Don’t text while driving

Why not to text while driving
The main reason not to text while driving is because it kills innocent people and probably the person who is driving. If someone is texting you, don’t look right at your phone, instead, wait until you make a full stop.

According to the FCC (Federal Communications Commision), people who text and drive think that they can get away with it without getting caught. In a recent study conducted by the FCC, it was shown that 18% of crashes were caused by drivers who were texting while driving.

In 2012, the FCC reported that 3,328 people were killed and around 420,000 people were injured. Texting forces you to take your hands of the wheel. Statistics have shown (FCC) that 40% of teens admitted to texting while driving. In most states, texting and driving is against the law.

Texting while driving happens at about the same rate for both men and women. That means that both genders text while driving.

How to avoid texting while driving
Staying off your phone while driving can be difficult. Once you hear a ring or a buzz, you are likely to be distracted, which means your eyes will be pulled from the road. Here are some tips to abide being distracted while driving:

  • The first thing you could do is to turn your phone on silent, especially while driving. That will help you to focus more on the road than your phone.
  • If that doesn’t work, then completely shut off your phone so you don’t start texting and causing distractions.
  • If those 2 steps don’t work out for you, then keep your phone out of reach, but don’t put it near you.
  • Lastly, download an app that prevents you from texting while driving.

These tips should help prevent you from texting while driving. It is important to be alert at all times and not be a distracted driver.

Documentary review: 13th

“Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

-The 13th Amendment

The amendment above, is what this documentary centers its historical timeline on. The documentary 13th, directed by Ava DuVernay, explores the history of U.S. racial inequality. 13th is filled with many shocking statistics, audio recordings of U.S. leaders, and videos of hate crimes against black people. The documemntary also focuses on the fact that the U.S. prison population is disproportionately filled with black people. 13th analyzes the way society views black people and the history behind the racist caricature of black people as thugs.

Usually I’m not a fan of documentaries, but this one is one that is worth the watch. While watching it, I couldn’t help but get engrossed in the way information was presented, and to be in shock at the statistics presented.

13th has a 96% on Rotten Tomatoes, an 8.2/10 on IMDb, and recieved overall glowing reviews.

Fall fun in Minnesota

Start your fall off right with our fun seasonal activities in and around St.Paul!!

Activities:
We’ve got the best apple orchards. Head on down to Pine Tree Apple Orchard (450 Apple Orchard Rd, White Bear Lake, MN 55110 ) for some great apple picking, corn mazes, baked goods, pumpkins, cute photo opportunities and more! Another exciting orchard for all ages is the Minnetonka Orchards (6530 County Road 26, Minnetrista, MN 55364). With scenic, and pet friendly grounds, this is the place to find the best tasting apples, nature trails, play areas, petting zoo animals, a corn maze and more! Visit the orchard from 10am to 7pm any day of the week!

Pumpkin patches are also the ultimate multi-purpose fall item! Head down to Afton Apple Orchard (14421 So. 90th St. Hastings, MN 55033) to find pumpkins of every shape and size! They have pumpkins for all your decoration, carving, and cooking needs. You can also find many other great foods to pick, such as apples, raspberries, strawberries, and more! It’s family friendly and open 7 days a week!

If you are looking for the perfect fall outing, Twin Cities Harvest Festival is the perfect place for you!!! Pick any chilly day and drive on up to Brooklyn Park for endless fun! Included in your $10 ticket is a corn maze (largest in Minnesota!!), hay bale maze, hayride, corn pit, petting zoo, live music, and more! When I was there I even held a baby kangaroo!! Go with family or friends and it will be a day you will look back on and remember how amazing fall is!! More information can be found here https://twincitiesmaze.com/

Haunted house! Everyone loves a good scare! Head on over to Valleyscare for rides full of fun and a haunted house that’ll make you scream! 1 Valley Fair Dr, Shakopee, MN 55379.

Have you ever gotten so into a horror story that you felt like you were in it? Well, you have the chance to actually immerse yourself into a haunted story at The Haunted Basement (Building 9 of 2010 East Hennepin Avenue). You can step right into an artist-created and terrifying environment. With real life actors there for one purpose (to scare you), you’re sure to be chilled to the bone!

