Cultural appropriation of Native American culture

By: Liv Miller

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Cultural appropriation is defined by as “When members of a majority group adopt cultural elements of a minority group in an exploitative, disrespectful, or stereotypical way.” Cultural appropriation is a growing topic in this country that when it occurs, or is discussed, often creates controversy.

The cultural appropriation of Native American or indigenous culture happens more often than you think, and it occurs, more times than not, without it even being recognized as wrong. Things such as Halloween costumes, sports team names/mascots, logos, and festival wear, may seem innocent and harmless but are actually dehumanizing and create a false interpretation of Native Americans.

Dina Gilio-Whitaker is an independent writer and researcher in Indigenous studies. She argues on that “The dehumanization of these peoples is ingrained in American culture. The majority of Americans are so desensitized to certain images” and acts of cultural appropriation that the problem still continues to exist.

Despite the long history and record of human rights violations against Native Americans, the American public still remains fascinated with its own image of the “Indian”. American companies, time and time again, have profited off of putting highly stereotypical images of an “Indians” on their products. Anywhere from toys and jewelry, to tobacco products, and common groceries like butter, baking soda, and cleaning supplies. The Indians shown on these labels are created by people who have little to no understanding of Native American communities and culture. This lack of education and understanding leads to inaccurate and stereotypical images on products that have absolutely nothing to do with the people supposedly being portrayed on the labels.

Cultural appropriation is known to often happen in sports as well. There was much controversy surrounding the names of sports teams like the Washington “Redskins” and the Cleveland “Indians”. Fans for the Washington Redskins used to dress up in Native American attire and wear body and face paint, painting themselves red. The team has since changed their name and is no longer allowing fans to enter the stadium dressed in this attire and makeup.

Many of these issues stem from the lack of knowledge on Native American culture. There are so many ways that we can honor and appreciate this culture rather than appropriate it. But to do so we must find ways to respect them and listen to the voices of indigenous people rather than create harmful stereotypes and advertise incorrect perpetuations on Native American culture, customs, and history.

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New hobbies to try over the summer

By: Abi and Thalia

Since school is coming to end, homework will no longer keep you occupied. There are many new hobbies to try this summer!

The first hobby to try is reading. Reading for pleasure can be very refreshing. According to Markham Public Library, some benefits to reading include exercise for the brain, concentration and focus ability, and general knowledge. While reading a book, we have to remember the details of the book and it is a workout for the brain that helps improve our memory. Books are filled with many interesting facts and by reading a variety of topics and genres, we gain more knowledge. The materials for this simple hobby are easy, you’ll just need a book. 

The second hobby to try this summer is scrapbooking. Scrapbooking is a way to preserve any memories. This is done by arraigning it in a certain way with different materials such as pictures, artwork, and construction paper. According to DigiDesign Resort the benefits to scrapbooking include relaxation, a sense of accomplishment, and it helps you communicate your feelings. Scrapbooking has been proven to reduce anxiety and lower stress levels. This activity can also be done with friends and family. A simple scrapbook accomplishment can help boost your self-esteem. Scrapbooking can help you remember all of your goals and accomplishments throughout the years. With scrapbooking, it helps you communicate feelings through pictures and drawings. 

The third hobby is making jewelry. Making handmade jewelry can hold an emotional significance to the one who creates it or the one who receives it. According to Marla Trudine, the benefits of hand making your own jewelry is that it will never be like any other jewelry you see at stores. Another benefit is that you won’t use machines, it adds more care, hardship, and attention to detail to each piece that you create.

The fourth hobby is journaling. Journaling is writing down your feelings, thoughts, goals, etc. Journaling is different for everybody. There are many benefits to journaling, which include reducing stress and anxiety, keeping track of your personal growth and goals, writing down memories so you’ll never forget them, and it can also strengthen your memory. Journaling can be entertaining, especially to those who like writing. It can be relaxing to others. The materials can range depending on the different styles of journaling, some prefer just a notebook and pen while others like to use colored pens/markers, stickers, colorful tape, etc. All journals are unique and there is no one specific way of journaling. 

The fifth hobby is painting. Painting is the act of adding paint or pigment to a solid surface such as a canvas, paper, wall, table, etc. There are benefits to painting such as reducing stress and anxiety by painting out your emotions, helps with muscle control, you can make a profit off of paintings, and you can create decorations for your walls. Many people find painting entertaining because it allows a person to release creativity onto a solid surface. The materials needed for painting are any solid surface such as paper, canvas, a wall, etc. Any solid surface that you are willing to paint on. You will also need paint; there’s all kinds of various paints such as oil paint, watercolor, acrylic, and gouache. Lastly, you’ll need paintbrushes and your creativity. 

