What it is Like to Live in a Developing Country For Two Weeks Reply

Two weeks in the Philippines. This may not seem like a lot of time for a vacation, but it was perfect for an eye-opening experience. While I was in the Philippines, I learned about how different the local lifestyle was from the my lifestyle in New York. There were many moments when I felt extremely grateful for how privileged I was, but there were also many times when I wished I could have these Filipino experiences everyday.

The first thing I noticed was how much traffic there was. While New York has its fair share of traffic, it is nothing compared to the never-ending traffic on the streets of the Philippines. Almost every hour seemed to be rush hour and it was almost impossible to get anywhere on time. Whether taking a car, a tricycle, or jeepney, commuting was definitely a struggle. Mass transportation such as trains weren’t used as often because they were inconvenient and inefficient. There were a limited number of stops and the trains didn’t reach many areas. This causes more people to drive, which in turn creates more traffic. From talking with family members, I learned that they were used to the traffic and it has become a part of their everyday life. They learned to always expect traffic, so they tend to leave a lot earlier just to get to work or school on time. A possible solution that was passed in 2003 was the Unified Vehicular Volume Reduction Program, more commonly known as coding. Still used today, what the program does is that it restricts certain vehicles from using main roads at specific times based on the last digit of its license plate. Even with coding in use, traffic is still very prominent because of the lack of mass public transportation. More…

A Personal Experience of the March on Washington Reply

On January 21st, 2017, my mother, friends, and I chanted “We want a leader, not a creepy tweeter!” loudly throughout the streets of Washington D.C.

Less than twenty-four hours after country musicians strummed their guitars for America’s new president, I marched with more than two million women, men, and children across the globe protesting Donald Trump and what he stands for. With the recent election and inauguration of Donald Trump as America’s 45th president, tensions have been high, to say the least. Each day has introduced new scandals and potential constitutional violations. From taking down the pages on climate change and LGBTQ rights on the White House website on his first day in office to waging a full fledged war on the media, Donald Trump has been a very controversial figure. However, this article is not meant to focus on Trump or his supporters, but on the Women’s March on Washington. While I went to the Women’s March primarily to protest Trump’s administration and the man himself, the Women’s March was used by many to advocate for women’s rights. The idea for the Women’s March originally sparked when a retired attorney from Hawaii, Teresa Shook, created a Facebook page for 40 of her friends, attempting to create a small march in protest of Trump’s election. Overnight, 10,000 people had RSVPed for the event, and that’s when the movement gained momentum. The march had its fair share of controversy, however. When it was originally conceived by Ms. Shook, she named it the Million Women’s March, which was a march organized for black women in 1997. This naming drew some backlash, and felt quite racially exclusive, so the march was handed over to female activists Linda Sarsour, Carmen Perez, and Tamika Mallory, and named the Women’s March on Washington. From there, the march became the monumental event that it became known as on January 21st. More…

He Will Not Divide Us Reply

The phrase “He will not divide us” was repeated over and over near the Museum of the Moving Image, but what exactly does this mean?

January 20, Inauguration Day, was the first day that the “He Will Not Divide Us” camera, located on a wall outside of the Museum of the Moving Image, became public to all. Actor Shia LaBouef intended to streamed the wall constantly, throughout the duration of Trump’s presidency, and people were invited to chant the phrase “He will not divide us” as an act of “resistance or insistence, opposition or optimism,” according to the event’s website. However, this project was abandoned by the Museum of the Moving Image due concerns regarding public safety, and had since been relocated to a wall in Albuquerque, New Mexico. More…

Cracking the Puzzle of Hamilton’s Hype Reply

Teenagers growing up in New York City are given the opportunity to be exposed to the many shows on Broadway. While this fun and memorable experience has always been available, no show has garnered as much popularity as Hamilton as outside of the musical theater niche—especially in young people. Its accomplishments, which include winning “Best Musical” as well as ten other Tony Awards, have people wondering what is so great about Hamilton and why the hype still has not calmed down even after two years since its Off-Broadway debut.

