Why Your Earphones May Be Killing You

By Josh Blatt

Music plays a massive role in modern day society. Almost anywhere at Forest Hill, students can be seen with Apple earphones in their ears. With the introduction of portable music players and apps such as Spotify, it is easier than ever before to listen to music on the go. However, there are a variety of dangers regarding the use of these devices that are often overlooked. The primary issue is how the music is [restrict]listened to. More often than not, people choose to listen to their music using headphones or earbuds while out in society. People play their music far louder than they should which poses auditory health risks, are not as alert which has led to more accidents involving pedestrians listening to music, and people are more socially isolated as a result of listening to music out in public.

First of all, the volume at which many students listen to their music at an extreme high. According to a study from the World Health Organization, there are over 1 billion people that are at risk of hearing loss as a result of listening to their music too loudly. Furthermore, the study found that 50% of people in wealthy countries around the world from ages 12-35 on listen to their music at unsafe audio levels. If youth keep on listening to music at the intensity that they do, the irreversible hearing damage will be an inevitable reality for many of them.

Earbuds can cause more than just auditory damage. A person who is listening to music and walking cannot as easily listen to their surroundings, meaning they are at a higher risk of being injured. The number of serious injuries caused to those listening to music while walking has tripled since 2004, with three-quarters of these accidents resulting in deaths. In British Columbia, it is illegal to listen to music with headphones while driving because it decreases the driver’s ability to hear emergency vehicle and police sirens, the honking of other vehicles on the streets, pedestrians, and other things. This same reasoning can be applied to pedestrians listening to music with headphones on, showing how this can be very dangerous.

There is also an argument to be made that listening to music in public is socially isolating.

There is also an argument to be made that listening to music in public is socially isolating. People are significantly less likely to start up a conversation with you if you are listening to music with headphones on. It would even be reasonable to that this contributes to the loneliness epidemic that plagues Canada’s youth since it has become that much more difficult communicate with one another. Additionally, it is quite annoying to try to get the attention of others when listening to music.

Having all of that said, there are some solutions to each of these problems. To prevent hearing damages, the World Health Organization recommends that you don’t go above 60% of the maximum audio level allowed on your phone and take listening breaks every hour. If somebody really wants to listen to music in public and also be relatively safe and socially integrated, perhaps a better option would be to only put one earbud in, so they can still listen to their surroundings. Music is a fantastic form of self-expression and entertainment; it just has to be listened to at the correct volume level and in a safe setting to lower the risk of potential harm.

[/restrict]

President Trump’s Transgender Military Ban doesn’t stop the Pentagon for paying for a Transgender Soldier’s Surgery

By Linda Cako

On December 11, 2017, the Pentagon ruled that it will be accepting transgender recruits against President Trump’s ban to exclude them from joining the military. The ruling came as a decision from the Pentagon to pay for a transgender surgery after two of them were already performed by former U.S Navy Flight Surgeon, Dr. Christine McGinn for free.
President Trump explained in a tweet, stating that  “Our military must be focused on decisiveness and overwhelming … victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail,”to justify his ban. However, other sources have shown that incorporating transgender healthcare into the military will only add an additional $2.4 – $8.4 million annually (RAND Corporation, 2016). For the U.S military budget, this is only a fraction of a percent increase.
“Our military must be focused on decisiveness and overwhelming … victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail,”
The Pentagon issued a statement saying that they felt it was important to pay for the surgery as it was medically necessary for the solider to receive it. While some went to argue their opinion about the necessity of this surgery, Dr. Christine McGinn argued that these types of procedures should be looked at as a necessity because they are not cosmetic procedures. They assist in the overall well-being of the solider. Trans soldiers should be given this right since like all soldiers, they are fighting to protect their county and should be given the right to health care.
Good mental health and wellbeing are important objectives for the military towards its soldiers, as it makes for a more efficient and effective army. The military provides a plethora of support for its soldiers so it should make sense that it would also help them through their decisions to transition and receive the procedure. The American Medical Association and American Psychiatric Association both agree that transitioning is beneficial for trans individuals as it helps to greatly reduce their gender dysphoria. Gender dysphoria is “a conflict between a person’s physical or assigned gender and the gender with which he/she/they identify,” (American Psychiatric Association, 2016). It is important for the military to address this as untreated gender dysphoria can lead to depression, anxiety, and sometimes, suicide.
This is all coming around the same time when Bill C-16 is stirring great debate throughout Canada. Whatever the stance is, the importance of these events is that they are helping to push the boundaries on gender norms and to be more open as a society to accept the overall LGBTQ community.
LGBTQ community members face discrimination on a daily basis and are used to living with targets on their backs. In the 21st century, this behaviour is beyond embarrassing and shows how far society has yet to progress to become more accepting of others. Hopefully, through these events, people will be more open-minded and accommodating for a more diverse group of individuals within communities. As this year has proven to everyone, homophobia is still a very real issue and is one that is not always condemned by leaders of countries. Often it is the leaders who keep their backs towards the LGBTQ community in the first place. Therefore it is essential that change happens through the population first and seeps its way into politics after.

