Lucid dreaming

By: Grace Helmke

Dreams are where our subconscious creates fantastical and terrifying visions of life. We run away from monsters in slow motion, fall from ledges, and jolt ourselves awake. We soar above jungles, run through glowing forests, and walk on water.

But what if dreams could become more than a subconscious vision in a state of sleep? There has long been speculation that some individuals have the ability to “lucid dream,” or become conscious within their sleeping state. 

This subject has captivated individuals as far back as 3000 BC. In ancient Egypt, they depicted three bodies: one of the corpse body (shat), one of the living body (ka), and one of the soul (ba).

In Egytian hieroglyphics, ba is generally portrayed as a bird with a human head. A famous image of a man and his ba depicts a person laying in a bed with one eye open. The bed symbolizes sleep, while the eye means awake. Ba can be seen floating above the sleeping Egyptian, symbolizing an out-of-body experience.  Putting all of this together would translate to “sleep awakening.” This Egytian portrayal is known as one of the earliest depictions of lucid dreaming.

But the first to harness the ability to lucid dream were Tibetan monks. They taught the ability to control one’s dreams through yoga, which is a spiritual practice aimed towards enlightenment. They use techniques to maintain awareness while slipping into a state of sleep.

This method was said to be the passing on of enlightenment. Those that could lucid dream would communicate with enlightened beings, shift into the physical form of other creatures, and fly with beings of another world. They believed that awareness within a dream was the purest form of consciousness. 

The term “lucid dreaming” was developed in 1913 by a Dutch psychiatrist named Frederik van Eeden. He preached the idea that there were nine different types of dreams including: initial, pathological, ordinary, vivid, symbolic, dream-sensations, lucid, demon-dream, and dissociative. He is known for having recorded his own lucid dreaming experiences, including his thoughts and actions before, during, and after the dreams took place. He states, “In these lucid dreams the reintegration of the psychic functions is so complete that the sleeper remembers day-life and his own condition, reaches a state of perfect awareness, and is able to direct his attention, and to attempt different acts of free violation.” 

Today, we continue to study and attempt to decipher what it scientifically means to lucid dream. There have been some recent findings that will provide a basis for the research of awareness within sleep.

Lucid dreaming is a form of metacognition. In other words, you are aware of your own awareness.

While normal dreams can happen in any stage of sleep, it was discovered by British parapsychologist Keith Hearne in 1975, that lucid dreaming tends to happen in REM sleep. The state of REM, or rapid eye movement, is the last stage in the sleep cycle. All other stages are considered non-REM stages.

Some studies have found that the prefrontal cortex, which is the section of the brain that’s responsible for, is connected to lucid dreaming. While most physicalities of a person do not factor into the likelihood of lucid dreaming, it was found that the prefrontal cortex is bigger in those that can lucid dream. In addition, activity in the prefrontal cortex is comparable to levels when a person is awake. 

Lucid dreaming has occurred all over the world for centuries. This fascination with the unusual, and relatively unexplained state, continues to drive individuals to study and gain more knowledge of what causes us to control our own dreams. 

For more information, please visit:

What is money laundering?

By: Caden Ligman

The U.N. Office on Drugs and Crimes estimates that annually, up to $2 trillion was made from illegal businesses globally. In the U.S. alone, this number is about $300 million, about two percent of the US’s economy. However, in order to cover up this illegal revenue, criminals hide their money. In order for them to actually be able to access their money they must be able to hide, and move their funds. Therefore, criminals resort to money laundering.

Money laundering is the process of cleaning illegally obtained money from its criminal origins. Placement, layering, and integration are the three basic steps involved in money laundering.

Placement is when Illegally made money is invested into companies or operations that seem legitimate. This is done by depositing large amounts of money into a bank account by posing as someone else. Depositing large amounts of money into a bank account however can raise suspicions among the feds.

The second step is layering. Layering is the process of distancing the funds from their origin. For example, someone who is laundering money might purchase real estate or expensive cars. This allows money launders to store their wealth in assets.

The last step, which is integration, Is the process of re-entering the money into the economy so that it can be spent or invested. Money launderers may invest in a legal business where they will claim payment by producing fake invoices that were never actually paid.

