March 30, 2012

Politics and You!

With the 2012 presidential election coming up, your friendly neighborhood Anarchist Communist is here to help you, once again!

  • Universal healthcare
    • People have to buy healthcare, and companies have to accept them
  • Helping the unemployed
  • Free speech
    • Anti-SOPA/PIPA (Depends on the Congressman/woman)
    • Pro-Occupy protesters (Again, on an individual basis)
  • Higher taxes for the rich
    • They have more money, so they should pay more
  • Lower taxes for the poor and middle class
    • They have less money, so they should pay less
  • Environment friendly
    • Solar power
  • Getting rid of subsidies to oil companies
    • The oil companies have been making more money than they have ever before
  • Anti-war
Democrats wish for the people with more money to pay more money, and the ones with less to pay less, which just makes sense. They also want the government to help poor people get back on their feet and get a job.

  • Nothing is free
    • No benefits
    • No government help
  • Lower taxes on the rich
    • So that they have more money to create jobs, known as “Trickle-Down Economics”
      • Proven not to work
  • Higher taxes on the poor and middle class
    • Because they have to tax someone
  • Subsidies to oil companies
    • Even though they make record profits, more in a day than the average American makes in a year.
  • Anti-free Speech
    • SOPA
    • PIPA
    • ACTA
    • PCIP
    • Arresting Occupy protesters
  • Anti-environment
    • Keystone Pipeline
  • Pro-war
Republicans wish to lower the taxes on the rich, because they are all rich, and raise the taxes on the poor and middle class because they are “Stinky hippies who need to get a job” even though it’s the Republicans that are laying off workers by the thousands to save more money for that yacht. They don’t want to help any poor people with benefits because that would cost them money that they could have.

~Mein Identity Keeps Esoteric

Khan Academy

  Perhaps you have heard about this revolutionary new way of teaching. It takes learning with technology to a whole different level. The online-education career of Salman Khan, a former hedge fund analyst, began when he was tutoring his cousin over the internet using Yahoo's doodle pad. Then Khan decided that making YouTube videos for the public to learn would be beneficial. Therefore he began making videos, starting with the fundamentals. YouTube was indeed a good idea. Being that it's so easy to share videos and such, Khan's video hit the 20,000's. This prompted him to make more and more videos, slowly building up from the fundamentals and teaching the more difficult mathematics like Geometry, Algebra II and Pre-Calculus.    
   However, this was before. Before what, you may ask? Well, before Khan started his own little company called Khan Academy (go figure), before classrooms used his videos to teach their students, and before he built up a library of over 3,000 videos of learning material.
    Many schools have started using Khan Academy to teach their students. One classroom has the students using laptops to learn the material from Khan's videos, do practice at home with it, then take a test on the subject. There has been a significant rise in test grades, according to teachers.
  Another benefit of using Khan's online Academy is that you can access it anywhere if you have the internet. If perhaps, you didn't understand a concept in class and you didn't know what to do, then you could easily access Khan's YouTube Channel and find the lesson there. You can pause, re-watch, and skip as little and as much as you'd like, making learning your own pace.
   Khan has talked about teaching other subjects, such as Social Studies or Science. This would make Khan Academy even more versatile, therefore more successful. The best part about Khan Academy is that it's 100% free. No paying, no super-plus membership. It's education for free.
   So if you're having trouble with a math concept, then check out Khan Academy, because after you watch one of his videos, you'll be a pro in no time. Check out the link below, and remember it as a learning asset.
    Happy learning! 

Happy Spring Break!


It's coming, guys.

By 3:10 today, we will be free for a whole 168 hours.

That's a lot.

Tick, tick, tick..

Anyway, so that this article isn't meaningless, how are ya'll gonna spend your spring break?

If anyone cares, I'm going to New York. :D

March 28, 2012


Welp, guys.

We’re screwed.

I’m done. No, seriously, I’m done with this economy. I’M MOVING TO CANADA! The freakin’ gas prices went up to four bucks a gallon! What is this blasphemy?! Was $3.59 not enough for them? Didn’t the US just strike oil like a month ago? If we have more gas, we don’t need to raise the price! Come on, people. Plus, you know what? The price is still rising as we speak! Us as North Carolinians aren’t paying too much.. we’re in-between Hawaii($4.55 a gallon) and Wyoming($3.51 a gallon).