Linda is a grade 12 student at FHCI and is a Social Issues Editor for The Golden Falcon newspaper.
Image Source: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/trump-announces-transgender-military-service-ban-twitter-article-1.3357685

Winter Break, Binge Session: Top Netflix Shows to Watch

Bored During the Winter Break? Here are some suggestions for entertaining TV shows to fill your time:

-Scandal

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Scandal is a show a show about ‘lawyer’ gladiator, who goes around and fixes problems for people while deciding whether to pursue a relationship with the president or a secret agent.

-Grey’s Anatomy

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A medical show that follows a group of doctors transition from interns to physicians.

-How To Get Away With Murder

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A professor of law covers for her law student’s murders. The question is will they get away with their many many murders.

-Gilmore Girls

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A mother and a daughter with the same name drink a lot of coffee.

-The Mindy Project

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A gynaecologist fails to balance her personal and professional life.

-Prison Break

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One man breaks his brother and a group of other inmates out of prison. This follows his journey in prison and after their escape. Proceed with caution because everything you learn in this series will be wrong in the new series.

-Quantico

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Follows FBI recruit Alex Parrish who is blamed for a terrorist attack watch her prove her innocence in this exciting show.

-Black Mirror

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A Sci-Fi show that is creepy and thought-provoking.

-Blacklist

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A wanted man with connections to basically all other criminals turns himself in if he gets to work with one specific agent only. This crime-fighting show follows their interesting relationship.

 

-Downton Abbey

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Follows royals and their transition through the war. The family is made up of a hilarious grandma (seen in the gif), 3 daughters, an American Lady, a British Lord and other surprise add-ons.

-How I Met Your Mother

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An AMAZING SHOW that follows a gang of friends:

TED: the annoying main character.

ROBIN: the Canadian, enough said

LILY: married to Marshal and a great side-kick to Robin

MARSHALL: married to Lily and a great side-kick to Ted

BARNEY: the reason to watch this show (he is the best)

-Brooklyn Nine-Nine

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The 99th Precinct is where we get to see the hilarious Andy Samberg and his funny friends.

-Homeland

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A crazy show about terrorists, spies and love.

-Shark Tank

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A show to brush up on your math skills while watching new products pitches and laughing hysterically at the Sharks’ comments.

-Ru Paul’s Drag Race

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“Chante you Stay” Ru Paul. Enough said.

-Glow

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A funny show about women who wrestle for TV.

-Full House (the original)

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This is a cute show that follows a rambunctious family, with three daughters, 1 dad, and 2 father figures.

-Shameless

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A group of kids, who have an alcoholic dad need to raise themselves and stay out of trouble.

-Mr D.

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A show that shows us how teachers really think.

-Suits

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A lawfirm hires a fake lawyer, who is smarter than all of the other lawyers. Well he has a photographic memory but he also just bends the law a bit.

-Jane the Virgin

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A writer gets accidentally inseminated with her bosses baby…GASP

-Friends from College

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The name says it all, the show is about friends from college who are reunited.

-Atypical

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An endearing show about a family with a son with autism.

-Drop Dead Diva

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A supermodel is killed by a truck of cantaloupes and is reincarnated in the body of a lawyer. That should be enough to get you hooked.

-The Fosters

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It’s about a diverse family that has 2 fostered kids, 2 adopted twins, 1 biological kid and two lesbian moms.

-The Good Wife

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A show about lawyers, who fight for their clients. It’s dramatic and addicting, at least for the first few seasons.

-Nashville

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Takes place in Nashville and it follows a bunch of country singers and their families.

-That 70s Show

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A comedy about a group of friends in the 70s.

-Lie to Me

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A show about a man who can basically tell someone’s thoughts based on the movement of their eyebrows and lips.

-Switched at Birth

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Two girls are born on the same day and then accidentally given to the wrong families. They grow up and then realized they were switched…du du duuu.

