Madeline Island

By: Ava Bleifus

Madeline Island is part of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. It is located in the northern part of Wisconsin. Madeline Island is 14 miles long and 3 miles wide; there are many paved and unpaved roads that lead you around the island.

You have to take a ferry boat from Bayfield, WI to La Pointe, the only town on the island. La Pointe is a very small town that has restaurants, a candle shop, a grocery store, an ice cream shop, a convenience store, a golf course, and a marina. 

Madeline Island is known for many things like kayaking, camping, and swimming in Lake Superior. The average temperature of Lake Superior is 54 degrees fahrenheit which makes swimming very cold but still enjoyable.

A popular place to visit on Madeline Island is called Eagle’s Nest, which is part of Big Bay State Park. There are many different cliffs, at different heights, that people can jump off of into Lake Superior where the water is deep enough to make it safe. 

Every August, Madeline Island sponsors a swimming race called “Point to La Pointe Swim.” It started in 2006 with 24 people and now over 500 swimmers participate every year. It is a two mile course that goes between Bayfield and La Pointe. Most people wear wet suits because the lake is so cold.

Another celebration is the Fourth of July parade that goes down the main street of La Pointe. People can create their own floats and be part of the parade, and also throw candy at the spectators. There is also a marching band made up of the island residents. The parade is followed by a celebration in town and a fireworks display that night.

There is also an inline skate marathon, and a running marathon every summer that visitors and residents can participate in. 

While visiting Madeline Island you can also learn about the history at the island’s museum. The island was named after Madeleine Cadotte, an Anishinaabe woman who was the daughter of Chief White Crane and married to a fur trader named Micheal Cadotte. Before the fur traders arrived the island was home to the Anishinaabe people who spoke the Ojibwe language. The Anishinaabe people called this island Mooningwanekaaning. That name came from the bird called mooningwaneg, which is called a flicker in English. In 2015, the town of La Pointe started to place bilingual signs in both English and Ojibwe as a way to honor the Anishinaabe people. 

Madeline Island is a great place to visit in the summer because there are so many things to do. There are about 2500 people that live on the island during the summer, and year-round there are only 250 people. It takes about 5 hours to get there from Saint Paul and it’s worth a visit.

Types of cookies

By: Christina C

There are many different types of cookies, but I’m going to talk about why these are my favorite and why I think they are good.

My top 5 different types of cookies are: the basic chocolate chip, molasses, white chocolate macadamia nut, red velvet, salted caramel, and Oreo cheesecake.

Regular chocolate chip cookies were an accidental invention. In 1930 Ruth Graves Wakefield, ran out of baker’s chocolate and substituted it for a piece of Nestle semi sweet chocolate. I love these because they are a classic and you can never go wrong with a simple chocolate chip cookie.

Molasses are just like gingerbread cookies, and sometimes molasses is sweeter in the middle or made with sugar and molasses. They can come soft, cake form, or chewy.

White chocolate macadamia nuts are my go to when I don’t see any regular chocolate chip cookies. White chocolate chips and macadamia nuts just go together.

I feel red velvet cookies are just as good as a piece of red velvet cake, but just in cookie form and taste so much better when warm. There’s no way I can really describe them but just know that they are really good. They are kind of like chocolate chip cookies except its red velvet with white chocolate chips.

Salted caramel cookies are really good especially if you like cookies and caramel. It’s a mix of sweet, salty, and chewy. The one time I had a salted caramel cookie was at Crumble Cookies and it was pretty good to me; definitely would recommend.

Oreo cheesecake is a soft and chewy cookie filled with Oreos. These cookies can be served chilled or warm. I only had them once, and it was warm, and was very good. I love Oreo stuff like the regular cookies, Oreo ice cream, and Oreo cheesecake, so this cookie is a 10/10 for me because I like Oreo.

Overall, my favorite out of these six choices are the Oreo ones because I love Oreo flavored things, and I love cookies, so that’s my two favorite things.

For more information on types of cookies, please visit:

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.

For more information, please visit:

Is organic actually healthier?

By: Ashley Harris

Image taken from:

Organic. Organic is defined by many as the healthiest option in the grocery store, but is it really as healthy as it may seem?

To start things off, you might be wondering what exactly organic is? Well, organic is when either produce, or certain ingredients, are farmed and produced without the use of unnecessary chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or any artificial chemicals.

Of course, when you read this, you might think “Huh, organic does seem healthier.” However, that isn’t always the case.

