Beware of “The Choking Game”

By Jessica

The Choking Game, also known as The Fainting Game, Knock-Out, Airplaning, and Space Monkey, is anything but a game. This dangerous activity is often played by preteens and teens ages 9-16 years old. Police departments and school districts everywhere have been warning parents to speak to their children about the potential hazardous effects of engagement in such behavior. In this activity, kids either practiced alone or in groups with the goal of temporarily stopping the flow of oxygen to their brains by using belts, hands, or plastic bags, in an attempt to become momentarily unconsciousness. The end goal of participation in this type of behavior is to feel a few brief seconds of euphoria, also known as a temporary high, before regaining consciousness.

But not all participants regain consciousness; recently, a New Jersey student strangled himself to death. A survey by the Erik’s Cause website cited that 93% of parents were unaware of the existence of “pass-out” activities. The website also said 90% of children heard about this kind of behavior from their friends. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this activity caused 82 fatalities from 1995 to 2007. Kids continue to engage in this lethal behavior for reasons including pressure from peers, dares, trying to gain acceptance into a social group, a free way to become intoxicated, or just simply curiosity.

Parents everywhere are encouraged to make sure their children know preventing blood from reaching the brain is not safe in any way, shape, or form. We can help put an end to this harmful activity by looking for the warning signs. It only takes three minutes for the brain to be harmed blood and oxygen are eliminated. Signs one is participating in such behavior include red eyes, bruises on the neck, disorientation, unstable mood, and periods of silence. Knots left in clothing and ropes around the household is also a warning.  As a doctor stated, “It is important for children to know about the seriousness of what can happen to their body if they experiment even on time. Any type of asphyxiation, even if temporary, may cause strokes, seizures, retinal damage, brain damage or even death.” 

Do Breast Implants Cause Cancer?

In some cases, breast augmentation surgery can lead to cancer.

In some cases, breast augmentation surgery can lead to cancer.

For many women, the pressure to have larger breasts can be overwhelming. Many women’s self consciousness lead them to turn to surgery. The desire to achieve bigger breasts has never been stronger thanks to breast augmentation, which some women believe is a harmless and permanent solution. Kimra Rogers, who was a happy and healthy 35 year old wife, and mother of three, got breast implants, completely unaware of the potential consequences. A year and a half before she was diagnosed, cancer cells began spreading from lymph nodes in her armpit up to her clavicle. Her skin started to turn dry and crack, her hair began falling out in handfuls, and she found an egg sized lump in her armpit. It was then she knew something was wrong and went to the doctor. Doctors could not see anything unusual in her blood work and x-rays. However, when they did an ultrasound, they saw six large hidden lumps in her breasts, which she had not been able to feel, because of her implants, doctors took a biopsy and sent it in for a CD30 test, which confirmed Kimra was one of the 359 women worldwide diagnosed with Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma. After a year of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and testing, 15 years later at 50 years old, Kimra is still in remission. Kimra now has to deal with personal guilt and face daily chronic fatigue, “If I do something one day, like go to lunch with some girlfriends then get groceries, I know that the next day or two days I’m in bed,” Kimra says. Kimra hopes telling her story will make others aware of the risks she wishes she would have know before getting breast implants, “I want to get the word out to women, if you’re thinking about getting implants, think twice. Truly if they would have said, ‘Hey, there’s a possibility here you could get cancer,’ I would have taken that into consideration.” Fortunately, the FDA has recently issued a safety communication updating physicians and patients about a potential cancer risk associated with breast implants. Perhaps the “dream come true” surgery for many women needs to be put to an end- no cosmetic enhancement surgery is worth endangering one’s health.

Pet Survey At Village School

There are many different kinds of pets students in our school have!

There are many different kinds of pets students in our school have!

