Category Archives: News

Its the end of the world as we know it

(Yes like the R.E.M. song)

By: Reed Morris

All around the world, we are facing disastrous natural phenomena. The magnitude of these events seem as though they are straight out of Hollywood movies. Here is a compilation, and explanation, of some of the most major events from the late summer of 2022.

To kick off the month of August, a major flood in Kentucky had a rising death toll, passing 37 on August 2nd. In the wake of the flood, lay 12,000 powerless homes, empty schools, and millions of dollars worth of damage to local infrastructure. There was a frantic mass exodus which saw excessive looting.

Because of these factors the state was put under curfew and was essentially locked down for a short amount of time. Intervention by the federal government was eventually deemed necessary, and Biden sent federal support to Kentucky to assist localized teams of rescuers and national guardsmen in the evacuation process. 

Another case of these extremely strange and sometimes deadly weather phenomena is the case of coasts, East vs West.

Recently, at least, the US has seen an increase in extreme weather. This year was the first time we truly realized how intensely different weather can be from one side of the country to the other.

In August and September of 2022, the west coast of the United States was under extreme stress from the absurd heat that it was experiencing.

Temperatures in LA flew into the triple digits. People were asked to turn off their lights and stop using electricity to try to keep the power grid alive. With everyone living in intense heat, the power grid was struggling immensely to support the AC units needed to keep the entire population cool.

Now, we move to the east coast. For almost a month straight, during August, there was torrential rain, hail, and flooding. A direct example of this is what happened to Kentucky, as mentioned before.

We usually think of our country as better than most, but when it comes to the wrath of the sky and earth, everyone is equally powerless.

The largest of these recent natural disasters struck the Middle Eastern country of Pakistan.

While American students begrudgingly returned from their summer vacations and turned back to a life at school, children and families in Pakistan were struck by a much worse predicament.

An excess of water struck Pakistan seemingly out of nowhere. With the countries fluid infrastructure not being modern, it was quickly overrun by the extreme load. Dams lost function, levees broke, and the agricultural artery of Pakistan was its ultimate demise.

Where this really becomes truly shocking is the number of real people that have been displaced by the disaster. Over 30 million Pakistani residents have been forced to move, and over 600,000 have been forced into relief camps. One third of the country’s population is in a dire situation. This is terrifying, but it’s just the beginning.

Deadly weather phenomena are something we as a species must learn to overcome. The only issue is, we don’t know how to. Natural disasters are like our planets version of a check mate. There is nothing we can do to stop it when it happens, we can only plan to make it more difficult for our opponent to get us into that position.

This is where I must bring up global warming. We are simply not doing enough to avoid the horrendous fallout our species has laid unto ourselves. I am not going to pretend to be an atmospheric fluid dynamic professor, or a well spoken well researched activist. I’m just someone who has noticed a problem and feels that not enough people are addressing it.

At the end of the day, there’s not much we can do as individuals. The only chance we have is by operating together. Writing legislation and finding new ways to do what needs to be done without killing this planet that has so graciously allowed us to thrive.

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Who was the late Queen of England and what was the impact of her sudden death

By: Domingo Basso

The late Queen of England: Queen Elizabeth II, who was born on April 21, 1926, in Mayfair London, died September 8, 2022, at the age of 96. According to ‘The New York Times’ she died peacefully but the cause of her death was not specified due to the Royal Palace not disclosing that information. Despite that being true, a royal biographer claimed that the Queen was suffering from a bone condition and Lady Colin Campbell, a royal expert who has written about Princess Diana, went as far as to claim that the Queen had died from bone cancer. 

After the Queen passed away, her son, who was commonly known as “The Prince of Wales” became King Charles III, and now has the throne. Before becoming King, he already established over 20 charities and supported many different causes regarding the environment, rural communities, the construction, the arts, healthcare, and education.

