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

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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.

For more information on the growing cities of America, please visit:

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.

How colors are important in our lives

By: Ella Tabor

Colors may be a more influencing factor in our lives than we realize. The way your brain reacts to color can affect our minds, bodies, and mood.

A color’s tone, tint, shade, and brightness all affect the way colors can affect emotions. Let’s look at how warm colors can have an effect on how you feel.

Warm colors such as red, orange and yellow can evoke feelings of optimism, energy, joy, and happiness. These colors also have an attention grabbing element. Think of hazard signs; they are designed with colors like red, yellow and orange because they’ll attract your attention. Red also has the ability to increase hunger.

Cool colors like green, blue, and purple have a typically more calming effect. They can be used to express feelings of calm and sadness as well. Purple is a mixture of blue and red, which makes it a mixture of calmness and intensity. Purple is used to spark creativity.

Think about it; color importance is seen almost daily in fashion. We wear dark or black shades to a funeral to symbolize our grief. A typical wedding dress is usually white which can be associated with purity or innocence.

Companies use the fact that colors can speak to us as a way to market their brand’s core values or manner of business. For example, companies may use cooler colors to represent health, beauty, or security.

Jon, a graphic designer at CityGro says, “Color is one of the strongest non-verbal forms of communications that designers can use.”

Color even has been known to help with memory and attention. Sandra Rief, author of ‘ADHD and LD: Classroom Strategies at Your Fingertips’, writes about the use of color to help children stay attentive. For example, using different colors to highlight in math.

In ‘The Encyclopedia of Memory Disorders’, the authors, Carol Tarkington and Joseph Harris, note that colors can be used to aid in the development of memory.

Which is another reason why companies rely on graphic designers to use the perfect mixture of color and design to get everyone to think about their brand or product.

Perhaps you may use different colors to highlight notes, or use bright highlighters to help you remember the big ideas. Maybe you want to dye your hair into a color that feels more like you.

These are examples of how the importance of color plays into our daily lives.

Does the media influence the way that our society views COVID?

By: Caelyn Hippen

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Am I reading accurate information?
How do I know that this source is reliable?

These are questions we ask ourselves every day. Whether we are doing a quick search or a detailed research project. Many of us may have quickly looked up “Is the COVID vaccine safe?” or “What vaccine should I get?”

Well, that Google search may have affected how you, and the people you shared that information with, see vaccines, or COVID, etc.

It has been proven that about 1⁄2 of Americans get at least some information/news about COVID from social media, and approximately 6% of people find it the most important way to get news.

So, we know that social media does spread information about COVID, but is that information really accurate?

According to Pewresearch.org, Facebook was the most used app to spread COVID information and panic about COVID outbreaks and vaccines. The information that one person posted was shared and soon became popular news throughout the app. The impacts of social media ‘panic posts’ varies among people’s age, gender, and level of education. For example, a doctor or scientist who sees the post will know more than others if the information is incorrect or misleading. If they post that the information is invalid, this confuses society and viewers even more than before.

More information from Pewresearch.org, found that scientists and social media experts have found and concluded that social media apps like Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and more have all contributed to incorrect information and panic as COVID outbreaks come out.

Overall, I don’t agree with never getting information from social media, but to know how to filter and determine if the information is accurate is key to getting the right information.

Tham Luang cave rescue

By: Mila Hart

Image taken from:
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On June 23, 2018, a soccer team made up of twelve boys aged eleven to sixteen and their twenty five year old coach, became trapped in the Tham Luang Nang Non cave in the Chiangmai Rai province in northern Thailand.

In mid July, the caves close because they flood due to the monsoon season. The boys entered the cave on June 23 thinking that they would not be at risk of getting trapped by rising waters.

It was not uncommon for the local kids to play and visit the cave when it wasn’t monsoon season. The boys thought they had more time before that season would begin, but they were unfortunately mistaken.

They became stranded in the caves after a sudden and continuous downpour blocked all exits. The rain would only get worse and worse because it was the beginning of the monsoon season. This means that if they did not find the boys as soon as possible then there would be no hope of getting them out.

After being missing for ten days, British divers found the missing boys perched on a rocky ledge. After being located the boys were joined by Thai navy seals and received food, water, blankets, and minor medical aid.

Once the boys were found, they had to act fast to get them out of the cave. Monsoon season would soon be hitting at full force and even though they’re were many engineers and volunteers working on pumping water out of the cave it would not be enough to stop the water from rising at extreme speeds.

The cave is a twisting, turning six mile complex of narrow passages. The boys were trapped two and a half miles into the cave, most of which was nearly completely underwater. When cave diving you are fully submerged in a narrow space and can’t see more than four inches in front of you because the water is dark and muddy. So, this meant that the only way to safely remove the boys was to sedate them so they wouldn’t panic, put them in special gear so they wouldn’t drown, and have them be guided out of the caves by professional cave divers.

Getting all of the boys out of the cave took three days. Three to four boys, plus their coach being removed from the cave each day. Once each of them made it out of the cave they were immediately put into ambulances and taken to the hospital.

All of the boys and the coach lived. The rescue effort involved over 100,000 people. These people were divers, many types of rescue workers, representatives from around 100 governmental agencies, police officers, and soldiers.

For more information, please see the documentary ‘The Rescue’ on Disney+