In need of fresh fall fruits and vegetables? Or some artsy food photos? Head on over to the Lowertown Farmer’s Market for some healthy snacks and a lot of fun!!

Movie nights! Everyone loves Halloween movies and snuggling in warm blankets with popcorn and snacks. Here are some of our favorite movies that would make your Halloween movie marathon great!

Family friendly movies:
Halloween Town (1-3)
Twitches 1 & 2
Hocus Pocus
It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!
The Addam’s Family

If you’re more into being scared this fall, here’s a list of our favorite super scary horror movies!
The Conjuring
The Shining
It
The Babadook
American Werewolf in London
The Blair Witch Project

Food:
No one can argue that apple pie is an undeniable staple of fall. The smell of the oven when you come in to warm up after enjoying a chilly fall day is an unbeatable feeling. Homemade apple pie is the best way to do it, so we found the best recipe for you!! It is from Taste of Home and only takes 20 minutes to prepare!! It can be found here: https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/apple-pie, and we suggest to eat with some cold vanilla ice cream, enjoy!!!

Soup is another great fall food for everyone to enjoy. It is perfect for being cozy and making you feel better when that fall cold comes around. Here are some great soup recipes that are easy to make and will guarantee to make you nice and toasty.
http://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/g3026/fall-soup-recipes/?slide=13

Apples is the signature fruit of fall. There is so much you can do with them like make candy apples or caramel apples or apple salad and more! Here are some great apple recipes that will make the most of your fruit.
https://www.bettycrocker.com/menus-holidays-parties/mhplibrary/seasonal-ideas/our-freshest-picks-for-apple-desserts?&int=td&rc=&gclid=eaiaiqobchmit8hvyolu1givxesgch0ceg-jeaayasaaegjpffd_bwe
http://www.thekitchn.com/30-must-make-apple-recipes-for-fall-223857

Who doesn’t love bread (if you are gluten free or just don’t like bread I sincerely apologize)? Bread is an essential part of many meals, especially fall meals. There are many different kinds of bread that could satisfy your sweet tooth or just be the perfect addition for your soup. Here are some great bread recipes that will give you a new love for bread.
https://www.tasteofhome.com/collection/fall-breads/24/

Potatoes are always a great idea. No matter the weather nothing is better than a nice dinner with potatoes. There are all kinds of different potatoes to satisfy your potato need. Here are some great potato recipes.
http://www.thekitchn.com/potato-chips-to-bacon-bites-14-129309

There are a million more fun things to do this fall in Minnesota, but we hope you found something to do, see, or eat!

New iPads

For the next school year, teachers and students will be given new iPads to use for school. The new iPads will have a different case, along with a keyboard. The case and keyboard are navy blue. The keyboard can be attached and detached easily. The keyboard does not have touch pads, but has everything else on it.

The reasons why the school decided to get these new iPads is because they have a three year lease on them, and have been planning to get new iPads for a while now. Also, the new iPads have 128 gigabytes whereas the old ones had just 16. With more gigabytes, it will be easier for students to use the iPads, and make movies for school projects. Another reason for the change, is because the old iPads would eventually break down, so keeping the old iPads wouldn’t be worth it. Plus, the new iPads are more durable to use.

The school hopes to pass out the iPads sooner next year. The paper for getting an iPad will still be online, so students and parents can access it. The plan for passing out the new iPads is to maybe pass them out even before school starts, so students could possibly come pick up their iPad in late August or early September.

Things to do around St. Paul during summer

Summer is the time to go outside, go on the lake, soak in the sun, or just hang out with friends. Summers in Saint Paul seem endless; there’s just so much that is offered to do in Saint Paul, and around the state of Minnesota.

Throughout the Twin Cities the activities vary from fairs and festivals, to great dining, or even outside music; Saint Paul has it all. Here are just some of the options that are available for you to enjoy this summer.

First, dine outside. Most restaurants or cafes have an option to sit outside, in MN you really have to spend as much time in the sun as possible, since it is very limited.

Next you can go to a zoo, Minnesota Zoo or Como Zoo, or you can take time to enjoy the arts at such places as the Walker Art Center, or you can even go to a museum (Children’s Museum or Science Museum).

