Thursday, December 15, 2016

Students thrilled by Mini-Thon date change

Kevin Dougherty, Jay MacDowell
Staff Writers

2016 marks the fourth year of New Hope-Solebury High School’s “mini-thon.” The mini-thon is based off of Penn State’s THON, which raises money for the Four Diamonds Foundation, which supports pediatric cancer research. The mini-thon at New Hope has been raising more and more money each year: starting with $5,000 the first year it was held, growing to $6,000 the second year, and then doubling to $12,000 last year. This year we, as a school, are looking to raise over $15,000 for pediatric cancer with our mini-thon.
 After the student government released the date that our mini-thon will be held, this figure began to seem much harder to reach. “January 20 at 7 p.m. to January 21 at 7 a.m.,” Anthony Lagana, the student government president, announced, as some murmurs were heard from the audience at the assembly. The majority  of these murmurs were from the junior class, who knew that the given date was likely not going to work. Many students were scheduled to take the SAT on Jan. 21 at 8 a.m., so obviously this date wouldn’t work for them. The announcement created a slight outrage among the junior class, as this once-a-year opportunity to raise money for pediatric cancer and have a great time with THON teammates was vanishing.
 The student government heard the junior class’s complaints and took action. They looked into changing the date of mini-thon and were finally able to settle on pushing it to the following night, Jan. 21 into Jan. 22, and got it approved. The generosity of the student government to listen to the junior class’ complaints and take action will hopefully result in this year’s mini-thon raising more money than ever “for the kids.”

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

FBLA gets ready to host annual ‘Breakfast with Santa’ event

Stella Kelley
Staff Writer

On Sunday, Dec.17, New Hope-Solebury High School’s FBLA club will be volunteering at the annual “Breakfast with Santa” event, which takes place from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the New Hope Eagle Volunteer Fire Company.
 At the event, FBLA members dress up in elf costumes, take pictures with children and Santa, serve food to guests and help supervise at the arts and crafts station.
 FBLA has been volunteering at this event for several years, establishing it as a club tradition and one of the most important volunteer activities they take part in throughout the year. Breakfast with Santa also provides a profit for the fire company, as well as a profit for FBLA club.

 The event is open to the public with a small admission cost of $7 for children 8 and under, $4 for children 4-7, and free for children under three. Breakfast with Santa has been a tradition at the New Hope Eagle Volunteer Fire Company for over a decade, and FBLA hopes to see you there.

Answers to that nagging question

Nina Coughlin and Courtney Purdy

Have your grandparents been asking you what you want for the holidays? Is your typical response “I don’t know” or “I’m not sure yet”? Then fear no longer because we have come up with a list of ten popular gifts this holiday season.
  1. Gift cards ($15-$150)
If your grandparents are anything like mine, they may not be too pleased with this suggestion because it’s not “sentimental” enough. But on the other hand some would find this idea to be the best possible option.
  1. Amazon Echo aka Alexa ($179)
On the more expensive side, but if you tell them Alexa can help you with your homework I think they will cave.
  1. Google Home ($129)
  2. Kylie Cosmetics ($15-$290)
If your grandparents are only up to date with politics and not so much the celebrity news, then I don’t think they’ll know who Kylie is but I also don’t think they’ll have a problem with purchasing you some makeup.
  1. Fitbit Charge ($150)
They can even buy one for themselves!
  1. Essential Oil Diffuser ($85)
  2. Apple Watch ($369)
  3. MacBook Pro with Touch Bar ($1,799)
Definitely on the pricey side, but IT HAS A TOUCH BAR.
  1. Ray-Bans ($105-$340)
  2. Elf on the Shelf ($29.95)

I’m sure they’ll love this. It’s as if you’re young again.

