Citrus Valley’s AP Chemistry class visits Beattie Middle School to teach chemistry


As part of their end-of-the-year final project, Citrus Valley High School’s Advanced Placement Chemistry students bussed to a neighboring middle school to teach 7th and 8th-grade students chemistry experiments on Friday, May 26. 

Citrus Valley’s AP Chemistry class posing for a picture inside a school bus before departing to Beattie Middle School. (Photo/Courtesy of Michelle Stover)

The AP Chemistry students, led by their teacher Dr. Michelle Stover, worked for two weeks to craft and research a hands-on learning experience. Students created their own tri-fold poster board displaying their experiment and included an analysis and data tables for their experiment.

STEM students at Beattie Middle School spent their 5th and 6th periods after lunch touring through the different displays of experiments prepared by the AP Chemistry class. The projects ranged from stirring oobleck and slime to conducting chemical “traffic lights” and dry ice “Boo” bubbles. 

Four Beattie students with safety goggles mixing ingredients together and learning about the chemistry behind slime. (Photo/Courtesy of Michelle Stover)

For over ten rounds, the students presented their chemistry experiment for seven minutes each and encouraged the middle school students to take part in the experiment as well. After an introduction of safety precautions which required that everyone wear goggles and at some tables, gloves, Beattie students were able to hold the dry ice bubbles, mix chemical solutions, and even take home their own plastic bag of slime, and much more. 

Citrus Valley junior Alexzis Ngyuen says, “It was an interesting experience collaborating with the middle schoolers and interacting with them.”

Citrus Valley students taught, and Beattie students learned about different types of chemistry, including acids and bases, the pH scale, chemical boiling points, and molecule chains.

Citrus Valley junior Julianna Stover says, “I thought it was really cool…how they were eager to learn more about the experiments and it seemed like they were having fun learning about chemistry.”

AP Chemistry students Jacob Shahatit and Eunho Seo standing next to their experiment “Slime”, prepared for the incoming 7th and 8th grade students (Photo/Courtesy of Michelle Stover).

Atypical to a more common final exam, the Beattie field trip has become an annual tradition for the AP Chemistry class. 

Dr. Stover says, “I’ve been doing the AP field trip since 2014 when I took over [AP Chemistry].” 

In the beginning, Dr. Stover partnered with a teacher at Beattie Middle School, Robert Foster, to make the annual field trip a success ever since. 

Dr. Stover explains the significance of having this field trip contrary to a normal final exam when she says, “I think that students must be tested in practical application, collaboration is very important in the real world, at a workplace, in college, in everyday… so another final exam… [or] another sit-down test doesn’t really engage [students] in all the other areas that they should be good at.” 

The Beattie field trip finished within a few hours and the AP Chemistry class made their way back to Citrus Valley campus after school hours.

Biden Administration’s approval of ‘Willow Project’ sparks controversy


President Joe Biden’s administration approved the controversial ‘Willow Project’ on March 14, a 30-year project that aims to produce nearly 180,000 barrels of oil a day in Alaska. It is projected to release 260 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which is equivalent to adding 56 million gas cars to the road for a year or having 69 coal-fired power plants run for a year. 

The willow project presents dangers not only for humans, but for all the land and sea animals that all earth home. (Mia Caliva/ Ethic News Art)  

The project was originally proposed in 2020 by the petroleum refinery company, Conocophillips, and was approved by the Trump administration, but the supreme court ruled it as unlawful in 2021 after conservation and Alaska Native groups challenged it. 

Eventually Conocophillips proposed the idea and it was approved for the second time. This decision has sparked major controversy and protests. Social media users have come together to express their concerns and disapproval of the project, as it will harm the planet and its inhabitants greatly. 

These social media users put together a petition against the project, saying that “Willow would emit more climate pollution annually than more than 99.7% of all single point sources in the country” and that they “do not have much time, but it’s still enough to defend the Arctic ecosystems that are already facing global warming”. As of March 15, the petition has gained over 3.9 million signatures, making it one of the most signed petitions on 

The widespread disapproval of the project has been shown through the petition to “Say No to the Willow Project.” (Destiny Ramos/ Ethic News Photo)

Tiernan Sittenfeld, the senior vice president of government affairs for the League of Conservation Voters, said the league is “extremely disappointed” in the decision, calling the project “dangerous” and “dirty.” 

Because of the approval, new protections are being placed by the government to ensure habitats for whales, seals, polar bears and other wildlife are being “protected in perpetuity from extractive development,” the White House stated. These protections would indefinitely place an off-limits order to future oil and gas leasing of nearly three million acres of the Arctic Ocean and impose new protections in the petroleum reserve. 

The Biden administration also said it plans to consider additional protections for the more than 13 million acres within the petroleum reserve that may be designated as special areas for wildlife. 

“This is in direct conflict with the Biden-Harris administration’s goals of cutting climate pollution in half by 2030, and it’s now all the more important they double down on executive action that maximizes climate and conservation progress,” Sittenfeld said in a statement. “The new protections announced for the threatened Arctic are important, but they do not make up for Willow’s approval.”

Through the widespread disapproval, there are few supporters for the project, including Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan, Republican Governor Mike Dunleavy and other state lawmakers. Sullivan stated that the development could be “one of the biggest, most important resource development projects in our state’s history”.

Other supporters say that the project will create jobs, boost domestic energy production and lessen the country’s reliance on foreign oil.

The Biden administration felt they could not do much with the project, as Conocophillips have valid leases in the area and legally would not be allowed to fully reject the proposal or reduce the project drastically. Otherwise, they would have been faced with large fines and legal action from the company. 

The only action the administration could take was to reduce the number of drill pads from five to three. They attempted to reduce the number to two drill pads, but Conocophillips fought against this, claiming that two drill pads would make the project ineffective. 

On March 14, Earthjustice, an environmental group, filed a lawsuit against the project claiming that the Biden Administration approved Willow without “adequately assessing its climate impacts.” The lawsuit also challenges the administration’s failure to properly consider the project’s impacts on polar bears, ringed seals and bearded seals, as required by the Endangered Species Act. 

“There is no question that the administration possessed the legal authority to stop Willow — yet it chose not to,” said Erik Grafe, deputy managing attorney in Earthjustice’s Alaska regional office. “It greenlit this carbon bomb without adequately assessing its climate impacts or weighing its options to limit the damage and say no. The climate crisis is one of the greatest challenges we face, and President Biden has promised to do all he can to meet the moment. We’re bringing today’s lawsuit to ensure that the administration follows the law and ultimately makes good on this promise for future generations.” 

Paranoia manifests in different ways


Paranoia, a term used to describe irrational or unfounded fears and beliefs, affects millions of individuals worldwide. It is a mental health condition that can cause significant distress and impairment in one’s daily life. While paranoia can be a symptom of other psychiatric disorders like schizophrenia, it can also be a standalone disorder such as bipolar disorder.

According to Mental Health America, a government site, paranoia can manifest in different ways, such as fear of being watched, harm or danger, conspiracy, or persecution. These fears can cause an individual to become withdrawn, suspicious, and have difficulty trusting others.

In extreme cases, paranoia can lead to delusions, which are false beliefs that persist despite evidence to the contrary. For instance, a person may believe that they are being poisoned or that someone is controlling their mind. Delusions can be particularly challenging to manage, and professional intervention is usually necessary. Typically the therapy used for paranoia is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

Causes of Paranoia

According to Dr. Karin Gepp, a clinical psychologist, the causes of paranoia are not fully understood. However, many factors may contribute to the development of this condition. Some of the known risk factors include genetics, brain chemistry, traumatic experiences, drug abuse, and stressful life events.

Studies have shown that certain areas of the brain, particularly those involved in processing emotions and interpreting sensory information, may contribute to the development of paranoia. People with a family history of psychiatric disorders may also be more susceptible to developing paranoia.

“I’ve had paranoia since I was at least four years old. I think that my paranoia steemed from my siblings and the fearful stuff in social media,” explains Josh Andreews, a freshman at Redlands East Valley High School, on his thoughts on the matter.

Everyone experiences paranoia at some point in their lives, especially at young ages since creativity is at its highest according to Paul Sloane, a writer for the BBN Times. “Children are much more creative than adults because of their active imagination. Young kids are less constrained by their prior patterns of thought,” stated Sloane. (ETHIC PHOTO/KENDRA BURDICK)

Managing Paranoia

“Paranoia is difficult to come to terms with but in the end,” David Jamin, a sophomore attending Citrus Valley High School, continues about his experience, “you need to realize that you are in the here and now, and you are the one who can protect yourself from your mind.”

Paranoia can be treated using various methods, including medication and psychotherapy. Antipsychotic medications are often prescribed to treat severe cases of paranoia. These medications work by blocking the action of dopamine, a chemical in the brain that plays a role in the development of delusions.

Psychotherapy, particularly cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), can also be useful in helping individuals with paranoia. This type of therapy aims to help patients identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviors associated with paranoia.

If someone is struggling with paranoia, the following resources can provide useful information and support:

1. National Alliance on Mental Illness – NAMI is a national organization that provides education, support, and advocacy for people with mental health conditions. Their website offers resources for individuals with paranoia and their loved ones.

2. American Psychological Association – The APA is a professional organization for psychologists in the United States. Their website provides practical information on different mental health conditions, including paranoia.

3. Schizophrenia and Related Disorders Alliance of America – SARDA is a non-profit organization that provides information and support to individuals with schizophrenia and related disorders. Their website offers valuable resources on the symptoms and treatment options for paranoia.

4. Mind – Mind is a UK-based charity that provides support and advice for people with mental health issues. Their website features helpful articles on paranoia and other mental health conditions.

5. PsychCentral – PsychCentral is an online mental health resource that offers articles, news, and community support for individuals with mental health conditions. Their website features helpful resources on paranoia, including self-help tips and coping strategies.

Paranoia can be a debilitating condition that impacts many aspects of an individual’s life. However, with proper treatment and support from these good resources, individuals with paranoia can learn to manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life.

California research lab makes most impressive nuclear discovery of century


U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm announced the recent scientific breakthrough in nuclear fusion at a Department of Energy press conference. (Youtube/U.S. Department of Energy)

For decades a future of clean, zero-carbon emission energy has always seemed far from reality. However, with a recent demonstration of nuclear fusion in a California ignition research lab, clean energy and many more great scientific feats lie even closer in the near future. 

One early morning on December 5, 2022, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in California ran a laser fusion experiment where 192 laser beams blasted a small cylinder containing a pellet of diamond-encased hydrogen. In a blink, lasting less than 100 trillionths of a second, 3.15 megajoules of energy output was produced. The reaction was powered by 2.05 megajoules of laser energy meaning 1.5 mJ of energy gain was produced from the reaction. 

Being able to produce excess energy from nuclear fusion is the same type of reaction the sun uses to produce its solar energy which warms and sustains life on our Earth. Fundamentally, these Californian scientists were the first in the world to harness the power of the sun. Their progress enables future research to extend to new gateways of nuclear science and modern nuclear technology. 

Statistics from Our World in Data report that as little as 0.003% of the greenhouse gas emissions that come from burning fossil fuels are produced in the life cycle of a nuclear power plant. This proves just how clean nuclear energy is and shows its potential in pushing America even closer to a clean energy future. 

This breakthrough in nuclear fusion energy greatly advances research and development of nuclear weapons and will strengthen national security as well. 

A few days after the fusion breakthrough the Department of Energy held a press conference to announce the amazing discovery. 

At this conference, NNSA (National Nuclear Security Administration) Deputy Administrator for Defense Programs Dr. Marvin Adams says, “this will lead to laboratory experiments that help NNSA defense programs continue to maintain confidence in our deterrent without nuclear explosive testing”.

NNSA administrator Jill Hruby adds, “we understand our nuclear weapons better than we did when we were testing. Unlocking ignition at [LLNL] will allow us to probe at the extreme conditions found at the center of nuclear explosions”. 

The recent Inflation Reduction Act signed in by the Biden Administration that extends billions of dollars to incentivize industries and utilities towards cleaner and nuclear energy is also greatly supportive and committed to the nuclear fusion breakthrough. 

U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm explains, “The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to supporting our world-class scientists… whose work will help us solve humanity’s most complex and pressing problems, like providing clean power to combat climate change and maintaining a nuclear deterrent without nuclear testing”.

With this breakthrough, America is put at the very front on the world stage leading a nuclear energy revolution. 

Granholm concludes, “This is what it looks like for America to lead… and we are just getting started”. 

California water pollution and solutions come in many forms


What are some of the first few things you think of when you think of California? Many often think of sunshine and beautiful beaches but as many California residents know the beach may no longer be the refreshing get away it once was. What is deterring so many from some of California’s most beloved beaches, and is it something you should be concerned about?

What is water pollution?

According to the Natural Resources Defense Council,  “Water pollution occurs when harmful substances—often chemicals or microorganisms—contaminate a stream, river, lake, ocean, aquifer, or other body of water, degrading water quality and rendering it toxic to humans or the environment.”

Some of the most common water pollutants may include a variety of different things such as bacteria, parasites, phosphates, plastics, plastic waste and even chemical  substances. Some of the most commonly known pollutants are trash and oil most often left behind by humans. 

Many of us have fond memories of going to lakes, beaches, and even on cruises but rarely do we consider the true effects that our carbon footprint has on something as small as a pond or as vast as the ocean. We often forget that water pollution affects more than just the dolphines and the turtles, but also the water we drink, shower with, and grow our food in. 

According to, Children exposed to drinking water at Camp Lejeune from 1953 to 1987 were subjected to toxic chemicals, including trichloroethylene (TCE), tetrachloroethylene (PCE), benzene and vinyl chloride, which are known to cause birth defects and cancer.

How has pollution evolved in America over the last hundred years?

Biodiversity says in the last few decades there are now far more worms, insects and other small animals living in our rivers than there were in the 1990s, which is a general indication that water quality has improved. Coastal waters are also on the mend, with over 98% meeting minimum standards and over 70% achieving “Excellent” accreditation. according to Envirotech. says, “less than 1% of the Earth’s freshwater is actually accessible to us and it’s in our best interest to protect what we have, especially considering that by 2050, global demand for freshwater is expected to be one-third greater than it is now.”

