A season full of fabulous opening numbers and star-studded routines wrapped up with the season twenty-three winner, Laurie Hernandez. The Olympic gold medalist was a fan favorite from the start, and many are not surprised she walked away with the coveted mirror ball trophy. However, it cannot go unsaid how much finalists James Hinchcliffe and Calvin Johnson stole America’s hearts as well. This was the first time in the show’s history that the final three came down to all athletes. The growth of all three stars was evident on the ballroom dance floor during the unforgettable two-night finale event.
Monday night started with the four remaining teams performing the redemption dances. The judges were not holding anything back in their scores; after all it is the finals. Surprisingly, none of the remaining finalists scored perfectly in their redemption dances. Judge Len Goodman called Johnson the most improved dancer in the finals, and Judge Julianne Hough said Hinchcliffe was the perfect package. Ironically, the judges made great comments, but only a few tens were given!
It is known that the two main treatments for cancer is chemotherapy and radiation, but now researchers in Chicago are working on another treatment called immunotherapy. For a long time, scientists have been working to find new drugs or external treatment to cancer, but this new treatment focuses on the immune system acting, to fight the disease or just boost the immune system itself. There are two two types of drugs, Ipilimumab and Nivolumab, that work together to reinforce and support the immune system. immunotherapy targets the cancerous cells only, in contrast to radiation or chemo which attacks all cells. Scientists are calling this new treatment promising and encouraging. Dr. James Larkin, who is a part of the study, said "We've seen these drugs working in a wide range of cancers, and I think we are at the beginning of a new era in treating cancer."
Apex High School student, Ashling Murphy, was nominated to join the two hundred other students in the World Food Prize Global Youth Intuition from Oct. 13-15, 2016, in Des Moines, Iowa. These students from over thirty states and Canada, China, India, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, and Tunisia, got to be a part of this experience. They collaborated with each other, presented ideas, and packaged meals for Outreach Inc. The theme of this year’s World Food Prize Borlaug Dialogue International Symposium was “Let Food Be Thy Medicine.”
Murphy has the honor to present her own research paper on “Feeding Innovation, Fighting Hunger” about the food issues around the globe. She discussed her paper with experts of science, experts in industry, and policy around a roundtable. The Global Youth Institute of the World Food Prize explains, “teacher mentors register their student(s) to participate in a qualifying State Youth Institute (if the student resides in Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York, South Dakota, Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin) or apply for an at-large delegate seat at the Global Youth Institute (if the student resides in another state or country). The students then research and write a short research report on a critical food security issue under the direction of their teacher mentor.”
Friday, Nov. 25, 2016 marked the death of Fidel Castro, the former President of Cuba.
The death of the political figure is leaving people reeling with how to remember him. Regardless, Miami, Florida broke out in celebration when the citizens learned of his death, hundreds of people taking to the streets with pots and pans, flags, motorcycles, and countless other ways of fest.
However, from the political side of things, the United States are unsure how this change in leadership will affect U.S. and Cuban relations. U.S. citizens have been allowed to visit Cuba since late August of this year. Raul Castro, Fidel’s brother, has been in power for the past several years, but with the passing of his brother, perhaps wider change will occur. There remains some insecurity concerning this intangible bridge, what with the U.S. President-Elect, Donald Trump, assuming the presidency in two months. In the past, Mr. Trump has spoken conflictingly in regards to our relationship with Cuba. But two months is a long time, politically speaking. Perhaps this turbulent time is what Cuba needs to become free.
Opening in Aug. of 2019, the new Apex High School will involve many old and new elements. The new school will be built around a courtyard that is twice the size of the existing courtyard surrounded by a four-story building. Some of the school will be kept the same; for instance, the fields will be cleaned up and restored to a better condition instead of demolished and rebuilt. “Our goal is that when you walk into any entrance, it will scream ‘Apex High,”’ Principal Diann Kearney says.
We have liftoff! NASA Astronaut Peggy Whitson, European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy launched in the Expedition 50/51 mission up to the International Space Station on November 17. There, they met NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough and cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko, who docked with the ISS a couple weeks ago. Whitson became the Commander of the ISS when they arrived on Saturday.
Three weeks earlier, the latter three astronauts launched in the 49/50 mission that would bring them up to the station, and that capsule would bring the astronauts currently residing in the station back from the previous mission to Earth. On Saturday, two days after the launch, Whitson, Pesquet, and Novitskiy joined Kimbrough, Ryzhikov, and Borisenko when they docked with the Rassvet module, one of four Russian docking ports on the space station.
Have you ever seen the movies in which a machine scans the character’s face, and they are able to enter into wherever their secret lair is? You may have also wondered when a technology like that would be available in real life. Now you are able to use this form of technology in Wuzhen, China.
Wuzhen is a town slightly larger than Apex and receives millions of visitors per year due to its beautiful agriculture and classic canals. Baidu, a Chinese technology company, has implemented facial recognition devices into different parts of the town to shorten wait times and be more convenient for guests. When a visitor arrives to the town, their picture is taken and entered into a database which stores the pictures until they are used throughout the town. When the visitor wants to enter certain parts of the town, a tablet that is attached to the entry gates takes a video around two seconds long and sends it to a database in the cloud connected to it. This cloud then takes the picture on file and ensures that the visitor is authorized to enter. This entire process takes about 0.6 seconds to complete. Because of this new technology, guests’ wait times have decreased by more than half, and it is much less of a hassle for guests to enter different facilities and attractions.
You’ll be hard pressed to meet a person today that doesn’t know who Harry Potter is. But what about Newt Scamander?
Last Friday, Nov. 18, Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them premiered in the U.S, kicking off the five-movie saga with smashing success. Opening weekend made $75 million, and as the Thanksgiving holiday commences, revenue is only expected to climb. J.K Rowling herself wrote the screenplay, has already finished the second one, and has ideas for the third.
I had the pleasure of seeing the film opening night, and I was blown away. Don’t worry if you aren’t a Harry Potter fan; the movie has the unique stand-alone quality that invites viewers who haven’t seen any of the Harry Potter movies to still enjoy it. Taking the magical world to America was a fantastic idea because it’s nothing like Harry Potter’s world. Old and new fans alike will enjoy in the culture shock that is inevitable once the first scene plays.
Warning: Minor plot and character spoilers ahead.
Eighteen year old senior at Panther Creek High School Madison Jones, like many others, has recognized the potential of social media to share personal stories and spread positive messages. But Jones turned her thoughts into action, and on July 27, 2016 she successfully became the founder of Girl Connect, an online platform and application that is “an open book for every female to share a personal story.”
According to the Girl Connect website, Girl Connect stemmed from the idea of creating a platform for “connecting and helping females from all walks of life.” Posted on her website in the form of a letter to her viewers and social media followers, Jones wrote, “I want females all around the world of all ages to connect, get and/or give advice, lift one another up, share views or opinions on topics they feel strongly about, [and] share personal experiences or stories whether they are good or bad that could possibly help someone going through the same thing or something similar.” Jones has now received thousands of page-views after jump starting a “snowball effect” that began with her friends.