Monday, December 21, 2015

THON is still important, even if it is mini

Jacob McCloskey
Staff Writer

Despite being renamed as Mini-THON, this school years’ event is setting the bar even higher. Taking place from 7pm January 8th to 7am January 9th, 2016’s THON is partnered with Penn State Hershey’s Four Diamonds Children’s Hospital, where the $50 minimum per person of fundraised money will go. The hospital will use this money both to provide financial support to cancer patients and to provide money for research teams looking for a cure.
Not only will this year’s hotline bling themed THON benefit great causes, but it will be even more fun for the students of new hope than in years past. People who are not able to join a team or stay the night may attend the dance from 7-10. For the rest of the night, along with constant music, events and caffeine, sporting competitions will provide eligibility for students to win a hoverboard, the most in-demand gift of the year. At some point of the night, everyone’s favorite teachers will be dressing up as sumo wrestlers, battling for the Mini-THON title.

Each year at THON we break new records for how much money is fundraised, more people get involved, and our school becomes more optimistic and spirited. This event has proven to show the best of new hope’s student body, and from what we can see so far, this upcoming THON will be even better.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

America’s Islamophobia and how history is tragically repeating itself

Lexi Anderson
News Editor

In the midst of World War II and as a result of Pearl Harbor, approximately 6 million Jewish people were killed in a mass genocide in Germany known as the Holocaust and Japanese internment camps kept those living in the United States of Japanese ancestry isolated from the rest of the country. We see both these events as international tragedies, yet if we observe our world now, it can be seen that history is, in many ways, repeating itself.
 Islamophobia is a very real and very tragic thing. With the rise of ISIS, now more than ever, people overgeneralize all Muslims as terrorists and cold-blooded killers. In truth, however, Islam is a peaceful religion that has been plagued by a handful of extreme fundamentalists, causing a nearly universal fear of and prejudice against Muslim people.
 Blinded by this fear, the United States has taken in only a small fraction of Syrian refugees, while thousands more stay stranded in war-ridden Syria. Sound familiar? Less than a century ago, the United States refused Jewish refugees from Germany during the Holocaust, partly due to economical reasons but mainly because of anti-semitism. Nearly 6 million Jewish people were killed. We see that part of history now as a tragedy, questioning how we could of let that happen. Yet here we are, taking the same path that we did only decades ago.
 The main reason the United States has denied the entrance of refugees into the country is because of fear that a few terrorists will slip in with the refugees. This fear is understandable, but is it really right to deny tens of thousands of people simply because there might be, on the off chance, a few bad seeds? In regard to Trump’s supporters, this is fear stems from internalized and in many cases, explicit Islamophobia and the irrational idea that all Muslims are killers. Truthfully, the refugees are the terrorized, not the terrorists, and it would be inhumane to decline them entrance into the country.
 Recently, Donald Trump has succumbed to Islamophobia, stating his mission that, if elected president, no Muslims would be let into the country and those that are already living in the country would need to be registered as Muslims. This is disturbingly comparable to the World War II Japanese internment camps that were established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt after the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941. The incarceration of Japanese-American citizens was a racially charged act, all too similar to Trump’s recent Islamophobic idea to register all Muslims in the country. Once again, we see the mass organization of Japanese people as a mistake, yet it is something that is being revisited today. Unfortunately, many people in the electorate aren’t against the ideas voiced by Trump whose poll numbers have increased, surpassing 40% for the first time.
 We live in an Islamophobic time where religion has determined the way one is seen by others and portrayed in the world. People are so eager to defend their claim that Muslims are the ones causing all the violence in the world, yet white-extremists have killed almost twice as many Americans in domestic terrorist acts than Islamic-extremists have done since 9/11. We are overgeneralizing to the point that we are becoming inhumane as a country, turning down once again those that fall into our ignorant and misinformed interpretation of Islam and all of those who follow it. It is time to realize the dangerous consequences of prejudice and start to see each Muslim person as an individual, or else we’ll once again be reflecting on ourselves decades from now thinking: How could we have done that? How could we have been so cruel?

Friday, December 11, 2015

Black Friday leaves shoppers with empty wallets

Caroline Maloney
Staff Writer

Logging onto my online PNC Virtual Wallet account to see a balance of -$1.37 was certainly a great wake up call that I needed to rethink my financial priorities. Staring at the screen in utter disbelief, I asked myself- How did I let this happen? There was only one answer: Black Friday.
 Each year, dedicated and determined shoppers like myself wake up at the earliest of hours with hopes of scoring big deals and steals. Stores like BestBuy, Target, and Walmart introduce “doorbuster” sales to customers, which occur only once a year. Whether one is buying a 55’’ LED HD television or a new handbag, good deals are bound to be found. However, amidst all of the bargains and discounts, it is very easy to drain a bank account in the blink of an eye. I, sadly, learned that the hard way.
 Numerous New Hope-Solebury students have also taken advantage of the sales. Junior Taylor Selbst said that her experience was great. “I bought a lot of new clothes, but spent too much money,” she said.
 Junior Molly Rothblat said that she “ had the intention of buying gifts for my family and friends, yet that didn’t seem to work out. I got some great deals for myself, however.”
 Junior John Sharkey says the best deal he bought all day was a full set of all Harry Potter DVDs from “The sale sent me straight to flavortown.” John said, explaining that sales such as these occur not very often.
 Students, such as Sharkey, choose to skip the long lines and grouchy shoppers and take a more virtual route: online shopping.
 Junior Caroline Rubino said, “I did most of my shopping online. It’s easier.”
 Online shopping has been a trend for shoppers to resort to, and there now is a holiday dedicated to online shopping, otherwise known as Cyber Monday.
  Whether online or in store, manage your dough wisely next year with hopes of scoring big. Spending money is fun, especially when you love to shop, but make sure to be extra careful and cautious on this holiday in order to avoid seeing negative signs in your bank account statement.