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#noDAPL Reply

If you happen to own social media, you might have come across the hashtag NoDAPL. At that point, you either did one of two things- you clicked on the hashtag, to see what “DAPL” happened to be, or you kept scrolling, as it is so easy to do. Regardless, there’s a large chance you aren’t quite clear on what the big fuss is about.

For those who don’t know- DAPL stands for Dakota Access Pipeline, also called the Bakken Oil Pipeline. The pipeline has not yet been built, but it’s meant to be 1,172 miles long, and the projected cost of it would be 3.7 billion dollars. The Energy Transfer Project, the main backer of this pipeline, claims that the pipeline will offer jobs and economic relief to a struggling region. But at what cost? And is the trade-off worth it? More…

Chipotle: Is It Safe? Reply

Recently, hugely popular Mexican fast-food chain Chipotle’s sales reached a dramatic downfall, all due to an outbreak of disease in their food called E. coli. Many consistent buyers of Chipotle’s food have stopped due to the risk of contracting the disease. Several people have sued Chipotle for their sicknesses and the company has lost billions of dollars. Now, however, Chipotle’s E. coli has officially been labeled a past risk; health officials have said that at this point there is no chance of getting the disease from the brand’s burritos and bowls. Sales are steadily increasing once again but not without memory of the recent incident. More…

Political Primaries 101 Reply

What is a primary election? Why do we have primary elections?
We have two major parties in our nation today, the Republican and Democratic parties.  Within each party, there is a variety of opinions and sometimes there is more than one person in a party who wants run for a particular office.  A primary is the election within a party to choose the candidate to represent that party in the general election.  It’s like the election before the election.  There are primaries for many different offices such as President, Senate, Mayor, city council, etc.

How does our primary process work?
When it comes to the Presidential Primary elections, each party decides when each state has its vote.  In 2012, the primary elections started in January with Iowa and finish up in June in Washington D.C..  More…

North Korea: Testing the Limits Reply

Source: cnn.com

Source: cnn.com

On Wednesday January 6, 2016, North Korea announced a successful hydrogen bomb test. This test was performed at Sungjibaegam and occurred on Tuesday at 8:30 P.M. The test also appeared to cause an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.1 that was east-southeast from the test site. This is concerning news because of the hostile relations between the United States and North Korea. On a North Korean television channel, a news anchor stated that “there can neither be suspension of nuclear development, nor nuclear dismantlement, unless the U.S. rolls back its vicious and hostile policy towards North Korea.” So the United Nations Security Council held a closed door meeting discussing potential ways to address this issue.
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Terrorist Attacks in Paris: Is Anyone Safe? Reply

Source: telegraph.co.uk

Source: telegraph.co.uk

On Friday, November 13, 2015, Paris, France was attacked in three separate areas, resulting in the death of 129 individuals. A series of three bombs exploded from around 9:20 P.M. to 9:55 P.M. outside the Stade de France, during a soccer match between France and Germany. The stadium was filled with thousands of people, including the president of France, Francois Hollande. He was evacuated immediately after the explosions occurred. More…

School Security: Time to Get Serious?

Source: Newsday

Source: Newsday

A mass shooting took place in an Oregon college, resulting in the deaths of 10 people. On Thursday, October 1, Christopher Harper-Mercer, the 26 year-old gunman, entered his writing class in Umpqua Community College armed with six guns and fired a shot to the back of the room. He then forced his fellow students to the center of the classroom, where he deliberately spared the life of a student and gave him an envelope for him to pass on to the police. He fatally shot nine victims, one of whom was the assistant professor, and finally himself. More…

The Most Dangerous High School In the U.S. Receives Hope

Strawberry Mansion High School, a school in Philadelphia, was once named one of the most dangerous high schools in America by NeighborhoodScout. This school, with a total population of around 435 students, is located in a poor neighborhood with a high crime rate. Over 40% of the residents live in poverty, and the neighborhood has the highest frequency of homicide, rape, and assault in the city. Students file through metal detectors before entering the building every morning, and the officers and security guards watch for razor blades in tin foil and knives in backpacks. Before some students even enter classrooms, they are required to empty their pockets to ensure that they are not hiding any weapons. 94 security cameras line the hallways all over the school to monitor the students. More…