-The Fresh Prince of Bel Air

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Now this is the story all about how
My life got flipped, turned upside down
And I’d like to take a minute just sit right there
I’ll tell you how I became the prince of a town called Bel-air

In west Philadelphia born and raised
On the playground where I spent most of my days
Chilling out, maxing, relaxing all cool
And all shooting some b-ball outside of the school
When a couple of guys, they were up to no good
Started making trouble in my neighbourhood
I got in one little fight and my mom got scared
And said “You’re moving with your auntie and uncle in Bel-air”

-One Day at a Time

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A sitcom about a modern family that deals with immigration and LGBTQ issues.

-American Vandal

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A mockumentary about whether a high school student committed an act of vandalism at his school.

-Life in Pieces

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A story following an extended family with different sections of the show following different parts of the family.

-This is Us

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****CREIS*****

-Me Selfridge

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A true-ish story about a man who opens a department store.

-Angry Bird

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AMAZING, AMAZING, AMAZING

Image Source: http://www.techradar.com/news/television/best-netflix-series-25-great-netflix-tv-shows-1288230

The Beginning​ of Real-Life Cyborgs

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RFID stands for radio frequency identification. Many of us have never heard of RFID though most people this technology daily. It can be found inside library books, keys of vehicles, passports and, even in credit cards. RFID chips can store and relay information, enabling it to identify commercial products. Recently, due to interest from the masses, this technology was adapted into distinct areas of the market. Several individuals, for example, see the benefits of tagging their household pets so they can be tracked.

In 2004, the Food and Drug Administration approved human “tagging” to help retrieve medical records, but not many people signed up. The line between technology and reality blurred a little more when companies like Three Square Market allowed their employees to choose if they want a chip injected between their index finger and thumb. The chip, using RFID technology, enables the employees to enter the office building, use copy machines, share business cards and pay for food all with the swipe of a hand. Fifty employees in River Falls, Wisconsin have already agreed to have the chip implanted.

“We see this as another payment and identification option that not only can be used in our markets but our other self-checkout/self-service applications,” said Three Square Market COO Patrick McMullan.

It is clear that the RFID chips do not keep data regarding where you are or were, but the employee’s smartphone can – any iPhone could quickly provide data to nosey supervisors. Right now, this program is only voluntary though there is nothing stopping companies like Three Square Market from urging employees into getting these chips.

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Some people take this technology a step forward. Artist Neil Harbisson was born with achromatopsia, which means he can only see black and white. Harbisson has implemented a specialized electronic eye which executes colours as sounds on a musical scale. Essentially, he is able to “hear” colour through his device. “When I started to dream in colour, I felt [that] the software and my brain had united,” said Harbisson. He was excited about the technology and so, decided to establish the Cyborg Foundation, an organization whose aim is to assist humans in becoming cyborgs.

The most important thing to do is to set standards on the RFID chips. These should outline specific ownership and control over all implants, including educating the public with widespread literacy on how the chips work and what they are programmed to do.


To read more stories on technology, innovation and science, check out the science and technology section.

20 ccs of Gun Control, Stat!

The Federalist
By Tatiana Bogdanov

26 people were killed on November 5th. Another 20 were injured. Texas experienced its worst mass shooting in modern history, in a church. Sutherland Springs, the community in which it took place, is shaken.  

The pastor’s 14-year-old daughter is among the dead.

Devin Patrick Kelley is the perpetrator of this crime. At around 11:20 am, he was seen at a gas station across from the church. Shortly after, he crossed the road, and opened fire as he entered. The shooter soon fled the church, as another resident opened fire on him. He was later found dead in his car due to a gunshot wound.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen something like this. Hell, it’s far from the first time we’ve seen something like this. Take a look at what happened in Las Vegas, where 58 people died and 546 were injured, the single deadliest mass shooting in American history. The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, where 20 children died, remains burned into many people’s minds.

Under the most narrow definition of mass shooting used by the Congressional Research Service, America has seen 10 from January 1st to November 5th of this year, one a month. Under the broader definition that the Gun Violence Archive uses, America has seen 307 mass shootings at the same time, raising the average to seven a week.

So what’s wrong? Why is this happening, in one of the most developed countries in the world? Why are we seeing so many innocent people reduced to statistics?

I’d wager to say that gun control may be the issue here.

Apparently, not even a shooting where 58 people were killed can convince American lawmakers that something has to be done. Not even a shooting where kids lost their lives could convince American lawmakers that something has to change. Not even a shooting in a church, a sacred place for the 67.3% of Americans that practice Christianity/Catholicism, is enough for a, “huh, maybe laws do have to change”.

