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A cluster of Google Products
A cluster of Google Products

There are over seven billion people in the world, and yet only two billion of those have access to the internet. Google wants to change that.

If you ask people what Google is, most would probably say a search engine, or a way of searching for things on the internet.

Melissa Corona, Freshman, agrees with that by simply saying, “Google is a way to search for things.”

That was their mission, when in 1997 a guy named Lary Page decided of the name, “Google”, as a play on words for “googol”, a number with a bunch of zeros after it. Formerly, it was known as “BackRub”, which uses bots and scripts to get everything notable and everything not notable on the web and organize it. In 1998, a check was written for a company that did not even exist yet, and in September they actually file to be a company. This trend continued for a while, including the conception of Google Ad words, which is why you see a bunch of ads on YouTube (really annoying for some).

However, in November 2007 something interesting happens.

The first Android smartphone
The first Android smartphone

The search engine dedicated to crawling the web for anything and everything like books, movies and maps decided to buy a little operating system known as “Android”. T-Mobile was the first company to offer an Android powered smartphone, the G-1.

Why should we not overlook this? Think about it. The search engine that is, most likely, already your homepage wants to be on your phone. They want into your life.

Ever notice that sometimes when you go on a site like Amazon, search for something, then leave, you start to see ads specifically for that product? That is Google. In March 2008, Google acquired a company called DoubleClick, who serves ads relevant to you.

Again, do not overlook this. There is only one way that they know what you are looking for.

The technology is called Cookies, and it is easy to imagine; every time you visit a site like Amazon, they put a ‘chocolate chip’ in your browser, and Google goes and observes the chocolate chip for what it holds. It could be milk chocolate, dark, white, whatever. It is unique to you. They use it to pair you with an Ad. Microsoft realized this, and started a campaign about being ‘Scroogled’.

Again, the company wants to know you. We are all too busy looking at the NSA to realize that Google is where they might be getting their information from.

In April 2012, Google decided to tell what else they have been working on: Project ‘Glass’.

Google Glass is shown above
Google Glass is shown above

For those who do not know, Google glass is really just smart-enabled glasses. It has a screen on the front so you can use the device, while it is out of the way when you do not want it.

In the concept video, you can see that they clearly seem to be having a good time with Glass. Why? How would this enhance my life? In the same way that your phone did, they know you will use it all the time. Actually, the point here is that you do not have to use your phone all the time. You will phone will be the hub for the glasses instead of the hub for you. This is just one more step towards a world of wearable tech. It could also take video. You can video chat. Again, cheat on tests. Plus, you do not need headphones, yet you still hear the sound. In a brilliant move, while Apple just released the ‘Ear Pods’, Google has been working on a way to play sound through a bone near your ear.

But they are not done yet.

Google recently tried to patent a tattoo. This tattoo could do phone calls, and it could also function as a lie detector. While this may be the only things that the new patent reveals, the possibilities are endless. Much like Google Glass or the smartphone, only science fiction could come up with an idea like this.

First reaction: well that is creepy…

Why not though? This is the search engine where you go to search for your deepest desires, whether it is a cat video or a tutorial on how to save someone’s life. Perhaps this tattoo could save lives by you asking it to play for you how to do CPR, like the video below:

The tattoo can use the signals in your skin to know if you are lying or not, and other signals that can communicate with gaming devices, smartphones, and other devices.

But even freakier, it might know what you are thinking.

We are getting closer and closer to being able to ask Google: “what is that song I cannot get out of my head?” The day is coming fast where Google could tell us if he or she is right for us. Sooner rather than later, we can cheat on a test and no one would know it, because only we can hear the sound coming from our glasses (this technology exists today, and the sound travels through a bone by your ear).

We need to start a conversation, and fast, about how invasive we can let technology become. We have to predict when it will be enough to just have a phone.

Google will become the place for your secrets, and the world will know all of them.