According to Frontiers In Environmental Science, over 50 kinds of diseases are caused by low quality drinking water, aswell as 50%of child deaths around the world. Water pollution has also been known to cause diarrhea, skin diseases, malnutrition, and even cancer and other diseases.

What is being done to combat water pollution?

California Water Boards the State Water Board’s 2007 climate change resolution sets forth initial actions to respond to climate change and support the implementation of the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32). 

California Water Boards also says, “On September 25, 2012, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed Assembly Bill (AB) 685, making California the first state in the nation to legislatively recognize the human right to water.” 

This year Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) developed a passing act called the Water Resources Development Act. Some of the priorities in this bill are authorized nearly $74 million for harbor deepening and maintenance by Long Beach Deep Draft Navigation Feasibility Study, Authorizes $215 million for flood control in Woodland northwest of Sacramento, expand water recycling and water storage from $3 million to more than $13 million, among a number of other things. Says the United States Senator for California Dianne Feinstein via,

What can we as individuals do to combat water pollution?

Some of the most simple ways we can help combat water pollution include picking up after ourselves and others, properly desposing of chemecals, reducing our plastic waste, and many others. Some helpful sites include Raleigh, Simsbury, AtlasScientific, Water Pollution, EPA, and many others can all give simple easy tips and ideas on how to combat water pollution.

In the last five years reversing water pollution has been a worldwide movement with brands like Kohler, PepsiCo, Starbucks, H&M, Burberry, Gap Inc, and others looking for change. Many Americans have veered away from single use plastics and opted for multi use items like reusable water bottles, bags, straws, and buying from sustainable food and clothing brands.

As Marcus Samuelsson said, “For many of us, clean water is so plentiful and readily available that we rarely, if ever, pause to consider what life would be like without it.” Therefore it is imperative that we continue to fight for clean water.

Orangewood’s engineering teacher keeps it real


TRISTAN HOLSOMBACH contributed to this article

Matthew Stewart is a fifth year engineering teacher at Orangewood High School with a goal to ”help as many students as possible…to achieve things beyond what they believe they are capable of.”

As a teacher in the Career Technical Education program, Stewart  likes seeing his students improve and realize that they can understand engineering.

“In Mr. Stewarts we are always working on something that is fun and creative,” says Orangewood senior Cody Thorpe, “From battlebots to CO2 cars, there is never a dull moment inside the class.”

“My favorite project in the class so far has been building battle bots,” says Thorpe, “This was my favorite project because we got full responsibility over our bots. Everyone’s bot was unique and had its own mechanism to destroy other students’ battle bots.”

Orangewood junior Ronnie Garcia says, “Stewarts my all time favorite bald teacher.”

Stewart had many careers before becoming a teacher.

“I started as a carpenter out of high school, transitioned into an operating engineer, then a surveyor, then moved into the office setting of a large civil engineering company,” says Stewart. 

“From there I started as a project engineer and moved into estimating and finally a general superintendent.  I then moved into ICT and worked as an IT director for a medium sized clinical laboratory consulting firm.” 

Stewart says he left that position in 2016. He started teaching at Orangewood in 2017 as a long-term sub for Colton-Redlands-Yucaipa Regional Occupational Program and, Stewart says, “never left.”

Stewart also keeps two small businesses running in his spare time from being a full-time teacher.

Looking back at his younger years, Stewart describes his teenage-self as “a hot mess.” 

In high school, Stewart says he was saved by his football coach. His coach taught him to give 100% at everything that he did. 

“My brother and I were saved by our high school football coach,” says Stewart. “Without coach P,  my life would be much different.  He taught us to give 100% at anything and everything we do.  He held us to high standards and I can’t thank him enough for doing that.”

Stewart says that his advice to his teenage-self would be, “Change nothing, it’s worked out alright.”

Orangewood High School teacher Matthew Stewart instructs Engineering I students, seniors Justin Hernandez, Josh Bennecke and Cayden Van Winkle, on how to construct a box to hold transmitters for battle bots. (TRISTIN HOLLENBACH/Ethic News photo)

Citrus Valley High School’s engineering class visited Orangewood on Dec.7 to do a shared activity racing CO2 cars.

After Citrus Valley arrived, a large table was set up, one the length of the multi purpose room, the dragsters were pulled out and they were raced.

Stewart had a positive reaction about the event with Citrus Valley, saying it was “awesome.”

He proceeded to mention about how Orangewood took eight of the top ten positions and four of the top five against Citrus Valley.

According to Stewart, Citrus Valley teacher Brian Bartlett  actually asked how Orangewood did it.

Though Orangewood stood out, the top two positions of the two fastest dragsters were that of Orangewood seniors Nicholas Boiarski and Jeremiah Lopez.

Stewart had no opinion on the rules as they are by the national committee of the specific activity.

Stewart’s students also participate in the annual Rube Goldberg competition, and have won at the national level.

Youtube viewers can watch the final product of Orangewood High School student’s winning 2022 Rube Goldberg entry. Engineering teacher Matthew Stewart guides students in this project.

According to Stewart, it is different every year and the objective is to build a contraption with random materials provided to get some task done. Prior to the main competition, the event has mini games where you can win materials or tools to aid you in the competition.

In each competition there are eight highschools, eight middle schools, and eight elementary schools. 

With the provided materials the competitors get six hours with only direction from the teachers chaperoning, no physical intervention even with power tools.

The Rube Goldberg Competition is at Rialto High School this school year on Feb. 4. 

Stewart has hobbies outside of school like fly fishing, riding off-road motorcycles and learning “something new as often as possible.” 

As for the most challenging part of teaching, “this is the easiest, most fun job I have ever had,” says Stewart.

California air pollution and solutions come in many forms


Actress and singer Lillian Russell once said, “Let the clean air blow the cobwebs from your body. Air is medicine.” If something as simple as clean air is essential to not only a healthy body but also a healthy mind, should California residents be more concerned about air pollution?

What exactly is air pollution? 

According to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, air pollution is just as it sounds: it’s pollution released into the air, but there are different types.

The most common form of air pollution is the burning of fossil fuels which releases gasses and chemicals into the air. It can also be in the form of carbon dioxide and methane that can raise the earth’s temperature. Another form is smog, which is fog combined with smoke or other pollutants, and is worsened by increased heat due to more ultraviolet radiation.

When we think of pollution we typically think of big cities like Los Angeles and NewYork, two cities built on the image of work and industrialization. But in many pictures of American industrialization, air pollution can clearly be seen coming from buildings and factories in many cities across the country.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, “In October 1948, Donora, Pennsylvania, nearly half of the town’s 14,000 residents experienced severe respiratory or cardiovascular problems due to being blanketed in lethal smog.”  

How has pollution evolved in America over the last hundred years?

Although according to EPA since 1970 to now between the combined emissions of criteria and precursor pollutants the air quality in the U.S. has improved by a near 78% but we still have a long way to go because, 

According to “Air pollution is the worst pollution-related epidemic in the world. It is responsible for the death of at least seven million people every year.” 

National Geographic states that air pollution can have long term effects, such as “heart disease, lung cancer, and respiratory diseases such as emphysema. Air pollution can also cause long-term damage to people’s nerves, brain, kidneys, liver, other organs and even birth defects.” 

What is being done to combat air pollution?

There are many laws that have been put into place to combat air pollution but according to Cal Matters ,“California’s environmental justice law is supposed to clean the air for 15 hot spot communities, home to almost 4 million people. But after more than 4 years and $1 billion, it’s still impossible to say whether it’s worked.” 

On Sept. 16, 2022, Governor Gavin Newsom’s six climate bills were signed into law with a $54 billion budget including a $1.5 billion wildfire and forest resilience package, a $3.9 Billion Zero-Emission Vehicle Package and many others.

What can we as individuals do to combat air pollution?

According to California Air Resources Board there are many ways we as individuals can help fight air pollution which may include creating less day-to-day waste, not burning your garbage, keeping your car in good condition, not heating your home with a gas stove, and many others. 

California Air Resources Board also suggests that things like recycling, not using wood burning stoves, carpooling, preparing for the weather, and picking up after yourself and others can help.

In the last twenty years air pollution and climate change have become a top priority in America and around the world. Many Americans would consider climate an important part of everyday life according to Pew Research Center.

As former president Barack Obama said, “Without regard to whether some place is wealthy or poor, everybody should have a chance at clean air and clean water.” 

 Global artificial intelligence develops rapidly with robots featuring human characteristics


Technology is developing and advancing rapidly throughout the world. Society has become more and more dependent on technology as it advances. Some restaurants have small robots that bring your food to you, other places are having them deliver packages. There has even been an increase in the development of human-like artificial intelligence. 

Sophia the humanoid robot, engineered by the Hong Kong-based company Hanson robotics, was activated on February 14, 2016. For many years she was considered the most advanced humanoid robot in the world. However, at the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CSS) in February this year a new highly developed robot was “born;” her name is Ameca. Ameca was developed by a UK-based company known as Engineered Arts. 

Sophia the robot makes an appearance on Centre Stage during her second day of Web Summit 2019. (Photo credit: Flickr Sophia, Hanson Robotics Ltd. at AI for GOOD Global Summit, ITU, Geneva, Switzerland, 7 – 9 June 2017.)

As described in her own words, Sophia is an extremely developed robot with highly advanced programming, “My real AI combines cutting-edge work in symbolic AI, neural networks, expert systems, machine perception, conversational natural language processing, adaptive motor control, and cognitive architecture among others.” 

While Hanson Robotics does not claim that Sophia is the most advanced robot in the world. they state on their Sophia webpage, “Hanson Robotics’ most advanced human-like robot, Sophia, personifies our dreams for the future of AI” (2). 

If Hanson Robotics, one of the most successful robotic companies, says that Sophia is the most developed robot they have, Sophia has the potential to be the most developed robot in the world. 

Ameca communicates with highly advanced facial expressions and hand movements. (Screenshot image from youtube video: Ameca conversation using GPT 3 – Will robots take over the world?)

Ameca is meant as a tester for further advancing the capabilities of artificial intelligence, however, she is nonetheless extremely advanced. Her software is modular, meaning she can be easily upgraded, so much so that each module, or limb, can run independently. She is connected to her technological cloud that can be controlled from anywhere in the world. Not only that but she has advanced facial expressions so she can connect with anyone.

Unlike Hanson Robotics, Engineered Arts does state with confidence that Ameca is the most advanced humanoid robot in the world. 

According to “Ameca: The Face of Future Robots” on Engineered Arts, “Ameca is the world’s most advanced human-shaped robot representing the forefront of human-robotics technology. Designed specifically as a platform for development into future robotics technologies, Ameca is the perfect humanoid robot platform for human-robot interaction. We focus on bringing you innovative technologies, which are reliable, modular, upgradeable, and easy to develop upon.” 

Although there is still a discrepancy between whether Sophia or Ameca is the world’s most advanced humanoid robot, the companies that activated them have the same goal in mind. They hope to further advance artificial intelligence to develop a robot that is more human-like and intelligent than ever before.

Asimo the robot demonstrates its extremely developed walking and mobile ability. (Vanillase, CC BY-SA 3.0 <;, via Wikimedia Commons)

Artificial intelligence has had significant developments in recent years, however, none of this would be possible without previous robots. Asimo the humanoid robot was created in 2000 by Honda and is currently displayed in the Miraikan museum in Tokyo, Japan.

Asimo was considered the world’s most advanced humanoid robot for a time. Unlike Ameca it does not have extremely advanced facial expressions but it is highly mobile. Asimo can run, climb stairs, and move the rest of its limbs with extreme ease. It has been displayed in several shows across the world and made its most recent and final appearance in March of this year. Honda has announced that it will be focusing on more advanced remote-controlled robotic technology.

Although Asimo is not considered artificially intelligent, it is still a highly mobile and advanced robot. The way that Sophia may not be able to answer extremely detailed questions but she is equipped with short answers in dozens of languages. Ameca as well may not be able to walk but the programming of her facial features is extremely advanced. 

Each robot paved the way for the next to become extremely advanced and in some ways artificially intelligent. Every company that creates humanoid robots aims to improve after each launch in hopes to achieve full artificial intelligence. If this goal is ever reached, as it seems the world is already getting there, the impact on society as a whole will be tremendous.

Opinion: California law takes steps toward a greener future with electric cars, but are we there yet?


“California law takes steps toward a greener future with electric cars, but are we there yet?” Image 1: Gas-powered cars are pictured emitting toxic greenhouse gasses with a dark background alluding to heavy air pollution. Image 2: An electric car from which emits leaves alludes to “clean” fuel and non-carbon transportation. (MIA CALIVA/ Ethic News image)

Recently, California heard the latest news on future plans to combat climate change as of September 23, 2022. 

Governor Gavin Newson and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) announced that by 2035 a ban on the sale of gas-powered vehicles would be implemented in the state of California. 

This has been considered a huge success for environmentalists and their fight against climate change, but many voters are against this new ban. This ban will massively affect California environmentally and the rest of the country as well. But, with every progressive step toward a greener future, there’s always a behind-the-scenes.

Thousands of electric charging stations will be built in the decades to come to accommodate electronic transportation. Eventually, we will see that electric charging stations outnumber gas stations, and many gas station companies will even transform their gas stations into electric charging sites. 

Electric cars come in a large variety, meaning the time taken to fully charge a vehicle can take anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours, keeping in mind possible technological advancements in the future. For this reason, many charging stations will need to be built to provide convenience and avoid traffic as drivers likely will not wait more than 10-20 minutes to charge their car. 

Naturally, we will also see home and residential charging stations becoming increasingly common.

There are currently 32 battery-electric vehicle models available in the United States. A large portion of which come from luxury brands such as Tesla, Cadillac, Ford, and Mercedes-Benz. 

With the electric car market being made up mostly of luxury brands, it is evident that buying an electric car is not an accommodation many people will be able to make after 2035 and engenders the need for affordable, accessible electric vehicles. 

Thankfully, new and future innovations in technology allow for the manufacturing costs of electric vehicles to become cheaper, enabling the production of more affordable cars. The battery manufacturing costs of electric cars are estimated to go down by 77% over the next decade. 

