Student Superlatives 2013

Here it is folks!  The official yearbook superlatives vote for the 2012-2013 yearbook.  There are four parts (for a total of 40 categories), so be sure to complete each and every survey.

Please answer the questions thoughtfully and use the student list to help you vote for as many individuals as possible.  A goal should be to not elect an individual more than twice!





The polls will be left open through Spring Break.  Votes will be tallied after and results revealed in the yearbook.  Please vote only once.

Thank you for your support and cooperation.


The Yearbook Staff


South Bend Plane Crash Kills Two

The house in which the plane currently sits was declared "structurally unsound", hindering investigations.

The house in which the plane currently sits was declared “structurally unsound”, hindering investigations.

Tyler Plaksis

On March 18th, former University of Oklahoma starting quarterback was one of two people killed when a small aircraft smashed into a house in South Bend, Indiana. One of the men was 58 year old Wesley Caves, who was the owner and pilot of the plane. The plane was a 7.5 million dollar Beechcraft Premier. Witnesses say that the plane crashed into two houses before becoming lodged in a third. The second victim was 60 year old Steven Davis he played for the Sooner in the 1970s. Davis went 32-1-1 as the Sooner starter from 1973 to 1975 starting every game as head coach Barry Swatter began his coaching first three seasons as head coach. Oklahoma tied Southern California in the second game of the 1973 season then ran off 28 straight victories with Davis under Center. The Sooner went 11-0 in 1974, then won the national title again the following year after going 11-1. The plane leaked enough fuel to make hundreds of people evacuate the houses near the crash zone. The other two men in the plane survived.

We’ll have to “Do more with less”

A plane graveyard in Las Vegas

A plane graveyard in Las Vegas


An op-ed by Gabriel Cohen

President Obama has announced that he has wanted to cut military spending for a while. His proposals have been met by a lot of military officials who have had their heads spinning after hearing that president Obama proposed a 46 billion dollar budget cut for the military. Throughout the pandemonium, military officials had thought up a different plan that might also help; this plan was to cut spending on developing the new F-35, the most advanced war plane to its date. The plan would be to cut back on our nuclear weapons arsenal and on the military health care, which is one of the costliest military health care systems in the world. The U.S. alone has spent more on the military health care system then it has on aiding the rest of the world. There’s so much money being spent that President Obama has declined the pentagons request to have about 100,000 troops on stand-by. Military officials want to cut spending on bases. These cuts would not see results immediately but over 5 to 10 years change will be noticed. As for our nuclear arsenal, well military officials want to preserve the nuclear weapons on the coast and the ones in nucles subs.

Personally, I agree that the United States is spending too much money on our nation’s military, but at the end of the day, I disagree with these cuts that are being proposed. The world is changing, and cutting back on our military may cause a lot of issues in the future. Nuclear terrorism plays a huge factor in the U.S. or the rest of the world. Removing strategic locations of our nuclear weapons can play a huge factor in case of a nuclear war. Also, cutting back on our fighter jet programs is another mistake. Our nation’s Air Force is slowly becoming outdated. Introducing the F-35 can give the us a major advantage in the air and battlefield. Lieutenant Colonel Miner, is of the USMC (United States Marine Corps), and a former acquaintance. The Marine Lt. Col. had told me that the day the military changes, so will this nation. I agree with him. Cutting back could also mean a lot of jobs being lost. The health care for the military is very important, besides physical and psychological treatment, soldiers come back from the war and have post traumatic war syndrome, and that is something that the military health care system covers.


2013 Volkswagen Passat S

2013-Volkswagen-Passat-profile-623x389Elliot Esterman

The Car: My grandmother’s 2013 Volkswagen Passat S.

The Review: I will be giving you the technical data, exterior and interior features.

Since my SAAB has been in the shop for a month, I had to borrow my grandma’s brand new 2013 Volkswagen Passat which retails for $18,000. While my overall review is a somewhat negative one, there are some redeeming qualities.

When looking at the exterior of the car, you could see that it has a very sophisticated yet somewhat aggressive design, and it has very nice lines. As the car is the base model, it doesn’t have many options such as stock 16- inch rims, a remote start, or auto- opening doors. However, the car has Halogen LED headlights and taillights and the bumpers have attached plastic sport- looking parts which add to the attractive and aggressive appearance.

