Know what you are consuming

If you cannot read the nutrition facts on what you’re eating should you really be consuming it?

If you were asked to name off what commercials you have seen for food products what would you say? Fruit Loops? Pop Tarts? Gushers? Cereal that contains a lot of sugar? McDonalds? Burger King?

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You can probably only think of commercials that contain sweets or processed food. The number of commercials for unhealthy foods that are broadcast is crazy compared to the number of commercials that are seen containing fruits and vegetables.

Does the government care more about making a profit off food or keeping us healthy?

We’re not only paying for the food we’re consuming but also paying it off in doctor bills later on.

The meat industry, and how they’re promoting unhealthy foods to kids, has a large impact on how the people in America live. Below are some facts about the food industry.

NUTRITION FACTS IN THE MEAT INDUSTRY
In 2012 they tested chicken feathers to see what was found in their system (chicken feathers would be equivalent to us testing our finger nails) They found caffeine, antihistamines, and even prozac (an antidepressant). Prozac was added to the chicken feed because apparently stressed out chickens produce ‘tough meat.’ One person in America eats up to 200 lbs of meat yearly, causing us to have twice the obesity rate, more chances of having cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

Not only can the meat industry be bad for your health, but it can also be bad for climate change. If the meat production cut back half of its amount it would be as if we were garaging all vehicles. Two acres of rainforests are cleared each minute to help raise and feed cattle. 35,000 miles of America’s rivers are polluted with animal waste. It takes 2,500 gallons of water to produce one pound of meat, but only 25 gallons to produce a pound of wheat.

America’s government spends $38 billion a year on the meat industry, but only .04% of their money is spent on fruits and vegetables.

PROMOTING UNHEALTHY EATING TO KIDS

Have you ever noticed that when you see a Burger King commercial the healthy foods are not advertised? They sell veggie burgers and salads, but the only things you see on TV is the Original Chicken Sandwich or their fries.

Another example is commercials that contain breakfast foods for children.  Instead of them advertising healthy foods like fruits, yogurt, or eggs they promote Pop Tarts, Cocoa Puffs, and Taco Bell breakfast.

We are so used to having such unhealthy and processed foods laid out for us, we find it so difficult to come in contact healthy foods when they’re really right in front of us, although they just might be hiding behind a greasy Big Mac. $1.6 billion is spent on advertising unhealthy foods to children. Children see 15 unhealthy food commercials a day.

Companies make a larger profit selling a more processed food. The more food is processed the less healthy it is, and the less filling it is. Just because the packaging food comes in has one health claim it DOES NOT mean the food is healthy.

In 2006 20% of kids were classified as ‘obese.’ There was a promise made to change the marketing of food, a year later they did a study to see if it had changed and 80% of the food commercials were what the Department of Health and Human Services believes should only be eaten once in awhile. In 2013 80% was still the same. It is proven that the more kids watch TV the more unhealthy their food preferences are.

Class of ’16

I realize that coming back from Winter Break is really making people want the school year to just end or Spring Break to begin. From going from sleeping in for a week and half straight right back to waking up early, staying in school for six and a half hours, and then having homework to do after school can be a huge switch in a small amount of time, but we should be used to it right? We’ve been doing it for how many years? It still doesn’t make it easier. Sometimes, it seems to make it harder – especially for seniors.

What's Your Plan Concept

What’s Your Plan Concept

Seniors, this is our last year- and our last semester coming up. This is it, and we’re done. Some of us are off to college, some of us have jobs lined up for us, and some are moving away. We all have a plan for something, and I hope none of you plan on being here another year – or even having to go to summer school after the rest of us are graduating. We’ve waited 12-13 years for graduation day, and this last year can be the most stressful with figuring out college, working part time, and getting all your last credits together.

I have seen a lot of people slacking – not coming to school, falling back on homework, and using “senior slide” as an excuse, but honestly most of you guys probably “senior slid” for the past four years. This is the year that counts. Colleges will be looking at your current grades, and your current attendance. Do well because on graduation day when YOU are walking across that stage, sitting next to your friends, laughing, thinking about how you’re going to miss everyone, YOU’LL be able to say “I finally made it.”