California licensed driver and Citrus Valley high school 11th-grade student Mackenzie Cordova says that “due to the high increases of oil prices, having electric cars wouldn’t be the worst idea. It may save our economy in the future.” 

Suddenly, the fancy electric cars that seemed so unattainable will eventually be in the same price range as the average gas-powered car. 

As of 2020, 27% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions come from transportation alone. 

The emission of greenhouse gasses worsens climate change because it traps heat within the atmosphere, thus remitting the heat back onto Earth and heating up the planet. This causes extreme weather conditions, droughts, melting of ice caps, and increased wildfires.

In addition, greenhouse gases cause a number of health conditions, including respiratory disease caused by smog and air pollution. 

To increase our Earth’s lifespan for the benefit of its inhabitants, including ourselves, decarbonization of transportation is essential. 

Despite the fact that banning the sale of gas cars will become extremely beneficial to the health of our environment, our electric vehicle technology has not yet fully ensured clean, zero-carbon cars. Electric cars aren’t as “clean and green” as one may think. Electric vehicles are powered by lithium batteries and contain many other minerals, such as copper and nickel, that are quite costly and dirt to mine. Lithium is extracted from hard rock mines and the mining process causes 15 tons of carbon dioxide emissions for every single ton of mined lithium. 

This makes the decarbonization of transportation far less efficient than we are aiming for. If we do not find a cleaner way to manufacture these batteries, our climate change situation will stay exactly the same. As always, we are forced to rely on future innovations and technologies. 

For the sake of energy efficiency, climate change, and reduced carbon emissions, this ban will most beneficially impact our world and marks a major stepping stone for our mission in saving the planet. 

California wildfires create lasting damage for wildlife and ecosystems


Animals’ ability to see and breathe are being harshly affected by the fires that are sparking in California, along with their sources of food and shelter  being burned to ashes. While fire retardant appears to be a solution, it has the potential to create more harm than good for animals. 

The fire retardant that California uses kills fish, feeds harmful algae blooms, encourages the spread of invasive plants, and alters the chemistry of the soil.

The non-profit global organization International Fund for Animal Welfare is dedicated to rescuing animals and alerting the public about animal harm.

“North Complex wildfire in California that left more than 318,000 acres burned and displaced local wildlife like deer, bears and coyotes,” ifaw states. 

They explain how wildfires burn different plastics and non-natural materials and the residue of this has heavy run-off of toxins that can contaminate bodies of water. This means animals in the water and those who drink from that water source are killed.

These statistics are a combination of wildfires responded to by CAL FIRE in both the Local Responsibility Area and the State Responsibility Area under contract with the department, as well as federal fire agencies reported in the National Situation Report. (KENDRA BURDICK/ Ethic News image)

The Cal Fire website, a government site of fire records accessible to the public, states “These fires have claimed at least seven humans and an unreported and inconceivable number of foxes, rabbits, deer, frogs, mice, coyotes, and other animals who were smoked out of their homes and burned alive,” explaining that with all of the fires animals are dying and being endangered.

If the animals didn’t die from the fires then they died from their habitats being destroyed. Food sources are often contaminated or destroyed during wildfires, leaving animals with no choice but to enter new territories beyond their home range. As the animals travel in search of food and habitat, they are at risk of additional threats like vehicles running them over or hitting them, attacks from domestic pets kept by humans, and new predators that they haven’t met before.

Ecologists begin to fear that the fires could inflict lasting damage on species and ecosystems tying in with the Climate Clock, the clock that tells humans when the climate damage is irreversible, and the science behind it. In particular, the ecologists worry about the loss of habitat and how that could imperil species with small restricted ranges or populations, and that incinerated ecosystems will fail to rebound in a warming climate. This could end up leading to permanent landscape changes.

“We are in uncharted territory here, and we just don’t know how resilient species and ecosystems will be to wildfires of the magnitude, frequency, and intensity that we are currently experiencing in the U.S. West,” says S. Mažeika Patricio Sullivan, an ecologist at the Ohio State University, Columbus.

Rob Jordan of Stanford News explains how the study “Stanford Wood Institute for the Environment” says that “We need to start with a focus on people and communities: reduce the flammability of existing homes, invest in fuel breaks and similar natural fire-prevention infrastructure around communities, and restore a lower intensity fire regime in California wildlands.”

All of these fires that are sparking in California are hurting animals and burning their habitats, and the way we stop the fires is hurting everything even worse. Though, if California contacts the people and gets them to reduce the flammability, humans might be able to save these animals and habitats.

Feature image: KENDRA BURDICK/Ethic News image

Harsh heat wave hits California Labor Day weekend


An extreme heat wave affecting most parts of the country hit California this Labor weekend with record-breaking temperatures. 

This week’s record achieving heat wave was predicted to go up to 115 degrees in the Inland Empire area, while the coast was predicted to be about 100 degrees according to The National Weather Service.

“California has been ridiculously hot and will be hot for a good part of the week,” Bob Oravec, forecaster with the US Weather Prediction Center.

As temperatures go up, the chance at power failure rises also.

“The reality is we’re living in an era of extremes: extreme heat, extreme drought — and with the flooding we’re experiencing around the globe,” said California Governor Gavin Newsom.

Newsom declared a state of emergency with extreme heat circumstances. 

Labor day was estimated 10 to 30 degrees above normal temperatures and the heat wave broke records, such as in Sacramento. 

On Sept. 6 Sacramento hit 116 degrees which breaks the previous record of 108 degrees in 1988 as the hottest day in Sacramento history.

The Climate Clock says less than six years


The Climate Clock website shows the exact Climate Clock timer and the number of temperatures people are adding to the global surface. (KENDRA BURDICK/ Ethic News photo)

Since the beginning of time, people have questioned if there will be an end. According to the ‘Climate Clock,’ people have less than seven years to fix the damages they’ve made or they will start seeing the Earth’s end.

“The Clock’s Deadline tells us that, at current rates of greenhouse gas emissions, we have less than seven years left in our global ‘carbon budget’” the Climate Clock scientists Gan Golan and Andrew Boyd explain to the people, “which gives us a two-thirds chance of staying under the critical threshold of 1.5°C of global warming”.

Most people know of the trash in the oceans, the smog in the air, and the human-made fires that are destroying the land. Up until this point, a majority of people from all over the world have been thinking that they will not have to deal with these problems. With help from the Climate Clock, humans now have a timer that lets them know they will have to work on these problems or see an end to life itself.

The Climate Clock site also shows the humans’ effect on the global temperature and the results caused by the changes. The site explains, “the model suggests that average global surface temperature would likely reach 3-4°C by 2100 with catastrophic (and permanent) impacts on humanity and the biosphere, including floods, droughts, mass extinctions, permanently uninhabitable regions, billions of climate refugees, and 100s of millions dead”. (KENDRA BURDICK/ Ethic News photo)

Now, of course, there are ways to help these problems such as using renewable energy. Golan and Boyd warns people that “around three-quarters of global greenhouse gas emissions come from the burning of fossil fuels for energy.” This means that humans need to be using as much solar energy as possible rather than burning fossil fuels, which are causing the most damage according to a study done by Harvard.

This study from Harvard University, in collaboration with the University of Birmingham, Leicester and College London, found that the death rate in 2018 due to fossil fuel pollution is more than eight million people. 

This is conspicuously higher than previous research suggested, meaning that all the air pollution created by burning fossil fuels is responsible for about one in five deaths worldwide.

Kayden Patel, junior at Redlands East Valley High School shares his thoughts on the matter, “Global warming is just one of the serious problems that the Earth is facing because of humans and we are only just starting to do something about it.” (GEFFREY ACOSTA/ETHIC PHOTO)

Another way to help is by donating to the Green Climate Fund. The Green Climate Fund, created in 2010, is a finance mechanism which was set up by the UNFCCC to support critical climate mitigation and work on adaptation projects in developing countries.

“GCF (Green Climate Fund) was established by 194 governments to limit or reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in developing countries, and to help vulnerable societies adapt to the unavoidable impacts of climate change” the website behind the fund explains why it’s so important to reducing humans’ changes to the climate.

Indigenous land sovereignty is another way to help. The indigenous communities are critical stewards of the planet’s natural carbon sequestration capacity. This means they must be protected to prevent the abysmal impacts of climate change.

Humans are being told to get their act together to save lives. How many humans are going to ignore what most humans have been doing and help save the Earth? The people standing behind the Green Climate Fund say “We mustn’t pretend we have more time than we do.”

Link to Climate Clock

Link to Green Climate Fund

Five years later, lack of health class requirement is still a touchy subject


Throughout the Redlands Unified School District, there has been the mystery of why the health class was taken out of the curriculum. The class was removed as a requirement five years ago.

Many students still do not know the reason behind the removal of this class.

In a written statement, Redlands School Board President Jim O’Neill explained that one reason was “the number of students who were using pay-for-summer school to get ahead and how this created an inequity for access to coursework in high school. More than 250+ incoming ninth-graders each year would pay $250 to take Health during the summer through the REP [Redlands Educational Partnership] foundation.”

Some students want the class back, thinking that it’s important to learn about what the health class teaches, while others think the health class made students uncomfortable or that having the class didn’t change anything.  

Conversation infographic created using (Ethic News infographic)

“I think that health class is important because someone might have a disease and it’s smart to be educated about that,” says REV sophomore Max Flores, “I believe that it’s a class that should be brought back because some people don’t know how to take care of themselves and how to do it properly.”

“It can stop teen pregnancies and diseases. You also learn about your body, how to keep yourself clean and how to take care of yourself before you involve yourself with someone else,” says REV sophomore Haylee Lyon. “Especially now with the internet, everything is mainstream. I mean it’s everywhere, on TikTok, Instagram. There’s stuff going around anywhere, so I guess sheltering our kids – there’s no point in it anymore.”

While some students are unsure of why this course was removed, REV Assistant Principal Ron Kroetz addresses some of the confusion and says that the class has value.  

“The health class is important. I think that it is important for our kids to know these things and to learn,” says Kroetz. “It can be a touchy subject for some parents and how they see the content, the lessons, and whether they feel it’s appropriate for their children. It’s tough cause every kid is different and everyone has a different upbringing, a different family unit and there are different standards and different families so it’s tough for a school district to say ‘this is the only way we’re going to do it.”  

O’Neill explains the transition of the health curriculum into another class.

“We presented a couple of opportunities,” says O’Neill. “The first was to remove Health as a course for the sake of the graduation requirement and move the health units into another course; at the time it was discussed as either Biology or 9th grade PE.”

In a related decision, sports were allowed to count for the second year of a physical education course for students.

“These two changes to policy and graduation requirements allowed students to have two more opportunities to take coursework that they were interested in rather than being required to take as a function of graduation requirements,” says O’Neill.

But there have been some challenges.

“For the PE teachers to teach the units, they must attend training and teach the most current version of health education,” says O’Neill. “The updated version includes updates to the laws on health and the new health framework. The Board has not adopted the new version and therefore the teachers have not been trained to teach the updated curriculum.”

Some students are still left with questions.

Joyce Harris, a freshman at REV, asks, “How will the people that skipped the class [be affected] because when they were meant to have the class, the transition didn’t take place, get the education of the health class?”

How agoraphobia affects people’s lives


When someone feels anxious about a place or location because that person feels out of control, judged, stuck, or even helpless, it is called agoraphobia. This fear causes people to try not to leave their house in hopes of avoiding that feeling. 

A person that has agoraphobia is prone to panic attacks and is easily triggered from an overwhelming thought or situation. Agoraphobia is heightened in situations including big crowds or when a person becomes overwhelmed.

According to the research site “Harvard Health Publishing,” writer and researcher Dr. Bobbi Wegner explains that “in the US, about 2% of adults and teens have agoraphobia and roughly a third to half of people with agoraphobia have had panic attacks prior to diagnosis.”

With the pandemic, people with such conditions try to avoid situations where they feel embarrassed, threatened or helpless. According to an American Psychological Association (APA) report, “Americans are experiencing a nationwide mental health crisis, this is shown from generation statistics from a scientific study, (APA) report Mental Health Affects Gen. Z, that could have repercussions for years to come.” 

As to getting agoraphobia treated, it is often treated with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which helps people understand connections between feelings, thoughts and actions. Sometimes the CBT will suggest medicine, such as antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications.

Dr. Wegner states that “without treatment, getting over agoraphobia is difficult (only 10% of people are successful). The SAMHSA National Helpline (800-662-4357) may be able to refer you to mental health clinicians in your state who treat anxiety.”

Johnny Roe, a junior at the University of Redlands, explains how having agoraphobia has affected his life and furthermore shares what it is from his perspective.

“Right when I graduated high school my agoraphobia had me trapped in my house with my parents,” Roe explains. “I use gaming to remind me that there is magic and love and beauty out there.”

Roe shares his insight on what it is like for him to deal with agoraphobia.

 “Agoraphobia makes me not like myself very much. I have a lot of insecurity and I’m nervous about meeting people in person,” said Roe. “It makes me feel like the words my head says about my insecurities are always buzzing in my brain. It makes it hard to hear anything else.”

“Some advice I’d give is, yeah, sometimes it’s hard to see past your insecurity and see that people actually do care. I mean, people with agoraphobia tend to be way more charismatic and nice than most would think,” Roe adds a light side from his experience.

Josephine Rose, a freshman at Crafton Hills College, says spending time with her friend, Johnny Roe, is “just talking to a door but is helping both of us to be more open and it’s good to have encouraging friends, that’s what we try to be for each other cause that’s what you need when you have or are around someone with agoraphobia.” Photo edited with layers to create effect. (KENDRA BURDICK/ Ethic News photo)

Agoraphobia has been proven to have challenged and altered people’s lives. Although many people assume agoraphobia is simply a fear of open spaces, it’s actually a more complex condition than others may think.

Does color affect your taste?


Have you ever looked at a piece of food and knew how it tasted? Without ever putting the food in your mouth you were able to determine how sweet or bitter it was. This happens because of how color affects one’s taste. 

