It’s a commonly known fact that cigarettes are bad for you. So many former smokers have taken to E-cigarettes and vapes to quit. The company Juul Labs has a mission, to help adult smokers cut their cigarette addiction with their tobacco-free product. But the slick and discreet design of the Juul is attracting more than just adult smokers. According to the New York Times, The sales campaigns for Juuls — now hugely popular with teenagers across the nation — are at the heart of a federal investigation into whether the company intentionally marketed its devices to youth.
The Juul campaign was started in 2015, but sales took off in 2017. Past advertisements showed smiling young models holding their products behind bright colored backgrounds. From a teens perspective, the Juul advertisement seemed very innocent. It does not at all show the risks of vaping nor does it have warnings that the product contains addictive chemicals like nicotine. However, Juul Labs does show concern for the growing popularity of vapes in teenagers. Recently, they changed the names of flavors like “creme brulee” to “creme” and the flavor “cool cucumber” to "cucumber" in hopes of drawing less attention to the younger generation. Still, the e-cigarette use in teens shows no sign for slowing down; a survey done by Monitoring The Future showed that about 12% of eighth graders admitted to vaping “just flavoring”, 8% of revealed that they have vaped products containing nicotine, and 3% admitted to vaping products containing marijuana.
During my research for this article, I found out that Juul.com was unblocked on the school computers. This shocked me, as things like online shopping, music streaming services, and even some educational websites were blocked. But a website that retails products that teachers and administrators are constantly telling us not to use remains unblocked and free for us to browse. At the beginning of the year, we were told that any misconduct in use of computers would result in a minor referral, however, I’ve been browsing the site for about a week and no teachers show any sort of concern with what I am looking at. This makes me wonder: Just how easy is it to vape in school?
“It’s literally so easy,” an eighth-grader told Asheville Middle Journalism. “Kids do it all the time the bathrooms.” Teachers often have mistaken these devices for stationery supplies. For example, the Juul resembles a flash drive. It can be plugged into your computer to be charged through a USB. The purchase of e-cigarettes for minors is not necessarily hard either. Online shopping websites create an easy, anonymous way for teens to purchase these devices. Age verification for some of these websites is as simple as answering yes to the question “Are you 21?” Since vaporizers are often scentless or close to scentless, it’s very hard to tell whether someone vapes or not compared to traditional cigarettes.
What are the health risks of E-cigarettes? Well, the long-term effects of Juuls are unknown. But according to the American Cancer Society, addictive chemicals can harm a developing brain like one in a teenager, therefore the concern of nicotine inhalation is greater for teenagers than in adults. Although tobacco usage in youths has been declining, the interest in vaporizers and e-cigarettes have been rising. Would eliminating cigarette usage be worth it if it meant replacing it with more a modern and electronic device?
Article written by Erin Chen
One of the most important questions we can ask ourselves is what will happen in the future. We usually envision ourselves in two, five, or even ten years. But do we ever think about what will happen to the world in the near future? What events will happen? Here is a list of only some of the things that will happen in or before 2050. Let’s start next year, 2019.
2019: The United Kingdom will officially leave the EU. In 2016, the UK officially declared that they wanted to be independent. In 2019, they will officially become their own country.
2019: The FIFA Women’s World Cup will be in France.
2020: The world’s tallest building will be finished. In 2016, the world’s tallest building started construction. In 2020, the Jeddah Tower in Saudi Arabia will finish construction topping the current tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. The Burj Khalifa is standing at 828 meters, but the Jeddah tower will be 1,000 meters.
2020: The Summer Olympics will be held in Tokyo. The next Summer Olympics will happen in 2020 in Tokyo, Japan. They will pay nearly $2.5 billion to hold the event.
2020: The first space hotel will be opened. In only two years, people may be able to have the chance to sleep in space, according to The Washington Post, for the cheap price of $9.5 million for twelve days.
2022: The FIFA World Cup will be held in Qatar.
2022: The Winter Olympics will be held in Beijing. The next Winter Olympics will be in Beijing, China. It will cost around $3.9 billion for this to happen.
2023: Mickey Mouse’s earliest cartoons will expire because of copyright law. Under current US copyright laws, the earliest cartoons of the world famous Mickey Mouse will expire in 2023.
2024: SpaceX launches their Mars mission. 2024 will be the start of a long awaited mission to Mars. The company SpaceX will launch a rocket, headed straight for Mars. This mission is not manned.
2025: The population will be 8 billion. Scientists are predicting that somewhere around 2025 the population will rocket to a staggering 8 billion people. That is 8,000 million people.
2026: SpaceX may launch their first manned Mars mission. Back to SpaceX again. This is a rough estimate, but the company predicts that they will launch their first manned Mars mission in 2026.