Of course, not every American is turning a blind eye to this. In fact, most aren’t. According to the Pew Research Centre, 52% of Americans believe that gun control laws should be more strict. There is broad support for preventing people with mental illnesses from purchasing guns, requiring background checks at gun shows, and creating a government database to track all gun sales. But, the Centre also finds that these people are less likely to contact government officials about gun law reform, than people that are in favour of less gun control.

So, in the end, nothing gets done.

After a mass shooting in America, the news is overtaken by the event. The conversation, however, has little focus on gun control laws. We receive coverage of what happened, some talk about gun control reform from liberal news sources, and lots of talk about how it’s the fault of mental illness from conservative news sources and the NRA, until something else happens, and the country just… moves on. Shrugs it’s shoulders, and looks away. The debate for stricter gun laws is never long enough to actually push for any change.

It’s almost as if people have become numb to the carnage because we see it so often.

And of course, conservative news sources aren’t necessarily wrong; America does need a better way of “dealing” with people with mental illnesses. They need to implement more support, more understanding; destigmatize it so people feel comfortable seeking out this support. Make psychiatric services more accessible for legitimately struggling people.

But I personally don’t think this is the root of the problem. The way America deals with mental illness also has to be discussed, but the number one way of preventing so many mass shootings?

Gun control laws.

We’ve seen it around the world. It’s not a particularly radical idea.

In 1996, Australia experienced its history’s worst mass shooting, and promptly tightened up gun control (which included buying and destroying over 600,000 firearms from its population), and it hasn’t had a mass shooting since. After a school shooting in the UK, the Firearms Act 1997 was passed and all gun crimes fell dramatically. Japan has banned all swords and firearms, with a 1958 law stating, “no one shall possess a firearm, or firearms, or a sword, or swords,” and in 2014, only had six reported gun deaths.

Even Canada, perhaps the most similar country to the US, deals with gun laws better. And, we can still be considered as “having a gun control problem.” We have the fourth highest rate of gun homicides when compared to the countries in the European Union. 331 shootings have taken place in Toronto this year alone. We just have to look at the shooting that occurred at the Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec City on January 29th, to know that Canada has work to do too.

Comparing Canada to the US though? It makes Canada seem pretty damn strict. Canada implements background checks for anyone purchasing a firearm, in any situation, focusing on mental illness and addiction. The US only requires one when purchasing from a licensed dealers. Canadian residents wishing to purchase a firearm are required to take a safety course, which includes a written and practical exam, and have to retake it every five years. In the US, there is often no such requirement.

As Canadian citizens, as the neighbours of the good ol’ USA, we have to be concerned about this problem. What starts in the US can spread all around the world.

We’ve seen that with Donald Trump and his ideologies, with 92 lawmakers part of a far-right party being elected in Germany, with the January mosque shooting in Canada being perpetuated by a man who expressed support for Trump.

So for now, we should work on minimizing gun violence in Canada and the countries still dealing with this problem, and hope that the US follows suit. No country should have citizens dying for no reason at all.

Period.

“How many people will have to die before we will give up these dangerous toys?”

-Stephen King, Guns


Do you agree or disagree? Share your opinion here.

Creative Writing: Scorn

By Justin Shapiro

I – HIS WRATH
For years he walked the ides of the free, turned
to ashes by the men of yield, slayed
by killers without names, the spawns of Tempter.
Riddled theirs minds of disease and plague, dawn marked a day of their nightmare.
Leave now, he said, Anne our children we will meet, sacred
lands become dirt with fields of their blood.
The children lay dead in the streets of the village,
masked men watched over with arms.
They will toss carcass from windows, he said,
Zu Shenatir would lie proud.
Fourteen children, a fortnight of death, from the depths he rose again.
The Wolf of Bedburg feasts on flesh, staining the stones below the tavern.
Peter darling, where is our son? What has happened to our son?
The night grew old, he whispered so faint.
The boy has brains, only a fool would ignore.
The man followed a voice of a soulless being,
then centuries ahead they would go.
A woman hanged from the branches, swayed
in the wind far above, past the dirt roads in the centre of Rome.
Six hundred stiff, and Tofana to blame, what a woman to come of this crime.
Throw stones at her feet, they watched as she bled, suffered much worse
than poison she passed.
It was no colder than a sword, deep in her sheath,
death was unkind but certain in time.
Killed those hated, and the error was clear, hanged in the streets
in the centre of Rome. The man had seen the age, he
searched for the bridge, his greed was beyond this realm.
II – HIS GREED
Morning sparked like the gold on his dresser, filled
with riches not shared or earned.
Undeserved, now marked with a cross, the night was a crimson sky.
Crassus would have burned in the village for rent,
with a light turned the tides of war.
Parthia brought him riches, and his greed would arrive, he was struck with a feeling of haste.
Soon came his death and the end of all wealth, seized
from Valhalla, tasted the sweetness of bliss.
Buried far below, in the fourth circle of Hell.
Inferno once protected by his screech, foul cries,
Virgil, he spoke so wisely of his pain.
His words can be heard by mortals in hades.