But, now let’s move on to how the world is dealing with the loss of a figure as important as her Majesty. Sources such as ‘The Washington Post’ say that very soon after her death became known to the public, there were a quarter of a million people in line to see and pay their respects to the Queen once it became possible to do so. (that’s 250,000 people!) So many people wanted to pay their respects to her that there was a queue that grew so long that the queue time would reach up to 24 hours at a point. In fact, the queue grew so large that there had to be a line to get in the line to pay respects.

 The state funeral for the Queen happened at Westminster Abbey on Monday, the 19th of September, at 11am, and the funeral service was live-streamed on YouTube so that more people could be able to mourn her passing. To end the funeral service, there was 2 minutes of silence followed by the national anthem, to bring it to a close. 

So, the death of Queen Elizabeth II impacted a LOT of people around the world, and especially the citizens of the United Kingdom due to her rule having lasted decades. Her impact was massive due to how the UK runs to this day. So, we can only hope for the best for the citizens of the United Kingdom with the loss of somebody very important to all of them. And we can also hope that their newest ruler, the King, may be able to live up to the name of his late predecessor.

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The everything bubble is bursting

By: Reed Morris

What’s going on?

Over the past few years, the world has been fueling the growth of massive and extremely valuable bubbles. Much like the dot com bubble back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s people started pouring a mass amount of money into the .com space. Unsurprisingly however, the bubble could only get so big and it eventually burst, causing a lot of economic troubles and loss of money. What we are seeing now is similar to the bursting of the .com bubble, but our current bubble is everything.

In the graph below you can see some crashes throughout recent history. The spike above the 2000’s represents the dot com bubble bursting, the smaller spike after, and the subsequent drop, shows the housing bubble popping, and on the far right, we can see where our economy is now, and the absurdly large bubble we are on the cusp of bursting.

What’s Bursting?

If you are currently investing and/or you’re like me and follow the stock market out of interest, you will know that everything is going down. Companies like Amazon, Shopify, Carvana, Netflix, and Alphabet are all hard down right now. The trend to notice however is that most of the stocks that are heavily down are tech stocks, but in our current world tech stocks are the most important. The stock market is taking a hit and barely hanging on by the skin of its teeth, and as such, we need to be prepared for an all out economic crash in the coming months.

On the more questionable side of investing, the crypto and NFT markets are down exponentially. When the crypto and NFT markets peaked in November of 2021, the WEB3 world was in paradise, there were new opportunities, absurd amounts of cash flow, and there was always someone willing to buy the next NFT.

Since November however, the market has taken a slight downturn. Some coins and NFT’s stayed up; some even grew, but most started slipping. In the spring of ‘22, the crypto market took the hardest hit in its history. So-called “stablecoins” plummeted, spreading fear through the economy and causing a lot of people to sell, which in turn caused the rest of the market to collapse.

‘Terra Luna’ a “stablecoin” collapses and loses 99% of its value overnight.
Image taken from:
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‘Bitcoin’, one of the first and longest lasting cryptocurrencies, has lost over 600 billion dollars in market value since November, and on top of that, the rest of the crypto market as a whole has lost over 1 trillion dollars since this fall. This amount of money being lost is unfathomable.

On the NFT side of things, sales are also down an extreme amount. Since its peak in November, sales of NFT’s on major trading platforms has gone down around 92%. The collapse of the WEB3 space will truly test the strength of the community around it and we will see where it goes from here.

Why is everything popping?

The main cause of this bubble pop is a problem our country is facing and a problem that needs to be addressed. Inflation. Inflation is going up and showing no signs of stopping. The main cause for inflation was the fact that over the past two years, money has essentially been free to borrow. During the pandemic, interest rates were slammed through the floor and people started taking advantage of that. People were borrowing money to help run their businesses, and other people were borrowing even more money to invest in those businesses. This unsustainable cycle can go on for a while but it eventually needs to be stopped.