I bet you’re thinking, ‘Why should I care? It’s my parents problem.’ Heheh, well.. At this rate, by the time you’re old enough to be kicked out of the nest, the gas prices will be something like $10 a gallon, and you’ll be a measly college student searching for ways to earn money just so you can fill your tank. I’m telling you; if you guys don’t build up a nest egg soon, you’re going to have trouble when you’re older.

Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict went to Mexico on Saturday 23 2012 in Silao Guanajuato. After 14 hours on a plane everybody was waiting for him and he was on TV to show his arrival. After 3 days in Mexico he did a mass beneath Cristo Rey, a famous Catholic place were a statue of Jesus is on top of a mountain. This represents that God is in our hearts. This mountain is about 3,000 ft tall. This is very important because when Mexico was in their final stages of revolution Cristo Rey was destroyed but in 1950. However, they built a bigger Cristo Rey.  This was important to the people because Pope Benedict has never come to Mexico before. Only Pope Juan Pablo II has visited Mexico.  Pope Benedict’s hope was that Mexico would stop all this violence that is going on and that Mexico can have peace like we did before.
Many Smith students will be hosting a middle or high school student from St. Benoit, St. Servais School. St. Benoit, St. Servais is a school in the city of Liege, Belgium. The 8th grade students at Smith have been in contact with the students by email, facebook, skype and letters. Most students have been talking to them since the start of 8th grade but, some of them have been in contact with them since last year. Even people that aren't hosting a student will get the chance to do activities and meet with their penpals. The Belgians will first go to the Windy City (Chicago) and get to see what big cities in America are like. Then on April 3 they will fly to RDU and be met by their host families. They will have two days to hang out with their host. Families can go to the beach, the mountains, or just stay in Chapel Hill. There are many events planned like tours of UNC, baseball games, and going out to lunch. Friday and Saturday are free days because of Easter and Passover. Then on Sunday, The students from Belgium and America will be going to WIlliamsburg, Virginia together. They will tour the historic city of Jamestown, spend the night at a hotel,tour historic WIlliamsburg, and go to Busch Gardens. After missing the first day back to school, the students will shadow the classes on Tuesday and then go shopping in the afternoon. A going away party will be held and then they will have to go home.
The students from Belgium hope to improve their English, while the students from here will be trying to improve their French. Also there will hopefully be international friendships made after the trip.  The students have a lot of time to spend with their Belgian. Many students are nervous about having so much one on one time with someone who speaks little English. But, with the guidance and help of Madame McMahon, and other students who have hosted or traveled before, it should be mostly smiles.
Over the next few days you may see posters, signs and information welcoming the students and teachers coming to our school. When they are at our school, be very welcoming as well. Maybe even say "Salut" or "Bonjour" to them if you see one!! 

~~~Sally Levin

Temple Run for Android!!!

You have stolen a cursed idol from a temple and now you have to run for life from evil monkeys!  This is the story line for the addicting game from Imangi Studios, Temple Run.  Before yesterday the only way you could experience this adventure was through an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad, but now it is out for android.  Download here.  Some things have changes, like the glitch that allowed you to run forever in tutorial mode has been fixed, so now you actually have to work to get 24,000,000 points.  You can download to any android phone that has android 2.1 or higher.  Have fun!

March 27, 2012

Avatar the Legend of Korra

This Saturday Nickelodeon pre-released the first two episodes of the continuation of the beloved Avatar the Last Airbender series. It takes place 70 years after the end of the 100 year war. The title scene that used to be narrated by Katara is now narrated by her son Tenzin. Although Aang is now dead, Katara is still alive and is helping Korra to become a full Avatar. In the 70 years that are not covered by the series, Aang and his gang built a city that resembles New York City. There are hobos, gangsters, a park in the middle of the city, a copper statue of Aang and cars. It is sad that the world of Avatar has become more industrious but also very cool. The city is known as Republic City, and Aang's goal was to make it the capitol of peace in the world, but it is becoming quite the opposite. The police force are metal-benders that learned the technique from Toph and her children. Toph's daughter, is the head of the police force and is a very strict, serious and mean lady. Korra is unwilling to learn airbending until she realizes its practicality during a pro-bending match. Pro-bending is a new sport in the world of Avatar in which two teams of an earthbender, a waterbender and a firebender try to knock each other off a platform into water. However the main conflict in the story involves all benders.  There is an evil man named Amon who is trying to ban all bending! He and his followers are protesting in the streets and doing other small things. However, that is about to change. Later in the season Amon is going to make a frontal attack to all benders. Much more drama and character development will also unfold in the following months after it's official release on April 14th.

