Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Israel decriminalizes marijuana

Riley Brennan
Features and A&E editor

Israel, a country leading the world in medical marijuana research, has decriminalized the recreational use of marijuana. Rather than continue to arrest and prosecute individuals caught with the drug, they are going to fine people. However, those caught growing or selling the drug will be arrested.
 Israel already legalized medical marijuana, and according to the Prime Minister Ayelet Shaked,  "Israel cannot shut its eyes to the changes being made across the world in respect to marijuana consumption and its effects.”
 There are a recorded 25,000 people who have a license to use medical marijuana, with more to come, and only 188 arrests for the use of it recreationally this past year, which is a 56 percent drop from 2010. The goal is to reduce the number of prosecutions for recreational drug use, which decriminalizing would hopefully do. The policy would apply to those carrying up to 15 grams of the drug, and first time offenders would receive a fine of $265, but would not appear on their criminal record. With the second and third offenses the punishment would increase, the second time resulting in a doubling of their first fine, and the third offense being a punishment determined by the police.

 The Israelis believe this process will ultimately reduce the number of drug-related arrests in the country, and positively affect the country as a whole.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Mystery surrounds teh Kim Jong-nam Assassination

Deven Smith
Staff Writer

 The half-brother of Kim Jong-un, the “President” of North Korea, was mysteriously murdered on Feb. 13. There was no punctured points on his body so it is believed that he was poisoned. Two females that fled the airport in a taxi  are the leading suspects of the murder. Using many fake passports to avoid recognition he was travelling frequently to avoid detection. However he was tracke down and was murdered in Malaysia.  He had lost the respect of his family when he tried to enter Japan using a Dominican Republic passport.  He had little faith in Kim Jong Un saying he won’t last long because of his young age.  Although he has been in exile for years he is the eldest son of their shared father so it could be possible that he would’ve been able to replace Kim Jong Un as leader of North Korea.  Kim Jong Un took care of that though, it has been leaked by South Korean intelligence that Kim Jong Un did in fact order the assassination.  This is scary timing since Kim Jong Un had tested a ballistic missile just two days prior to the murder.  
 According to CNN the murder was carried out by two assassin groups, the first group was composed of North Korean state security department member Ri Jae Nam and foreign ministry worker Ri Ji Hyon, they had recruited a Vietnamese suspect, Doan Thi Huong.  The second group also consisted a state security member, O Jong Gil, and a foreign ministry member, Hong Song Hac, they had brought on board Indonesian suspect Siti Aisyah.  These groups rubbed VX Nerve agent in Nam’s face killing him in twenty minutes.  If given in a high dose it can cause convulsions, loss of consciousness, paralysis, and death because of respiratory failure.  


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Dr. Yanni shares a moment with the Lion’s Tale

Marc Verwiel & Katie Tangradi
Opinions and A&E Editors


We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Superintendent Dr. Yanni to ask about how he felt the year was going and what he had planned for the future.
 The interview immediately started with positive remarks from Dr. Yanni expressing his love for the students and families of New Hope, attributing his success to them. So far, he said that getting the renovation project underway was the highpoint of his tenure. (We asked about the hallway smell, he had no clue what it was.) As for the future, Dr. Yanni believes more great things will happen in the coming months and years. He is looking forward to the APEX project, graduation, and opportunities to continue improving the school.
 However, the thing Dr. Yanni was still the most concerned about was the bullying issues that are still present within the district. He is confident that the "No Place for Hate" initiative--the culmination of the district issues last December--will bring positive change while also showing how close the community is. The goal is not to suppress what people can and cannot say, but to have resources available for those that become uncomfortable and spread a message of unconditional respect. He hopes that the students and community will take to these ideals, allowing people to feel safe while still being able to speak their minds.

