Tuesday, January 8, 2019

The Great Holiday Nog-Off: Who makes the best commercially available eggnog?

Joey Tebben
Layout Editor

Eggnog is the supreme winter holiday beverage. Milk, eggs, sugar, and spices combine  to make an unbeatable concoction. There are many brands of eggnog available for purchase in New Hope, but until now, nobody has delved deep enough into nog-craft to truly discover the greatest eggnog.
The ‘nogs provided by Hood, Merrymead Farm, Southern Comfort, Turkey Hill, and Wawa were pitted against each other in the ultimate eggnog battle: The Great Holiday Nog-Off. The Lion’s Tale resident taste testers, Colin Keyes and Felix Timmons, partook in a blind taste test presided over by an independent adjudicator, Joey Tebben, to decide the greatest eggnog available for purchase in the New Hope area.
Eggnogs were tasted blind and given a rating out of 10 by both reviewers. The points were added together for a final ‘nog score. Here are the final results. For an all-access viewing experience of the tasting process, visit the Lion’s Tale website to see the video review.

5. Merrymead Farm
(Colin: 6, Felix: 4, Total: 10/20)
The wildcard of the bunch was from Merrymead Farm in Lansdale, PA. The ‘nog made from farm-fresh milk and eggs was the favorite coming into the test. However, in the blind taste test, it was aptly compared to a “watered down vanilla ice cream” and the reviewers found it “too foamy.” Not only was it the most expensive of the bunch; it was the blandest of the bunch. Merrymead’s offering was entirely disappointing and the worst  eggnog experience by far.                                      

4. Turkey Hill
(Colin: 7, Felix: 8, Total: 15/20)
The Pennsylvania favorite was one of the more familiar ‘nogs, but it fell short in the taste test. With an artificial, alcohol-ish, mediocre flavor, it dropped to second to last in the rankings. It’s definitely drinkable if that’s the only thing available, but there are much better choices on the market.  

3. Southern Comfort
(Colin: 8, Felix: 8, Total: 16/20)
One of the two nationally available brands in the taste test, Southern Comfort is more well-known for their adult beverages, but they sell a non-alcoholic eggnog mix. Their ‘nog was possibly the tastiest, but it tasted more like a liquid cinnamon roll than an eggnog. If you’re looking for a traditional eggnog, Southern Comfort is not for you. But, if you want a delicious twist on a holiday classic, pick up some Southern Comfort ‘nog.      

2. Hood
(Colin: 9, Felix: 9, Total: 18/20)
The other of the two nationally available brands, Hood was the underdog coming into the test. The 172-year-old company’s packaging did not exactly catch the eye, but it provided a fantastic ‘nog experience. The fantastic ‘nog caused an instinctual human reaction in Felix: “Oh [expletive] that’s good.” Colin echoed these sentiments in a less vulgar way and Hood’s eggnog joined the upper echelon of ‘nog glory. Hood’s product was fantastic, but it could not quite beat our winner.

1. Wawa

(Colin: 9, Felix: 9, Total: 18/20)
 WHAT!? Everyone reading this paper is probably asking: “Wawa received the same score as Hood, how did it win?” In the blind taste test, Wawa did tie with Hood. It was a fantastic ‘nog, but it wasn’t quite good enough to pull ahead of Hood. This led to a sudden-death battle of supremacy between Hood and Wawa to find the true best eggnog. In the second blind taste test, Wawa reigned supreme. Wawa’s eggnog was less sweet and had a milder flavor than Hood’s, but that is what put it on top. It was not too sweet, not too thick, not too thin, not too eggy… it was just right. Congratulations to Wawa, the Great Holiday Nog-Off champion!
     Colin Keyes and Felix Timmons contributed to this article.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Protecting Our Second Amendment

