BL Raises Cancer Awarness with No Shave November

In November, or as it is now referred to as Movember or No Shave November, the gentlemen of Boys’ Latin and around the world put down their razors. Whether it is a patchy or full beard, a creepy mustache, or a rockin’ goatee, the Lakers are proud to show off their facial hair.

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An example of a rockin’ goatee (Alec Blume, 17′)

According to Movember.comThe Movember Foundation is a global charity committed to men living happier, healthier, longer lives.” Raising awareness for cancer specifically in males by growing beards is essentially “wearing pink”, as what some athletes, students, and teachers to do in October for breast cancer awareness.

The Movember team mission is to “create positive change for men’s health by raising awareness and educating men year-round, and through our take-over of the month formerly known as November.”

Boys’ Latin, in the past couple of years, has teamed up with Movember by allowing its students to raise money for the cause and in return allowing its students to grow their beards. Students around the Upper School are relieved to put down their razors for a month, and faculty members realize that as well.

Librarian Mrs. Ricci, who sees pretty much all the boys each day in the library, noticed that “the boys feel more relaxed because it’s one less thing to worry about in the morning.” 

Mrs. Ricci, who sees a lot of underclassmen in study hall and free periods, enjoys when those who can’t grow the best facial hair try to during November.

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Junior Braden Atkinson’s  clean chin strap

“I Like like the spirited attempts at being included. I think it’s neat that they know they’re not going to grow a full beard, but they are putting themselves out there,” Mrs. Ricci stated. 

Sophomore Basil Aburn said that “not having to worry about shaving every day or two was the best part about it.” Basil won the “best beard” contest for sophomores. “It was itchy at times, and there were a few days that I really wanted to shave it, but at the end, I wish I could’ve kept it.”

Senior Will Page, who arguably had the best beard out of all the students, and the winner of the “best beard” contest for seniors, was excited to go on a journey in growing his beard.

Growing my beard was a trek; somedays it was really itchy and I wanted to shave it off; other days I liked it because I looked like Hugh Jackman’s stunt man, Page said.

Throughout Movember, the Boys’ Latin team raised over $670 which all will be donated to a variety of cancer organizations.

Now that December is here, all the beards are gone, and while the faculty and administration might be happy, the students might feel otherwise.

SDLC Proved to be Powerful Experience

This year’s national Student Diversity Leadership Conference took place in Florida which included 1,600 participants. The main focus of the conference was to bring together all kinds of students to gain a better understanding of other people’s cultures. The biggest take away for many was that even though some behaviors are not accepted by society, these things should still be done because it is what makes the universe different.

Matt Luterman, a student at Boys Latin was a little unsure of the conference at first: “I wasn’t sure what to expect. I didn’t know whether I’d have fun or not considering it was a conference.” But after the conference was over, he said, “The conference changed me as a man and a person. I realize how important it is to be acceptable and willing to accept what other people are like.”

Victoria Bennett, a student at Garrison Forrest, had a different approach stating that she, “feared that I would get lost in the crowd, I wouldn’t make any friends, and that my voice would not be heard.” But by the time she left there she felt like she,  “could be raw and real around my group and other people. Because they were so accepting of me, I now aim to be that accepting of other people that I meet.”

Each group was lead by two adults that ranged from the ages of 19 – 50. In total, there were 32 groups with at least 50 students in each group which were also referred to as family groups. Within those rooms, topics ranged from race, sexuality, gender, religion, and culture.

Race, which is defined as the color of one’s skin, was a major a topic which fueled a lot of great discussions. Zaria Glover, a Garrison Forrest student, experienced race discussions with “a Fishbowl activity where everyone sits in a circle and when the race that you identify with is called, you move into the circle and have a conversation with other people in your affinity group. As individuals sit there, those who are not sitting inside of the circle are sitting silently as they take in what they are hearing to get a better understanding of that culture and the prejudice that they experience daily.”