Color is often the first aspect noticed about foods and drinks and it can be the most influential. Many times the flavor or taste of a food is known just by the looks. For example, the color red is associated with sweetness.

One study done by The National Library of Medicine, experimented with this effect. In the study, 401 participants were given samples of one of three flavors: grapefruit, lemon, or raspberry. 

The participants were given the same drink in four different receptacles. These containers differed by color and weight, the results of the test showed a great influence of color on perceived taste of the drink.

The study said, “Specifically, in terms of sweetness, red-coloured drinks have been found to enhance the detection of sweetness.”

Drinks that were served in a red container were reported more sweet and more carbonated than the same drink served in a black container, 

On another note, colors that are not associated with regular foods have an impact on taste too. One study put steak under a blue light for participants to eat. Some volunteers reported feeling sick after seeing the blue-lit steak. Due to the fact that the color blue is not natural for steak, the participants felt uncomfortable or even queasy at its sight.

How bright the color is also affects its perceived taste. According to Spoon University, a website dedicated to helping provide recipes and nutritional information to students, colors that are brighter are seen as being more nutritious and having more flavor. This is why the candy Skittles are appealing to consumers as its bright colors assume greater taste. 

Colors additionally can trigger hunger responses. The color yellow is known to increase appetite. According to Color Psychology, “Yellow is associated with happiness and energy, and it is said to even stimulate one’s metabolism.”

 The logo for McDonald’s capitalizes on this fact with its use of red and yellow. With the use of yellow to increase appetite and red to increase heart rate, it is a perfect combination to make consumers more likely to pull in to eat.

This image is of a McDonald’s sign outside one of its restaurants. Its use of the colors red and yellow lure consumers to the store by using psychological tricks to increase their appetite. “Dying McDonald’s Logo, Shepherd’s Bush, 16-10-06” by DG Jones is marked with CC BY-NC 2.0.

The color white has psychological effects with white being associated with saltines and also relate to emptiness and harmlessness. Foods such as popcorn support this fact and allows for mass consumption of the food without thinking about it.

Additionally, the color of food plays an important role in determining how it tastes. It can make you taste flavors that aren’t even present and possibly increase hunger. The next time you think a food is appetizing, think about how colors can influence your decisions, it may just surprise you.

Drawing on the skin creates negative effects


The skin is the largest organ in the human body and is used for various thingsSome choose to express themselves through drawing on their skin. But, are there ramifications to drawing on the skin?

Many people draw on their skin without realizing the consequences of doing so. Many don’t put much thought into what they are putting on their skin and the affects in the long run. This may be due to lack of information or awareness about what’s really in the different colored inks they’re using.

Skin protects us from the environment and as shown, even writing or drawing a little, can still have its negative impacts. According to Josephine Rose, a freshman at Redland East Valley, she’s prone to drawing on herself when bored, which hurts her skin. (Ethic News photo / KENDRA BURDICK)

According to ‘Non Toxic Revolution,’ a news site that brings light to the toxins that are introduced everyday to people, “Colored inks can contain lead, cadmium, chromium, nickel and titanium. These metals can trigger allergic reactions and potentially lead to disease.”

Drawing on the skin is not only harmful for people because it is damaging to the immune system, but it can also cause plenty of other health problems for others as well.

The skin is an important part of the body that is used to regulate temperature, fight infections and provide a barrier to prevent infection. Drawing on the skin can create open wounds that allow bacteria and other contaminants to enter the body. For example, after applying a cream or ointment that has allergens, or other irritants in it, onto tattoos or some type of permanent ink may cause the tattooed designs to break open and spread the allergen or irritant around your body.

Drawing on the skin with pens or pencils is unhealthy for the skin because it can lead to infection which can cause many severe problems. The ink from pens or lead from pencils will leave behind bacteria causing infections on the surface of the skin and ink poisoning which can also lead to allergic reactions and other skin conditions.

In a recent Harvard study, “Harvard Health,” it was found that “the use of tattoos as well as piercings can lead to serious health problems.” In their research, they said that the ink used for tattoos and even what is put into piercings can be toxic. They have found that drawing on your skin can cause inflammation, infection and more.

Drawing on the skin will damage the immune system through weakening one’s resistance to infection by bacteria and cause an allergy to ink. If drawing tattoos, drawing with permanent markers is not advised as this may lead to permanent scars or worse, still death. It is highly recommended to avoid drawing with pens or pencils to create healthy, vibrant, glowing and flawless skin.

A proven fact is that tattoos are permanent, yet some might not know how bad they can be for one’s health. Tattoos are linked to several health problems, including hemochromatosis, a disorder in which the body absorbs too much iron from the food you eat.

In the past few years, scientists have been studying how tattoo ink can break down and release potentially toxic chemicals when it’s exposed to sunlight or skin’s natural moisture.

The MIT Study and Research of how drawing on the skin is bad observed that the skin’s surface area contains a rich network of nerve endings and it is sensitive to touch. The skin has pain receptors, temperature receptors and nerve receptors. The skin protects the body from external elements and regulates temperature by generating sweat and controlling the opening of pores in order to regulate perspiration.

Innovative research from MIT has shown that “drawing on your arm or hand can cause irritation, inflammation, itchiness, redness and pain.”

In one study, researchers used a marker to draw on participants’ hands for 15 minutes at a time. They found that while most people thought they could bear the discomfort, they “experienced itching for hours after drawing finished—or even days later.”

There are negative effects that drawing on the skin with ink or other materials can create. The effects of drawing on skin vary depending on the type and amount, but it’s ultimately unhealthy for the skin and for the mind.

The truth about milk: is it very beneficial?


Growing up, adults encourage kids to drink milk for calcium and with the promise it will strengthen bones. Many children never really questioned it. Now, let’s put it to the test and really look into the benefits of milk and what it does. Does milk really help keep bones strong? Or is it not as beneficial as it has been told? 

Pouring a cold glass of milk to drink (JASMINE ROSALES/ Ethic News Photo

Milk is a component used for countless recipes. It is used daily, varying from baking to cooking and so much more. It is an item consumed by many lives. But, what more do people benefit from milk other than potassium? On, the article “10 Benefits of Milk That You Never Knew Even When You Drink It Every Day“ provides information on how researchers prove that milk is packed with important nutrients like calcium, phosphorus, B vitamins, potassium and vitamin D. On top of gaining many vitamins, milk is proven to also help prevent osteoporosis and helps keep a healthy weight.

 Mackenzie Cordova, a sophomore at Citrus Valley High School, states, “Well, I don’t have brittle bones and it helped me grow the little height that I could grow.”

Though milk provides various benefits, alternatives are made to make milk accessible to everyone with no issue.

Finding alternatives nowadays is much easier than before because lactose intolerance has become more common through genetics as the population increases, creating substitutions in ingredients to make milk safe to drink for everyone. 

Starting from the inside of the body, lactose intolerance happens when the small intestine doesn’t make enough of a digestive enzyme called lactase.  

To make lactose-free milk, lactase is added into the milk itself to break down. Lactase enzymes break down the milk’s lactose before it enters your body. This enzyme is used to break down lactose into two simple sugars, glucose and galactose;  naturally tastebuds perceive these enzymes sweeter than complex sugars. This makes up for the lack of lactose in milk.

Now, if you have heard the saying that too much of a good thing is bad for you, it’s true. 

To prevent any issue, it is recommended from pediatricians/doctors that people over the age of nine should drink 3 cups of milk a day. If someone drinks too much, they can become nauseated, bloated, have digestive issues, and possibly cause acne. 

Considering long term effects, milk does not have any untreatable side effects. This information can be supported by local doctors and given treatments to help cure side effects. The most problematic thing that can happen is drinking too much milk or dairy products to the point where it can develop diseases such as salmonella, E. coli, Listeria, Campylobacter, etc. 

Milk has been proven to be a popular component in everyday use. There are various thoughts considering what they think of milk, considering the options of what to eat milk with is a pretty big variety to choose from. 

Makenna Clark, a sophomore at Citrus Valley, believes milk should be “accompanied by cereal or a cookie, maybe something chocolatey but never alone.” 

Highly suggested to maintain healthy bones and vitamins, it’s an amazing choice.

Avocados provide many health benefits


With a taste that has been described as creamy and rich, avocados are used by many to complement foods.  They form great combinations with cheese, chicken, toast and eggs. It is even used as a type of butter. However, avocados are significant for other reasons besides taste. They contain many great health benefits that may not be known at first.

A split avocado lying on top of a cutting board. About half of an avocado,100 grams, contains 160 calories, 14.7 grams of fat, 8.5 grams of carbohydrates, 6.7 grams of fiber, and less than one gram of sugar. (CRAIG MORRISON/ Ethic News photo)

According to an article on MedicalNewsToday, vitamins C, E, K and B6 are all found inside an avocado—all greatly needed to keep a human body healthy.

Vitamin C helps with the growth and repair of body tissues. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that is necessary for the functioning of many body organs. Vitamin K is used to aid in blood clotting and prevents excessive bleeding. Vitamin B6 keeps the nervous and immune system healthy and helps with brain development. 

In addition to their nutrient benefits, avocados also contain many healthy fats. These fats help keep an appetite full for longer periods of time and can help with decreasing food intake between meals. This can be very beneficial to people on diets and wanting to suppress their snack cravings. 

Along with other various benefits, avocados also help maintain healthy cholesterol levels which lead to a healthy heart. This is because avocados contain beta-sitosterol, a natural plant sterol known to lower cholesterol levels. 

Minerals such as potassium have a high amount in avocados. Potassium, when consumed in high quantities, is linked to reduced blood pressure. This reduction of blood pressure can lead to a lowering of risks of diseases such as heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure. A 100 grams of avocado has about 14% of the recommended daily allowance compared to the 10% in bananas, a food most people think of when they hear potassium. 

Avocados are a great source of fiber too. Fiber can be broken down into two groups: soluble and insoluble. 

Soluble fibers are dissolved in the gut and are known to nourish the good type of bacteria. Insoluble fibers prevent constipation by absorbing liquid. Both types are found in avocados and increase their nutritional benefits. 

MedicalNewsToday says avocados contain about 18% of your daily fiber needs in half of the fruit. This amount of fiber will keep your intestinal tract healthy and running well. 

Finally, avocados can prevent certain types of cancer.

According to ScienceDaily, in the article “Avocados May Help Prevent Oral Cancer, Study Shows,” extracts from Hass avocados stop the development of cancer cells that lead to oral cancer. Also, compounds contained in avocados prevent the beginnings of some cancers such as stomach, colon and pancreatic.

Although known for their taste, avocados have notable health benefits. From maintaining healthy cholesterol levels to keeping the immune system healthy, avocados offer much nutritional value. So, the next time you want to eat something healthy, try an avocado.

Opinion: Harmful air pollution in the Inland Empire needs attention and action


The scientific definition of air pollution is the presence of substances in the atmosphere that are harmful to the health of humans and other living beings or cause damage to the climate or to materials, and it mostly happens because of humans. Air pollution should not be ignored any longer, as it is 2021 and getting worse by the day with not many people caring enough to do something about it, especially in the Inland Empire.

The Inland Empire has some of the worst ozone and soot pollution in the country. Counties like San Bernardino and Riverside have asthma rates twice as high as any other county or region in the United States. Air pollution cannot be reversed, but if done in time, it can be prevented and held in balance. 

A view of the Inland Empire shows the highly visible smog effect caused by ground-level ozone, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide mixed during the early hours of morning. (DESTINY RAMOS MARIN/ Ethic Photo)

Air pollution is the most harmful form of pollution to humans, as breathing in polluted air can attract a number of health problems and diseases. This form of pollution can lead to diseases such as heart disease, strokes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pneumonia, lung cancer and other respiratory infections. Researchgate, a scientific research website, estimates that there are at least seven million people a year that die from illnesses linked to air pollution. If air pollution is not controlled by 2030, it might be necessary to use oxygen kits in order to breathe regularly. 

According to a study conducted by the American Lung Association, the region’s air pollution contributes to nearly 1,000 premature deaths per year in the Inland Empire. Sierra Club, an environmental group, states that the boom in warehouses and distribution centers built in the last decade that brings thousands of diesel-fueled truck deliveries daily and a host of chronic health problems for local residents is a suspected reason, though it has not been confirmed. 

Leah Cuevas, a resident of San Bernardino county, says, “I have lung problems and the main cause of them is [air] pollution.” Air pollution in the Inland Empire is linked to multiple health problems, but there are ways to combat it.

A few things others can do to prevent air pollution would be to conserve energy by turning off lights when they are not in use and looking for the energy star label when buying home or office equipment. Try to carpool or use public transportation and bike or walk whenever possible. Additionally, drivers should be careful not to spill fuel and always tighten the gas cap securely and consider purchasing portable gasoline containers labeled ‘spill-proof’. Always make sure the tires are properly inflated and use environmentally safe paints and cleaning products whenever possible.

Air pollution is one of, if not, the worst and most impactful form of pollution for both human health and the environment. If it is not reversed in time, it will become the biggest cause of global warming and, ultimately, the reason humanity will no longer be able to breath fresh air. Changing one’s daily routine would be a minor inconvenience to help hold air pollution in balance and prevent any further damage. 

Understanding the complexities of Neurodiversity


Neurodiversity refers to an alteration in the human brain regarding amiability, education, attention, mood and other mental functions. It presents a perspective that brain dissimilarity is special and shows downfalls and salvations.

The term “neurodiverse” originated as a more compendious way to describe autism. Presently, these terms are not acknowledged in the medical community but are used in the autistic community.

Seeing autism as a disorder is a way to apprehend the elaborate differences, abilities and strengths individuals with autism have. According to Dana Lee Baker, a mother to a child with neurodiversity, autism can be pictured as a human variant with extreme disadvantages. Nonetheless, as with everything, there are also advantages.

“My mind is like a tree, it has thousands of branches all different, yet they connect together,” says Benjamin Andrew. (KENDRA BURDICK/ Ethic Photo)

Author Laura James explains in her book Odd Girl Out that “people with Asperger’s or autism expend a huge amount of mental energy each day.” Some examples of this are socializing, anxiety, change, sensory sensitivity, daily living skills and so on.