So, come to school, do your homework, give it all you’ve got; this is your last year. Don’t waste away the past 12 years because you’re lazy this last one. Also, come see your friends. You’re never going to be surrounded by these specific people everyday again.

I have a friend that didn’t do too well in school; she had many problems with school – with the people, with her anxiety, and with the homework. She dreaded coming to school, and she swore up and down that once she left she was never going to look back. She graduated and is now in college and I hear her over and over again saying “I wish I could go back, it was so easy.”

You guys might believe life after high school is going to be easy but that’s when it all really starts. You’re eventually going to have to start paying rent, you’ll probably be working and in school, and you’ll have so many more responsibilities than you do now. So, take this one responsibility that you have and make the most out of it, because you will regret it if you don’t.

Purchasing “cat snakes”

I have heard several people discuss getting a new pet recently. I own 3 ferrets and whenever that topic comes up I hear people say “I want to own a ferret one day.” Ferrets are a great animal to own, as long as you can provide everything you need for them.

Ferrets can get a little tricky. They can be messy, stinky, curious, expensive, and sometimes even mean. I have found that the female ferrets seem to be a little more vicious than the males, but by all means do not have these animals around children, even if it seems like the sweetest animal you have ever met. They do have teeth and claws. The children and the animals do not know better. There have been several incidents where parents have had their infants around ferrets and it never, NEVER ends well for the child.

Ferrets will cost you a decent amount of money. You’re going to need to pay for a decently sized cage, preferably multiple litter boxes, litter, ferret food, treats, toys, water dishes, and bedding. Ferrets also require vet visits. It is necessary to get them their rabies and distemper shot, after the first year they will need at least one visit a year. Also, keep in mind, ferrets can catch sickness such as the flu when you are sick, so be careful when holding them when you don’t feel your best.

A ferret’s diet is very simple. They are carnivores, so their diet consists of meat. High in protein, high in energy and low in fiber. Marshall’s Ferrets is a large company that Petco gets their ferrets and other products through. It is a ferret mill that hasn’t had the best reviews on how they treat their ferrets when they are in their fosilities, and also in the products that they sell. Many people purchase a ferret and think ferret food would be the best option for them. I know that’s what I thought, but this is why you should do a lot of research before purchasing an animal. Cats and ferrets have similar nutritional needs. Most high quality kitten foods are better for ferrets than some common ferret foods. A great substitute would be WELLNESS core kitten food. Why wouldn’t you want to feed your ferrets Marshall ferret food? Well, like I said, ferrets are CARNIVORES, strict carnivores and Marshall’s food has a lot of harmful ingredients for these picky creatures. One ingredients in this product is corn, do NOT feed your ferrets vegtebles or fruits. A ferret can live off of Marshall’s ferret food but will not have the longest or healthiest life span (they should live about eight years), they will also be more prone to illnesses.

ferretsBuy ferrets in bunches, and learn about the place you’re purchasing them from. Many people purchase ferrets from Petco and do not know that those ferrets come from a ferret mill, and that could also be a result in aggression or health issues. Ferrets consist of a lot, a lot, a lot of attention and I cannot stress this enough.

Do not purchase a ferret without a large time span of researching and thinking about this purchase. A ferret will sleep when they are not being held/played with, just because they are sleeping doesn’t mean you shouldn’t wake them up and play with them. Wake them up! Play with them! At ANY time, they love it. Not having a cage for your ferret and letting them out all day to play is the most ideal thing to do for them, but it is not always the safest, such as in cases where houses may have holes that lead to basements or outside, places that have a lot of cords out, or multiple things you do not want your ferret to get into. Having your ferret out of the cage for four hours a day is the minimum you should be playing with them (especially without a second ferret).

I do not recommend having a ferret if you do not purchase two. They love cuddling, wrestling, and playing with each other. There will be days where you do not have much time to spend with your ferret and those are the days you’re going to be glad you purchased a second because you don’t want a depressed animal, and if you’re okay with your animal not being at its happiest then you should not own one. Some people even say you should purchase three in case one dies and the one left can become HIGHLY depressed in that case. Although, do not purchase too many because vet bills can become intense and when you are not providing them with good health you might as well not have bought one in the first place.

Please, do not go out and purchase a ferret just because you think they’re cute one day – if that’s the case, then you’ll probably be trying to return them in the next two weeks or so.