The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games movie came out last Friday, and daaaaaaaaaaang, did that movie prosper. So far it’s grossed out $214.3 million dollars! In FOUR DAYS! The movie is the third most-watched-on-opening day movie of all time, after the Dark Knight and the last Harry Potter. And for all you Twilight haters out there, the movie is twice as successful than the first one of the Twilight series. Kudos, guys! The movie was created by the Hollywood studio “Lionsgate”, and is the first blockbuster for it. Lionsgate has created movies other than The Hunger Games, but you might not know of them. The most famous ones are the Saw series and the Tyler Perry series. I dunno about you, but I’d think that The Hunger Games is now the most popular out of them. Plus, it was shot in NC! That seriously spiked the tourism for Asheville. Be proud of your state, kids! And anyway, who wouldn’t love The Hunger Games? Mitt Romney likes it, why shouldn’t you? `

Panda Dung Tea

The name of the tea may be misleading because “Panda Dung Tea” does not actually contain panda feces.

A Chinese entrepreneur, An Yanshi, came up with the idea of using panda excrement to grow green tea and it could be one of the healthiest teas ever, if not the healthiest, since a panda’s diet consists mainly of bamboo.  Each of  50 gram pack of tea (Most people use 3 grams per cup of tea) will cost $350 each, the most expensive tea in the world.
“They are like a machine that is churning out organic fertiliser.  They keep eating and they keep producing faeces”, An said.  "Also, they absorb less than 30 percent of the nutrition from the food, and that means more than 70 percent of the nutrients are passed out in their faeces."
Even though An’s best efforts to sell his tea, some people weren’t impressed by the tea.  "It's sold at such a sky-high price, perhaps this is just hype," said 49-year-old Li Ximing.

Chivas vs. AmericaSuper classico

A team called Chivas is one of the most famous teams in La Liga Mexicana. Another famous team is called America. However, this America is from Jalisco Mexico not the one in US. These two teams have been facing each other since 1957 and each time America and Chivas go against each other, it is one of the most intensive games. When both teams have gone against each other all kinds of things happen. That is why you have to see the games because each game is always different. Today Chivas has more wins then America. Each time they face each other the whole stadium gets filled up quickly. On April, 8, 2012 Chivas and America will face each other again. People are already talking about this game and people are giving there opinion  on Republica Deportiva and other soccer news. In my perspective I think that Chivas will win because I think that they have better players then America like Marco Fabian, Julio Cesar and other famous players . Not only sport news talks about this but kids, adults  and teens are waiting for this match to happen.

March 26, 2012

My Little Pony Collection

For Sarah Butler, a 29-year-old Yorkshire native, having a couple of little, brightly colored “My Little Ponies” wasn’t enough.  She gradually collected a whopping 1,000 ponies, which is said to be worth £20,000, or $31,789.  After graduating from college in 2003, she realized that she wanted share her love of the toys and give them away.
Butler says,"It's just a bright, happy, comforting place that reminds me of being a child but also reminds me of now, because even though I just turned 29, I'm a My Little Pony fan and there's nothing wrong with that".

Bullet-stopping Items

Have you ever had a day when you wondered what could save you from a bullet?  The following are real life stories of strange and unexpected items saving people’s lives.
It was just another regular day for a store clerk in Modesto, California - until he got shot in the butt during an attempted robbery.  FOX40, a Sacramento broadcasting station, said that “the unidentified man's wallet kept his moneymaker from sustaining any damage.”  After the shooting, the three suspects drove away from the scene in a silver or gray Honda.  
In Indianapolis, MSNBC reported that watermelons and a bible stopped bullets. According to Fox News, just a month ago, a police officer’s badge saved him from serious or even life threatening injuries.
