The Paw Print

Novi Middle School's Student Newspaper

Volume 21 Issue 2 / November 10, 2020

NMS IN THE NEWS

Lockers in hallway

More students requesting lockers for coats, boots, etc. as winter arrives

By: Alexander Dyga


Recently winter gear has become a major topic in the halls of NMS. Many hybrid students have begun wearing heavy coats to school, and are struggling to carry them between classes. During a normal winter students would use their lockers to store all of this cumbersome gear. However, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, hybrid learners have not been assigned lockers. Many students and parents have begun to worry about the locker situation, while others believe that no changes should be made.


So far, the members of the school board have not yet publicly stated their opinions regarding lockers. Many people hope the subject will be addressed at the next board meeting on November 15th or by the building administrators soon after that.


If lockers come to the attention of the school board, a few things can be assumed. First and foremost, the school board will want to know why families believe students should be given lockers so that they can formulate alternative options. We can also assume that they will make a decision that prioritizes the safety of students, as well as their desires. In short they will attempt to find the answers to these three questions.

  1. “Is it safe to provide students with lockers?”

  2. “Is it absolutely necessary to provide students with lockers?”

  3. “Do families want their students to be given lockers?"


Without advice from professionals and certain data collected within the school, it is hard to be sure if lockers are currently safe for use. However, that has not stopped many from formulating strong opinions.


When asked if he thought the use of lockers is safe, 8th grade student Isiah.K responded, “Currently, I don’t think it would be safe to have lockers. Coronavirus cases are rising and lockers would force kids closer together.”


On the other hand an anonymous 7th grade student stated, “The use of lockers would be 100% safe. There are almost no students in the school on any given day. As long as every student gets their own locker, maintaining distance would be easy.”


Parents also have very strong opinions regarding the need for lockers. One parent, who requested to remain anonymous, gave a very heartfelt statement. “I’m the parent of an 8th grade hybrid student. It was 30 degrees outside this morning and they left the house in a T-shirt because they did not want to carry a coat at school. I’m concerned that other children are making similar decisions and that the temperatures might become too cold for this behavior to be safe.”


Hybrid student James argues the opposite side. He stated, “I don’t feel lockers are necessary. It's much easier to carry our backpacks and winter gear.”


With temperatures dropping and winter fast approaching, a decision must be made about lockers and winter gear soon. Should hybrid students be given lockers? Or should they be forced to carry their backpacks, as well as winter clothing? There is no doubt that the school board or building administrators will make a good decision in a timely manner and provide us with the answers we need.

Mental health: More important than ever

By: Lorelai Raudszus


Mental Health. I’m sure you hear this phrase often. Teachers, parents, psychologists, therapists; sometimes it’s all they ever talk about. The importance of good mental health is immense. A few of you may be wondering, “What is mental health?” According to ‘What is Mental Health’, “Mental Health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.” As you explore your mental health, learn how to handle stress, keep a positive attitude, make smart choices, love your body, and interact best with others.


Mindfulness:

A big part of mental health is mindfulness. Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations. This idea of mindfulness is well known throughout the Novi School District. Don’t think of mindfulness as those exercises you do in A20. Think of mindfulness as a way of life. Mindfulness exercises guide you through a time where you are focused and present both physically and mentally. You become aware of all that you feel, think, and are.


The Mental Health Foundation (MHF) wrote an article called ‘Mindfulness’. In this article, The MHF reveals, “Mindfulness is an integrative, mind-body based approach that helps people to manage their thoughts and feelings and mental health. It is becoming widely used in a range of contexts. It is recommended… for people with experience of recurrent depression.” The process of mindfulness exercises, also known as Mindfulness Training, work on breathing techniques, meditation, and yoga. These exercises help to steady your mind, breath, and body. Mindfulness contributes to good mental health because “practicing mindfulness can give more insight into emotions, boost attention and concentration, and improve relationships.”


Social Interaction:

Social Interaction can be a big part of mental health. Some barriers to social interaction include social groups and currently Covid-19 orders restricting some types of interaction for important safety reasons. Even if you don’t notice these walls between people, they’re there. An article called ‘Depressive symptoms is associated with social isolation in the face to face interaction networks’ on nature.com states, “Social isolation increases the risk for coronary heart disease, stroke, and mortality and can negatively influence psychological health leading to depressive symptoms.”


This same article describes and analyzes “the effect of depressive symptoms on social interactions… Results indicated that depressive symptoms are associated with (1) spending less time in social interaction, (2) spending time with similarly depressing others, (3) spending time in pair-wise interactions rather than group interactions…” Clearly, social interaction has a significant impact on a healthy and clear mind.


Accept Your Body:

Learning to love your body is a separate subject but can often be connected to mental health. Know your body and learn to accept it. If someone views you differently than you view yourself, change their perspective. Not by changing yourself, but by making sure they see you for you. Only change your body if you want to. Live in a body that you want, love, and love yourself in. Not what other people love. We live in a society that tells us what we should feel and how we’re supposed to look. What people say about what they see and how you should be can be very damaging. Just because you don’t look like the person in the latest commercials doesn’t mean you aren’t beautiful. Some of those images are certainly modified. That doesn’t mean these people are happy, or even healthy. Isn't that what matters?