I did a survey about pets with the purpose of finding out what is the Village School pet ownership status. I was able to survey 41 students out of the 46 students in total at our school. To start off with age group, I surveyed two 13 year olds, four 14 year olds, seven 15 year olds, ten 16 year olds, twelve 17 year olds, and eight 18 year olds. 50% of the 13 years olds owned one or more pet, 100% of the 14 year olds in our school owned one or more pet, 57% of the 15 year olds owned one or more pet, 58% of the 16 year olds owned one or more pet, 50% of 17 year olds owned one or more pet, and 38% of 18 year olds owned one or more pet. 14 year old students in our school are more likely to have a pet. Next, I asked about grade. I surveyed four 8th graders, three 9th graders, ten 10th graders, fourteen 11th graders, and twelve 12th graders. 50% of 8th graders owned one or more pet, 100% of 9th graders owned one or more pet, 40% of 10th graders owned one or more pet, 57% of 11th graders owned one or more pet, and 50% of 12th graders owned one or more pet. 9th graders in our school are more likely to have a pet. Next, I asked about gender. I surveyed 21 males and 21 females. 48% of males owned one or more pets, and 67% of females owned one or more pets. Females in our school are more likely to have a pet. To sum up the results, 14 year olds, 9th graders, and females in our school are more likely than their peers to have one or more pet.

Next, I asked a series of questions specifically for the 61% of students in our school who are pet owners. I began with asking how many pets each pet owner has. 40% of pet owners owned only one pet, 12% of pet owners owned two pets, 20% of pet owners owned three pets, and 28% of pet owners owned four or more pets. Most pet owners in our school have only one pet. Next, I asked what kind of pet each pet owner has. 92% of pet owners owned one or more dogs, 36% of pet owners owned one or more cats, 20% of pet owners owned one or more fish, and 32% of pet owners owned one or more pet in the “other” category (birds, guinea pigs, bunnies, lizards, frogs, ants, and hamsters). Most pet owners in our school own one or more dogs. Next, I asked each pet owner how long they have had their pet/s for. 24% of owners have owned some or all of their pets for less than a year, 32% of pet owners have owned some or all of their pets for a year, 28% of pet owners have owned some or all of their pets for two years, 28% of pet owners have owned some or all of their pets for three years, 24% of pet owners have owned some or all of their pets for four years, and 64% of pet owners have owned some or all of their pets for five or more years. Most pet owners in our school have owned some or all of their pets for five or more years. To sum up the results, pet owners at the Village School will most likely have only one pet, one or more dogs, and have owned some or all of their pets for five or more years.

Police Brutality Calls for Total Overhaul of Towns Police

After a New Year’s party ends in a black citizen being forced to the ground and tased, members of the majority white town of Yellow Springs, Ohio, are speaking up against the police of the town, calling for a total overhaul of the police force.

The Town of Yellow Springs, Ohio

The Town of Yellow Springs, Ohio

On New Year’s eve the residents of the small town of Yellow Springs gathered in the streets to watch as a disco ball was dropped to the pavement, Something that the residents of this town have been doing for years. Just after midnight the police started to break up the crowd, something that they usually waited around 45 minutes to do. They did this by driving their cruisers through the crowd, lights flashing and horns buzzing. Tensions grew and several residents approached the officers to ask what they were doing. One individual was said to be drunk and disorderly, slamming his fists on the police cruiser, a claim that his lawyer says is not true. After being asked to step back officers tackled the man to the ground, after he got up and tried to run away officers tried to taze him with multiple civilians stepping in the way in order to block the taser. After this there were many different viewpoints of why the incident occurred, with the white members of community blaming it on just the fact that there was no connection from police to the people and minorities claiming that it was a racial incident, either way both parties are calling for the same thing, a big change in the town’s police.

Since this happened proposals for dealing with the situation range from replacing officers with social workers to providing subsidies to officers who come from the town, as many of them are not from the area. As a result the town has appointed one of their officers as the chief until a permanent replacement can be found.

