Ten Snowboarders

At the Olympics in Sochi Russia, Sage Kotsenburg drops in for his first run on the Slopestyle course. Everyone stares in awe as he flies off the jumps. Sage Kotsenburg is just one of many great snowboarders included on this list.

  • Travis Rice, an American snowboarder, has been featured in the movie The Art Of Flight. In the film, he performs on many mountains in different ways, mostly in the backcountry. As Travis rides in the backcountry, he races through the deep powder snow. Travis has snowboarded at places like jackson Hole, and Alaska. Travis Rice was also the designer and winner of the Red Bull Ultra Natural and is now sponsored by Redbull. Travis is 31 years old and close to the end of his career, but he will definitely be remembered as one of the greatest snowboarders.
  • Chris Bradshaw is an American snowboarder who rides for 32 Technine, Electric, Ambiguous, J.S.L.V., Neff, Bear Mountain, F.O.D.T., Vans, Grenade, The Pharmacy, and Ride Shop. People know him for his street riding and being able to snowboard places they normally would not. He uses his skateboarding skills on the mountain. Chris jumps over a staircase in the city Instead of using a hill to ride down he uses staircase He and his friends make videos and are in Sunday in the Park, and Thirtytwo Spot check.
  • Torstein Horgmo is a Norwegian snowboarder that has won many competitions including the X Games. What makes him so great is the way that he rides. Torstein can ride many different styles, like deep powder and street. He is best at riding the park. He flies down the hill and does tricks with grace. He rides in most of the Shred Bots snowboarding videos with friends like Mark and Craig McMorris. Torstein is sponsored by Oakley, Rock Star energy, Go Pro, DC Shoes.
  • Scott Stevens, an American snowboarder and personally my favorite snowboarder because of his creative riding and for having some of the most unique tricks. Scott has been featured in many videos like, 32 Spot Check, Sunday in the Park,I Ride Park City,Videograss and Get Real. Some of his most famous tricks are one footed. Scott rides up to the rail with only one foot strapped into the binding. He uses his unstrapped foot to make easy tricks harder. He currently sponsored by Crab Grab, Union, Capita, Smith Optics and makes most of his money off of them.
  • Sage Kotsenburg, an American snowboarder most known for winning gold at the 2014 Sochi winter olympics. While at the Olympics Sage goes off the biggest jumps letting him win. He has also won many other competitions including the events at the Dew Tour and X Games. Sage Kotsenburg is also in the I Ride Park City and Holy Crail videos. He is sponsored by Nitro Snowboards,Nike, Monster Energy, Neff, Pro Tech.
  • Stale Sandbech is a Norwegian snowboarder who has participated in the Olympics in 2010 and recently won silver in the 2014 Sochi olympics. Stale is young and able to be acrobatie in the air. He goes high off the jump and flips many times before landing, the crowd cheers loud. He has also won multiple events at the X games. He is also featured in the Nation video. He rides for Oakley, Rome Snowboards, 32 Boots, Session Boardshop.
  • Mark Mcmorris, a Canadian snowboarder who won bronze at the 2014 winter olympics in Sochi and some X Games events. Mark rides down the slope and slides smoothly across the rail.  He is also in many of the Shred Bots videos with Torstein Horgmo and his brother Craig Mcmorris. He is sponsored by Burton, Oakley, Red Bull, DVS, BMW.
  • Halldor Helgason, a snowboarder from Iceland. He has won X Games events and is featured in the Holy Crail videos with Sage Kotsenburg. He is sponsored by Nike, Monster Energy, Oakley, Colourd Headphones, Neff, and Techrider. He also owns Lobster Snowboards, 7/9/13 Belts, Switchback Bindings and Hoppipolla Headwear with his brother Eiki. He had stated his snowboard company Lobster snowboards with Kristoffer Hansson. Halldor is also famous for some of his giant leaps. He rides off a small jump on top of the a building and flips on to another building.
  • Forest Bailey an American snowboarder. He is known for his unique urban snowboarding. Forest uses staircase railings for his snowboard, jumping up high and balancing, then sliding to the bottom. He won X games real snow, and has a part in the Nation video. He is sponsored by 686, GNU, Redbull, ADIDAS, Dragon, GNARLY.
  • Danny Davis a snowboarder from American . People know him for riding Halfpipe and went to the olympics for it. Danny flies up the sides of the halfpipe flipping high over the ground. He also won the Mammoth grand Prix and was in the Peace Park video. Danny is sponsored by Burton, Analog, Mtn Dew, Frends, Nixon, Dragon.