Accept Happiness:

Like the last sentence just said… Are you happy? You might say: Yeah, I’m fine! and mean it. But you might say: Me? Oh, I’m fine! and not mean it. We’re all struggling for different reasons. It might be because of the school and the new learning process. Perhaps you are frustrated and tired of hearing, “I’m sorry students, the school’s hard right now, virtual and hybrid isn’t easy.” But it is about how you deal with this struggle. Some problems we can’t fix, and some we can. It’s our job to deal with the issues we can fix and let go of the ones we can’t fix. We don’t have to accept the problems. We just have to learn to live with it.


Hopefully, now you understand the importance of good mental health. By practicing mindfulness and awareness of your surroundings, feelings, mind, and bodily sensations you will feel different and possibly better about yourself and others. You may not be guaranteed to be happier, but you will recognize your emotions and why you feel that way, what you want to feel, and how to start to change your attitude into a positive one. Good mental health can lead to a good life.

BEYOND OUR BLUE ROOF

Tokyo 2021 Olympics July 23 through August 8

Summer Olympics set for July 2021...hopefully

By: Arianna Huyck


So...the Olympics 2020 are now Olympics 2021. The Olympic games were never held in an odd-numbered year...until COVID.


The Olympics 2020 was supposed to start in July 2020 in Tokyo, Japan. The summer Olympics include sports and events like swimming, softball, volleyball, biking, diving, rowing, equestrian, and much more- 28 sports in all. Assuming that COVID can be controlled, the Olympics 2021 is scheduled to start on Friday, July 23, and end on Sunday, August 8th.


There are about 10 months until the opening ceremonies of the 2021 Summer Olympics. Japan is saying that a vaccine is not needed for the games to proceed, but it is still unsure if fans will be allowed to attend the games. (Japan has a reported 1,334 deaths from COVID.) Fans are skeptical, but a lot could happen with COVID in 10 months.


Olympics Facts

  • The first modern Olympics were held in 1896 in Greece, but the first games were in the 8th century B.C.

  • Women have been allowed to compete in the Olympic games since 1900.

  • The summer and winter Olympics only started doing their 2-year cycles 27 years ago in 1993.

  • The games even have official languages: English and French, along with the language of the country that is hosting the games that year.

  • The unlit official Olympics torch has been to space many times.

  • The colors of the Olympic games-blue, yellow, black, green, red, and the white background – were chosen because every nation’s flag contains at least one of those colors.

Lukashenko leads Belarus down a dangerous path

By: Alyna Dohadwala


Alexander Lukashenko, who has served as Belaurus’ leader for the past 26 years, has done some controversial things such as giving questionable advice about coronavirus and arresting protesters. Currently, the people of Belarus are protesting against his leadership.


Belaurusian Elections

In the Belaurusian 2020 election, Lukashenko was running against Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, who was running in place of her husband, a popular blogger that got arrested before the election. The Central Election Commision claimed that Alexander Lukashenko got 80% of the vote, whereas his opposition, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, got a mere 10%. People have been protesting these results, alleging they were rigged. In an article from AP News, they interviewed Valeria Artikhovskaya, who worked at a polling station in Minsk, and in the article, they say, “...she noticed other poll workers putting ballots for different candidates into a stack for Lukashenko.” People protested this, as they believed that it was unfair.


Coronavirus Advice

Alexander Lukashenko has made some questionable claims about COVID-19, and has given advice that hasn’t been backed by experts. He has advised Belarusians to go to saunas and to drink vodka to “poison the virus,” and has claimed that it is mass “psychosis.” Alongside those statements, he has claimed that 97% of people who have the virus are asymptomatic, whereas the CDC actually estimates that only about 40% of people who contract the virus are asymptomatic.


Questionable Events

This September, peaceful protests took place against the reelection of Alexander Lukashenko. At these protests, people dressed in plain clothes were seen beating protesters with batons, even though these were completely peaceful protests. There were also security forces who were dressed in black, with balaclavas, which are a kind of face covering, over their heads. These people targeted college and university students, and took them into minivans. Some of Lukashenko’s opponents like Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya and Olga Kovalkova have been forced to leave the country because of threats of arrest.

Media calls Biden the winner; Trump threatens legal action

By: Arvind Salem


America had it’s National Election Day on November 3rd. Due to the pandemic, many states took longer than usual to count the many mail-in votes. This led to disputes about the outcome in certain swing states.


On Election Day, there were many battleground states (also known as swing states) that leaders from both campaigns were watching. These included Georgia, Florida, Texas, North Carolina, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Arizona. After Election Day most news networks called Texas and Florida for President Trump. However, after Election Day the outcomes of the rest of these states were in dispute and were not called on most networks.


In the beginning, President Trump had sizable leads in Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. When President Trump lost his leads in those states, his campaign decided to press allegations of voter fraud. In the President's opinion, the results in key states were in question. However, press outlets have declared Mr. Biden the winner.


Even though the press has called Biden the winner, the Trump campaign stated that until the allegations of fraud have run through the legal system, the election is not over.

COVID NEWS

clipart teenagers wearing masks

The race for a Covid vaccine continues

By: Hitesh Tirumalasetti


All around the world , scientists are trying to find the safest and most efficient vaccine. While countries around the world are spending lots of money to help scientists find a vaccine, there are some vaccines that are already in trial. Some of them are elaborated below.