Papé Satàn, papé Satàn aleppe.
He sang the words from the void, a cloud, the youth of the abyss rung loud.
Arose Sixtus IV, faceless to lords.
A lie, a toxin, the vermin of men.
Taxed brothels, a fraud of an untrue paradise, hiraeth cried from the souls.
Sent to the Centre he was condemned for the ultimate,
the worst of all sins defined.
Roads of stone and marble, stacked
in rows beyond the walls of castles, sieged
by armies of deformed. Bodies blackened, skin spotted and foul,
spread from town, they feasted with pests of waste.
Farewell, they said, burning the dead, darkness leaked from the orifice.
The only hell lives on Earth, where smoke burns of skin.
Children born with marks,
Red stars of flame, born
With only sorrow, and pain would follow their words.
The man had seen the age, he
searched for the bridge, his memoir was beyond this realm.
III – HIS MEMOIR
A cold night was alone, a ring in the sky, burned
holes of pain and their terror, marked
with flames in cosmos where the hounds would cry, blinded
the towns of horrors to come. Came for men with blades, sent
for the woman soon after, the town was watched by the gods. A bolt struck
his chest, the ground blackened with ash, his eyes shed light through the clouds.
Dare to defy my supremacy,
Dare to mock my creation, dominated
this world as I have, I have laid eyes on aversion much worse.
My bolt will cleanse the hatred, deep within your heart,
it will melt away your flesh and bone beside the cross of gore. All sin within, all blood and ache,
you are blessed with more than mercy.
The Titans, they clashed in the skies, the wars raged on above.
Never show them mercy, until this faithful day,
where the immortal disobeyed his nature.
Seas turned to blood, and oceans to bones, Virgil
will lead the soldiers of shade.
The man had seen the age, he
searched for the bridge, his love was beyond this realm.

IV – HIS LOVE
Her eyes spoke with pain, her lips cried of grief.
She was fair, and spoke songs of love.
Her breath shapes the tides, her face, a spell to
all men who lay eyes. Throwing swords for a glimpse at her locks of polished gold,
men fought wars for a place at her side.
I cry to you my love, he said,
your beauty is far beyond the tales,
far beyond the songs and paintings, farther
than the heavens above. Past Olympus,
the walls of your birth, my eyes see past your unparalleled beauty.
The nine muses are not worthy of the eyes bestowed,
upon your face, your body, an immortal façade.
You mock my descendants, the immortal divinity? She spoke so true.
No mockery in my word, only admiration for your cause,
he answered, only passion in his heart.
Come to me my son, and a son you are,
nothing more or less, one must live with desire.
Your love for me, another feather on my wings,
another man to aid in flight.
I will walk through the gates of hell for you, he said,
past the Hydra, its heads eternal like my love.
Your greatness, a place at your side, a greater blessing than life itself.
You speak with kind words, yet your actions deceive.
Travel to the depths, where dusk burns through dawn.
Speak to the man with the head of flames,
his eyes, obscure, bloodshot with agony.
My son, only hatred you will find,
your belongings worth no more than the dirt you walk.
Your swords, but a spike in his foot, leave them here with a watchful eye.
I am far from a servant, he cried, yet my love will endure.
I will confront the spirit,
for I am nothing but a shell, born
with an everlasting flame.
I am no less than this evil you speak.
The man had seen the age, he
searched for the bridge, his trial was beyond this realm.