Organic is only supplemental in certain foods such as spinach, green peas, apples, peaches, and many more. The general rule is that if a fruit or vegetable has a thick layer of skin protecting it (such as avocados, bananas, and oranges) there is no need to spend the extra buck for organic.

However, vegetables such as leafy green are the most prone to absorb these toxic chemicals and get into your digestive tract. That is why leafy greens are especially important to buy organic.

This leads to my next point: Why is organic so much more expensive than conventional produce? On average, organic foods tend to cost over 50% more than their non-organic competitors. The reason for this is that farmers tend to have to use physical, mechanical, and biological controls instead of pesticides to assure a good harvest.

There are two main points to consider when deciding whether or not to buy organic. 1. Are you doing it for your health? Or 2. Are you doing it for the environment?

First, I will be addressing #1. If you indeed seek out organic options opposed to conventional produce simply for your health, then I’m afraid I have some bad news for you. According to research done by UCDavis health, organic foods and non-organic foods contain the exact same amount of nutrients and macros.

On the other hand, if you are motivated for the reason of #2 then I would absolutely reach for organic foods. According to Harvard, “Organic foods are clearly healthier for the planet, because they support an agricultural system that avoids synthetic fertilizers and pesticides and promotes a more biodiverse ecosystem, with attention to the health of waterways, soil, air, wildlife, farm workers, and the climate.”

So, if you are reaching out for organic foods simply for your health, don’t waste your money. However, if you are seeking out organic foods for the environment, then 100% keep seeking them out.

Why is soda so addicting?

By: Haroon Yonis

Soda is a common drink in America. It’s tasty, sweet, and most importantly it’s refreshing. You can’t go a day without seeing it, whether it’s in your household, on a commercial, or in the restaurant you’re having your meal in.

It’s undeniable that soda is involved in our lives, and especially plays a major role in American culture and cuisine. 

But what makes this drink so addicting and tasty? The answer may surprise you, and may finally make you realize how much of a danger it really is.

Firstly, soda contains a ton of sugar, and some brands may have upwards of 60 grams in their drink! This insane amount of sugar releases chemicals in your brain, chemicals that make you feel good, and makes the soda much more refreshing. One of these chemicals is known as dopamine, and it makes you feel pleasure, a common feeling associated with sugar and soda.

On top of that, many sodas contain ingredients such as artificial flavors, and additives such as caffeine, that make you crave it, and as a result sometimes causes one to create an unhealthy addiction and obsession with the drink. Diet sodas have further promoted this widespread addiction, as many view them as a healthier alternative to regular sodas, when in reality they may even be worse.

The availability and cheap price of soda also makes it appealing to many customers, especially those who cannot afford healthier sweeteners, and as a result opt out for soda instead. They are found in practically every restaurant, and the honest and rather harsh truth is that it is almost impossible to avoid soda. There are very limited options when it comes to alternatives, and the sweet tasting drink has become a staple in America.

Some advice would be just to cut out soda from your diet, and as your body slowly adjusts to the change, you’ll realize that you no longer crave or want the drink. Soda has many detrimental effects on your body, and it simply isn’t optimal for human digestion. Do yourself a favor and stay away from that can of poisonous sugar!

Origins of matcha

By: Ashley Harris

Matcha was originally discovered in the 8th century by a Buddhist monk named Myoan Eisai. However, matcha was not made popular until the 12 century. There is no specific place where matcha was first found, but it can be traced back all the way to the Tang Dynasty in China.

Contrary to popular belief, matcha’s original form is not powder. In fact, to make just 30 grams of matcha, it takes on average, 1 hour to produce.

You might be wondering how exactly matcha is created. Well, it’s actually pretty simple despite the amount of time it takes. According to TeaSource, “It is made from the highest grade of Gyokuro Japanese green tea. The finest shade-grown tea buds are plucked, the stems and veins are removed, and the leaves are carefully ground into a fine powder.”

While matcha can be drunk by itself, it is widely preferred in many different flavors and milks. Some popular milk choices involve, almond milk, oat milk, whole milk, and even goats milk. As well as this, there are many different flavors to choose from such as, brown sugar, toffee nut, raspberry, cinnamon, strawberry, and pretty much anything you can think of!

It is not only the sweet earthy flavor that draws people towards matcha, in fact, matcha has countless amounts of health properties such as: enrichment of antioxidants, possible protection of the liver, boosting in brain function, prevention of cancer, promotes heart health, and many more.

Matcha has been evolving since its first day of arrival in the 8th century. From only drinking it with water, to being able to order a venti matcha frappuccino at Starbucks, matcha has paved the way for many teas around the world.