In James’ book, she gives a perspective of being neurodiverse; she presents the great things along with the off-setting things. Instead of looking at autism as a disorder, people can look at autism as a characteristic, such as having brown hair or a dominant left hand.

Being neurodiverse manifests having a brain that’s geared heterogeneously, meaning towards a diverse environment. Andrew James, an employment specialist for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, says that “parts of the neurodiverse community who aid neurodiverse individuals believe that autism doesn’t need a cure or something to divert it.”

“The neurodiversity view is that brain differences are normal and kids who have them are as mainstream as those who don’t have them,” the Understood Team says in their neurodiversity article, titled Neurodiversity: What you need to know.

The idea of neurodiversity has advantages, such as allowing children with learning and thinking differences becoming more caring and collaborative. Mia Altenbach, a freshman at Redlands East Valley High School, describes neurodiversity as a “positive life changing prognosis.” 

One of the biggest treatment centers for autism in Redlands, California is Brain Balance. Brain Balance is the “leading drug-free training program designed to help kids improve focus, behavior, social skills, anxiety and academic performance,” as stated by their website. Other treatment centers include the Center of Autism & Related Disorders and the Truesdail Speech Center.

Neurodiversity has changed and affected so many lives, for the better and for a stronger understanding of themselves, as James explained throughout her entire novel. Holding this condition gives a unique perspective and a better understanding in neurodiversity.

Amazon Rainforest’s deforestation affects wildlife and the environment


The Amazon rainforest, located in South America, is the largest rainforest in the world. It holds more than ten million species of living organisms in it’s forest, including animals, plants and insects. Not only is it known as the “lungs of the planet” because it produces up to twenty percent of the planet’s oxygen, but it also stores around four hundred billion tons of carbon within the forest. 

According to Oxford Environmental Change Institution’s Dr. Erika Berenguer, “the Amazon stores so much carbon that it’s helping us fight climate change. It’s keeping all the carbon on the ground and not in the atmosphere.” 

Regardless of the environmental benefits the Amazon rainforest has, we have lost around 17 percent of its forest in the last 50 years and the rates continue to grow. Many scientists believe that the Amazon rainforest will be completely gone in the next hundred years. 

There are many factors that contribute to the Amazon’s loss in forest such as agriculture, illegal logging operations and plenty more. The Amazon rainforest has many vital materials that are in high demand for humans like palm and soy oil which can be used to make materials such as lipstick and animal feed. 

There have also been numerous fires spreading across the Amazon due to the climate changing and logging operations. Once the fires spread, they ruin the structure of the forest, threaten biodiversity in the Amazon and make it more available to invading species. 

Although there are plenty of reasons deforestation is occurring, logging operations are one of the most lethal to the Amazon. Logging is done to build new roads, clear land for new settlements and developments as well as to collect wood for new building operations. 

Brazil’s latest president, Jair Bolsonaro, is encouraging development in the Amazon. According to David Shunkman, BBC’s science editor, “Jair Bolsonaro was elected on a promise of development. Keen to promote mining as well as agriculture, he described the Amazon as ‘a periodic table’ of valuable minerals, and he resents what he sees as outside interference.” With all of this said, the Amazon rainforest has and will continue to be destroyed until deforestation stops. Cutting down the Amazon’s trees emits all of the carbon dioxide stored which further leads to climate change since it is a major greenhouse gas. 

Trees are also a very important part of the water cycle, and when they are being cut down, it can disrupt the circulation of water, which changes the climate once again. Without enough trees to hold down the fertile soil, erosion occurs, which damages plants and makes them inedible for animals to eat. 

The change in environment has a terrible effect on wildlife in the Amazon. There are plenty of species who are in grave danger because their habitats are being taken away from them, and along with that, many food sources are not available to the animals any longer, which can often lead to starvation. 

Even though many people believe that cutting down the Amazon rainforest is beneficial, it is incredibly dangerous and can alter the world we live in drastically. 

Some students Redlands East Valley High School have heard about the issue of deforestation and have formed opinions on the subject.

Freshmen at REV, Ava Larson shares her opinion on the Amazon Rainforest deforestation, “It’s so sad how the Amazon is being cut down and all the animals are losing their homes.”

Pictured is Ava Larson, a freshman at REV this year. (Photo credit to Ava Larson/Ethic Photos)

Opinion: Endless hours of required school screen time does damage


Many studies have shown that too much screen time negatively affects minors’ brains. Due to distance learning and COVID-19 shut-downs, many kids have been spending a lot more time in front of a screen than they used to. In addition, much of this time is not by students’ choice, but as a requirement to be successful academically.

Before quarantine, the expectations for most classes was that cell phones were to be put away. Fast forward a few months and students are required to spend their entire school day in front of a screen. For Redlands Unified School District high school students, this is from 8:30 a.m. to 2:12 p.m., with scattered passing periods and a 30-minute lunch, five days a week.

Students with seventh period or who need extra support continue until 3 p.m. and those trying to stay involved with extra curricular club zoom meetings, often stay on longer. This does not yet include the many hours of studying and homework assigned that require using a screen.

Due to social distancing, screen time is the safest way to connect with friends and family through social media or online games, and so the screen time continues.

Poll: How many hours do you spend on the screen for school each day?

In a poll taken in October of 2020 of over 60 high school students of the Redlands Unified School District, more than half said they spend more than 9 hours a day on the screen for school purposes. One third of students said they spent seven to eight hours on the screen for school. The infographic representing the data was created using Piktochart. (Makayla Naime and Allison Stockham/ Ethic Media)

According to NewYork-Presbyterian, “Children who spent more than two hours a day on screen-time activities scored lower on language and thinking tests.” With online learning, it is almost impossible to spend less than two hours on screens, as classes usually take at least six hours, and homework and studying several more hours.

NewYork-Presbyterian also says that, “Some children with more than seven hours a day of screen time experienced thinning of the brain’s cortex.” The cortex is the part of the brain that is related to critical thinking and reasoning.

This dramatic increase in screen time is very clearly taking a negative toll on the mental health and possibly the brain development of students.

By staying socially distanced, washing our hands and wearing masks when going out, everyone can do their part in helping the spikes cease, flattening the curve, and so that hopefully students can return to school and work in person for everyone’s benefit.

Light pollution creates concern for negative impacts


Since mankind discovered ways to produce light, almost every person uses it. True, light heightens our sight and lets us grow crops in bad conditions, but it also keeps us from understanding the worlds outside of our earthly barrier. 

Dr. Tyler Nordgren, a physics professor at the University of Redlands, stated, “I love to look up at a sky full of stars, and the instant your eyes lift above the horizon all of the stars come into existence.” Many people are stunted when they realize the effect of the light pollution, but have also asked themselves ‘What would we do without light?’ 

Many people are starting to describe the city’s light pollution as depressing. A group of astronomers, that were studying how light pollution affects birds, even said that light pollution was like having fog always in the air, only allowing us to see 50 ft. of the infinite universe. Because of light pollution we are unable to understand how much more there is out there. 

Yucaipa, California is just one of the many cities that are making light pollution. This is especially true as it is almost Christmas and many lights for the holiday are out. (Kendra Burdick/ Ethic Photo)

Nordgren continues: “Imagine looking at a world of stars and I just took the stars away and put only a dim light in the darkness, looking like an LA sky. Wouldn’t you say that you lost something, lost enjoyment.” 

Many people agree with his statement. Because of the light pollution, astrophysicists can not study space as easily. We can not see the stars as well as we could without light. Many people can’t see the milky way due to the lights around which is sad, due to the fact that seeing it for the first time is considered a life changing experience.

A group of astrophysicists from the “Dark Sky Association,” loved to look at the history of the stars but was transferred to a city to see the difference and they could barely see any stars. 

Though light pollution has some negative effects, go back to the question, ‘What would we do without light?’ Light pollution is a necessary evil, especially in cities. Living without light would be difficult for our generation to deal with, because we depend on light for things such as cooking, sight, warmth, and even growing crops. 

When the weather is bad or the soil is rocky, crops will not grow there. This is a problem since many people’s jobs and livelihoods depend on providing food. Many people have reverted to growing plants indoors. A former botanist, now teacher of the Central Board of Secondary Education said that it is even more efficient to grow crops this way. 

There are many different lights and procedures to this process so anyone can partake in this marble way to grow crops. Moving on cooking with light, using this method of cooking is more directed to the future. There are many ways to cook and bake food, but by light is to the highest standard.

 Without it we couldn’t see through the night, the mountain climbers or hikers that had gotten lost at night have said that the light coming from the cities so they could find help. Along with that, the lights that guide the streets helps the people who have to work late, including for police’s night shifts.

In conclusion, when it comes to seeing what we are missing in the outside world or to cook, farm, fly easier, it is more important to experience the wonders that are outside of the light. Because of this light pollution we are unable to understand how much more there is out there. Light pollution is taking away the opportunities to explore outside of our minds.

Reviewing important periodic trends in chemistry


Artistic version of the periodic table of elements. (credits Southern University at Shreveport)

As the first semester of the academic 2020 to 2021 school year comes to a close, teachers have fallen into a rhythm and are making their way through the academic material for the year. Although many teachers have had to make significant alterations to their plans as far as distance learning lesson plans and assessments go, ultimately they are still responsible for providing their students with a complete education of their subject.

Specifically in the science department, chemistry teachers are responsible for teaching their students about important topics such as the periodic table of elements in the periodic trends that coincide with it, concepts that can be foundational to science courses they take in the future. 

This is the first thing that many students learn about in AP Chemistry at Redlands East Valley High school. While learning the many periodic trends displayed on the periodic table that help scientists and chemists analyze elemental properties can be challenging, science students recognize the importance.

Allison Bermudez, a junior at Redlands East Valley High School and AP Chemistry student said that understanding periodic trends helps you “understand the force of the subatomic particles and their relation to being on the periodic table.”

Three major periodic trends that students study are: ionization energy, electron affinity and atomic radius. 

Ionization energy is the energy required to remove an electron from an atom or ion. Five key factors can help understand this complex concept:

  1. Ionization energy decreases going down a column because electrons are farther away from the nucleus, meaning they have less Coulombic attraction. 
  2. The inner core electrons shield the outermost electrons from the attractive forces of the protons in the nucleus.
  3. The electron is not bounded as tightly and requires less energy to be removed.  
  4. Ionization energy increases going across a period because the atomic radius decreases and the number of protons increases.  
  5. This increases the Coulombic attraction between particles, which means more energy is required to remove the electron.

Breaking down key processes into parts can help students not only understand the term at hand, but strengthen a solid chemistry foundation as the class intensifies. 

Shannon Cockerill, junior AP Chemistry student and ASB president at Redlands East Valley says, “Understanding periodic trends is like the starting point of chemistry. . .You can’t get through anything else without it.” 

Electron affinity, is another concept that can be difficult to understand at first, but helps with future material. Electron affinity refers to the energy change associated with the addition of an electron to an atom. A few key concepts that students must understand:

  1. If the addition of an electron is exothermic (the atom releases energy when an electron is added), then the electron affinity value is negative.  
  2. If the addition of an electron is endothermic (the atom absorbs energy when the electron is added), then the electron affinity value is less negative (more positive).
  3. An element that has a greater electron affinity will have a larger negative value.  
  4. Electron affinity decreases going down a group because electrons are being added to higher energy levels farther from the nucleus.  It increases going across a period because electrons are being added and filling the valence shell of the atom.
  5. Nonmetals have a greater electron affinity than metals.

A student-generated image of the periodic trends. The direction of the arrow indicates that the specific periodic trend is increasing in that direction. (Isaac Mejia and Arianna Ghalambor/Ethic Media)

Marin Mohr, a freshman in her first year of honors chemistry, said,  “It’s kind of complicated, but I can see how it can apply to many different aspects of chemistry. I’m trying my best to make sure I really learned and understand it.” 

The atomic radius of a chemical element is the measured size of the atoms, usually the mean or typical distance from the center of the nucleus to the boundary of the surrounding shells of electrons. The size of atoms is important when trying to explain the behavior of atoms or compounds.  One of the ways to express the size of atoms is with the atomic radius.  This data helps scientists understand why some molecules fit together and why other molecules have parts that get too crowded under certain conditions. 

  1. The size of an atom is defined by the edge of its orbital. However, it is impossible to know both the position and momentum of an electron so orbital boundaries do not have a definite location.  
  2. In order to standardize the measurement of atomic radii, the distance between the nuclei of two identical atoms bonded together is measured. The atomic radius is defined as one-half the distance between the nuclei of identical atoms that are bonded together. Atomic radii have been measured for elements, with the units of measurement being picometers, equal to 10−12 meters. For example, the internuclear distance between the two hydrogen atoms in an H2 molecule is measured to be 74 pm. Therefore, the atomic radius of a hydrogen atom is 74/2 = 37 pm. 
  3. The atomic radius decreases from top to bottom across a period. The atomic radius of atoms typically increases from top to bottom within a group. 
  4. There are two types of atomic radii: ionic and covalent. In a neutral atom, the atomic and ionic radius are the same, but many elements exist as anions or cations. If the atom loses its outermost electron (positively charged or cation), the ionic radius is smaller than the atomic radius because the atom loses an electron energy shell. 
  5. Covalent radius is half of the internuclear separation between the nuclei of two single-bonded atoms of the same species (homonuclear). While van der Waals radius is used to define half of the distance between the closest approach of two non-bonded atoms of a given element. 

These periodic trends are very valuable. They provide answers to many different questions regarding concepts such as photoelectron spectroscopy, lattice energy values and chemical bond length, etc.  They are essential for understanding chemistry and provide a strong foundation for further study.

Special abilities in small animals prove that size doesn’t matter


When people think of animals they normally lean towards basic animals and their abilities. When thinking of what the fastest animal is, people’s first thoughts often go to that of the cheetah. However, the comparison of an animal’s size is left out. 

Echo is a crested gecko, she has no eyelids, however has a large scale called a brille over her eyes, which protects each of her eyes. (Kendra Burdick/Ethic Photos)

The fastest animal on the planet is the Paratarsotomus macropalpis, a type of mite found in Southern California. Compared to the initial body size of the macropalpis, they travel three hundred twenty two times its body length, per second. 