According to the article COVID-19 vaccine tracker, by Jeff Craven, so far there have been two covid-19 vaccines that have been approved by Russia. Sputnik V and EpiVacCorona are the vaccines that have been approved, and has raised concerns about the vaccines’ safety and how effective they can be against the virus due to the fact that none of them have entered the phrase 3. This phase is the time where the trail vaccine would be tested on a greater number of people to see if the vaccine is effective.


However, in the United States, Johnson and Johnson, a US based company, declares that it will resume it’s phase three trials after an unexplained illness earlier this month. Dr. Margaret Hamburg is a former FDA commissioner and says that, in this process, the effectiveness of a vaccine will be compared between the vaccinated group and a no- vaccinated group (also known as the control group). Dr. Hamburg also said that this process can take a long time.


Another US based company, Moderna, is also in the phrase 3 trails. The company is trying to use a new type of technology called mRNA. What their goal is to do is that the vaccine causes the body to create antibodies. Their goal is to cause the mRNA to code a structure into a synthetic strand of mRNA. When the vaccine is put into someone’s body, then the bodies natural process of creating proteins takes over, causing the antibody to form.


Below are some FAQs:

Question: When will the vaccine be available in the market:

Answer: Many sources say that the covid-19 vaccine will be in the market late this year or maybe next year.

Question: Will the government pay for the vaccine?

Answer: According to hhs.gov, “The vaccine would be available to the American people at no cost. As is customary with government-purchased vaccines, healthcare professionals could charge insurers for the cost of administering the vaccine.”

Question: Why is it taking so long to make a vaccine?

Answer: According to the article Why Creating a Covid-19 Vaccine Is Taking So Long, by Matt Simon, says “With Covid-19, for instance, some drugmakers are trying to develop a nucleotide-based vaccine, which uses the virus's genetic code instead of its proteins. Typically, the exploratory phase could take two to four years, though new technologies are speeding up the progress.”

As winter hits, pandemic fears grow

By: Vineeth Shashidhar


When winter is near, other than getting the occasional cold or flu, not much goes wrong. However, with a wide-spread pandemic now in the mix, it’s going to be difficult for us to feel safe. To make matters worse, we don’t know how this new disease will spread in the winter. Will it slow infection or will countries reach peak infection cases?


According to bbc.com, COVID-19 has a high chance of spreading more through the winter, due to lab experiments revealing that COVID-19 favors cold, dry conditions, particularly out of sunlight, conditions very similar to winter. With the UK predicting approximately 251,000 deaths in a worst-case scenario, we can only hope that COVID-19 doesn’t affect the U.S that much. However, there’s more. The pandemic will coincide(to occur at or during the same time) with the flu season(starts in October and ends in February). This overlap is worrying because both diseases share similar symptoms, which will make them hard to differentiate between one another. Second, the flu and COVID-19 attack the respiratory system, so each of them worsens the other’s conditions. With the winter giving COVID a huge advantage, there is no doubt that infection rates will sky-rocket.


There are several things you can do to stay safe this winter. First of all, make sure to not let people inside. Letting people inside your home could spread COVID-19 to you, even if the person doesn’t know if they have it. Also, don’t go outside unless you need to for fuel and food, or else you could make this virus worse, by possibly catching the flu. Along with not going outside, stock up on essential supplies just in case before the winter gets bad, just so you don’t need to go out as often.

Economy sees worldwide downturn due to Covid

By: Henry M. Yim


COVID-19 has taken the world’s economy by storm. People are losing jobs and major corporations are losing billions of dollars in revenue. This situation has become so dire that we can consider this to be a global economic “pandemic.” Global economies have fallen into a deep recession(a period of general decline in trade and industrial activity).


Stock Market Shutdown

The crisis began on February 24th. Several countries were seeing their first COVID cases as the disease started to spread outside of China. Since the stock market fears uncertainty, the Dow Jones(measure of 30 largest companies in the US stock exchange), FTSE(Top 100 companies in London Stock Exchange) , and Nikkei ( Top 225 companies in the Tokyo Stock Exchange) all respectively saw their largest quarterly drops since 1987.


However, many countries still allowed international travel even as the spread of COVID-19 was increasing, which resulted in even more COVID cases and the global economy suddenly halted. Now, many companies and businesses were forced to watch their profits become increasing amounts of debt. Governments made emergency decisions, like stimulus bills and interest rate deductions, to ease the economy. Unfortunately, it had the opposite effect because the governments were quickly losing money. Too much damage had been done and almost all global markets dropped 10-30% on Thursday, March 12th, now known as Black Thursday. Many politicians were scrambling to provide extra money for large corporations. Unfortunately, the commonly called “backbone of the US economy”, small businesses, were left to suffer.


The Crisis Today

Today, the overall economy is still in decline. You may be wondering why many major businesses aren’t going bankrupt. That is because they make billions of dollars in profit each year and can survive a loss of a year’s worth of revenue. In contrast, small businesses are closing here and there because of their lack of revenue. In a nationwide survey conducted by Small Business Majority, 30% of furloughed small businesses workers say that they are having trouble putting food on the table.