Community Christmas Events are Sure to Delight

Laura Nagg

Staff Writer

As Christmas is quickly approaching, many holiday events and attractions are opening up to be enjoyed with friends and family. Luckily, the Bucks County and Philly areas have plenty of holiday themed activities.
 Peddler’s Village is located in Lahaska, and its  Season of Lights display is one of the most popular shopping and holiday attractions in Bucks County. With millions of colored Christmas lights covering the buildings and landscape, visits with Santa, hot cocoa, shopping for Christmas gifts, the gingerbread house display and so much more can be enjoyed!
 Only a ten minute drive away from Peddlers, is The North Pole Express on the New Hope Ivyland train, which is another  attraction that can be enjoyed by young and old. Take a train ride through the wintery Solebury woods while enjoying cookies, hot chocolate, and Christmas caroling with Santa and Mrs. Claus.
 At the Shady Brook Farm Holiday Light Show, there’s no need to stand out in the cold, with 3 million lights in designs of familiar characters and winter displays, all visible through the window of a car. The Light Show is designed in a 20-minute loop around the farm with Santa, warm fires, cocoa, and treats at the end! Even take home a Christmas tree!
 Longwood Gardens is also a premier holiday attraction, with beautiful greenery, flowers and fountains and half-million lights. It is the prime spot to enjoy the day inside and outdoors. The buildings are filled with over 6,000 flourishing seasonal plants, caroling and a twinkling 18-foot Christmas trees. The outdoor exhibits are just as extraordinary, with Christmas light lit paths, colorfully illuminated fountains, and relaxing train rides.
 Looking for a fun place to ice skate? Enjoy either Rothman Ice Rink at Dilworth Park in the heart of the old city looking over the Philadelphia Museum and illuminated trees and modern sculptures. Or Blue Cross RiverRink enjoying twinkling river lights and hot chocolate at wintery transformed Penn’s Landing.
 Whatever chosen to enjoy the winter season and holiday festivities, cherish the time spent with family and friends and treasure our wonderful and beautiful community!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

NHS Key Club Helps with Adopt a Child

Amanda Horak, Parker Miele, and Isaac Zucker
Staff Writers

  The NHS Key Club has always helped run Adopt A Child. This year, the officers of Key Club have decided to adopt two children for the holidays, and will be hosting the annual drop off day on Dec. 14. During the drop off day, volunteers and Key Club members gather together to pack the gifts in large bags and prepare them for transport to Fisherman’s mark.
  Adopt A Child for The Holidays is for children in the New Hope and Lambertville area, whose families cannot afford presents. The presents will be purchased by volunteers, who pick presents based off the child’s “wish list.” Their “wish list” has a list of things the child wants for their holiday. The suggested amount of money for one child is $150. People are suggested to spend this much so that many unfortunate children can have a great holiday season. These people are not supposed to wrap the gifts because the committee at Fisherman’s Mark will be taking care of them to make sure they are appropriate. The gifts will be delivered on Dec. 14, by volunteer parents and Key Club members after school.
 At the time recorded, 228 children have been adopted for the holidays out of 233, which is really amazing. These children just want to have a great holiday season, and now they can. They will be forever grateful when they see so many presents for them under their trees.

FBLA Heads to Regional Leadership Conference

Jacqui Vergis
Caroline Maloney
Brooke Black
Staff Writers

This December, NH-S Future Business Leaders of America will “suit up” for Pennsylvania’s Region 12 FBLA Regional Leadership Conference (RLC) at Del-Val College. Prior to the trip, members took exams, sent in projects, and prepared speeches and/or presentations in hopes to qualify for the State Leadership Conference (SLC) this spring.
 FBLA is a club organized to encourage students to participate in activities which are designed to facilitate intelligent career choices, develop business skills, teach the value of community responsibility, and strengthen self-confidence.
 At this conference, students will have the opportunity to expand their existing business knowledge by listening to local business owners, business professors, and peers. In addition, they will find out if they advance to the SLC.
 Advisor Mr. Marchok, club president Caroline Maloney, and many other students are very excited to see the results of their hard work, so make sure to encourage your FBLA friends for their trip!

