The future of chimeras


Born out of the flames of Mount Chimaera in South Turkey, the chimera is a hybrid of three different creatures. The head and body of a lion, with a goat head attached at the neck, and the tail of a snake. In Greek mythology it was said that chimeras could breathe fire hot enough to melt any armour or weaponry. With the ability to outrun any man, piercing claws and venom poisonous enough to render anyone incapable in seconds, the chimera was an unstoppable she-beast, willing to tear apart anything that stood in her way.

Although there’s not a true chimera alive today, the myth still lives on. Today, in Mr. Gnirrep’s 12th Grade AP Lit Class, every student draws their own type of chimera. Strange creatures run through the doors of his classroom– panda-sharks, turtle-bunnies, horsemen. Usually, these days the monsters serve more of an aesthetic purpose, rather than one of fear and devilish violence.

But one day soon these drawings could have another purpose: science. Currently we are actually on the verge of making cross species “chimeras.” Things like half sheep- half goat; geeps, ligers; half lion, half tiger. These are the beginnings of modern day chimeras. Chimeras that could open doors for medical researchers, and scientists.

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Opinion: North Korea wrong to attack cherished American pastime – our movies


America, the land of democracy, fears the word “censorship” more than anything. After all, America’s intrinsic values are based on the idea of freedom of press, freedom of religion and freedom of speech.

By becoming the world’s first self-appointed censorship police, North Korea obliterated one of America’s most cherished pastimes: movies. As SONY employees logged onto their computers on November 24, a sinister red skull appeared on the screen, warning the employees that the computers had been hacked by the elusive Guardians of Peace. Personal emails of SONY top executives were leaked, which contained comments involving racial slurs about Obama, and blasphemy about Hollywood’s most famous stars. Immediately, suspicions were pointed at North Korea.

How was a silly movie the cause of such international dispute?

“The Interview”, starring James Franco and Seth Rogen, is about two talk show hosts and their attempt to assassinate North Korea’s dictator, Kim Jong Un.

It was a shoo-in for the comedy of the year, as America was anxious to laugh at the ridiculous notion of two bumbling idiots dabbling in the art of “taking out” the infamous world leader. However, the feeling was not reciprocated. North Korea had released disgusted statements before the attack, and after the attack, North Korea denied being involved in the hack but stated the hack was a “righteous deed.”

The hack evolved into a threat on the American public, stating, “The world will be full of fear. Remember the 11th of September 2001. We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time. Whatever comes in the coming days is called by the greed of Sony Pictures Entertainment.”

This prompted movie theaters nationwide to refuse to play the movie, and the following day, SONY made the executive decision to pull the movie. It was later discovered that it was indeed North Korea behind the attacks. The question if the movie will be released at a later date is yet to be determined.

First North Korea, then Hollywood; it seems Kim Jong Un is on the fast track to become the dictator of the world. He has egotistically decided to impose his ideals onto the United States with seemingly no consequences. It’s scary that at the click of a button, SONY’s deepest and darkest secrets were at Kim Jong Un’s fingertips. But it’s even scarier that North Korea could so easily blackmail the United States to submit to their demands. This crisis is not simply about a movie’s termination, but the notion of North Korea censoring America, one of the most anti-censorship countries in the world.

A Year in review: the ten most beautiful moments of 2014


In the midst of storms of darkness, we must look for rays of hope. From foreign policy crises to the Ebola epidemic, racial unrest to political gridlock, 2014 was a difficult, often turbulent year in world news. But amidst difficult times, we must celebrate the moments that remind us of the world we hope to see. Take a look at the ten most beautiful moments of 2014.

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The American Obstacle Course


The American Dream is an idea that is often bandied about like a cloth in the wind. It rarely comes with any meaty substance. And perhaps it is labeled a “dream” because it is at once mystical, romantic and impossible.  Despite our wishes for America to be a place of hope and opportunity, the truth is that social mobility is rather limited. We live in a world where one’s place is often set in stone; it is determined by genes, by chance, and by the walls of society. One’s economic success is not purely determined by individual ambition or effort; rather, it is heavily influenced and often hindered by one’s environment and the inheritance that one is born into.

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Women, society, and food: getting rid of the social stigma


I hate going out to eat with teenage girls. I fully recognize and take ownership of the fact that I am a member of that demographic, and because of this, I feel it is important that I address the growing issue between young women and restaurants. What starts as a way to get a meal with a friend can, and does, quickly turn into a ninety minute game-show style competition which roughly represents a mash-up between “The Biggest Loser” and “The Hunger Games” (no pun intended.) How do you win this, you ask? The directions aren’t clear, but after years of on-field research I’ve concluded that the person who eats the least while simultaneously acting like they don’t care about how little they’re eating comes out on top. Even with its often ambiguous guidelines, by the end of the meal everyone recognizes who emerged victorious and that individual becomes the object of mutual resentment of the entire table.

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Education comes before sports


Our culture is built upon sports. They are a mainstay of America. If there is one thing each state has in common: it’s sports. Countless children yearn to become professional athletes. They want to become the next Michael Jordan, Babe Ruth or Mia Hamm. Why don’t kids yearn to become engineers, doctors, writers, painters or historians? Sports has ingrained itself within our brains and muscles. Children learn the rules of baseball before they learn the rules of arithmetic. Our minds have been swayed to believe that we must play sports. They are pushed upon us from the day we are born. But, we have a problem. Our culture is also built upon education. We are a literate, bright nation because of education. Yet sports and education have begun to clash. Kids choose to “play catch” rather than read a book. Kids choose to watch football instead of watching the news. Kids push their homework aside and blame it upon their varsity sport. It’s rather clear. Sports–more specifically school sports–are counter productive to our student’s educational goals and prevent teens from focusing on subjects in school.

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Why high school students need more sleep


When a high school student gets home, they have a lot on their mind. As much as they have going on, an overlying fact prevails above all that is going on in their busy lives. They are tired. They are sleepy. They are being overworked. They need a break. The last thing that they have time to think about is how much sleep they are getting. Teens should get more sleep than they currently get.

Missing out on sleep has created a lot of bad habits for high school students. They miss the bus. They beg their parents to bring them in. They drink sugar overloaded coffee. They barely finish homework. They fall asleep in class. All of these are signs to classmates that someone didn’t quite get enough rest the night before. How can students perform well in school when they have all this adversity to overcome? They can’t possibly be the same way when they are fully rested.

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