Airlines face major losses as pandemic continues

By: Srijan Agarwal


Did you know that European airports have faced a loss of 38.8 billion U.S. dollars in August 2020? This has all happened because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This dangerous disease has forced people to wear masks, social distance, and the most important of all, stay home. Families had to cancel their plans of going on vacation because of the worldwide spread. This caused fewer bookings and fewer passengers on flights. All airports had to close down, and all flights had to be canceled because of government orders of following safety protocols. Let’s learn in more depth and detail.



As the pandemic has continued, unemployment has increased. According to CNN Business, it is estimated that more than half of the 88 million aviation workers could lose their jobs. This shows that because of fewer profits for the airlines, employees are earning less money.



According to CNBC, the number of passengers has been lowered to a similar amount as compared to the 1950s. Since airports have faced an approximate loss of $20 billion, airports in the United States have launched new routes in order to recover the revenue lost. Situations are so inconvenient that airline companies have to move their aircrafts to congested airports where they can get more bookings even though the pandemic is still there.



In conclusion, airports are suffering a lot more than ever thought and predicted. People in the aviation industry are losing their jobs and many are experiencing salary cuts. Airport companies are trying to find airports that still have a lot of bookings so that their airline company can at least earn something. It is a very sad period of time and people are having trouble feeding themselves and their families.

ENTERTAINMENT & OPINIONS

Among Us game logo

Among Us is a hit, not an imposter

By: Shashank Madhu


There is one impostor among us. Unless you’ve been living on Polus (or any other extraterrestrial planet) for the past month, you’ve probably heard of that phrase.


What is it?

Among Us is an online multiplayer social deduction game made by InnerSloth. You play as a crew member in a spaceship (The Skeld), a sky headquarters (Mira HQ), or another planet (Polus). The challenge is that 1 to 3 of the crewmates are actually impostors, whose goal is to exterminate the crew by sneaking around the ventilator system and sabotaging the area, among other things. To win, the crew either needs to finish their tasks or vote off the imposter, while the impostor needs to murder most of the crewmates.


Among Us had its humble beginnings in July 2018 on iOS and Android. It gained a Steam version that September. In 2019, it reached a million downloads. Updates such as the additions of Mira HQ and Polus were common. Fun Fact: Canonically, impostors are shape shifting aliens, which is why they can slip through the vents while crewmates cannot.


Fellow Students’ Opinions

I asked fellow classmates about their opinion on the game and if it deserves to be as popular as it is. 8th grader Ayan said, “Among Us is very popular and rightfully so because personally I have a lot of fun playing it, and I'm sure my friends have fun too whenever we play. Although the game needs a little bit more player customization and it would be helpful to have accounts in which we can friend one another, the sense of mystery and deception is the main aspect that grabs the player's attention.”

8th grader Sanjana said, “ Yes, it (Among Us) deserves to be popular because it's really fun and entertaining.”


An anonymous 8th grader said, “I think Among Us deserves to be popular because it's been out for 2 years, and the developers probably worked really hard on it. Among Us is a pretty good game, not gonna lie.”


Reasons of its popularity

How did such a humble indie game so much popularity in 2020?

1: Twitch: Twitch streamer SR_Kaif has played Among Us on Twitch consistently since January 2020. In May, more popular streamers such as AdmiralBulldog and singsing started playing, which gave Among Us more popularity. A streamer named sodapoppin then brought fellow streamers into the game instead of just randoms, which showed people that they can play with their friends. Eventually, more and more streamers played it, which then made it blow up in popularity in August.


2: COVID-19 Pandemic: Since most gatherings have been moved online and physical games of Mafia became impossible, Among Us gained popularity among friends because it was an easy, quick, and social game that people could just sit down and play anytime they felt like it. It was also convenient that it has multiple language options and many memes were created from Among Us.


Among Us today and its future

Last month, Among Us was plagued by a huge influx of hackers, who spammed the chat window, made themselves always impostor, disregarded the kill cooldown, or even ended a meeting whenever they wanted to. There were even Among Us hacking tutorials coming up as ads on YouTube. The game developers themselves had to intervene and pleaded with people to only play private games until they did an emergency server update which removed the ability to do most of these hacks.


Among Us was announced to have a sequel, but it was cancelled due to the popularity of the first game. An update rolling around soon will give colorblind support to certain tasks and add the ability to make all votes in a game anonymous.

Dear Wildcat

By: Fiona Fortin


Dear Wildcat: I don’t like the person I sit with at lunch, and it’s so awkward. How do I fix it?

--Awkward Addy


Awkward Addy: Honestly, you should try to talk to the person because it will make things less awkward and maybe you can get to know the person better. Just try to make some conversation. Also, I found out that as this report card marking is closing, I think you should be able to make seat changes, so if you really don’t connect with the person you are sitting with, you can try to change seats. You can see if anyone wants to trade places or you can talk to the administration and see if they can help make a change.


__________


Dear Wildcat: I feel so stressed about high school. I know it is a year away, but it feels so close! I'm worried about what activities I should join, and I feel like I need to get good grades now. I'm just so anxious about it.

--Stressed Sally


Stressed Sally: Take a deep breath, you shouldn’t be worried about high school already! I know it seems scary when we are reminded every day about high school grades and tests, but take it one day at a time. If you do your best in school and work your hardest, you will be successful. Just enjoy your middle school years, and when high school comes, everyone will be new and learning just like you. You got this.