Don’t Press that Button!

imagesHave you ever stopped to notice the button that you can push before you cross the street? Nearly everyone at one point or another has attempted to press these buttons to cross the street, and most likely have been frustrated. Here’s where the frustration comes from:

In the book, The Works, by Kate Ascher, which was published in 2005, Ascher states that more than ¾ of NYC’s sidewalk buttons are reported as not working. The buttons were originally intended to speed things up. But, as more and more people flooded into the city that never sleeps, there was more and more traffic. This makes the buttons inefficient. But now, the buttons serve no purpose and actually slow things down because people tend to get frustrated. This can cause jaywalking, which causes accidents. Accidents slow things down. The reason that the city just doesn’t remove them is because it would cost taxpayers a fortune to do so. 

What will you do when you see a crosswalk button? Will you press it? Or will you ignore it? 

Endangerment

There are countless amounts of animals that will make your heart melt: puppies, kittens, the list goes on and on. What is your favorite animal? What if I told you that there is a 30-50% of all species are heading towards extinction by this mid century. According to research conducted by conservation scientist, David Wilcove estimates that there are 14,000 to 35,000 endangered species in the United States. Below are my favorite beauties of this world that are sadly decreasing in population as we speak.

Elephants (African and Asian)

These majestic creatures are the largest mammals on Earth. They are indigenous to Sub-Saharan Africa and SouthEast Asia. As many as 100,000 African elephants were reportedly killed between 2010 and 2012. Threats that are imposed upon the elephant population include poaching and illegal trade of ivory tusks. These beautiful creatures are slowly losing their habitats, because of their size they are forced to places where they can not survive. In Thailand, elephant rides are a popular tourist attraction. In reality these rides “break” elephants both physically and emotionally. Their spines are not made to carry the weight of humans which paralyses them over time. Emotionally? They are abused and driven to insanity by isolation.

Polar Bears

polar-bears_1425387c

Polar bears are marine mammals indigenous to the Arctic. Their population is rapidly decreasing ultimately because of the environment. This causes a shift in the ecosystem. Polar ice caps melting leaving many of the bears swimming for their lives in search of other caps. Though these amazing creatures can swim a great distance (30 miles) ice caps are becoming harder to find which results in polar bears drowning in the sea. Another reason for their endangerment is the lack of food. Polar bears spend 50% of their lives searching for food, but less than 2% of their hunts are successful.

What you can do to help

  • Do not buy ivory! New ivory is strictly banned, but antique ivory can be legally available for purchase
  • Adopt an elephant/polar bear
  • Go green
  • Conserve water

The SAT: Past and Present

SAT vs ACT administration by state.

SAT vs ACT administration prevalence by state.

The SAT is a standardized test predominately used for college admissions in the United States. It was first introduced in 1926, although it has been updated several times in order to conform with mercurial cultural beliefs regarding standardized testing. The test has a dissonant history of progressive aspirations with prejudicial undertones; its first iteration was designed by Carl Brigham, a proponent of eugenics, who wanted to eliminate the role of socioeconomic testing biases in admissions.

The first College Board exam, given to 973 students across the United States, was administered in 1901. The exam contained sections on English, classical languages, chemistry, and physics. It consisted of a series of essay responses and was rated on a subjective scale from “very poor” to “excellent”. The first SAT exam was administered much later, in 1926, to over 8,000, primarily male students. Test takers were given about 90 minutes to answer 315 questions. The test was split into many sections with abstruse names such as “artificial language”. There were so many sections, in fact, that in 1928 they actually had to decrease the number of verbal sections to 7. A year later they reduced this number to 6. In the same period of time, the time limit was increased to roughly 2 hours and math was eliminated from the test entirely. From this point forward, the mean score was intended to be 500, with a standard deviation of 100 points. Verbal test scores were linked by equating current scores to those obtained in 1941. The same was done with math scores obtained, when they were re-introduced, in 1942. Thus, the average SAT score was intended to be about 1,000.

