 
7:00 p.m. 4:30 / 9:00 p.m. Boys Varsity Hockey vs. Mora at Mora Civic Center  
WEDNESDAY DATE:   December 18th
TIME BUS DEPART/RETURN EVENT DETAILS Notes
4:30 p.m. 3:25 / 8:00 p.m. Wrestling Triangular vs.

BCCA and Johnson

at Johnson High School  
6:00 p.m. 4:00 / 8:30 p.m. Girls Gymnastics vs. Johnson at Como Park High School  
THURSDAY DATE:     December 19th
TIME BUS DEPART/RETURN EVENT DETAILS Notes
JV-4:00 p.m.

C-Squad-5:30 p.m.

Varsity-5:30 p.m.

  Girls  C-Squad / JV / Varsity Basketball vs.

MPLS Roosevelt

 

HOME

 
JV-4:00 p.m.

C-Squad-7:00 p.m.

Varsity-7:00 p.m.

  Boys C-Squad / JV / Varsity Basketball vs. Henry Sibley  

HOME

 
4:30 p.m. 2:30 p.m. Boys JV / Varsity Swimming Meet vs. Harding at Humboldt High School  
5:00 / 7:00 p.m. 3:15 / 9:00 p.m. Boys JV / Varsity Hockey vs. Dodge County at Dodge County Ice Arena  
FRIDAY DATE:    December 20th
TIME BUS DEPART/RETURN EVENT DETAILS Notes
5:30 / 5:30 / 7:00 p.m. 4:15 / 8:15 p.m. Boys C-Squad / JV / Varsity Basketball vs. Holy Angels at Academy of Holy Angels  
SATURDAY DATE:    December 21st
TIME BUS DEPART/RETURN EVENT DETAILS Notes
12:30 / 4:45 p.m.   Girls JV / Varsity Hockey vs. Tartan Senior Tartan Ice Arena  
SUNDAY  

London Bridge attack

On November 29, five people were stabbed in London, England, at around 2 P.M. The stabbing resulted in 3 injured and 2 fatalities.

The attack and stabbing occurred at a conference on offender rehabilitation that was held in Fishmongers’ Hall, which is located at the northern end of London Bridge. There was a celebration occurring to celebrate the fifth anniversary of Learning Together which is a program run by the Cambridge Institute of Criminology to help offenders transition onto the right path into society after they get released from prison. A former prisoner named Usman Khan was invited to attend and participate in the conference. He had previously attended the program before. Usman Khan was actually banned from entering London, but he was granted a one day exemption to attend the conference.

Right before 2 P.M., City of London Police were called to Fishmongers’ Hall after Usman Khan was seen wearing a fake suicide vest and was threatening to blow up the hall. He was holding two kitchen knives and shortly after he began stabbing people inside the building. A lot of people in the building fought back.

A chef working at Fishmongers’ Hall grabbed a long narwhal tusk from the wall to use as a weapon.

Usman Khan then fled the building and began stabbing people outside of the building on the north side of the London Bridge. Police later arrived and asked Usman Khan to put the knives down but he resisted, resulting in the police shooting him twice and killing him at the scene.

The two victims that lost their lives to the attack were 25-year-old, Jack Merritt and 23-year-old, Saskia Jones. 3 other people who were injured are now in stable condition.