Money laundering has potential devastating economic, and social consequences. America’s greatest threats, such as drug dealers, terrorists and arms dealers, use money laundering to grow their operations. According to a report done by the U.N., laundering costs countries around the world $800 billion to $2 trillion each year. Money that is laundered also goes untaxed which results in higher taxes for average citizens.

There are also social effects money laundering has, money laundering also drives up the cost of government because of the need for extra law enforcement.

Today, the United Nations, and national governments, fight against money laundering, yet this practice still plays a major role in global crime. Not only have individuals practiced money laundering, but governments and high ranking officials have as well. No one knows for sure the total amount of money laundered around the world each year, but some believe it to be in the hundreds of billions of dollars.

For more information, please visit:

The terror of Genhis Khan 

By: Mohamed Ahmed

Childhood and young adulthood

There is a lot controversy around Genghis Khan’s childhood. Based on information from multiple sources, this is the basic background of Genghis Khan’s early life. He was born superior to others. In his blood flowed the blood of the great Khabul Khan. When he was born he had a blood clot and to the superstitious Mongols that meant that he was destined to become a great ruler. 

When he was nine his father was poisoned by a rival tribe. He wanted to take charge of his clan immediately but the clan refused to acknowledge a nine-year-old. His family was removed from power and he was enraged. 

He soon later killed his half-brother and became the leader of the Mongols. 

Rise to power 

Genghis was captured by another tribe at age twenty, and was tortured but he wouldn’t submit. When he escaped his reputation spread like wildfire. 

He wanted to unite all of the Mongols so he made an elite fighting unit. He used that squad to one by one unite the smaller tribes into his own. Then he would draft the men from the tribes that he beat. 

His force was over twenty thousand strong when he went up against the rival tribe that killed his father. He easily defeated them and went on to his next revenge. 

His next target was the tribe that tried to enslave him but couldn’t because of his iron will. He beat them and boiled all of their chieftains alive. 

He beat one more tribe before he had full control of Eastern Mongolia. 

He planted spies and knew the importance of intelligence using his spies to figure out military strategies and to assassinate rival strategists and key opposition members. He used new tech from enemies he defeated. He used many communication techniques so that his troops could adapt mid battle and receive commands long distance. 

The reign of terror/benevolence 

He made sure the quality of his troops was high and didn’t let anyone in his army who wasn’t an expert at horse riding and close range combat. Genghis had elite troops that could handle horses with just their legs so they could shoot arrows or use their lance, shield, javelin, or dagger with their hands. 

Genghis knew that a battle wasn’t only the men at the front so he had carts with extra supplies, officials who cataloged the plunder, and shamans who could give spiritual support, raise troop morale, and even treat the wounded. 

The shamans then bestowed the title of Khan on him. 

He then, with all of Mongolia with him, conquered the Xi Xia province of China in only two years, and earned the unconditional support of its people. He then attacked the Jin Dynasty, and had an epic battle that lasted twenty whole years. 

While that was happening, he had diplomatic relations with a combination of Turkey, Afghanistan, and Persia. These relations were destroyed, when he sent a caravan with 450 men, and they were executed as they were thought to be spies by the Turkey, Afghanistan, Persia group. 

Genghis then sent three diplomats. The lead diplomat was killed and the other two’s beards were shaved. They returned in shame. Genghis Khan then invaded their dynasty with 200 thousand men and razed city after city. In only two years he forever destroyed this dynasty. 

He started an age that had many morals and values and brought law to the war torn lands and even made it a meritocracy. He made religion free choice, and even made a mail system that was better than the ones for the next few centuries. 

Image taken from: Biography.com

For more information, please visit:

  • infographics.com
  • Biography.com
  • ancient.eu 

The history of the Ford Motor Company

By: Caden Ligman

The Ford Motor company is one of the biggest and most well known car manufacturers in history. Since being founded in 1903 by Henry Ford, the company has only grown in popularity. Today, the FMC is the top selling car manufacturer in the US.

In 1896, before the company was founded, Henry Ford had already started developing Ford cars. The first Ford car to be manufactured and sold to the public was the Model T. The Model T was revolutionary for the car industry’s time.

The car was in such high demand that the company was forced to build a mass production plant in Kansas City, Missouri in 1911. As the popularity of the car continued to grow, another mass production plant was built in Manchester, England to keep up with international demand.

