Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Continue to help the Earth beyond Earth Day

Parker Miele
Staff Writer

Today’s world has created many problems, such as pollution and the killing of trees. Earth Day is a day devoted to collecting plastic and paper to recycle, or even going out to plant trees outside. That’s right, not your basic indoor plant, but in the actual world.
  But planting trees will not solve the problem.
  Earth Day is important because most people need to realize that we are destroying our world by doing even the simplest things, like driving.
  Planting trees is not enough to make a significant difference. You need to drive electric cars and wash your clothes in cold water. Composting is also a beneficial thing to do, so all the trash that would go into landfills is now in a neat little bin in your backyard; eventually you can even use the remains as a natural fertilizer for planting.
  The simplest thing to do to save money and, most importantly, the Earth, is to clean out your home’s air filters. This stops the system from working overtime, saving energy.
  Even the little things help, like turning off the lights when you leave the room or unplugging your cell phone charger when it’s not being used. Everything counts, if you want this world to still be beautiful, please help on the days after Earth Day and beyond.
  If you want to do more, you can become more active in your community by joining the Environmental Club; see Mrs. Lever for details.

A bittersweet goodbye to Mrs. Gomez

Caroline Maloney
Staff Writer

“It’s just the right time for me” she said.
  Mrs. Gomez currently teaches AP Language and 11th grade academic and honors English, and will be retiring at the end of the year. This retirement is bittersweet for Mrs. Gomez because she loves the atmosphere of her classroom and most especially her students, who also love her back.
  After first working for Springhouse Publishing company as an Associate Editor, Gomez decided to follow her dream and become a teacher. As a child, she originally wanted to be a Kindergarten teacher, but as her love for writing and literature grew strong, she knew that sharing her love for English with high school students was the path she had to follow.
  Mrs. Gomez first started at New Hope-Solebury High School in 1995. Prior to arriving, she had taught at BCCC and Delaware Valley College (today’s Delaware Valley University). Gomez taught American Literature to 9th grade students and British Literature to 11th grade students, creating 20 years of memories, laughs, and incredible classroom experiences.
  Mrs. Gomez will miss “the students, the classroom, and teaching writing,” she said as a smile broke across her face.
  New Hope will surely miss such a friendly face and impactful teacher.

Dr. Yanni talks renovation plans

Nikia Beavers & Kelsey Iverson
Staff Writers

Interested in how the new school renovation is coming? Q and As with Dr. Yanni
  When you walk into the art room and find an infestation of ants at your desk you think about how all the students were told about getting a “new” school through renovation, and wonder why the renovations were put on hold.
  The Lion’s Tale sat down with Dr.Yanni to ask him a series of questions that students are interested in knowing the answers to.
  He was very happy to answer the questions with as much depth and directness as possible, saying that he is, “excited for the work to get started. Some parts of the high school need to be fixed up.”

Question: When will construction take place?
Answer:  Right when graduation ends, June 15th.

Question: Will the mold problems be fixed?
Answer: Mold will be fixed, heat will be fixed.

Question: Why hasn't construction started?
Answer: We are continuing to refine the plan and make sure that it has everything that is needed. There was never going to be a change, we just had to get the board members up to date. There are new people to the board.

Question: Why was there a board meeting that people needed to be present at to make sure that this new construction takes place?
Answer: They had the board meeting to let the new board members know what the plan was.

Question: Is the renovation going to be the same as Dr. Boccotti had it or have you changed it?
Answer: Same renovation.

Question: When is it projected to be complete?
Answer: 2018, so about two years.

Question: How will this change our school environment?
Answer: We will have a state of the art facility that will enhance our already great programs. We will have better spaces for our art, drama, and music programs.  Communities identify with their schools, and New Hope-Solebury has received great recognition like the recent Blue Ribbon and nice facilities help to increase property values for our community.

Netflix raises monthly cost

Riley Brennan
Staff Writer

During the month of May, Netflix will raise their prices, making the company’s HD plan $9.99/month, a $2 increase from the original price. Those who do not want to spend the extra cash have the option of paying the original $7.99, but will only receive the SD plan. While disappointing, this should not actually come as a surprise to consumers.
  Netflix has been talking about raising their prices for months, first making new customers pay the raised fee of $9.99, and soon, longtime customers that were grandfathered into the $7.99 price will also pay the increased fee.
  Despite the variety of reactions Netflix has gotten from customers since the announcement, they are hoping for little backlash from their loyal customers. Customers have taken to twitter to express their opinions on the raise in price, some planning on canceling their Netflix accounts, and others labeling those who consider canceling their accounts as “cheap.” Some customers feel that $2 extra per month isn’t horrible, but fear that the company will continue to raise prices.
  “I definitely won’t cancel Netflix,” said Sophomore Maddie Brodier, “but I think they will continue raising the prices because they know people will continue to pay for their services.”
  “Honestly, I love Netflix too much to care,” said Sophomore Kaylee Tao. “They’ve totally monopolized the market, so good for them.”
  There’s no doubt that Netflix will lose some customers because of the raised price, but it seems that the company will continue to dominate the video streaming market.