Sexuality, on the other hand, had multiple labels which included gay, lesbian, queer, and heterosexual. After breaking up into groups based upon what one is identified as, the groups began to speak out on how independent schools deal with those who are not heterosexual. Many people felt as though they are not accepted if they attend a single-sex school while those who go to schools with both sexes don’t feel like they are ostracized as much as those of single-sex schools.

For the most part, what people liked most were the affinity groups that were broken down by one’s nationality. The biggest experience that was spoken about the most was the experiences that took place within the black affinity group which was described as being an everyday ritual where the black affinity group chanted I’m black I’m proud constantly at the top of their lungs that could be heard outside of the hotel.

Pistorius Found Guilty in Murder of Girlfriend

Former Olympic runner Oscar Pistorius was found guilty in the murder of girlfriend and model Reeva Steenkamp on December 2nd in Johannesburg. Pistorius, the first paralympic athlete to participate in the Olympic games, shot his girlfriend in February 2013 when he thought an intruder had entered his house.

Pistorius was originally found guilty of culpable homicide in September 2014 and was originally sentenced to five years. He spent last year on house arrest as part of his original sentence. But, South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that the lower court did not correctly apply the rule of dolus eventualis – whether Pistorius knew that a death would be a likely result of his action according to CNN. 

According to Pistorius’ testimony, he assumed Steenkamp was an intruder and opened fire through his bathroom door. The South African court has yet to determine his sentence, but the law states it will be a minimum of 15 years behind bars. According to CNN, Steenkamp’s family remained stone-faced during the trial.

The entire event in and of itself is a tragedy for both parties involved. Pistorius lost not only his life and his freedom but his love. The Steenkamp’s lost their beloved daughter and have to continue to live with the consequences every day. Lobbyists have been concerned with gun sales in South Africa after the incident.

Pistorius’ side argued whether his act of self-defense was justifiable or not, and Supreme Judge Leach was very wary.

It was “common sense” that Pistorius must have known he was carrying out a potentially lethal act that “gambled with life” when he fired his gun through the closed toilet door, he said.

“All the shots fired through the door would almost inevitably have struck the person behind it. There would be effectively no place to hide,” Leach said.

According to BBC, Pistorius can challenge the ruling in the constitutional court but only if his lawyers can argue that his constitutional rights have been violated. This seems unlikely, but maybe Pistorius will wait out to see his sentence before appealing. The double amputee was released from house arrest on October 19th under “correctional supervision.”

Prosecutors have yet to set the date for Pistorius’ sentence, but it is expected to happen before the new year. Worth noting also is that no arrest warrant has been placed on Pistorius as of yet.

Johnny Manziel: Starter to Benchwarmer Following Bye Week

On November 24, 2015, Johnny Manziel was demoted to third string quarterback behind McCown and practice member Austin Davis.

Meanwhile, this was exactly one week after he was named the starter for the rest of the season. Manziel was home in Texas for the Browns’ bye week and did exactly what he shouldn’t have over the bye.  He was told to be careful over, and he vowed to be on his best behavior.

However, videos and pictures surfaced of Manziel partying and sipping on Dom Perignon at his two favorite Austin bars Rio Rooftop and Summit Rooftop Lounge according to SBNation.

Following news of this incident, the Cleveland Browns demoted Manziel from his starting position to third string quarterback. This was tremendous news leading into Monday Night Football against the Ravens.

The NFL is not sure if he is violating any terms of his treatment program by what he’s doing in the video, but the incident is definitely alarming for the Browns coaching staff after all the chances they have provided Manziel to prove himself off the field.

The Browns coaching staff was far from happy after Manziel’s incident. “‘He’s done some things to affect that trust, clearly,'” said Pettine. “‘And it’s something that we talk about. He understands it and he knows that with these expectations there comes great responsibility. That’s something that he knows he has to live up to,'” according to Cleveland.com.

The staff stayed true to their punishment and did not put Manziel in when McCown went down injured in the Ravens game on Monday night.  Instead, they named Austin Davis the starter as McCown is out for the season.