So, now that you know more about matcha, are you willing to give it a try?

5 best rides at Valleyfair

By: Jessica Garcia Saligan & Marleen Medina

#1 Wild Thing

Image taken from:

The number one best ride at Valleyfair is the Wild Thing. The Wild Thing is the fattest and tallest roller coaster in the park. This ride begins slowly at first, and it will make its way up to 200+ feet, and it will give you a spectacular view of the whole park. As soon as you reach the top of the initial hill there will be a slight pause and before you know it you will be flying downhill going over 70 miles per hour. When the ride is about to end, you will enter a dark tunnel then go over one small hill and that’s when your picture will be taken. This ride is 2 minutes and 48 seconds long.

Image taken from:
h5d3OFfU&ust=16500794 89771000&source=images&cd

#2 Power Tower

The Power Tower is the 2nd best ride in Valleyfair. The ride is a vertical line, and it will make your stomach feel like it’s turning throughout the ride. The Power Tower is a fast ride. It goes up to 50mph and its height is around 276′ and its height restriction is 4’4. This ride isn’t like any other ride; it starts fast right as you launch it. This ride takes 45 seconds and you need to be 48’’ to ride.

#3 Renegade

The third best ride at Valleyfair will have to be Renegade. Renegade is a ride that is built with wood, and 2 riders per row. It matters because it helps the ride make a sharper turn. Renegade is about 97.5ft tall at its highest. Woden rides are louder than other rides. This ride takes 2 minutes and 24 seconds. To be able to build this wooden roller coaster, it cost $6,500,000.

#4 Steel Venom

The fourth best ride at Valleyfair is Steel Venom. Steel Venom is a ride that is a Usain Bolt and made out of metal. The ride is shaped like a snake. At the top of the “U” there’s a twist that is enough to feel like a full twist as you reverse backwards downhill. All the riders will be immediately launched forward and accelerate 70 miles an hour, in less than 4 seconds. Steel Venom is 185ft’ tall, and it’s a 1 minute ride.

#5 Corkscrew

The fifth best ride at Valleyfair is the Corkscrew. This ride is the first roller coaster to have a vertical loop and a double corkscrew with a 360 degrees loop, and it’s also the only ride at Valleyfair that has inversions. The Corkscrew’s height is 85’ with a top speed of 50mph. It’s a 1 minute and 30 second ride.

Review on Somali cuisine around the world

By: Abdihakim Mohamoud

A staple in many East African households, Somali food is incredibly diverse and enjoyed by millions of people worldwide. From a tender meat soup dish known as ‘suqaar’, to spicy coffees and teas known as ‘qaxwo’ and ‘shah’ there is an incredibly wide range of Somali cuisine. Often compared to the more popular Ethiopian food, Somali cuisine is often overshadowed by its more populous neighbor.

According to, the lead chef at a popular Somali restaurant in New York City referred to Somali cuisine as “The jewel out of East Africa that nobody has yet explored.” This statement puts in perspective how little the complex culinary traditions of Somalia is known globally.

Breakfast dishes can consist of ‘soor’ which is a cornmeal type dish, ‘canjeero” which is a famous, fermented, pancake-like dish, and ‘oodkac’ which is a sun dried meat typically served with canjeero.

Lunch is typically the largest meal of the day for Somalis, where dishes loaded with meat, veggies, and rice are served. The classic ‘baaris’ is a delicious seasoned rice cooked in rich meat broth, and is one of the most popular dishes. ‘Baasto’, which is a savory pasta dish, is also eaten during lunch, and traces its origins back to the days when Somalia was a colony of Italy. Both of these dishes are served with ‘hilib’, which is slow-cooked, tender goat meat.

Somali cuisine cannot be complete without mentioning the necessary addition to the food—the banana. The fruit is eaten with the savory dishes, creating an amazing combination of sweet and savory. Lime and a tangy hot sauce is also added to create a spectacular sour, savory, and sweet combination—resulting in a perfectly balanced dish. Somali cuisine is becoming more recognized globally, with many cookbooks and Somali restaurants coming to light in dozens of first world countries.

Here are some local restaurants that you could check out, to try some Somali cuisine:

For more information please visit:

Cultural cuisines

By: Ava Bleifuss

A cultural cuisine is how someone prepares food. There are specific ways to cook different foods. They are often related to other regions or cultures of the world. Countries have traditional foods that are usually made with some kind of meaning behind it. 

There is a lot of land in the United States. The food that is common in one state might not be so common in another state. There is a wide variety of cultural cuisines in the US, including lobster rolls, boudin, and barbecue. 