One controversial story is a 2007 story about a US soldier in Iraq, named Kevin Garrad.  He was on a patrol when an insurgent fired upon him, supposedly with an AK-47 at close range.  After a gunfight, the insurgent was killed and Kevin resumed his patrol and grabbed his HP iPod out of his chest pocket and tried to play some music on it, only to find that there was a bullet lodged in the corner.  The reporters that covered this seemingly miraculous story did not describe how close the shot was and could have mistaken the gun for another, lower caliber gun.

To space, my birdies!

I’m sorry guys, but due to the release of Angry Birds Space I am turning into a cavewoman and going to live with the birds and the pigs. Tweet, Oink. Angry Birds space was released last week, and the game has 60 whole levels of pirds(Get it? Pigs and birds! It’s a conjunction.) to enjoy. The game is available for mac, PC, iPod, iPad 3, iPhone, and Android. The new game features something really cool- gravity. Imagine flinging a yellow bird, and as it orbits Jupiter- WHAM! You click the screen and it bounces around Pluto, back to Venus and then nails the king pig right in the kisser. Ba-dam, high score! Anyway, don’t take it from me. Watch the video! Ehh.. after the break.

March 23, 2012

Your Friendly Guide to Different Governments!

With Republics never really working, and partisan politics taking over in Congress, your friendly neighborhood Democrat is here to help!

Democratic - The fairest government, Democracy allows everybody to have one vote in all issues, however, Democracy is not practiced correctly in “free countries”, such as America.

Republic - The people of a set area decide which one person will represent them, and then tell him/her what they want him/her to say when all the other representatives meet to decide on issues.

Dictatorship - One man/woman controls and decides everything, without any say from the people.

Democratic-Republic - People in gerrymandered voting districts vote for corrupt politicians to represent them, then the politicians vote on everything with no say from the people. This is practiced in America and DOES. NOT. WORK.

Oligarchy - A small number of people, usually royalty, high ranking military officers, and/or wealthy businessmen, make decisions for all issues, these people are usually chosen by the leader.

Theocracy - The country is lead by “divine” or “enlightened” officials, usually clergymen, who normally set out strict religious rules, often not letting unbelievers of their religion into the country.

~Mein Identity Keeps Esoteric

March 22, 2012

The 2012 NCAA tournament has an insane amount of upsets.  Zero brackets were perfect after Duke lost to 15 seed Lehigh.  This is the first NCAA tournament ever to have two, two seeds to get upset by 15 seeds.  Both Missouri and Duke lost to 15 seeds.  A two seed losing in the first round is a rare thing in the first place.  I mean this is the first time it has happened in 11 years.  Even more, the two 15 seeds were unknown teams; Norfolk State, and Lehigh.
First round upsets included in the South region included; (12)Virginia Commonwealth University over (5)Wichita State, (11)Colorado over (6)University of Las Vegas, (10)Xavier over (7) Notre Dame, and best of all (15)Lehigh over (2)Duke.  Surprisingly there were zero upsets in the East Region.  First round upsets in the West included; (9)Saint Louis beating (8)Memphis and (15)Norfolk State beating (2)Missouri.  Upsets in the first round of the Midwest included; (12)University of South Florida over (5)Temple, (13)Ohio beating (4)Michigan, (11)North Carolina State beat (6)San Diego State, (10)Purdue over (7)Saint Mary’s.  Some of these upsets were expected while others came out of nowhere.
Usually at this point in the NCAA tournament there is at least one perfect bracket, but this year the best bracket has 6 incorrect picks.  This bracket also has a perfect round of 32.

The wonders of Asprin

According to the national cancer institute, studies are showing that people who take aspirin are less likely to die of certain kinds of cancer. That means that people who regularly take asprin are half as likely to die of cancer..  “In-trials, cancer deaths [reduced] by nearly [half] after about five years.” said Eric Jacobs, director of pharmacoepidemiology for the American Cancer Society. This isn’t new, though. This was just one of the many tests that have been conducted, as this connection between Cancer and Asprin has been suspected since the 1990s. However, no one knows why or how Asprin works it’s magic against cancer. Now, don’t take this so seriously that you go and chug your asprin bottles at home. Asprin taken in large doses can cause you gastrointestinal bleeding. So.. if you don’t want internal bleeding, take it rationally, and follow the dosage on the bottle.

March 21, 2012

Earthquake Shakes Mexico