Alexandra Mangano and Nick Oszczakiewicz
Staff Writers

Although some believe that widespread access to guns tends to result in increased deaths due to gun violence, decreasing the number of guns through gun control and other restrictive laws would serve to do more harm than good, and would disregard a constitutional right. Provided in the constitution is the right to bear arms, second on the list only to freedom of speech, press, and religion. To place restrictions and controlling laws on ownership of guns is not only a violation of a constitutional right, but belittles law abiding citizens. Additionally, crime rates would not diminish as criminals do not tend to legally purchase and carry firearms. Restrictions would only serve to benefit the criminals, as those who purchase lawfully would be unable to protect themselves and prevent crime. Institution of gun control would, furthermore, detract from those who hunt and partake in competitions.
     In laying the groundwork for what is now the great nation of the United States of America, the Founding Fathers composed a set of given rights. One of those rights is the Second Amendment, provided by the United States Constitution. The second amendment ensures the right to individual ownership of guns. With that being said, the amendment does not provide unlimited rights within the realm of owning a gun. In fact, gun control laws have been around since before the constitution was drafted and ratified. Such early restrictions include: criminalizing the transfer of guns to Catholics, slaves, indentured servants, and Native Americans; regulating the storage of gunpowder in homes; banning loaded guns in Boston houses; and mandating participation in formal gathering of troops and door-to-door surveys about guns owned. Times have changed drastically since, as have gun control laws. The lack of clarity within the amendment is the constant cause for debate, specifically on topics such as the right to concealed carrying, which is not explicitly mentioned. What is undebatable is that the Second Amendment protects individual gun ownership. As the amendment reads: "A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." To surrender the right to bear arms would be a step in the direction of surrendering liberty, which is not something we should give up easily, nor should our responsibility to protect our families be turned over to others for a false, temporary feeling of security.
     In terms of crime, guns are not necessarily the problem. In fact, statistics show that gun ownership serves to deter crime, rather than to promote or work consequently. A 2014 article about concealed carry laws and gun-related murders, written by Mark Gius, found that, “assault weapons bans did not significantly affect murder rates at the state level" and "states with restrictions on the carrying of concealed weapons had higher gun-related murders.” That same study concluded that as “gun ownership doubled in the twentieth century, the murder rate decreased.”  Furthermore, “States with the largest increases in gun ownership also have the largest drops in violent crimes... The effect on 'shall-issue' [concealed gun] laws on these crimes [where two or more people were killed] has been dramatic. When states passed these laws, the number of multiple-victim shootings declined by 84 percent. Deaths from these shootings plummeted on average by 90 percent and injuries by 82 percent" Another study presented that, “Based on survey data from a 2000 study published in the Journal of Quantitative Criminology, U.S. civilians use guns to defend themselves and others from crime at least 989,883 times per year.” Additionally, a survey conducted in 1994 found that about half a million Americans had used guns to scare off intruders. Overall, the data provided by countless studies validate that gun ownership is an effective form of deterring crime.
     Switzerland is an excellent example of this. According to a Business Insider article written by Hilary Brueck, Switzerland has a stunningly high rate of gun ownership without any mass shootings. Their last mass shooting was in 2001. The country has around 2 million privately owned guns in a nation with 8.3 million people. Compared to the average American gun owner who owns three guns. In fact, three percent of Americans own half of the guns in the nation. In the year 2016, Switzerland had only 47 attempted homicides with firearms. America had roughly 38,658 gun-related deaths in 2016 and 300 mass shootings in 2018 so far. Switzerland’s overall murder rate is near zero. The NRA often uses Switzerland to argue that guns do not need to be further restricted. However, Switzerland does have a few regulations that lead to the miniscule level of gun-related crimes. Switzerland has an annual shooting competition for boys that dates back to the 1600s. This teaches their citizens how to safely use guns. Additionally, most Swiss men are required to learn how to use a gun due to their mandatory military service requirement. Because of this, roughly a quarter of armed citizens use their guns for military purposes or police duty. Those who are allowed guns have to follow a strict licensing process. Swiss authorities decide on a local level whether to give people gun permits. They also keep a log of everyone who owns a gun in their region. People who've been convicted of a crime or have an alcohol or drug addiction aren't allowed to buy guns in Switzerland. Some American states, like New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Rhode Island are considering implementing similar regulations. In New York, a gun owner must also register with the local police department. This would account for if the population of Americans with mental disorders, like addiction, who are prone to violent behavior, should have guns.
     Other than for needs of protection, guns are used for hunting and sport. To quantitate, in 2011, there were 13.7 million hunters 16 years old or older in the United States, and they spent $7.7 billion on guns, sights, ammunition, and other hunting equipment. Every year, high power rifles are used in competition, sport, and hunting by many Americans, those who chose to exercise their given rights. Often, so-called “assault rifles,” which appear to be too powerful to need for protection and to hunt, are much less powerful than they appear. Rather than being used senselessly, assault rifles are used by those who choose to exercise their Second Amendment right in competition venues, in addition to hunting and protection. According to The Tribune Papers, the term, ‘assault weapon’ is often misconstrued and was conjured up by anti-gun legislators to scare voters into thinking these firearms are something out of a horror movie,” but in fact, “the Colt AR-15 and Springfield M1A, both labeled 'assault weapons,' are the rifles most used for marksmanship competitions in the United States.” As Gary Lewis, outdoorsman and hunting enthusiast, put it best: “When you climb to the top of some ridge or mountain peak, pitch your tent beside a clear blue lake or take to the woods to hunt deer, remember you live in a free country and that our ancestors had the foresight to help keep it that way.”
     Even so, our founding fathers were not thinking of sport shooting or hunting when they wrote the second amendment into the Constitution. They were talking about human’s eminent right to self-defense and the security of a free state. A popular belief of those wanting stricter gun control is that a semi-automatic weapon is not necessary for hunting. The second amendment is about the collective right of each individual American to lawful defense. If the second amendment is infringed upon, it gives leeway to violation of the rights owed to us as American citizens.  Any imposition of blind restrictions or bans would be unconstitutional and infringe upon citizens’ rights and feeling of security. Therefore, it would be a violation to regulate or prohibit gun ownership. Still, some continue to believe widespread access to guns results in increased deaths due to gun violence. In the end, it is actually more detrimental to decrease the number of guns through gun control and other restrictive laws, in terms of both human rights and safety.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