Microbes can play mind games

Alexandra Mangano
Staff Writer

Twenty two men took the same capsule pill for four weeks. After interviews were conducted, the test subjects reported less stress and sharper memory.
  The results, though subtle, gained attention of the Society of Neuroscience. The pill was not synthesized in a lab, and it was filled with bacteria.
  The bacteria that the pills consist of can be found in things like yogurt and hand sanitizer. Bacteria that is usually dreaded is now becoming a hero concerning health. This bacteria may be changing our minds: literally.
  There has been recent studies about how bacteria in the gut may alter how the brain works. Scientists have changed the behavior of lab animals by tinkering with the bacteria in their gut.
  Once timid mice now became bold and outgoing. Rats were injected with bacteria from clinically depressed people, and showed signs of depression themselves. The right bacteria can improve the brain.
  However, there has been some concern about the wrong bacteria negatively affecting the brain.
  Studies about the correlation between bacteria and the brain is fairly revolutionary. In May 2000, parts of Canada experienced a flood. The flood caused the city’s water supply to be overrun with two dangerous strains of bacteria: Escherichia coli and Campylobacter.
  Only a handful of people died but around half of the city became ill. The illness was short lived.
  However, years later, scientists following the city’s health found that the rates of depression were significantly higher after the illness came across the region. It is suspected that the infection caused the depression.
  Professor of Psychiatry at University College Cork Ted Dinan said that he suspects there’s something specific about an off-kilter microbiome that can harm mental health.
  This possibility holds true regarding lab animals.
  Lab mice born and raised without bacteria behave in bizarre ways. They exhibit antisocial behavior, memory loss, and recklessness.
  This study made scientists want to broaden their research to human beings, and they are now heavily engaged in this research and hop
e to find an important use for it in the near future.
    Neuroscientist John Cryan said, “It’s all slightly weird but also fascinating.”

“Breakthrough Starshot” will take humans further than ever before in space

Charlotte Haigh and Victoria Siano
Staff Writers

Yuri Milner, along with scientists and other members of Silicon Valley, will perhaps be sending a fleet of robotic spacecrafts to explore Alpha Centauri, the nearest star system to our own. This project, announced on April 12 as “Breakthrough Starshot,” is an attempt to bring humanity into the interstellar age.
  The current plan is to send a rocket that would deliver roughly a thousand tiny probes into space, where they would then unfold and be propelled by lasers on Earth. These powerful lasers will send each spacecraft toward Alpha Centauri, which is 4.37 light-years away from Earth. It would take around twenty years for the probes to reach the star system, and there will be many that do not survive the journey. Those that do will photograph and measure the system, and send the collected data back to earth.
  Stephen Hawking, the well-known cosmologist and author, and Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, are working alongside Milner on the board of directors for this mission. Pete Worden, former director of NASA’s Ames Research Center, will be directing this mission. Advisors of this project include many scientists and mathematicians from different colleges and institutions, including Nobel-Prize winning astronomer Saul Perlmutter and Ann Druyan, widow of Carl Sagan and executive producer of “Cosmos: A Space Odyssey.”
  “Breakthrough Starshot” is expected to take roughly 20 years to develop the technology and launch it into space. Then, it would take an additional 20 years for the probes to reach their desired destination, and about four more years for the information gathered from the probes to return back to earth. The project, despite the issues regarding how long it will take, has also been predicted to cost anywhere from $5 billion to $10 billion. Mr. Milner is hoping to gather investors from international sources. NASA and the European Space Agency have already been briefed on the matter in hopes that they will contribute to the project financially.
  “What makes human beings unique?” Dr. Hawking asked, “I believe that what makes us unique is transcending our limits. Today we commit to the next great leap in the cosmos, because we are human and our nature is to fly.”

