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SMC Express November 2021

Welcome!

Firstly, we would like to thank all returning readers to the SMC Express, and of course, we welcome any newcomers to our school newspaper. This edition is a special one as we are delighted to showcase an article by the Head of Biological Sciences in UL (and SMC Parents Council member) who explores the issue of healthy eating – a topic of utmost importance in today’s world. And, like every other iteration of the Express, we bring you a variety of articles on a range of matters, categorized below as follows: School Events, Media Reviews, Sports, and Culture and Environment.

Don’t forget, contact Mr. O’Connell (toconnell@stmunchinscollege.ie) if you would like to get involved in the SMC Express.

special feature

Why do we need to talk about obesity? - By Ioannis Zabetakis Pg 1

School Events PG3 - 6

SMC Green Schools - By Rory Moloney Pg 3

Vex Robotics Competition 2021-2022 - By Jack Norris Pg 4

Board Games Club - By Ben Sheehan Pg 5

Killary Adventure Centre - By Jason Tynne Grehan Pg 6

Media reviews Pg 7 - 17

Dune Review - By Nate Rivers Pg 7

Dune Trailer - Pg 8

No Time To Die Review - By Ríon O'Neill Pg 9

No Time To Die Trailer - Pg 10

Far Cry 6 Review - By Robert Wallace Pg 11 - 16

FIFA 22 Review - By Jack Koyce Pg 17

Sports Pg 18 - 20

Antonio Conte - Right Fit For Spurs? - By Conor Hall Pg 18

The Most Successful Formula One Driver Of All Time - By Niall McGuane Pg 19

Sports Podcast - Pg 20

culture and environment Pg 21 - 26

An Essay On My Home Town - By Hershal Jayson Pg 21

The Holy Month Of Muslims -By Qeyiam Safi Pg 22

La Palma Volcano Eruption - By Josh Manley Pg 23

What Is Sustainable Agriculture - By John McKeogh Pg 24

Facebook Is Changing Its Name To Meta - By Nate Rivers Pg 25

The Greatest Chess Game Of The Century - By Ríon O'Neill Pg 26

speciAL FEATURE

Why do we need to talk about obesity?

Ioannis Zabetakis

Head, Biological Sciences

University of Limerick

ioannis.zabetakis@ul.ie

@yanzabet

According to the latest available data, Ireland has the second highest rate of obesity in EU, with more than a quarter of the adult population classified as such. A survey on weight by Eurostat found that 26 per cent of Irish adults were obese in 2019, well ahead of the EU average of 16 per cent and trailing only Malta, where the rate was 28 per cent. In a 2015 survey of World Health Organisation (WHO), by 2030, Europe will face an obesity crisis of “enormous proportions”. In terms of obesity alone, the estimates show a big jump for women in the Irish Republic, soaring from 23 per cent to 57 per cent. The proportion of obese Irish men was expected to increase from 26 per cent to 48 per cent.

But why do we need to talk about obesity?

Obesity is not only linked with a stigma in societal terms, but it is also a serious public health problem as it significantly increases the risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type-2 diabetes, hypertension, coronary heart diseases and certain cancers.

A balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle are our best shields against gaining excess weight. In terms of balanced diet, the Irish Food Pyramid (Figure) that is taught in all schools in Ireland has two major flaws: both fats and oils and meat and fish are grouped together.

Food pyramid 2016

From a food chemistry and nutritional point of view, these are major scientific mistakes. The cardioprotective properties of fats differ dramatically between processed fats (e.g. crisps) and natural fats (e.g. nuts, dried fruits, olive oil). The information that passes to our students and the public is that all fats are the same, but this is not the case. Some fats actually have strong cardioprotective properties (i.e. fats in fish, vegetable oils, olives etc.). Meat and fish have distinctive nutritional values (fish being much healthier) in terms of cardio protection so it is a major oversight to group these foods.

In terms of a healthy lifestyle, it is of utmost importance and urgency to promote sports and physical activity. We do not need to be champions in a sport but exercising 2-3 times a week can help us in maintaining a healthy weight.

Finally, we would like to highlight that there are five longevity hotspots in the World, called Blue Zones. It would be useful to look into how they live people in the Blue Zones. You can start your journey into the Blue Zones concept by doing this 3-minute test and then read on how these populations live. We can easily adopt some of their good habits in our everyday life. And remember, we do not need to be extreme to be healthy, but few little changes in our diet and lifestyle can have a major positive health impact.