I Heart Techno: Will it happen?

Gretchen Newman and Meghan Miller
Staff Writers

The big question that is lingering in the New Hope-Solebury High School hallways is “Will the I Heart Techno dance happen this year?” Last year, the I Heart Techno Dance was canceled due to a huge snow storm that occurred. That day--with power going out in school--students knew that there was sadly no chance of having the dance. This year students hope no snow will fall on this occasion. The dance will have to be spectacular and memorable since it will have to make up last year. So hopefully, if all goes well, this dance will happen. 
     Many people say that this is the best dance out of the year. Albert Miller, a sophmore announced: “I cannot wait to dance like an animal.”
     Since this is an event that lasts a whole week, students tend to enjoy the dance a lot more than the others. “I am so excited for my first ever techno dance,” said Rylie Burton, a new junior this year.
     A group of girls were talking about how much fun they had in years past. Sam Curtis said:“As a sophomore I am really excited for this dance because my grade never got to experience before.”
     Mr. Weideman said: “I would love to chaperone and see the students dance and have a fun time.”
     The I Heart Techno dance happens the Friday after Spirit Week. If this does occur then students have to show up sober and dressed appropriate. If you don’t know what Spirit Week is, it is where the school is split up by grades; freshman and seniors team up to take on the sophomores and juniors in a variety of competitions. This week is the most competitive week out of the whole school year with relay races, hallway decorations contests, and dance competitions all happening. After having an eventful week, it ends by gathering with your friends and just having great time.

Friday, October 12, 2018

GeForce RTX 2080: Are these graphics cards of the future worth these prices today?

Cooper Hendricks
Staff Writers
    The new RTX 2080’s are both shockingly powerful and shockingly expensive.
    The RTX 2080’s are quite possibly some of the most powerful graphics cards to date. Not only do they bring good graphics but the new technology of ray tracing.
    Ray tracing is a technology that has been out for a while but has just burst onto the scene with real-time rendering with the RTX 2080 series. Ray tracing is the ability to generate a frame or picture by tracing the path of light. This is much like how we can look into a glass pane and see our reflection when the light hits it. Previously, it would take hours beforehand to render the image onto an object, but now the RTX series is capable of doing so in real time at 4K resolution. Granted it will only run at 30 frames per second and fluctuate depending on the scene, but it is still quite impressive.
    With all of this insane power and ability, you would think that it would be an immediate purchase to upgrade your personal computer. However, it falls short in two areas. The first problem is that the cards cost $700 to $1,000 for a non-Founders Edition card. That is what most people are willing to spend on a PC alone.
    The second problem is that almost no games are able to use the ray tracing technology right now. Some games have a short two-minute long benchmark test to show off the ability of ray tracing and its capabilities, and they are beyond impressive. However, the only game that will be able to use it in the coming months is the Electronic Arts World War II game Battlefield V. Which EA had to push back their release date to optimize the game for the new graphics card series.
    Even though the 2080’s are super powerful, they currently aren't worth the price for what they offer. You're better off getting the cheaper 1080ti’s which are are currently better at processing than a 2080 minus the ray tracing ability. The final verdict would be to simply wait. Ray-tracing is currently in its infancy and needs some time to mature.