Sociology students struggle to prove hypothesis about memes

Max Charney
Staff Writer

Mrs. Anderson’s Sociology classes recently took part in the annual “Applying Social Science Research” Project. The students were to research a problem that faces young people in America and how it affects those in New Hope-Solebury High School.
  One team of researchers, Joshua Searle, Quinn Reinert, and Max Charney, decided to focus their research on memes, or “an element of a culture or system of behavior that may be considered to be passed from one individual to another by nongenetic means, especially imitation.”
  “We were very curious to see if any type of correlation existed between the time one spends looking at memes in a given week and their average GPA, as the relationship was likely to reflect on our own meme-frequenting lifestyles,” wrote the team in their formal essay, Meme Consumption and GPA.
  After asking questions like, “How might either gender or grades be affected by memes?” The team came up with their hypothesis, that male high school students have worse grades than female high school students because they generally spend more time browsing memes.
  The team focused on the relationship between a student’s GPA and the time they spend browsing memes. They also considered variables such as gender, grade level, and extra-curricular involvement.
  After forming this hypothesis, the team developed a series of questions for their survey that would accurately determine the the relationship between meme browsing, gender, and a student’s GPA. The survey asked the gender of the participate, their grade level, about how many hours they spend browsing memes weekly, what websites/sources they use, an estimate of their GPA, how much time they spend studying and or doing homework, and a list hobbies/daily activities. The surveys are completely anonymous, and are sent out randomly to students. Only fifteen surveys are sent out per team’s study.
  But, when the surveys were returned, the team discovered that all but three of the surveys were completed by males, and four were unfinished. This proved to be a problem for the team; they hadn;t gathered enough surveys to properly find correlations or draw conclusions from the data.
  However, it was determined that those with a higher GPA do not browse memes for more than an hour, or even at all. Most female respondents did not know what a meme was. This data partially supported their hypothesis. Within the limited data collected, the average time browsing memes was higher for boys, and the average GPA was lower for boys.

Supreme Court vacancy leaves questions behind

Bailey Hendricks
Staff Writer

Following the recent passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, controversy quickly arose regarding his predecessor. The absence of Justice Scalia leaves the court, which typically seats nine members, at an even eight votes currently.
  President Obama nominated the Chief Justice of the US Court of Appeals, Merrick Garland, for the position. However, it is up to the Senate to hear and approve this nomination. This is where the controversy currently lies.
  As with many issues, each party has taken their stance on the current situation. Democrats feel that the nominee deserves to at least be taken into consideration and given a proper vote, as it is Congress’ constitutional duty to do so in a timely manner. Senate Republicans feel that during such a turbulent election season, Congress should not appoint a justice who will serve for life. They feel that the nomination should be reserved for the next president, therefore giving the people a say in what type of justice takes on the role by voting in November.
  81% of surveyed NH-S students believe that the Senate needs to hold a hearing and vote for Merrick Garland and any other nominee put forward.
  “It's the president's duty to nominate and the congress's duty to hold hearings no matter the year or party affiliation,” explained one survey respondent.
  The majority of students felt that a hearing and vote should be held, because the vacancy is of the utmost importance to fill. It is the Senate’s duty to follow through with the process at minimum, even if the do not confirm the nominee.
  “This is part of their job. If they refuse to do this, they shouldn't get paid,” another respondent said. “Because they haven't really done much of anything.”
  73% of students say they would feel the same way if a Republican candidate was elected into the White House, and 86% if a Democrat were elected.
  As our polls show, NH-S high school students feel that “everyone deserves an equal chance,” as one respondent said.

FBLA wins in Hershey

Jacqui Vergis and Brooke Black
Staff Writers

A group of students in the Future Business Leaders of America club attended the annual State Leadership Conference held in Hershey, Pennsylvania in April.
  Members who attended this trip included (seniors) Taylor Wittman, Grace Wu, Jessica Zimmerman, (juniors) Morgan Amberson Jacqueline Dyer, Victoria Kalinovich, Caroline Maloney, Chloe Mcgilvray, Katie Steele, and (sophomore) Kaylee Tao.
  To attend this conference, each member had to qualify in either an individual or group event at FBLA Regionals held in December 2015, where students competed against dozens of high schools in our area and score highly on various business related tests and presentations.
  “It was so great getting called up to accept my first place award for my event back in December,” said Caroline Maloney, who competed in the Computer Application category. “Even though I’m an officer in the club, I never actually thought that I’d make it to states, so it was so much fun just to be there. The workshops there were pretty interesting, I got to meet a ton of kids just like me, and it was especially memorable thanks to our advisor Ms. Ohanian.”
  The 2016 NH-S FBLA SLC trip was a success, as Jessica Zimmerman and Grace Wu placed eighth in the Business Plan category and Kaylee Tao placed sixth in Introduction to Business Communication.