Super Bowl Halftime Show 2022

By: Julia Swee

The Super Bowl is notably one of the most famous events in America. Families from all over the country come together to watch the football game, and a lot of the time people will host parties to view the game with their friends. A huge part of the Super Bowl is the guests they have for the halftime show. The halftime show is a pretty big deal, and even if people don’t necessarily like to watch football, most will still watch the halftime performance. 

For this year’s Super Bowl, the special guests performing were famous rappers Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre, as well as featured guests Kendrick Lamar and Eminem. This year’s show was the third straight show to be co-produced by Roc Nation, an entertainment and sports company founded by the famous rapper Jay-Z.

Dre, 56, took the stage first as he opened with his 2000 hit single “The Next Episode”, featuring Snoop Dogg. Dre had become famous with his rap group N.W.A, as they set the template for ‘West Coast gangster rap’ with their 1988 album ‘Straight Outta Compton’.  Dre had gone on to become an in-demand producer and businessman, as his last personal album was released in 2015. 

After the opening performance by Dre, fellow rapper Eminem took to the stage to perform his number one hit “Lose Yourself”. The performance featured rapper Anderson.Paak on the drums and as the song ended, Eminem knelt on his knees while Dre moved to the piano to play the chords to his most famous song “Still D.R.E.”

As they were finishing up, artists from New York took to the stage to perform. 50 Cent arrived to perform his version of the 2003 hit “In Da Club”, followed by Mary J. Blige performing her two most beloved anthems; “Family Affair” and “No More Drama”.

After Blige, Kendrick Lamar took the stage, the youngest performer in the show at the age of 34. According to The New York Times, in 2018 Lamar received a Pulitzer Prize for his music, specifically his fourth album ‘DAMN.’, which Kendrick performed songs from. This album was famous for tackling issues of race, faith, and the burdens of commercial success. Overall, the performance touched many people’s hearts as they came together to view the country’s most famous social event.

Highland Park girls win Minnesota’s nordic skiing state championship

By: Abby Altman

Winning is not a new thing for the Highland Park nordic ski teams. Earlier this season, the girls team won their 8th consecutive conference title, while the boys won their 6th. Both teams then won their respective section races, qualifying once again, for the state meet in Biwabik, MN. 

The girls team has had an incredible history at the state meet. In the 3 seasons prior to 2022, Highland’s girls took 2nd place, 1st place, and then 2nd place again. With recent year’s results in the back of their minds, the Highland girls were excited and ready to race. “The team energy was very high,” said junior skier Chloe Koch. 

The state meet is split over 2 days, with the classic pursuit race on day 1, and the relays, followed by the skate pursuit, on day 2. 

After day 1, with the classic races behind them, both teams were looking ahead to day 2. The boys team was sitting in 6th place, led by junior Davis Isom. Isom had a great race and was sitting in 5th place for individual results. 

The girls team was in 1st place, just 3 points ahead of Duluth East, perhaps the team’s biggest competition. “A few of us had less desirable races,” said Koch. She stated that, “The mood dimmed a little,” after day 1. The girl’s top racer, senior Molly Moening, finished her race in 3rd place. Moening had won the individual state championship 2 years in a row, in 2020 and 2021. 

The morning of day 2 started with the boys relay sprint. The boys relay team was made up of senior Alex Pfankuch and junior Max “Shaggy” Reemstma. The relay team took 6th overall, adding 147 points to the boys team’s total score. 

The girls relay consisted of 2 seniors, Rayna Axelson and Silja Earl Tornianian. The girls raced hard for a 4th place finish, behind both major competitors, Duluth East and Forest Lake.

After the relays, the girls team was in 2nd, 6 points behind Duluth East. The boys were in 6th. 

“Everyone was more nervous going into the second race because we knew that we were a few points behind,” said Koch. 

The skate race was pursuit style, meaning the entire race is a game of catch-up. Moening, starting 3rd, was unable to pass the top 2 finishers, finishing with a 3rd place finish in her senior year state championship. 

For scoring, the top 3 finishers point total is added to the team’s score. Moening finished 1st for the team, 3rd overall, followed by Hanna Koch in 12th and Chloe Koch in 20th. Duluth East’s top 3 scorers finished in 14th, 18th, and 23rd overall.

