February 16

Diseases and Viruses

They are deadly. They are contagious. They are modern day viruses. This countdown will name the top 5 diseases placing each disease based on symptoms, the initial pain, and the amount of deaths. Placing in at number 5 we have Diabetes. Diabetes has 2 categories: Type 1 and Type 2. First, Type 1. Type 1, is a disease that is usually genetic. The way Type 1 works is it targets your pancreas and essentially kills it. I have first hand experience with type one because, I was living with a brother that just recently got it. Sadly, he moved out about a month ago. The only  way to counter it is to have the right equipment.  Equipment you will need: Needles (to make a wound to get blood from), a blood pressure reader ( It’s self explanatory), and an insulin pin.*be careful, insulin pins can expire*

Type 2 (also called adult onset diabetes) comes from your eating choices. The way you get it is either over time or all at once. Some interesting facts are Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes. About 90 to 95% of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. 95% of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes risk. Many people are over weight when they get diagnosed with type 2.

Number 4. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a long-term lung disease that makes breathing difficult. If you discover these symptoms you should go to a medical center.If you have bluish or gray fingernails or lips, as this indicates low oxygen levels in your body are very low. If you cannot breath or if you cannot talk. If you feel confused , muddled or faint. Finally If your heart is beating substantially fast. In 2015 there were 3.17 million deaths globally caused by COPD.

Number 3. A lower respiratory infection is an infection in your lungs because of the Flu, pneumonia, bronchitis, and tuberculosis. One of the best preventative measures you can take against lower respiratory is get the flu shot every year. People that have pneumonia can also get a vaccine. Wash your hands regularly with soap and warm water to avoid transmitted bacteria. Stay at home and rest until you feel better if you have a respiratory infection, because rest improves healing. There are more than 1.5 million deaths (In America) a year do to respiratory infections.

Number 2. Cancer is the uncontrollable spread of weird and abnormal cells. If the cancer cells are not (somewhat) controlled the cells can tamper or mess up the body’s vital systems.  Cancer is the 2nd leading cause of death in the U.S. The rate of deaths a day is 1621! Sorry to say that there is no way to prevent getting Cancer (aside from not smoking). Although, sometimes you can get it genetically. To the human races disadvantage, there is no cure. But, they can treat it to make kill a lot of the cancer cells. Try to donate money to places like Saint Jude. These places treat Cancer patients to try and help them fight for survival.

And last but not least, Number 1. Heart Disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. The death rate a day is 1683. Heart disease is a term used to describe several conditions, many of which are related to plaque buildup in the walls of the arteries. As the plaque builds up, they clog your arteries. This will block your blood flow(you all know how that will end). This can also end up in major heart attacks.

To keep yourself safe, look out for the symptoms!





February 16


The internet can sometimes be a source of ignorance. Tide Pods are not funny or jokes. This is literal suicide. Do not eat Tide Pods because you can die. Tide Pods are a detergent. Poison is not food. The concentrated chemicals in a Tide Pod have the ability to burn straight through the lining of your mouth and stomach. After digestion, it starts to eat away at your gums and inner cheek. Then, the detergent starts to move through your gastrointestinal track. From there it causes you to vomit, which can be breathed into your lungs. You eventually get explosive diarrhea and die (Interlandi, 2018).

This misguided challenge started when small children started to see this detergent as a bright colored candy. Some people have made these jokes and refer to these as ” The Forbidden Fruit.” Then, College Humor compared the detergent pods to gushers after people have started constantly compared the detergent pod to food (Chokshi, 2018).

Don’t eat Tide Pods. They tear you apart from the inside out. I cannot stress this enough. They may look very delicious, but they are dangerous.

February 16

The Winter Olympics 2018




The Winter Olympics is an amazing event where all kinds of countries of the world can gather in an atmosphere in which each country has the opportunity to prove that their homeland is the best.

This year, the games take place in South Korea. Due to this many people have actually been giving away their tickets. This includes doing things like giving information to radio stations where they can give their tickets away. Many people say that it is because of the below freezing temperatures, as others say it is due to nearby conflict.

Speaking of conflict, there has been a good bit of conflict between countries. One prime example is that Russia had some issues with some team members. They were involved with a deal concerning drugs. Due to this, they had to get a new team last minute, which caused a major loss of some of their best members. Those who joined and those few who remained had to also represent their country nameless where they would then be called Russia Player 1 and etc. More drama also took place with countries like North and South Korea had to actually unite their women’s hockey teams.

