German Culture - Love, Simon - Origins of Hip Hop - Custom Cars of Springville - Fascinating Fossils - Blue Sea Creatures - Camping With My Father


Hi! My name is Lina and I’m from Germany.

I came here two months ago and sometimes people ask me about the German culture. Before I came here I didn’t think a lot about it. But now that I’m here and confronted with a totally different culture I can see what is special about Germany. Of course there are the obvious things that everyone knows, like no speed limits on the German highway (Autobahn) or the drinking age. But the more I think about it the more comes into my mind.

When I was back home I knew the Germans worked efficiently but I wasn’t certain that German economics were that strong. I recognized this when I was in Buffalo and saw that all the escalators are produced by the German company Thyssen Krupp which is the world leader for escalators and elevators.

Right when I got here, I probably saw more American flags than you would ever see of Germany flags in Germany (except for the soccer World Cup). I started to think about that and got to the point that the Americans are more patriotic than we Germans are. There are two reasons for that. On the one hand, we Germans are not proud about our past because of the Second World War. I think our generation and the generation of our parents can´t understand how an entire nation could be that stupid to follow such a person like Hitler was. That’s the reason why you often get associated with National socialism when you show that you like your country. On the other hand the Americans are patriotic because their forefathers fought for their independence and freedom. That’s something you can truly be proud of and that’s why we Germans have a different spirit than the Americans when it comes down to history and patriotism.

Enough about economics and patriotism. Now I want to tell you something about the differences between German and American schools. I don’t want to talk much about the school systems, but more about school days. On normal days in German school you have six periods in the same room and the different teachers are coming to your room. Also throughout the six periods you stay with the exact same people. After each lesson you get a five minute break and between the third and fourth lesson you get a 20 minute break. On some afternoons you have class too, but that’s just twice to three times a week. A big difference to the American school day is also that we don’t have an A-B day system. We have a system, where every Monday is the same and every Tuesday is the same and so on.

To come to a close, I want to say that I´m really happy here. I´m glad to call Springville my home and I want to thank everyone who makes this year unforgettable for me. I enjoyed the last two months and I’m really excited for the next ones!


Lina Voegele

Finding of Fascinating Fossils!

By: Hannan Yetter

Fossils are traces of ancient life. The oldest fossils on Earth are about 3.8 billion years old, or almost a billion years younger than the planet itself. Plants, animals, and insects can all leave fossilized remains, but organisms that are completely soft-bodied, such as jellyfish, are less likely to leave fossils when they’re gone. Hard body parts like teeth, bone, and shell are most likely to be preserved. So why are fossils so important and interesting you might ask? Fossil remains can give us insight into how prehistoric plants and animals obtained food, reproduced and even how they behaved. At times remains can also provide evidence for how or why the fossil organism died. Geologists use fossils to match rock layers in different locations which helps them to understand when and where the rocks once formed. Fossils aren’t just used to look at and dig for, but also have practical and commercial applications.

For many people the word “fossil” probably conjures an image of a bit of hardened bone or shell, but fossils can take many forms. An imprint of a leaf, an insect preserved in amber, or a footprint are all examples of different types of fossils. Scientists use fossils to gather information about the lives and evolutionary relationships of organisms, for understandings geological change, and even for locating fossil fuels reserves which are a necessity for us humans today. Environmental interpretation, or understanding how the earth has changed over time, is another area where fossils supply invaluable evidence. The type of fossil found in a particular location tells us what kind of environment existed when it was formed.

In addition, a newly discovered fossil suggests that large, flowering trees grew in North America by the Turonian age (roughly 93.9 million years ago), showing that these large trees were part of the forest canopies there nearly 15 million years earlier than previously thought. Researchers found three fossils in the Mancos Shale Formation in Utah, in ancient delta deposits formed during a poorly understood interval in the North American fossil record. Assistant Professor of biology at Adelphi Michael D’Emic who organized the study said that “these discoveries add much more detail to our picture of the landscape during the Turonian period than we had previously”. Aside from the large petrified log, the team reports fossilized foliage from ferns, conifers and angiosperms, which confirm that there was forest or woodland vegetation 90 million years ago in the area.They also found the first turtle and crocodile remains from this layer.

