Category Archives: Advice/How To

LAMY Safari review

By: Jocelyn Knorr

Note: This review is not sponsored by LAMY or Goulet Pens, and I received no compensation for this article save credit in my Journalism class.

LAMY is a German pen manufacturer founded on the principles of simplicity and transparency; their bestselling model is the Safari, which I’ll be reviewing today.

The Safari is made for students; fountain pens are required in Germany for classes as early as kindergarten, because most mistakes early writers make are nigh-impossible when writing with one. Another way they keep their target audience in mind is the included ink—a blue-black proprietary cartridge. Converters are also available, for around eight dollars. Its grip is molded into a triangle, which I don’t find unpleasant, but you may find it bothersome if you hold your pen in a different way. 

As for technical specs, the pen is around 5.5 inches with the cap on and weighs around 10 grams. It posts (writing with the cap on the back of the pen) easily, however those with larger hands may find that the cap’s edge rests directly on the back of their hand (assuming you write with it posted). 

Nibs are available in three sizes that come with the pen—extra fine, fine, and medium—and other specialty nibs are available separately from LAMY. Mine was purchased with a medium; it’s a fairly smooth writer, though there’s a bit of feedback even with the medium nib. The nibs are friction-fit, which means that to switch out nibs, you simply have to gently tug on them.

Overall, I’d recommend the Safari for students, newbies, or anyone searching for a cheap, durable pen. It’s $29.60 from Goulet Pens, which is incredible value for the quality, and LAMY’s customer service and warranty is also known to be excellent.

The pros and cons of online shopping

By: Addison Strack

Online shopping has been a popular practice for a while, and it became even more widespread during COVID. Many people find it very convenient that you can order almost anything from the comfort of your home.

Online shopping clearly has many advantages, but there are also some disadvantages to go along with it.

One very obvious advantage of online shopping is how easy it is. You have the ability to browse endless amounts of clothing without having to leave your home. This limits your exposure to things like the flu, and allows you to save time by avoiding the struggle of commuting to the store and back.

Online shopping also typically has a better variety of products, due to the fact that there isn’t limited shelf space like there would be in a physical store.

Online shopping also may help you to reduce the amount of impulse buys you have. There will be less pressure from employees showing you different sales and deals, and you may be more likely to purchase only what you had in mind when you began shopping.

A final pro of online shopping is the access to customer reviews. When online shopping you are able to see what other people think of the product you are wanting to buy, and that may help you make your decision on whether or not it is a good purchase.

Although online shopping has multiple benefits, there are also some negative aspects to the practice.

One con is that you can’t try things on. If you are purchasing clothes online, you may have to order multiple sizes to find out which fits best, instead of being able to try them on in the store.

Many stores also charge for shipping depending on what, and how much, you buy. Different stores also have different return policies. Some stores require you to pay to return items, and some you can only return for store credit.

If you have questions about an item, you also aren’t able to talk to an employee right away, like you would be able to in a physical store.

One final con is that you have to wait for delivery. Some items may only take a few days, while others may take up to a couple of weeks. It also isn’t uncommon for a package to be lost or stolen, or to be delivered much later than expected.

Overall, online shopping has many positives and negatives. If you would like to read more about the pros and cons of online shopping, feel free to check out the website below.

Free or low-cost winter activities

By: Emilia Moberg

Do you ever find yourself thinking, “I really want to go out today, but it’s 1) very cold and 2) I don’t have that much money to spend”? As Minnesotans, most of us are used to the cold weather and are prepared for snowy weather conditions. People still go out and live their lives, especially to help curb seasonal depression during these dark months.

However, it can be difficult to find things to do and places to go when you’re a student with limited funds. Despite being prepared for the cold, it is a lot easier to plan activities for a whole day during the summer and spring without spending any money.

I have experienced this problem first hand many times, so I have compiled a list of some of my favorite things to do/places to go during the winter that are free or have a low cost.

