Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Winter is here, or is it?

By: Hannah Gandee

  With the temperature changing from one day to another- one day freezing and the next comfortably warm- it is easy to forget we’re in the midst of winter. One early dismissal and full snow day gave students hope. With almost half of the winter season come and gone, some students hope the worst is over and others hope for snow days in February.
  “I don’t really like snow, especially if there’s a lot. I hope there won’t be this year,” said junior Shayla Anderson.
  Based on the weather lately that hope seems as if it will be realised. The warmth in the air is unusual for this time of the year.
  Occasionally, we look towards the Farmer’s Almanac because it has a long standing reputation for predicting the weather. However the Almanac is usually only right 80% of the time and this year it was a bit of the ways off. It predicted above average snowfall in the northern states and the below average snowfall down south. As we are in the Northeast, this month we have had little snowfall to match this prediction.
 Junior Alexandra Dean said, “Snow’s a nuisance, I like there not being a lot.”
  The unnatural warmth is seemingly a cause for concern. All the rain received because of the warmth it may cause some fear of flooding. It should have snowed a bit more by now. Instead, all falling precipitation has been in the form of rain, which would have been fine if we were in the middle of a drought. However, we are not and the rainfall has caused water levels to rise.
  With these warmer temperatures we must ask ourselves, what is the cause? Could it be global warming, or is it an example of the unpredictability of nature? Whatever the reason, this warm weather makes us wonder, if it’s warm now what will summer be like?

Friday, January 27, 2017

“The Bye Bye Man’: Don’t pay for it, don’t watch it
By: Shianna Pennington
“People commit unthinkable acts every day. Time and time again, we grapple to understand what drives a person to do such terrible things. But what if all of the questions we’re asking are wrong? What if the cause of all evil is not a matter of what, but who?”
This quote from Fandango summarizes the question surrounding the movie “The Bye Bye Man”.
    People do unthinkable things every day, and many typically think “What made them do this?” “The Bye Bye Man” explores the thought of maybe it isn’t a what that makes them do these horrible things, but a who. And that “who” is the Bye Bye Man.  
This film based on a campfire is a chilling horror-thriller film from the producers of “Oculus” and “The Strangers” that exposes the evil that is behind the most heinous acts of man.
When three college friends throw a “housewarming” party, they discover a drawer containing a piece of paper with the words “Don’t Think it, Don’t Say it” written in red ink. Underneath that piece of paper, they find “The Bye Bye Man” engraved into the drawer itself, stumbling upon what they come to find are the origins of the Bye Bye Man. Inviting a psychic friend in to figure out what is happening, they discover that there is only one way to avoid the Bye Bye Man’s curse: don’t think it, don’t say it. Because once he gets inside your head, he takes control.  Without spoiling the movie, you can just assume that the curse leads to death.
The synopsis for “The Bye Bye Man”, coming straight from Fandango, combined with the trailer, misled me to believe that this would be a banging movie. I was expecting lots of pop outs and jump scares, causing me to almost pee myself and/or have nightmares.  They didn’t happen, and I was quite disappointed with it because that’s my favorite part of scary movies.
  Though “The Bye Bye Man” is labeled as horror, suspense,and thriller, it’s more comical than scary. The special effects were not very good. The acting was not very good, and the parts that were meant to scare you, were hysterical.
  This movie is based upon an “allegedly” true campfire story and the story that it is based off of, explains everything, and it could have been made into a very great movie. But the producers didn’t explain anything of the past relating to the Bye Bye Man, so the things that were happening just didn’t make any sense.
     I would NOT recommend seeing this movie or paying for it. If it’s being streamed like on Netflix, possibly, but I would not pay money for it.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Scheduling time is approaching fast

By: Hannah Gandee

  Now that we’ve moved into the new semester, it’s time for us to choose our classes for the 2017- 2018 school year. Here are a few tips for your scheduling needs:
  1. Choose classes wisely: The last thing you want is to end up in classes you don’t actually want or need. Look at the course requirements for your potential college programs and look at your priorities and interests. Consider whether you’re going to split the harder classes up over the years or do them all at once. If co-opping is your goal, plan far ahead so you don’t have to spend valuable time making up classes. You also need business classes for co-op so don’t ignore those.
  2. Pick plenty of electives: Electives will make up at least four of your classes.
    1. Any electives you fail will need to be made up in order to receive the credits for the class. This can limit the number of electives you can take.
    2. Be sure to pick ones you will enjoy and remember alternatives. They may become one of your classes.
  3. Always turn schedules in on time: The later it comes in, the less chance you have of getting your preferred classes. Do not ignore deadlines!
  4. Talk to teachers and counselors: They are here to help you by making suggestions and signing off on your classes.
  This year the school will be offering college classes here instead of having students drive to WVUP to take their courses. This will cut down on travel time and will be cheaper for students, but no one is quite sure what classes will be offered. Keep a look out for more information.
  Scheduling is an important part of the high school experience and can even help you on the path to your future. If you don’t know what you want to do, then try several ideas now to help you decide for later. Try classes that seem interesting and look like something you would want to do.
  The classes you take will go towards credits that you need to graduate. There are specific numbers of credits for each grade which are needed to move up. You can receive the highest amount of credits (32) by passing all your classes. This can be difficult, so try your hardest and always do your make- up work on time. Once you graduate you get a diploma, this will have a sticker on it that shows which pathway you have followed.
  With these scheduling tips you can avoid last minute panic, stress of choosing the best classes, and can enjoy your high school years to the best of your ability.