2026: The Sagrada Familia Cathedral will get finished. This is a momentous event because people have been working on this cathedral since 1883. The reason is because the stone is extremely hard to find the necessary stone to build.
2027: SpaceX will land their mission on Mars. 2027 will be the year when SpaceX lands their manned mission on Mars that took off in 2026, if all goes according to plan. This means that 2027 may be the first time humans will set foot on Mars.
2028: The Summer Olympics will be held in Los Angeles.
2030’s: NASA plans to land a manned mission on Mars. At some point in the 2030’s, NASA plans to take off and land a manned mission to mars themselves, so if SpaceX somehow fails, then NASA is planning on doing it as well.
2031: Russia may land on the moon. In 2031, Russia has plans to launch and land a manned mission on the moon.
2036: Breakthrough Starshot project will launch. Without going into extreme detail, Breakthrough Starshot is a space project that will send small spacecrafts to another solar system called Alpha Centauri. There is a planet in that system that could inhabit alien life. The spacecraft will get there 20-30 years later.
2042: The world population will have reached 9 billion.
2045: The Technological Singularity. The Technological Singularity is where artificial intelligence passes human intelligence. This is the year, according to futurist Ray Kurzweil, where this will happen.
2050: By this point, 70% of the world’s population will be living in cities, the arctic ice sheet will likely be gone, and people may be starting to live on Mars.
There are things to be scared of and things to be excited for in the upcoming years, but the future is what it is.
Story by Ryan Oast
During the 21st century with so much on our minds, the world around us has taken a negative phycological toll on us. According to The American Journal Of Psychiatry, “Studies show that rates of depression for Americans have risen dramatically in the past 50 years.” Melancholy has been part of our lives in various ways, and here are some examples of the causes of melancholy in our current society.
Technology and social media
Social media has a huge impact on teens, with teenagers constantly comparing themselves to others and spending a lot of time on technology making them deprived. According to a study at the University of Pittsburgh, those who spend more time on social media had 2.2 times the risk of reporting eating and body concerns. Adding on to that, 50 to 75 percent of people who have eating disorders show symptoms of depression, according to the article of Stats and Facts About Depression in America.
Furthermore, in the UCLA brain mapping center a study of teens on social media of the ages 13-18, found that “receiving a high number of likes on photos showed increased activity in the reward center of the brain.” Basically saying that teens are influenced to like and get likes on social media. They feel good being liked and being part of something bigger, for example; liking posts that have a lot of likes shows that you’re also part of whatever it is. Which can also affect who you are, based on the content that is most followed and admired by other people can't always be the best thing. That can impact teens to show signs of depression. Just like the study done in the University of Pittsburgh school of medicine showed that the more time young adults spend on social media “the more likely they were to have problems sleeping and report symptoms of depression.”
With today's current events we have dived more into the darkness of sadness. In this year, shootings have been a big part of our lives. With the impact of the lives lost in places that were supposed to be safe. Kids and parents are worried about what's to come if they are not safe. Students are now being taught what to do in those situations. In the article Generation parkland by Dr. Megan and Dr.Rinad Beidas, one of their six-year-olds ran under the coffee table and curled up because in school they taught him to do “turtle time” if he heard “scary noises” and to stay quiet. Another instance is that teachers are getting worried over, protecting their kids. A quote from the Generation Parkland also stated that a teacher said: “ she worries about which kids are too slow or too loud, and whether these traits — normal in young children — would get them all killed.” There's is too much worry going around. Causing people to have anxiety and feel unprotected, also for some people who have gone through a shooting they could result to have PTSD. Which is also a part of melancholy.
In conclusion, melancholy can come into our lives in many ways. At the end of the day as a society, we learn from our actions and the actions around us. To become better and learn to fight these feelings.
Story by Doni Palma-Roberto
“Depression: Facts, Statistics, and You.” Healthline, Healthline Media, www.healthline.com/health/depression/facts-statistics-infographic#1.
Iliades, Chris. “Stats and Facts About Depression in America.” Stroke Center - EverydayHealth.com, Everyday Health, 23 Jan. 2013,
“The Impact of Mass School Shootings on the Mental Health of Survivors: What Parents Need to Know.” PsyCom.net - Mental Health Treatment Resource Since 1986, www.psycom.net/mental-health-wellbeing/school-shooting-survivor-mental-health/.
Janson, Åsa. Journal of Social History, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2013, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3842593/.
“Look at the Root Causes of Gun Violence.” U.S. News & World Report, U.S. News & World Report, www.usnews.com/opinion/policy-dose/articles/2018-02-21/after-florida-school-shooting-look-to-the-root-causes-of-gun-violence.