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Should the Redskins Change their Name?

The Washington Redskins are a professional football team that was started in 1932. After over eighty years of playing in the NFL, people want to change the Redskin name because they believe it refers to Native Americans in a racist manner.

The owner of the team Dan Snyder has stated many times that he would never change the Redskin name. Some fans in The D.C. area want to keep the name because it is a major part of their past, and they identify the team by its name.

If people want the Redskins to change their name, why not other sports teams across the country? Teams like the Atlanta Braves and the Chicago Blackhawks have references to Native Americans. In the article Should the Washington Redskins Change their Name, it says , It says that “ most Native Americans aren’t bothered by the word”. The Native American Community as a whole should be consulted on this matter. If the majority of the Native American community is not offended by the word, then the owners of the football teams should be able to keep their name.

The Washington Redskins football team has been around for over eighty years. They have won championships and are a big part of the city. The fans identify the team by its nickname. If the Native American community as a whole does not have a problem with the name, than the city and its fans should be able to keep the name.

Chewing the Fat Away

According to the CDC, obesity has doubled in the past thirty years, which means more than ⅓ of children are overweight. This affects about 17% of children in the U.S. Obesity also affects children’s school performance. “Wow” may be one of the words you are thinking right now, but we can change this. You can change this!

There are many causes of obesity such as feeling stressed or depressed, poor eating, binging, lack of exercise, family history or problems, medical illness, medications, and  low self-esteem. Because of this, there are also many risks at stake for obesity like increase of heart disease or heart attacks, high blood pressure, diabetes, breathing problems, trouble sleeping, and different types of cancers. This is why kids should stay active so they don’t experience these types of risks.

Some, but not all,  children find many different sports and activities to stay active. Some children are too lackadaisical to get up and be active so they sit at home and eat. I believe that all children should participate in at least 2 activities that will help them stay active and healthy.

Samantha’s Stevens story is very similar. Samantha is 4 years old and weighs about 54 pounds, which is in the obesity category. Her mother tells ABC News that she would constantly go for junk food and is also the biggest girl in her class. Samantha’s pediatrician Dr. Joanna Dolgoff helped her with finding fun activities that a 4 year old could do that would be considered working out like playing red light green light or carrying heavy bags while a monster is chasing you. Samantha would play different games and activities to stay active. She loved them and had fun playing these games.

Samantha’s mother Cohen also contributed to help make Samantha’s healthier lifestyle better. Cohen has taught Samantha a routine that helps her stay away from junk food like if a food is a green its healthy, if its yellow not so healthy, and if its red its a once in a while.

Samantha’s goal was to get out of the obese category. She lost 3 pounds! Now she reached her goal and is out of the obese category. There are many ways to rectify obesity, but not everyone’s way is the same. Everyone has to try different activities to see what works and what doesn’t work in order to become healthier and that is exactly what Samantha did.

My routine in order to live a healthy lifestyle is running every other day and along with that, doing different little workouts and stretches. This is my way to stay healthy and it could be completely different from someone else’s way, but that’s okay!

There are many ways to reduce the obesity amount in this world and now its your turn to make a change. So get up and be active!

Baton Rouge

Baton Rouge, Louisiana is a small city that has many economic differences. The richer part of the town wants to break away from the other side. They want to make their own new town called St. George. This would raise many problems.

The richer part of the town seceding would leave the old town with less money and more economic problems. The town would have a hard time paying for things like police and firefighters. The education would be downgraded.

One of the reasons that the town wants to secede is because the whiter and richer part of the town say they want better schools for their kids.