Monday, June 18, 2018

According to the Texas Lt. Governor: Video Games Make Children Killers

Cooper Hendricks
Staff Writers

After the shooting in the Santa Fe high school, in which 10 lives were lost, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said the blame should not be put on guns themselves but on violent video games.
    Too many times has the blame for tragedies like Santa Fe been put onto video games and their developers. Outrageous claims have been thrown around saying that video games train children to kill, which are just wrong. If anything, video games make children or people more competitive and can at times promote better behavior.
    Although we often see people playing video games as obnoxious, annoying adults with massive egos, but a majority of these people are simply playing these games for fun. Video games like Fortnite can promote better communication skills between players. Sid Meier’s Civilization, a game in which the player controls a civilization from the dawn of time till the modern age, requires the player to make deals and pacts with other civilizations to avoid conflict. The Battlefield franchise, a well known First Person Shooter, or FPS, allows players to also play as combat medics, or take on the role of a general who assists troops by dropping vehicles to the ground. These games can promote good behaviors and even teach children to be team players or assist others. But those critical of these games mostly like to focus on the fact that these games have a player--a player who is often a child--run around and shoot at other people, but this ignores the deeper layers present in many of the games.
    Christopher Ferguson, associate professor and co-chairman of the Department of Psychology at Stetson University, has said that in his research on 6,000 eighth graders, video games made them less violent by keeping the children off the street. Katherine Newman, PhD, Dean of Arts and Sciences at Johns Hopkins University, wrote: "Millions of young people play video games full of fistfights, blazing guns, and body slams... Yet only a minuscule fraction of the consumers become violent."
    That's not to say that some people don’t turn out to be violent when playing video games. However, tests that seek to find if video games make children violent are flawed in many ways. Some researchers forget to take into account the family life or  physiological trauma suffered by a child prior to their tests. Then there is the actual test to see if the child is violent or is acting differently than when they started gaming. These tests usually happen after the exposure to the games, and they will document reactions to various things that happen to the child none of which are preplanned. Sometimes this kind of observation doesn't work because the child will act differently in front of adults than they will by themselves.
    There have been cases of violence, but this same thing with games has happened in previous generations, and look how they turned out. Many people who grew up in the 50’s and 60’s stayed inside and read comics a lot. Parents of these children thought that the violence that was shown in a page of a Batman comic was going to turn their kid into a vigilante themselves, but as we have already seen that is not the case. I think that over the generations we have seen a consistent change in what is acceptable for children. I look at it like this: I play “violent” video games and run around as a soldier and shoot at people; yet, in a real life, I hate seeing blood. Maybe we won't know for sure what the impact of video games has on people, but from what we know, violent video games don't make all children killers.

A Never Ending School Year

Kayla Paul-Koch
Staff Writer
Students at New Hope are still treading along with this long and tiring school year. Due to the icy and blizzardy winter weather, the last day of school has been moved from the 15th of June to the 19th at no ones fault but mother natures. Since we missed so much school we still are trying to make up work, but many students have officially checked out.
     With the seniors gone, the beautiful (ish?) weather, and the month of June upon us, students find it incredibly difficult to find the motivation to still work and pay attention. Additionally, many students are preparing for vacations and missing the last few days of school which makes it even harder to still find the strength to do the work and stay organized.
     Junior Zach Meixler says that “at this point everyday feels like a Monday and goes by super slow, which is ironic because the middle of the school year seemed to go by so fast. And all the last minutes testing is super stressful.” On the other side though some students like Laszlo Madarasz say that they’re still “kind of in school mode. It doesn’t feel like the end of the year [to me].”
     Although school is almost out, students should remember to work hard and put in their best effort. Even though summer break is almost here, grades still matter and we should always try their best. Push through New Hope students! We’re almost done!

Monday, April 23, 2018

Why Parkland is different from other shootings

Caroline Donado
Staff Writer
Why Parkland is Different

After the fatal shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida that left 17 people dead, many assumed at first that it would have similar aftermath to the other shootings of recent years and be forgotten by the next week. Nevertheless, this one is clearly unique from all others and is not going away.
 The Parkland shooting has led to a much needed discussion about gun control--one that is unparalleled in its magnitude. The survivors caused a nationwide discussion about gun control that has lasted. Remember how quickly the news about other school shootings came and went, yet this one has sparked a debate that has called upon people across the country to stand up and advocate for gun laws. It's easy to feel powerless after such a traumatic event, yet the youth of this country are using their voices to create changes that are long overdue.
 The more this issue is spoken about, the more likely change will come.
 Deseret News shares the comments of Columbine survivor, Matt Varney, concerning the Parkland students’ response, where he states, “We would never have thought then to mobilize and march. But these kids have grown up with this.” Deseret News adds that, “He noted that in 1999 when his school was attacked, mass shootings were not part of the public consciousness like they are now.”
 The students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas seized the opportunity to put their call to action in the headlines again and again which has led to discussions about this issue in government offices, classrooms, and homes. The great number of people protesting and calling attention to this important issue can have an immense impact, pushing lawmakers to act and politicians to change their policies. Valuing guns over the lives of children is a mentality that needs to be eradicated in this country immediately. This is an issue that we cannot afford to have fade away with yesterday's news; our lives depend on it.
  As we went to press, marchers were organizing for March 24.