This method of “equating” scores later backfired as the mean SAT score began to steadily decline during the 1960’s. During this period of time, the number of SAT tests taken doubled; thus, some attributed the score decline to shifts in demography. Yet, various studies have concluded that other unknown factors contributed to the decline in SAT scores, especially after 1970. Several important changes were made to the test during the 90’s, by which time the average SAT score had dropped to 900. Reading comprehension questions were further emphasized, in an attempt to reduce the importance of crystallized vocabulary in SAT scores. Plans to mandate an essay along with the exam were dropped due to dissent from minority groups, who believed that the essay would accompany an increase in test cost. It was finally decided that scores would no longer be equated to those achieved in the 1940’s, due to increasing discrepancies between a student’s raw score (# of questions correct) and scaled score (section score out of 800).

Although this correction decreased the aforementioned discrepancy, it was accompanied by a disproportionate increase in the number of students achieving a perfect score. Thus, this was corrected by slightly increasing the test’s difficulty and adding a writing section. This produced the 2400 composite score that many of us are familiar with. Score choice, an option that allows students to select which College Board exams to send to college, was made universal in 2009. In recent years, students have been required to submit photo ID, typically an admissions ticket, in order to enter their testing centers. An admissions ticket typically consists of your name, birthdate, test you intend to take, along with other identifying information including a photo. The College Board has very stringent requirements for many elements of these photos, such as facial expression and the subject’s distance from the camera, amongst other things.

Another major overhaul produced the most recent iteration of the SAT exam, which was first administered earlier this year, primarily to members of the class of 2017. Previously, a quarter of a point was deducted from a student’s raw score for each incorrect answer; now, students simply miss out on the opportunity to “gain” points; and the score is once again out of 1600. The test has also introduced new “cross-test” scores, presumed to indicate proficiency in areas such as “Analysis in Science”. The writing section, which was unpopular among many admissions offices and students alike, has been eliminated; although, in reality it seems to have been conjoined with the critical reading section. The essay is now optional, and a list of colleges requiring it for admissions can be found here: http://bit.ly/1K9X7Wg.

After skimming through this dull recitation of the various arbitrary changes made to a test that is heavily weighed in college admissions, you may be wondering: why is this test so important to colleges? Why is it necessary? Originally, the test was actually an IQ test in disguise. In fact, high scores on an SAT exam administered before 2005 may qualify you for entry into MENSA. Although this is no longer entirely the case with newer iterations of the SAT, it is clear that IQ and socioeconomic status strongly correlate with your composite score. These truths are often implicit, but rarely stated directly. Instead, the exam is alleged to “complement” the predictive value of high school GPA. Studies estimate that, although the SAT alone could explain ~13% of the variance in SAT scores, high school GPA alone can explain ~15%; when high school GPA is combined with SAT subject test scores ~22% of college success can be accounted for, but factoring in the regular SAT adds very little (0.1%) predictive value.

Thus, it is likely that SAT subject test scores in conjunction with high school GPA might better predict “college success”. It is interesting to note that colleges actually benefit more from recruiting students with potential for future success, not necessarily students who are likely to have “college success”. Smart people like Bill Gates garner lots of prestige and money for a school, regardless of whether they graduate; as do pro-athletes, entertainers, etc. Fratboys, stereotypically the least intelligent college students, actually donate the most of any group to their respective alma maters. Thus, assessments of intelligence, athleticism, and philanthropic spirit may override concerns about “college success”.

In conclusion, the regular SAT is an arbitrarily contrived standardized test that purports to predict college success, but is more likely an intelligence test in disguise and thus provides colleges with a socially acceptable metric to gauge how potential students might benefit their alma mater as alumni. College ranking services, such as the U.S News & World Report, have perverted admissions in recent years by rewarding colleges for rejecting applicants– who now compete with an increasing number of international competitors that will likely return home once they complete their studies–and maintaining artificially high test standardized scores among their students. All of this distracts from the true, noble purpose of college: education.