Now, to the downside. To begin with, the car has a horrible interior– cloth seats and cheap plastics. After thirty minutes, it hurts to sit, and you’ll find yourself wanting to stretch your legs but there is no room– and no automatic seats either. However, there is a ton of room in the back, but again, the cloth seats are extremely uncomfortable. Adding the to interior, there is a cloth unheated “plastic-y” feeling steering wheel, which has no grip in your hand.

When you open the hood, you see a 170HP 2.5 litre Inline 5, which has no power. Uphill, you need to floor the pedal in Sport Mode and still, it struggles. Although it is the most base model Passat, I think Volkswagen could have designed it a bit better.

Overall, I would not recommend this car, but it is a great first car, and, if you just want to drive casually, it gets you from point A to B.

Mars Curiosity Rover Finds Evidence of An Environment that May have Supported Life

The Curiosity rover doing its thang. nbd.

The Curiosity rover doing its thang. nbd.

Laura Li

On March 12, NASA’s Curiosity rover has found what it went to Mars to look for: evidence of an environment that could have once supported life.

Chemical analyses show that a greyish powder taken from the rover’s first drilled rock sample (nicknamed “John Klein” by the Curiosity Team) contains clay minerals formed in water that was slightly salty, and neither too acidic nor too alkaline for life.

An X-ray analysis headed by David Blake, principal investigator for the rover’s Chemistry and Mineralogy instrument (CheMin) at NASA’s Ames Research Center, showed that the ground-up rock comprised mostly of igneous minerals such as feldspar, pyroxene, olivine and magnetite. However at least 20% of the rock was made up of clay minerals, such as smectite, that only form in the presence of water. The salts in the rock, such as halite, are of the sort that living organisms tolerate.

“If this water was around and you had been on the planet, you would have been able to drink it,” says Curiosity project scientist John Grotzinger, a planetary geologist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.He and other NASA researchers announced their findings at a news briefing in Washington DC this past week.

The discovery means that the six-wheeled Curiosity rover will stay longer at the bottom of Gale Crater, Grotzinger says. Engineers are now troubleshooting a memory glitch that caused Curiosity’s main computer to switch to a backup on 28 February. Earlier recovery efforts were delayed when mission managers shut the rover down, to protect the rover against a solar radiation storm that washed over Mars earlier this month.

Science operations are expected to start up again within a few days but will halt again in April, when Mars moves behind the Sun as seen from Earth. After communications resume, Grotzinger says, Curiosity will try drilling into John Klein again before starting out on the 10-kilometre drive to its ultimate destination, a 5-kilometre-tall peak known as Aeolis Mons.

Pope? Hope!

Pope Francis greeting those who came from near and far to await the results of the papal election

Pope Francis greeting those who came from near and far to await the results of the papal election

Solomon Shapiro

It has finally been decided. The new pope is…Argentine Jorge Bergoglio. A welcome departure from tradition, he is the first non-European pope in over 1,000 years. Bergoglio, who was raised by poor immigrants, is well known for his humility and humble nature.  Surely, his papacy will be defined by how he tackles one of the main scandals the Roman Catholic Church has faced in recent years– sexual abuse.   Pope Benedict XVI, who stepped down in February, was widely criticized for failing properly handle the scandals. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, who has chosen the name Francis, after St. Francis, is expected to handle this issue with great strength through increasing personal appearances and is already being called “the Pope of the People”.  He is known to be a modest man, and has mentioned how he “cooks for himself”. We can only wait and see what will happen with the Church, but if Pope Francis uses the skills that has endeared him with the public over the past years, there is a bright future for the Church.

Laugh at my Pain

“Dog Story”

by Eli Cohen

    My younger sister wanted a dog. I dislike dogs. You can already see the problem here. My sister was begging my parents for a dog for a long time. One day, she annoyed them beyond belief until they finally decided to get her one. This wasn’t fair. I’d been asking for an iPod for years, while she was begging for a dog only since she saw one on “Animal Planet” two weeks ago. I told my parents this and they immediately felt guilty, so they ordered me an iPod as well.
When it came in the mail a few days later, I was using it all the time. I’d go to sleep with the headphones in so when I’d wake up, I could listen to music right away. I was so happy, I forgotten for awhile that my sister’s dog was arriving shortly. One day, my parents left with my sister to get the dog, and I was in shock at what they returned with.
Usually when a little girl wants a dog, she’ll choose a cute puppy like a poodle or maybe a Pomeranian. My sister got a full grown German Shepard. Apparently, it was because she thought “bigger is better” applied to animals whose vicious wolf ancestory-instincts could kick in at any moment and snap her like a twig. But after listening to some Pink Floyd on my iPod, I was over it. At least my sister wasn’t bothering me anymore. That was until her dog needed food and water. I then found out that my sister expected me to do all the work, and apparently my parents shared this belief.