1. Museums
Museums are a great way to spend some time during the winter because they are inside and heated, and offer a lot to see. There are a lot of great museums in the Twin Cities that offer free admission to people under 18.

The Minneapolis Institute of Art is an art museum with three floors and over 90,000 artworks. It has a variety of African, Asian, European and modern art, ranging from paintings to sculptures to architecture. The MIA also has a cafe with seating.

The Walker Art Center is another art museum that offers free admission to under 18 visitors. The Walker is more focused on modern art and cycles out exhibits relatively regularly, as well as having a permanent collection on display.

One downside of both of these museums is that you have to pay for ramp parking, and there is limited street parking.

2. Coffee shops
Going to a coffee shop during the winter might seem like an obvious choice, but some coffee shops are definitely better than others, in terms of price and atmosphere.

JS Bean Factory in St. Paul is one of my favorites to do homework at. There is usually always a place to sit, and drinks and food is relatively inexpensive. You can get a 16oz tea for around $3.50 and coffee for around $4.

Another one of my favorites is Caffetto Coffee House in Minneapolis. It has a really unique, grungy but cozy atmosphere, along with inexpensive tea, coffee and food. Caffetto is a great place for late night studying or hanging out, as it stays open until 1am.

3. Thrifting
Thrifting is a fun activity for all seasons, but similarly to the museums, it’s great for winter because thrift stores are a warm, indoor space you can spend a lot of time in.

I think the Salvation Army/Goodwill bins specifically are good places to go because of how frequent clothes are cycled in and out. Many people typically spend multiple hours searching through the bins and waiting for new bins to be available to look through. Further, since clothes at the bins are priced by weight, you can purchase a lot of items for very cheap.

5 fun things to do during winter

By: Maya Breininger

As the snow lands on the treetops and the smell of holly fills the air, companies are preparing to satisfy their customers with ‘round the clock winter activities. This presents us with a problem; such few months of winter, yet so much to do!

This list of holiday favorites ought to help enlighten your decisions, and get your winter planning on track!

1 – Go Holiday Shopping

Many holidays, for many different folk, happen around this frosty season, and even if you practice no religious holidays, it can be enjoyable to purchase gifts for your family members!

Test your knowledge on how well you know your cousins, aunts, grandparents, or significant other by giving them a present they’ll love!

2 – Go Ice Skating

As the temperature freezes, so does the water! Call your friends and schedule a day full of holiday shopping, followed by a visit to the nearest ice rink! Practice your V 8’s, your backward skating, or impressing that special someone! Ice skating is a must-try common winter activity that you can’t miss!

3 – Spend a Snowy day in your Favorite Coffee Shop!

What could be better than sipping your favorite warmed beverage while watching the snow fall? Invite your friends out on the same day you ice skate, or plan a different day in order to spread the love! (Double points if the area is decorated!)

4 – Bake Gingerbread Treats!

Whip out your family’s traditional gingerbread recipe, or simply click the link below the image to lead you to one! Invite over little ones, or old ones who simply enjoy the decorative and tasty part of winter! Decorate them, or create your own little town of ginger people! And speaking of decorating houses…

5- Decorate your House in Lights!

Try not to peeve off your father as you hang the lights – maybe you should stick with hanging the wreaths! Try a new design, or stick with your traditional decorations, either way, letting your neighbors know of your winter spirit is a fun way to celebrate the season!

Now that you have your list of winter fun, feel free to call over your buddies to celebrate with you!

We sincerely hope that you and the company you choose to have, have a wonderful holidays, and a happy new year!

Everything I’ve learned about high school (from a Senior)

By: Grace Blumer-Lamotte

High school can be very intimidating. Stepping foot into the school on your first day as a freshman can be overwhelming and stressful. Here are some tips, coming from a Senior in high school. 