School events

SMC Green schools

By Rory Moloney

Hi, I am part of the green schools committee. In this article I will be explaining what we do at green schools. This year our focus is on traffic congestion and trying to improve the number of cyclists and pedestrians coming and going to school. Our main goal is to have calmer traffic in and out of the school in the mornings and in the evenings. We are also trying to make the school a greener place. Green schools means making your own school a cleaner environment in all different ways. As I mentioned earlier one of our main goals is to try to help with traffic congestion, the way we are hoping to achieve this is by trying to encourage as many students as possible to either cycle or walk to improve the flow of traffic. All of this will help us achieve the travel flag.

Cleaning is one way to make the school a cleaner place. We are trying to get a lot more bins into the school which we are hoping is going to reduce waste in the school and also , another way is reducing global warming. By reducing the number of cars coming and going to school it will decrease the amount of greenhouse gases warming up the planet. We have also been accepted into the safe journey to school program which has given the school a fund to improve the areas around the school to make students journey to school and home from school easier

Vex Robotics Competition 2021-2022

By Jack Norris

The Vex Robotics competition is an annual competition in Ireland that a group of our school’s TYs will be participating in this year. In this competition different schools will be building and coding a robot to participate in a game to earn points.

This year's competition is “Tipping Point”; to win the game you must score more points than the opposing team by placing rings in goals and moving goals into your team's zone.

This competition provides students at secondary schools with a fun challenge and a chance to learn and improve at many new skills. This program also helps students to decide their future career path with 95% of participants reporting an interest in STEM subject areas or careers. We wish our TYs the best of luck with this year's competition.

Board Games Club

With the return of schools and their students this September a new roster of first year students came into our college. The club was established to provide a friendly environment for many First Year Students who may be struggling to socialize and adapt to the Secondary School setting. Within the club there are several classic board games to be played such as Chess, Draughts, Battleships, Snakes & Ladders and Card Games. These games create easy and fluid conversation between students that aids them in both social skills and life skills.

Each week members are encouraged to try their hand at a different game with a different opponent, team games are also encouraged. Players can set sail on the harsh seas of sinking Battleships, embark on business ventures in Monopoly or go to the battlefield of Chess or Draughts desperately trying to outwit their opponent.

In the future the Board Games Club hopes to organize a board games tournament for First- & Second-Year students. This tournament would consist of several rounds and each round would feature a classic board game such as Chess, Draughts, Snakes & Ladders or Card Games.

Board Games Club takes place every Thursday in Room C9. All First-Year students are welcome to attend the club on their lunch break, they are also welcome to bring their lunch with them when attending. The club is organized by Transition Year Students and supervised by Mr. O'Connell.

Killary Adventure Centre

Killary adventure center is an activity centre located in Connemara between the border of Mayo and Galway. It has a main building with a bedroom lodge reception and canteen. There is also the dome which is where you go in the evening for the evening games. There are a lot of activities which are good fun, some of their activities include archery, kayaking, gorge walking the bog run and giant swings.

The rooms are decent, there are three bunk beds room for six people, two bedside tables, a bin and a closet for your clothes and other things, there is also a bathroom in each room. For the meals you have breakfast at nine o'clock and we have toast, cereal croissants and juice or water. For lunch we had sandwiches, soup, fruit, and wraps. For dinner we had spaghetti Bolognese and chicken and potatoes.

For free time in the evening, you could play pool you could relax in the lounge go outside with a ball or you could just stay in your room and relax for the evening games you would go with your groups and play soccer or dodge ball or other things like sitting around a bonfire or hanging out in the canteen.

Overall, it was a good school trip, and I would recommend it to others as it was very enjoyable and there were lots of great activities.

Media Reviews

Dune Review

By Nate Rivers

Dune, written by Frank Herbert, is often regarded as possibly the most influential science-fiction novel ever made with several adaptations of the story over the decades since the books release. It has been an inspiration for franchises such as Star Wars so with the new Dune movie adaptation being released, there are a lot of expectations for it to exceed previous adaptations and honor the original novels.