It seems like every week there is a huge earthquake somewhere in the world.  This week’s earthquake was in Oaxaca, Mexico however it was felt 314 miles away in the capital as well.  It was a powerful 7.4 earthquake, with 10 aftershocks, that shook buildings all over Mexico City.  Although many tall buildings were shaken, only small houses fell. The city is very well tested because there have been 15 earthquakes since 1973 that were just as powerful as this one, so if a building didn’t fall before, then it isn’t likely to fall now.  800 houses were damaged but only 60 collapsed.  This earthquake has given our school a scare because there are students from Smith that are visiting Mexico this week.  We were glad to hear that there were only 11 reported injuries and no deaths.  I hope that this harmless earthquake has been a experience that they won’t forget.

March 20, 2012


Guys! A new species of frog was discovered within the sight of he  Statue of Liberty. Actually, it was discovered in the Yankee stadium. Go Yankees! The frog species is so new it doesn’t even have a name yet, and they know it’s a new species because it is similar looking to another kind of frog, the southern leopard frog, but the difference is in their croak. Now the frog is going to be studied by scientists so that it can be identified, and hopefully named.

But you know, when you think of a new species, would you really find it in NEW YORK? Doesn’t like, everyone live in New York? How come it wasn’t found in some secluded jungle in the Amazon? I mean, dang!

March 16, 2012

Lacking Sleep?

Middle School is only a sliver of the tough work that you're going to encounter in high school, but that doesn't mean you don't work a lot right now. Sleep is crucial for students to get through the day. It gives you the strength to work hard and focus. However, sleep can be hard to come by if you're being loaded down with homework. If you've been going to bed at 12 every night, or find yourself falling in sleep in class, then read the tips below, because it's going to help.

1) Have a regular sleeping schedule. Having an erratic sleeping schedule isn't logical. Having a set time when you hit the hay is good because your body and mind will be used to that designated time.

2) Don't over-nap. Sleeping during the day is okay if you didn't get enough sleep the night before, but if you over-nap, then you're going to have a hard time falling asleep at night. It's better to either stay strong and wait until night time, or take a mini nap, like about 15-30 minutes long.

3) Exercise. As middle school students, you probably do a sport. If you don't, then you might want to go on a walk or a run after school because after exercising, your body will need to "recover", making it easier to sleep.

4) Don't go to bed with a full or empty stomach. While this may sound confusing, it's important. Try to avoid late night snacking or drinking fluids before sleep. When you're asleep, digestion slows down, and if you have a full stomach when your sleeping, that's not going to turn out well in the morning.

5) Don't drink caffeine. Caffeine has a 12 hour long effect. If you drink some soda or caffeinated tea 1:00 PM, then it's going to keep you up until 1:00 AM. Try switching to decaffeinated tea, water, or juice to quench your thirst.

6) Focus on your homework and get it done! Don't get distracted by your phone or the computer. It's tempting, but in order to go to sleep early, you need to finish everything. Try using this safe and effective application for your computer that you can customize to block distracting sites for a designated amount of time. It's safe and free.

      We're still kids so we need  at least 8 hours of sleep. So follow these simple steps and you'll be on your way to good sleeping and hard work at school.

    Sleep is one of the most important daily habits people can have- especially teens. While young adolescents are growing and maturing, sleep is vital in order to live and be healthy. According to recent studies, teens need 9 ¼ hours of sleep per night, in order to function the best. However, only 15% reported getting even 8 ½ hours of shut-eye per night. This is an unhealthy habit that Zoe Lofgren, a sleep doctor, addressed in his House Congressional Resolution the “ZZZ's to A's Act,” an act that would encourage schools and school districts across the country to push school start times to at least 8:30 AM. 47% of the public opinion agrees with Lofgren, but students are afraid that a later school day will cut into their after-school jobs and extracurricular activity times. Although this is true, earlier school starting times can cause unhealthy habits with teens in particular. More and more teens are aiming for a later bedtime, to be made up with various caffeines, often in the form of coffee. Caffeine is a drug, and excessive amounts can cause countless health issues.
     Lack of sleep has many negative effects, especially on teens. Being tired in school limits your ability to learn, listen, concentrate and solve problems, and may cause you even to forget simple information, such as your name, numbers, your homework or a date with that special someone. It will make you more prone to pimples, and teens have already unwanted acne and other skin problems. Lack of sleep can cause people to eat unhealthy or too much food, leading to weight gain and even obesity. Not enough sleep can cause aggressive behaviors, unnecessary illnesses and can heighten the effects of alcohol in your body.