The last hobby is gardening. Gardening is tending or cultivating a garden. The benefits of gardening are reduced stress, spending time outside which can boost health by boosting your Vitamin D, and can improve hand strength. Gardening can be entertaining to those who like taking care of things, especially plants. It can give someone motivation to get out of the house and go tend to their gardens. It can also be fun for someone to pick which plants or flowers they want to add to their garden, even vegetables. Some basic materials you need for gardening are soil, gardening tools (shovel, trowel, gloves, garden rake, etc.), and pick what you want to grow, which could include green plants, flowers (tulips, roses, lilies, etc.), or even vegetables. 

Twitch Vs YouTube gaming

By: Reed Morris

What are the Streaming Wars

Ever since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the on demand entertainment industry has been booming. With people spending more and more time at home, they have been starting to look for more ways to keep themselves busy and engaged with the outside world. We saw explosive growth in the TV and movie streaming industry, the gaming industry, and the live streaming industry. While I’ve already covered some big news in gaming and tv/movie entertainment, it’s high time we address the competitive and extremely valuable world of live streaming. 

Over the past few years, there has been a huge race to see who will hold the crown as the best live streaming service. The first platform that really had live streaming figured out is a platform called Twitch. It allowed streamers to create their own live broadcast for viewers to watch and interact with. For a while, Twitch was a purely entertainment based platform, but over time the company implemented ways for streamers to monetize their work. This allowed them to put more time and effort into their content and for some of the more successful streamers, it allowed them to pursue this as a full time job. Because of the platform’s massive success, it was snatched up by Amazon in 2014, for just short of $1 Billion in cash. 

In recent years however, other major companies have noticed the growth and success of live streaming. They’ve seen this growth and have decided to throw their hats into the ring. While many companies entered, not many were successful. 

The Competition

Facebook entered the competition in 2020 with the famously bad launch of ‘Facebook Gaming’. After a rocky start, Facebook had an understandably hard time pulling in audiences from other platforms and has essentially not grown at all since its initial launch. While the company’s viewership numbers are high, they are extremely inflated as they count any interaction with live streams and viewership is somewhat forced across their platforms. 

Another competitor that crashed and burned even harder than Facebook was Microsoft’s ‘Mixer’. The company started around the same time as Facebook Gaming, and had many similar problems in regards to growth and viewership. Mixer famously sought out big names in streaming such as streamer Tyler ‘NInja’ Blevins. The world famous Fortnite streamer was signed to Mixer for upwards of $30 million in return for an exclusive 3 year contract. After his switch to Mixer, Blevins’ viewership dropped and Mixer made almost no money off of the 30 million dollar deal. Before the 3 year contract concluded, Microsoft completely shutdown any operations related to the Mixer platform. 

Who’s left?

The two platform’s that still stand are Twitch and YouTube Gaming. The war between the two platforms has been growing exponentially over the past year or two and is finally reaching its peak. The reason that Twitch is able to keep up and compete with a gargantuan company like YouTube (owned by Google) is because of the culture and community it has built around its service. There is close to a decade’s worth of culture and history that Twitch has that YouTube can’t mirror. The loyalty that Twitch has garnered from its users is almost unmatched on any other platform in the world. While Twitch has the community, YouTube has the money, and in recent months, have really been flexing their financial muscles. 

The money

Unsurprisingly, the most important aspect of the streaming industry to the platforms, is the cash flow. There are many ways on both YouTube and Twitch that users can subscribe to, or spend money on, the platforms to support their favorite streamers. While this is a great aspect of the space, the platforms that the streamers use usually take a good amount of the money spent. The most common and most important type of monetary splitting between platform and streamer is the ‘sub-split’. The percentage of every subscription cost that goes to the streamer vs the platform. 

Twitch has been having a hard time keeping up with YouTube’s growing popularity, and so they have needed to find a better way to make money. As Amazon owns Twitch, there is a lot of wiggle room for Twitch to not make that much money, but at this point, it is just bleeding cash. The methods that Twitch has announced they are going to use to keep itself in business has caused a lot of controversy and backlash from the community surrounding the platform. While there were a lot of small changes that were detailed in their release, the most noticeable change is the extreme decrease in the sub-split for the creators. 