Invasive? Mr. Lee, engineering teacher on campus, thinks so by telling: “Google knows a lot about us, but we do not have a choice. Compared to a search engine like Bing, Google is the only option if you want to find anything,” Lee states, and tells how Google is unstoppable “unless society anchors down and says enough is enough.”

Warning: this is a long shot. Any technology listed below here is in the complete future.

However, the technology is starting to be developed now. Research and development is starting to take place right now at the headquarters of Amazon.com, the world’s platform for buying products, in order to find a better way to get products from the warehouse to you faster.

Their solution: drones.

In a recent interview with Jeff Bozos, the C.E.O. of Amazon, by 60 Minutes, Bozos claims that the drones can carry products of up to five pounds in distance of a couple of miles.

Now make a connection.

A chip that knows your thoughts.

A drone that can carry you products.

Given the technology that may be available in the future, all you have to do is think about the want for something and within minutes it is right in front of you. It is brilliant, invasive, shocking, yet cool. It is also an idea that has only been presented in Science fiction, but like most ideas presented in Fiction, companies are bringing this to life.

Sure, it may know what you want, which is very invasive.

This kind of scary could save lives. Think about this scenario: you are running on a trail, dehydrated. You faint, and then collapse. Because you have your smart phone and the tattoo, it knows all your blood chemistry. It automatically sends an alert to 911, but it also dispatches a drone to fly to the rescue, with plans to give you medication and/or assess the situation.

All of the sudden, scary turns cool, and that is what Google wants. We need to start a conversation weighing the pros and cons.

Towards the cooler side, imagine a situation where you’re sitting at home one day and want a bar of chocolate. You think in your mind: “Google:” and you hear a sound. You then say, “Tell Amazon to send me a bar of chocolate.” You are then left, doing what you were, until about three minutes passes. You have your bar of chocolate, generously dropped out of the sky and onto your front porch.

See, if you have been paying attention lately, you would know that science and technology is starting to move more and more central to us. The brain and your DNA more specifically, and sense that game came out where by focusing on something, you can make the ball go up, I personally have been in wonder and thought about how technology can change the way that we interact with technology.

The game is changing and changing fast.

We need to become more aware of what is happening. We need limits and laws.

But most of all, we need to think of the impact we have on the next generation.

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Some may or may not know, but this is the last year that you will ever see freshman born in the 90’s

Freshman Megan Mileski states, “I think that it is kind of cool that I get to be one of the last ones to be born in the 90’s”

Other than saying goodbye to meeting new freshman born in the 90’s, you are also saying goodbye to the joy in having conversations with freshman about what you experienced. There are so many things that are leaving this high school. Next year when you introduce yourself to a new freshman, you will not be able to have a conversation with them about getting up early on a Saturday morning to watch cartoons. Do you remember writing mash notes or making cootie catchers? Remember when you watched Rugrats, Power Rangers, or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Do you remember owning a portable tape player or when everything was “da bomb”? A true 90’s baby would collect Beanie Babies. Real 90’s babies would remember The Magic School Bus or Wishbone.

Mileski expresses, “I don’t think that is such a big deal that everyone born in the 90’s are leaving, but it will be kind of weird  talking to someone about something from the 90s if they have no idea what you are talking about.”

Some who were born earlier in the 90’s, may have a different attitude because of what they grew up with. They may not be as selfish due to not having things that kids nowadays have.

Mileski states, “Those born in the early 2000’s may have the same attitude, but those born within the last few years, probably will act differently.”

Now some might say that some of the students here are not real 90s kids just because they were born in the last few years of the 90s. However, they were still born in the 90s whereas the freshmen next year were not.

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From the Wendigo to the Woman in White to the Hook Man, urban legends have been around for ages and still go around.