What will and has taken place? Sports such as skiing, snowboarding, figure-skating, hockey and so many more will be taking place. We already have a win by Shaun White from men’s snowboarding on a half-pipe and can’t wait  to see what other gold team America can bring home.

In conclusion, the Winter Olympics unites countries, causes and is filled with drama, it’s full of amazing events, presents a chance to prove your country is the best, and most importantly this year has plenty of empty seats from the freezing weather.


February 16

Google Pixelbook

Image result for google pixel bookGoogle released its first computer the Google Pixelbook. It is the first laptop with
Google Assistant in it. You can access with the pen for the computer by pressing the button or by saying “Hey Google”. It is the thinnest laptop ever with a 360 degrees hinge and last up to 10 hours.

There are at least three ways you could use it: laptop mode for usual work, tablet mode for writing and drawing,and standing mode you can watch your favorite shows and read. You can also get a pen ( it is also $99) that you can circle a picture and it looks it up for you.

If you have a Google Pixel 1 or 2 you can pare it with the computer, which also store stuff in your Google Drive. It has built in security,virus protection and automatic updates. It doesn’t have Windows 10 or Mac OS  it comes with its own operating system called Chrome OS.

February 12

These Gifts Will Touch His/Her Heart, but Not Your Wallet

Image result for valentines day


Most middle-schoolers do not have high-paying jobs. Therefore, most middle schoolers either get money from their parents or for their birthday. This lack of money makes it very difficult for us to buy our valentines a meaningful gift. Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, so you must be worried that you won’t have time to find a gift. Worry no more because I have quick, easy, quality-filled gifts that you can give your Valentine without having to worry about spending money.

  1. A Love Book

There is a website that allows you to create a book that describes why you love that person. However, this is very expensive and costs over $46. I have a cheaper and better solution! You will need construction paper, drawing materials, and your brain. All you have to do is fold the sheets of construction paper in half and staple along the fold to get the basic layout of your book. Then, you can draw a heart or other picture on the front cover along with the words ” The Reasons Why I Love You”. Instead of “love” you could put “like” or other synonyms. If you think you’re not artistically talented, there are plenty of valentine’s drawings and templates on Instagram, Google, Pinterest, etc. This inexpensive and heartfelt gift will definitely warm your Valentine’s heart.

2.  Valogram

The school is selling valograms for $1. You could buy a valogram and send it to your Valentine or (if you don’t have enough money) you could make your own. This year valograms do not come with roses, but they do come with candy. Therefore, it would be a great idea to buy your valentine a rose if you want the valogram to come with more gifts. If you don’t have enough money to buy the rose, you can make your own rose out of paper. There are several videos on youtube that show you an easy way to make a paper rose for your valentine. This is another great way to show your Valentine you care about them.

3. Take a Trip to Dollar Tree (Gift basket)

Dollar Tree is your best friend during Valentine’s Day gift shopping. Dollar Tree has stuffed animals, flowers, candy, construction paper, and other materials that are perfect for Valentine’s Gifts. You could combine these items into one big Valentine’s Day gift basket. Figure out what your valentine’s favorite candy, drink, and/or store is and combine all of this into a gift basket. One simple combination (under $15) is a bag of candy, a bottle of soda, a rose, a stuffed animal, and a $10 gift card to their favorite store. You could also find or buy some ribbons and tie it to the basket for extra decoration. You can even include the love book (from the beginning of this article) in this basket. There is plenty of room for creativity with this gift so you can customize this gift basket however you want.

4. A Nice Picture

A simple drawing for your Valentine could be a great gift. It just needs to be special and heartfelt. If you’re not artistically talented, there is a simple way to paint a rose. All you need is a stalk of celery, paper, paint, and some markers. First, you cut the top off of the stalk so that you’re left with 3-5 sticks of celery connected to each other at the bottom. These sticks form a rose shape, so you dip the celery in the paint and stamp it onto the paper. This creates a simple rose painting and you can repeat this step for as many roses as you want. Once you’re done creating the roses, you can draw a stem from the stamp, creating a rose. In the empty space left behind, you can write a message such as “Be My Valentine ~ (your name) “. Once again, there is a lot of room for creativity with this gift; you could include their favorite candy or you could add it to a gift basket.

5. Love Mug

You could buy a plain mug from Dollar Tree and write your own message. If you’re like me and don’t have the best handwriting, you could use a template. All you need is a mug and a sharpie (and a template if needed). You use the sharpie to write a nice message such as “I love you a latte” or other puns. You could even fill this mug with Hershey’s Kisses, Starbursts, or Sweethearts. This gift costs less than $10 and takes less than 30 minutes to make.