The only tool the government has in its economic toolbox is this big scary sledgehammer called “Raising interest rates”. When people hear that the government is going to raise interest rates, they get scared and scramble. These people don’t want to have to pay interest on their borrowed tubs of money, so the first thing they turn to is selling stock.

The reason these companies are now collapsing is because when a company is growing, people don’t really care if it’s making much money, they just care about the growth. The thing about raising interest rates is that people don’t want to invest anymore, and these companies stop growing, so people finally decide to think, “Hey, is this company actually worth anything and will I actually make money long term?” And in most of these bubble situations, the answer is absolutely not.

Is this the worst it will get?

I wish. Truly I wish it was the worst that this is going to get. The government knows the only way to stop inflation is by heavily raising interest rates, but that is the last thing it wants to do. If it suddenly and greatly raised interest rates to stop inflation, the economy would collapse, the bubbles would all pop, and the country would be facing another deep recession. Instead of stomping its foot and stopping inflation, the government has been skirting the idea.

At first the government just SAID it were going to raise rates. This had almost no effect and inflation kept on growing. So they finally raised interest rates but on an extremely minuscule scale, nowhere near enough to fix inflation. Inflation continued to grow and so the government did it again, and once again, no effect.

The scary thing is, the amount that interest rates have been raised is nowhere near enough to reverse inflation, but the two super small bumps in interest rates that the government has hit the economy with are already causing a ton of things to implode. Inflation is going up, the economy is going down quickly, and we’re just getting started. Buckle your seats everyone. We’re in for a ride.

Purple heroin and the dangers associated with it

By: Abdihakim Mohamoud

Purple heroin is an illegal drug that is a combination of heroin, carfentanil, brorphine, and fentanyl. Purple heroin is especially dangerous because of the last two ingredients, brorphine and fentanyl, which can cause overdoses quickly.

The name purple heroin comes from the drug’s purple color, and it is a compact tablet which looks similar to fancy chocolate. After an unnamed person died in Van Buren County, Michigan, with a connection to the deadly drug, police in the region have been on high alert.

Someone who is overdosing on purple heroin can have a number of symptoms which are similar to other overdose situations. Confusion, difficulty staying alert, and blue nails or lips are some common symptoms of a purple heroin overdose.

Purple heroin is a psychoactive drug, meaning that it alters brain activity, and can change perception, mood, behavior, and consciousness. This drug acts as a depressant on the central nervous system, which is similar to other opioid drugs.

One of the main meeting points for the selling of the drugs are malls and colleges, and police are keeping a keen eye on these places. Raids are also being conducted to further stop the selling of this incredibly dangerous drug.

However, there are some drugs such as Narcan and Naloxone that can be used to reverse an overdose, and save one’s life. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, around 78% of drug overdose deaths involved at least one opioid in 2018, and 2,011 deaths in total.

“Parents should be very cautious if they come across any chemicals or anything suspicious looking. Reach out and contact our office and we will send someone out to look at it,” said Van Buren County Undersheriff Kevin Conklin.

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America’s fastest growing cities

By: Caelyn Hippen

Image taken from:
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Cities all over the world are rapidly growing, and most populations live in urban areas. 80% of Americans live in urban areas, and 55% of the entire world’s population live in urban areas. This number is already large, but that percentage is expected to increase to 68% by 2050.

Big cities and urban areas are becoming more popular because big cities have bigger, and more, job opportunities overall. The more jobs offer a higher pay.

Another pro to a big city is that there are better schools and more opportunities for a better education. Better schools are more often found in big cities with better and more qualified teachers, and better opportunities for students.

There are 3 main factors to a city’s success and growth.