__________


Dear Wildcat: I'm struggling with my mental health all around, it’s gotten so bad in quarantine, what should I do?

--Depressed David


Depressed David: If you are struggling with depression or you feel lonely, know that you are not alone I'm here, as are many others at any time, if you need to talk. Make sure you surround yourself with people that make you happy and friends that will encourage you. Mental health should be very, very high on your list of priorities, and we just have to help each other. At school, the counseling office is always a good place to seek assistance. Even if you are a virtual student, you can email them and then go from there.

Movie viewing habits continue to evolve

By: Anir Kundurthy


Movie viewing, as we all know, has changed drastically over the years. Until 1972, viewing movies for the general public was completely dictated by those who owned the movies and those who owned movie theaters. In 1972, however, the Cartrivision VHS tape was finally introduced to the world. This allowed men and women to bring home movies in a small cassette to watch at home with their families. From there, we forged on to CDs. These were released to the public in 1982, and in 25 years, it was estimated that they had sold 200 billion worldwide.


As this all was unfolding, in 1997, Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph had the brilliant idea to start a DVD rental company. Customers could find what they wanted to watch online and eventually find the DVD of that movie in their mailbox. The problem with this idea was that they would be actively challenging an extremely dominant company known as Blockbuster. Acknowledging this, they attempted to forge a partnership with the company in 2000, when they still only had a market value of fifty million. The CEO of Blockbuster just laughed at them and turned them away. Now Netflix is worth hundreds of billions of dollars while Blockbuster is out of business. The company finally went public in 2002, and then celebrated one million accounts in the next year. This number then doubled consecutively in the next two years. Finally, in 2007, video streaming was introduced on its platform. From there, the Netflix we all know and love finally took off, and in 13 years, it reached what we see today.


Brick and mortar movie theatres were introduced in the late 19th century and began their rise to prominence in the early 20th century. The first theater ever built for only the showcasing of movies was Vitascope Hall, on Canal Street, New Orleans, Louisiana. It was established on July 26, 1896. The State Theater in Washington, Iowa, is the oldest continuously operating movie theater in the world, and has been in operation since 1897 and continues to be so in 2020. This method of viewing movies was dominant for nearly a century, and its numerous benefits included an opportunity to spend more time with the ones you love in a way that isn’t clumped up inside.


Today, the idea of streaming movies has caught the eye of numerous major companies around the world such as Apple and Amazon and has assisted in a booming technological market. Now, more than ever before, viewing movies in a brick and mortar movie theater seems antiquated and a thing of the past. It is now time to take a step back and analyze the world of viewing movies to see the advantages and disadvantages of both movies viewing from a home theater and movie viewing from a brick and mortar theater. We will take a deeper dive into the history of brick and mortar viewing (as we have already looked into the history of streaming) and revenues of both theaters and streaming services. Finally, we will find out the future of movie viewing around the world.


In 2020, movie streaming has seen an enormous spike in revenues, for people now are more focused on viewing movies from home, since they have no other options. Services like Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+, and Hulu have seen a rapid increase in viewership and revenues. For example, Netflix’s stock (NFLX) recently peaked at $575. This is a 60% increase since the first reported case of COVID-19 in the U.S.A. However, it is surprising that Netflix was able to report such strong results even with all of the new streaming services coming out such as Peacock and Tubi. The amount of new streaming services are taking a toll on Netflix’s results for a couple of years now, which continues to show us how much viewership must have spiked for these movie streaming services.


Movies like Mulan and Tenet are two prime examples of how much has changed since March. Both were released during the pandemic, Mulan on September 4, and Tenet on August 12. Tenet attempted to open in theaters and earned just under $30M within its first month in theaters. While this may feel like a decent amount, it cost over $200M to make the movie, showing how much money they lost. Mulan, however, was released on Disney’s streaming service Disney+ and made $60M in only 15 days. Mulan brought in much more money than Tenet. Another added advantage that comes through the methods of streaming are companies, such as Disney, do not need to pay distribution fees to theaters around the world to have their movies displayed on the big screen.


The earlier shown Tenet statistics show how movie theaters have been doing this year compared to streaming, but let's take a look at how they have been doing in their own right. According to the Los Angeles Times, the AMC theater chain has lost just shy of a billion dollars this year. Not doing so well, but let’s take a look at how they were trending before lockdown. According to IBISWorld, in the last 5 years, movie theaters have been trending downwards in earnings with a trend of negative 16.6%. We cannot forget that even though 16.6% may seem small, that is tens of billions of dollars in loss. So movie theaters aren’t coping well there either.


It seems like every possible sign seems to be pointing to the downfall of brick and mortar movie theater viewing, and the harsh truth is that brick and mortar movie theater viewing is dying. This is not a product of its own mistakes but rather the advantages of online movie streaming. The COVID-19 pandemic has only speeded up the process of closing down theaters. According to the New York Times, Regal Cinemas, the second-largest movie theater chain in the country, was forced to close 663 of its theaters on October 5.


The liquidation of movie theaters, however, is not something to be looked upon with grief. The future of movie viewing is in good hands. Streaming services are easier to access and more comfortable. They also provide endless collections of movies that movie theaters cannot provide. Finally, In the long term, they save consumers money by allowing entire families to watch numerous movies for the price of one movie ticket at a theater. In conclusion, though it may feel bitter for such a large part of the American culture in the viewing of movie theaters in person to be lost, the future is still bright.