The first tip I would give is to STAY ON TOP OF YOUR SCHOOL WORK! This may seem silly to many but this is what I think is the most important tip of them all. Falling behind will get you nowhere. If you stay ahead you allow yourself time to yourself to do things you enjoy. It also allows you to get ahead in most of your classes, especially if the assignments are posted days or weeks in advance. 

Another important tip I have is staying organized. I know many high school students that struggle with falling behind and the main reason is that they are not organized. I have had a planner ever since middle school. I know planners do not work for everyone, but they work for some students. Writing all of the assignments due that week in my planner, and color coordinating the formatives and summative assignments, actually gave me a breath of fresh air in a busy week. It also helped me stay organized and on top of when my assignments were due.

There are many different ways to organize your planner. The way that I found that best suited me was writing out all of my classes that I had that week on each day, e.g. English, History, etc. Next, I would pick a specific color for formative assignments and a different color for summative assignments. I would write out all of the assignments, in the correct color code, due that week.

Finally, after every single one of my classes, I would write down next to the subject what I needed to complete before the next class, e.g. finish the worksheet, and complete the notes. I never knew that doing this during my freshman year would lead me to great success in my organization. I still use a planner and my color coordination method to this day. This healthy habit will follow me through college as well.

Adding on to the tips, another one that impacted me was joining clubs and sports after school. This is where I ended up finding most of my friends that still are with me my senior year. Yes, friends will come and go but the friends I made from sports never went, they stayed.

My freshman year I was super scared, I was starting high school with almost no friends/not knowing anyone. I thought I would try out for the volleyball team and I ended up making a team. I made amazing connections with every single one of the girls on the team, both freshman and older students. I stuck with volleyball all four years of high school and I have never been happier with my decision. I had the opportunity to grow up with these girls and spend most of my time with them.

If you are not a sports person, I would highly recommend joining a club or the theater program at Highland Park Senior High, or really any high school. Joining a club or program of some sort will help guide you through the ups and downs that high school gives you.

Another tip I would give is to go to those sports games. I understand that you might have a lot of homework, but try to finish it before you go. The high school sports games are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to really connect with your classmates and cheer on your school teams. I remember going to every single “musket” game all four years of high school. The energy, joy, and excitement can’t compare to deciding not to go. You only get to have four years of high school, enjoy it while you can.

I do regret one thing from high school. I regret not putting my full effort into every single class that I took during my freshman, sophomore, and junior year. This can have a great impact on applying to colleges and your GPA. 

Overall, one of my most important tips is to stay on top of your school work, stay organized, join clubs/sports/programs, and go to those sports games.

How optimism can influence a person

By: Addison Strack

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Having an optimistic outlook can improve many aspects of your life, such as your mood, but did you know that having a more positive outlook can also directly affect your physical health?

Being so negative all the time can affect your mental health, by causing higher stress levels, anxiety, depression, and more. Many people struggle with having a negative attitude because of external factors such as stress from school, your job, relationships and more.

Being more optimistic can help to build resilience in a person, and cause them to try multiple times instead of just giving up. This can help them to achieve their goals quicker and become more successful, because they won’t let small setbacks stop them.

People with more optimism also have more self confidence, because they are more in control of situations and problems that they face. It also helps people to be more flexible and understanding, because they are able to see the bright side of things.

Overall, having optimism can greatly improve your mental health, and reduce stress and negative thoughts and attitude.

A lack of optimism can also affect your body physically. Being constantly stressed, and in a negative mindset can raise your blood pressure, increasing the risk of a heart attack or stroke.

Having an optimistic outlook can improve your cardiovascular health by lowering your blood pressure. It can also strengthen your immune system, reduce the risk of death from cancer, and help people to recover from surgeries quicker. Overall, it can lead to a longer life span.

It is unknown why people with more optimism have these health benefits. One theory is that being optimistic can help your body cope with stress better, which reduces the physical effects of stress on the body.