  1. Transportation and housing supply – the more available houses there are, the more people there will be that move in. Then, depending on the availability of parking, people will want easy access to transportation to get to work.
  2. Amenities – specifically natural resources. People want to live in a city that is industrial and modernized, but people also want a place to go to relax and enjoy the outdoors. An example of this is in Amsterdam. Amsterdam is a huge city that has many different types of homes, restaurants, transportations, etc. But then, you see Vondel park. Vondelpark is a 120 acre park that has ponds, food, walking and biking trails, and a lot of flowers and trees. It is a great place to relax in such a big city.
  3. The 3rd and final factor is education – I talked about education before, but like I said, parents want the best for their children. Having good schools near their new home or their job is very important and could decide on what city people live in completely.

According to Worldpopulationreview.com, Phoenix, Arizona is the fastest growing city in the USA (as of 2020). In a one year period, the population in Phoenix grew by 25,000 people, compared to the other fast growing cities of the year, which only grew by 10,000 people.

Between 2012 and 2017, Seattle was the fastest growing city, with a population increase of 14.2%, followed by Austin, Fort Worth, and Miami.

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How companies “Woke-Wash” their brands

By: Ella Tabor

Recently, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, there has been an uproar of sustainability and a level of awareness that brands are portraying. This is mainly due to the increased desire for political change from the public and the media. Businesses simply can’t risk facing any form of scrutiny. 

These brands aim to appeal to their consumers by releasing more levels of sizing, a deeper range of shades for make-up, an image of sustainability, and messages of empowerment or in support of equality movements; anything that makes the brand look politically correct. 

But, these brands, most often, do not actually support or employ the messages they say they do. 

The term “Woke-Washing” is used to describe business practices that are made to appear conscious, yet do not provide much substance. 

The art of performing a progressive move only for the public eye is nothing new. Take for instance the term “Glass Cliff”. Originally coined by women, the “Glass Cliff” refers to when a company promotes someone (most often minority and women) to an executive position under circumstances that make success improbable. Often, companies will do this to their leaders of color; they get all the praise for the progressive action and none of the criticism when they let them go.

For an example of this shady technique, let’s look at the brand Lululemon. Lululemon is a brand that focuses on athletic wear, athleisure, and healthy living. Lululemon portrays an image of inclusivity and equity yet, in 2019 the brand was mocked for promoting an event on “decolonising gender” and “resisting capitalism”. 

The brand was quickly shamed by the media and Twitter users for its ironic stance on capitalism, given the price vs. quality of their clothing. One Twitter user, Randi Max, says, “…Lululemon’s yoga pants cost $150 and you are telling me to resist capitalism?” 

Also, in 2019, the brand faced allegations that workers at a factory in Bangladesh, who make the brand’s clothing, had been beaten and abused according to The Guardian. Attempting to sweep this under the rug, Lululemon gave no proper response to these allegations. 

As we can see, Woke-Washing is truly just another form of performative activism; it forces false narratives of progressive actions without any of the action. 

Lululemon is only one example; however, there are many. Next time you shop at a store, it is worth looking into the brand’s ethics.

Met Gala 2022

The 2022 Met Gala is held every year, on the first Monday of May, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The theme this year was “The Gilded Glamour”. Celebrities were encouraged to wear something from the late 19th century with a modern spin on it. 

Kim Kardashian wore a Marilyn Monroe dress, the dress she wore in 1962 when she sang “Happy Birthday” to President John F. Kennedy. Kim wore the dress with a white fur coat and walked the carpet with her new boyfriend, Pete Davidson, wearing a Dior suit. Even though this was an iconic dress it wasn’t on theme.

Jodie Turner-Smith wore a Gucci gown and Stuart Weitzman heels. She went full 1920s; she was dressed in a fringed leotard with a full skirt. Her makeup was on point, and it embraced the era, but her outfit wasn’t on theme. 

Gigi Hadid wore a Versace suit and Chopard jewelry. She wore a burgundy latex catsuit and paired it with a  huge, floor-length puffer coat. Her outfit was all about volumes which went with the theme of Gilded Glamour.

