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Stress and School
 

By: Talia Melkonian
Have you ever felt like school life is so stressful and it’s never going to get better? Well I’m going to share some helpful tactics and give my insight to decrease the amount of stress you have in your life. First off, it’s basic, but it works to take a deep breath sometimes. Take a deep breath when you feel trapped, and remind yourself that you will be out of the situation you’re in very soon. Even if it may not feel like it, your current situation is temporary, not permanent. Remind yourself that you live on a floating rock and that everything will be okay. Another tactic is to write down what you’re feeling stressed out about! Most of the time, when one writes down what they think they have on their plate, they realize that it’s really not too much! Most important of all, realize that you are human, and everyone is bound to be stressed out at some point. Just remember that the way you are feeling will not last forever, and think that everything will work out just the way it is meant to be. You got this!
Stressed Man

Recycling Halloween Costumes 

By: Christina Kahkejian

Halloween is a very popular holiday in the U.S, so people feel the need to find the perfect costume. Most of them purchase a couple of costumes to see which one suits them more, and trash the ones they didn't choose. 35 million Halloween costumes are thrown away in 

the U.S each year. 

 

Instead of trashing your old halloween costumes, you can either donate, sell, or swap it.

For example, donate your Halloween costumes to your local thrift store or resell them on platforms like Poshmark, Mercari, eBay, and more. You might want to hold onto costumes until next year's spooky season to make a sale. Before donating, wash or dry clean your old costumes. Another way to recycle halloween costumes is to swap halloween costumes with your friends or cousins. Your friend might have dressed up as the character you want to dress up as this year, so the best solution is to swap costumes with your friend.

 

In my opinion this is a great way to recycle halloween costumes, and not let anything go to waste.

Halloween Party

Can Rats use the Force? Apparently, they can move digital objects with their brains!

I’m pretty sure every one of us has seen the original Star Wars films at some point, and thought to ourselves “Man! I wish I could use the Force!” Well, based on this recent discovery, this may shockingly be true with rats. That’s right – RATS can use their brains to move digital objects! So does this mean that you can finally live your dream of becoming a Jedi Master to train a Force-sensitive rat? Well, that’s a little much, but the science behind this whole phenomenon is rather interesting. Take a look.

 

So you may be asking, how in the world can rats of all things move digital objects? Well by the power of imagination. No, it’s not a Spongebob reference, it’s the real deal. Apparently, through imagination, rats can move digital cubes from one place to be dropped at another target. This is an incredibly fascinating discovery and almost too good to be true; it can allow scientists to look deeper into the mysterious world of the brain, and truly discover what else can be done with it. But we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves – how exactly did researchers come up with this in the first place? Well one notable instance of this study comes from neuroscientists (they basically study the brain and how neurons work in the brain) and engineer Chongxi Lai along with the help of colleagues, would train rats to move on a virtual-reality 3-D treadmill in a digitized world. While in this “VR” state, the rat’s nerve signals from the hippocampi were studied, a part of the brain. Here is a picture of this digital world below:

Screen Shot 2023-12-05 at 11.59.11 AM.png

But they wanted to know more; could rats do more than just run on a treadmill in a VR-world? And could they learn more about the seahorse-shaped hippocampi part of the brain (odd to use ‘hippo’ for a seahorse shaped brain). This is where the “Jedi-Force cube” thing comes into play – the researchers encouraged the rats to move a cube to a specific target, to be rewarded with water. And just like that, they mastered the task, by (suprise surprise) using their hippocampi and concentrating to hold the cube in the virtual world. So in other words, the rats basically used the Force to move a cube; very unfair, considering a rat can use the Force and we can’t! Still fascinating, nonetheless. 

 

So why is this so important, what do we have to do with rats? Well it turns out that this study, as stated by another neuroscientist, shows that humans may have the ability, like the rats, to activate ‘hippocampal memories’ as well. Furthermore, it enables a larger study on the hippocampi itself, being a mysterious complex of the brain. I mean, rats used it to Jedi a cube to a target, so how much more mysterious can it get right?

 

So while we may not be able to become our childhood hero Luke Skywalker just yet, just keep in mind that rats have gone to that level before us. Yikes!

The Burning of Smyrna

By: Meganoush Schmit

Smyrna was known as a center full of the rich history and culture of the Greek and Armenian people. It was located in what we now know as Izmir, Turkey. Smyrna was founded in approximately the 11th century BC, and is thought by some to be named after an expensive spice called smyrna, or as we know it, myrrh, which was commonly used in the process of embalming the dead. In the early 1400’s, Smyrna was captured by Turkic conqueror Timir and was assimilated into the Ottoman empire. If Smyrna was on Turkish lands, why would Armenians ever live there, if not to flee from the genocide?

Armenian culture and its people had been thriving in Smyrna for centuries before it was even overtaken by the Ottoman Empire. Hripsimyan’s school for girls, Smyrna Mesropian School, founded in 1799, four Armenian churches, a hospital, and a theater were only a few of the Armenian-founded buildings in Smyrna. It was one of the only Armenian cities in the Ottoman empire that was “spared” in the main genocide of 1915. Some called it the “little Paris of the east”, due to its diverse culture of Greeks, Armenians, Turks, and Jews. On the other hand, the Turks simply called it “Smyrna of the infidels”, meaning they thought of them as less-than-human for believing in religions other than Islam.

Not only was Smyrna one of the wealthiest cities in the Ottoman empire, but in all of Europe, composed of one of the largest Greek-Armenian populations. After WWI, Greece took occupation of Smyrna, marking the start of the Greco-Turkish war. Smyrna was soon conquered once again by Turkey in 1922, henceforth preparing to complete the massacres of the Armenians. Once the Turks had successfully taken over the city of Smyrna, they began an ethnic cleansing, consisting of waves of mobs, rape, and murder. As Christians began to flee in panic and fear, the Turks set fire to the city, the Armenian quarter, to keep them trapped within the borders of the city. There are no known Armenian survivors of the Smyrna massacre, and any that managed to survive the fire were likely killed afterwards. There is no exact known number of how many died, but it is estimated that there were around 10,000-100,000 fatal casualties. People were found jumping into the sea, either in an attempt to extinguish the fire caught on their clothes, swim to safety, or commit suicide as the British watched the event go down in history from just across the coast.

The tragic fire reportedly lasted nine days, from September 13, to September 22nd of 1922. The Smyrna fire had been known as the last step in the Armenian genocide at the time, wipping out the entire Armenian and Greek sections of the city. Churches, Hellenistic statues, and all sorts of buildings had been burnt down in the process, and the Turkic city, Izmir, had risen from the ashes. Though there have been thousands of eye-witnesses who confirm that Turkish mobs set the city ablaze, “Armenian arsonists” were put to blame by the Turks themselves. As Asa Jennings reports, “The history as it’s taught in Turkey is shaped by the ideology.”

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