You could also go spend time on the river or lake. In Saint Paul, and all throughout Minnesota, you can find any water activity you think of. You could go take a cruise down the river on the Padelford riverboats at Harriet Island, or you could just go find a lake and spend some time on the beach. Most parks with a lake will offer a beach with a swimming area and an option to rent kayaks, canoes, and/or paddle boards.

Throughout the rest of Minnesota there are many key points of interests that include:

  • Mall of America: A huge shopping complex with a indoor amusement park
  • Como Zoo: Zoo, gardens, and an amusement park
  • Sea life at the Mall of America: Oceanic exhibits an play areas
  • Minnesota History Center: Interactive exhibits, artifacts, and shows
  • Science Museum: Educational and interactive exhibits
  • Mill City Museum: A look at the flour industry
  • Valleyfair: An amusement park with coasters and kiddie rides
  • Walker Art Center: Contemporary art museum
  • Minnehaha Park: Bike rentals, hiking, and waterfall
  • Cathedral of Saint Paul: Revered beaux art landmark from 1915
  • Minnesota State Capitol: Minnesota’s history
  • James J. Hill House: Former railway magnate
  • Ordway Center for Performing Arts: Concerts and theater  
  • Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox: Monument
  • Gooseberry Falls: Waterfall, camping, and hiking/biking trails
  • Split Rock Lighthouse: Historic lighthouse and cliffs
  • First Avenue- Music venues
  • Regional parks- Beaches, trails, activities, rentals, and camping

BBMAs

The Billboard Music Awards is an award show that honors outstanding chart performances for the past year. The award is given on by Billboard Magazine. The first Billboard Music Awards (BBMAs) were held in 1990, and was continued as an annual event until 2006. It was then restarted in 2011.

The 2017 Billboard Music Awards were held on May 21, 2017, for the 6th annual year. The award show took place in Las Vegas, at T-Mobile Arena, and was hosted by Vanessa Hudgens and Ludacris.

The list of nominees was announced on April 10, 2017. A few of the categories along with their nominees and winners were: 

Top Artist:

Drake — WINNER

Adele

Beyonce

Justin Bieber

The Chainsmokers

Ariana Grande

Shawn Mendes

Rihanna

Twenty One Pilots

The Weeknd

Top New Artist:

Zayn — WINNER

Alessia Cara

Desiigner

Lil Uzi Vert

Lukas Graham

Top Male Artist:

Drake — WINNER

Justin Bieber

Future

Shawn Mendes

The Weeknd

Top Female Artist:

Beyonce — WINNER

Adele

Ariana Grande

Rihanna

Sia

Every year, Billboard has many artists, both old, new, and up and coming, preform at the event. This year’s show included 19 different performances from 19 different artists. Some of the acts that were included: Miley Cyrus – who performed her new single “Malibu,” Drake who performed “Gyalchester” from his album More Life, Halsey, Sam Hunt, Ed Sheeran, Julia Michaels, The Chainsmokers, Camila Cabello, and many more.

Billboard gave out a total of 42 wards at this year’s event, and rapper Drake claimed 13 of those, for his album More Life, breaking the previous record of 12 awards held by Adele for her album 21 in 2011. According to Billboard Magazine’s official website, winners are chosen on fan interactions, and the winning artist depends on many factors such as album and digital song sales, streaming, radio play, touring, and social engagement.

Dependence

The week that the Seniors turned in our iPads was strife with technical difficulty. We were all short one more device, and on top of that, the Internet was acting all goofy. Sometimes it didn’t work, sometimes it did. Having no internet for even just an hour really set us back. All of this happening made me realize how dependant we are on technology.

I have always been extremely grateful for my iPad. I have terrible handwriting, and having the tablet really helped me take notes and write things. Having no smart phone until September last year, this also was just really great to have on hand. To look something up, I didn’t need to go on a computer, and for the longest time, it was against the rules in my house to use more than one electronic device at once.

And now, having it removed, it made me realize how much I relied on it. Every morning I would sit down and read about world news and other things. I also used it to write not just for school work, but on my novel. I’ve probably written well over 20,000 words of the book on the iPad alone. In a way, the device was an extension of my brain.

And that worries me.

