Start of snowmen

A Minnesotan winter is upon us. You know what that means, hot chocolate, snowball fights, and of course lots of snowmen. When the snow finally sticks it’s what kids like to do. All you have to do is grab some rocks and a few sticks and you’re set.

Building snowman spread as a trend, it was a fun idea to do in the snow. But do you ever think who’s idea was it that started the creation of the snowman? 

If we want to go way back, we can go all the way back to 1380. In 1380, Bob Eckstein uncovered the snowman in his book, History of the Snowman. Eckstein believes however that the first “man of snow” was discovered in the medieval Book of Hours from 1380. It is the earliest known depiction of what a snowman could be. In that book is the first illustration of a snowman.

Some 473 years later, in 1853, a woman by the name of Mary Dillwyn took the first photograph of a snowman. It’s now in the collections of the National Library of Wales.

When they were discovered, snowmen became a phenomenon in the Middle Ages. Snowman used to be made with much thought and skill. They were used to express thoughts and ideas. Snow was free art supplies that fell from the clouds. It became a popular activity and people became famous for sculpting snowmen.

In 1494, a 19-year-old Michelangelo, was asked to sculpt snowman for the ruler of Florence, Italy in the backyard of his mansion.

In the 16th century, there was a snowman festival called the Miracle of 1511. It’s where Belgians filled land with over 100 snowman doing various acts. They were made as a political cartoon which was used to comment on the bad class system of their current era.

Later, in 1870, the French National Guard wanted to make a monument for their independence. With the leadership of Alexandre Falguiere, the men built a 9-foot tall snow women. After it melted it became a national symbol.

The snowman has a long history. Now, instead of them being used as political statements, they are used for child’s play where children like to get out in the snow and make a happy snowman for fun. 

Positive mindset

A positive mindset isn’t something you can easily achieve in one day or overnight. It’s also not something that will stay constant. Every person has their ups and downs. With a better mindset, however, you’re bound to have more ups than downs. Or, you’ll be able to switch your downs to ups.

Always thinking positive can be hard sometimes. It’s something you sort of have to memorize in your brain. You train it to think happy when something bad in your life is happening. For example, when I’m stressed with school work I try not to get angry or frustrated because that won’t help me. Instead I think of ways to manage my time and I set goals for myself to finish the work. 

There is so much you can do to help grow your brain into a positive mindset. Starting your day off right is key. How you make up and spend your time in the morning could affect your whole mood for the day. Some good morning tips can be eating a good breakfast, getting in a light workout, meditation, or music you enjoy. Some people have their alarm set to songs they love so that the first thing they hear makes them happy.

In the morning it’s also nice to just takes a few minutes and meditate. You can sit and think about your daily goals and remind yourself how you’ll approach things and your day. 

There are a lot of things you can do during the day too. You can try to focus on the things that make/are making you happy. Do your best to not let little situations or things make you upset. Anything could switch up your mood. It’s always best to try to see the bright side of things or see them from a different perspective. During the day, it’s also a good goal to remember to smile, say “hi” to people, give compliments, and overall be nice.  

During the night, before you go to bed, is a great time to recap on your day. A good idea is to keep a journal of your thoughts, where you can share everything you’re feeling. Some ideas to help recap on your day is to share three new things you appreciate in your life everyday. You can also share three things that made you happy everyday, and explain one of your favorite moments of that day. Doing this can help you focus on the good things that happened instead of the bad. 

Everyone has their own ways of looking at things. People can have different ways of staying positive. These were just some tips and ideas on how you can go about your day. Doing this for one day may make you feel better for a short time. But doing things like this constantly will make you feel better for a long term.            

Fun Halloween candy…for next year

Halloween has passed, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a jump on next year. Here are some candy ideas for the next time October 31st comes around.

Hershey’s Glow in the Dark:

Hershey’s chocolate and Reeses peanutbutter cups are delicious, right? Imagine getting these on Halloween but glow in the dark. They are fun chocolates that taste exactly the exact same as the traditional ones. You can buy 230 of these fun sized treats with $20. 

Reese’s Peanut butter cup eyeballs:

Add a twist to your candy bowl and give out Reese’s in cool eyeball shapes. They are spooky mini treats. But don’t worry, they still taste like normal Reese’s peanut butter cups. They come in small packets. 

Reese’s Peanut Butter cup bats:

Not only can you get Reese’s looking like spooky eyeballs, but also Reese’s in the shape of bats. They are fun treats to get. They are available in individually wrapped punches for your convenience.  

Spooky cat marshmallow Peeps:

Remember those yellow Peeps you would get for Easter? Now you can get some more Halloween festive ones to hand out. They’re purple and full of sugar. Trick or treaters will love them.

Cookies and Creams M and M’s:

Now you can get cookies and cream M and M’s. They come in dark and white Halloween festive colors. Spice up your candy collection with these. They taste like the yummy cookies and cream flavor along with the traditional chocolate.  