V – HIS TRIAL
Merriment over screams of terror,
flesh melts from their skin, blackened and grey.
Condemned for the defiance, rooted deep within their bones, temptations
ignored by none.
Ghostly lights swarm the skies of dead marked stars, red
figures of hate gloom beneath scorched earth.
The cries of innocence, insane sense of sanity, those
who accept their fate, bleed in warmth.
A ship of flames floats beyond seas of ash,
into rivers of infection and waste.
He stepped towards the gate of blood and stone.
You come so soon, whispered ever so faint.
Does pain stimulate your essence, my friend?
For I am the essence of pain, for that there is wealth, I am certain of it and all.
Open the gates for a man of courage, let me gaze upon his face.
Only a man, no sword or dagger, do you mock an immortal being?
Mockery is not a craft I partake; I am here for a message of truth, he said.
The figure sat in a throne of limbs.
A divine one spoke of your presence, she told
stories of your pain, your power and will.
My will and power?
Defined in a class so black and white, do
you mistake me for a mortal man?
The figure stepped from his throne.
There is hatred in your mind,
you must enter what is left of mine.
Your pain, but a fraction, the ice above water.
The truth is what you seek, so be it.
Kneel before me, only then, it be told.
I will not kneel, not now, not ever for a spirit of hate, he said.
Never for a spirit of suffrage, a troubled
soul of immortality, beset by its existence.
He stepped away, towards the gate.
I have seen the truth, what it is that you fear.
A soul filled with pain, freed by death,
yet you are immortal and sealed for all.
Trapped in your nightmare, an eternity of pain, cursed with the absence of death.
Eyes red with fury,
the spirit, struck with anger, it vanished into the flames.
The man had seen the age, he
searched for the bridge, his fate was beyond this realm.

VI – HIS FATE
Pain of no truth,
hate with no cause.
The answer was clear,
his glass once shattered.
A dagger to the heart, the blow of death,
a dark entity, with the unfortunate gift.
Death, in that he is blessed.
His hatred, immortal, body a vessel of age.
Only death cures the broken, destroyed,
what burns inside, every breath that enters,
every word that exists, regret any and all of his days.
He has met the divine, seen the night far below,
those who are cursed in their diamond skin, the immortal.
All living dead.
It is the dead who live,
barbed arrows stick from their heart, unable to bleed.
It is his wrath that acts,
greed who speaks,
love that guides.
It remains in death, and in that he was certain,
then brushed his heart with a silver blade.

Creative Writing: Sweet Rosemary

By Lana Glozic

Rosemary frowned all too much.
Rosemary clenched her jaw
Awake to aching pains at night
Rosemary, whose boiling temper
Waged a war inside her brain
Octavian vying for the throne
***
“Mother,” I ask, “Why is there blood
In that bag of flesh? In the ice box
It looks so pale.” She says,
“There’s always blood when it thaws.”
It’s always been this way.”
She serves it with plum sauce.
We ignore its time at the butcher’s.
***
And so to honor King Kennedy,
They forgot that human kind
Was built on war and grapeshot;
It looks ugly on a young girl.
The doctors set her under
A pale white light softly whirring
To pay sweet Bassanio’s debt.
The scalpel descended. They asked

Her to count to ten, mowing the Capitoline
Into a lovely green pasture
Where stood a medieval neighborhood.
***
In its place they dropped a frothy white wedding cake
For all the town to watch and gasp. La dentiera.
But when they begged the doctors,
“Oh, do let us in! What’s inside!”
Gloves scrunched in their hands
They said “There is nothing, nothing, nothing,
Only a doll face.” And Rosemary laid there
With half the crumbling ancients and
Half a set of false pearly teeth.
The quadriga heels to a sky
That does not answer.
***
“O my son Absalom, my son
My son, Absalom! Would God
I had died for thee, O Absalom,
My son, my son!”
Her head was caught in
The boughs of an olive tree.

Creative Writing: Janitor

A Raymond Carver Style Short Story

By Esther Eisen

The alarm rings. I sit up and look at my messy apartment. I get up and take a
quick shower before putting on my uniform. It still smells from yesterday. I finish up
getting ready and walk to the bus stop.
The bus comes and it’s the same bus driver as usual. We nod at each other
and then I go and sit down. I overhear two teenagers.
“Oh my god, I hate school,” she says.
“It’s the worst. I’m so stressed. I just want to go home,” he says.
“I can’t wait to graduate and move on. I hate the whole high school
atmosphere. Just looking at the building gives me chills,” she says.
“Same. It’s so gross. Just yesterday I felt gum under my desk. Isn’t it
someone’s job to make sure it isn’t there?” He says.
I feel my face flush. I clench my fists. I take deep breaths and move to the
Other ends of the bus.
As I walk to the back door of the school, I see my co-worker, Andrew. We
started working here the same year.
“Hey,” he says.
“Hey,” I say.
“How’s it going?” he says.
“It’s alright,” I say.
“Same,” he says.
I walk to the basement and into the room. As I walk through the halls, I hear
conversations among the students.
“I want the new iPhone because I’ve had mine for a year and sometimes it
freezes”, she says.
I look down at my flip phone as I hear a boy say, “Yeah, I’m getting a car for
my grad present. But it better not is some junk car or else I’m going to be mad.”
Once I’m in the room, I grab my equipment and walk up to the top floor girls’
washroom.