The people of the town that are looking to secede could find a way to solve their problem. They want a better educational system for their children. The people of the town that want to secede could give their kids this better education by sending the kids to private schools. They could also use school choice or move to a town with the education that they are looking for.

If sending your kids to private school is a problem for you, there are other solutions. Voting for better education and putting more money towards the cause would bring the students education up. Seceding would be a pointless thing for the families to do when they could just move to a new town. There are many ways to stay away from insignificant conflict.

Letting the town go through with the secession might also cause other places to try to do the same thing, which would split up different parts of the country.

Newtown Survivors Can’t Forget; And Neither Should We

Photo Credit to NorthEndWaterfront on FlickrJust a little over a year ago, 26 people were killed in a shooting that took place in Newtown, CT, at Sandy Hook Elementary School. But more than 26 people have been damaged mentally forever. Innocence would never return to them.

Early morning on December 14, 2012, 20-year-old Adam Lanza shot his mother, Nancy Lanza with a gun at her home. He then drove the Sandy Hook Elementary School, and at 9:30 am, Lanza opened gunfire at SHES.

Lanza went inside classrooms filled with 6 and 7 year olds, killing almost all of them. Warnings that an intruder was in the school were broadcasted over the announcement system. Teachers tried to hide students in closets and bathrooms attempting to protect themselves and the children. The children and teachers were terrified, screaming and crying. The announcement system made it worse; the children could hear the gunshots being fired, and other children screaming.  In one classroom, two boys ran past Lanza and saw broken glass, their dead teachers, and dead classmates lying on the floor.

Lanza fired about 154 shots in just over 5 minutes before hearing the sirens of first responders.

At 9:40 am, the sounds of the police caused Lanza to take his own life.

The Newtown Police Department arrived at the scene, and escorted the traumatized students, teachers and parents to the fire station. The police made the survivors close their eyes and hold on to each other to avoid the sights of their deceased teachers and classmates. Later that night, the fire station became a place for parents to gather to grieve once they realized their child was gone. Many survivors and parents were in shock; the parents, trying to figure out how to console their children, and the children, having to figure out how they were going to live their lives from here on out.

In an interview with The Salt Lake Tribune, parent David Posey discussed how his son, who was involved in the incident, was doing. A few days after the shooting, Posey heard his son (who has not been named due to psychiatric reasons) pounding on the floor in his room. His son then told his father, “ I know where the bad guy is. I’m beating him up”.  The “bad guy” was Adam Lanza. Even though he (Lanza) was gone, he still haunted this little boy.

Posey’s son is one of the many that experiences nightmares, feelings of apprehension, and feelings of anxiety. Posey’s son is probably not any older than 7, and was put at gunpoint by a strange man. Lanza has destroyed the image of innocence for children that are just starting to learn how to write, read, and draw pictures. These children are now experiencing emotions and flashbacks that even a grown adult cannot handle.

Many parents have reported that their children have frequent nightmares, sometimes with Lanza appearing in them. Fire alarms, a clap of thunder, and the sound of an intercom can even trigger flashbacks or feelings of panic. Some of the survivors today panic when they hear intercoms or announcement speakers turn on.  Imagine what hearing another gunshot or maybe even a firework would do. Not only have children been affected, but a police officer that reported to the scene that day has been experiencing PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).

All of the parents of the survivors were given $20,000 from a Newtown Charity Fund, but therapists say that this will not even begin to cover the years of therapy that the children will need to receive. Each parent that had a child die that day was given $281,000 by the same Newtown Charity Fund, even though their children have passed on. This hardly seems fair to me.

David Posey’s son is beginning to heal; he plays sports and was excited to return to school again this fall. Hujo Rojas’s son is in therapy, but like Posey’s son, he is doing better. Rojas’s son was also excited to return to school, but very apprehensive at the same time. Many other students are doing better, but like I said before, flashbacks are frequent.

Each year, as the anniversary of 12/14 passes, we gather to grieve as a nation, and to remember and honor ones that have passed. Even though this tragedy happened, we should not forget the survivors. They are the ones that need the most help; most of them still struggle. We might not know their names, but we should give them the same attention that we give the ones that have died.