Post holiday sales worth your time

By: Brooke Nichols
Everywhere you look from either shopping in the stores to online there are sales happening. The holiday season is over and stores need to get rid of all of their merchandise to bring in new shipments for the spring time.”With Christmas over, there is no harm in shopping for yourself a little bit.” Stores are cutting prices and also having blowout sales on everything they don’t need anymore such as apparel, electronics, guns/bows, jewelry, shoes and much more.
  You might question whether or not the sale is worth it it since some companies offer sales all the time and not just after the holidays, if the sale helps you save money or it gets you what you want while shopping, go for it. If it would just be better to wait, then wait it out; a better deal could come at any moment. The point of the sales happening is that when you see something that is offered only during Christmas time, then you're going to want to use the sale to get it and also save money.
    All kinds of stores are having the sales like Crocs, Charlotte Russe, Bath & Body Works, JCPenney, Rue21, Amazon, Nike, Target, Walmart, Kohl’s, and more. Stores make sales from 20%-80% off, all depending on what they have and how quickly they want to get rid of the products. Some are only a limited time offer and will go away soon. Sometimes, if you really really want it and you can hold out, they could reduce the price a second time. Some sales that are still happening is Bath&body works with up to 75% off some specific items, Rue, Kohl's different % off, etc.
 There is a lot of gambles to consider when shopping sales online and in stores. From how much you will save, to if it would be cheaper to do buy it somewhere else, or at a different time, and also comparing in-store prices to those online. However, most of the time shopping is fun and when you like something just go ahead and buy it while it’s on sale.

Working Towards Weight this New Year

By: Anna Sheets

  Let’s face it: we all have a few pounds we’d like to shed this year, and if your New Year’s resolution is to lose weight like 70% of Americans this year, then you’ve come to the right place. Here are some ways to target areas and tone up when trying to lose weight.
  The biggest obstacle in trying to lose weight is creating new habits (and breaking your old ones!). Eating habits as well as exercise habits play into the amount of weight you gain and where you gain it. There are a few ways to go about losing weight, but the best way to do so is to watch what you eat and drink. Cutting pop and sugary drinks out of your regular diet will reduce toxins in your system, not to mention how much high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) you are consuming.
  HFCS contributes to a lot of weight gain, and today it is hard to find food without it. Eating raw is always one option, but that can be pricey and time consuming. Avoiding fast food and soda is a good start, but reading the labels of food is the only way to really be sure you’re cutting it out entirely. While not consuming HFCS will absolutely help you shed some unwanted inches, it will not happen overnight, as your body will still be trying to flush all the toxins out.
  The fastest way to help your body rid itself out of these toxins is to up your water intake and make a point to drink at least eight glasses a day, which often means drinking water even when you aren’t thirsty. While this can seem troublesome, it will also help with your digestion, clearer skin, boosting the immune system, supercharging your energy, and help maintain any weight that you have already lost.
  Making a steady habit of exercising will help, also, as you are eating correctly and doing cardio regularly, you are sure to shed pounds. However, if you are doing any exercise other than cardio, you will be building muscle under the fat and will not see results, though you will absolutely feel better.
  While being your healthiest self is something to strive for, it is important to remember that it is more important to love yourself no matter what shape you are in. It is, after all, what’s inside that counts.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Boys’ Basketball working towards playoffs