The Truth About Chemtrails

Chemtrails and Contails Comparison

Chemtrails and Contails Comparison

A billowing trail of clouds from an airplane high up, flying across the sky can mesmerize children and adults alike. While it’s beautiful to some, to others, it is a very concerning and scary sight. Air traffic has become very common throughout the recent years, so it”s not a rare sight to see these streaks from the planes, but some folks know the truth: that they themselves and everybody else are being polluted with toxins. It is very hard to tell the difference between a contrail and a chemtrail. A contrail is just condensation from NORMAL, commercial planes which are used for transporting passengers and cargo.

But here’s the big giveaway. The model that is normally used for The UN (United Nations) has proved the fact that we are being poisoned by our own government. These streaks in the sky are heavily polluting us with aluminium, barium, lead, arsenic, chromium, cadmium, selenium, and silver. This has all lead to various and deadly health problems and diseases such as neurological effects, heart damage, eyesight issues, reproduction failures, immune system damage, gastrointestinal disorders, damaged kidney, damaged liver, hormonal problems, and more. The government is doing this in hopes of population reduction. They are known to have used these chemtrails as biological testing agents on the population, while they continue to just say it’s no more than water vapor. If you are are still skeptical, do yourself a favor and watch this video of Rosalind Peterson, the president of Agriculture Defence Coalition, addressing the United Nations on using chemtrails, geoengineering, and weather modification: https://youtu.be/L5is16A8pfw.

There is also a leaked document from the U.S government literally said they are going to use said methods: (http://www.geoengineeringwatch.org/documents/19680002906_1968002906.pdf0

 

U.S Missile Defense System Sparks Controversy

Putin cries all the time, in this institution: http://bit.ly/1NbhPpb

Putin cries all the time, in this institution: http://bit.ly/1NbhPpb

On March 12th, the U.S launched a long-anticipated 800 million dollar missile defense system in Romania, sparking international controversy. An additional system is currently being built in Poland, which is expected to become operational in 2018. The missile defense system, also known as the “Aegis ashore system”, will be operated by NATO, historically a coalition against the Soviet Union, and has already been certified for operations by Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. In the same address, the Secretary General also insisted that the system is purely for defense purposes. U.S officials say that is intended for defense specifically against “rogue states”, such as Iran.

The fortuitous timing of the defense system’s completion coincides with recent controversy over Russian aggression in Ukraine and Georgia, among other threatened bordering nations. In spite of these recent imbroglios, Russian officials have shifted the blame to the U.S, claiming that the missile defense system violates the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, which was a bilateral agreement between the U.S and the USSR. In fact, there is no evidence that the Obama administration has any plans to challenge Russia in the immediate future; back in 2009, Obama canceled a similar Bush-era plan to station land-based interceptors in Poland and the Czech Republic. At the time, many members of NATO were concerned that the U.S had totally abandoned the missile defense project. It is speculated by experts that the Obama administration was in the process of trying to repair relations with Russia by signing an arms reduction treaty, also known as the “New START” treaty, thus signalling that the missile defense system truly was not directed towards it.
It seems that Russia was not convinced by Obama’s gesture of good faith, and has already responded by implementing a railroad-based missile system. Russia has also drawn support from Belarus, which pledges to aid Russia in countering NATO’s missile defense program. Belarus and Russia have already established a “union state” and continue to strengthen military ties. The Belarusian foreign minister simply recited concerns similar to those posed by the Russians, saying that NATO actions have only increased tensions.

The World’s First Solar Plane!

Solar Impulse 2

Solar Impulse 2

Beginning in 2015, the world’s very first attempt to fly around the world in the world’s first solar plane took place. The plane’s name is Solar Impulse 2.

Pilots Bertrand Piccard André Borschberg, who were also the founders of this project, flew from from Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates in March and have been flying since, obviously with stops. The plane was scheduled to return to Abu Dhabi back in August 2015; however, in June of that year, after flying through all of Asia, they hit Hawaii and the aircraft batteries suffered major thermal damage that took months to repair. Finally, on April 21st of this year, the Solar Impulse resumed its flight and landed in California on April 23rd, and on May 2nd, started on its way to Phoenix, Arizona.