Khloe Kardashian made her first appearance ever at the Met Gala, she wore a Moschino floor-length glittering gold gown. She completed the look with gold sunglasses and a long-sleeve black coat with black gloves. Her look was okay. The gloves matched up with the theme, but the outfit and gloves didn’t pair well together. 

The best dress of the night was Blake Lively, she knows how to make an entrance. She went with one of her go-to brands for the red carpet Atelier Versace, in a design inspired by New York City. The star arrived in a shimmering, rose gold, gown with a bow attached to the side. This idea was based on Manhattan’s intricate architecture and the Empire State Building. Her second look was revealed halfway up the red carpet stairs when the bow on the skirt was untied to reveal a cascading blue train, which was designed to inspire the decor of Grand Central station. The crown she wore symbolized the Statue of Liberty, which has seven rays. When ask about her look she said that “Instead of looking to fashion to influence the dress, I looked to New York City architecture and the classic buildings.”

The difference between coma and brain death 

By: Abi & Thalia

When someone is in a coma, the person is unconscious and has limited brain activity. The person is still alive but they cannot be woken up and they show no signs of awareness. When a person is in a coma, their eyes will remain closed and they will not respond to their surroundings.

A person can go into a coma for a variety of reasons. The person may have suffered a traumatic head injury, stroke, or brain tumor. A person can even go into a coma from diabetes or an infection. Being in a coma is a medical emergency and quick action is needed to preserve the person’s life and brain function. 

The symptoms of a coma are having closed eyes, depressed brainstem reflexes (meaning that pupils do not contract when light is shunned upon them), no response of limbs – just reflex movements, no response to pain – just reflex movements, and irregular breathing. These symptoms are the most common ones that are seen when a person falls into a coma. 

There is another type of coma called vegetative state coma. A vegetative state coma is when the person’s brain is very damaged and has been deprived of oxygen for a long time. The symptoms include the person looking like they are asleep and unable to wake up or respond to commands.

When in a vegetative state, complications are bound to happen. Some of the most common ones include infections, pneumonia, bed pressure sores, and contracture of the muscles. 

When someone is brain dead, the person’s brain is no longer working in any capacity. The brain has no oxygen nor any blood flow. Other organs, which include the kidneys, heart, or liver, are able to work for a short amount of time if the patient is on a breathing machine, however, when a patient is declared brain dead, they are no longer living.

Brain dead patients often look as they are asleep, however, they are not. The reason for this is because the brain no longer works and is considered dead, this means the parts of the brain that feel, sense, and respond to everything around them no longer function. Brain dead patients have to be put on a ventilator because the brain of the patient no longer tells the patient to breathe. 

Brain death is when: oxygen supply to the brain has fully stopped, there is swelling to the brain, or the death of the tissue in the brain. This can be caused by cardiac arrest, a heart attack, etc.

Some symptoms of brain death include no gag reflex, no oculo-vestibular reflex (ice water in ear), the person doesn’t breathe when taken off of breathing machine/ventilator, no sense of pain, and no brain activity on an electroencephalogram. Symptoms of brain death also have a lot to do with the patients eyes, for example, pupils not responding to light, no blinking while eye surface is being touched, and the eyes don’t move when you move the patients head.

Brain death and coma are similar, whereas both seem to have an effect on the brain. The biggest difference between a coma and a brain dead patient is that some patients in a coma may improve however, once a patient is declared brain dead, there is no cure and they will never be able to improve their health and recover. When someone is considered brain dead they are also considered dead and passed away. A coma is a deep state of unconsciousness and brain death is when the brain is no longer functioning and there is no sign of activity in the brain. 

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How can you protect yourself from COVID-19?

By: Ashley Harris

COVID-19 has been haunting our lives for almost 4 years now, and we need to stop it. But how can we? Well, the most beneficial, and easiest way too, is to simply get vaccinated. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) The vaccine can help lower your risk of getting and spreading the COVID-19 virus, and prevent serious illness and/or death.