Some ways that you can increase the amount of optimism in your life are to focus on positive thinking. Try to avoid perfectionism, and avoid making a big deal out of minor problems as well. Instead of focusing on the negative, try your best to identify the positives.

If you would like to read more about the effects of optimism, feel free to check out the website below,

The scam of intermittent fasting for women

By: Irene Cohen

Intermittent fasting is the diet that revolves around controlling and restricting the times in which you eat, and the times that you fast. For example, the three most popular types of this are the 16/8 method, eat-stop-eat, and the 5:2 diet. The 16/8 method is when you fast for 16 hours, and eat for 8 hours. This eating window is usually from 12pm-8pm, with no food for the hours outside of that. The eat-stop-eat method is one of the strictest plans, which comprises of eating regularly 5 days a week, and for 2 days spaced out in the week, you don’t eat for 24-hours. The 5:2 diet is similar, but those 2 days, instead of fasting completely, you just restrict your calories for those 2 days from 500-600.

There is no doubt that women receive more societal pressure to be thin than men. That is not to say there isn’t pressures for men as well, just that women from a young age are forced to think about their weight. Women are more likely to diet and develop disordered eating habits from a young age, while also feeling dissatisfaction with their body and the desire to be thin, according to the National Library of Medicine. Most popular diets are dominated by women, so one would think that they benefit them, or at least fulfill their purpose of losing weight. However, this isn’t the case.

Intermittent fasting may benefit men, with their testosterone levels increasing, and their metabolism may even get a boost. This is more or less because in older, hunter-gatherer societies, a lack of food for men was associated with the need to go out and hunt, which to do so, you need more energy to burn. The response for women is much different.

Female bodies are much more susceptible to “starvation mode” than male bodies. When female bodies perceive that they are in a food scarcity, their responses are also hypothesized to come from the hunter-gatherer era. Contrasting to men, female bodies shut down all non-essential functions to preserve energy for their body to survive. This means metabolism slowing down, losing less fat stores, and shutting down reproductive functions, such as periods. This is almost the total opposite of the results of men.

Even short windows of fasting are enough to mess with hormone levels in the female body. Periods will slow, and eventually stop altogether, affecting a female’s fertility. This change in hormone levels affect many other bodily functions as well. Estrogen controls many things other than the menstrual cycle and ovaries. It is in your bones, and GI tract as well. Female bodies in starvation mode are more likely to develop osteoporosis, a weakening of the bones.

Like most things in the medical field, the male-body is studied more than the female body, so data and studies are lacking on the female body. The results of the studies on male bodies are not simply transferrable to the female body. These fad diets are many times not built for women, and most nutritionists recommend to sticking to nutritional food and doing what feels good for your body.

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What type of guitar should you buy?

By: Domingo Basso

Image taken from:

Okay, so you might be planning to buy a guitar at some point in the future but you have no idea what to buy because of the sheer variety of them. Well, hopefully after reading this you’ll at least have a little bit of a better Idea of what you might buy. 

First things first, we gotta start from the beginning, that being: what type of guitar you even want. Whether that is an acoustic, electric, bass, there’s a bit to unpack here. So, let’s go over what each of these different types of guitars even are and what separates them from each other.

The main types of guitar are: Classical guitar, Acoustic guitar, Electric guitar, and Bass guitar.

A quick disclaimer beforehand: all of these instruments can be modified and can vastly vary in sound and shape due to the sheer variety of them, but I’ll tell you what each instrument ‘typically’ is like.

The Acoustic guitar is a guitar that typically has 6 metal strings. It is known for being unlike most other guitars in the sense that it requires no electricity or power of any sort to play properly. This also makes it one of the cheapest and least maintenance options for a guitar due to you not needing to worry about as many parts to keep the guitar functioning properly.

The Classical guitar is very similar to the acoustic guitar in many ways including the fact that it too requires no external power in order to operate properly. But, what separates this from the acoustic guitar is the fact that the strings are generally made of nylon (a type of plastic) giving it its own unique sound from the acoustic.