     Solutions are simple. Making sleep a regular habit will benefit one's life tremendously. Instead of pushing back bedtimes, make them earlier, and establish a consistent one that will hopefully get you the recommended 9 ¼ hours per night. Make sleep a priority- after all, you'll be doing it for over 650,401 hours in your lifetime.

Information from the National Sleep Foundation's website, copyright 2011


              Jose Alfredo Jimenez was a Mexican singer and song writer who sang rancheras, a style of music that is an integral part of Mexico’s heritage. He was born in January 19, 1926 and died November 23 1973. He composed over 1000 songs. Some of the most famous songs are "El Jinete" "Si Nos Dejan" "Que Te Vaya Bointo" and "El Rey" His songs continue to be popular and now another famous ranchero singer, Vicente Fernandez sings these songs. Jose Alferdo Jimenez was a great singer but he liked to drink a lot of alcohol and that was his cause of his death. His drinking had gotten so bad at one point that he had to go to emergency room. The doctor told him to stop drinking or else he would die. Soon after, José Alfredo Jimenez got married to a woman and he stopped drinking for a whole year. During this time he also made movies. After that year José Alfredo Jimenez got divorced and he started to drink again.                              This time he kept on drinking and made a song called La Vida No Vale Nada", which means that life is not worth anything. Shortly after writing that song, he had to go to the hospital again and was at a big risk of dying. However, he did not care and he said, "We were born to die". Despite the risk of dying he left the hospital to go see his son because it was his son’s birthday. When he got home he asked his son where he wanted to go for his birthday and his son just said he wanted to he play with him. After that day jose alfredo jimenez’s mom found him at home sick and skinny. His eyes looked like they were already dead when they took him back to the hospital. However, it was too late, he died.

The Pet Process

We’ve all asked that question. “Can I have a dog/cat?” Maybe it was when you were younger, maybe it was earlier today. Perhaps you want a specific breed, but you’ve heard so much about breeders that you’re afraid to even look one up. Let me tell you something, there’s a difference between a puppy/kitten mill and a good, reputable breeder. But you might want to adopt the pet of your dreams from a shelter- maybe you fantasize that when you walk up to the animals that one special puppy will be there, chewing on a toy and lookin’ all adorable.. you’ll lock eyes, and it’ll be love at first sight. However, maybe you’ll be walking home from an unsuccessful day at the shelter and find the kitten of your dreams suddenly rubbing against your legs.


Picking a pet is a difficult process, and one that should not be taken lightly. You should explore all your options before picking one instead of rushing into it. I took the liberty of making a pro/con list of breeders vs shelters so you can have a basic idea of what the risks are for both of them.

GOOD Breeder
  • Health Guarantee
  • Exact breed - this means you can get specific characteristics of the breed(i.e. Ragdolls are known for being limp when you pick them up, or German Shepherds are known for their exceptional intelligence)
  • If you look at the parents, you can get a good idea of what the grown animal will be like

  • Generally costly
  • You could very well be saving a life
  • Mixed breed dogs are a magical mish-mash of characteristics from different breeds
  • Cheap
  • Normally spayed/neutered, etc
  • You can ask for a specific breed and maybe they’ll have it

  • Mixed breed isn’t always good
  • Unknown background
  • No way to know how they’ll end up looking when they’re grown

So long story short, if you don’t care what breed you get, buy from a shelter, but if you want a specific breed, buy from a breeder. Always check the shelter first ‘cause some purebreds do end up there.. somehow. You should check them out! :D

Your Friendly Guide to Different Religions!

With loads of people not really understanding what Atheism actually is, and politicians thinking that all Muslims are terrorists, your friendly neighborhood Polytheistic Deist is here to help!

Religion - The belief in a higher power, who usually has “Godlike” abilities.

Atheism - Not a religion, just a philosophy, these people believe that there is no God, and  when you die, you are dead, because there is no afterlife. Followers are known as Atheists.

Christianity - Followers of this religion attend church every Sunday, and believe in a higher power known only as “God”. Their holy book is the Bible. Followers are known as Christians.

Deism - The belief that there is a God (Or Gods), but that they simply created the world we live in and now do not interfere with human nature. Followers are known as Deists.