The end of the state meet came down to the wire for the Highland Park girls. “Everyone was cold and I think most people didn’t think we won,” Koch said of the team’s spirit immediately following the final race. “We went into the tent to warm up and that’s where Coach Moening told us we won.” Brad Moening is the Highland Park Nordic and Cross Country coach.

When it came down to it, Highland Park edged out Duluth East by a slim 3 points, claiming their 2nd state championship in 3 years. “We all started to cry and hug each other,” said freshman racer Alex Pundsack. “It was happiness, relief, tiredness, and plain joy.” 

The boys team finished in 5th place, meeting their goal of a top 5 finish. 

3 skiers on the girls state team will be graduating this spring, but Highland houses a strong, young varsity lineup, ready to fill those spots and try to bring home another state trophy next year. The boys team is losing just 1 senior to graduation, and hope to come back even stronger next season. 

Qatar, host of the 2022 World Cup

By: Liibaan Yusuf

One of the biggest events this year is the World Cup. What is the World Cup? It’s one of the most important soccer, or football, events in the world, with the big grand stage happening every 4 years. However, there are almost always games going on, whether they’re qualifiers or friendlies between countries.

The World Cup is also a big deal to governments across the world. Hosting the World Cup is a big responsibility and many countries try to join in on the opportunity. Hosting the World Cup, may cost a country at first, but it puts it on the map.

For example, in the past, World Cups held in Russia (2018) and Brazil (2014) were both fairly big for their time. Brazil had spent $15 billion USD on various investments towards the preparation of the 2014 World Cup. Russia had spent upwards of $11 billion USD towards new stadiums, metro systems, and employment for security and other positions. 

However, the upcoming 2022 World Cup is unlike any we have seen in the past. Qatar has said to have invested $220 billion USD towards this year’s sporting event. Qatar, is substantially smaller than every country to have ever held a World Cup since the creation of the massive event.

Qatar has a history of extravagant spending, especially since the discovery of oil in the Middle East. The ruling Thani family is a family known for scandals and hidden secrets. Even though Qatar states they have invested $220 billion USD, there have been numerous scandals and issues hidden behind closed doors.

One of the biggest scandals, is that many expats come to Qatar from various countries, particularly those who come from less wealthy areas of the world. They come to Qatar for promises of work and wealth, however, this industry is built on lies and deceit. Passports and work clearances are taken and kept hostage by employers and they’re paid low wages. They work out in infamous Qatari heat. There have been many stories of people dying from heat exhaustion and other heat related causes. 

However, Qatar has passed historic new laws and regulations calling for investigations into employers who’ve been caught violating workers rights. In fact, in April of 2021, the Qatari government put $824 million USD towards paying migrants who had COVID. Before this, manual labor workers who were sick would have no benefits or income for their time sick. In August of the same year, Qatar passed a law for a national minimum wage of 1000 riyals, about 300 more riyals than the previous minimum wage. “Qatar is the first country in the world to introduce non-discriminatory minimum wage,” according to the ‘International Labour Organization’. 

Though Qatar has been known to have human rights issues, it would seem as though hosting the World Cup has led it to start paving the way for human rights in the Middle East. Hopefully, this will provide a fresh start for all through a shared interest for those around the world.

How depression affects school

By: Kayla Madison

Depression affects school differently for everyone. Usually, lower grades are one the first noticeable signs. Sometimes though, unfortunately, it’s easier for parents/teachers/family members to miss this sign of mental illness. It’s a common thing to think that “It’s just a teenager thing/ it’s just a phase”, but a drop of grades can be a clear sign that there’s more that meets the eye.

The some possible symptoms of how depression can affect school are: difficulty concentrating – resulting in poor work on assignments and exams, trouble with organizing and time management, hypersensitivity – that could lead to emotions out of whack and not good interactions socially, forgetfulness, and decreased self esteem. These are just quick little signs that show how difficult school can be when depressed, because of these things they could significantly affect your school life.