Right from the get go, you’ll probably be able to tell that the bass guitar is the oddest out of the bunch, even from just its appearance alone. Bass guitars typically have only 4 thick strings and are noticeably lengthier than other guitars. But, what truly differentiates them from the other guitars is the type of sound that they produce and how you typically play them. Bass guitars are known for having a lower end sound like a WAY lower pitched sound, hence why the strings are so much thicker than those of other guitars. You also play bass guitars a little differently from other guitars in the sense that you usually play individual notes rather than multiple at once. This allows the bass to be a pretty solid instrument to start off with from a difficulty standpoint, but trust me when I say that mastering this instrument will still be just as challenging as the others.

Finally, the electric guitar. The electric guitar is the guitar with the most reputation and it deserves most of the credit that it gets. The electric guitar is one of the most versatile instruments on the planet due to the fact that it is built similarly to the acoustic but because of its electronic properties, it can create a much more assertive sound. It also has the ability to play mellower sounds giving it a very dynamic range. The only drawback really, for this instrument, is the monetary cost of maintaining it and purchasing the necessary parts.

I hope that my insight on each of these instruments will help you at least a little bit in deciding what to buy (and as a bass player I’m not telling you to buy the bass guitar buuuut I totally am telling you to do that so go buy a bass ASAP).

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Date places in St. Paul and Minneapolis

By: Ayamei Her

Here in Minnesota, I always find it hard to find places to go for dates that would be fun, affordable, and a good place to take good photos. Here are a couple of great places to take someone out on a date that are not only fun, but affordable and accessible. 

The first place is Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, yes the art center with the giant spoon and cherry. Not only is it perfect to look at beautiful art with the person you like, but they also have an interactive room which they change every now and then.

The art center also has a 360 experience where a quartet plays that you can also watch along with films including music, sensory mini golf, short film showings, and so much more.

The prices for tickets are affordable ranging from $0-$15. Adults being $15, seniors (62+) being $13, students being $10, active military being $7.50, and EBT cardholders being $2.

The statues outside are beautiful to look at and a good walk near the center to talk and take pictures. The price to go to look at the statues are free! You get to walk around to look at the unique structures and read about who made them and what they symbolize.

If you want to take great pictures and still have a good time, I would recommend going to the Como Conservatory and Zoo. Not only is it free but the conservatory has beautiful plants to see and it has beautiful scenery for photos.

During the summer the conservatory has a beautiful and amazing Japanese garden where you can walk through and read all about the plants and their origins. The zoo has many animals with interactive activities to do while you’re there.

The zoo also holds events like animal shows or showing off their famous sloth which people love to see with other animals as the sloth sometimes gets moved around to peacefully hangout with other animals in their exhibits.

The center itself has held many events like Gardener Talks, The Spire Sparky show, Adventure Day, Bonfires, Winter carnivals and so much more.


At the Como Conservatory and Zoo, they also have a Como Town which includes rides and games kind of like a county fair, which unfortunately, like the conservatory and zoo, is not free. Ticket prices are as follows: Unlimited Ride Wristband (Includes one Soaring Eagle Zip Ride) — $27.95

Little Tykes Unlimited Ride Wristband (under 42 inches tall) (does not include Soaring Eagle Zip Ride) – $21.95

Star Light Saver Wristband (after 4 p.m.) — $19.95

Adult Unlimited Ride Wristband (18 yrs+) — $13.95

Season Pass (Includes two Soaring Eagle Zip Rides) —  Unlimited $82.95

Season Pass (under 40 inches tall) — Unlimited $69.95

Individual Points

 Point  $0.50

Tiger: 40 Points $19.98

Sparky: 55 Points  $25

Giraffe: 80 Points $35

Polar Bear: 115 Points $50

Zoo photos taken from:

Ten fun things to do during Halloween season

By: Maya Breininger

It’s finally that time of year, where we layer up on sweaters and pumpkin spice rules the flavor industry; Halloween Season!