These are five gifts that are sure to please your valentine. They are so easy and inexpensive that you could do it yourself. I hope your Valentine loves these gifts and that you had a great time making them. Have a happy Valentine’s Day!






February 2

Once Upon A Time “REBOOT”

This may contain spoilers.

In 2012 the new show with actors such as Jennifer Goodwin came to ABC. Once upon a time put a wonderful twist on beloved fairy tale characters and their tales such as Rumpelstiltskin also being the crocodile from Peter Pan and Beast from Beauty and the Beast. They also had dramatic events with in our world with those characters.

Something that added extra magic from this show was that it built real life relationships, such as the real life Prince Charming and Snow White got married. They also ended up having k

ids together. Unfortunately, for us viewers this means they were bound to leave. This also made several other fellow actors leave the show. Now season seven is argued to be ,”a waste and considered to be a bad ending of the perfect show.”

One reason that the writers and producers did decide to continue was because they did feel within the earlier seasons they didn’t diversify the characters enough. That is why Princesses like Tiana are in this one, as well as Cinderella being Hispanic and her daughter being mixed. Something else about this “reboot” is that the beloved Henry Mills is now in fact in adult with romance related drama in his life.

Finally,this season has many plot twists or some may call them plot holes. For example this season has more magic in the real world which hasn’t been explained. Also how do the characters have their identities such as Rumple being a detective, when Drusela hasn’t ever gone or heard anything about modern life to base her curse after? In conclusion, the ‘reboot” of Once Upon A Time is a new thing with many questions to the fans or people who were fans of the original.

February 2

ToonBoom vs Blender

ToonBoom is a paid industry animation program and Blender is a slightly underrated free animation program. Animation programs are software made for creating original animations. This provides animators with software to make animations then to publish to websites or sent to industry companies to get picked up and make more animations for the popular company. There are many pros and cons for both ToonBoom and Blender.

There are many pros and cons of using ToonBoom. Some pros are smooth tweening, nice finishing, and provides quality games. Some cons are that because that because its an industry program and it causes you to have high expectations and the high prices ( 400 for regular 700 for pro). This is a program that creates shows like Rick and Morty, Family guy, and movies like Princess and the Frog. It also produces 3D games and 2D games.

 There are pros and cons for Blender too. Some of its pros are that its free and it has smooth modeling, 3D, and simulation. A con is because of a lot of people don’t use it as much as an industry program. It is not regularly updated. This program creates award wining feature films, games, simulations, models, and etc.

February 2

Avoid the Flu

Image result for flu prevention pictures


This year, the United States is experiencing a seriously severe flu season. Experts say that the flu season is particularly bad this year because of a mutation of the virus that made the flu vaccine less effective. Considering people all throughout the United States are experiencing the flu epidemic, it’s important that we stay healthy. There are many steps that we could take to prevent our fellow students in NCTS from getting the flu. Even though the flu is the most deadly to very young children and very elderly people. You can take the following steps to prevent the flu from spreading:


I know that you’ve heard this your whole life, but washing your hands is important! It is scientifically proven that hand sanitizer does not kill all germs. It is better to wash your hands because it washes away the germs. However, soap and water do not actually kill the germs. Therefore, it would be best to use and alcohol-based hand sanitizer after washing your hands in order to be extra clean.


This is common sense. If you see someone who is coughing, sniffling, sneezing, feeling nauseous, feeling light-headed, or has a fever STAY AWAY FROM THEM. I don’t care if they’re your best friend. You will not risk the safety of hundreds of other students for that one friend. When someone is infected with the flu, they will not start feeling the symptoms until three days after they’ve been infected. Therefore, DO NOT TOUCH ANYONE. No hugs, no selfies, and no high fives. If someone in your class gets sent to the nurse and gets checked out afterwards, make sure you did not touch them or their desk.


Walmart sells little sanitizing wipes that come in packs. They are pocket-sized, so you can carry around the wipes in your pocket. If you’re not able to buy the wipes, ask your teacher for a disinfectant wipe to wipe down your desk and chair. I especially recommend following this step because, in middle school, you switch classes about every hour. This means at least four other people have sat in the same chair you’re sitting in and at least four other people have touched the same desk you’re touching. There’s a very high chance that at least one of those four other people have had contact with someone infected with the flu. Therefore, it is important that you clean your desk, chair, and any other objects that could’ve been touched by someone who’s infected. Don’t go crazy, however. You do not have to clean every door handle you touch. Instead, you can wash your hands after you touch the door handle. If you’re a nice person and like to share pencils, (if the person actually gives you your pencil) disinfect the pencil. Don’t forget to wipe down your phone, tablet, or other device that you use frequently. We use these devices frequently and take them everywhere which results in a lot of bacteria and flu-causing viruses on them, so it is important to clean them with disinfectant wipes.