Judaism - These people believe in a God, similar to Christianity, but they do not believe in Jesus as a deity. Their holy book is the Torah. Followers are known as Jews.

Islam - Another monotheistic religion. Commonly called and labeled terrorists by many Americans and politicians. Islam is often taken out of context, but is a very peaceful religion. Their holy book is the Qur’an, and followers are known as Muslims.

Agnosticism - The belief that there may be a God or gods, but they do not know which one(s). Followers are known as Agnostic.

Hinduism - The oldest living religion in the world, this religion is polytheistic. Some of their practices include vegetarianism and festivals, such as Holi, the Festival of Colours. Followers are known as Hindus.

Buddhism - Technically not a religion, but a train of thought, it follows the teachings of  Siddhartha Buddha, who was said to be enlightened. Buddha’s teachings include karma and reincarnation (Rebirth after death). Followers are known as Buddhists.

Paganism - Paganism is a term used to refer to most early polytheistic religions, such as the belief in the Greek/Roman Gods. Most of these religions have died out by now, but some still have devoted followers. Not to be confused with Neopaganism, such as Wicca. Followers are known as Pagans.

~Mein Identity Keeps Esoteric

Emotional Contagion

Many people don’t know this, but there is a negative influence that physical interaction with people has on your emotions. The phenomenon known as emotional contagion affects all people, young and old.  It allows our feelings to rub off on other people, and it can be used for good and bad.  The ability to pass stress on to other people has made stress become an epidemic of the 21st century.  Scientists say this because stress is causing more than 70% of all visits to physicians.  This is a real problem because with only around four degrees of separation (you know everyone in the world through four people) stress could spread like a wildfire.  Your stress could move to China in a day through your friend’s parent’s workmate.
This could also raise a problem if two stressed people met.  Their stress levels would rise whenever anyone says something.  Soon the room would be a giant stress bomb, waiting to explode when an innocent person walks in.  However there is hope.  It is just as easy to spread positive emotions through people.  Being nice to someone could make them be nice to someone else and, as far as you know, your positive attitude could stop World War III.

Hunger Games, in all its forms

With over 800,000 copies sold, it only makes sense to make a movie. "The Hunger Games", by Suzanne Collins has become "a teenage staple". But it's not only for the targeted age group. Adults and teenagers alike are obsessing over this riveting dystopian novel. "The Hunger Games" has become the face of dystopian novels with it's incredible success. It has triggered a flood of debuting authors with their own version of a twisted society adventure.
Everyone who hasn't read the book yet is scavenging to find a copy. They have been swept off the shelves by hungry readers. Many people hope to read it before the movie comes out.
The movie version of "The Hunger Games" stars Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen, Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark, and Liam Hemsworth as Gale Hawthorne. These three young adults have the daunting task of living up to the legacy of the books, as well as the high expectations of Hunger Games fanatics. The cast includes big stars like Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, and Lenny Kravitz. Fans have pre-ordered tickets to the midnight premiere to the movie. It's unlikely that tickets will be available.
The Hunger Games has been called a global phenomenon, which is highly accurate. With 2 other equally successful books in the series, Suzanne Collins has changed the face of dystopian books forever. Among the many high praising reviews, the Times has said "Best of all remains 'the Hunger Games", with its moving, vivid and consistently well written dystopian adventure about the ultimate Reality TV game. With its unforgettable heroine, this is an outstanding book for both genders that grips like a man-trap."
If you haven't read "The Hunger Games" yet, then you are seriously missing out. You've probably heard your teachers telling you to read a book, and it usually turns out to be nothing of your interest. Well, this book is definitely capable of satisfying and exceeding your standards for "interesting". If you don't believe me, ask your classmates. Pick up a copy of "The Hunger Games" (if you can find one) and be prepared to never stop reading because it's a great book that it is truly "grips like a man trap." Check out the Hunger Games movie as well! It's in theaters on March 23rd.
May the odds ever be in your favor!

March 15, 2012

March Madness

Its that time of year again.  The month where your time is consumed in a sheet of paper.  That you may rip, trash, or celebrate.  You may cheer for the underdogs, or you may claim “you guessed it”.  That’s right- it’s March Madness 2012.