Pope Francis: “The People’s Pope” Reply

The Pope in NYC (PC: wsj.com)

The Pope in NYC (PC: wsj.com)

Pope Francis is considered one of the most humble and caring popes. From declining dinner with politicians so that he could have dinner with the homeless, to the acceptance he has displayed for people from all different walks of life, Pope Francis doesn’t fail to impress people with his acts of love and kindness. Quite recently, Pope Francis stopped his car so he could kiss and bless a young boy he saw who had cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is a disorder that causes difficulty in muscle movement. The boy, his parents, and his siblings were some of the many who waited to see Pope Francis that day, and luckily enough, it was Pope Francis who spotted them. As soon as Pope Francis saw the boy in the wheelchair, he asked for his driver to stop the car, got out, kissed the boy on the forehead, and said a blessing for him. Pope Francis also shook his parents’ and siblings’ hands. Moments like these show that Pope Francis just wants happiness amongst all individuals simply because everyone deserves to be happy. More…

Nepal’s Earthquake: The Aftermath and Relief Efforts Reply

On April 25th, at 11:56 PM, an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8 claimed thousands of lives in Nepal. As of Friday, May 1st, around 6,300 people were proclaimed dead, and 14,000 people injured. This earthquake claimed 8,836 lives in total (including outside of Nepal), with 21,952 injuries. It took quite long to account for the thousands of people missing, perhaps under rubble and in distant villages. On May 12th, there was an aftershock of 7.3 magnitude, which killed 218 people and injured more than 3,500 people.  The original earthquake had an effect all around Nepal, including Mount Everest. Studies show that the earthquake shrank the the 29,000-foot mountain by at least 3 feet. Due to the earthquake, avalanches occurred on the mountain, killing at least 19 people, and injuring at least 61. This disaster has been the deadliest in Everest history. The effect of the earthquake on Nepal’s tourist industry is also very detrimental. Nepal, a developing country, relies on its historical attractions, such as the Dharahara Tower, which after the earthquake went from 100 feet to a 30 foot pile of rubble. Additionally, due to the fact that many men in Nepal often go far to find decent paying jobs, many women were left to fend entirely for their families after the earthquake. They lost their homes, their animals, and many other things precious to them. However, the most precious things were the children. After the earthquake, an even larger part of these women’s lives was protecting their childrens’ lives.

In order to raise money for Nepal, several advisories have been having bake sales, and Helping Hands has been doing a lot too. Ramisa Bashar ’18 said “Helping Hands has taken the initiative to help Nepal. So we’ve placed boxes in advisories in order to gather money to donate through one of Mr. Lakhaney’s acquaintances stationed in Nepal to work with people there. It’s a very one-on-one sort of thing. We’re also collecting necessities that they may require such as, soap, warm clothing, etc.”  More…

New Police Brutality Subcommittee Reply

Recently, police brutality has been a major issue throughout New York City and the United States. These cases and many others involving police brutality caused protests all over America, as most recently seen from the riots in Baltimore. There was a mixture of violent and peaceful protesting against the death of Freddie Gray at the hands of the police.  Being such a significant and controversial topic, BSGE’s Helping Hands decided that students should be allowed to take a stand. A police brutality subcommittee was created to help BSGE students be better informed on what is actually happening.

Members of this new subcommittee feel very strongly about this topic and are willing to do as much as possible to get people to understand how serious of a topic this is. After watching the movie Fruitvale Station, Natalia Blagic ‘18 was deeply affected. She noticed how it related to current cases such as the Eric Garner. After seeing all of this unfairness, she decided to join the police brutality subcommittee. Ramisa Bashar ‘18 joined because she wanted to help advertise how police brutality doesn’t just affect specific races, it affects all people whether they be minorities or not. Another member I talked to, Rayna Barua ‘18, said, “I wanted to join the police brutality committee because there were many recent cases such as the Michael Brown case and the Eric Garner case. It just really intrigued me how police were abusing their power and authority”.