The animals that are the best at hunting are wolves and bears. Wolves travel in packs to hunt their prey such as deer. Bears are very protective and have some of the strongest teeth and claws for a use of protection, cracking nuts, and killing.

Dragonflies are brutally effective killers. According to Nature World News, they manage to capture their prey midair more than ninety five percent of the time. They eat mosquitoes and other small insects that are usually found around lakes, ponds, streams and wetlands. Their wingspan and the rate of their flying speed helps them be one of the best hunters.

Elephants, lions, and tigers are strong animals that tend to fight over territory, mating, food, and water. They either have sharp tusks, claws, or even large body weight that give the idea of being some of the strongest animals such as hippopotamuses. 

Scientists, who studied at University of Namur in Belgium, used the latest imaging techniques to study the shell of the beetle and discovered that rhinoceros beetles are extremely strong. They wanted to understand the little living specious. Rhinoceros beetles are able to carry eight hundred fifty times their own weight. This information boggled the scientists minds and gave them a more impactful view of them.

“The mechanical tricks of other animals don’t apply. Rhinoceros beetles keep their bellies high and go slow when carrying a work load,” stated Rodger Kram, Ph.D. Associate Professor. Integrative Physiology Dept. University of Colorado.

Owls are known to have some of the best hearing and eyesight. They can move their head, giving them a 360 degree view. They have night vision, meaning they can see clearly in the dark, and hearing receptors in their brains, which gives them an advantage of great hearing and asymmetrical ear openings. This helps them know where their prey is hiding. They also are able to fly, which makes them the main predator for the smaller organisms on this planet. They prey on mice and even small snakes, which they can see in the dusk of night till the morning dusk.

Although owls have incredible senses, cats have a notable hearing ability above other animals. Their ears can swivel which gives them an exquisite ability to hear. This is why they are considered the greatest predator at the food chain and animal kingdom.

When viewing the different organisms and species, the addition of size into the picture is not often added. When taking size into consideration, abilities and adaptations of animals can be incredibly impressive; proving that size really doesn’t matter.

Once in a Blue Moon shines on Halloween night


The mysteries of the Halloween Full Blue Moon goes back millions of years, from cave paintings of cavemen to myths connecting the calendar. There have been theories, negative and positive, about the Blue Moon that occurs on All Hallows Eve. 

According to NASA, the Harvest Moon is a name referring to the first full moon of autumn. It got its name because farmers’ crops used their bright light to grow during the night. The Harvest Moon falls on the date of October first, when the Hunter’s Moon arises. The Hunter’s Moon is the Blue Moon that rises on the night of October 31st. Its name comes from an old tradition, when tribes gathered meat for the long winter ahead. 

The phrase ‘Once in a Blue Moon’ started in 1821 in an anti-clerical pamphlet published in 1528 by William Roy and Jeremy Barlowe. The phrase originally meant that the subject or thought was never going to take a physical form into reality. Nowadays, the phrase has come to mean that something is unlikely to occur.

Many people had thought that the Blue Moon on Halloween night was a symbol of rarity. This Hunter’s Moon only happens every 19 years, according to the Farmer’s Almanac. The last time there was a Blue Moon on Halloween was during the year 1944, seventy-six years ago.

Many of the myths mentioned before involved women. One famous myth is that the Blue Moon gives women more knowledge and wisdom. Some modern magical traditions associate the Blue Moon with the growth of knowledge and wisdom within the phases of a woman’s life. This leads many traditions to believe that the Blue Moon is considered a female.

Artistic interpretation of the witnessing of a Blue Moon. It is one of the most rare sights and will evidently it will rise this Saturday, notably on Halloween. (Painting by Skyla Lopez)

Another myth that has been passed down is that women go into labor more on a Blue Moon than any other night. “There are lots of belief systems and cultures around the world linking the cycle of the moon and women’s fertility,” Amy MacDonald, director of Duke Midwifery Services, said, “More women do go into labor with a change in barometric pressure.” While the moon sets, lower air pressure and colder air molecules that can’t hold as much moisture shed rain.

The Blue Moon appears bright, bold and blue, and it is all due to the atmosphere. The moon appears blue when the atmosphere is filled with dust or smoke particles, and can only be recognized completely during a full moon. This is one of the main reasons why people believe that 2020’s Blue Moon is going to be the brightest, because of all the fires occurring, and the constant smoke emitted in the air.

When there are two full moons in a month, the light of the second is brighter than a normal, everyday moon. This is the reason why it is a different color, blue or red, then the everyday moon. Sometimes this can even make the moon appear bigger and complete.

There are many different mysteries and myths all over the world surrounding the Blue Moon. The Blue Moon is considered a special, magical and impactful mark in history. Even through the crazy year of 2020, the Blue Moon gives us a good spin on the pandemic.

Improving the well-being of pets during quarantine

By: Makayla Naime and Allison Stockham

COVID-19 has been a big threat for a while now, and pets are one way people are feeling less lonely despite the long period of isolation, which begs the question: are pets being affected by quarantine? 

While abnormal behaviors might arise, there seems to be a very low risk of pets spreading or catching COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Regardless, pets should be treated with the same care and respect as the rest of the family to lower the chances of them getting COVID-19. For instance, don’t take them around other people or pets too often. If someone starts to experience symptoms, it is best to keep the four-legged friends away from them. Nonetheless, time should still be spent with them, like taking a walk or giving them a toy that requires thinking, to help lower any stress and anxiety they might have. 

Andrew James’ cat named Mitz Taco, enjoys going outside and enjoying the fresh air. (Andrew James/Ethic News)

Grace Wilson, a senior at Citrus Valley High School, answered if she had noticed any behavioral changes in her pets and what they were. She said, “Yes! Both of my parents have been working from home so they all get a lot of attention.” Her pets, especially her six month teacup pig Jimmy Dean, have been whining and going wild around the house. They are starting to forget basic rules and misbehaving around people they wouldn’t have before quarantine. “Jimmy behaves like a toddler, and if he doesn’t get enough attention, he cries. My pets are attention hungry, that’s all they care about, especially if it’s from my mom, she is the favorite.” 

Dogs are a man’s best friend, and although staying home is suggested, it doesn’t stop dogs from being affected by quarantine too. According to Dr. Emily Levine, a board-certified veterinary behaviourist, co-owner of Instinct Englewood and owner of the Animal Behaviour Clinic of NJ, “the differences in the behaviour of pets is expected — as animals react to change just like humans do.” Many pet owners have noticed positive and negative changes in their dogs throughout quarantine, such as being less aggressive or barking more frequently.

Like humans, some dogs like lots of attention while others prefer to have their space. Since owners are able to give their pets more affection than normal, dogs who act out-of-bounds and crave attention have stopped their aggression. If “that aggression was coming from a place of ‘I want to spend more time with mum and dad and other dogs don’t come near them,’ now that their humans are home much more, that time with the parents isn’t as rare and coveted,” says Levine.

Samantha Fujiwara, a freshman at Citrus Valley, said, “ I’ve noticed that sometimes my cat doesn’t like that we are home all the time. My dogs love having us home all the time and get mad when we leave. Both my cat and dogs love going on walks, and we have been taking them outside more now, but whenever we even get close to the door or their leash, they get overly excited.” Her pets are loving all the interaction and time they get to spend at home and on walks with their family. However, whenever anyone leaves, her pets don’t let it pass by since it isn’t as normal anymore. They have adapted to seeing everyone home all the time and no one “seemed as excited when we got home from when we left because we are already home all the time.” 

On the other hand, dogs that like space might build up anxiety and anger from any extra noise and attentiveness towards them. With all of this change, dogs can feel overwhelmed or frustrated. “We want to make sure the dog has a place in the home that they can choose to go to, and it’s their own spot where nobody can bother them,” as stated by Levine. Making sure that attention is being cut down will help dogs to feel more comfortable and relaxed at home even though most owners are at home all the time. 

Another positive way quarantine has affected dogs is by allowing owners and pets to get even closer than ever before. “With owners working at home, the relationship and dynamic can certainly change. Perhaps there were more walks, more cuddles, and more overall attention,” says Zenithson Ng, a professor of animal cynical sciences at the University of Tennessee. This extra time spent gives people the opportunity to strengthen the bond between their pets and themselves.

A negative obstacle that dog owners are facing is trying to make sure that dogs are using their brains and getting enough exercise, as dogs are becoming more antsy and bored without practice. With varying levels of how comfortable people feel about going outside, walks might not be as common as they used to be. A way to solve this issue is teaching them new tricks and using stimulating toys. According to Levine, “their owners should try to give them exercise,” and “really tire them out by making them think and learn and use their brain.” Learning new skills allows dogs to get mental and physical work done without having to leave the house. 

Cooper who is a Boston Terrier taking a snooze while on his daily neighborhood watch shift. (Noah Amaro/Ethic News)

The environment within homes can change everyone’s attitudes and feelings, including those of dogs. “Companion animals can also absorb stress and negative energy from their owners. People who are overwhelmed with the overall trauma from the pandemic, from job loss to worries over getting sick, can pass on that energy to their pets,” says Dr. Christopher Yach, a veterinarian at West Flamingo Animal Hospital. Dogs have a difficult time handling stress, and can get upset with the smallest issues. Handling more stress makes it tougher for their bodies to keep up with regular functions, and cause them to be more susceptible to illness. Trying to keep stress levels lower at home or having owners separate from their furry friends when feeling extremely stressed, anxious or overwhelmed will be beneficial to the household entirely.  

In general, your pets spending more time with you isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but too much time around them, especially when stressed, can hurt them. “Your pet knows when you’re stressed, when you’re sick, when you’re happy, when you’re healthy, better than your spouse does,” said Dr. Christopher Yach of West Flamingo Animal Hospital. “So when that particular person is experiencing low-level or high-level stress, it does affect the pets.”

Quarantine is affecting everyone out there, including the furry or not so furry members of the family, and just like their owners, they can get stressed out or sick of being at home all the time. When stressed, try taking a walk or spending quality time with pets. It will likely make them happy and help lower their owner’s stress levels too.

Shadow, a playful newborn lamb, is enjoying her time outside with Maggie Snavely, a Junior at Citrus Valley. (Maggie Snavely/Ethic News)

Infographic: Data points to decline of bees worldwide


Dreamworks’ 2007 computer-animated film, The Bee Movie, created a sweet media and commercial buzz about the bees. But 2020 has generated renewed attention about bees for reasons that sting: the drastic decline in bee pollination and population. Here’s a look at some of the data from organizations like Friends of the Earth and Bees4Life that are determined not to let it be.

Infographic by ALYSSA MARTIN

STEM Opinion: Climate concerns in Southern California worsen


The Jensen Alvarado Historic Ranch and Museum is in the process of becoming a food garden for the community, one that operates organically and environmentally safe. (Ethic photo/Avalon Salvadore.) 

The climate in San Bernardino County is known as a steppe climate but as air pollution levels rise, farming concerns grow and annual wildfires continue to burn, there’s an outcry for climate awareness. In the community, hundreds of youths and adults in San Bernardino participated in the Global Climate March on September 20, an event which Environmental Club at Citrus Valley High School helped promote and participate in. Environmental Club also made posters and helped inform other students about the event and the cause. Our climate is changing and we need to change with it. If we want our community to continue to thrive, we must take action. 

As California comes out of the drought that has plagued the state for years, we need to continue conserving water. Many families in Redlands have converted to drought-tolerant lawns, low-spray sprinklers and even drip-irrigation style watering systems. According to studies conducted by the International Food Information Council Foundation, drip irrigation can dramatically increase crop yields, which can contribute to the healthy growth of modern day drought-tolerant yard. The drip systems release about half the amount of water that standard sprinklers do as the water does not evaporate when sprayed into the air during watering. 

In 2019, the cities of Loma Linda and Malibu were awarded $50,000 in effort to finance climate adaptations, as reported by the San Bernardino Sun. The $50,000 will go to support local efforts to fight wildfires, drought, rising sea levels and flooding. The city of Malibu has announced that it is using the grant money to create a “community resilience and adaptation plan.” The money will provide a jumpstart to craft an actionable plan to change the Malibu community for the better. The grant donated to the city of Loma Linda will also help San Bernardino County become eligible for a federal hazard mitigation grant. The money is received through the SoCalGas Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Planning Grant program and is “provided by shareholders” which “will not impact any gas bills or tax paying dollars,” according to the Los Angeles Times. With Loma Linda and Malibu actively helping the fight against climate change, more and more cities will and should follow in their footsteps.  

The wildfires of 2019 destroyed an estimated 259,823 acres according to a survey by Cal Fire. A total of 7,860 fires started in 2019 and resulted in a total of 22 nonfatal injuries and five fatalities. Wildfires are a natural part of California’s landscape as without simple surface fires the ground cannot be cleared of debris, preventing any new growth from taking root. The problem now with California’s fires is that once they overtake hundreds of acres at a time, it devastates many communities in one fatal swoop. “Warm spring and dry summer temperatures, reduced snowpack and earlier spring snowmelt create longer and more intense dry seasons,” reports the Center of Disaster of Philanthropy; under these conditions, the fires will continue and worsen as global temperatures rise. Moreover, large brush fires are no longer only affecting California but fire catastrophes are occurring worldwide. Projections from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change show that we will likely to see more extreme daily temperatures with an 8-14 degree increase in Fahrenheit by the year 2100. Every year our world and our lives get warmer without any relief at the end of the tunnel. Our window to make a difference in the world of climate change is narrowing with each passing day.

A teen fighting for a better future


Greta Thunberg is rapidly becoming a household name as her mission to fight climate change as an environmental activist makes her a modern example of the powerful younger generations. In August of 2018, Thunberg started her campaign by striking from school. This simple act has inspired magnitudes of teenagers today to do the same. Inspired by her famous Friday school strikes for climate change, there has been the creation of organizations like Fridays For Future which organize international climate strikes to draw attention to these issues. 

She proved that even a teenager can play an active role in these political issues of climate change when, according to CNN, she set an example for the adults by sailing across the Atlantic on an emissions-free yacht to speak at the U.N. Climate Action Summit where she gave a speech to a room full of people where most of them were old enough to be her parents. 

