Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Virtual Reality Goggles Sweeping The Nation

By: Brooke Nichols
    Virtual reality is improved and better than ever and its transforming the gaming world, colleges, businesses and much more. Goggles fitted with sensors that have three-dimensional image or environment to be interacted in a real or physical way by a person using special equipment.
   Ripley High School Student Luke Fitzsimons has the VR goggle and says “I love the goggles, I bought them to advance my gaming experience and put me more into the game because I like being on my computer a lot so why not make it better.”
   Being invented in 1968, by Ivan Sutherland, with the help of a student Bob Sproul, created what is widely considered the first Virtual Reality system. It was a less advanced version of what we have today it use to be a head piece with glasses attached that the user pulls in front of their eyes. It has changed dramatically through the years though from 1968-2016. With improvements and changes to the VR system from the original machine itself such as its now a transitional headset, uses phones, the viewing quality is HD, the sound and much more.
   Some of the companies that sell the VR are Oculus Rift, Sony, Google, Samsung, Microsoft, Qualcomm, and many more. The prices can range from $900-$2,000 there is a pricing difference because the lower prices just get’s you the bare minimum of what you need. And the more you pay for the VR system the better quality it will be. Also not all items that are needed to run the VR is included some things are sold separately.
   Many businesses and colleges are using VR systems like, the University of Michigan’s football team will be breaking new ground this fall with VR. As the first collegiate athletic department to use the VR for practice, recruiting, and also fan interaction. VR is beginning to gain acknowledgement in college and professional sports, and Michigan becomes the first school to embrace this upcoming technology. In order to provide an almost real life experience like running out of the tunnel, playing the game, the whole nine yards of the gaming experience.
   While 12 team mates are learning the new way of recruitment on VR in 2015, defensive tackle Maurie Hurst Jr. takes his turn, and when he takes off the headset, he seems overwhelmed.
   He said, shaking his head. "And I thought Google Maps was cool." 
   Chesson said "I thought it would be like Viewfinders, like when you were a little kid.” "When you pull down the lever and then click the picture would change. What I just watched, that's mind-blowing stuff. You can feel the energy. It's like you're right there."
   Not just schools and football team but the British Army Recruitment is getting ahead of the curve with using VR to show men and women what its like to be in the battle field, be in the tanks/trucks, and much more. It shows you what you are enlisting for so that you can be ready before you take that big leap into enlisting.
   Not yet widely used by schools yet but this being such a great learning experience hopefully later on more High Schools and sports teams will jump on the use of VR as a learning tool and much more in the classrooms.


Thursday, September 22, 2016

Banned Books Week, making known your freedom to read

By: Hannah Gandee

   Have you ever thought about being told you could no longer read one of your favorite books? The thought is unimaginable but it happens more often then you would think. Banned Books week was created because the American Library Association wanted a way for the entire book loving community to celebrate and show support for books that are frequently challenged or banned.
   Books such as To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, and The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald are all classic books on the summer reading lists and course lists that double on the list of Banned and Frequently Challenged Books.
   Even while these books are banned in other places around the world, the libraries both on campus and Jackson County don’t have any books students are banned from reading.
   “I do not believe one parent has the right to tell other parents what their children cannot read, but I also don’t buy books based on whether or not they are on the banned books list,” said librarian Gail Benford.
   The process of banning books is meant to keep people, usually children, from reading books and being influenced by the ideals represented in those stories, which may include sex, violence language, religion, etc. However, this doesn’t always work out like planned.
   “People who ban books are actually promoting them without actually realizing what they’re doing,” English teacher Elizabeth Sayre. When people are told what not to do or read, it makes others curious. This curiosity leads to more people reading the book because they want to know why it’s banned.
   Occasionally students have slightly different opinions.
   Junior Alex Lowe said, “I think banning books depends on the book and the maturity levels of those who read it. If you want to read banned books or not is your decision.”
    The banning of books can be a controversial issue or an issue that no one pays any attention to, but it is your decision on what you read. All people have the RIGHT to make suggestions when they think books should be challenged and banned. As a school we should remember to respect those rights even when our opinions differ.
   Banned Books Week (Sept. 25-0ct. 1) is a time dedicated to expressing your freedom to read by making your support of banned books known. Participation can be anything from reading banned books to getting a bookmark or pin showing your love and support of banned books. Plus, you can stop by the library and Ms. Okes’ room any time and take a look at the bulletin board display by the entrance and check out all the banned and challenged books.