This committee has many plans for the future and they are all looking really well. A future plan is to sell buttons relating to recent, controversial police brutality cases. This will raise awareness towards police brutality and will also help raise money for different charities that help families who have been affected by police brutality. This committee has a lot of potential and we must do our best to help support it. This subcommittee is open to all members of Helping Hands, so if you feel very strongly about this topic, it would be a great idea to join. Be on the look out for new events that will be hosted by the Police Brutality Subcommittee.

The Job Market Within Social Media

As time progresses, people have found more new and creative ways to make a living. Over the past couple of decades, the internet has become one of the most essential parts of our society. Social media in turn has become one of the fastest and most popular ways to communicate with those not only who are near us, but people who are on the opposite side of the world. One of the most creative “internet jobs” are making videos and uploading them to social media.

Source: SocialTimes

Source: SocialTimes

One person with a great following, Nash Grier, who is the most followed on Vine with an overwhelming number of 13.7 million fans on his combined accounts, posts 6 second videos which receives on average 9 million loops (or views) each and gets payed about $10,000 for every video he makes. Another popular video playing site in which the creators get paid for is YouTube. Pewdiepie, the most subscribed YouTuber with over 36 million subscribers, uploads videos almost everyday, making over $4 million only on ad sales. Other sites that include making money off of video uploads are Snapchat and the live streaming platform, YouNow. Advertising on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter also leads to what is called “internet famous people” who have a vast number of followers and gets paid if they advertise products and companies on their accounts. Social media doesn’t only allow people to make money off of videos or posts, it also inspired many people, such as YouTubers including but not limited to Connor Franta, Shane Dawson, Tanya Burr, Zoe Sugg, Alfie Deyes, Joe Sugg, and Joey Graceffa to write books about their lives and experiences. Social media creates an amazing platform in which people can express themselves, share it with others and create an actual profession out of.

Gender Gaps In BSGE and Other NYC Public Schools Reply

The number of female students versus male students in high schools varies over New York City. BSGE’s population consists of more female students than male students. Like BSGE, Townsend Harris High School and Forest Hills High School also have a majority of girls attending these schools. On the other hand, Specialized High Schools like Bronx Science and Stuyvesant High School have a majority of boys attending the school.

School Name Female Students (%) Male Students (%)
Baccalaureate School for Global Education 56.49 43.51
Townsend Harris High School 70.57 29.43
Forest Hills High School 52.01 47.99
Bronx Science High School 43.46 56.54
Stuyvesant High School 41.13 58.87 

Why is this? Males score higher on the SHSAT, the test required for attending Specialized High Schools. Along with this, there are more adolescent males in New York City than females. In the US, the ratio of males to females is 105:100. This could obviously contribute to having more boys than girls in high schools. More…

The Straight Word on Posture Reply

A regular school day in BSGE includes around 285 minutes of sitting, not including a gym or yoga class. Within that time, how we sit in our navy blue with a slight tint of green chairs is a topic that is very much overlooked. So, just what does a “good posture” look like, and why is it so important?

According to the American Chiropractic Association, posture is defined as “the position in which we hold our bodies while standing, sitting, or lying down.” Good posture, also called “neutral spine,” is when the back has three natural curves. The neck and lower back should curve slightly inwards, while the upper back should turn outwards. When your back curves properly, your muscles are more efficient and less likely to be strained, your bones and joints maintain their proper alignment, and your ligaments become less stressed and less prone to damage. However, when these curves are too slight, too exaggerated, or in the wrong direction entirely, your posture is poor and can have negative consequences on your health, causing back injuries and pain.