Depression at school can affect your perception of yourself at school, failing an assignment could worsen the thought that you’re dumb, or can’t do anything right, and it becomes a self perpetuating cycle. Memory is also impaired, which becomes especially hard when taking tests or exams, affecting grades.

As someone who struggles with depression, my position is a lot like this: I become unmotivated to do anything and I end up having bad grades or attendance. I don’t want to do anything involving school, and I usually just wait it out because there are no methods out of that kind of thinking. That almost always sucks for me because then I have to end up making up credits, which is extremely hard when you’re depressed, and I’m almost a senior and it’s really messing a lot of things up for me. When you feel like this you should mainly talk to your teachers, or counselors, and see if there’s anything you can do to prevent things like credit recovery or summer school.

​​Scientific research on frogs being able to regrow limbs as adults 

By: Abigail Hernandez Castillo & Thalia Pliego

As the world changes everyday, science changes and evolves everyday as well. There have been advances in all areas of science and regrowing limbs in adult frogs is one of them. According to CBS News, scientists at Tufts University and Harvard University’s Wyss Institute have been able to regrow amputated limbs. A study that was published in Science Advances shows how the researchers used a chemical cocktail to induce this growth on the frogs’ limbs. Currently, “The ability to regrow limbs is limited to ‘salamanders and superheroes,'” the team said in a press release. Science Advances further explains that, “For the study, scientists began by applying the five-drug chemical cocktail infused with silk protein gel to the African clawed frogs stump and they covered it with a silicone dome,” called the BioDome. 

Both frogs and humans share a similarity, they both cannot regrow limbs. According to Live Science, based on a new study, researchers had successfully been able to get African clawed frogs to grow new replacement limbs in 18 months which was followed by a treatment that lasted 24 hours. Humans are able to close open wounds and use stem cells to regrow parts of the liver, similar to animals like salamanders who can regrow entire limbs. However, as of right now both frogs and humans cannot fully regrow limbs. “The cells of the frog already know how to make frog legs, our goal is to figure out how to convince them to do it again.” says Micheal Levin, a biologist at Tufts University.

According to Science News, Michael Levin and his team amputated the back legs of 115 adult African clawed frogs. ⅓ of these frogs received BioDomes, which are silicone sleeves that cover the wound on the legs. Researchers attached BioDomes holding a gel that contained 5 chemicals which included a nerve growth promoter, an anti-inflammatory substance, and a growth hormone to another third of the frogs. The last ⅓ of the frogs had not received any treatments before being placed into their tanks. The BioDomes had stayed on the African clawed frogs for 24 hours. So why use BioDomes? According to David Kaplan, a professor of engineering at Tufts University, “Using the BioDome cap in the first 24 hours helps mimic an amniotic-like environment, which, along with the right drugs, allows the rebuilding process to proceed without the interference of scar tissue”. 

According to Science News, Over the next 18 months, frogs had grown new limbs after amputation. The ⅓ of the frogs that didn’t receive treatments grew a spiky stump. The ⅓ of the frogs that received BioDome devices and drugs grew the longest limbs with the greatest bone density and more blood vessels and nerves. According to CBS News, the new limbs had bones and several “toes” that grew at the end of the limbs, however, the toes did not have bones. The frogs were able to feel when the limb was brushed over with stiff fiber and could also use the new limb to swim through the water. 

This new study could be beneficial to humans in the long run. It increases life quality. According to Fast Company, traumatic injury is one of the leading causes of death and disability in Americans. The most lifelong disability is limb loss from severe injury. These injuries are often caused by car accidents, athletic injuries, side effects of metabolic diseases such as diabetes, and even battlefield injuries. The treatment is far from being ready to be used in humans, but it is known that it only works immediately after injury. Uncovering and understanding his process is a start to a new beginning in regenerative medicine. 

We interviewed a senior at Highland High for their input on this article. “I think this is a good discovery because if we know how to make frogs regrow limbs, hopefully in the future we can figure out how to make humans regrow limbs so that if a person has to get amputated, it will be less traumatizing because they will possibly be able to regrow it and have it like nothing ever happened.” 

What are the benefits and disadvantages of in-person learning and distance learning to students?