 According to an article written by CNN, “Vulnerable Americans are desperate to find this COVID-19 drug.” The drug in question (which has been approved by the FDA) is called remdesivir and it’s used to treat ages 12 years and older.

According to a recent study, an oral drug prevented the death from COVID-19, in old mice, by reversing immune aging. Why is COVID-19 so deadly to old people? Well, the short answer is that the immune system deteriorates over time. In the study, daily doses of BGE-175 protected aged mice from a lethal dose of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

One common question asked by people all around the world is, “Are plain old cloth masks protective”? The short answer, no. Since the omicron virus can inflict serious symptoms, it is crucial to be wearing the best type of mask. The N95 mask is supposed to protect you from COVID-19 far more than the plain cloth masks according to Mayo Clinic and CDC.

As well as wearing masks and washing your hands etc., one of the best ways to reduce the spread of COVID-19 is by maintaining at least 6 feet of distance between yourself and others, avoid large gatherings, socialize outdoors, avoid close contact with sick people or people who were exposed to COVID-19, and finally, clean frequently touched objects and surfaces regularly.

So, after reading this, you should now be equipped with all the knowledge you need on how to prevent and protect yourself and the spread of COVID-19.

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What Is Ramadan?

By: Salman Said

Image taken from: (A view of Mecca from the Mountain of Hira) https://photos.com/featured/mecca-city-view-from-hira-cave-at-night-shaifulzamri.html

Ramadan is the 9th month of the Islamic lunar calendar, begins on the first sight of the crescent moon, and lasts until the end of the moon cycle. It’s the month in which the Quran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad by Gabriel; from Allah, and in the mountains of Hira. Previously illiterate, Prophet Muhammad was given the knowledge of the Quran through Gabriel; he in turn messaged it to the people and it was consecrated for thousands of years; unaltered from that day.

Needless to say, the month isn’t about the moon or even fasting, but is about achieving Taqwa. Taqwa is a concept that means consciousness of Allah. During the month we fast in order to become more pious and restrain ourselves from all substances and temptations. During Ramadan we receive more Thawab or reward in our good deeds; and more harm in our bad deeds. This is why we try avoiding anything Haram (Sinful). 

Reading the Quran, giving charity and changing ourselves for the better are all things we do during this month. It’s the month of self-reflection and change. Controlling our urges during this month becomes significantly easier, and as we fast we see things that used to make us fall into our bad habits go away. Many use this month to quit bad habits like smoking, or even drug use, for the sake of Allah; in turn Allah makes it easier. 

In Islam, the most major sin is Shirk or the association of things with God. This is a topic that is brought up in the Holy Quran hundreds of times. Polytheism, or Association to the One Maker (Allah), is something that is strictly forbidden in Islam and those who do so aren’t considered Muslims. 

Needless to say, Shirk or Blasphemy is something Muslims avoid especially during this month, since it ruins all Taqwa and rewards from our fasts. Not praying, eating or drinking; menstrual cycles, sickness and drugs all break our fast. It’s important we stay away from these things while fasting. Cursing, fighting, holding grudges or disrespecting our parents all lower our “Hasanat” or our reward. 

In the last 10 days of Ramadan it’s the most important because of Laylatul Qadr. Laylatul Qadr or “The Night Of Power, Significance or Decree” (Qadr has many different meanings). It’s the most important night of the year and said to be worth more in reward than thousands of months. During the “Night of Significance”, the angel Gabriel comes down from the heavens as well as all the other angels. 

All we know is that the “Night of Power” is in the last 10 nights. The consensus of scholars is that the night falls on an odd number (21, 23, 25, 27 , and the 29th Night of Ramadan will hold Laylatul Qadr). Islamic scholars say it’s very likely though that the night is on the 27th, but only Allah knows. During the nights we should make and say prayers; ask for forgiveness, and make our wishes. It’s more likely that our prayers will be answered on that night if we fast for the rest of the month.