 The conversation ended with Dr. Yanni giving advice to us and the rest of the senior class. He says we shouldn't rush time. You'll have four years to be in college so enjoy this while it lasts. You are surrounded by people who care about you, so don't try to rush along to the next phase of your life. Enjoy now.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

What to consider before taking AP Psych

Shayna Berman and Laura Nagg
Staff Writers

With course selection coming up, there are some things to be taken into consideration before taking certain AP classes. AP Psychology is one of the most popular and enjoyed APs to be offered at New Hope. Taught by the one-and-only Ms. Anderson, students will explore and discover why we think and act the way we do. It is a “conversation about what it means to be human” according to Anderson.  With all of these aspects in mind you must also be aware that AP Psychology is a very demanding course and you will drown if you are not fully committed. Here are a few things that you might want to keep in mind.
 To begin with, you may hear students’ complaints regarding the summer assignment. It will be assigned before the school year is over. There are three separate (but doable) assignments, and there is a check in date mid-July to make sure you are actually keeping up with your work. As long as you don’t wait until the last minute, the summer assignment should not be a problem, and Anderson checks her email often if you have any questions.
 With consideration that Ms. Anderson needs to finish content by mid-April, you must keep up and be dedicated with the note taking in class and sometimes out of class. This kind of rigour requires a certain amount of initiative which is essential to be successful in the class. They will seem tedious and long at the beginning, but just chipping away at them each night working up to the test will save you in the end.
A student’s first mistake in the class is falling behind. You don’t learn how to ride a bicycle the first time you try- you need fall a couple times. The same thing happens with AP Psych. You need to get adjusted to the class and the expectations. You need to learn how to take notes quickly, and what questions to ask at the right time, and when you should seek extra help. There are going to be nights you stay up until 2:00 am trying to finish the notorious concept maps (not as bad as you may think). There are going to be grades that don’t fit what you expected. After your first mistakes, this won’t happen any more, and the class will actually become easy.
Use other classmates; you are a team! Your classmates are studying the same stuff, making the same mistakes, confused on the same material, and want to succeed just like you. Create study groups to meet in the library before a test. FaceTime someone while working on concept maps for terms you don’t know where to put. Find people that will help you succeed in projects, as there are a few a year. Using each other for support can only be beneficial for your AP Psych success.

 The course goes by so quickly, and will be over before you know it. So make sure you absorb what you can. Make sure you take a step back from the work every once in awhile and realize that the content is actually fun and interesting. You’ll have fun in the class- listen to Anderson’s stories and share your own. Take advantage at everything given to you. Choosing AP Psychology is a gift to yourself, you will be enlightened to your world around you, how you function and behave, and how to survive in this crazy world (shout-out to the one and only Ms. Anderson!).

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Driving into surreal history: The inauguration of Donald J. Trump

Danny Doherty Features Editor My junior license permits me to drive when the sun comes up. But on this day, taking to the roads at two in the morning was the least essential necessity that needed to be completed. For months, I had anticipated the day when someone I felt hopeful for, dedicated my time towards, and had some similar ideals to me would take the oath of office. Before the election, in the first brisk days of November, I wrote up an email to the (former) Congressman Fitzpatrick, requesting tickets to the Inauguration of the 45th President of the United States. No matter the outcome of the race, taking in such an historic day would be something I could not seize to miss out on. Rather than responding promptly to my email, his office promptly returned my message by phone, several times, over several days, all while I was at school. I will not skip out on school to listen to an outgoing Congressman’s staff tell me that I will be placed in a lottery for ticketing. So that is what happened. For two months I patiently awaited an email or phone call, eventually hearing good news that my brother and I had secured tickets to the event. Finally, just a week away from the 20th of January, that email came. How exciting it all was. The drive to D.C. had taken my family about four hours the previous time we trekked down, but to our luck (and speedy mindset) it took only two and a half hours to get down, all while picking up some free Dunkin Donuts thanks to being early birds. We pulled into our reserved parking that we had booked days before, about two miles outside of the Capitol. Walking around the nation’s centerpiece at five in the morning, with roads mellow and quiet, creates somewhat of a nostalgic feeling. This escalates when you take into account that most roads are blocked off, and military is patrolling every corner of every street. Wherever you lean on the sphere of politics, a genuine, good-natured sense of hope is uncanny and cannot be matched. Two miles later, our majestic feeling of getting there seven hours before the Donald was sworn in went sour, as thousands were already crowded around the entrance. Surprisingly, security for such a large event was swift and harmless, the crowd was pleasant, and protesters did not come in till later on. We took our places behind the Capitol water feature and packed tight for the next few hours. That hopeful feeling stayed strong within the fenced off area, but outside protests began. “No more entry in, the inauguration is cancelled,” yelled protesters, some physically beating down women specifically blocking off admittance into the event. This only lasted minutes, as the thousands of patrolmen got a few of their best to break it up and arrest violators of the peaceful protest. When the day really kicked off around 10 a.m., the mood was as vibrant as I have ever seen an event. The speeches got old fast, but once prominent men and women of government began to come out to the procession and get announced over the loudspeaker, emotions came out. To just about everyone’s delight, crowds roared for Obama, and nearly every Democratic politician (of course some Republican ones as well). Hillary Clinton, and pretty much only Hillary Clinton, received the largest collective boo I have ever taken part in. Trump closed the day with an uplifting speech, and Jackie Evancho bolted out the best rendition of the Anthem I have ever heard. Overall, the day ran incredibly smoothly and was something I will never forget.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Dissecting the APEX experience