200 years ago, local journalists just wrote things down. I at first thought I wouldn’t survive in that field with my bad handwriting, but I write far faster than I think. With all this information from the Internet, maybe that’s why I think so fast? I am writing this down on a piece of technology, and you will read it on that. Even if I printed this out, the text would have been made by computers, which is still technology. But then again, isn’t pen and paper technically a technology?

Are we already cyborgs?

Highland Park band: Recent events

The Highland Park Senior High band has had many exciting, recent events. One was the trip over spring break to San Francisco. The band traveled to California to participate in an event called “Music in the Parks,” which is a competition hosted at a school right outside of Santa Cruz. This trip was not only a band trip, but an opportunity to visit many different tourist destinations including: the Twin Peaks, Fisherman’s Wharf (Pier 39), Chinatown, California’s “Great America” Amusement Park, and even the Cable Car museum. The trip was definitely worth the money, and the Highland Park band also won 2nd place in the competition.

Another recent event of Highland’s band, was the experience of marching from Rice Park, down to the Saints stadium. Many different schools went back to back marching down the streets of downtown St. Paul including: Central, Humboldt, Washington, Murray, Randolph Heights, and many more. After the event, the students got to enjoy the Saints game at CHS field.

The last event that the band will take part of, is  on May 25th, when the spring concert will take place. The Scot’s band, Honors Band, Symphonic band, and Jazz band will all play. All these bands, and their teacher, Mr. Matuzak, have been working hard all year to have the best performance!

Tahji Brown – Watermelon

Senior student, Tahji Brown, recently made an album called: Watermelon – which is made up of all original songs he created and produced himself. He is an artist, and he likes to sing and make music, specifically rap/hip-hop songs. He also features other students on some of his songs as a way of having them express their creativity by singing.

FullSizeRenderTahji has a variety of songs on Watermelon that almost everyone can listen and dance to, because they’re fun. My two favorite songs from the album are “Bad Apologies” and “Fortune Cookie” (feat. Nehali Van Der Leeuw). Some of his songs have very peculiar names that I didn’t understand at first, but when I asked Tahji what is the inspiration behind each song he said: “Every song on this album has a different story and they all relate to me.” The songs of the album Watermelon is Tahji’s fun way of showing how much he loves watermelon.

I’m not a fan of hip-hop/rap music but Tahji Brown makes his music in a way that people of all ages could enjoy. Last year he made an album called: The New Cool – and he sold photo 1over 86 copies to students at Highland. He is still currently selling copies of Watermelon and everyone says they love to hear the music he creates. I always want to support any local artist in my community, especially in Highland Park.

Tahji Brown is a creative singer that produces fun music in hopes of making people feel happy and excited. If you’d like to hear a few of his songs, check out his YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBiYEPM0basnm0RqIEpq6Cg

The Marvel Cinematic Universe

With the American release of Guardians of the Galaxy 2, on May 6th, now seems to be a good time to talk about future movies from Marvel, and about the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole.

Currently, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is in Phase Three. Phase One consisted of introductory movies for the main Avengers characters (Iron Man, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Captain America: The First Avenger, and Iron Man 2) plus The Avengers. It was Phase One that started the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and first drew attention to it, with the release of Iron Man in 2008 and culminating in The Avengers in 2012.

Phase Two consisted largely of sequels to the Phase One movies, such as Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Avengers: Age of Ultron. These movies expanded on characters introduced in Phase One and tended to be rather darker and grittier than the “comic book” feel of their predecessors. Along with the sequels came two other movies, Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man, that introduced new characters and plotlines. Phase Two spanned from 2013 to 2015.

That brings us to Phase Three, which started last year, in 2016, with Captain America: Civil War, which functioned as a sequel to Age of Ultron. The other two Phase Three movies released thus far have been Doctor Strange and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. 

There are seven movies planned for the future at the moment, which will continue the trend of some movies being sequels and others introducing new characters. Two of them (Spider-Man: Homecoming and Black Panther) will serve to formally introduce characters who first appeared in Civil War, while four of them (Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War, Ant-Man and the Wasp, and Avengers 4) will be sequels. The last planned movie, Captain Marvel, will introduce an entirely new character.