The locations that Greta Thunberg has traveled to protest climate change and met with other leaders and activists to discuss future plans. ( Ethic Infographic/ Mauricio Pliego)

The young climate activist even stood up to arguably one of the most powerful politicians on the planet, President Donald Trump at the World Economic Forum on Jan. 21, 2020. Thunberg followed his speech about the changes the nation plans to make in the future to fight climate climate change, criticizing the lack of immediate and drastic action that is not being taken. She stated that the president’s administration’s plan to work with the One Trillion Tree Project is “nowhere near enough of what is needed and can not replace real mitigation and rewilding nature.” Where others, adults included, may back down to such powerful people, Thunberg proves that there is strength in the younger generations and power in her fearlessness. 

Moore Middle School students pose with their climate change posters which were then placed around the school in the hopes of spreading awareness to the other students and staff. (Photo Credit to Kelly Welsh)

Through the use of social media and the news, Thunberg’s mission has become something that is accessible to a large population of the world’s youth, allowing her impact to inspire this new generation to take action in order to make real change for their own futures. 

Thunberg is also gaining international attention from celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio, through posts on Instagram demonstrating his support for the activists and politicians like Congress Woman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, when the pair met in person to discuss the future. She was also named Times’ Person of the Year, skyrocketing her fame even more so. 

Moore Middle School students work on a climate change poster in a classroom. (Photo credit Kelly Welsh)

Being promoted by people, that even teenagers who may not be closely following politicians know and love, allows Thunberg to reach even more people. Her impact can even be seen in the high school students that attend Redlands East Valley High School. 

Junior at REV, Christina Vargas, stated that “she made me realize, because she is so close in age to us, that even the youth of America can do something about these issues that can hopefully make an even larger impact on the world.” She added, “It’s not just up to the politicians anymore.”

Madeline Lee, also a junior at REV stated that “she is literally an example for our generation that anyone can make real change even if it is through what others may call ‘small actions’.”

Influential activists across the world, such as Thunberg are making real change from young ages and as these younger generations begin to not only participate in strikes and protests but become voters in future elections, change will continue to grow. Thunberg serves as an example that age does not define your strength and anyone can create change if they take action. 

Featured photo: Moore Middle School students hold up climate change awareness. (Photo credit to Kelly Welsh)

News Brief: Scientists create the first ‘Living Machine’


With the help of stem cells from the African clawed frog, scientists have grown and evolved their own organism using algorithms: the Xenobot. 

The term “xeno” refers to something of a different origin, highlighting the fact that the Xenobot is an artificially made creature, or a “living, programmable organism,” as described by Joshua Bongard, a professor of computer science at the University of Vermont and a leading researchers. Bongard also reports that the Xenobot has the ability to walk, swim, self-heal wounds and survive for weeks if given enough nutrition.

According to their website, Computer-Designed Organisms, the Xenobot can potentially be useful in many ways such “searching for radioactive contamination, gathering plastic pollution and traveling through the human body to wipe out plague.”

When asked how exactly the researchers managed to make an organism through computer models, the team revealed that first “an evolutionary algorithm generates randomly-assembled designs, then deletes the worse ones and replace them with better ones,” and only the best of the designs are “built out of real biological tissue.”
It can also be used to defeat a number of medical issues, such as birth defects, tumors and even the natural occurrence of the human body—aging. This seems like a very large step towards the future, and it is definitely a welcome one. Not only does the future of science and humanity look bright, but contemporary developments are encouraging the urge to discover and experiment with the unknown. Hopefully one day we may understand it and turn it into something more.

The Xenobot has an appearance of a tiny blob, about 0.7 millimeters wide. Designed by computer models, the Xenobot is created to help solve matters inside the body, as well as around the world.

Citrus Valley provides options in engineering pathways


According Citrus Valley High School’s engineering teacher, Paul Bartlett, “engineering is problem solving” in its simplest form. It is a discipline focused on math but committed to finding modern solutions for modern problems. 

At Citrus Valley, there are two pathways for engineering: the Design Pathway and the Engineering Technology Pathway. The Design Pathway includes Tech Drawing class and Architecture and Design class, which are both one semester courses, and Pre-Engineering class, a one year program. On the other hand, Engineering Technology starts with Tech Drawing, moves to the semester-long Robotics class, and then advances to the Advanced Computer-Aided Design class. 

Brian Bartlett (left), a Pre-Engineering and Design and Technical Drawing teacher at Citrus Valley, helps Samuel Felix, a CAD student, on his project, Dec. 12, 2019 at Citrus Valley. The engineering pathway “provides another route for students to either go to college or career,” says Bartlett. “We’ve had engineering design and CAD drawing classes and now we have advanced CAD and robotics and architecture” says Bartlett. (Ethan Dewri / Ethic Photo)

The Design Pathway covers structural, civil, mechanical, aerospace, environmental and computer engineering while the Engineering Technology Pathway focuses on manufacturing, 3D printing, and machinery like laser cutters and engraver tools.

Both courses participate in competitions such as the SkillsUSA Competition, which is career-based and consists of regional, state and national levels. The competition features “sectors,” or categories, such as Urban Search and Rescue, Architectural Design, Mobile Robotics, Additive Manufacturing and Principles of Engineering Technology. 

In the engineering classes, students use computer programs such as SolidWorks to generate and design projects before even building them. SolidWorks is highly advanced compared to similar available programs, making Citrus Valley’s students very lucky to have such resources. As most high schools and some colleges do not have SolidWorks, Citrus Valley’s engineering students can get ahead in their field by gaining crucial experience with cutting-edge tools and programs. 

Parker Fike, a senior and engineering program veteran, found the classes are fun but challenging as “it’s a lot harder than you anticipate.” Nonetheless, Fike still enjoyed the program and looks forward to a career in electrical engineering. 

Engineering student Nathan Almanger said that “there are a lot of problems you won’t expect” in reference to the pathways’ many challenges, such as missing pieces in a project or starting from scratch to create a working final product. Almanger also wans to pursue a career in engineering, but more focused on mechanical work. 

Although the engineering program is extensively rooted in difficult math concepts, it still allows all students work with their hands, express their creativity and possibly discover a new passion or career path. It gives participating students the opportunity to experiment with dynamic subjects that they may consider later in life when applying to college or choosing profession.

New iPhone 11 causes controversy over new updates


The new iPhone model was released on Sept. 20 2019, and it comes in three forms: the iPhone 11, the iPhone 11 Pro, and the iPhone 11 Pro Max. The biggest noticeable change in the newest smartphone is the camera. There is an enhanced Dual-Lense camera on the iPhone 11 and even a triple-lense camera for the Pro and the Pro Max. There are several advantages and disadvantages associated with the new set of iPhones. 

The iPhone 11, which currently is widely compared to the Iphone XR, is priced at  $699. The iPhone has some of the simplest forms of any of the other phones. The iPhone 11 has a Dual Lense Camera with ultra wide and wide lenses and a night mode for the camera. The 6.1” liquid retina display gives the phone a very realistic feel and the screen is also equipped with very durable glass. The phone also comes with a Dolby Atmos Sound system integrated into the phone. Another positive to the new phone is that it has a wide variety of color options.

Next is the iPhone 11 Pro, which is the first of the set to have a triple lense camera. The phone is next in cost to starting at $999 and only increases depending on your storage size choice. The camera similarly has night mode but also has a 2426 x 1125 resolution. The display is about 5.8” and has a Super Retina XDR OLED display which is an improvement to the iPhone X’s display. The phone comes in all of the original colors, including Gold, Space, and Gray. In additional new color is also included and is known as Silver Midnight Green.

Finally, the iPhone 11 Pro Max is the largest in the set with a 6.5” display. The phone also has a Super Retina XDR and OLED display with a ratio of two million to one. The phone also comes in the same colors as the iphone 11 pro but has a matte finish, giving it a sleek texture. The iPhone was anticipated especially for its new battery life, which can last the longest of any phone in existence thus far, at  34 hours per single charge. The iphone 11 Pro Max is also the most expensive of the set, starting at $1249.

The iPhone 11 models have certain pros that may be considering when deciding which phone to buy next. The set has a tougher waterproof design along with a matte back which places them among some of the strongest phones made in recent years. The XDR screens are the brightest OLED around, which gives it  excellent contrast and color accuracy. The models all have the same A13 Processor which makes them the fastest smartphone chips on the planet. All three have excellent battery life and are equipped with fast charging. They have quality stereo speakers, video quality and stabilization across the board. The camera has excellent photo quality and video capture effects which were greatly anticipated.

Even with all these positives there are negatives to the phones which raises the argument, is the phone worth buying? The Improvements to the phone are not too much greater to the iPhones released last year, meaning they are almost similar. The models do not have a fingerprint scanner, while other companies such as Samsung have both touch identification and face identification implemented on their phones. The new set of phones also are very expensive which ruins almost any idea of owning the phone. 

A few interviews were held with people who had the new iPhone. For example, Geruardo Bravo Sintu wanted the phone for the “quality of the camera”, which is one of the most compelling components of the phone. He doesn’t see any changes to the phone other than it having a new design involving “more cameras on the back.” He originally had an “old samsung phone and loved the jump to the iPhone 11” because now he communicates with his friends and has “access to any app perks available”. To Sintu his favorite feature about the phone is the water resistance which “allows use in any water related area”.

Another interview was held with Mauricio Pliego and he “loves the camera quality and choices of color with the phone.” He also believes, just like Sintu, that the phone “does not have too many new features” as compared it to the iPhone X. Pliego also thinks the price for the phone was “definitely worth it” at a cost of $699.

Overall, there are evidently multiple advantages and disadvantages to the new set of iPhones. With their exceptional camera quality and sleek appearance, they are surely sought after. But with their high price tags and lack of fingerprint identification, some consumers may hesitate to make the switch to Apple’s new lineup of iPhone models.

Featured Photo: Featured above is the the new Iphone 11 in the color white compared to the Iphone XR in the color yellow. (Amelie Palacios/ Ethic News)

Citrus Valley Tedx Club holds its first event


Tedx Club Vice President Daniel Melero stands alongside invited speakers Caleb Rothe, Samir Chattergee and Michael Estrada as Tedx Club Co-Presidents William Zhao and Abhirim Balakrishnan stand to their left following the event. (Wei Zhao/ WZ Photo)

On August 16, a Tedx event—a showcase for speakers presenting well-formed ideas in under 18 minutes—was held at Citrus Valley High School and featured three speakers.

Dr. Michael Estrada, the program director for the University of La Verne, discussed the importance of drive and shared a personal success story on the matter.

Samir Chatterjee, a professor and Fletcher Jones Chair of Technology Management and Design at Claremont Graduate University, spoke about the significance of design and artificial intelligence and its projected impact on the future.

Caleb Rothe, an instructional technology coach for the Redlands Unified School District, touched on the shift of the future and new ways of teaching that will ease the change of the new society.  

Estrada shared the story of his upbringing, describing how he was raised by his mother, grandmother and aunt who all worked at hospitals and it gave him a positive view on health care professionals. But what really made him want to pursue medicine were the doctors who helped him when he needed surgery at a young age. The compassionate bedside manner of the doctors and nurses left such an impact on him that he wanted to become a doctor no matter what people told him. His success as a physician can be credited to his self-driven and hardworking personality.

Featured speaker Michael Estrada, the program director at the University of La Verne, poses after his discussion of the importance of tenacity and compassion. (Wei Zhao/ WZ Photo)

Chatterjee brought up the point that design and artificial intelligence are the path of the future. He gave examples of large companies and industries centered around design, such as Uber, which took over the taxi industry without owning a single car. Or Netflix, which put businesses like BlockBusters out of business since its online presence gives viewers access to hundreds of movies. Chatterjee posisted that A.I. is a step toward the future since scientists want to find ways for machines to be free-thinking and self-functioning, but this development will be at the cost of eliminating many labor intensive jobs.

Finally, Rothe discussed how the future is experiencing an “exponential change,” meaning that the future is changing faster than many people can understand. To combat this, some schools in the Redlands Unified School District have integrated more technology into teaching. This has sparked more interest in technology, which Rothe argued is the view of the future. Giving children the opportunity to pursue an interest in technology could not only benefit young students, but also drive the present towards the future. 

Together, the speakers covered many bases such as the future and the changing expectations for younger generations. The event was mostly science and technology based, but the speakers touched on business and future of the job market with the ongoing development of technology.

STEM Opinion: Climate change influences the search for a new home


For eons, mankind believed that Earth was one of a kind, marking it as the only planet capable of sustaining life. Evidence obtained over the years from the world’s greatest technological advancements in space exploration has dismissed the idea that Earth is unique. Planets are discovered almost every day, each possessing distinguishable feats and flaws and some closely resembling Earth in size, temperature and even environment. The fascinating sector of space that contains countless possibilities for habitable worlds is nicknamed “The Goldilocks Zone.”

Every solar system has a circumstellar habitable zone, which is defined as the region around a star where planets could sustain life. Most planets that are capable of life need three essentials to be considered a grade-A planet: adequate bodies of water, weather and environment. 

However, it is uncommon to find all three qualities in one despite the planet being marked as habitable. Many planets possess major flaws that detract from the “habitable” portion of the title. For example, in 2018, NASA discovered water vapor in the atmosphere of an enormous Saturn-sized planet with 1,430 degrees Fahrenheit days. The chances of finding a suitable home beyond Earth are low as most planets in nearby solar systems are either too hot or too cold, and only some are potentially just right.

Carl Sagan, founder and first president of the international project-based foundation The Planetary Society, summarized the future of mankind in one sentence: “All civilizations become either spacefaring or extinct.” This statement expresses humanity’s clear dedication to space exploration, and thus evokes a strong sense of determination to find a new home. However, this goal generates concerns about the world and its future—how long can the Earth last with a new problem on the horizon? 

Climate change was first brought to the world’s attention in the late 1800s by Svante Arrhenius, a Swedish scientist, who concluded that the planet’s temperatures would rise due to the effects of greenhouse gases. The Greenhouse Effect describes the phenomena where burning fossil fuels release pollutants such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and ozone into the atmosphere which trap energy from the Sun; this is considered the main cause of global warming. Everything released from burning fossil fuels becomes a greenhouse gas.