For streamers contractually signed to the platform, they would usually be seeing something close to a 50% or 75% percent profit split, meaning that Twitch would only take in 50-25% of the revenue that any given signed streamer would receive. While this is still a lot of money that Twitch is taking out, streamers would still make a lot of money, enough for them to continue to use streaming as a full time job. The big change that Twitch has announced is that they are reducing sub-splits to somewhere around 20-45 percent. This is an extreme and terrifying change for many content creators. 

Final Points

The biggest thing here is the money. Streamers need to make their money somehow, and Twitch just might not be the place for that anymore. With YouTube keeping sub-splits in the 50-75% range, and signing on huge community names such as Ludwig Ahgren, Sykkuno, and Valkyrae, YouTube seems to be slowly coming out on top. 

While the war has a lot more time left in it and neither side is giving up any time soon, this extremely valuable and influential conflict between obscenely large corporations doesn’t show any signs of stopping. 

What are GMOs and how do they affect us?

By: Haroon Yonis

GMO is an acronym for “genetically modified organisms”, a term exclusively meant for foods that have been modified in some way, shape, or form genetically. GMOs were first introduced to the public in 1994, when a tomato was genetically modified so that it would become ripe quicker than its natural counterpart. Seeing this as a cost efficient way to “save” foods and crops, and as a result increase their profits, many companies began using GMOs.

Today, GMOs are used in practically every packaged food, whether it be cereal, fruits, or vegetables, GMOs are now so widespread that it is almost impossible to avoid the term on your favorite food/drink.

The main purpose of GMOs is that it makes it easier to deal with pesky things that would usually destroy an individual’s crops, such as the environment, insects/animals, and much more. You can liken GMOs to pesticides or herbicides, except much more effective on a larger scale. It is undeniable that GMOs have widened the farming industry and completely changed the way many grow their crops. 

But what do GMOs mean for the consumer, the individual actually consuming this product?

There is  an abundance of health related issues typically associated with GMOs, and this shouldn’t be surprising considering you’re modifying the crop from its original, natural state. Firstly, a chemical that is commonly found in GMOs, “glycophosphate ”, has been linked to a plethora of cancers, like prostrate, and other diseases. 

But, we must realize that GMOs are a relatively new thing in the food industry, and as the FDA continues to improve health regulations surrounding it, hopefully the chemicals used in these GMOs will no longer be harmful to the human body. Even WebMD states that the American Medical Association has stated that there have been no reports of GMOs negatively affecting the body.

Ultimately, it’s your choice whether or not you decide to consume GMOs, and as we continue to discover more about GMOs , keep in mind that even cigarettes were considered healthy at one point.

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Purple heroin and the dangers associated with it

By: Abdihakim Mohamoud

Purple heroin is an illegal drug that is a combination of heroin, carfentanil, brorphine, and fentanyl. Purple heroin is especially dangerous because of the last two ingredients, brorphine and fentanyl, which can cause overdoses quickly.

The name purple heroin comes from the drug’s purple color, and it is a compact tablet which looks similar to fancy chocolate. After an unnamed person died in Van Buren County, Michigan, with a connection to the deadly drug, police in the region have been on high alert.

Someone who is overdosing on purple heroin can have a number of symptoms which are similar to other overdose situations. Confusion, difficulty staying alert, and blue nails or lips are some common symptoms of a purple heroin overdose.

Purple heroin is a psychoactive drug, meaning that it alters brain activity, and can change perception, mood, behavior, and consciousness. This drug acts as a depressant on the central nervous system, which is similar to other opioid drugs.

One of the main meeting points for the selling of the drugs are malls and colleges, and police are keeping a keen eye on these places. Raids are also being conducted to further stop the selling of this incredibly dangerous drug.

However, there are some drugs such as Narcan and Naloxone that can be used to reverse an overdose, and save one’s life. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, around 78% of drug overdose deaths involved at least one opioid in 2018, and 2,011 deaths in total.

“Parents should be very cautious if they come across any chemicals or anything suspicious looking. Reach out and contact our office and we will send someone out to look at it,” said Van Buren County Undersheriff Kevin Conklin.

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The causes of World War l

By: Ella Sutherland and Lauren Kottke

There were many causes to World War I that had both short term and long term effects on countries. The immediate cause of World War I was the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand. He was assassinated on June 28, 1914. He was killed by a Serbian terrorist group that wanted Bosnia to be free of Austria-Hungary. The group went by the name of the Black Hand. The society was formed in 1911 and led by Col. Dragutin Dimitrijević. The group was formed in Belgrade and they were known to fight for liberation through terrorist acts. In Serbia, they dominated the government by terrorizing officials. Over time, they became so big and powerful they challenged the government’s authority. Although this was the immediate cause, there were many other causes that pushed for World War I.