By: Grace BLumer-Lamotte

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Both forms of learning have their advantages and their disadvantages.

Let’s look into the advantages of in-person schooling. In-person learning can help students gain support by forming stronger connections. According to Kipp Texas Public Schools, “Studies show that socializing and developing friendships helps children learn more about themselves, helps them build empathy, and form lasting relationships with peers.” This article was posted on August 17th, 2021, well into the COVID pandemic and schools using distance learning. It also states, “The Center for Disease Control (CDC) released a statement earlier this summer highlighting the importance of in-person connection for the development of children.”

Another benefit is that in-person learning can create stronger academic experiences for students. With distance learning, it is difficult for students to focus on their monitor or screen. They most-likely have other distractions going on around the home. When you are in-person you can gain the stronger academic skills that you wouldn’t be able to have access to when in distance learning.

The last benefit of in-person learning is that it improves the students’ mental health. Again, according to Kipp Texas Public Schools, “While authentic connection is a huge component of mental health for children, there are a few other aspects that come into play—specifically ones that children can find much easier with in-person learning and interactions.” Personally, when I was experiencing distance learning, it was difficult for me to focus. It was also difficult for my mental health with the excessive workload that the teachers gave me.

A couple of disadvantages of in-person learning is that there is less flexibility and health risks. Less-flexibility plays a big role in determining if you would prefer in-person school to distance learning. The less-flexibility aspect is not being able to get up and use the bathroom or eat food whenever you please. In school you are given a set schedule. The health risks when you go to in-person learning is having the risk of getting COVID-19.

A benefit of distance learning is the flexibility given. The flexibility is being able to use the bathroom when you need to, eating, and having a less “non-set” schedule. Being able to access and use these accommodations, given by distance learning, is a huge benefit to a student’s mental health. 

Another benefit of distance learning is it eliminates the hassle of getting kids to schools. Some student’s families do not have access to a form of transportation. That makes them rely on bussing to and from school. The district this year, 2021-2022, has been overwhelmed with trying to find buses and drivers for students to get to and from school. When students went to distance learning, it was a huge sigh of relief to bus companies and the district regarding transportation needs.

A couple disadvantages of distance learning is the lack of physical and social interaction and difficulty staying motivated. Throughout the whole pandemic, people have struggled with interaction with friends and family.

When the pandemic was first starting, the CDC was reiterating that we should leave our houses only for essential needs. Therefore draining people of physical and social interaction. Most students that I have talked to go to school to see their friends that they can’t see outside of school. Of course, there are other reasons they go, but that was the main reason.

It was also difficult to stay motivated throughout distance learning. You would have pretty much the same set schedule for weeks upon weeks. For students, that can be very repetitive and unmotivating. 

Hippie culture in the 1960’s

By: Julia Swee

As the 50’s came to an end and the 60’s rolled around, a new subculture had begun to emerge known as the ‘hippies’. According to Britannica: Hippies were usually consistently white, middle class, 20 something year olds, who were considered the ‘baby boom’ generation.

There were multiple factors that contributed to the formation of the hippie culture. One of the main factors was the Vietnam war. The war had begun in 1955, and had immediately sparked frustration among the common youth. As the fighting continued, more and more opposition from the youth became apparent, and out of these feelings towards the war came a culture. 

The youth had felt alienated by the upper class society, and considered them to be dominated by materialism and repression. As the culture grew more and more, so called hippies began to formulate their own lifestyle. They experimented with communal living arrangements, often living with multiple other youths with the same beliefs. This formed communities of hippies who all shared the same ideologies. These communities often adapted vegetarian lifestyles based on unprocessed foods, choosing what they consumed very wisely. 

Within the culture, there was a practice of holistic medicine. This meant that when observing someone to determine their diagnosis, the whole body was taken into account. To the hippies, the whole body consisted of not just the body itself, but the mind, the emotions, and the environment, rather than just one isolated organ. The practice was meant to incorporate a wide range of health practices, focusing especially on the responsibility of self healing and self care. The community had begun to not only form their own way of life, but advanced ways of healing. 