History of Food: Pasta

The first form of food similar to pasta was in the writings of Horace where thin strips of dough were fried and served with spices in the 1st century B.C.E. A few centuries later, we see an ancient ancestor of modern day lasagna come out in the form of lagana. It was described to be consisted of sheets of dough with meat filling in between. In the second century, the dough started to be made with flour and water instead of juice from lettuce. Later, Arabs adopted a similar form of noodle in the 5th century and lead to the Italians making thin strip noodle pasta.

 

If we jump to the 15th century, dried pasta was very valued because it could be stored for very long periods of time.That’s why many exploring ships brought dried pasta to the New World. Believe it or not, tomato sauce was only invented in the 18th century! Before this, people would just eat pasta with their hands. Now, people eat it with forks because the tomato would get too messy without it.

 

Today, the average Italian eats about sixty pounds of pasta per year, while the average American eats about twenty pounds of pasta per year. Writings suggest it originated in Italy, but why is it popular in North America? It’s because Italian immigration to the Americas that we love pasta so much. Italians have also had a mass immigration to South Africa, making spaghetti and meatballs a major part of Italian cuisine.

 

Do you like pasta? How do you eat yours? Comment, if you want, I guess.

 

Modern Advances Come With Responsibility

In today’s age, technology is a part of everything. Almost everyone is constantly checking texts or social media. New technology like 3D printers could become a normal appliance in the near future. However, some gadgets are becoming all too much. Sure, phones help keep you connected with friends and world news. But what if it starts to replace real interaction? We need to consider how our actions could affect the future of our world. I don’t want to sound corny talking about this, but change is a serious topic. If we have changed so much in the past decade, what will the near future look like? At some point, we need to start being a little more simplistic. Otherwise, there will be no escaping the constant cell phone ring or texting. We are human beings, not cyborgs. We also need to think about what powers these gadgets, and how to be more efficient.

One of the best parts of modern technology is medical advances. We are so much more advanced today than we were ten years ago. This is one of the pros to modern day living. Transportation is improving as well. More environmentally friendly vehicles are being designed. Until we improve, we need to become even MORE efficient. We are so dependent on electrical power today, it is ridiculous. Think about it like this.. what happens when the power goes out during a storm? The lights, oven, refrigerator, outlets, and other appliances cease to work. We need to become more dependent on other resources. The same goes for gasoline. We constantly pump gas into our vehicles just to make them work. Emissions are released into the air until the fuel tank is empty. Gasoline is a LIMITED resource. We can’t depend on these two resources because someday gasoline and oils supplies will be depleted. Also, we cannot solely rely on electric power to charge and work home appliances. Sure, this supply is not limited. But if it fails to work, we are lost.

We need to become more responsible and aware of our technology use. If not, it will become a factor in everything. It is hard to imagine what the future will look like, but I do know one thing. Unless we slow down on technological advances and resource use, we will have a big problem. After all, when you have pros it’s important to also take a look at the cons.

Sierra Leone

I thought it was great to learn about the life of kids my age in Africa. It was sad to hear about all the war happening in and around Sierra Leone. The thing that struck me was when I read about kids under the age of ten having a machine gun and taking drugs everyday to stay up. When I read the book A Long Way Gone I really got a sense of how it was living in Sierra Leone at my age. There was a lot of gruesome things that men and kids did to people. It made me feel like I take life for granted not having to deal with war all around me. Sierra Leone’s war with the gruesome deaths has huge impact on the kids.

    Sierra Leone is a very interesting place. There are many different cultures and ways of life. This a very poor place and many people have to go and get water from a river or a stream. Some people farm or hunt and some pick fruits of of trees for their meals. If close to the ocean people fish to eat and sell. There are not many doctors or hospitals to get treated for your health. It is tough to get a good education because there are not many schools and there are no books, pens, teachers, and a place to learn. It is tough to live in a place like this.

    The worst part of Sierra Leone is definitely the war. Many kids and adults have been killed in the last couple decades by military or rebel groups. Kids are being taken by these rebels groups and being forced to kill other people and even their own family. It is very sad to hear about kids killing or being killed. Families sometimes break up in the middle of the war because they are killed or ran away from the war. Most people try to leave the country but, not a lot of people make it to where they want to go.