Brooke Black, Caroline Maloney, and Jacqui Vergis
Staff Writers

As the second semester of the 2016-2017 school year begins, seniors are starting to prepare for our senior project. Recently, the grade gathered for an assembly that outlined the process of this project. We learned that it is basically broken into a ten step process, leading up to our three week, real-world experience and school presentation. APEX, an acronym for what advisors have coined the Active Personal Educational eXperience, is an opportunity where seniors are able to explore career fields and personal interests by briefly working in a setting of their own choosing. The school district implemented this program with the hope that students might learn more about themselves and what they may want to pursue outside of high school.
 Many seniors are either anxious or excited about this process. Anxious because it’s our first chance to do something that we could be doing for the rest of our lives, and excited because we get to leave school three weeks early and explore our creativity. In the past, seniors were required to do a cumulative project based on a specific career path that they worked on for almost all of high school. Last year, New Hope-Solebury made the switch to the APEX project so that students were able to experience their interests first hand. One of the most interesting parts of this project is that we are able to travel outside of our “New Hope bubble,” within reason of course. For example, last year two seniors, Aaron Nagg and Lucas Ebeling, decided to travel all the way to Zimbabwe, Africa, where they were able to experience the culture and get an idea for what they wanted to do with all that they learned. This year, some will stay in New Hope and some will travel all the way to Africa again.
 Leading up to the project, seniors are required to finish assignments that will ask us questions about our APEX decisions, such as where we want to spend the three weeks, and who we are working with. We will be able to meet with our APEX advisors a few times before the internships begin so we will be well-prepared. Once the project starts, advisors will be coming to our workplace a few times over the 3-week period to see how well we have been working and how much progress we have made. By the end of the three weeks, seniors will have accumulated a ton of information to be turned into a presentation for our advisors, who will give us a pass/fail grade, and our younger peers, so that they can get an idea for what is expected of them in the coming years.
 The APEX project is only in its second year at New Hope-Solebury High School, but it looks as if it will stick around for quite a while. Even if the students from last year’s class did not like what they decided to do for the three weeks, many reported that it helped them make conclusions about what they may actually enjoy. This year, we are excited to see the outcome of the project so that each of us can get a better understanding for what career path we want to take in life. We are all very happy to be a part of such an interactive senior project.

Razer Creates Design First Ever Triple Monitor Laptop

Rhys McCollum
Staff Writer

Project Valerie: this is the name that Razer, a company that manufactures custom mice, laptops, desktops, and keyboards, has chosen for its new built in triple monitor computer system. Not much is known about this new system, but Razer seems to never fail at pleasing their customers.
 When getting down to the specifications of the computer, it becomes much more impressive. First, when comparing its size to other 17-inch computers, Valerie is much thinner. This is because when the computer opens, the three different monitors come out of the main middle monitor. When it comes to graphics on the system, not much is mentioned. The only two pieces of information on this topic is that each monitor will have a 4k display and that an Nvidia GTX series graphics card will be used. This may not seem like much information, but it is enough to predict how expensive this computer may be. Pairing the information of three 4k displays and Nvidia GTX series graphics cards, it can be concluded that some of the highest end of graphics cards will be used or in other words the GTX 1080. This is a very expensive graphics (around $700) card that will definitely deliver in terms of computer graphics. This graphics card is compatible with virtual reality games and videos. Finally, we will try to determine what processor will be used in this computer. With all of the power and speed Razer speaks of it can be determined that an i7 processor will be used. Since this computer requires such power, it may sport a Intel® Core™ i7-6970HQ Processor (8M Cache, up to 3.70 GHz) or something even more powerful. Go to https://www.razerzone.com/project-valerie to sign up for updates about Project Valerie.