The Wendigo stories begin in Northern Minnesota and the North Central Regions of Canada. Native Americans claim that Wendigos had once been human but they began to resort to cannibalism and use black magic. According to the legend, over time they became incredibly thin and stand over fifteen feet tall. They developed yellow skin, glowing eyes, long yellowed fangs and very long tongues. Native Americans say, “They are hundreds of years old. Each one was once a man. Sometimes an Indian, other times a frontiersman or mines or hunter”. Wendigos also go by the names; Witigo. Wokio, wee-tee-go, which mean “the evil spirit that devours mankind.”  This decribes exactly what they have become, have become perfect hunters, knowing every last bit of inch in its territory, searching for their food.

The Woman in White takes place long ago when a beautiful Indian Princess, Don Luisa de Loveros fell in love with a Nobleman named Don Nuna de Montesclaros. The princess loved the nobleman deeply and had two children with him. However Montesclaros refused to marry her. One day he finally just completely left her and married another woman. When The princess came to find out she turned mad with rage and stabbed both of her children. The authorities found her wandering the streets in a white dress stained from the blood. Now it is to be said that she wanders the country crying out for her murdered children. If she sees any children out at night while she is wandering she will take them with her thinking she has found her own.

The Hook Man began in the late 1950’s. The story begins when a teenage boy and his date go to Lover’s Lane and park under a tree. While they are making out they hear a noise coming from the outside of the car. The boy insists on checking where the noise is coming from and tells her to stay in the car. As the girl waits for him to get back she begins to hear scraping sounds on the roof of the car. In some versions of the legend the girl stays in the car, however, in others she exits the car to go check what the noise is. In the American version of this urban legend the girl witnesses her boyfriend dead, murdered, hung upside down from the tree hovering the car. In the European version the girl witnesses the murderer holding her boyfriend’s decapitated head while tapping on the roof of the car either with his fist or a bloody axe. The earliest documented Hook Man urban legend was in 1964 from the University of Kansas.

Now some may choose to believe in these legends and others may not, however, people have claimed to have seen them with their very own eyes.

By now, the weather starts to get colder and everyone seems to be getting sick. But as soon as everyone gets their flu shots done, it is time for winter to begin. November will be over soon and next thing you know, December is right there, promising winter break. Everyone is doing something different, whether it’s going to Big Bear, going out of state to go see family member, or staying here in little Corona. Most likely, everyone is going to see family they have not seen for a while or visit someone they love, especially since Christmas and New Years are the center of the attention. Of course, since we are only in high school, we can only do so much without our parents’ supervision.

One thing senior Jesus Benitez looks forward to during the winter break is “not having to deal with all of the work that he teachers give to us students. I feel this way because as a senior, it is quite exhausting to have all this work piled up on us, especially when we have to deal with all the other things that prepare us for the life ahead of us.” Any senior would agree with Benitez. Most of the student would also agree that it is finally time for a break from school work.

Freshman Zaimab Jeffery definitely would agree, as she states that one thing she looks forward to it “hanging out with friends, since I never really to see them at school that much.” This time of year gives us plenty of time to see those who we haven’t seen in a while, whether it’s friends or family.

Besides Christmas, the one thing everyone cannot wait for is New Years. Everyone gathers beside their television and watches the ball drop at Time Square in Ney York, making a toast for the beginning of a new year. It’s quite scary to think that 2014 is only a couple of days away. But everyone gets a do-over, a chance to become a better and new person by making a New Year’s Resolution. However, rarely many people stay to their resolution. We all have though, whether it’s to lose weight, work out more, or to be a better student and do all their work.

Senior Priyanka Bist confessed, “it is kind of gross but I used to bite my nails and a made a resolution to not bite my nails. I made it about three or four years ago.”

“One resolution I have followed though” Benitez reveals “, is to go to church at least once a month and I still follow through my resolution, even though I’m an atheist.” Both of their resolutions are different and personal to them, and they are still following through their resolution.

One thing students and staff wonder is where they will be spending the holidays. It would be exciting to go somewhere and get to have an adventure in a new area. But on the other hand, it would be nice to be able to stay at home and finally relax. But it should not matter where some spends their winter break, as long as they get to see their loved ones.