Friday, December 9, 2016

Google and Amazon are always listening

Riley Brennan, Erica Brennan, and Shayna Berman

Editor and Staff Writers

At the top of everyone’s gift list this holiday season is the hot new item that is essentially a stationary robotic personal assistant. Google and Amazon both have their own version of these voice activated assistants. The rise of bluetooth and voice-activated gadgets started years ago, with devices such as bluetooth earpieces and Siri, but this year, we saw Google and Amazon putting out voice-activated speakers that wait to be addressed by their known commands.
 With Amazon’s model, which has been named “Alexa”, owners call out “ Alexa,” and the machine, which has to be plugged into a wall nearby, will respond with a blue glow at the top of the cylinder shaped machine and a female voice. Similarly, “OK Google” activates Google Home.
 The problem is, Alexa and Google Home are always listening. The second either of the devices detects a voice, it is recorded and the notes are sent to either Amazon or Google servers. Amazon and Google store these audio recordings, which can be found in their servers or cloud. The devices pay special attention to what users are searching for online, what directions their using in maps, and what phrases they use in texts and emails. While all of this may seem like trivial information, both Amazon and Google can use this information to their advantage. Possible theories as to what the gathered information is used for range from allowing Amazon and Google to tailor the ads that come across their customers profiles to the government using it to collect information on people.
 Both Alexa and Google’s machine have many abilities, one of which has raised concern among many people: the ability to know when no one is home. When Alexa does not hear any voices, she assumes nobody's home, proving that she is always listening.The thought of this device knowing when people are and are not home is frightening to students at New Hope. Junior Julia Mycek says, “It is disturbing to think that these devices record your conversations, and have the ability to know so much about you.” The main scare factor of the Amazon and Google devices is that buyers are unsure of what they are capable of. People are scared of the unknown sophistication of these robots and the consequences that may arise from them.
 Google addressed these concerns and tried to comfort buyers, saying that users can access the data stored in the device by going to their My Activity page and delete information from there. Representatives of Google have also pointed out that there is a mute button on the device that can stop it from listening, but that ultimately defeats the purpose of the device.
 Alexa and Google Home are not technically awake until they are addressed with their wake word. But in order to hear this wake word, the machine is listening to any conversations occurring, just waiting to be addressed. There are few differences between the two devices, and they are both supported by huge companies, who could arguably have a lot to gain from being a fly on the wall in their customers’ homes.

Mini-INFO on Mini-THON

Jess Mullen
Staff Writer

 On Monday, Nov. 28, during first period, the entire high school staff and student body gathered in
the auditorium to discover the theme of this year’s Mini-THON: Coloring Book.
 The audience was greeted by Gail Frassetta from Four Diamonds, who supports Penn State’s THON and other Mini-THONs, and the only instruction given to students was to remain standing once they stood up.
 “Stand up if you have ever been diagnosed with cancer.” Everyone looked around to see who was standing.
 “Stand up if you have a sibling who has ever been diagnosed with cancer.” Again, everyone looked around to see who was standing, this time, a few more on their feet.
 “Stand up if you have a parent who has ever been diagnosed with cancer.” Once more, everyone looked around to see who was standing, again, more students on their feet. After the same statement was repeated twice more with grandparents and aunts and uncles, everyone looked around to see who was sitting.
 Frassetta simply asked, “See how much cancer affects people’s lives?” and told the majority standing to join their peers still sitting.
 Four Diamonds is an organization dedicated to conquering childhood cancer. Ninety-five percent of money raised at Mini-THONs goes towards fighting cancer. Seventy percent of all money raised is to fund research to fight pediatric cancer and the rest of the money goes to help families pay for treatments that insurance does not cover. Four Diamonds’ Mini-THONs held at schools all over Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and Four Diamonds hopes to make Mini-THONs a nationwide event. Aside from aiding to end the fight of childhood cancer, Mini-THON teach kids that they can have a lasting impact on other’s lives.
 Last year, New Hope raised $12,000 at Mini-THON which doubles from $6,000 the year before, and tops $5,000 the first year New Hope participated in Mini-THON. This year’s goal is to raise $15,000.

 The theme of this year’s Mini-THON will be Coloring Book. Coloring Book is the perfect theme to bring high school students and young children together because high schoolers love Chance The Rapper’s new album, Coloring Book, and kids love to color! Mini-THON will run from Jan. 21 at 7 p.m. to Jan. 22 at 7 a.m. In the words of Four Diamonds, “One day we will dance in celebration. Until then we dance for a cure.”