Student athletes

Student athletes are no regular students. They go from focusing on academics to sports in a heartbeat. You’ll always hear someone in your class complaining about running at practise or being sore from morning weights.

There’s nearly 8 million students participating in a school sport in the U.S. Out of that, 8 million, about 490,000, will go on to play at NCAA schools.

Student athletes have a lot going for them. They tend to graduate at higher rates than their peers and their experience in sports also gives them plenty of life lessons that will help them in their future. 

For these students, their work ethic is what truly matters. It’s their psychological commitment. It’s the mind set they have when approaching or leaving a game and practice.

Student athletes have crowded minds. Overlapping thoughts of things they have to do that’s panned around their sport. They must responsibly balance their school work, sports, and social life.

Athletes have to keep their brain going, from waking up for school, to staying up after a practice, to get school work done. Once all that is done, they can finally relax. 

As a student athlete myself, I catch myself thinking; do I go to my practise or do I finish my project? If I go to my practice, that means I have to stay up later to do my project, but if I miss my practice it could show how I’m not committed to my sport.

In class I’ll be thinking about the important game I have in a few hours. At practice I’ll be stressing out about the loads of homework I still have to do.

Even with that, I still have to focus on the task at hand, whether it’s school or my sport. To fix these problems, athletes do their best to manage their time. 

Through these obstacles, being a student that plays a sport can be one of the best things. It comes with so many benefits. When playing a sport, you can meet tons of new people. They can end up being some of your closest friends or just people to know in school.

Playing a sport also keeps you healthy and in shape. Imagine everyday after school getting in a good workout with your team.

The biggest thing a student could gain from being in a sport is what they learn mentally. You get a chance to test your boundaries and see how far you can go.

Could I play harder or run faster?

Can I handle practice and homework? I think you can. 

Can machines think?

 

Artificial Intelligence is a big part of how our world is today and what our future will look like. When people go on Google, put something in Google Translate, or order an Uber, they don’t realize how much A.I. is really doing. 

So what is Artificial Intelligence? A.I. is a broad branch of computer sciences. Its goal is to create different systems that can work intelligently and independently.

In more simple words, A.I. makes computers have the intelligence of humans.

There are different algorithms being made, or are already made, that allow computers to solve problems that used to be solved by humans.

The possibilities for A.I. are endless and are being used every single day. Just to name a few examples: A.I. powers voice-based devices, filters our emails, and guides our search engines.

A great example is Tesla’s new model; it’s self driving car. A.I. is a computer within the car. It holds all the road safety rules within it to drive just like a person. 

Now that we know what Artificial Intelligence is, let’s get into the most frequently asked question about it – What will happen if a strong A.I. system succeeds and becomes better at cognitive tasks than humans? 

A.I. has a great potential to become more intelligent than humans in the near future.

How will it behave in the shape of a robot? Will it get out of control and take over?

People ask questions about safety and how humans will stay in control of the machines that could be stronger than anything. The future of it is unpredictable.

Scientists have never done anything like this in the past, so there’s nothing to base what they are doing off of. There’s high controversy on weather to make A.I. stronger than it is, or to not use the resources and leave it be.

No matter what does happen. Artificial Intelligence has forever changed the earth. 

Reusable items

There has been talk of the Earth dying for some time now. To try and stop this many people have decided that they want to spread the idea of a more sustainable living.

One easy and effective way to do this is by switching to reusable products. This helps reduce trash and saves your household tons of money. Imagine not needing to buy plastic baggies for lunch or sponges for dish cleaning again. Continue reading for some reusable item examples. 

Refillable Lotion/Soap Bottles: 

There are tons of different refillable lotion brands to choose from. What to do is you order your lotion from where you want, for example, like the company Plaine Products, and when it’s empty or almost empty you send the bottle back. The company then fills it back up for you. You can do the same thing for hand soap. This helps reduce all the plastic being used to make the lotion and soap bottles you buy only to than throw away.

Reusable Silicone Food Baggies:

Silicone food bags get you to save so much money. Instead of throwing away every plastic storage bag you use, you can buy multiple and use them over and over again. There are many different easy cleaning methods for them that take only a few quick minutes. These bags are durable, and so much more ocean friendly than plastic bags. 

Dishwashing Brush:

Forget about small sponges, purchase a reusable dishwashing brush instead. They are soft enough to clean delicate cups and plates but tough enough to get hard to clean pots and pans as well. A plus about these is that the tool comes with a handy wooden handle. These brushes last much longer than sponges do. They are much more reliable and they help reduce trash.

Silicone Baking Cups: 

These baking cups are a good alternative to paper or aluminum cups. They can be easily washed in the dishwasher or even by hand. You can place them anywhere from the microwave to the freezer. A benefit of using these is you wouldn’t need a muffin tin to help bake. They are durable, affordable, and easy to store. And of course they are better for the earth.