Love, Simon: Film Review

By Caitlin Kelley

‘Love, Simon,’ directed by Greg Berlanti is based off of Becky Albertalli’s “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda,” published April 7, 2015. The film ‘Love, Simon’ came out a few years after the book in 2017. Well known for his role in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Nick Robinson stars in this movie as seventeen year old Simon Spier. Some other recognizable actors/actresses that star in this film are Katherine Langford who stars as Leah Burke, Jorge Lenedeborg Jr. as Nick Eisner, Alexandra Shipp as Abigail Suso, Jennifer Garner and Josh Duhamel who star as Simon’s parents, Emily and Jack Spier. The film opens with Simon looking out the window at a boy cutting the neighbor’s lawn.

“My name’s Simon, I’m just like you. For the most part my life is totally normal. My dad is the annoyingly handsome quarterback who married the hot valedictorian. And, no, they didn’t peak in high school. I have a sister I actually like, not that I’d ever tell her that, and last year in the 200th episode of Chop2Go she decided she wanted to be a chef. And then there’s my friends. Two of them I’ve known since pretty much the beginning of time, or at least kindergarten. One of them I just met a few months ago, but it feels like I’ve known her forever. We do everything friends do, we drink way too much iced coffee, we watch bad ‘90s movies and hangout at Waffle House dreaming of college and gorging on carbs. So, like I said, I’m just like you. I have a totally perfectly normal life. Except I have one huge-ass secret. Nobody knows I’m gay.” (Love, Simon)

After a post made by anonymous classmate, Blue (or at least that’s what he goes by) on creeksecrets, the school’s Tumblr, Simon finds himself replying to Blue’s post. Simon and Blue start emailing each other regularly as penpals. Through every email exchanged between Blue and Simon, Simon finds himself falling in love with Blue, even though he doesn’t know who he is. All he knows is that Blue goes to his school, so Simon makes it his job to figure out who Blue’s identity really is. ‘Love, Simon’ takes us in all directions to what Blue’s identity could really be. Throughout the movie, it shows us all the people whom Simon believes could be possible suspects. Is it soccer kid, Bram? How about Waffle House waiter, Lyle? Or is it possibly pensive pianist, Cal? Who do you think it is?

However, that’s all interrupted one day when he uses one of the school’s computers and forgets to logout of his gmail. Later that day during theatre, Martin Addison confronts Simon and reveals to him that he knows his secret. Simon goes white. Martin tells Simon that he has to get him with Abby in order to keep his emails and Blue a secret or he’ll leak them on creeksecrets. Now, Simon has to play wingman all the while going to high school, theatre practice, and trying to find out Blue’s real identity. Simon can never catch a break can he?

‘Love, Simon’ takes us on an emotional rollercoaster where it makes us laugh and smile (or in some extreme cases, fangirl) all the while it tugs on our heartstrings at every turn. I’ll admit, I cried the first time I watched it. ‘Love, Simon’ is a film I highly recommend you watch, especially if you love a mix of comedy and romance.

Rare Vibrant Blue Sea Creatures

By: Emily Anderson

Odd looking sea creatures started to appear on New Jersey’s shores. People walking the beaches had to take another look at these bright green and blue long dark tentacled creatures. Many people that had seen these creatures thought that they were jellyfish. Later they were identified as “blue button jellyfish” they are very similar to a jellyfish,but are categorized as a Chondrophores. This is because of their disc shaped bodies that measure out to be an inch in diameter. These free-floating organisms are so bright in color that people couldn’t help but stop and look. A woman had found this peculiar creature and posted it on facebook. A marine Biologist has seen the post and confirmed that it was indeed a porpita porpita also known as the blue button jellyfish. He had also mentioned that the hurricane had more than likely washed these tropical jellies up North. Biologists have asked the residents in the area to store the jellies if seen. They asked them to store them in ziploc baggies with rubbing alcohol or in a jar of ethanol so that researchers at MSU can collect the DNA.