Are People Starting To Celebrate The Holidays Too Early?

Charlotte Haigh and Victoria Siano
News Editors

The holiday season has always been an extremely popular time of the year. With so many different events: Christmas, Hanukkah, and even the start of the new year, it is hard not to get wrapped up in all of the excitement. With the exuberance, though, also comes a desire to make the holidays last longer.
  This hope is understandable. With all of the stress and pain of daily life, it is only natural to crave an extension of the joyous spirit that always ensues this time of year. The ways people have done so have ironically only managed to diminish holiday spirit while also annoying those that want to take the holidays one at time.
 For one, many retailers have taken to advertising commercials and decorating their storefronts with mistletoe and jingle bells far before the holiday has even arrived. Even television stations start celebrating too early, such as Hallmark’s Countdown to Christmas, which begins on Nov. 1.
 With such an early start, people have come to lose the true excitement and spirit that this time of year always brings. People tire of Christmas music sooner, purchase gifts earlier, and decorate faster, so that by the time the holidays actually come around, they have become old news. As much as people want the holidays to be around forever, they tend to get old really quickly.
 This early start to the celebration has also taken to undermining the holidays before it, like Halloween and Thanksgiving. You can hardly ever find a store that sells decorations for these two holidays without having a section filled with Christmas goods right beside it. Nordstrom is one of the few stores that has vowed to only put decorations for holidays out after the previous holiday has ended.

 Every holiday should have its own chance in the spotlight, so take the time to appreciate the joy that each celebration brings.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Social Media is Toxic

Riley Brennan and Katie Hunt
Staff Writer
Social media is normally a fun way for people to communicate, share, and browse, but it may actually be detrimental to our health and well being. It’s no secret that social media has changed the way our world operates. It has opened the doors to limitless opportunities, letting people experience other parts of the world and communicate with friends without having to leave their homes. But is it possible that society depends too heavily on social media, to the point where it’s gotten unhealthy? Unfortunately, thanks to recent studies, we know that it has; the social media craze has gotten to the point of addiction.
 Social media has changed the way people interact with one another. When hanging out with friends, more often than not everyone is accompanied by their phones. Chances are, phones make many appearances throughout the time friends are together. And sadly, in some cases more time is spent snapchatting a friend across the room than actually talking to him or her.
 Socializing with people has gotten tougher with everyone starting at their phones or focusing on taking a picture to post on a variety of different social media platforms.
 These apps and websites are designed to entertain and entice people, so are we  really to blame? In some ways yes; after all, we are the ones signing up for these websites. But there was no warning about Instagram being unhealthy when we made accounts. Can we actually be held accountable for being obsessed with something we didn’t know would become addictive?

 Obviously addiction is a negative attribute to social media, but the list of downsides doesn’t stop there. Too much social media can cause people to suffer mentally, which can then lead to serious issues. In order to avoid the negative attributes of social media, limit the amount of time you spend on it. Social media can be great, as long as you know when to turn it off.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Are some lives more valuable than others?

Lexi Anderson
News Editor

The night of November 13th brought ISIS to the Western world for the first time as attacks left hundreds either dead or wounded, a tragedy that has resulted in the love and mourning of people from every corner of the world.
 In light of the Paris attacks, support has spread from one side of the globe to the other, the world has been blanketed by the French flag, with the Empire State Building and Sydney Opera house donning its colors in solace. Facebook even went as far as providing a safety check for the French, which provided them a way to see if their family and friends were safe, allowing them to rest easy during the distressing time.
 The Paris attacks were of course a tragedy, there is no denying that these are dark times. Obviously, the love and support being provided by the media and people all over the globe is well deserved and appreciated, but the problem lies in the media coverage and the corresponding outpouring of love that has not been granted to countries such as Beirut, Nigeria, and Baghdad.
 In Beirut specifically, 40 died and over 200 were wounded when two ISIS operatives blew themselves up in a crowded marketplace, just one day before the attack in Paris. This attack is the worst Beirut has seen in many years, and yet the attention and coverage of the attack has been vastly different than in Paris.
 The attack in Paris was described as an attack on the youth, people simply enjoying their night out at a concert, while the attack in Beirut was seen as ISIS striking a war ridden area, containing supporters of Bashar-al Assad’s regime. Beirut, however, isn’t just that. It’s a diverse area containing people of all different countries and religions. People from all these different groups were killed in the suicide bombing, not just a certain group. Women, children, and elderly were lost but somehow this event isn’t deemed as an “attack on humanity.”
 There was no Facebook safety check, no colors of the Lebanese flag projected on signature architecture or used as a filter for everyone's profile picture. It is understandable that Paris hits us closer to home, but it’s simply unfair that one group of people deserves less collective mourning than another.
 Places like Beirut, Iraq, Syria, and many more have been collectively expected to live with bombings, mass killings, death. The West has deemed these events as a usual occurrence, the grieving the world may have felt is overshadowed by the conditioned apathy felt towards these places of war. How long does it take for a tragedies to become ordinary?
 It is a tragedy in itself that apparently where you live determines the amount of compassion you deserve.
 Yes, the attack on Paris was an attack on humanity, and it deserves all the love it is receiving, but all of the tragedies around the world, all the mass killings, whether weekly, monthly, or yearly, whether in Beirut, Syria, Baghdad, Nigeria, Cameroon, Iraq, or Paris, are attacks on humanity.
Don’t forget your compassion, a life is a life.