 

Superbowl LI halftime show asks fans to read between the lines

Alexandra Buchler
Staff Writer

On Feb. 5 the Super Bowl LI aired at 6:30 p.m. with the New England Patriots facing the Atlanta Falcons. Every year, people gather around their televisions with friends and family to not only enjoy the game, but to laugh at the commercials and watch the halftime show. This year the halftime show featured the singer/song-writer Lady Gaga. Gaga shocked us all, starting her performance by leaping off the roof of the stadium, falling to the stage. She appeared in a diamond bodysuit, and jewels across her face. However, some people were so blinded by her glittering ensemble that they missed the message she was trying to convey.
 Many people watching did not realize that the song, “Born This Way” is designed for the LGBTQ community. If you have been to a march in the past four years, the “Born This Way” song is infamous for people dancing to the lyrics, surrounded by a ton of glitter, bare skin, and glorious, rainbow solidarity. Gaga faces much backlash for this especially risky performance. To make matters worse, Mike Pence, one of the most anti-LGBTQ politicians today sat in the audience, especially when it contains lyrics like "No matter gay, straight, or bi, lesbian, transgender life." According to USA Today, that was "likely" be the first time the word "transgender" was said onstage at a Super Bowl.

 This year, Gaga allowed her music to express a political issue in America, and let her act become activism. She played it out with confidence and did not let people with opposing views bring  her down. Gaga left it up to her audience to read between the lines.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Car Rides to 50 Million Copies to Christmas Eve

Jess Mullen
Staff Writer

Richard Adams known best for his first novel, Watership Down, passed away Dec. 24 at the age of 96. Adams was born in 1920 and grew up in England where he attended school and later continued his education to college. In 1940, two years after graduating college, Adams joined the British Army in the Royal Army Service Corps where he was selected to be a liaison for that division. After six years in the army, Adams was released in 1946 where he continued his education for an additional two years, yet in the years following college he was a part of the British Civil Service where he was promoted to the position of Assistant Secretary to the Ministry of Housing and Local Government, an organization formed after World War II. This is the time frame in which Adams started to write fiction.     
 Watership Down began as a narrated tale to pass time in a car ride and bedtime stories shared by Adams and his two daughters. Adams recalled that “[he] had been put on the spot and [he] started off ‘Once there were two rabbits called Hazel and Fiver.” And [he] just took it on from there.” A narration that began in a car ride turned into what critics refer to as a “redefining anthropomorphic” tale which has won the Carnegie Medal and the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize and has sold more than 50 million copies. Other notable works of Adams include Shardik, The Plague Dogs, and The Girl in a Swing, unfortunately none of those earned any awards.
 Watership Down follows Hazel, Fiver, and a small group of bunnies as they embark on an endeavor to reach safety, after a foreseen danger in their warren. Adams was praised with the ability to portray the rabbits in a natural way and places them into a heavily developed culture with their own language and belief system. While Watership Down won an award for children’s fiction, it discusses dark topics such as fear, politics, violence, and humanity. Even Adams weighed in on critiques of this kind, saying that “maybe [he] made it too dark.” Adams also described his next novel, Shardik as “rather difficult” and a “savage novel.” He says he only wishes he had started writing earlier, had he known how “frighteningly well” he could do it.

 On Dec. 27 there was a post on Adam’s official website which read; “Richard’s much loved family announce with sadness that their dear father, grandfather, and great-grandfather passed away peacefully at 10 p.m. on Christmas Eve.” The brief statement was followed by a quote from Watership Down: ‘It seemed to Hazel that he would not be needing his body any more, so he left it lying on the edge of the ditch, but stopped for a moment to watch his rabbits and to try to get used to the extraordinary feeling that strength and speed were flowing inexhaustibly out of him into their sleek young bodies and healthy senses. “You needn’t worry about them,” said his companion. “They’ll be alright - and thousands like them.”’