As the company grew, Henry Ford developed the assembly line. This method of assembling cars significantly cut down on the amount of time it took to assemble Ford cars, allowing the company to sell many more cars. Because Ford was selling so many cars so quickly, Henry Ford was able to pay his factory worker a $5 daily wage, almost double the previous wage rates. This only made the company more popular, especially among middle and lower class families.

Ford kept expanding, and in 1927, they started manufacturing the Model A, which replaced the Model T.

In 1932, Ford introduced the first Ford V-8. Not only was it for diversifying their product, but they were also making big moves elsewhere in the auto industry.

Ford bought The Lincoln Motor Company In 1922. Lincoln produced Ford’s luxury cars, which still sell today. In addition, Ford started selling Mercury cars which were medium priced and targeted at the middle class.

Overall, the Ford Motor company revolutionized the auto industry and made cars accessible and affordable for the middle and lower class. Ford is still a major car manufacturer and is the highest selling car company in America.

For more information, please visit:

A basic overview of depression

By: Ayane Jarso

Image taken from: Talkspace.com

Depression is a mental illness that over 246 million people worldwide suffer from. Typically, from what most people understand, they think of depression as sadness. It is that, but it is much more.

Depression can happen due to many things. A study in the ‘American Journal of Psychiatry’ found that men were more likely to have depression due to drug abuse, childhood sexual abuse, prior history of depression, and major stressful life events.

That being said, depression can also be genetic, and it can happen to anyone. A chemical imbalance in one’s head causes them to have this illness. So, in some cases, something might have happened to someone (see above list of trauma), or they just developed depression due to a naturally occurring imbalance. Some people may have gotten it from a parent, and in the future, they may possibly pass it on to their children.

The physical aspect of depression can cause major headaches, nausea, body aches, and other pains. It can also cause other illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease and anxiety. All of these other symptoms cause much more stress to a person that’s already dealing with the other effects of depression.

Depression in women can often be another story. According to MedicalNewsToday.com one in seven women suffer from postpartum depression, which happens after giving birth, and women have a 2 to 3 times greater risk of getting depression during the time after birth even if they have never been depressed in the past. Also, a woman’s chances of getting depression during the menopause transition is much higher.

Misconceptions about Islam (by a Muslim who knows)

By: Mohamed Ahmed

After 9/11

Studies show that eighty percent of all news coverage about Islam is negatively. After September 11th, Muslims around the world were affected. Muslims were terrified to even leave their apartments to get food or other things. National Muslim organizations advised Muslims to stay in their houses, not to congregate, and to stay in well lit areas. Going to the mosque was not recommended. Muslims were targeted and beaten in the street. Mosques were firebombed, and even people who appeared to be Muslim were beaten to death.

The Muslim community was viewed as a tumor. And with a tumor there are only two options: keep it under supervision or remove it. 

Radicals and Mosques

A common misconception about Islam is that all non-Muslims must be killed by Muslims. In fact, Muslims are unable to kill because it is strictly taboo. In fact, unless you are 100 percent sure the assailant is going to kill you, or someone you love, you are going to pay for killing. It is one of the highest order sins. 

Police chiefs and anti-terrorism specialists say that people do not become radicalized at mosques. They become radicalized in front of computers in their basements or bedrooms. People are targeted when they are not connected to their communities or their families. They’re unstable and vulnerable. Then they are brainwashed by the radicals. 

Islamophobia and how it affects and spikes 

A study in ‘Neurostudies’ shows that when subjects were exposed to negative news about Islam, and try to instill fear, they become more accepting of attacks on Muslim countries and restrictions on Muslim rights.

Anti-Muslim sentiment spiked during the election cycles, and the run-up, to the Iran war. This proves that Islamophobia isn’t a direct response to terrorist attacks. It can be a tool of public manipulation and isn’t tied to American deaths or suffering.   

Muslims are not a tumor, but a vital organ. Muslims are business men, and women. They are engineers and part of the military. They are doctors, and teachers, and more. Muslims make a difference, and deserve better than to be beaten in the streets, murdered, or hated. 

For more information, please visit this TED Talk:

 

What is criminal profiling?