One other cause of World War I was nationalism. Nationalism is a country showing extreme pride for their country, and often putting their own country first in war. Nationalism fueled the war by pushing countries to want to win even more. All of the countries involved in World War I believed that they were the best and deserved to win. During the war to push nationalism on civilians, they used propaganda posters. They had sayings that would tell people it was their duty to fight for their country, and often they would target the fathers of a household because they were the ones expected to fight in the war.

Another cause of World War I was imperialism. Imperialism is expanding the region of land with the power of the military. The main goal of imperialism was getting land and also resources. Those resources included coal, wood, and cotton. Imperialism caused countries to fight over land. As the countries invaded other regions of the world, they also invaded native peoples’ land. Many times this was called colonization. When they would invade they would also hurt the native people. They would make them practice their religion and change their overall way of living. This changed many countries for the future.

The third cause of World War I was alliances. An alliance is an agreement to help a country if they, or yours, are in danger. Many countries set up alliances in case of a war. When Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated, it caused other countries to get involved. There were two alliance groups during World War I. The first was the central powers that included: Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and the Ottoman power. The allies included: France, Great Britain, Russia, Italy, Japan, and the United States. If it weren’t for the alliances, the war would have been much smaller. Many of the countries wouldn’t have a reason for getting involved in the war.

The last cause of the war was militarism. Militarism is upping supplies to compete with other countries. As the countries try to win more and more, they need to up their resources like weapons. It’s a chain effect because if one country ups their supplies, other countries will do the same. Countries spent great amounts of money for their military during the war. The allies spent $147 billion and the central powers spent $61 billion. Militarism also affected the economies at home because of the demand for supplies. Factories at home were at an all time demand and use. Because the men were off in war, it led to women entering the workforce.

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Spring celebrations: India and Europe

By: Ava Bleifuss

Spring is known for bringing in new life. It has the smell of fresh flowers and sounds of chirping birds. Spring can occur during different times of the year depending on the location of the country. There are many different ways that people celebrate spring. Two of the many festivals are Holi and May Day. 

Holi is a spring festival that is celebrated in India. In 2023, it will be celebrated on March 8. It is also known as the festival of color and is celebrated over two days. It is based on Hindu mythology, telling the story of Lord Vishnu and the triumph over the evil king.

Holi is a celebration of spring, family, and friendship. People gather in streets to splash colored powder on each other with colored water. Each color has its own meaning: red symbolizes love and fertility, yellow is the color for turmeric and is a natural remedy that is used in India, blue symbolizes the Hindu god Krishna, and green symbolizes new and fresh beginnings.

Families decorate their homes and share delicious treats with each other. Foods that are commonly eaten during Holi are: thandai, dahi bhalle, puran poli, malpua, rasmalai, badan phirni, coconut milk murukku, and bhang pakora. 

May Day is celebrated on May 1st, right before the beginning of summer. This holiday is a celebration of ancient origins. It started in Roman Britain where soldiers danced around decorated trees to celebrate the coming of spring while thanking their goddess, Flora. Flora is the goddess of flowering plants, and bringing in new life. She is often correlated with being the goddess of the budding of youth.

The Maypole dance is usually done during the celebration of May Day. There is a pole in the middle with colorful bright ribbons that people hold on to when they dance. When the dance is done correctly, the ribbons create a beautiful pattern around the pole. After they do the dance the other way, they undo the ribbons around the pole which symbolizes the longer days as summer approaches.

There are different ways to celebrate May Day. In Austria and Germany, the pole is painted with blue and white stripes and is put in the middle of a village. This is then followed by a procession. Another tradition is that people try to climb to the top of the Maypole. 

Spring connects the end of hibernation to the beginning of growth and summer. People around the world all celebrate this wonderful season in many different ways. Regardless of where people live, festivals and celebrations of spring are something that everyone has in common.

Boat Dance

By: Carla Tizcareno

The Boat Dance this weekend wasn’t as exciting as I thought it would be. Last weekend, Highland Park Senior High hosted a Boat Dance for any high school student that had the chance to buy a ticket for $20-25 during either lunch.

That Friday, it was pretty chilly, but most of the students were wearing shorts or summer dresses. A lot of people didn’t dress very interestingly. It was mostly jean jackets and khakis. There were a few people that showed up in gorgeous dresses and dress shirts like it was prom.