Sierra Leone is a very good place for mining because of its diamonds. People over the years have fought over the diamonds to make money. The war for the diamonds was name the blood diamond war because there was so many people killed for them. Diamonds were the only way to make big money in Sierra Leone because every country loves diamonds so they could sell them quick and for some money. Sierra Leone is a big place of conflict because of this reason.

Sierra Leone is a very interesting place, but I would never visit there. It is too dangerous or it used to be, because of the war. Most of the soldiers were relentless, they did not care if they were killing a 100 year old lady or a newborn baby. If the war dies down and Sierra Leone calms down it would be great place to live and visit. I hope one day that it can go back to being peaceful and happy.

The Evolution of Spain

La Tomatina 2006

photo credits: davidd

Spain is known for its dominance in the 15th century as the “Spanish Hashburgs” and helped Europe to global leaders in the modern era. Spain is a major tourist attraction for their beaches, monuments, and traditions. Spain has some rich, unique traditions you will not find anywhere else. The Running of the Bulls or San Fermin, and the tomatina or the throwing of the tomatoes are two traditions that have been going on for centuries and will be apart of Spain’s culture forever. The Spanish San Fermin (running of the bulls) is a tradition that has been going on since the year 1215. It started from ancient techniques to get the farm cows to the market for selling. The farmers would taunt and rush the bulls to the market with excitement and fear. This soon began to become competitive for many young adults, seeing who could cross this run with bulls without being harmed. Once this fun competition grew, it soon became a tradition taking it to the streets of Pamplona. The festival starts July 6th, with the opening fiesta. This consists of getting the bulls from outside the city into the bullring. The encierro or the running starts the followingmorning (July 7th) at 8:00 am. Two rockets are then fired signaling the start. The first signals the corral gates are opened. The second signals that all of the six bulls have been let loose. The final two rockets signals that the bulls have been “captured” back into the bullring and the ending of the event. With people running from these bulls, there are accidents bound to happen. Fifteen people were killed in the 1924 Pamplona run, which is the most ever in one year. Another famous, messy spanish tradition is La Tomatina in the Valencian town called Buñol. In 1945, while the gigantes y cabezudos parade in the town center, La Plaza del Pueblo was taking place a group of young men created the event of a staged brawl. With a vegetable stand nearby the men picked up tomatoes and used them as weapons, whipping them at each other. The police later had to break up this “fight” and poured the responsibility of fixing the damage upon those who were apart of it. The following year on the same day more people joined these young men in the staged fight, but this time they brought their own tomatoes. The courageous event was later broken up again, but the people did not give up. They kept coming back the same Wednesday in August doing the same thing until this day became the famous Tomatina. The first event of the tomatina starts at 10:00 am and is called the palo jabón. The goal is to climb a greasy pole with ham on top and collect the ham while everyone is dancing and celebrating around you. Then the fun starts, trucks pour into the plaza dumping thousands of tomatoes. All the participants then throw tomatoes for one hour. Spain’s rich traditions could not be duplicated anywhere else. Every year more and more people visit Spain for their great cultural events. On top of that since 2010 Spain has been the fourth most visited country in the entire world. Between the beaches, amazing cities, and memorable traditions who wouldn’t want to visit Spain.

Summer: A Poem

Photo Credit: Varun Kapoor

Photo Credit: Varun Kapoor

Long days, short nights

Walking Barefoot

Playing with kites

 

Going to Camp

Staying out late

Meeting with friends

Fishing with bait

 

Doing what you please

Climbing up trees

Going to the beach

Not having to recite a long, long, long, long speech

 

Cinnamon bun

Water gun

Midnight sun

That long run

 

Hamburger bun

Tanning under the sun

Having fun

Until summer’s done

 

Going on a family vacation

Touring the nation

Playing games outside

Eating foods that are fried

 

Swimming in a lake

Stuffing your mouth with cake

 

Not an old plumber

Not a big fat bummer

But Summer

Summer.