By: Seth Gainey

  As the season progresses, the boys’ record is 5-7. The team has only played 12 games, and have 11 games to go, so it’s hard to tell if the team will make the playoffs or not.
  “The team’s not bad: it’s just different. We have different players than we have had in the past,” Senior Jamison Hunt said.
  Hunt is one of the leaders on the basketball team. In his four years of high school, he has scored a thousand points and counting. He has the potential to score more than Chase Johnson after he hit the thousand point mark               
  There’s a lot of basketball still to be played this season. It’s too early this season to tell if they will be a playoff team or not.
  “I'm not excited for any game in particular. I just look forward to doing what I can to make the team better, whether that be playing in a Freshman or jv game, cheering on the varsity players, or going full speed in practice. I just want to make the team better, it doesn't matter how I do it,” Freshman Jacob Fouty stated.
  The Vikings played Riverside on January 13. The score was 60-53, with our team coming out on top. The Vikings have some “special” players on their roster.
  “Corbin Campbell is a very special player; he can get rebounds. The only problem with him is he has to get motivated to play. If he goes full speed all the time instead of only when he wants to, he’d be getting more minutes in the game,” Coach John Kennedy stated.
  The team lost to GW, 72-59 on January 17th
  The Vikings lost to South Charleston, with the final score being 111-87 on January 19th
  “I think we lost because we weren’t mentally prepared. We had a lost before that. We did not give full effort the whole game either. Some of us were slacking, and making bad choices when we passed the ball or tried to take a shot. We are prepared for next game. We fixed our problems at practice.” Senior Hunt said.
  The Vikings next game is January 24 at Parkersburg.
  “I’m preparing for this game just like I would any other game. Rather it be getting rebounds, scoring points, or getting assists. I am prepared to do whatever it takes to get a win,” Freshman Ty Johnson stated.
  The Vikings next home game is January 28 against Capitol.

Are winter blues more than just being SAD?

By: Maisie Stout
As the buzz of the New Year comes to an end, winter is officially upon us. In the past our winters have either been mild or extreme, but this year looks to be a unique winter with bipolar weather. Not having a white Christmas is disappointing enough, but the extreme cold the week after break had many teachers and students missing the warmer weather. Along with the shift in temperature, winter weather can also cause a shift in mood for many people. Principal William Hosaflook said that the highest rate of in school disputes happens in October, which is around the time many people begin to experience symptoms of winter SAD. Administrators also notice that there are statistically more disputes via the internet during the winter months because the cold and lack of daylight keeps students inside.
SAD, or seasonal affective disorder, is a mood disorder that causes depression at the same time every year. Many of the symptoms of SAD are caused by a drop in melatonin or serotonin levels. Melatonin is a brain chemical that aids in sleep cycles and mood. Serotonin affects your mood, and reduced sunlight can often cause a drop in serotonin levels which would cause symptoms of SAD.  SAD most commonly occurs during the winter months, but there are people who will experience seasonal depression during the spring or summer months.
“I am not diagnosed, but I do experience motivation decrease and I am less likely to go to the gym in the winter. I almost feel like hibernating under a blanket, eating soup and snuggling with cats,” English teacher Emily Okes said.
With more than 3 million cases every year, it is safe to say that SAD is a serious disorder and should not be taken lightly.  Symptoms of winter SAD include irritability, tiredness, oversleeping, weight gain, and appetite changes. Spring or summer SAD can cause depression, trouble sleeping, and weight loss. It is common to have a bad day every now and then, but if you are feeling continuously depressed it is advised to see a doctor.
Medical treatments of SAD include light therapy (exposure to artificial light), psychotherapy and medications which may include different types of antidepressants. To avoid the doctor’s office, try home remedies like making your home sunnier, exercising more and just going outside.

Should we support emotional support pets?

By: Maisie Stout
  An unusual topic of the New Year is the question of emotional support pets. With famous pets like Daniel the Emotional Support Duck raising question to the validity of such animals, many people are asking what exactly a “comfort pet” is. Emotional support pets are a branch of service animals that help with mental disabilities rather than physical. As you may know, each service animal is trained to deal with a certain type of disability, like sensing low blood pressure for people with diabetes or being a seeing-eye dog for blind people. Support animals can help with a multitude of mental disorders such as: anxiety, panic attacks, mood disorders, bipolar disorders, depression, and even PTSD.  These animals are also used to help people suffering from autism and Asperger’s syndrome.
The most common form of emotional support pet is a dog, but other animals can be registered as a support animal too. In the past people have registered cats, birds, pigs, snakes, and even miniature horses as emotional support animals. The terms ‘pet’ and ‘animal’ are often used interchangeably. Owners have to keep in mind that service animals are not just pets; they are tools that help people cope with their disabilities. Emotional service pets do not have to know the commands that conventional service dogs do because they are there to help people cope with mental conditions, however, they should still be handled responsibly.
   Registering your animal can be fairly easy and cheap. To first register, you have to prove that you have a legitimate mental disorder, which can be done by consulting a therapist or counselor. According to the National Service Animal Registry, after you prove that you have a disorder you have to register your pet as manageable in public with a NSAR Public Access Test. The cost on this website is around 64 dollars. Another way to register your pet as an emotional support animal is on the United States Dog Registry website. It is a little pricier, ranging from 79 to 199 dollars, but with this site you will be receiving kits with more gear and certification documents depending on which kit you buy. Kits often include your pets’ certification and I.D. cards, as well as vests and collars for your pet to wear in public.
  In any given year about 1 in 5 adults in America are diagnosed with mental illnesses.  This statistic adds up to about 45 million adults. In 2011, West Virginia had the most cases of severe mental diseases of any American state. Emotional support animals can help reduce the symptoms of the disorders that these Americans are diagnosed with, so there will most likely be an increase in registered emotional support animals in the future.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Global Warming: “It’s an issue”