“Mental Health and School Shootings.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/darwins-subterranean-world/201802/mental-health-and-school-shootings.
"Opinion | Generation Parkland: Mass Shootings Are Stealing American Childhoods.” NBCNews.com, NBCUniversal News Group, www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/generation-parkland-how-mass-shootings-are-affecting-america-s-children-ncna859456.
“Social Media and Teens: How Does Social Media Affect Mental Health?” PsyCom.net - Mental Health Treatment Resource Since 1986, www.psycom.net/social-media-teen-mental-health.
According to History.com, the battle of Antietam (aka the battle of Sharpsburg) was the bloodiest single day battle In all of American military history. Fought near Antietam Creek in Sharpsburg, Maryland. The Confederate army of North Virginia, led by Robert E. Lee, met Union general George McClellan, of the Potomac army at Sharpsburg, Maryland and this is what happened...
The battle of Antietam had begun at dawn on September 17, 1862. Confederate General Longstreet and Hill from the right flank and General Jackson and Brigadier General John G. Walker. The first skirmish was at the 30-acre cornfield owned by David Miller. The union fired on the confederates flank then the carnage set in. The battle lasted 8 hours and there were 15,000 casualties, with thousands more wounded.
The battle of the Bloody Lane
Near the middle of the battlefield, this road was also known as "sunken road", where Hill's division of approximately 20,000 people were up against General French's 5,500 men. That sounds like an easy victory right... WRONG. French's men enclosed in on them from both sides. After the battle, McClellan got fired because he didn't follow the shattered Confederate army. The battle of Antietam was a victory for the North.
Story by Edgar Danko
In Turkmenistan lies the actual door to you-know-were. This 60 meter wide and 20 meter deep gas crater is a natural gas field collapsed into a cavern, and locals are calling it the door to hell. It has been said to have been burning since 1971.
The site was identified by Soviet scientists in 1971, it was thought to be a oil field by the scientists and others. So then the engineers set up a drilling rig and operations to access the quantity for the oil at the site. Soon after, the preliminary survey found a natural gas pocket the ground beneath the drilling rig and the camp collapsed into a larger crater and was buried. Since they thought the gas would hurt people, they burned it and it's been burning for roughly 50 years.
Now that the basics of the location is known, let me give you some reason and logic. It is actually roughly the size of a football field. Also the only reason it caved in was because weight circumstances. But then think about it. It had a very big machine and a campsite AND lots of smaller machines on top of it - wow that's a lot of weight!
Let me tell you a little bit about it's home. It is located in Derweze, also known as Darvaza. It is located in the Karakum Desert about 260 kilometers north of Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan. The gas reserve found here is one of the largest in the world. The name door to hell was named by the locals referring to the fire and hot mud and orange flames burning inside of the pit.
Story by Beck Henderson
Hybrids...What are hybrids? Hybrids are animals that share the DNA of two different but still similar looking animals close to the same species. These animals called hybrids might acquire different physical traits than their parents, most will not look like one or the other but instead more like a cross between both species. for example there is a liger which is a cross between a lion and a tiger, polar bear and a grizzly bear will make a pizzly or a grolar bear and there are so many more mixtures of animal’s.
How? Hybrids are created when two territories belonging to two different species are combined or are exposed to one another. But the two species have to resemble each other in a way as their diet or there way of travel like on foot or flying, even swimming. Even though the parents can reproduce and continue their species, that is not the case for most hybrids. Because most are sterile, which means they can not produce any children or young. Only if there were enough of those same hybrids they could be classified into their own species.
Migration patterns. Some hybrids might also acquire different migration patterns. Some bird hybrids that migrate will split in the middle of their parents migration-routes and go in the middle. Others will go out from one and come back from the others which means that it will be harder for them to recognize their surroundings. Because birds make their migration by remembering landforms which will make it harder for them to get were they are going in time.
Predators. In the case of some animal hybrids, there might be a non-advantageous part, as the parents physical traits might not work well together, In this case it will be with fish and how they might have disadvantages. Anders Nilsson recently came to this finding. Nilsson is a biologist at Lund University in Sweden. In 2005, He and his team was studying two fish species named common bream and roach. Both fish live in a lake in Denmark. And migrate into streams during winter. Common bream; the bream appears diamond-shaped with a taller middle than its end. The roach is closer to a slim oval, and the hybrid is somewhere in between.
So in conclusion, hybrids are animals that share the DNA of two different animals which share physical traits of both parents. This trait might work as an advantage or a disadvantage in the field of getting away from predators, their mixed features might not work well together. Hybrids are created when the territories of two different animals are combined or exposed to one another but their hybrid children can not reproduce with other hybrids or other animals. They are just really amazing and extraordinary creatures.
Story by Estrella Moreno-Maldon