“Anyone in here?” I say.
“Yes,” a girl says.
I wait 3 minutes. The girl walks out. She looks me up and down and then
walks away. I walk in and mop the floors. I could do this in my sleep.
My pager buzzes. It’s the boss.
“Kid threw up in room 142. Take care of it, would ya?” He says.
“Yes Sir,” I say.
The day goes on and eventually, my day is finished. I don’t have money for the
bus ride home so I walk.
“Got any food?” a homeless man says.
“Sorry, man,” I say.
I climb the stairs past the urine to my apartment.
6:30 AM. I wake up and repeat my day. I do the same job, see the same
people, wear the same clothes. But today feels different. There’s a new kid on the
job.
“Welcome to the job,” I say.
“Thanks. I have some first-day nerves but it should be fine. How long you
been doin’ this? ” he says.
“Twenty years,” I say.
“Do you like it here?” he says.
“It pays the bills”, I say. “I’ll give you the tour and show you how things work
for the first few days,” I say.
This means I have double the work to do but my boss told me to and I can’t
say no. Today isn’t all bad though; it’s payday.
I go to the convenient store to get my lottery tickets.
“Payday, huh?” the clerk says.
“Yep,” I say.
“you’re usual?” she says.
“Yep,” I say. I pull out the $500 I cashed at the bank.
The clerk hands me my stack of tickets. “Good luck,” she says.

“See you in two weeks,” I say.
“See ya,” she says.
The next day I get up and go to work. I wash the floors, I clean the toilet
bowls, I refill the soap. After work, I go to a pub so I can watch the TV. I put aside a
few bucks for a beer and rent. I stay for a while and watch the soccer game. I talk to
a few women and almost bring one home. I stay late to hear the winning numbers.
The next day I wake up and go to work. Andrew sees me.
“Hey,” he says.
“Hey,” I say.
“What’s new?” He says.
“Not much,” I say.

5 Reasons Why CRISPR is Beyond Exciting

Rafael Lopez

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By Matt Lindzon


Starting now, scientists can successfully edit the DNA of viable human embryos using the new gene-editing tool called Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeat commonly known as CRISPR. It can efficiently tweak almost any gene in any animal or plant. This technology could be the first step in preventing infants from having incurable diseases or disorders. Despite all its benefits, CRISPR has stirred up some discussion on the ethical implications of genetically altering human embryos. Though, in this article, we’re going to focus on the positives:

CRISPR HAS STIRRED UP SOME DISCUSSION ON THE ETHICAL IMPLICATIONS OF GENETICALLY ALTERING HUMAN EMBRYOS.

  1. Scientists have been able to successfully reverse signs of Huntington’s disease as they were able to remove corresponding genes from test mice. The researchers are one step closer to using this technology on humans. It is entirely likely that this brilliant technique could one day be used on humans as well.
  2. CRISPR Gene editing has been used by researchers to make viruses force superbugs to kill themselves. Scientists are hopeful that they will be capable of developing new ways of conquering antibiotic-resistant pathogens. https://twitter.com/merebauer/status/897957502175682560

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  3. Scientists at the University of Pittsburgh have used gene editing to eliminate HIV from three different living animal models. CRISPR allowed them to remove the virus DNA which cleared up acute and latent infections.
  4. Using CRISPR, mosquito-borne diseases could be eliminated. Scientists have discovered a technique that can limit the outbreak of mosquitoes by editing their fertility genes.
  5. Thanks to CRISPR, we can now target the hybrid fusion genes that sometimes trigger tumour growth of cancer. Researchers have made a cancer-defeating gene that can even shrink tumours in mice who have prostate and liver cancer cells.

Did Anyone Really Expect This from FHCI?

By Ethan Blummberg

  The pep rally curated by Forest Hill students this past week was the most triumphant spectacle I have witnessed during my tenure at the school. The event was willingly enjoyed by hundreds of students, discrediting the notion that Forest Hill has no spirit. The event that unfolded in the gymnasium was unlike anything I had ever seen at Forest Hill. The disparity between this rally and previous attempts at school-wide events may be in large part to why it was such a success. As a student of three years, the change was refreshing.