As exciting as autumn is for many people, a reoccurring challenge that many usually face is that when each season comes around, it’s difficult to choose how to best celebrate the jolly time. If you struggle with planning fun fall ideas, or would overall appreciate a detailed guide of things to do during October, read on my friend!

Here is a complete guide of exciting festivities and activities to take part in during Autumn!

Number 1: Decorate your House Exterior

We start with a classic fall tradition many partake in, but could not be overlooked on this Halloween List. Decorating your house! Considering it’s ‘tis the season to be scary, many shops and stores will have decorations available for you to purchase! Red leaf wreaths, skeletons, graveyards and candles! There are many creative ways to go about this activity. It’s fun, easy and a nice activity to carry out with friends and family.

Number 2: Create Halloween Themed Treats

Ghosts, Witches, Bats – Oh my! What screams autumn more than a chocolate covered pretzel, decorated as your favorite monster? You haven’t experienced true Halloween fun until you’ve topped cupcakes with orange, green, and purple frosting, or grounded Oreo’s to look like the dirt on your graveyard cake! Making snacks – whether it be for a party, or for you own tasty interests – is always a fun way to spend the 31st of October.

Number 3: DIY Interior Decor

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Before you throw away that milk bottle – go ahead and spray paint it white and draw a ghost face on it! And that toilet paper roll, paint it white and place a fake candle head inside, boom – Hogwarts level candles at your fingertips! There are plenty of interior decor designs that can be made with ordinary things in your house!

Number 4: Visit an Apple Orchard/ Pumpkin Patch

What better way to celebrate the spooky season, than to visit the hub of growing gourds? scarecrows, hay barrel rides, apple cider and corn fields! The perfect geographic location for all of your autumn needs. Pick out a gourd, apple, or pastry to bring home, and munch down on your fresh treats!

Number 5: Carve Pumpkins

Image taken from: Halloween-guide-steps-make-tips

Well now that you’ve taken your pumpkin home, skinned its guts, and baked its insides, why not carve a face in it as well? The face of Jack o’ Lantern is an old, spooky story that would be an interesting tale to tell over your fireplace. Go ahead and place these funky pumpky guys on your front porch!

Number 6: Have a Halloween party

Now that you have your house decorated, your treats made, your DIY decorations crafted, and your pumpkins carved, it’s time to show them off to friends and family! Having company join you around a spooky fire and sharing and enjoying your scary treats together sounds like the perfect way to celebrate your Halloween night, no?

Number 7: Costumes

If that face doesn’t scare you, what will?
Dressing up in your favorite costume would definitely put a smile on your face – or of the face of anyone who beholds you!

Number 8: Visit a Haunted House

Image taken from:
08/09/haunted-houses-demonic-domiciles-polterg eists-and-malevolent-entities/

Boo! We’re you scared? No? Oh, man.
Well, if that didn’t set shivers down your spine, try visiting a haunted house! An enclosure full of mummy’s, witches, ghosts, and skeletons. Nothing like a room of horror to get your blood pumping!

Number 9: Put on a Puppet Show

Image takan from:

Here’s something fun and simple that will always excite the kids;
A puppet show!
Gathering crowds of kids from all over, preforming for them on the scariest night of the year! Go ahead and get some paper, fold it, and color it into your favorite monsters!

Number 10: Visit Stores with Free Halloween Samples

Who can say no to free food? Head down to your local grocery store, and peek around on Halloween! Search for the tiny tray of candy and treats ready for you to eat with your family; it’s almost like store trick or treating! Be careful to avoid opening things in boxes – those usually need to be purchased!

Now that you’ve taken a dive into this list and seen what true fun can be had on Halloween, what activity will you be trying out? Maybe a trip to the pumpkin patch with your friends, or visit a haunted house with your family! Either way, you now have many ideas on how to spend your October Holiday!