Her excuse was that she was too small to be able to tend for such a big dog. “But that’s not fair!”, I’d implored.  “Life’s not fair”, was my parents excuse. So I became the one who had to feed the dog and make sure it had water in its bowl. I even needed to take the dog out as well. I hated the fact that I had to clean up after it, but at least now that I had an iPod, I could listen to some music while I walked the dog.

When my family and I went on vacation to New Jersey, we had to bring the dog with us. We found some motel that allowed dogs so that’s where we stayed. After going out to wherever, when we got back, I, of course, had to take the dog out. It was freezing out there! Snow all over the place. I put on my jacket and took the dog out. It was hard to keep up with the dog as I tripped in the knee- high snow. Because there was snow all over the place, the dog was scared and couldn’t find a place to ‘do his business’. We were out for over an hour, and he still didn’t go. My fingers felt like they were bleeding from the cold air. I had to go back inside. I begged, “Please, please, PLEASE just go. I’m begging you!” I looked crazy.

Finally, my prayers were answered. The dog took a crap somewhere in the snow. Not far from the dropoff point, there was a sign. It read: “NO DOGS allowed” and warned of a $500 fine if the dog wasn’t cleaned up after. “No worries”, I thought, “No one’s around, I’ll just pick it up”. That’s when I realized I didn’t bring a bag with me. To make things worse, I noticed a police officer coming towards me. He did not look happy. Maybe he’d seen what I did? I started freaking out. Worst of all, the deed was beginning to sink within the snow; if it sunk too deep, I wouldn’t be get it out. I was getting scared and really nervous. Without thinking, I picked up the crap and placed it in my jacket pocket.

I had gloves on, but the smell was unbearable. The cop came over. He took a look at the ground where he last saw my dog squatting in the ready position. He then looked at me suspiciously. I don’t think he saw me put it in my pocket. The snow was blowing too hard and he was far away. “Everything alright here, son?”, he asked me. “Yeah”, I told him, but then the dog started barking madly. I did not like the sound of that. Luckily, the officer left me alone after that, thank the lord. I started walking back to the motel, but first I needed to find a trash can. When I did find a trash can, I reached Into my pocket to pull out my garbage, and I felt something else…in my pocket…that if I knew it were there…. I wouldn’t have put the poo in there with it. Take a guess! I want you to take a freaking guess as to what was in my pocket. If you’re completley lost here, it was my iPod. My beautiful, two- years- of- begging- for- it- iPod.

Anyway, a few weeks later, my parents returned the dog and got my sister one that was more appropriate for the whole family. We got a schnoodle, a schnauzer-poodle mix. We called him Duke. I like Duke and thanks to him, I like dogs now, too. They’re not as bad as I thought.
As for my iPod, I was able to clean..most… of it up. It still looks like I had some weird graffiti symbol engraved onto the back. But I don’t mind, as long as I’ve got a dog to walk along with me while I listen to music.

Baby Cured of HIV

Laura Li

Dr. Deborah Persaud reported the first case of a baby born with H.I.V. having been cured.

Dr. Deborah Persaud reported the first case of a baby born with H.I.V. having been cured.