Johnny Manziel has broken the Browns’ trust far too many times, and this time, they really punished him and stayed true to their word.

Johnny Manziel was coming off the best week of his career against the Pittsburgh Steelers with a 73.3 composition, 372 yards, one touchdown, and an interception.  This added up to a 95.8 rating according to Google stats.

Manziel was just cleared by the NFL right before the Steelers breakout game for a possible violation of the conduct policy after his roadway incident with his girlfriend featuring potential domestic violence. He also admitted to drinking during the day of that incident with his girlfriend Colleen Crowley on October 12th. 

Not only that, but Manziel confessed to alcoholism during the offseason and spent 10 weeks in an addiction-treatment facility in the offseason.

Manziel’s future is in speculation, and it could very well not end in Cleveland. SBNation sent out multiple reports stating teams interested in him such as the Cowboys, 49ers, and other teams that lost their quarterback for the year or needed a new starter.

Video of drinking can be found here: http://dailycaller.com/2015/11/23/browns-qb-johnny-manziel-spent-his-weekend-gettin-drunk-as-a-skunk-video/

Mystery of AirAsia May Finally be Solved

Almost a year after the Indonesian AirAsia airbus crash on December 28th, 2014, more wreckage has been discovered from the plane. The aircraft went missing while above the Java Sea on a trip from Surabaya to Singapore. At the conclusion of the first investigation, investigators had initially said that the stormy weather in the area was a major factor in the crash reported by BBC; now they are not so sure.

It is said that faulty equipment in the plane was the main factor in the crash. Officials say that the plane’s rudder control system malfunctioned four times during the flight and had occurred 23 times in the previous year. This was because of a cracked soldering connection in the system which sent warning signals to the pilots also reported by BBC.

To fix this problem midflight, the crew on board tried resetting the computer system which then disengaged the autopilot. Once it was disabled, the pilots lost control of the plane.

The co-pilot took over and pulled up on the controls making the plan angle upward and then stall. The pilot tried to push down to bring the nose down but was too late.

Overall, all 162 passengers were killed which included 17 children and a baby. Only 106 bodies have been recovered since the discovery of the crash. The recovery of the remaining bodies has been recently terminated reported by ABC News.

When the plane crashed, NBC News reported that in the final moments, the plane rolled 104 degrees to the left before nose diving at a rate of up to 20,000 feet per minute into the sea. The nose reached a peak angle of 24 degrees before the captain ordered to pull down.

Officials say if the pilots were better trained, this problem was easily avoidable. The co-pilot was at the controls at the time of the crash, and the captain did not take control once the plane started to be pulled up required by the airline’s procedures. This was all recorded in the ‘black box’ flight recorder.

The captain tried pushing forward on the controls to bring the plane’s nose down when he realized they were at a too steep of an incline. The co-pilot kept pulling on his controls, canceling the pilot’s controls because of the plane’s automated fly-by-wire system.

This system is made to cancel out opposing instructions through the plane’s controls to cause the plane to be more stable. So when the co-pilot was pulling up and the pilot was pushing down, the pilot’s commands were cancelled out.

Top Five Dog Breeds According to Mark Gray

According to the American Kennel Club, there are 178 officially recognized dog breeds, but there over 400 breeds around the world. All of these dogs have different appearances, and they have different personalities. Below are my top five favorite dog breeds:

From: Pintrest.com

5.  Golden Retriever. This breed of dog has arguably the cutest puppy stage, and they are known to be great companions. When asked about what he thinks is the cutest type of puppy, freshman Justice Brown said, “Golden retrievers no doubt.” Golden retrievers are typically great family dogs, and they interact well with people of all ages. They are full of energy, and they are always ready to play.

 

4.  The next breed of dog on my list is an Australian Shepherd. Australian Shepherds, also known as Aussies, come in a few different sizes. There is the typical Aussie which, according to dogbreedinfo, weighs in anywhere from 50-65 pounds. They also come in mini and toy sizes.