New iPad Air has great features, lower price

By: Akilesh Bharat


The iPad Air 4th generation is a tablet that has the accessories, performance, and design similar to its big brother, the iPad Pro. The iPad Air is now full screen featuring their best LCD Liquid Retina Display at 10.9 inches. It has 1 millimeter thicker bezels than the iPad pro making it not too noticeable. The main feature of this iPad is performance. It has the A14 Bionic chip, meaning that the iPad has the 5 anemometer process and the next-generation neural engine. This makes it faster than the iPad pro in one way. One thing the iPad air lacks is having a 6 core unlike the iPad pro with 8 core.


The iPad Air has one 4K 60 FPS camera on the back and also has a 7MP front camera. It has the same cameras as the pro, but it is only a single camera on the front and a non-portrait mode camera. This is because it does not have a true depth camera like the iPad pro for Face ID.


The new iPad Air has a Touch ID. Since the iPad Air is fullscreen, it can't have a home button which is where the touch ID sensor is normally at. Instead, Apple thought differently and put it in the power button. Other companies have in screen fingerprints, but Apple decided to put it in the top button. It is small, meaning that you have to get all parts of your finger in so it can recognize.


The new iPad Air also has support for the iPad pro's apple pencil 2nd gen, which is magnetically attached to the iPad for pairing and charging. This pencil also has gesture controls, meaning you can double-tap on the pen to change materials. It also has access to the magic keyboard, which magnetically connects to the back of the iPad and has a keyboard and trackpad. This can make your iPad feel more like a computer.


The iPad Air has five colors, a new sky blue, a new green, rose gold, silver, and space gray. This iPad only starts at $599, making it $200 cheaper than iPad Pro. This iPad is the iPad for people who are looking for a more affordable, powerful, and has good tech specs. In conclusion, this iPad is really the best iPad for 2020 because it is so much like the iPad Pro, and it is more affordable and very powerful.

Origin Stories: Count Dracula and Frankenstein's monster

By: Rebecca Borlace


Count Dracula

You all know the razor-sharp fangs and floor-length cape, but does anyone know where he came from?


The ever-iconic blood-sucking nobleman made his first appearance in Bram Stoker’s tale, Count Dracula. The novel quickly popularized the existence of vampires to the world, inspiring many variations on Count Dracula’s life account. However, most people don’t know that the infamous count was based on a real person in history, Vlad Tepes, or better known as Vlad the Impaler.


Vlad was born in 1431 in Transylvania, a region of Romania. Contrary to popular belief, Transylvania is not a region of Pennsylvania. The origins of the name Dracula come from what they called his father Dracul, which in Romanian means “dragon” or “devil”. Dracula means son of Dracul in Romanian.


Vlad the Impaler was a Romanian prince during the 15th century who was known for his brutality against his enemies. He lorded over Walachia, now a part of Romania, and some of the tactics he used on his foes were torture, mutilation (to injure, disfigure, or make imperfect by removing or irreparably damaging parts - Dictionary.com), and mass murder. Of course, Vlad used many more methods. His favorite even earned him his nickname, Vlad the Impaler.


The origins of the alias come from his most infamous torture method, implement, or driving a wooden stake through different parts of the body and leaving the victims to die. Seem familiar yet? Vlad supposedly had as many as 20,000 victims impaled by wooden stakes at the river banks of the Danube.


Vlad the Impaler was captured and detained by the Hungarian army from 1463 to 1475, only able to regain his power in 1476. He died in battle the same year. Some accounts of Vlad report that he enjoyed dining with the corpses of his impaled victims, even going as far as dipping his bread into the blood of the victims. This, supposedly where the blood-sucking part of our favorite undead count originates.



Frankenstein’s Monster

The iconic green giant that we all love made its first appearance in Frankenstein by Mary (Wollstonecraft) Shelley, which described the tale of Dr. Victor Frankenstein, a scientist, whose creation became a monster.


Dr. Frankenstein created his monster to uncover the secrets of life and death, still grieving over the death of his mother. He hopes to become someone great, the book even compares his ablation to that of Satan, who wanted to obtain the power of God and was banished for it.


The monster is made of old body parts, assembled together with chemicals, and brought to life by a strange spark. The monster was described to have stood at 8 feet tall with monstrous strength and the mind of a newborn baby.


Eventually, Dr. Frankenstein abandoned his creation, making the monster resent him for leaving him alone and not creating any more of his kind. The monster is lonely and decides to fit into society, however, he is shunned and ostracized for his grotesque looks. The monster was a kind and gentle soul, but the loneliness caused him to despise his creator for bringing him into this world, so the monster killed Dr. Frankenstein’s younger brother as an act of revenge.


The Doctor was angry and destroyed the female monster who would have solved the monster’s pain and loneliness. The monster responds by killing Dr. Frankenstein’s best friend and new wife.


As the story goes on, we see Dr. Frankenstein noticing how sensitive the monster really was when he saves a group of peasants from drowning but instead of thanks, he gets beaten by them because of his ugly appearance.