By: Olivia KnaflaWith the rising popularity of shows such as ‘Criminal Minds’ and ‘Mindhunter’, the idea of criminal profiling is growing more and more common. However, there are lots of misconceptions regarding how it works and why it is used. Today, I will let you know a bit about this subject and help you gain a better understanding of what exactly it means to be a criminal profiler.

According to ScienceDict.com, criminal profiling is: “A collection of inferences about the qualities of the person responsible for committing a crime or a series of crimes.” Profiling is relatively new in the science world and it rests between the worlds of law enforcement and psychology. There is some dispute on it’s accuracy and methodology, but it has been proven to work in the past.

For example, between the years of 1940 and 1956, Georgr Metesky was able to evade police capture while planting over 30 bombs throughout New York City. After reviewing some crime scene photos, James Brussel (an assistant commissioner of mental hygiene), was able to come up with an idea of how this offender would be like. He profiled that he would be an unmarried, self-educated man in his 50’s, who lives in Connecticut, and has some sort of a personal vendetta against Con Edison.

This may seem random at first, but when you look into it, things begin to make a lot more sense.

He was able to deduce that he was in his 50’s as paranoia tends to peak around the age of 35, and considering it had been roughly 16 years since the first bomb was planted, it would put the offender in his 50’s. Also, from a psychological standpoint, bombers tend to be loners, typically unable to hold down a steady job or maintain relationships with others.

With this knowledge and a geographical profile, investigators were led right to Metesky, who was caught and arrested in 1957, and immediately confessed to his crimes.

This is only one example that shows the way that criminal profiling is able to serve its purpose, which is to help investigators examine evidence from the crime scene more thoroughly and to create an offender description based off of psychological theories and trends. Many people believe it to be as much of an art form as it is a science, but at the end of the day, there is still a lot to be learned about it, and we are off to a great start. Profiling has contributed to investigations more than ever recently, and now is the perfect time to learn what it’s all about.

How likely is it to get robbed in your life?

By: Jimmy Somerville

I am here asking the question: How likely it is to get robbed in your life in America? What are the odds?

According to the FBI website, FBI: UCR, robbery in America happens on average 150 times per year, per 100,000 of the population (in 2007). So the chance of being robbed in one year is 1 out of 667 so 0.0014%. Over a 4-year period, the chances of being robbed is out of 1 in 167 so 0.00598% (There are also many other variables that go into this. If you live in an area with a higher crime rate, the odds of you getting robbed increase, while if you live in an area with a lower rate of crime, the odds of you getting robbed decrease).

The average American lifespan is 78.5 years, so I rounded up to 80 and did the math. The odds of you being robbed while living 80 years in America (assuming you live  somewhere near the average of the average crime rate in America) is 0.11994%, according to my math. So, basically around a 1/10 chance you get robbed living in the average American town over 80 years.

Honestly, I thought the odds would be a little bit higher, but then again, I don’t know that many people personally, that have gotten robbed. I also wonder how much property needs to be stolen for it to be considered a statistic, and I bet some robberies go undocumented or unheard of. Maybe some people get robbed without even knowing it as well.

There’s a lot of information we don’t know, but that’s probably as accurate as we’re going to be able to get.

All of this is based off of data from 2007. Since 2007, the robbery rate has dropped 33% but
most people alive in America right now we’re alive quite a bit before 2007, as the median age in
America is 38.2 years old, so I figured choosing a statistic from an earlier time would be more
accurate for most people. The crime rate is always shifting so it’s hard to tell, but choosing the
statistics from 2007 made sense to me (it may not though).

Thanks for reading!

How AOC went from a bartender to a lawmaker

By: Elizabeth Woxland

Less than two years ago Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (known by her initials AOC) was a bartender in Manhattan. Today, she is the 28-year-old democratic socialist who unseated 10-term incumbent Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley (this also made her the youngest woman elected to Congress).

A brief bio of AOC, as reported by The New York Times reads:

She was born in the Bronx where half of the residents are immigrants, and 70 percent are people of color. AOC grew up with two working-class parents Her mother was born in Puerto Rico, and her father was from the South Bronx. She went to Boston University, where she studied economics and international relations. After graduation she took up bartending and waitressing jobs. The primary, in June 2018, was Ocasio-Cortez’s first run for office, but she had experience in politics. In college she worked for Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts on immigration issues, and she was an organizer for Bernie Sanders’ 2016 campaign. AOC promoted Medicare for everyone, tuition-free college, criminal justice reform and ending private prisons. She also supports immigration reform, specifically abolishing ICE. At the time, AOC argued that Crowley — a 56-year-old white man— couldn’t properly connect with this diverse district.