By: Ashtun Welling

  Global warming is a growing issue in today’s world. Nobody wants to believe that the Earth’s temperature has been drastically rising over the past 50 years.  Rising temperatures may seem like a good thing but news flash: it’s not. We can all agree that a white Christmas is enjoyable but if there is a possibility that that will be a thing of the past. Would you make a change?
  Global warming occurs when carbon dioxide (CO2) and other air pollutants and greenhouse gases collect in the atmosphere and absorb sunlight and solar radiation that bounces off the earth’s surface. These pollutants can last for years to centuries in the atmosphere, which results in trapping in more heat from the sun causing the planet to get hotter. The earth’s rising temperatures are fueling longer and hotter heat waves, more frequent droughts, heavier rainfall, and more powerful hurricanes. Extreme heat waves cause tens of thousands of deaths around the world in recent years. Antarctica has been losing about 134 billion metric tons of ice per year since 2002.
  In the United States, the burning of fossil fuels to make electricity is the largest source of heat-trapping pollution, producing about two billion tons of CO2 every year. The second-largest source of carbon is transportation which generates about 1.7 billion tons of CO2 a year.
   In 2016, the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine announced that it’s now possible to confidently attribute certain weather events, like some heat waves, directly to climate change. While the ocean temperatures are getting warmer this results in more powerful tropical storms can pick up more energy.     
  Meat production is also a leading cause of climate change, water waste, and deforestation. As the human population grows this results in a higher demand for meat. As our appetite increases, countries across the globe are bulldozed to make more room for animals as well as the crops to feed them. Entire ecosystems such as tropical rainforests in Brazil to ancient pine forests in China are destroyed to fuel our demand for meat. The Worldwatch Institute estimates that at least 51% of greenhouse gas can be attributed to “livestock and their byproducts.” Instead, we could grow food to reverse some of the destruction we’ve done.
  In order for future generations to enjoy mother nature as we do now, we must make a change. Even little things such as recycling, remembering to turn off lights when you leave a room,  or limiting your shower time could turn things around? Instead of throwing away those paper assignments, take them to the recycling center. Teachers have access to paper recycling here at school.  For plastics, cans, and cardboard boxes. here are many recycling centers located here such as the one next to the old Snow Biz building in Ravenswood, the one right before you pass C-mart in Cottageville, or the one right behind Save-A-Lot near the Whiting Ballpark.
   Overall we should all try to make little changes in our lives, so the future generations can enjoy earth as we do. Don’t take little things such as nature, clean air, and water for granted. One day it could all change, but not if you take small changes in life for the better of the future.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Mariah Carey's Failed NYE Performance

By: Kindra Sarver
  Every year when the clock hits midnight on December 31, the world’s eyes are drawn to the ball drop in Times Square. Whether they are there in person or watching it live on television, New York City grabs the attention of over one billion people.
  Before the ball dropped to bring in this new year, DNCE, Thomas Rhett, Gloria Estefan, and Mariah Carey performed. The performance did not go the way Carey had anticipated. Carey claims her technical producers are the ones to blame. She states that she was given a faulty earpiece and that the producers just wanted to take this opportunity to humiliate her. Her manager later says, “The producers wanted a viral moment.” The technical producers claim they would never try to embarrass an artist like that, but they have yet to persuade Carey of that.  
  The disaster consisted of Carey walking awkwardly back and forth to waste time.  Carey said things such as, “Let the crowd sing,” and, “That was amazing,” in a sarcastic tone. In the background her dancers continued. On the track that played you could hear the whistle tones that they had click tracked so she could lip sync them. The performance was cut short for obvious reasons.
  The real question is can we trust that Carey is telling the truth about the technical producers? This is not the first time Carey has had an incident of this sort. How can we forget the 2014 Rockefeller Center performance? There she ended up having to sing live, due to her being unable to get there in time to pre-record, and butchered the song. She may have used that as a learning experience and that is why she did not attempt to sing at all for the New York audience.
  Carey states in an interview that she will be taking a break and use that time to focus on her loved ones and herself. The break will not be a long one considering she announced she will be going on tour with Lionel Ritchie beginning in March of this year.