The monster cannot decide between his kind side and the side of himself that wants revenge on those who harmed him. He ends up tormented by his conscience for the rest of his days. Even the death of his creator and mentor, only gives him a feeling of bittersweet relief.

Paperbacks and ebooks each have advantages

By: Abhiram Gadde


There are many disadvantages and advantages of ebooks. For example, a con may be that since ebooks are online, and that is more screen time. Ebooks don't cost as much as paper books, and since they are online, they can never get ruined. So if you are prone to accidentally making a mess of your paper books, ebooks may be the choice for you. Instead of carrying multiple bulky books, one eBook reader can hold thousands of eBooks. Because of this, ebooks are portable and lightweight, making them easy to carry around. It saves a lot of space in your home and in your bag.


Paper books also have pros and cons. A pro might be that you spend less time on a screen, and you always have it unless you lose it or rip it. The feel of paper matters when reading a book, as it is better at conveying information. A study concluded that people using e-readers were less likely to recall events in a short story than people who read the same story in print. People that also read paper books are more likely to fall asleep faster according to one study. Although as stated above, paper books may be bulkier.


So next time you decide to read a book, think about which is better for you; A paper book or an ebook.

FRAGRANCES, FOOD, & FUN

dog and cat laying next to each other

Dog or cat? Which is better for your lifestyle?

By: Phina Poinsett


If you or your family has been contemplating whether you should get a dog or a cat, you may want to think it through.


First of all, let's talk about price. A cat is a significantly cheaper pet than a dog. They don't need much and don't eat as much either. They need litter, and you can find a 42 pound bag at petsmart for $20.00. This can last for about 3 months depending on how many cats you have and how sparingly you use it. For cat food, you can buy a 16 pound bag to last you about 2 months for $25.00. You can buy a non covered litter box for about $10.00, and a scoop for $4.00. Plain food and water bowls can cost about $5.00 each, so about $10.00 for both bowls. However, if you want to get fancy and get cute bowls and/or bowl stands, it can cost up to $25.00. Lastly, you will need grooming tools such as nail clippers, brushes, and undercoat rakes depending on the fur of your cat. A cat grooming kit from Amazon including all the basics, can be about $14.00. Add a mesh cat carrier and your up front price can potentially be around $58.00. Monthly payment can be about $22.5; again, depending on the size, fur length, and amount of cats.


Now, let's talk about pricing for dogs. While dogs don't need litter, they make up for the cost in needing more of almost everything else. We’ll start with food. For a medium sized dog, a 15 pound bag can last for about a month, costing $28.00 from Petsmart. A crate can cost up to $70.00, however for a 40-50 pound dog they're about $50.00 from Petsmart. A leash and harness are about $15.00 all together, depending on whether you want a fancy collar or leash. And again, plain bowls for about $10.00 for two, unless you want something cute or a stand. Dogs also need to be groomed, how often is up to what breed your dog is, fur length and thickness, and how dirty they get. But the basics are here: Burt's bees shampoo from petsmart is about $7.00. Add in the same grooming kit as mentioned earlier ($14.00), and a rake which you can buy off Amazon for $7.00, you get $28.00 for all the grooming supplies. Throw in two plush squeaker toys for $10.00, a Kong toy for $11.00, and a three pack of tennis balls for $5.00, that's about $26.00. And lets not forget about those training treats for $5.00 a bag! So all in all, your up front price will be somewhere around $129.00. Your monthly cost will probably be between $30.00-40.00.


As you can see, dogs are much more expensive than cats, however there are many pluses to getting a dog. For example, consider your lifestyle. Do you like to hike? To swim or go for long runs? Well a dog will be your perfect companion! Dogs love almost anything to do with exercise, and with you! You can take your dogs on many adventures, and after a long day of exploring the great outdoors, your dog is there to cuddle and wind down.


But maybe you aren't an active person. Maybe you prefer to sit inside and explore a book instead. In that case, a cat may be right for you! Since cats sleep about 16 hours a day, they love to relax and curl up with their favorite person. A cat is also a great choice if you love to travel. Since cats don't need, and don't necessarily want constant attention, and don't need lots of looking after, a cat may be perfect if you have a traveling lifestyle.


Now these are not all the pros and cons of these two different pets, but they are some important things to think about when deciding which one you want to get.

Just getting a whiff can make you rethink the stink

By: Xan Malan


Have you ever been wearing a hand sanitizer, scented lotion, perfume, cologne, and someone complained about how strong it is or that it gives them a headache? Why is that? Why does something smell so good to one person and bad to another?


According to The Handy Chemistry Answer Book, “The first is volatility, or vapor pressure, of the molecule you smell. Simply, if there is more of it, it smells stronger. Additionally, some molecules interact more strongly with the receptors in your nose than others, which results in a stronger smell sensation.” Basically what they’re saying is that when you put a lot of perfume, cologne or other things you spray into the air, the more of it there is the more people will be able to smell it.


After smelling a smell, does your stomach get upset or your head start to hurt? According to marieclaire.com, “The physiological aspect may have something to do with irritation of the mucous membranes in our noses (cigarette smoke is a common culprit) and also what's happening in the brain. "Fragrances can trigger certain pathways that stimulate what's called the vomit center," says Dr. Randolph Schnitman, an ear, nose, and throat specialist in Beverly Hills. We can also be allergic or sensitive to certain elements.”