George Michael dies at 53

Liz Donahue
Staff Writer

George Michael was born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou in East Finchley, London, on June 25, 1963. George Michael, who was a popular music icon from the duo Wham!, died at age 53 at his home in Goring in Oxfordshire, England. He was pronounced dead at the scene. His death is being described as "unexplained but not suspicious," indicating they discovered no evidence of foul play. He died from apparent heart failure in his bed, however he was sleeping while this happened so he felt no pain. He died on Christmas day.
 Michael’s former love, Kenny Goss will play a major role in his funeral. It is not accepted in his father’s culture to be homosexual, so inviting one of his son’s former lovers is a step toward acceptance. The couple was together between 1996 and 2009. After learning the news, Goss stated "I'm heartbroken with the news that my dear friend and long time love George Michael has passed. He was a major part of my life and I loved him very, very much. He was an extremely kind and generous man. The beautiful memories and music he brought to the world will always be an important part of my life and those who also loved and admired him."
 George Michael was a big pop superstar in the ‘80s and ‘90s. For lots of his successful music, he was his own producer and studio backup band. Amongst his number one singles and one hundred million album sales, he has also won multiple Grammys and other music awards. In 1998, Michael came out as gay after an arrest of lewd conduct charges. He used his name and music to help support AIDS prevention. Later, he described himself as bisexual. His last studio album was produced in 2004, however he could still sell out arenas year after that.
 An early idol of the MTV generation, Michael gained immense population from hits like "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go," "Young Guns (Go For It)" and "Freedom." He will always be remembered through his music that impacted the lives of many and his music will continue to be listened to and loved by all generations.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

A Look Back on 2016, A Look Ahead on 2017

Jess Mullen
Staff Writer


With the conclusion of 2016 and a fresh start to 2017, students at New Hope-Solebury began to reflect on 2016, and look ahead to 2017 with New Year’s Resolutions in mind. Some students concluded 2016 with a successful mindset, while others were merely filled with stress. Likewise, students look to a new year as a new start to do new things, go new places, and meet new people, while others see 2017 as another year to drudge through. Some attack 2017 with a unique resolution and determine to keep it, while others have inevitably failed on the first week, and some who refuse to commit to a resolution.
 The winter solstice made the top of the list for some students in 2016, as well as the shared enjoyment of the summer olympics. Vacations of many kinds were also highlights of 2016 to many students. Some enjoyed adventures with family and friends, as well as traveling in general whether it be to a local beach or a foreign country. For those who play sports, winning districts was also a highlight. For others, family played a big part in highlights, such as becoming an aunt. A widely agreed upon favorite of 2016 was summer break as well as the time with friends and family that so wonderfully complements it.
 In 2017 students are looking forward to traveling to more places including the upcoming trip with the music department to Los Angeles. Again those who look forward to sports have in store upcoming seasons packed with tournaments. Summer mission trips are already being planned and those are greatly anticipated among students. There are already those students looking forward to summer, the completion of ACT’s, SAT’s, and college applications, and of course, those already excited to get another year of school out of the way.
 New Year’s Resolutions are some of the consistent, get into shape and eat better and be a nicer person resolutions. Some branch out to stop overreacting, make smarter decisions, and be more positive as well as getting out more, spending time with a more diverse group of people, and making individual needs a priority over making others happy. Some students wish to work on their religious studies such as reading the Bible. On the other hand, there are always those who never commit to a resolution.

Cattelan creates art piece about America with a working golden toilet

Marc Verwiel
Copy Editor

People who needed to relieve themselves at the Guggenheim in New York may have found a shiny surprise.
 Artist Maurizio Cattelan recently came out of retirement to unveil his one of a kind piece: an 18-karat solid gold toilet. This piece is fully functional, and, surprisingly enough, completely open to the public to "make use of." There is one guard standing outside of the lavatory, making sure no one sneaks in and takes off with the piece of art--or a piece of the art; its gold alone is estimated to cost over $2.5 million.

 However, the thing that struck me when I first heard of this extravagant lavatory was the name of the piece: America. At first I thought that it was nothing more than a cheeky jab at America, but as I thought about it, the title began to make sense. The toilet is made of gold, a substance that can be very beautiful and valuable. However, it is currently in the form of a toilet, a form that many may consider a waste of such great material. For many people, America finds itself in a similar state: made up of promises but currently disappointing many. Whether the disappointment is caused by recent political events, economic issues, or one of many other domestic issues, America has been proven to currently be at its unhappiest. However, the toilet is still made of gold, and America is still made of promise. Like turning the toilet into a necklace or ring, turning America into a country that uses its full potential will be messy and hard, but in these tumultuous times, it is important to keep seeing the glimmer in the toilet of America.