While away on break, it will give everyone an opportunity to relax from the stressful school year, as well as think about what they would like to change or improve for the year of 2014. So whether someone is going out of the city, out of state, even out of the country, or staying just at home, make sure wish the fellow students and staff a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Years.

A one-of-a-kind drink, coffee has been with every type of business, every type of family, and usually affects almost everyone in the world.  However, the time has finally come to ask: is coffee really beneficial for you and your health?  Coffee has had rumors and studies circle around it for decades, some stating that certain types of coffee are healthy and others state that all types of coffee are bad.  So what is the real truth behind coffee and its effects?

According to Mayo Clinic Preventive Medicine Specialist, Donald Hensrud states, “coffee has more health benefits than risks.”

Contrary to its rumor, coffee will not increase the risk of heart or lung cancer but in fact protects against several fatal effects.  Coffee will prevent Parkinson’s Disease from occurring, oppose Type 2 diabetes, and halt Lung Cancer from happening.  The reason being is the high amount of antioxidants that support most parts of the body.

However, the antioxidants may be countered or stopped by what we put into the coffee.  Cream and sugar will add more weight to your body rather than the antioxidants supporting it.  Coffee can only be beneficial without being altered by adding in more unnecessary ingredients.  Other alternatives to coffee include milk and juice that provides nutrients that coffee cannot.

Coffee affects different people in different ways.  For some people, it may boost metabolism and decrease your weight.  In others, it may add additional weight.  What can mostly affect you are the interactions with the morning cup.  Adding creamer will counter the antioxidants or drinking it bare may give you the full results and possibly even more.   Despite many accusations, most studies point to the beneficial gifts from coffee rather than the false criticism.

A study from the U.S. News declares some grounds for certain people.

Writer January W. Payne says, “Coffee should be avoided, not by all people, but specific groups such as pregnant women.”  Every detail of coffee is still being understood as we speak, whether it may help some people or ruin others.  One major concept is that coffee will either be your medicine that the doctor ordered, or your poison.

Most types of coffee beans have different effects.  Black coffee beans contain fewer calories and add to the benefit of working out and exercise.  Green coffee beans are best suited for adults that are trying to lose weight by burning their metabolism to the max.  Brown coffee beans contain stronger antioxidants than the others.  Any type of coffee bean will have a little of the same benefit as the other and may carry on another valuable attribute.

At the end of the day, coffee will not tragically affect you.  It may mess up sleep patterns and cause the black rings around your eyes at most.  It’d be better than being stuck in bed sick and sad about what went wrong when you just drank your cup of caffeine for the day.

Most of the world celebrates Christmas but that does not mean everyone celebrates it for the same reason. There is Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanza, the winter season if full of cultural holidays. The season means something different for everyone who celebrates it. Originally a pagan holiday, Christmas is now widely celebrated as the birth of Christ. The pagans celebrated the winter holiday to worship the sun god. It also concluded the winter festival known as “Saturnalia.”Saturnalia later evolved into the name Santa. Widely known as the well loved- man that gives children their Christmas presents. The Romans celebrated Christmas as well as early as 560 B.C. In ancient Rome the 25th of December was known as “Dies Natali Invictus” or the birthday of the unconquered. It also celebrates the winter solstice and the last day of Saturnalia.

Christians celebrate December 25th by honoring the birth of Jesus Christ.  Christ was born at a time when ignorance, superstition, greed, hatred and hypocrisy prevailed on the land. His birth was seen as purity coming to the land and the people. It represented a new and better time was starting among the people.

Non-Christians celebrate December 25th as a reward for good behavior among children. Story goes Santa Claus watches all children all year and decides if the each one was good or bad. Good children get present and bad children receive nothing but a common rock. Adults gather during the holiday to honor family relations and friendships. It celebrates coming together and the coming of a new year.

   During the winter season Christmas movies are very popular to watch. Some of the best Christmas movies are the classics that everyone knows and are a good way to bring people together and spend time with family during the holiday season.