Regardless of their size, Aussies are known for their incredible athleticism as well as their famous Blue Merle color. They are often featured in competitions.  Check out the video below to see just how athletic they are.

aussie

From: Australain-Shepherdlovers.com

3.  The third dog breed on my list is the Siberian Husky.  Siberian Huskies are very close relatives of the wolf, and they show many traits of this. They typically have blue eyes, and they grow to be fairly larger dogs.  They, like golden retrievers, have extremely cute puppies.

Siberian Huskies are very smart dogs, and they are very active as well. They require large amounts of exercise and patience. Siberian Huskies are great dogs, but if they are trained improperly, they can wreak havoc.

husky

From: sv.wikipedia.org

2.  The next breed of dog on the list is the German Shepherd. Often times, German Shepherds are on the negative end of pre-judgement. Many people associate these dogs with violence, which is a misconception as violence is not in the nature of these dogs.

German Shepherds are incredibly smart, which is shown as the police force uses them to help solve crimes. They have very powerful noses, and they are eager to learn. German Shepherds do not just serve as work dogs as they are great companions as well.

German Shepherds are full of energy, and they need large amounts of exercise.

German-Shepherd

From: nextdaypets

The number one dog breed on the list is the Beagle! These dogs are very cute, full of energy, and very smart. Beagles are extremely intelligent, but they require an immense amount of patience as they are very stubborn dogs. They are great family dogs, and they are good with people of all ages.

beagle

From: vstreet

All dogs can be great as long as they are well trained. Different dogs have different personalities that match different people. There are so many dogs, with such varied personalities, that there is sure to be a perfect match for everyone.

Climate Change is Addressed in Paris

196 leaders of countries assembled in Paris for a United Nations meeting to try and create policies that could benefit climate change.

Global and regional climate patterns are continually changing in the world with every season change. But, according to the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, average surface temperatures on Earth are getting higher in every season.

Climate change is creating many issue8191135654_334d79e2f0_os. The Daily News said that alone climate change has worsened California’s drought by 20%. Antartica, Alaska, Texas, the French Alps, the North West Cargo passage off of Antartica, the Pacific Islands, and the Great Barrier Reef all have also been impacted negatively from climate change.

It’s extremely important that the conference is able to create solutions because otherwise there will be many more consequences to come in the future. The economies of the world need to become cleaner and as soon as possible, otherwise climate change effects will cost all of humanity very much in the nearby future.

People need to realize that science does have some credibility in proving that humans are a big part of the problem to climate change. Many people put off the topic of climate change and only categorize it as a small problem that might not even be real. But the fact is climate change is real, and the United Nations wouldn’t be having a huge conference in Paris if it was not the case.

The main mission of this year’s conference is to lower greenhouse gas emissions. France is a leading country in regard to its greenhouse gas emissions and overall a role model for other countries when it comes to energy systems.

During the conferences, the leaders discussed numerous solutions and ideas to create better and more efficient energy systems. They discussed many different energy resources throughout the conference, but the most successful and efficient were talks relating to nuclear, hydroelectric, and wind systems.

Many advocates of clean and renewable energy resources have been protesting a lot more than usual. Record crowds of protestors took the streets in Paris right before the first day of the conference on November 29.

The New York Times reported, “In a major breakthrough, 184 governments have already submitted plans detailing how they will cut their domestic emissions after 2020.” The article also noted, “The agreement is also expected to require countries to return to the table at least once every 10 years with even more stringent emissions reduction pledges.”

Over the next ten years, many countries will begin to start implementing their plans into their economies, and hopefully by 2030, most of them will be almost completely off of natural gasses.

The Act on Climate March in Quebec City, on April 11th, 2015, was led by First Nations to protest governmental inaction on the issue. Main concerns included oil exploitation and transportation by pipeline. My goal with this photograph is to ensure their voices are heard.