Blue button jellyfish are often compared to Portuguese man-of-war, although the blue jelly has an extremely less powerful sting. Humans can be affected by this sting from the blue jelly, causing the skin to become irritated, but the sting is usually painless. The blue jelly travels in a colony of organisms that drift with the wind, currents, and tides. They eat zooplankton that get caught in their long tentacles. The blue button jellyfish has two main body parts the first part is the circular shape which is called the float. The second part is the hydroid colony, which is the tentacle like structures. The blue button jellyfish is also both male and female. So keep your eyes peeled while walking the shores because you never know what may appear before your eyes.

The Origins of Hip Hop

By: Jon Boberg

With Hip hop being one of the most popular genres of music today many forget or have never learned of the origins of the music style. It can be traced 45 years back into the 1970’s in the South Bronx. The three pioneers of this genre include Afrika Bambaataa, Grandmaster Flash, and DJ Kool Hurc. DJ Kool Hurc is considered the father of rap due to he being one of the first to publicly perform his music for his community at a back-to-school celebration. Normally they would perform it for small groups of select people or what is called “underground”. How the music was created then is much different from now. Now we can make music just using a computer.

Grandmaster Flash

The original form of hip hop used popular disco records as a starting point. A common song used was “Apache” by the Incredible Bongo Band. The technique then was to have two records on the same turntable. They had various ways on how to scratch a record or use the crossfader. It didn’t take long before the rap genre became popular after it was discovered.

The first ever mainstream rap song is accredited to the Sugarhill Gang with their song “Rapper's Delight” released in 1979. It peaked at number 36 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart, and has gone double platinum. Going double platinum means that there was 2,000,000 units or records sold. That song caused the creation of many new artists to emerge. Grandmaster Flash came out of the “underground” and created the group Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. Instead of having just one MC the group had five. What Afrika Bambaataa, Grandmaster Flash, and DJ Kool Hurc have created changed the music world as we know it. They pioneered one of the most popular genres of music in history and they saw it blossom from the very beginning.

DJ Kool Hurc Grandmaster Flash Afrika Bambaataa

Custom Cars in Springville

By: Brendan Papich

Although Springville seems like a pretty dull town when it comes to the cars people drive, there are a few cool custom cars driving around. These custom cars vary greatly from lifted jeeps to muscle cars being restored.

One of these cars is a murdered out, hot rod, pickup. This car is full custom with a mix mash of different parts from different cars of various years. Most of the parts on it came from cars made in the 1940s. The engine in it doesn't make much power, but it is desirable because of its unique sound.

Another car is actually owned by the same guy, he also has a Jeep Wrangler TJ lifted on 40” tires. Just recently he made an engine swap to change from the stock motor (4.0L I6) to a much more powerful 5.7L V8. I have ridden in this Jeep before and I can say personally, it is very impressive.

Speaking of personally, I am helping one of my friends build both his first custom car and his first car in general. It is a 1989 Camaro that was hit in the front.

The plan for this car is for us to do all the silly stuff that we want to do to on this Camaro, then he can buy another nicer one and we will know more about the car and use the old car as a parts car.

Another custom car you might see driving around Springville is a 1950s Studebaker Champion. It is a very cool car with lots of custom add ons. For example, it looks like a warplane from WWII so they put 2 fake guns sticking out of the nose of the car. Another thing that they did to it is the interior headliner is full shag carpet. The cars exterior is also made of a mix mash of parts from other cars in order to make it look exactly how the owner wants it to.

These are just a few of the custom cars that might be roaming around Springville. Who knows? Maybe if you keep your eye out you might see one of these cars driving around!