One classic Christmas movie is It’s a Wonderful Life which was made in 1946. This movie is about a man who sees what life would be like if he did not exist which is shown from the help of an angel. It features James Stewart who played George Bailey, the main character, and Donna Reed who played Mary Hatch. One of the most memorable lines from the movie is “every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings.”

White Christmas is a Christmas musical that was made in 1954. The musical stars Bing Crosby as Bob Wallace, Danny Kaye as Phil Davis, Rosemary Clooney as Betty Haynes, and Vera-Ellen as Judy Haynes. This musical is about Bob Wallace and Phil Davis who join together with Betty and Judy Haynes, a sister singing group to help save the Vermont Inn. The Inn is owned by Bob and Phil’s general from the army, which they help save by hosting a Christmas show. This is a good movie to watch because there is lots of singing, dancing, and has a wonderful story line.

Another classic movie that everyone should watch is Miracle on 34th Street. This is a movie about a man who plays Santa Clause at a department store and later tries to prove that he is the real Santa Clause in a law suit when he is claimed to be insane. The movie was made in 1947 and it stars Maureen O’Hara as Doris Walker, Natalie Wood as Susan Walker, John Payne as Fred Gailey, and Edmund Gwenn as Kris Kringle. This movie is wonderful to watch because it showcases so much Christmas spirit and is about believing with your heart. Miracle on 34th Street is a great movie to watch with family during this holiday season.

One of the funniest Christmas movies is A Christmas Story. It was made in 1983 and stars Peter Billingsley as Ralphie who is the main character. The movie is about Ralphie and how he wants a Red Ryder B.B. Gun for Christmas. One of the most famous lines from this movie is “you’ll shoot your eye out.” People tell Ralphie this many times because they believe that he should not get a Red Ryder B.B. Gun. A Christmas Story has so many hilarious scenes that the audience will be constantly laughing. Junior Maddy Collins states, “I love that movie it’s really funny.”

Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer is also an amazing classic to watch during the holiday season and is a movie that a family can enjoy together. The movie was made in 1964 in stop motion animation. Billy Mae Richards is the voice of Rudolph, a reindeer with a glowing red nose. The movie is about Rudolph who wants to be one of the reindeers on the sleigh team for Santa. He has trouble with the other reindeers and decides to run away because of what happened, along his journey he makes new friends who also do not belong. During his journey Rudolph realizes that he needs to go back home and when he does, there is a surprising turn of events. “I love it, it’s always been one of my favorite movies as a little kid, because it was the first Christmas movie I remembered seeing and in kindergarten, we read the book and watched the movie,” states freshman Melanie Hoang. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer is a great movie that people will enjoy at any age.

The classic Christmas movies are a wonderful way to get into the holiday spirit this winter. So spend time with family and enjoy these amazing classics.

Now we return to the world of Panem, where Catching Fire burns its predecessor into ashes. It is much more violent, intense, and darker as we get much closer to the imminent rebellion. Jennifer Lawrence, the Mocking Jay, carries the entire film and makes the franchise much more than just a melodramatic love triangle. But the rest of the cast is exceptional due to all the talent that make their characters stand out as their own and not just some boring character that is just there to stand and smile; not even Effie or Cinna

Hunger Games suffered like any starting for a film as it has the difficulty of presenting to us this new world and characters. But, now, after we can move on with Catching Fire which fully develops their characters and even let the audience enjoy their time in what will eventually be lost in the shuffle of two more sequels, the film takes a much darker and bleaker side of the situations which is very noticeable, especially inside District 12. In the first film, we got only glimpses of how each District is, but here we get into a full view of the entire District 12 such as the coal mines, the houses, forest, town center, and even homes.

More than likely people will notice the differences between the book and the actual film, as it doesn’t have the necessary time to make those scenes of any relevance or importance. But it’s not like they completely ignore it as the film gives a few winks in certain scenes. They help add to the unknown presence that the film always tries to hide; as we are constantly reminded of the rebellion just around the corner and that Katniss, the Mocking Jay, will lead the rebellion. There are scenes in where it symbolizes the sign of hope that must stay alive at all costs. Plus, we get a sense of rebellion from the former victors as they feel robbed, after surviving a 24 men death match for their lives just to go back and do it again is unthinkable which helps add the fuel to the fire.