WVU’s Thrasher wins gold medal in rifle

By: Calista Boggess
   Virginia Thrasher, sophomore at WVU, won the gold medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics for the women’s 10-meter air rifle.
   Thrasher began as a figure skater but changed her sport five years ago in ninth grade when she went hunting with her grandfather; she killed a deer with her first shot.  Practicing five days a week by her senior year, she was winning medals in the 2015 USA Shooting National Championship. Thrasher also won 3rd in the 2014 Junior Olympic Championships.
   At West Virginia University, Thrasher became the second member to win both the individual small-bore and air rifle championships. After those wins, there was a spot for her at the US Olympic Trials in Fort Benning, GA.
   Thrasher told The Washington Post, “I didn’t really care much about the Olympics. I knew shooting was an Olympic sport, but I never really thought, ‘Oh, I want to go to the Olympics in shooting.’ I was just shooting because I loved shooting.”
   Thrasher shot 10.5 on her first shot of the final elimination round and after getting a 10.4 on her second shot she was ahead of Li Du from China. Thrasher beat Du by one point and had a cumulative score of 208.0. Du is a two-time gold medalist, so beating her is truly an accomplishment.
   “I knew the stars were aligning and I was reaching towards something I had prepared for for a long time. The Olympics are just another steppingstone in my shooting career,” Thrasher said.
   Thrasher says she is excited to head back to school. She is majoring in biomedical-engineering is graduating in about three years.

Golf team swings into new season

By: Kindra Sarver

   Being a part of the smallest sports team at Ripley High does not stop these boys from being tough competitors. Elijah Riffe, Michael Lough, Cody Ramsey, and Darrell Shamblin are the four players that make up the school’s golf team. The team practices at the Green Hills Country Club’s course with coach Kevin McClung.
   Junior Michael Lough said, “Being on a smaller team has its benefits. We all get to know a lot about each other and become close. Also, we get more one-on-one time at practices, because there are only four of us, coach McClung is able to take time to work with all of us individually at practices.”
   Senior Elijah Riffe said, “This year has probably been the best year in terms of placing for the team since coach McClung has started coaching. The team’s made up of a great group of players.”
Golf is a co-ed sport, yet our team is only composed of boys. It has been decades, if ever, that a girl has been a part of the team.
   Riffe said, “With golf not being one of the most popular sports around here, it’s difficult to find boys, let alone girls to play. Other teams in the conference do have girls on them.”
   All agree that tournaments are fun because you spend the day with people that are as passionate about the sport as they are.
   However, Michael Lough said, “Matches and tournaments are exhausting because there’s so much walking, it’s extremely hot, and we have to carry a 30 lbs bag the entire 3-6 hours.”
   The team’s goal is to consistently place and to give themselves the chance of going to states. They have 9-hole matches and 18 hole tournaments. Towards the end of the season the team will partake in conference tournaments and regionals.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

"ADD" Won't Slow Phelps Down

By: Brooke Nichols 
Ever wanted to be in the Olympics but think you can’t do it because something’s stopping you? Well think again because Michael Phelps U.S.A Olympic swimmer has proved everyone differently. Even with a ADD disorder it didn’t stop him from competing in four Olympic games.
Since Phelps was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder, he started taking a stimulant medication which slowed him down but he didn’t like. He was directed toward swimming in 1992 at the early age of just nine his gift provides him with an outlet for his heightened amount of energy. After discovering what Phelps could do in the pool, being unbeatable and untouched, he started to break record after record as he rose through each age category.
 In the 2016 Olympics in Rio, he has won six consecutive medals, five gold and one silver. His gold’s are in Men’s 4x200m freestyle relay, Men’s 200m butterfly, Men’s 4x100m medley relay, Men’s 4x100m freestyle relay, and also Men’s 200m individual medley, and in silver is Men’s 100m butterfly.
“Phelps gold double extends his record as most decorated Olympian of all time” says Rachel Swatman from Olympic.org
Sadly, Phelps told NBC, “This is it. I’m swimming how I want to and this is a great way to finish.”
Phelps will not be swimming in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. He will still be known as the most decorative Olympian of all time securing 28 Olympics medals over all 23 of them gold spanning over four Olympic Games since he was just 15 years old. He might not be returning but Phelps is well known all over the world as the greatest U.S.A swimmer of all time.