Denis Villeneuve is the director of the movie and is responsible for many recent critically acclaimed movies such as Blade Runner 2049, Sicario, Prisoners, Enemy and Arrival. The newest Dune movie has made the decision to adapt the original novel over the course of two movies, there are positive and negative consequences of this decision which affect the film. The movie is given the appropriate amount of time to faithfully adapt its source material but at the expense of the movie not having a satisfying conclusion until its sequel is confirmed and released.

Denis Villeneuve has created a great story with mesmerizing shots, Hans Zimmer’s soundtrack is outstanding, and the cast have given fantastic performances. While my only potential complaint with the movie is that it can’t be watched without its sequel to have a good conclusion, it is also worth mentioning that this movie may be hard for people to follow if you are not giving it your full attention.

No Time to Die Movie Review

By Ríon O'Neill

If you are familiar with cinema, it is highly likely that you are also familiar with the name James Bond. The James Bond films have been a part of cinema since May 8th, 1963, with Dr. No being released to North America. Over fifty-eight years later, the iconic franchise continues with its twenty-fifth film, No Time to Die, Daniel Craig’s fifth and final movie as the famous character.

No Time to Die had a lot of expectations on it, it was delayed for eighteen months and was burdened with the task of creating a satisfactory conclusion to what is possibly the best and most famous James Bond. While I will avoid revealing any specific plot points, I do think that overall, this movie is great but does not deliver on a good ending. The cinematography is very impressive in certain scenes, and I was especially impressed by the choreography and directing of a fight scene which was all one continuous shot.

The story has a lot of strong aspects, especially within the second act. There is one scene in the second act that is particularly good at sustaining tension and suspense by letting you know of an imminent danger in the scene that the characters are unaware of.

Far Cry 6 review

By Robert Wallace

Far Cry 6 is the latest addition to the ever expanding Far Cry series of open world, first person shooter games made by Ubisoft. The game series has been running since 2004 when the first installment was made by Crytek and published by Ubisoft. It has come a long way since then and has changed a lot, be it for better or for worse with 7 sequels those being: Far Cry 2, 3, 3 Blood Dragon, 4, Primal, 5, New Dawn and the previously mentioned latest and arguably greatest Far Cry 6. Far Cry has gone through many settings in its time from the African Savannah to the Himalayan mountains and even a post-apocalyptic wasteland.

Setting

The setting in this game, however, is something completely different, being the Caribbean country of Yara an amazing place giving views that vary from jungles ridden mountains to the calming shores of an archipelago, views we haven’t seen before in Far Cry that provide as an epic backdrop in fights or a relaxing scene to chill out to, all this being in the midst of a revolution as you try to take down the country’s ruling dictator Antón Castillo, played by actor Giancarlo Esposito of Breaking Bad and The Mandalorian fame to name a few. They used his character amazingly in the marketing where he would answer questions, give challenges and taunt viewers. It built up hype for the game while spawning memes and jokes which inadvertently boost the popularity of the game and increase the chance that people will buy it.

Story

The story of this game is great and this time, for the first time in 2 Far Cry games you have a voiced protagonist while still having the option to choose between being female and male protagonist. The story follows you Dani Rojas a Yaran born orphan as you work with a variety of allies from a drunken war vet to a pair of DJs who are hiding out in a swamp. The map is split up into 7 areas, 2 tutorial areas, 3 minor villain areas and the 2 final areas which are home to Antón himself. Each minor boss area has a faction that you need to assist in order to get them on your side. There are tons of missions and bases in each province, and they can be taken on in a variety of ways that range from a stealthy insurgence where you disable alarms, take out cameras and assassinate guards to a full out assault with guns blazing, alarms blaring and RPG in hand aided by your supremo and amigo of choice.

Gameplay

In terms of gameplay, it is incredible. It still gives that classic Far Cry feel while improving on some features that brought the previous games down. There are many new features such as the supremos, bandito operations, resolver weapons, AA canons that shoot down any aircraft that enter their covered area, secret weapons hidden around the map that come pre-upgraded and have a sleek new coat of paint, mini-games like cockfighting and dominoes, while also updated features from past games like the base mechanic from Far Cry New Dawn. However instead of having one large base in the corner of the map you have one smaller one in each main area that you can upgrade to have special features and areas such as a scout hut where you can purchase hideouts across the map that spawn with a vehicle to fast travel to and speaking of the map is the biggest one to date being roughly 34 square miles including water. Your clothing also comes with a little extra something in that each item comes with a bonus that helps you in some way.

Guns And Vehicles

The guns in this game have their own touch of Far Cry and fit in perfectly with games setting and themes with some guns being from WW2 and others being made from scrap and junk like a fireworks launcher made from parts of a jukebox and a slot machine. They feel satisfying to use and there are a lot of them, 102 to be exact (109 if you include the supremos) and that doesn’t even include the DLC weapons. The weapons come in different categories those being rifles, smgs, shotguns, sniper rifles, explosive launchers, pistols, machine pistols, lmgs, bows and resolver weapons. Each weapon (with the exception of special weapons which are found around the map) can be upgraded and customized with things like optics, laser sights, grips, explosive ammo and more. The vehicles in Far Cry have always been a point of contention for me they have either been overpowered to the point where they can solo missions that would normally provide a challenge or they serve no purpose in the face of fast travel. But here I feel they are done to a T. With the addition of tanks, the vehicles in this game are both fun and helpful but not to a degree where they solo missions for you. The tanks, and all other vehicles have their own weaknesses and strengths that make them each ideal for a different job.

Summary

All in all, Far Cry 6 is an incredible breath of fresh air in the series after 2 games that became stale for me very quickly. All the new features and improvements over previous installments in the series helped keep it fresh and exciting. The story is one of hate, deceit, and a rebellion’s struggle to overcome a brutal dictator, the setting is new and beautiful, the gameplay is still as reminiscent as ever of old Far Cry such as 3, or Blood Dragon and the guns and vehicles are enjoyable and satisfying to use, plus with the huge amount of them the game will provide hours of entertainment as there will nearly always be something new to try in the game can vary from 15 to 100+ hours depending on what pace you are playing and if you do any side content (some users having taken over 150 hours). And if you ever feel lonely you can always play co-op with a friend, however the lack of a new game plus mode takes away from the replay-ability of the game. There are also several DLCs coming in the future that allow you to play as 3 of Far Cry’s most notorious villains which bodes well for the game's future. Overall this could be the best Far Cry to date, I give it an 8.5/10.

FIFA 22 REVIEW

By Jack Koyce

WHAT IS FIFA?

FIFA 22 is an EA SPORTS product that EA bring out every year. It is a football game that releases between September to October.

FIFA is a game that I get every year because I love football, play football and play football games. I think FIFA is a very good quality game.

The game modes in FIFA are:

  • Kick Off
  • FIFA Ultimate Team
  • Career Mode
  • VOLTA Football
  • UEFA Champions League
  • Pro Clubs
  • Tournaments
  • Skill Games

It is a very fun game to play if you like football or even if you don’t. All the game modes are very enjoyable and different in their own way. My favourite game definitely is FIFA. The main game mode I play is Ultimate Team.

There is also a lot of things people don’t like about FIFA. The main thing that people dislike is the gameplay. People say it is two slow and could easily be better. The main thing I dislike the most is the glitches that can happen throughout the game. I think that if they could fix them even a small bit it would also make the game better. The normally is not any bugs but if there is they try to fix them as soon as possible.

I don’t think that they need to make many improvements. As long as they keep making the graphics as good as possible to game will just keep getting better and better.

OVERALL OPINION

My overall opinion on FIFA 22 is that I would rate it a 9/10. The other 1 mark is docked due to the bugs and glitches. If they can proceed to fix them throughout the game it will be a 10/10 in my opinion.

sports

Antonio Conte- Right fit for Spurs?

By Conor Hall

We have seen from Conte’s past that he is a natural winner. He is also proven in England while he was the manager of Chelsea. Conte is a safe choice from the Spurs board of directors because if Conte can do one thing it’s providing security for a team to succeed. However, despite his glistering CV, I’m not fully convinced of Conte back in England despite his recent successes with Chelsea and more recently Inter Milan in the Serie A. The main reason I have my doubts is due to how the English game has developed since Conte’s title winning season with Chelsea. More and more English teams are trying to adapt to this 3-5-2 formation that Conte excelled with Chelsea but while teams have been learning to do well in this formation, there has also been teams that have learned to defend and counter this style of play too.

Although that’s a reason why Conte might not succeed, I will look at the reasons that it is also highly possible that this Spurs team gets re-vitalized under Conte and pushes for Champions League football this season.

The style of play that Conte plays massively favors the likes of Matt Doherty and Sergio Reguillon. These are two very attack minded full backs who could be lethal on a counterattack, The only issue for Spurs would be finding who to play in the three central defensive positions with Christian Romero being the only top-quality center half at the club. I see it highly possible that new Spurs man Emerson Royal to be given a chance at that right center back roll. Then comes to the final place along the back 3. This spot is really up for grabs and I can see multiple players getting to try out in that position but ultimately, I think Ben Davies or Davidson Sanchez will edge out Joe Rodon and Eric Dier as you need a quicker player to play on the wide center back rolls incase the attacking fullbacks are caught out of position.

Further up the pitch I think we could see the resurgence of Dele Alli, it is no secret that Antonio Conte doesn't tolerate any type of laziness on the training ground and with Dele Alli being seen by the club as lazy and unwilling to work for Jose Mourinho I think this could be a rocky few months for Dele before he changes his attitude towards training and starts to show his potential on the pitch again.

It is also no secret that Harry Kane wants out of Spurs and in recent performances he looks lethargic and that all his passion for playing for Spurs has left him. I don’t think Conte can get Harry Kane to stay but I do think he can find a worthy replacement for him. Conte is known for not usually making big money signings and is normally quite smart with his business. This could hugely help with Spurs who have a recent history of big money signings not fully panning out. I could see the likes of Arturo Vidal joining Spurs for very low money and even the likes of Lautaro Martinez joining Spurs for big money in the Summer to work with his former boss.

I think Spurs' season and short-term success depends on the transfer window and focusing on the now. Conte is not the solution for long term success, and he will neglect some promising young players at the club for the most part, but if Spurs want a formidable team to be able to compete with the best teams in the coming years, then Conte was a perfect fit for them. I would like to see Conte backed in the transfer market and given the funds to fix this dreadful Spurs team.

The most successful Formula One driver of all time

By Niall McGuane

Born and raised in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, Sir Lewis Hamilton joined the McLaren young drivers program in 1998. This then led to a Formula One drive in 2007, making Hamilton the first and to this day only black driver in Formula One history. That same season Hamilton set several records as he came runner up to Kimi Raikkonen by one point.

The following season, he won his maiden title in dramatic fashion making a crucial overtake on the last lap of the last race of the season to become the then youngest Formula One World Champion in history. After four more years with McLaren, Hamilton signed with Mercedes in 2013.

Changes to the regulations in 2014, making turbo hybrid engines compulsory, saw the start of a highly successful period of racing for Hamilton. During this period of racing Hamilton has won six further drivers titles. Consecutive titles came in 2014 and 2015 when Hamilton was locked in an intense battle with then teammate Nico Rosberg. Hamilton won consecutive titles again in 2017 and 2018, and then again in 2019 and 2020 to equal Michael Schumacher’s record of seven Drivers titles. During 2020 Hamilton also became an advocate to combat Racism around the world and to push for increased diversity in motorsport. Lewis Hamilton was then knighted in the 2021 New Year Honours.

Lewis Hamilton’s salary is 55 million US Dollars. This makes Hamilton one of the highest paid Sportspeople in the world.

Hamilton is regarded as one of the most complete drivers on the grid, excelling across a wide range of areas. He has been described as having an aggressive driving style, with a natural aptitude for identifying the limits of the car; Mark Hughes, writing for the official Formula One website, described how Hamilton is super-hard on the brakes but has a fantastic ability to match how quickly the down force is bleeding off with his modulation of the pressure so that there's no wasted grip but no locked wheels either. Paddy Lowe, previously the engineering director for McLaren, described how Hamilton is comfortable with levels of rear instability that most other drivers would find intolerable. Hamilton has also been praised for his ability to adapt to variances in the car set-up and changing track conditions throughout his career, he has typically used less fuel than his teammates as a result of his ability to carry momentum through corners despite instability in the car. Pedro de la Rosa, a former test driver for McLaren who worked with Hamilton and Alonso, rated the pair as the best he had seen first-hand, stating that they shared a strength in terms of how much speed they can run into the apex of a corner and still have a decent exit speed, highlighting their ability to maintain this speed when their rear tyres have lost grip during a longer stint.

Overall, Sir Lewis Hamilton is categorically the best Formula One driver of all time and is only getting better.

Click the video to listen to the latest SMC Podcast by our sports journalists where they discuss their dream school yard 6-aside soccer team.

culture and environment

An Essay on my home town

By Hershal Jayson

Hello, my name is Hershal, I come from my hometown called Perumalpady in Kerala, India. My hometown is populated with people of various religions, wealth, land etc. The staple food we eat is rice. And then curries are added to the staple foods giving it a better taste. We have different types of food on accounts of various backgrounds. Our main festival is Onam. It is a harvest festival. During Onam, rice and various vegetable curries are served on a banana leaf. It is the celebration of the legendary homecoming of King Mahabali.

Our mother tongue is Malayalam. We welcome visitors in the English language and make friends with them. Our Locals are very welcoming whenever a foreigner steps foot in our land. Some local people are uneducated, so they live in slums and appear outside at rare times. People of different religions such as Hindus, Muslims and Christians live in my hometown.

There are all kinds of seasons in Kerala. The main season is the rainy season. It rains up to 200cm in June and July. In some years, it rains so much that it floods in some parts of Kerala. People find it difficult when it floods because the streets, houses, shops get flooded with so much water that they must evacuate to a safer place called flood relief camps. In relief camps, they get food, water, shelter and clothing. Floods were rare in Kerala until 2018.

The holy month of Muslims

By Qeyiam Safi

Muslims all over the world regardless of nationality, ethnicity, race or color participate in fasting for the entire month of Ramadan the new moon determines the start of Ramadan. Ramadan fast is one of the five pillars of Islam. It is the widely believed that the first verses of the holy book of Islam, which is the Qur’an was revealed by Allah during the month of Ramadan. Children are not obligated to fast. Throughout Ramadan, people fasting are expected to abstain from food, drinks and other pleasures from dawn to dusk. In 2022 it starts from April 1 on till the 30 of April. This changes every year. Muslim all around the world are fasting Participants are supposed to focus their mind on prayer, purity, spirituality and charity. Fasting is reminds you of the importance of self-control and the suffering of the poor. Ramadan fasting rules helps to cleanse your body and mind.

La Palma Volcano Eruption

By Josh Manley

La Palma is the most north-westerly island of the Canary Islands, Spain. The region that is usually a holiday paradise is now facing a humanitarian crisis as thousands are affected by the nature that they live around.We will now look at how this happened and what the people of La Palma have had to do to survive.

The volcano was showing increasing signs of activity after an earthquake swarm that shook the island on September 11th 2021. The volcano started to spew small amounts of lava out of its crater due to the tremors and vibrations caused by the earthquakes. The earthquakes aren’t uncommon in this region as in the last 14 days alone they have suffered 1217 earthquakes of between 2.0 and 3.0 in magnitude, these are just small shakes for a short amount of time. But it is more likely that an earthquake of magnitude 5.0 upwards caused this increase in volcanic activity as these are much stronger. It also must be noted that the Volcan Tojogaite is in the Cumbre Viega region of La Palma, this region is known to have volcanic activity among its eight volcanoes this area which had a volcanic eruption as recent as 1971, although a different volcano erupted that time named Volcan Teneguia.

The Volcan Tojogaite eruption is what’s known as a fissure eruption. This means that the volcano isn’t just spitting lava and ash into the sky, it is creating cracks called fissures along the mountain, this creates stream like flows of lava from the sides of the mountain. On October 6th a new fissure opened that was 50m wide. These fissure eruptions generally take longer to stop and have increasing potential to destroy nearby infrastructure as the fast flowing lava is basically an impenetrable force. This type of eruption also has negative affects on the animals, forests and the global atmosphere as it flows downwards from the volcano while harmful gasses go upwards. This can possibly have devastating affects long after the volcano has stopped erupting such as a lack of food supply for humans in that area and other animals. Volcanoes erupting can sometimes actually improve the soil in that area leading to the generation of more food but that is only one positive in comparison to many negatives about this situation.

The eruption has affected local farmers, families and business-people, as their homes and livelihoods have been destroyed. It is unknown at this time how many people have been killed but thanks to a speedy evacuation of thousands of locals by the emergency services many more lives were saved than lost. The eruption in recent days has seen a rise in tourists visiting the sites of the earlier eruptions that have calmed down, although the local police and government have warned against visiting the eruption sites that hasn’t stopped many. The volcano started erupting on the 19th of September and is still erupting today. Earlier this month travel companies such as TUI halted all flights to the region. At this time the volcano became more aggressive and it was too difficult to land at the local airport because of huge dust clouds created by the ash, gasses and rocks. Reports are suggesting that ash and dust has been sent as far as 6000 meters into the air, that is about half way to space.

This natural disaster will live in recent memory and will be a topic of discussion among world leaders as they meet in Scotland at the COP26 summit. As the volcano is still erupting, it means flights are still being diverted and cancelled as a result. Sadly this is an already bad situation that looks like it could get worse before it gets better.

What is sustainable agriculture?

By John McKeogh

EU leaders have agreed to reduce climate emissions by 2030. The Department of Agriculture has published a roadmap with the aim of developing a climate neutral food system by 2050. There are significant ambitions to reduce emissions from agriculture in the coming years. The global agriculture sector now has an opportunity to make yet another major contribution, to produce healthy and wholesome food in a more sustainable manner. “Sustainable agriculture means meeting society’s present food and textile needs, without compromising the ability of current or future generations to meet their needs.” This is according to Doctor Tom O’Dwyer who is the Head of Teagasc’s Signpost program.

Irish farmers really want to leave the farms in a better state for the next generation. Research has demonstrated how farming can reduce the emissions intensity of food production. The first step is to produce food as efficiently as possible. In Ireland, for livestock production this means a grass-based diet, good genetics and healthy animals. There are additional actions farmers can take to reduce on farm emissions:

  • Improved pasture management
  • Better breeding
  • Better milk recording and weight recording ( for better breeding and management decisions)
  • Reduced energy usage
  • And very importantly, improved management of hedge rows and inclusion of trees on the farm

All these factors are challenges which face our generation of future farmers it can be a struggle to balance the financial side of farming with the environmental side and in the meantime make a living in today’s world. However, there is no denying that climate change is a risk which requires our attention.

Facebook is changing its name to Meta

By Nate Rivers

On October 28th, Facebook changed its name to ‘’Meta’’. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook stated ‘’From now on, we’re going to be the metaverse first’’. This was perceived by many to be a way for the corporation to distance itself from the controversy surrounding its security and privacy. Facebook's problems with privacy have created many issues in the past and has had drastic consequences for the corporation such as being fined five billion in dollars by the Federal Trade Commission.

The metaverse is an immersive virtual social environment which Facebook is trying to build. The corporation could also be doing this to solve the issue of there being a lack of a younger demographic in their social media apps. Although people are skeptical of this innovation due to who owns it, it is said that no one company will run the metaverse with Mark Zuckerberg describing it as an ‘’embodied internet’’ operated in a decentralized way by many different companies.

With bills being passed through congress which could have a large negative impact on Facebook, the metaverse may be the solution to their problem. With social media regulation concerns increasing, a thriving social media platform in a 3D environment adds even more questions to the topic.

The Chess Game of the Century

By Ríon O'Neill

There have been many famous chess games throughout history, however none of them compared to the importance of the chess games between Boris Spassky and Bobby Fischer in the World Chess Championship.

The year was 1972, Boris Spassky was Russian, Bobby Fischer was American, and the cold war was still a major concern among both countries. To many, this series of chess games was symbolic of who would win the cold war. The expectations of their countries were on both grandmasters, Russia was dominant in competitive chess in the 1970s with far more grandmasters, Bobby Fischer changed competitive chess in that era and rivaled Russia’s greatest players.

During the games, Boris Spassky played neutrally, believing his rival could over stretch his pieces but Bobby Fischer kept applying pressure and eventually gained a winning streak over Boris, winning the World Chess Championship. Boris and spectators applauded Bobby Fischer and the match made history, being regarded by many to be ‘’the chess game of the century’. Bobby Fischer continued to later become one of the most famous chess players in history.

All pictures soured using Google Images. Videos sourced on YouTube.

Photography and Production done by Robert Wallace, Cian Kelly and Ríon O'Neill

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