One of the most famous sandwiches in the US is the lobster roll. The lobster roll comes from the easternmost state in the US, Maine. Often times, inside of the lobster roll is meat from lobsters, mayonnaise, and chopped celery. All of these ingredients are then put into a bun. 

Another very common food is boudin, found in Louisiana. Boudin is a sausage that is normally made with pork, rice, and seasonings. Then this is stuffed into a natural pork casing. The amount of pork and rice can vary from place to place. It can also be made with shrimp or crawfish. It can also be shaped into boudin balls that are eaten with mustard. 

In Texas you can find many different barbecue restaurants, because it is known for its iconic barbecue. The Texas barbecue is said to have originated in the 19th century from immigrants who brought their traditions for cooking food. From central Texas, the traditional barbecue is smoked meat and brisket. Brisket is an essential part of the barbecue experience, and many take pride in it. There are many options for sides with this meal. Some of them are corn, mac n’ cheese, potato salad, and pickles. 

A popular food from Taiwan is called the xiao long bao. This food is also known as a soup dumpling, and originated in Shanghai, China. Over the years, the soup dumpling has become very well known in Taiwan, and most of the restaurants in Taipei offer this dish. The xiao long bao is made up of a thin flour dumpling that is filled with pork made in a meatball shape and includes a gelatin cube of broth. The dumplings are steamed in a bamboo basket and are cooked in a soup broth. This is why it is called a soup dumpling. Because it is soaked in a broth, and has the broth cube inside, the inside will have a lot of broth as well. People eat them by dipping them into a soy sauce, then putting them in a deep spoon and breaking it with a chopstick. After this you drink the soup from the spoon and eat the dumpling last. 

A very delicious treat from Australia are called lamingtons. They are named after Lord Lamington who was a governor of Queensland from 1896-1901, or his wife Lady Lamington. This tasty treat is made with a delicate piece of cake that is covered in chocolate and rolled into coconut. Normally, this is eaten during tea-time and is said to have become really popular in the 20th century. This is because of chocolate’s ability to preserve. The lamington tasted fresh for longer than any other known treat. Some even prefer it with some jam. 

Many people have studied Egyptians, but don’t know what they eat. Something that Egyptian families eat at home is called koshari (see image above). Sometimes it is spelled koshary or kushari. Koshari is a healthy vegetarian dish that has a little bit of Indian, Middle Eastern, and Italian cuisines mixed together. The main elements of it include rice, macaroni, garlic, chickpeas, and lentils, mixed together with a spicy tomato sauce. People can choose to add fried onions, and a little bit of garlic vinegar. This dish is considered Egypt’s national dish, and is very popular.

The truth about Acesulfame Potassium 

By: Haroon Yonis

Acesulfame Potassium, also commonly referred to as Ace-K, is a artificial sweetener, used in drinks such as diet soda, and low calorie candies. For the average person, it may seem as the perfect sugar substitute, as it cuts your calories, while giving you the sweet taste you love. 

Many health agencies, such as the FDA, claim that Ace-K is perfectly safe, and may actually be beneficial to you if you swap it with sugar in many of your favorite foods.

But that is unfortunately not true, and it could be dangerous if you take their advice, and continue consuming Ace-K. Not only is it not natural, it also has been found, in multiple authentic studies, to increase your chances of getting cancer. According to Medpage, artificial sweeteners had an undeniable correlation to cancers such as breast, colon, and liver. 

What was most surprising was that even in low dosages, this particular substance was linked to a higher risk of cancer. Not only does it cause cancer, but it is also 200 times sweeter than sugar!

Our bodies are not built to consume such toxic and sweet things, and the studies prove that. Fortunately, there are many great natural alternatives to Ace-K. Some of these other alternatives include: nectar, honey, and maple syrup. These are tasty sweeteners that do not include the risks associated with Ace-K. 

Ace-K is found usually in desserts such as soda, ice cream, candies, and pastries. They are very common in other household brands such as Monster and Red Bull.

The most surprising thing about Ace-K is the FDA’s opinion on it. In 1980, the FDA banned an artificial sweetener that had very similar components to that of Ace-K, called cyclamate. 

It banned cyclamate over a study that associated it with cancer, yet despite Ace-K’s obvious association with a multitude of lethal cancers, the FDA continues to irresponsibly call it safe for human consumption.

The best advice is just to generally stay away from artificial sweeteners, and to replace them with safe, natural sweeteners that are commonly found in nature.

For more information, please visit: