Is it worth it to get a waterbed?

By: Jimmy Somerville

Today I am asking the question: Is it worth it to get a waterbed in 2020?

I have slept in a waterbed for around a year, pretty much every night, so I will be telling you if it’s worth it or not from my own personal experience (so this will be pretty much all opinion based).

First off, I got the water bed in Christmas of 2018 because I wanted it after randomly getting the idea of wanting one. My dad thought it was a cool idea and we never really told my mom until it arrived, which she was not happy about. We found a waterbed on Amazon for, I think around $50-$60 bucks, so pretty cheap for a bed.

Filling the waterbed up was no easy task, as my dad had to buy supplies from Home Depot in order to get the water from the bathroom sink into my bed which are probably around 15 feet away from each other.

Once it was set and situated, it was very comfortable, and felt really good, although it felt strange at first lying on it as water was moving around and I could hear it.

I believe it is noticeably comfier than a normal mattress.

One complaint I had is that we didn’t want to buy a waterbed heater because that would get expensive, so I layered the water bed up with a couple blankets and I still got slightly cold by the chilly water.

Eventually, I wanted to move out of my brother’s room into my own room, so I had to leave the waterbed, but part of the reason I moved was because my lower back started hurting, which I thought could be because of the water bed. Once I switched beds, my back did stop hurting after a month. It could’ve just been a coincidence, because it was never any serious pain but I think the water bed was at least a partial cause of the back pain.

To answer my original question, I do believe it can be worth it to get a waterbed because it is very comfortable and surprisingly cheap, but it can get annoying easily and it may have caused back pain for me, but actually, many websites say it is supposed to help relieve back pain, so who knows.

At the end of the day, I’d rather sleep in a waterbed over a regular mattress 4 times out of ten, so technically, I prefer a normal mattress. And we never bought a frame for the waterbed, so it sort of rounds at the side of it which I imagine made it less appealing and perhaps less comfortable.

Thanks for reading!
-Jimmy Somerville

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What is money laundering?

By: Caden Ligman

The U.N. Office on Drugs and Crimes estimates that annually, up to $2 trillion was made from illegal businesses globally. In the U.S. alone, this number is about $300 million, about two percent of the US’s economy. However, in order to cover up this illegal revenue, criminals hide their money. In order for them to actually be able to access their money they must be able to hide, and move their funds. Therefore, criminals resort to money laundering.

Money laundering is the process of cleaning illegally obtained money from its criminal origins. Placement, layering, and integration are the three basic steps involved in money laundering.

Placement is when Illegally made money is invested into companies or operations that seem legitimate. This is done by depositing large amounts of money into a bank account by posing as someone else. Depositing large amounts of money into a bank account however can raise suspicions among the feds.

The second step is layering. Layering is the process of distancing the funds from their origin. For example, someone who is laundering money might purchase real estate or expensive cars. This allows money launders to store their wealth in assets.

The last step, which is integration, Is the process of re-entering the money into the economy so that it can be spent or invested. Money launderers may invest in a legal business where they will claim payment by producing fake invoices that were never actually paid.

Money laundering has potential devastating economic, and social consequences. America’s greatest threats, such as drug dealers, terrorists and arms dealers, use money laundering to grow their operations. According to a report done by the U.N., laundering costs countries around the world $800 billion to $2 trillion each year. Money that is laundered also goes untaxed which results in higher taxes for average citizens.

There are also social effects money laundering has, money laundering also drives up the cost of government because of the need for extra law enforcement.

Today, the United Nations, and national governments, fight against money laundering, yet this practice still plays a major role in global crime. Not only have individuals practiced money laundering, but governments and high ranking officials have as well. No one knows for sure the total amount of money laundered around the world each year, but some believe it to be in the hundreds of billions of dollars.

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Global warming over the past 100 years

By Nora Doyle and Liv Miller

Image taken from: Image from AZoCleantech.com

Global warming, by definition, is the unusual rapid increase in the earth’s average surface temperature over the past century. There are many different views and opinions regarding climate change and how much of an impact it has, or will cause, on the earth. Whether we choose to believe it or not, global warming is a huge issue affecting our earth and it’s only getting worse, and needs to be resolved.

To break it down, there are certain gasses in the atmosphere called greenhouse gasses. According to Biologicaldiversity.com, those gasses allow shortwave radiation from the sun to pass through the atmosphere and warm the Earth’s surface. The energy that then radiates from the surface is called “long wave radiation”. That radiation is trapped in by the greenhouse gasses and then warms the land, oceans, and air. This whole process is called “the greenhouse effect”. The greenhouse effect is not bad in itself, it actually is what keeps our earth warm, and we wouldn’t be able to survive without it. It’s when coal, oil, and natural gasses are burned at such a high rate that start to create a problem because they are sending enormous amounts of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere that can’t be absorbed quickly enough. This is what is causing global warming.

Scientists have said that global warming most likely started around the late 1800s, but recently, they have been led to believe that it could have started even before that, around the early 1800s.

As far as to when it was discovered, there were many people who had findings of global warming, but their ideas weren’t fully processed so it never was made public. There were many events that led up to how global warming was made an issue. There was never a breakthrough to some long awaited mystery as to why the earth was getting warmer, as much as multiple scientists, mathematicians, etc. were piecing together findings over the years. But according to Theguardian.com, there was a Swedish chemist by the name Svante Arrhenius who “became the first to quantify carbon dioxide’s role in keeping the planet warm. He later concluded that burning of coal could cause a “noticeable increase” in carbon levels over centuries.” So, if you are searching for a founder there’s your guy.

According to the National Centers for Environmental Information, the August 2020 average global land and ocean surface temperature was +0.94 degrees celsius (1.69 degrees F) above the 20th century average of 12.7 degrees C (54.9 degrees F). This year’s temperature increase is the second highest temperature since global records began in 1880. Only August 2016 was warmer with an average temperature of +0.98 degrees C (1.76 degrees F). Since 1880, the global temperature has increased by 0.8 degrees C or 1.4 degrees F.

Why should we be concerned about a 1 degree increase in global temperature? Well, according to ‘The World Counts,’ “global temperature primarily depends on the amount of energy it receives from the sun and how much of it is radiated back into space.” The numbers should barely, if even at all, change, unless there is another factor “affecting the change in temperature. The amount of energy that the planet radiates back into space is dependent upon the chemical composition of our atmosphere – like greenhouse gases.”

So if this is such a disaster, what are we doing about it now? Short answer; clearly not enough. Although, according to ‘National Geographic,’ countries around the world did acknowledge that they needed to do something about climate change back in 2015 with the Paris Agreement. This agreement was to make pledges to reduce greenhouse gas pollution.

Scientists are also currently “working on ways to sustainably produce hydrogen, most of which is currently derived from natural gas, to feed zero-emission fuel cells for transportation and electricity. Other efforts are aimed at building better batteries to store renewable energy.”

People are switching to solar powered energy as well. There are many organizations that are trying their best to raise awareness and collect donations to stop climate change. If more people believed in it and participated, we could maybe start to see some real change.

Another topic of discussion is about what happens if we do something about climate change and why we should. We should take action against climate change because it affects our oceans, our weather, our food sources, and our health. Sheets of ice like in Greenland and
Antarctica are melting. The new water from melted glaciers causes sea levels to rise and spill out of the oceans causing floods. Warmer temperatures cause extreme weather. This extreme
weather includes droughts that make it harder to grow crops. Water supplies are limited for plants and animals. If we don’t do anything about it, all of these things will get much worse,
putting all lives on earth at danger.