Certain smells can cause people to physically become sick, for example my aunt can’t be in the same room with someone who’s wearing strong perfume because it makes her sick.

Also from marieclaire.com, “Brosius believes that synthetic compounds in fragrance are the root of the problem. "It has to do with the fact that more and more perfume is made with cheap, synthetic crap," he says.” It continues, David Crow, the creator of Floracopeia, says our bodies "only know how to relate to botanically based compounds since they are oils that come from flowers, woods, and other plants. Our brain and immune system don't recognize the synthetic stuff."”


So the next time you smell a fragrance think about this article and what you learned.

Looking to cook something new?

By: Aahana Ashok


MAPLE CHERRY GRANOLA

This maple cranberry oatmeal will have you dreaming about it in your sleep! It’s a great dish for weekend meal prep, so you can pull it out of the pantry and eat. For this specific recipe, it will serve four people.


INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups of Rolled Oats

  • 1/2 cup of Dried Cranberries

  • ½ cup of Pumpkin seeds

  • ½ cup of Pure Maple Syrup

  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon


MATERIALS

  • Oven

  • Larger bowl

  • Baking Tray

  • Parchment Paper

  • Spatula


First, you have to set your oven to 275 °F, then place the parchment paper over your baking tray. Warning the oven will be hot, so have parent supervision. In a larger bowl mix oats, maple syrup, pumpkin seeds and cinnamon and stir. Spread granola in the baking sheet and bake in low heat for 45 minutes. Add dried cranberries after the granola is cooled. Serve it with yogurt or milk, or eat them by the handful!


NACHOS

This is a great dish to make with the whole family. This dish makes everyone feel more connected. There is even an international Nacho Day on October 21!


INGREDIENTS

  • Tortilla Chips

  • Salsa

  • Mexican mix cheese

  • Corn

  • Canned Black Beans

  • Feta Cheese

  • A handful of Olives

  • Cilantro

  • Lettuce

  • Sour Cream


MATERIALS

  • Baking Pan

  • Oven

  • Knife

  • Cutting Board

  • Parchment Paper


Prepare a pan with parchment paper. Then spread the pan generously with tortilla chips. Next put on top of it, black beans, corn and cheese. Put it in the oven and bake for 10 minutes, take it out till the chips are very light brown. Don’t let it get dark brown. While the chips are in the oven, chop the cilantro, lettuce and the olives.


Once the chips are done, pull it out, and let it cool for 2 minutes. Add salsa on top spread cilantro, lettuce, feta cheese, olives then lastly the sour cream. Then you are done.

Love for peanut butter spreads throughout November

By: Hansi Yarabarla


It’s November! Oh boy, how fast the year has gone by. Like every other month, November has its own unique specialties. including being known as: The National Peanut Butter Lovers Month.


The History

This program was created just to fulfill everyone’s peanut butter cravings. Peanut butter was first created by a French- Canadian named Marcellus Gilmore Edson, back in 1884. Along the way, other people started contributing to the invention of peanut butter, which helped spread the dipping/ snack more efficiently. As it’s been spreading more, people who are truly in love with PB&J would think it’s the official sandwich!


What people do this month

What should people do this month? Well for starters, what is peanut butter most known for? Yes, PB&J sandwiches, and since the whole month is dedicated to it, now is the time to make some sandwiches. Secondly, spread the news, “it’s peanut butter lovers month!"


Did you know that peanut butter has different flavors? Most people just know the classic peanut butter, but more flavors are starting to come out. These include, peanut butter with chocolate (could there be a better combo?) with honey, with almonds, dates, etc. The point is since it’s peanut butter month, this is the perfect time to try all of them! The average American eats about three pounds of peanut butter a year.

Thanksgiving activities to try this November

By: Lakshmi Bijukumar


Thanksgiving is one of the most celebrated holidays in the U.S. and why not touch it up with some arts and crafts?


Turkey Oreos

Materials:

  • Desirable amount of oreos.

  • Candy Corn ( 4 for each oreo)

  • Chocolate chip or Hershey Kisses

  • Red icing

  • White icing

  • Black icing


Directions:

  • Take one oreo, 4 pieces of candy corn, 1 chocolate chip and some red, black and white icing.

  • Stick the candy corn into the cream of the oreo.(Shaped like the tail feathers of a turkey)

  • Put a dot of any color icing in the middle of the oreo , place the chocolate chip on top.

  • Draw a wattle with the red icing(the red thing by the turkey's beak)

  • Draw eyes with the black and white icing.

  • Repeat steps for each oreo.


Thankful Pie

Materials:

  • Paper plate

  • Colored construction paper

  • Brass Fastener


Directions:

  • Cut out a construction paper circle the same size as the inside of a paper plate.

  • Attach with a brass fastener

  • Then remove a "slice" of pie.

  • Write "I'm Thankful for …" along the top and ask them to add responses as they rotate the "slice" around the pie.


Cupcake liner Turkey

Materials:

  • Red, Orange and yellow cupcake liners

  • Glue

  • Yellow construction paper

  • Brown pom poms


Directions:

  • Glue the cupcake liners so they can be seen as different layers.

  • Glue on a brown pom pom to the bottom of the cupcake liners.

  • Stick a small yellow beak on the brown pom pom.