Good posture looks slightly different depending on if you are sitting, standing, or lying down. Sitting, it involves uncrossed legs, flat feet, knees below hips, a straight back, and forearms parallel to the ground. Good posture when standing is knees slightly bent, legs shoulder-width apart, arms hanging naturally, shoulders pulled backwards, and a straight neck. If you are lying down, the way to keep good posture is to be on your side or back, rather than on your stomach. More…

The Overlooked Part of Your Routine Fruit Reply

Bananas rank amongst some of the most popular fruits in the supermarket. During this last year, the retail giant Walmart reported that bananas sold more than any other item available within the store.

Despite its popularity, not many people know about the history of the banana and contrary to popular belief the scientific findings are eye-opening. Bananas are good for your health, and are packed with vitamins, and nutrients. They are low in calories and contain high amounts of potassium.

That’s the key to the banana’s radioactivity: Potassium. Potassium is essential to the human body, and other complex life forms. It is used to transmit nerve signals and it is commonly found in the membranes of our cells. Potassium comes in 3 different isotopes, one of which possesses radioactive qualities. This isotope is found in almost all fruits that are rich in potassium, and is one of the biggest sources of radioactive exposure on the human body second only to exposure to sunlight. The radioactivity of one banana represents about 1/100 of the radioactive exposure we encounter throughout the More…

Knicks: Setting Records Reply

The Knicks? Setting records? Most basketball fans are well aware of the Knicks’ inability to win games and rise through NBA standings. So how are they setting records? The Knicks have set a team record for most consecutive losses. Outdoing their previous 12 loss streak in 1984-85, the Knicks suffered their 13th loss recently to the Wizards. Although this was just a small part of the NBA season, it is still quite clear that the Knicks are unable to secure any significant amount of wins. Many Knicks fans wonder how this could possibly be happening with their current roster. But analysis from different experts as well as stats, attribute the Knicks’ lack of success to major flaws in their defense.

Another one of the Knicks most damaging attributes include their abysmal free throw stats. Their current 18.8 and previously 15.4 free throw attempts (FTA) average per game nears some of the worst averages in NBA history. Coach Derek Fisher comments on his teams’ lackluster FTA average by saying, “If we can do a better job of defending without fouling, which would put us into the open floor more, into more transition situations, now we can get some guys that are really good for us in those moments to the front of the basket. And also just as they get more comfortable understanding within the offense where the opportunities are to attack and get downhill and be aggressive as opposed to thinking, ‘OK, let’s just stay in the offense.’” He is clearly singling out the Knicks defense as their main setback, linking it to fatal offensive problems as well. More…

Avengers: Age of Ultron Preview Reply

Avengers: Age of Ultron is a superhero film based on the Avengers team from Marvel Comics. The comics are produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. The movie is the sequel to Marvel’s The Avengers from 2012 and the eleventh movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The movie was created and directed by Joss Whedon and has a cast that includes Robert Downey, Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Mark Ruffalo as Hulk, Chris Evans as Captain America, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye (Clint Barton), Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Quicksilver, and Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch. The movie also has James Spader as Ultron, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Paul Bettany as Vision, Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill, Tom Hiddleston as Loki, Stellan Skarsgård as Erik Selvig, and Don Cheadle as Colonel James Rhodes. In Avengers: Age of Ultron, the Avengers must work together to defeat Ultron, a technological enemy wanting human extinction.

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After the successful release of the first Avengers movie in May 2012, the sequel was announced. By the time Whedon had completed the first draft of the script, it was April 2013. In June, casting began to take place starting with the re-signing of Downey. Some filming started in February 2014 in South Africa with principal photography taking place between March and August 2014. The film was mostly shot at Shepperton Studios in Surrey, with some scenes filmed in Italy, South Korea, Bangladesh, New York, and various locations around England.

Matthew Olfino ’19, a comic book lover said that the trailer “was very ominous and looked like a horror film because of how the music’s tone was a bit creepy.” He liked the villain’s entrance within the trailer, and how “it has his deep voice being the narrator that becomes more human as the trailer goes on.” Olfino added, “I’m most excited about the X-Men and the Hulk Buster, which is something that I’ve been waiting for to be revealed sometime. More…