It was made clear that the boat departed at 7pm but it didn’t end up leaving until about 7:30. By 6:50, the lines were super long so it took a while to board the boat.

After departing, the karaoke in the back of the boat began. People grabbed their friends and sang songs by Taylor Swift, Rihanna, and even some Disney songs came up. The karaoke side definitely wasn’t as popular as the front of the boat, where there was a DJ and tons of lights. People were jumping along to the music and shaking the whole boat.

There were some students on the top level of the boat that were throwing chairs overboard. Other than the chairs being thrown, the top level and middle of the boat was pretty calm.

There were two spots to buy snacks and drinks. There were candy bars, nachos and cheese, chips, and Pepsi products. Thank god the water was free because I wouldn’t have survived the night without it.

After a few hours of cold lake air, dancing, singing, and musty teenagers jumping around aimlessly we got back to shore. The DJ played some closing songs as we all got off the boat. People loved stopping at the middle of the sidewalk causing a lot of hold ups.

The parking situation was even worse. There were cars stopping randomly in the lot and in the street to pick up some other students. It took me 20 minutes to even get out of the parking lot. Everyone was pretty much gone by 11pm. Overall, the dance wasn’t all that great in my opinion, but a lot of the underclassmen really enjoyed it. I truly felt like the night was cut short. Was it worth $25? Meh, not really.

America’s fastest growing cities

By: Caelyn Hippen

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Cities all over the world are rapidly growing, and most populations live in urban areas. 80% of Americans live in urban areas, and 55% of the entire world’s population live in urban areas. This number is already large, but that percentage is expected to increase to 68% by 2050.

Big cities and urban areas are becoming more popular because big cities have bigger, and more, job opportunities overall. The more jobs offer a higher pay.

Another pro to a big city is that there are better schools and more opportunities for a better education. Better schools are more often found in big cities with better and more qualified teachers, and better opportunities for students.

There are 3 main factors to a city’s success and growth.

  1. Transportation and housing supply – the more available houses there are, the more people there will be that move in. Then, depending on the availability of parking, people will want easy access to transportation to get to work.
  2. Amenities – specifically natural resources. People want to live in a city that is industrial and modernized, but people also want a place to go to relax and enjoy the outdoors. An example of this is in Amsterdam. Amsterdam is a huge city that has many different types of homes, restaurants, transportations, etc. But then, you see Vondel park. Vondelpark is a 120 acre park that has ponds, food, walking and biking trails, and a lot of flowers and trees. It is a great place to relax in such a big city.
  3. The 3rd and final factor is education – I talked about education before, but like I said, parents want the best for their children. Having good schools near their new home or their job is very important and could decide on what city people live in completely.

According to, Phoenix, Arizona is the fastest growing city in the USA (as of 2020). In a one year period, the population in Phoenix grew by 25,000 people, compared to the other fast growing cities of the year, which only grew by 10,000 people.

Between 2012 and 2017, Seattle was the fastest growing city, with a population increase of 14.2%, followed by Austin, Fort Worth, and Miami.

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‘(500) Days of Summer’ movie review

By: Eva Olson

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‘(500) Days of Summer’ is a romance/comedy movie starring Zoe Deschanel as Summer and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Tom Hansen. This movie follows the story of Tom and his relationship with Summer over 500 days.

This movie was very interesting because it would go back and forth between different days of their relationship out of order. One minute of the movie could be a day after they broke up, then the next it could be pre-break up. This really kept me on my toes throughout the whole movie and made it extremely intriguing.

I enjoyed how the film wasn’t a typical romance/comedy movie and it had a kind of sad feel to it. It was cool to watch Tom’s journey in getting over Summer and realizing that some people aren’t meant to be.

I loved the soundtrack of this movie. I really liked how they met in the elevator because Summer was playing The Smiths. I also found the scene where Tom was dancing to “You Make My Dreams” by Daryl Hall & John Oates amusing, especially when the cameo of Harrison Ford as Han Solo showed up in the car window.

The characters were all very complex and layered. I could relate to almost every character through their personalities or their actions. I liked how each character had their flaws and wasn’t perfect; this made them feel more real.

I thought the costumes were all well done. They all fit the characters and suited their personalities very well. I really enjoyed the setting too, and the fact that it was in Los Angeles was interesting.

Overall, I really enjoyed this movie. It was well done and I found the storyline very intriguing. I would give it a 5/5 star rating. You can watch this on Amazon Prime Video.