Just keep in mind that I only went over a few basic key points to purchasing and owning a ferret. Going to Petco to learn all of your information isn’t always the best idea, so use your computer and do your own research. I’ve owned my ferrets for over a year and a half and I’m still learning.

These are amazing animals to own, and you will have a lot of fun with them, without a dull moment, but make sure you remember that this is a long term commitment as they can live eight years if taken care of properly.

Good luck!

Is MOA more concerned about money or people?

moaPeople are terrified to leave their houses on Black Friday considering all of the recent terrorist attacks. Mall management has sent out a email to all company managers located in the Mall of America stating that their has been NO recent threats for an attack.

I myself have talked to police officers located at the Mall of America about my concern because I will be working on Black Friday. They told me they have K-9 units working with them, the SWAT team, and they even have their own police station located in the Mall of America. They won’t only have mall cops located in the mall but they are bringing in others from all around Bloomington. Black Friday will be a busy day at the Mall of America, but they are saying they have never been more prepared and are on high security.

Although there has not been threats yet, this does not mean they are lowering their guard. Many people are saying the Mall of America is more concerned about making money rather than losing people, and want them to shut the mall down.

I for one do not believe it’s fair that mall employees are supposed to work on a day they do not feel safe, there is no concern of any threats being made but if you truly do not feel safe – stay home. It’s better to be safe then sorry. Have a safe, fun, and careful holiday weekend, and if you see anything suspicious report it.

All vegan/vegetarian lunch line

The thought of being a vegetarian can be frowned upon by many people, and as a result of this, many people might not take into consideration that there are plenty of students surrounding us that are vegetarian or vegan. Being a vegetarian/vegan can become very difficult during school hours and may result in students eating an unhealthy diet because there aren’t many options, or not eating at all.

Some days there aren’t any lunch lines at Highland Park that have products that don’t contain meat or animal products. I don’t understand why this is.

Everybody thinks being a vegetarian is so difficult, but you might think it is for the first week, only because you’re so accustomed to going to the McDonald’s drive thru and grabbing a cheeseburger. Yes, eating meat can be quick and easy, but it isn’t difficult to stop. So, why does everything have to be topped with bacon or chicken?

Having a vegan/vegetarian lunch line would make lunch much easier and convenient to students. They could easily serve soy milk with meatless patties with veggies on the side. It’s healthy and not as difficult as everyone tells themselves. Also, eating vegan saves up to 600 gallons of water a day.

Many people think about becoming vegetarian but don’t have easy access to it because everyone around them is eating meat, and that’s always been the easiest route to go. This could be a great alternative to those people that would like to try it out.

The more meat we eat in the cafeteria means the more meat they order for the next month, which results in more animals getting killed. We can prevent that from happening by simply eating a veggie burger, or pasta with no meat.

We already have many lunch lines where ONLY people that eat animal products can eat from, so how about we start a lunch line where EVERYONE is able and comfortable to be eating from.

veggie patties

Wondering about piercing shops?

Thinking about getting a new piercing soon? Holy Mackerel is the place to go. They have had the best feedback with barely any complaints other than to be pricey!

Verno, a piercer, is very understanding and clear about the piercing and after care instructions. Although this shop can get a bit pricey, compared to other shops, you always want your piercing to turn out looking great. It’s all worth it in the end. I have had great experience getting my navel and industrial pierced there.

Other great local shops would be Saint Sabrina’s, and Steady tattoo and piercings.

Also, whatever you do, I highly suggest you to not go to Almost Famous, located at the Mall of America. There are not too many good reviews from people that have had experience getting pierced here.

Samantha St. Clair, a former student here at Highland Park Senior High, has gotten her navel pierced at Almost Famous: they misplaced it and didn’t give her very direct cleaning instructions, and the piercing got infected within the first month and had to be taken out.

She later on went to Holy Mackerel to get it re-pierced once it healed. It turned out well, but there is still some scar tissue around the piercing where it got infected the first time.

So, be patient if needed, be safe, clean, and good luck! Also, remember you have to have a parent or guardian with you while getting pierced if you are under the age of 18.

October 2015 horoscopes


Monthly Horoscopes for October 2015.