Plus, the fight scenes have improved greatly as they shown some genuine intense fighting. As we can finally believe, the characters are in grave danger. But the problem still is that we only focus on a small group of the tributes while the other ones are just there for the sake of the games. Due to the lack of time a film has, we only get a short time to focus on any of the tributes that are trying to kill Katniss and Peeta rather just let them be. Also it doesn’t help that none of the other tributes are the main protagonist we have to realize “who the real enemy is”, which of course is the Capital. But when your real enemy is away in a small control center, while Katniss is out in the middle of a huge humid forest, it makes it really hard to show any interest in the bad guy.

Jennifer Lawrence delivers the performance of the entire show as she constantly shows emotions like grief, love, terrification, even PTSD, such as the scene in which she’s hunting with Gale and as she shoots her arrow she is reminded of that young boy she killed in the previous film, all with visible credibility and there are moments where she shows all those emotions at the same time. Plus, the supporting cast is unlike any other franchise. It is full of prestigious award winners but also young Hollywood stars and each of them deliver captivating performances. The new game maker Plutarch Heavensbee, played by Phillip Seymour Hoffman, is seen as a patient and manipulative man that have much more on his agenda than what it seems. As both the character and the performance make the former game maker look weak.

While Peeta, played by Josh Hutcherson, shows that he just is not useless and starts to show more signs of kindness and, more importantly, defiance. But his chemistry with Jennifer Lawrence and his looks are beaten when compared with Gale’s, played by Liam Hemsworth, as he shows more signs of affection in 10 minutes than Peeta does in an hour. But both actors and characters show signs of maturity as their characters become more developed as they both have to deal with dangerous perils.

On the other side Effie becomes much more than just a pretty clown as she shows the side of the Capital whom are gonna struggle when it comes time for the rebellion and shows much more humanity. Cinna is more than just a costume designer as he shares a secret intimacy with Katniss that only true friends have, which makes some scenes much more painful to watch. Haymitch, played by Woody Harrelson serves as a reminder of what Katniss could become if she just sits there and sulks, which thankfully she does not.

The new tributes like Finnick, Joanna, and Beetee all add something new to the table as each character feels fresh and exciting to watch. Then Finnick, played by Sam Claflin, at first shows to be a very cocky and good looking guy that is obviously very egotistical; but later on he shows so much heart and emotion as he is a man that has so much to lose. There is Joanna, played by Jena Malone, who is probably one of the most unique character introductions and proves to a fierce and cunning lady.

The direction is much smoother and the flow of the entire film goes natural as everything goes through like a manual process. The film moves from one thing to another without taking into consideration of previous events. At times it may seem slow and boring but it starts to automatically get intense with other scenes in where the action and threat are intensifying. Also the fact that President Snow, played by Donald Sutherland, seems much more tyrannical in this film as he summons more “peacekeepers” to maintain his tyranny alive adds to the threat.

Catching Fire is a huge improvement from its predecessor as the direction, performances, and action is about ten times better. As Jennifer Lawrence once again is the girl on fire, but the supporting cast make the film much more memorable as well. No one seems to be a weak link, except the story that seems a bit too clichéd and the lack of pivotal scenes from the book. Plus the film lets the love triangle be almost completely forgotten by the rebellion, which is ultimately beneficial for the film.

But once it gets to the ending the entire film feels lackluster as all the events are quickly being swept under the rug to start getting people ready for the second part Mocking Jay films. It portrays a filler in the eventual four film franchise, that will eventually get lost or forgotten when all the films are released Although, the film shows that the franchise is on the right track and if the crew and cast can continue to deliver astounding work than we better be on the look out for Mocking Jay which is sure to deliver.

Grade: B+, 3 stars