AOCs journey to become elected to Congress was not easy. According to Business Insider, Crowley had not faced a primary challenger in 14 years. He also had raised nearly $3 million for his re-election campaign and spent about $1 million, while AOC raised just $600,000. Since AOC rejected corporate donations, over 70% of her campaign donations were under $200, compared with 0.78% of Crowley’s.

Yet, AOC put in the time to introduce and make herself heard. Democratic strategists and AOC herself attribute a lot of her victory to her aggressive door-to-door ground campaign. “We won because, I think, we had a very clear winning message, and we took that message to doors that had never been knocked on before.”  In comparison Crowley, who lives in Washington, sent a surrogate to one debate to take on AOC in his place.

AOC won the Democratic Party’s primary election for New York’s 14th Congressional District on June 26, 2018, which soon would lead her to representing New York’s 14th District in the midterms, and becoming the youngest woman ever elected to Congress.

Differences between bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder

By: Kayla Madison

*Note, this article may have material that could trigger individuals (suicide), therefore, we present a trigger warning here.

Mental health is a big deal, always has been. There are a variety of mental disorders, and while most can seem very similar, the two I’m going to talk about today are almost twins.

Borderline Personality Disorder not only affects your moods, it affects your personality, hence ‘Personality Disorder.’ Borderline Personality Disorder and Bipolar Disorder are both characterized, in part, by major mood swings. The similarity of the two mood shifts having extremely high highs, to very low lows, causes people and clinicians to confuse the two disorders.

Borderline is said to be characterized by: rejection-sensitivity, chaotic relationships, and difficulty in managing emotions. Most people think the stressor is a bad childhood, which can be it, but it could also be other things. If your spouse leaves you, you’ll tend to get depressed and that’s normal, with borderlines though, they are more reactive to relatively minor events and demonstrate contradictory emotions.

Borderline Personality signs:

  • Fear of abandonment; they’re terrified of being abandoned or left alone.
  • Unstable relationships; relationships get intense very quickly and are very short lived.
  • Unclear or shifting self image; there is no clear idea of who you are or what you want. You may frequently change everything about yourself from jobs to even your sexual identity or religion.
  • Impulsive/ self-destructive behaviors; you may start engaging in harmful, sensation-seeking behaviors such as spending money recklessly, doing drugs or drinking alcohol to ‘feel better.’
  • Self harm; suicidal behavior and deliberate self harm is a common factor with mental illnesses.
  • Extreme emotional swings; unstable emotions and moods these moods are intense but tend to pass very quickly.
  • Chronic feelings of emptiness; you feel empty, as if there’s a void you have to fill, you may feel like you’re nothing or nobody.
  • Explosive anger; you may struggle with intense anger and a short temper.
  • Feeling suspicious or out of touch with reality; you lose touch with reality- dissociation. You struggle with paranoia.

Everybody has a mood swing or two but with Bipolar Disorder these are more severe. These cycles can last days, weeks, or even months. These mood changes can interfere with your everyday life such as your job or school performance. During a manic episode you may quit your job or spend huge amounts of money on useless items. During a depressive episode you might be too tired to do anything most days or be full of self-loathing and feel hopeless.

Bipolar Disorder Causes:

  • Stress; stressful life events can be very triggering in someone with genetic vulnerability. These events tend to have drastic or sudden changes.
  • Substance abuse; this doesn’t cause bipolar, it can bring on an episode or worsen the course of the disease.
  • Medication; certain medications, notably antidepressants, can trigger mania, most over the counter medications can as well.
  • Seasonal changes; episodes of mania and depression are sometimes caused by the seasons changing.
  • Sleep deprivation; loss of sleep can trigger a manic episode even skipping a few hours of sleep.

So, what’s the difference? Well, BPD is a personality disorder that causes you to think, feel, act, and relate differently than those without it. Bipolar Disorder is a mood disorder, which is a category of illnesses that causes severe mood changes.

For more information, please visit:

  • medicalnewstoday.com
  • helpguide.org
  • healthmatters.nyp.org