“A Movie As Bad As The Villain”

By: Justin Paler

Venom is a movie that struggles with its identity. Personally I think that Venom originally was meant to be a dark and gritty thriller that challenged what people thought a Marvel movie could be. I think that it could have challenged Deadpool for the most R- rated Marvel movie created. However, if you have seen the movie and experienced, what it turned out to be, then you will know that it met no expectations. Venom was crudely made and put together, and all the grit and thrill was traded for a wider audience. The major flaw is that it has a PG-13 rating stuck to it. The amount of leeway that they could of had if they went for the R- rating would have easily made up for the failures that this movie experienced.

Compared to other recent Marvel movies, Venom feels immensely outdated. The movie would have fit perfectly in the mid 2000’s era with the original Spider-man movies. The special effects are low budget, however in some scenes they look better than others. Venom as a character model is intimidating and looks very cool. The problem is that they only seem to have put effort into him and nothing else is comparable.

The acting is subpar at best and many lines and expressions don't fit with scenes and situations. Tom Hardy and other notable stars cannot entirely be blamed for the acting, It seems that their lines are force fed and they had no room for creativity. Tom Hardy makes up for much of the ill-formatted acting and pacing by contributing funny lines but one person can't fix this mess. Venom at its core should have been a dark and twisted story of a villain who has complicated morality, but in the end it seems that comedy and not knowing exactly what they wanted was the choice that was made for it. The action in the movie also is not great. For one, the action scenes are just a repeat of one another and there is no pacing in the fights. People just come out of nowhere and the antagonist Venom quickly dispatches them.

The movie makes little sense and just throws situations at the audience without much consideration for what's been happening thus far. Venom seemed like it could not fail, who didn't want a gritty anti-hero movie that was filled with some of the biggest names in Hollywood? The directors were also tied to movies like Zombieland which was a masterpiece of pacing and tone. In the end however, it seems the movie was executed very poorly. The acting is subpar, the plot barely makes sense, the quality of the special effects is questionable, and the direction that the movie went for doesn't fit with the characters. Overall, I would rate this movie a 3/10, in some places it can be funny, even than its at the movies expense. Other than the 3 minutes of one liners, Venom lacks what makes this type of movie great: the R-rating.

Camping With My Father

By: Kevin Schneider

In the middle of the summer in between my sophomore and junior years of high school, I’m at my house and my father is on his way home from a long day at work. My father works for a contracting company and worked long hours. During this time it was just he and I living together. That summer I felt so lonely, all my friends lived in town and we lived out in the country. When he finally walked in I asked him the usual which went something along the lines of “hey dad, how was work?”. He would tell me about his day than he would ask about my day. This happened nearly all summer long just doing the same things daily. This day was different though when I asked my dad at dinnertime if we could go do something on the weekend. He asked me what I had in mind, and I said maybe we possibly could go camping.

As a kid, my family and two of our neighbors went all the time and I remembered all the fantastic times we had back then. My dad said we will see about it, and the next day after work he said “sure, let’s do it.” So we planned on leaving Thursday and coming back Sunday night.

On Wednesday I gathered all the supplies my dad said we needed and got everything I needed and was excited for the next day. So Thursday morning comes and we pack my dad's red Ford Ranger with everything. Next stop the Adirondacks! The drive took about 6 hours and was one of the best parts of the trip because my father and I didn't have time to talk about life. The plan was to hike up mount McKenzie and stop halfway for the night. Once we got to a specific spot we decided to stop and pitch the tents. Once that was done, we started making a fire pit. When my dad was gathering stones to make the pit I got dry wood for the fire. I got all the wood we would've needed for the fire and we talked more about life, but the conversation this time was based on my future. We talked about future relationships and what I possibly wanted to do once I was out of school, which was weird because at that time I had no idea what I wanted to do. The next day we picked up camp and hiked the other half of the mountain. Later that day we got to the top of Mount Mckenzie and the view was spectacular. The rest of the trip was fantastic the bond I had with my father grew immensely.


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