Aries:March 21-April 20 LoScreen Shot 2015-10-21 at 10.22.32 AMve ill be pouring your way if you’re just patient, you will also be finding ways to support yourself and others around you more than ever.

Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 10.24.23 AMTaurus: April 21-May 21 This month brings in loads of commitment. Whatever your relationship status is be ready to bring it to the next step with open arms and you’ll get everything you desire!

Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 10.24.30 AMGemini: May 22-June 21 This month you’ll want to really take your friends in with open arms as they may be going through a rough patch in their lives. Make a dinner, take them out, or just hangout- they’ll really appreciate it.

Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 10.24.38 AMCancer: June 22- July 22 Have you been thinking about taking on a new activity? Maybe a job, getting a pet, or joining a club or sport? Do it, do it, do it! This is your month for change.

Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 10.24.43 AMLeo: July 23-August 22 You will be very creative this month. It’s time to paint, draw, or maybe even write a poem! It will definitely do you justice.

Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 10.24.50 AMVirgo: August 23- September 23 Study, study, study! This month may be a bit more tough than others. Education is BIG right now, and it also might be bringing you down. You might want to stay home a couple Friday nights instead of going out with some friends.

Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 10.24.56 AMLibra: September 23- October 24 This is your month to meet new people and make new friends. Get involved when you have the opportunity!

Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 10.25.02 AMScorpio: October 24- November 22 Treat yourself this month! Get your nails and hair done, go shopping, or just spend the whole day at home watching Netflix! Just relax, happiness is heading your way.

Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 10.25.08 AMSagittarius: November 23-December 21 Have you been thinking of applying for a job or getting a new one because yours isn’t treating you the best? This month is better than ever as stores will be getting busier as Christmas is coming closer. This timing could never be better, it will most definitely work out in your favor.

Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 10.25.15 AMCapricorn: December 22- January 20 Big news will be brought to you this month by someone you have feelings for. Be patient and hopeful.

Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 10.25.23 AMAquarius: January 21- February 19 Volunteer this month. It will change your life for the better and maybe even make you realize what you would like to pursue with your life.

Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 10.25.28 AMPisces: February 20- March 20 This month will bring you money and love, two of everybody’s favorite things! It will be coming fast, so be ready.

All images found at: http://www.123rf.com/photo_22019672_set-of-astrological-zodiac-symbols-horoscope-signs.html

2015-2016 Highland’s homecoming game

Chloe Hunter and I interviewed Lily O’Donnell and Davina Newman about the homecoming game against Fridley. Our first question was asked to Davina. “What was your favorite part of the game?” She answered saying she enjoyed watching Angelo Martin’s catch. We also asked her what she thought about the crowds enthusiasm, she said it could have been improved if people were more on their feet and cheering, she also would have liked a better game score. Over all she rated the game a 7 out of 10.

Lily’s favorite part of the game was watching the cheer leaders. She would have also wanted the crowd to improve their enthusiasm as well, although she was so excited that we won with a winning score of 21-20. She also mentioned how the score could have improved if it was more stretched out. She scored the game a 9 out of 10.

Over all they both enjoyed watching the game and agreed that there could have been more excitement and energy brought to the game, remember that next year Highland Scots!

FRESHMAN

Welcome Freshman!

Heres a few tips from a senior who wishes she would have listened a little better. When becoming a freshman you have to become more independent and don’t always have someone holding your hand telling you to show up to school or do your homework and in that case you’re going to need to balance your activities with your homework, stay organized, and ask when needed. I know that because you don’t constantly have a teacher down your throat screaming at you to do your homework you might not seem so pressured to do it, but seriously staying home for an hour or two to finish up an essay or project before going out with friends will be well worth it on graduation day.

You should definitely balance your activities, job, hanging out with friends, and homework out. Always make sure you have time to get your assignments done before taking on more obstacles.

Also always ask for assignments or notes when you’re gone for a day, the teachers aren’t going to come up to you and tell you what you missed, you’re going to be expected to fend for yourself, stay in touch with what’s going on in all of your classes and buying a planner helps so much.

Doing all these things will create so much LESS stress as graduation comes up, and trust me it’s going to come fast. Barely making it is not worth being lazy or telling yourself you’ll have time later, get what you need to done and you’ll also appreciate your spare time so much more.

Good luck!