Earth’s future has been a serious point of discussion since the discovery of climate change and various environmental organizations have formed to help preserve our home. In terms of fundraising, more than “1,000 non-profit organizations are raising money for the environment” in order to “preserve land, protect endangered species and encourage environmentalism,” according to the fundraising platform Mightycause. Worldwide, environmental activists raise as much as $11 billion yearly according to Charity Navigator’s Giving Statistics. 

Beyond our troubles at home, NASA, which has the biggest budget for space exploration by far, spends “more than $20 billion, with its budget increasing yearly by 1.05 percent,” according to The Planetary Society. This significant gap in funds demonstrates mankind’s belief that finding another suitable home is far more important than saving the Earth. It is reasonable to expect that the Earth will soon become inhabitable in the future, considering the amount of plastic and waste pollutants in the ocean and the excessive combustion of fossil fuels.

A paper published in the journal Science Advances in April 2019 called the “Global Deal for Nature” posited that to save the planet there needs to be a minimum income of $100 billion to carry out conservation efforts. Global Deal for Nature reports that it will “increase habitat protection and restoration” and overall help “save the diversity and abundance of life on Earth.”

Many scientists have gone so far as to construct a timeline of future events that will result in the Earth’s demise, with some ranging from millions to billions of years. Stephen Hawking, however, was of the opinion that “humanity will have to populate a new planet within 100 years if it is to survive.” Realistically speaking, there is no possible way for humanity to colonize a habitable planet in time. 

Is space exploration the new top priority besides saving Earth? Will Earthlings ever colonize new worlds? These are questions that will hopefully be answered in the near future, as humanity seems to be working diligently towards both causes.

Opinion: Parents should vaccinate their children


There comes a time in every parent’s life when they have to decide if vaccinating their child is something they want to do before allowing them to go forth into the world. But with the widespread news of anti-vaccine myths, more and more parents believe there is no use for mass vaccination.

Generation Z is the first generation that has lived in a world without a disease outbreak that has greatly affected them personally. Polio was a disease that ravaged America, leaving people crippled, entrapped in iron lungs or even dead. It was not until 1948 when Dr. Hilary Koprowski, virologist who introduced the world’s first live-virus polio vaccine, tested his oral polio vaccine on himself. According to the New York Times, “Dr. Koprowski was the most coveted weapon in the war on polio,” and without this vaccine, polio would have killed millions more than had already fallen victim. Many more diseases, such as chicken pox, measles and tuberculosis, are almost eradicated because of the vaccination process.

There has been a resurgence of the measles virus because parents have decided not to vaccinate their children based on their religious beliefs or their belief that there is no reason to vaccinate their children as these contagious diseases have been wiped out by the vaccination process. According to the website Catholic Culture, the Catholic church encourages parents not to vaccinate their children, comparing it to “police in New York [being] ordered to bar Jewish children from public places,” but, when a community of unvaccinated people is exposed to one form of the virus, an outbreak of the virus could occur quickly. Vaccines protect the majority of the population from widespread diseases; although measles cases are few and far between in this decade, if one person with the measles steps into a room, the contagious virus stays in the room for at least two hours after the infected person leaves, leaving unvaccinated individuals open to attack.

Although some skeptics believe that ingredients in vaccines cause autism, vaccine ingredients are safe to use in the amount given to the recipient. People believe one ingredient is to blame for autism, specifically thimerosal, which has been under scrutiny for decades for being linked to autism. But, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been “nine CDC-funded and conducted studies that have found no link between thermisoral-containing vaccines and autism.” Thimerosal is no longer used in vaccines in America because it uses single dose vaccines; however, thimerosal is still used in developing countries.

The gene editing ethics debate continues


Gene editing is a very controversial topic due to the ethical implications. Is it right to genetically modify a human embryo? Because we do not know the long term effects of gene editing, most scientists are concerned with the possible results, while others want to use the editing to prevent genetic disorders and diseases.

In November of last year, a pair of genetically modified girls, named Lulu and Nana, were born, according to “China’s CRISPR twins might have had their brains inadvertently enhanced” in MIT Review.

The word spread, worrying and angering many scientists. The person who leads the project, He Jiankui, is a scientist at the Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen. Many people questioned his research prior to the alteration and found he did not contact anyone who deeply researched the gene removed, CCR5.  

A photo of the scientist He Jiankui who genetically altered the twins.

The CCR5 gene is needed for HIV to enter the blood, so by removing it Jiankui hoped the twins would be immune to HIV and AIDS. There have also been other results after removing the gene in previous experiments on mice. The removal seemed to improve the mice’s memory and could possibly affect the girls’ brains.  

Many of the onlooking scientists think Jiankui modified the twins to enhance their intelligence, but He disputes all claims on the matter. He said he knew the brain effects possible with the alteration, but said it needed “independent verification.”

Others disagree, saying that the editing should be used to make changes to disease-causing genes. One example of this, explained by Sharon Begley, is a girl who had bones that “wouldn’t stay straight.” As she grew, her bones grew; they also rapidly deteriorated and were mainly made of cartilage.

The woman who suffers from this condition, Neena Nizar, has now passed on the condition to her two sons, Arshaan and Jahan Adams. Nizar is disappointed to see that the gene editing is prohibited, so now her sons will face the same pain and difficulty she had growing up.

A photo of Neena Nizar when she spoke at a ted talk about her condition.

Nizar wishes that she was even given the option of gene editing for her sons, but the altering could cause more problems and even change the human gene pool for future generations. Even though CRISPR has been shown to fix some genetic mutations, there is no guarantee it can fully solve their condition, which does not even have a proper diagnosis.

A majority of scientists agree that there is too much risk associated with altering human embryos, but there are some that are obsessed with “designer babies.” After the birth of the twin girls, CRISPR has been reevaluated, and a global moratorium has been called for when using the technology on reproduction.


Cas3 presents new opportunities for scientific discoveries


According to Stacy Richardson, a seasoned journalist with 15 years of experience who writes for the Great Lakes Ledger, Crispr- Cas9 is a tool that lets scientists make precise cuts in human DNA. Cas9 is often referred to as “molecular scissors” that can travel along a strip of DNA and make an “array of deletions.”

The scissors can shred 300 to 100,000 base log portions of DNA in human stem cells. (via

John Loeffler, a graduate from City University of New York-Brooklyn College who writes for Interesting Engineering, addressed how Cas9 does not compare to the newest CRISPR addition of Cas3. Cas3 is also called the “molecular shredder” because it can shred underlying material along an entire length of DNA.

Both Cas9 and Cas3 are borrowed from bacteria, but Cas3 uses a more common CRISPR called type I, while Cas9 uses type II CRISPR. Type I has never been used in any eukaryotic cells before, but it has totally revolutionized the way DNA will now be altered.

With the new discovery of Cas3, it is up to scientists to use the technology to alter and experiment with long stretches of DNA. Krishna Ramanujan, a writer for the Cornell Chronicle at Cornell University, says Cas3 can efficiently erase long stretches of DNA from a targeted site in the human genome, which was not previously possible with older Cas9 systems.

Cas3 can also be used to screen non-coding genetic elements and erase long sequences of DNA. Once the DNA is erased, scientists can investigate what functions are missing in the organism and use this information to recode the DNA and solve genetic diseases and disorders in the future.

According to Abigail Sawyer, a digital editor at BioTechniques, some challenges were faced, like how to make the human stem cell show changes after altering. Sawyer also stated the team working on Cas3 believes it is less likely to produce off-target effects than Cas9 due to a longer guide RNA sequence.

CRISPR technology has completely changed the altering of DNA, and its new use of Cas3 has the potential to open up many more opportunities for new discovery in the alteration of human cells.   

The first photograph of a black hole captivates the scientific world


Recently there has been a major breakthrough in science; the first ever picture of a black hole was captured April 10. This is a very big deal for astronomers and the way black holes are visualized because before this there were only imaginative art pieces or computer-generated images. The image was captured using an EHT, an event horizon telescope, which used eight observatories and the help of 200 people to put it together.

The image that was released depicted an orange, oval-shaped ring with a dark circle in the center of its galaxy, Messier 87. Messier 87, better known as M87, is about 55 million light years from Earth and is a part of the Virgo constellation.

According to Dennis Overbye, a science writer specializing in physics and cosmology, the black hole appears to be several billion times larger than our sun and is unleashing a large mass of energy 5,000 light years into space

One of the most fascinating things about this discovery is that some of Einstein’s theories were able to be proved.

Rafi Letzter,  a multimedia journalist for who is passionate about policy, science and culture, addressed how the EHT team believes that in the near future they will be able to capture higher quality images and even live movie of the black hole and see how it moves and engulfs mass.

M87 is not the only black hole on the EHT team’s radar. They are currently observing Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole in the center of our galaxy. This black hole is 1000 times less massive than M87 but is still just as complex. Because of the size difference, the black hole moves 1000 times faster, making it that much harder to capture an image of it.

In order to get an image of Sagittarius A*, scientists would need to develop a new algorithm to collect all the needed data to create an image. They would then need another new algorithm to compare the data chunks to see how the black hole changed and moved.

According to Marina Koren, a staff writer at The Atlantic, the first person to see this image after the copious amount of work that was put into the project was Katie Bouman, a postdoctoral at MIT and a member of the EHT team. Bouman spread rapidly across the internet after the news of the black hole picture was released.

Bouman stands as a role model for young girls who are aspiring to go into a typically male-dominated career. Despite being a role model, she received much hate for her discovery, including people saying she was a fraud and did not actually discover the image.  

In conclusion, with this discovery, the way we learn about and research black holes will be very different in the future, and it is the first step towards more extensive and detailed exploration on the topic.


News Brief: Sony announces new future console


Photo from

Sony released the specifications of their next generation console, the PlayStation 5 on April 16.

With enough reported power to run 4K games at 60 frames per second while also being fully backwards compatible with PS4 games, the PS5 is approaching PC levels of performance. This is also assisted by running full solid state drives, allowing for faster load and play times.

Although Microsoft has been silent on their next generation of consoles, code-named Xbox Scarlett and Anaconda, there is speculation about both Xbox consoles’ capabilities. Industry analysts are reporting that Microsoft will have the upper hand over Sony by releasing two consoles, a unit like the Xbox One X and a cheaper unit focusing on services such as Xbox’s Game Pass.

There are no full, exact specifications about any console; however, many believe that this next generation will be truly groundbreaking.

Opinion: Drink water



Most people would rather reach for a soda or fruit juice than a glass of water; nevertheless, water is something that we need in our lives.

According to and, drinking water and fluids have many beneficial values, such as preventing headaches, improving weight loss, promoting better skin health, improving digestion and also boosting exercise performance.

The human body is made up of 60% water. On average, a woman should consume 11 cups of fluids a day, while men should consume about 16 cups of fluid per day. Many people suffer from dehydration and do not even realize it. Dehydration can cause dizziness, fatigue, headaches and even lead to heatstroke, so be careful. It is very easy to lose track of how much water you consume daily, but by just drinking out of a 24 ounce water bottle 4-5 times a day a person can obtain a regular intake.

Many studies have shown that water can help a person lose weight. If the stomach senses that it is full, it will send signals to the brain to let it know to stop eating. Drinking water before a meal reduces the amount of room in the stomach, causing someone to become full more quickly. Another reason the body needs water is to perform lipolysis, which is the burning of fat. In 2016, Frontiers in Nutrition found that an increase in water intake can lead to greater lipolysis in the body, resulting in the reduction of body fat.

It has also been known that drinking an adequate amount of water each day can boost skin health. Your skin is an organ, and, like all organs in the body, it needs water to function properly.  Water reaches the more vital organs before it reaches the skin, so it is always important to apply water to the face to prevent dry, tight, flaky skin. According to Madison Plastic Surgery and UW Health,  increasing water intake will optimize circulation and remove toxins from the skin, maintaining a radiant glow.

Water is a vital nutrient and has many necessary roles, including flushing out waste products and toxins, regulating body temperature, keeping the body hydrated, and maintaining numerous other bodily functions. According to E Jequier and F Constant, water is the only essential liquid nutrient needed to keep the body alive and healthy.

Redlands East Valley’s Science Olympiad Team places in several events

Top left to right: Redlands East Valley Olympiad Team advisor Emil Radoi, senior David Mikhail, senior Brad Williams, junior Sai Hosuru, senior Austin Tran, senior Matt Mikhailov, junior Trevor Matthews, senior Steven Nuno
Bottom left to right: Senior Melany Chong, junior Amanda Duong, junior Isabelle Huang, senior Bindhu Hosuru, freshman Colin Hawkins, senior Aaron Hill, senior Felicity Ko, senior Nga Nguyen


Redlands East Valley High School competed at the regional Science Olympiad competition at Ramona High School on March 2.

Science Olympiad is a competition where teams can compete in 23 different events that may consist of tests, construction and labs among other events. Events are based around different aspects of science, including anatomy, forensics, geology and thermodynamics.

There are two divisions: Division B, which consists of mainly middle schools, and Division C, which consists of high schools. Students competed for most of the day as most competed in multiple events. REV competed in several events and placed in a majority of them. The different events required several hours of preparation ahead of the competition, whether it be through studying or building models.

“I crammed the required information and did a lot of practice tests,” said Isabelle Huang, who placed in Write It Do It. “I asked someone who had competed in my event last year to help me build models to practice.”

REV physics teacher Emil Radoi, the teacher in charge of REV’s Engineering Club and Science Olympiad Team, aids members on the team by giving them advice and helping them with research.

Seniors Aaron Hill and David Mikhail placed 4th in Astronomy, seniors Nga Nguyen and Felicia Ko placed 4th in Chemistry Lab and seniors Brad Williams and Matt Mikhailov placed 4th in Circuit Lab.

Seniors Bindhu Hosuru and Felicia Ko placed 5th in Experimental Design. Huang and junior Amanda Duong placed 5th in Write It Do It.

Juniors Sai Hosuru and Trevor Matthews placed 1st in Designer Genes.