Come on, people. We touch literally everything with our hands and there are bacteria and viruses everywhere. Right now, there are bacteria on your hand that can get you sick. Imagine all these tiny little pathogens in your eyes, mouth, nose, ears, and every other part of your face. Do not touch your face because the parts of your face are a perfect entrance for bacteria to enter your body. If there is something in your eye, wash it out with water or use the inside of your shirt to wipe it away. DO NOT TOUCH YOUR FACE.


Vitamin C is known to boost the immune system. If you do not like taking Vitamin C pills or vitamins, there is a natural way to get Vitamin C. There are all types of fruits that are rich in Vitamin C. The following fruits are rich in Vitamin C: strawberries, pineapple, mango, kiwi, papaya, bell peppers, oranges, etc. There are all types of foods that you can eat that are full of Vitamin C. I would recommend including many of these fruits in your daily intake. If you think you might have trouble keeping up with the amount of Vitamin C you need to consume, you could prepare a bag/container of fruit the night before you go back to school or back to work. Whenever you get hungry, you could eat these fruits as a quick and healthy snack.

I hope you use these tips and tricks to keep your immune system and body healthy. Try not to catch the flu so that the virus is not spread. Try these fruits and if you don’t like these fruits, there are plenty of other foods that are rich in Vitamin C. Good luck and stay healthy!




February 2

The Most Deadly Spider

Brazilian wandering spiders”also called armed spiders or banana spiders, belong to the genus Phoneutria, which means murderess in Greek. And it’s no wonder why it’s one of the most deadly spiders on Earth. Its bite can be deadly to humans  although antivenin makes death unlikely.”By Jessie Szalay, Live Science Contributor | 

The Guinness World record book has named the Brazilian Wandering spider most venomous and deadly spider ever recorded. According to Jo-Anne Nina Seawall, “Classifying an animal as deadly is controversial.” The amount of damage done to the spider is the variable to the amount of venom injected. This means that if you do a lot of harm to the animal, the animal will inject a lot of venom. In general, the more venom injected by (any) spiders the worse, but it’s even more worse with this spider. The  Phoneutria’s (or Brazilian Wandering Spider’s) venom consists of is a complex cocktail of toxins, proteins and peptides. (in English, this means it’s bad.) The venom affects the ion channels and chemical receptors in your body. After you are bitten you will fell the symptoms kicking in. These symptoms include severe burning, sweating, and lots and lots of goosebumps. 30 minutes into the bite you will experience high or low blood pressure, fast or a slow heartbeat, nausea, abdominal cramping, hypothermia, vertigo, blurred vision, convulsions and excessive sweating associated with shock. With this spider it’s “all bark and all bite.”




February 2


Warning: This may contain spoilers.

The show that started in 2014 was a great contribution to the Arrowverse by DC. The three previous seasons were a great success from the “big bads” and the plot lines to the the whole cast in general. Each season has brought new twists, but this one seems to bringing a whole other level of plot twists.

At the end of season three Barry was forced to go into the speed-force to prevent Central City from getting destroyed. This season he came back with some pretty interesting things to say. It wasn’t revealed until later on in the series that not everything was useless to the story after all. Another thing that has happened this season is that the girls have been powered up a bit more this season. This includes Kaitlyn with the new control of her powers and Iris stepping up as team leader on multiple occasions.

Another thing about this season is that since season three went so much darker then the rest, then they are trying to make the plot much lighter. A way they are doing this is by introducing the character Ralph Digby aka Plastic Man. To go back to season 3, it already revealed important things to this season’s plot. This includes Savatar and Abra- Cadabra mentioning Devoe and ways to stop him. It also says smaller things like the the changes of Barry’s suit.

What is happening so far in this season? Barry introduced new threats, new members and suits are coming about, there was a fight with Earth X Nazis, Barry and Iris got married, and Barry Allen is in jail! How will the team Flash will defeat the smartest brain? There are several theories. One has to do with a girl that keeps popping up in episodes that wrote similarly to speed-force Barry. I  can’t wait to see how the writers spin this off like all of their exciting plots.