Thinking back on the culture, when hearing the word ‘hippie’ most people’s minds travel to the unique style of the group. They were known for favoring bright, psychedelic colors and long hair. The style could be deemed as ‘unconventional’ by some, as much of the clothing incorporated very different styles than were commonly seen throughout the 60’s. As the hippie culture formulated their own style, many others began to feel inspired, allowing the culture to grow rapidly. 

Today, hippies are a motif of the 60’s. They remind us of the impact that everyday people can have on everyday life when they come together. Hippies have shown us that community is a wonderful thing that can benefit us in many different ways. 

What is Cinco de Mayo?

By: Jessica Garcia Saligan & Marleen Medina

How did it start?

Cinco de Mayo is a holiday celebrated on the 5th of May. It’s a big celebration for the Mexican Army’s victory over France at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, during the Franco-Mexican War. According to Omar Gonzales, a lot of people think that Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican Independence Day, but it’s not.

Cinco de Mayo is not just celebrated by Hispanics, as Cinco de Mayo is to bring all the community together, and to show other people Hispanic creativity, traditional food, and other activities. They want to make everyone feel welcome and have a good time with each other. Cinco de Mayo is also a good time to bond with people and make new friends.

Where is Cinco de Mayo celebrated?

In St. Paul, Cinco de Mayo takes place on the West Side (Cesar Chavez St, St Paul, MN 55107). They close the street from Wabasha, all the way to 206 Robie St E, St Paul, MN 55107. Everything will be set up around 6AM, and they will start letting people in around 8AM in the morning. It ends around 8PM at night.

What will you find?

Once you go there, there is no parking. You will have to find a parking spot on the street and walk down. Once you walk down, you will see a lot of kids waiting with their school. Why? Well every Saint Paul Public School has an opportunity to walk in the parade and have their own banner with their school name and logo printed on it. Students are welcome to walk with their school, and they are able to give out candy to the people watching the parade from the sideline.

You will also find people doing traditional dance (like Folklorico, Danza Azteca), dancers, singers, and there’s even people dressed as princesses and people showing off their cars. At the corner of the Robie, you will a parking lot full of cool cars, and you will be able to ask the owners for a ride in their car, take pictures, and do tricks.

Cinco de Mayo has so many activities such as parades, family parties, dancing , mariachi
music, and traditional foods! Some delicious foods that are prepared and sold that day are: carnitas, barbacoa with white rice on the side, Mexican street corn, etc.

This event and celebration is something that you and your friends and family would definitely enjoy.

For more information about the history of Cinco de Mayo, please visit:

Is the McDonald’s Quarter Pounder Deluxe the hidden pathway to health?

By: Ashley Harris

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Is the McDonald’s “Quarter Pounder Deluxe” the newest health food? Health is defined differently in every country and even in every household. Some people might say “Low carb is the healthiest diet!” While others might argue that “Plant based is the healthiest diet!” Although each of these has great possibilities, they both lack at least one of the five macronutrients needed in a well-balanced and sustainable diet.

What are the five macronutrients, you might ask. Well, according to the Nutrient Department at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts; In a well-balanced meal, you need one of these five macronutrients: Carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins (most commonly found in fruits and vegetables), and whole grains.

When someone thinks of a well-balanced meal, their mind will most likely drift to a salad or something of the sort. While this meal is great for getting vitamins and possibly protein; that is only 2 of the 5 necessary macronutrients.

Whereas, If we look at the “Quarter Pounder Deluxe” from McDonald’s, we see a bun, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, meat patty, and pickles. In this meal, you will find carbohydrates in the bun; protein in the meat patty and cheese; vitamins in the lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles; fat in the cheese, bun, and meat patty; and whole grains in the bun.

Now some might argue that this still isn’t a well-balanced meal due to the grease or artificial ingredients, but no diet is well balanced or sustainable without allowing your body the things they crave. Remember, health isn’t always about improving physical health but improving mental health as well. As well-known nutritionist, Anupama Menon once said, “Make your food routine easy on yourselves, eat what you make in the kitchen, eat enough. Discipline lies in balance, not in deprivation.”

So, is the McDonald’s “Quarter Pounder Deluxe” really the worst food for your health?