It seems that all of ESPN’s experts have the same picks for the final four.  All of the experts have Kentucky coming out of the South, and most have UNC winning the Midwest.  While the West is split between Missouri and Michigan State.  Michigan is a one seed, while Missouri is a two seed that many experts thought should have been a one seed.  The East is mainly split between Syracuse, Florida State, and Ohio State, but also an expert picks Wisconsin, and another expert picks Vanderbilt.
Now comes the president’s bracket.  In 2009, Obama picked North Carolina to win.  Then in both 2010 and 2011 Obama picked Kansas to win it all.  Obama picked correctly with North Carolina to win it all- go UNC!- but then was wrong both years he picked Kansas.  This year the teams he picked to be in the Final Four were Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio State.  He then has North Carolina playing Kentucky in the final game.  Obama decided to have North Carolina winning, hoping that it would redeem him for his two years of picking Kansas.
Most people are picking Kentucky to win the NCAA tournament.  Kentucky has a staggering 35% of all ESPN brackets with them winning.  The second most picked team to win the tournament is UNC.  UNC has about 18% of the ESPN brackets picking them.
The madness starts March 15th.

Encyclopedia Britannica

Encyclopedia Britannica, or- British Encyclopedia, is a name that most of you guys have heard before. It was first published in 1768 in the United Kingdom, starting out with just three volumes. But by 2010, a whole 242 years later, the encyclopedia had expanded to an 11-volume set. The encyclopedia is chock-full of information on just about everything- countries, dictionaries, things, places- you name it, it’s probably in there! The encyclopedia announced just this month that it would stop publishing printed books and instead focus on it’s online edition. This one’s definitely more useful than the books, ‘cause.. well, one word: search bar. Okay, two words. You could search for horses, or pathology, or.. well, search for anything! The fact that it stopped publishing written books is a big thing, though. I mean, 244 years since it was started! Those books have got some history. Well, as all good things have to come to an end.. in a couple of decades, the books will probably become antiques. Hold onto them for some cash, kids!
The encyclopedia Britannica isn’t free, however- it’s available(well, mostly available) to subscribers only. There is some free content being put out there so that you guys can get a taste, but you know.. good things aren’t always free. Some people think that it would be a preferred source in comparison to Wikipedia, because it’s not open source and therefore not editable by anybody. But people still doubt that Wikipedia will be ousted by Britannica anytime soon.

Pi Day

March 14th - a well-known day for scholars and mathematicians, not only because it is the birthday of Albert Einstein, but also because it is “pi day”.  
That day is dubbed “pi day” because pi’s first 3 digits are 3.14 and March 14th is 3/14, the fourteenth day of the third month.  On pi day, the Maryland Science Center will be celebrating by doing all things related to pi, such as pie eating and reciting the number as far as possible.  Pi is the circumference found when a circle’s diameter is 1.
This year, leap students and some 8th grade math classes celebrated pi day with pie and condiments such as whip cream.

One neat trick with pi is that if you write the first 3 numbers of pi and flip it, it says pie!

Pictures from:

March 14, 2012

Airplane Catillion!

I thought since spring break is coming up, and you guys are about to fly away to your fancy vacations in Cuba, the Bahamas, CHINA - I’d warn you of the horrors of airplane etiquette. For the sake of humanity, follow these rules.
  1. Don’t take off your freakin’ socks! No one wants to smell your fishy-as-heck feet, let alone see your ingrown, fungal toenails. Don’t clip them, either.
  2. When you recline in a chair, remember there could  be an old, frail lady behind you that you could invade the space of. This one was written with the fact that she may hit you with her handbag, 90’s-movie-style, in mind.
  3. You guys don’t need to freak out about this(I don’t think) but I’ll throw it out there anyway. Flights are packed, and so are the overhead bins. Stop hogging them and let the frail old lady put her rolling bag in there.. or out with the beating-bag!

  4. Don’t bug your seatmates.. especially if they’re old ladies. If they start a conversation with you, great! But make sure that you know when they don’t want to talk to you anymore.
  5. Don’t fart. Seriously, the air circulates through the plane. Do you really want your stank to be smelled by all?

Oh, and another thing. I know the old lady was hypothetical, but just because she’s not old(or a woman, perhaps) doesn’t mean they won’t get mad at you for violating those magical rules up there. :D

-Just A message from your favorite Egyptian!