On March 3rd doctors announced that a baby has been cured of the HIV virus, making her the first child and the second person worldwide to have been completely cured of the virus.
The baby girl was born prematurely in a rural Mississppi hospital with a high risk of exposure to maternal HIV infection. A test within 30 hours of birth confirmed that she was indeed infected and suggested that the infection most likely occurred in uturo.
The baby, under the care of Hannah Gay, (head of infectious disease pediatrics at the University of Mississppi) was then treated aggressively with antiretroviral drugs within the first 31 hours of life, which is rarely done. Gay gave higher-than-usual, “therapeutic” doses of three powerful HIV drugs rather than the “prophylactic” (protective/preventative) doses usually given in these circumstances.Virus levels dramatically decreased and were virtually undetectable by the time the girl was a month old.
Everything was going well, until the hospital suddenly lost contact with the mother as she stopped bringing her daughter for treatments and check ups. “The baby’s mom was having some life changes, that’s about all I can say,” Gay reports. “I saw her at 18 months, and then after that did not see her for several months. And we were unable to locate her for a while.” But with the help of state health authorities, Gay was able to track the mother and child down. The mother reported that she had stopped giving the child antiviral drugs almost 7 months ago. Gay was expecting the blood of the girl to be filled with the HIV, but to her astonishment, the tests found no trace of the infection. This, according to doctors can be seen as a “functional cure” of maternal HIV. The drugs used in this casewere inexpensive and easily obtainable.
While fewer than 130 such children are born each year in the U.S., an estimated 330,000 children around the world get infected with HIV at or around birth every year, most of them in sub-Saharan Africa.
This is an amazing new development In our search for the HIV cure that can change how infected newborns are treated and sharply reduce the number of children living with the virus that causes AIDS.

Kenyan Elections 2013

Eli Cohen

Many Kenyan's lined up in the wee hours of the morning in order to ensure  an opportunity to vote. Though the elections weren't violence-free, they were a vast improvement from 2010.

Many Kenyan’s lined up in the wee hours of the morning in order to ensure an opportunity to vote. Though the elections weren’t violence-free, they were a vast improvement from 2010.

On March 4th, hundreds of Kenyan citizens lined up at the voting booths to partake in the most critical Kenyan election since Kenya gained independence 50 years ago. This election is considered such an important one because it is the country’s first election since its western-esque liberal constitution was instituted in 2010. The constitution was created following the aftermath of the 2007 election, which was fixed for President Mwai Kibaki to win yet again. Most of the country voted for the other candidate and claimed voter fraud within the election.

This fixed election led to civil unrest and war between enraged citizens and the government. Over 1,000 people died during violent outbursts and around 250,000 were displaced as towns were ravaged. In the end, the main opponent of Kibaki- Raila Odinga- became prime minister and created the coalition government which led to the writing of their new constitution. Today, the polls are closed and the new prime minister will soon be announced. However, going through all the ballots, it seems to show that around 3,000 of them have been displaced, meaning, they are mysteriously missing. But as a deomontration of Kenya’s progress, this discrepancy is being solved with lawyers rather than violence.

In many ways, this is less about the election and more about the example Kenya and its new constition has set for the rest of Africa. Thanks to the new constitution, people will have more rights and the power of the government is going to be limited to prevent absolutism from taking place. Notably, 75% of Kenya’s population is below the age of 30, and never in it’s history has it had a healthier, more educated, and tech- savvy lifestyle than it does now.

Kenya’s future is looking bright.

Pope? Nope!

By Solomon Shapiro

Pope Benedict XVI leaving the Vatican, as pope, for the final time.

Pope Benedict XVI leaving the Vatican, as pope, for the final time.

In recent news, there has been a great focus on the Roman Catholic Church. Thousands of reporters have flocked to Vatican City to witness first-hand the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI. This event has gained the large amount of attention because Pope Benedict XVI is the first Pope in over 600 years to step down, the last being Pope Gregory XII in 1415. There were many proposed theories as to why the Pope is stepping down, but all of those theories were disproven when Pope Benedict XVI explained that the reason he is stepping down is because of “advanced age”. The Pope explained how due to his age, he does not deem himself fit to lead. The fact that the Pope is able to identify that he must step down, without being pressured by those around him, has gained him respect and praise in the religious community.

But alas, as one Pope leaves, another must come into power, which brings on the challenge of picking a new Pope. The process of choosing the new leader of the Roman Catholic Church is a long and tedious one. The Pope is considered to be one of the most powerful men in the world, so to pick the new one, 142 “princes of the church” (Cardinals) have gathered in Vatican City, in order to start the process of picking a new Pope. These meetings are known as “the conclave”.  The three front-runners at the moment are Cardinal Angelo Scola, Cardinal Marc Ouellet, and Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco. One of the issues the Cardinals are concerned with the public’s demand for the new Pope to have a zero tolerance policy with regards to the abuse of children within the church. Only Cardinals under the age of 80 are going to be allowed to vote, which means that only 115 of the Cardinals will be responsible for selecting the new Pope, while the other 27 Cardinals under 80 years of age, are just there to observe. This is a process that is going to take some time. In an interview, German Cardinal Walter Kasper told German Daily,  “A papal election is not something you should rush”.