The event was willingly enjoyed by hundreds of students, discrediting the notion that Forest Hill has no spirit.

                A highlight for my self-was the unorthodox methods such as the relay races, the hockey video and Kahoot game that was all used to appeal to the audience of nearly 1000 people. The well-executed video, made by grade 12 student Cole Chypyha, was a captivating insight into this year’s boys varsity hockey team. The visual component was a nice touch to the already stellar line up put together by the powers at be.  The commotion in the middle of the gym caused by the relay races was an outstanding example of the creativity we have in our school. Students from around the school participated in these clever races as their peers enthusiastically watched on. This element of the school-wide event brought a lot of comedic value out of the mishaps classmates endured attempting the relay challenges. All of the different parts of the rally, from the beginning to the end were integral to its success and I wouldn’t have changed a single thing.

                It is nice to finally have someone at Forest Hill who is able to entertain the entire school body, while still clearly articulating the points he must make. This can be found in current school president, James Michael Kabitsis. This captivating speaker led off the fourth period with a great speech that was a catalyst for the rest of the day’s success.  I don’t think it would be too far off for me to say that many of the staff in the school could benefit from listening to one of his speeches; so when the time comes that they must speak in front of the whole school they can properly engage the audience and convey their message. Rather than deliver a boring talk to hundreds of students that have endured many speeches alike.

After seeing Friday’s events unfold it is really hard to determine whether the lack of spirit in the school should be blamed on the students or the staff members of Forest Hill Collegiate Institute.

                I believe the recent rally was a huge success amongst the students, largely in part to how different the event was to what we have been accustomed to at FHCI.  Credit must go to the people who took part in planning the whole ordeal for hosting an event many, including myself, wouldn’t see possible coming from Forest Hill. Nevertheless, I think that this remarkable feat for the students of the school sadly will not occur again in my lifetime at Forest Hill. After seeing Friday’s events unfold it is really hard to determine whether the lack of spirit in the school should be blamed on the students or the staff members of Forest Hill Collegiate Institute.


This story was written by Ethan Blummberg, a Social Issues Editor for The Golden Falcon. The opinions expressed in this article reflect the opinions of the author.

Humans of FHCI – Mr. MacDonald

By Esther Eisen and Abi Parameswaran

 

unnamedWhat is one thing most people don’t know about you? 

“I dabble in oil painting. But I only dabble in it; I’m not very good at it. I can also carve a sick pumpkin!”

If you weren’t a teacher, what would you be? 
“I would probably be working a desk job, doing something really boring like filing. My dream job would be a river raft guide in The Northern Woods.”
 
What’s your favourite thing about being a teacher?
“I really enjoy coming in every day and having one-on-one time with students in our own space. I like the discussions we have, the ideas we have. I like the creativity I see coming from the students. I learn something every day!”
 
What’s your least favourite thing about being a teacher?
“I don’t like whining.”
 
What’s one tradition you’ve kept throughout your teaching career? 
“We play Jeopardy every day. I started this tradition on my very first period of teaching. I found a Jeopardy calendar in my desk drawer and that just kick started the whole thing.”

It’s 1917, Just 100 Years Ago

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It is shocking to see just how much the world has changed in 100 years. Here is some facts from 1917 to put everything into perspective:

  1. The global literacy rate was 23 percent
  2. The average price of a consumer car in the US was $400
  3. Sugar cost 4 cents a pound
  4. The population of Las Vegas, Nevada was 30 people
  5. The global population was 1.9 billion
  6. 6 percent of Americans graduated from high school
  7. 8 percent of homes had a telephone
  8. There were 230 reported murders in the US
  9. The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph
  10. More than 95 percent of births took place at home
  11. The average annual income for an individual was $800
  12. 20 percent of Americans could not read or write
  13. 90 percent of doctors did not have a college education
  14. It took 5 days to get from London to New York
  15. The toggle light switch was the major breakthrough in technology
  16. A loaf of bread was $0.07

Dance Fashion Show 2017: Cassie L.

By Osvald Klimi 

What’s your role in the show?

I’m a model in the party scene and exam scene.

What are your outfits/dresses?

Exam scene: sweat pants and tank top. Party: leather pants, heels, t-shirt.

What’s your favorite part of being in dance fashion show?

It’s fun to be with all your friends in the show and get out of school and look good.

What will be your role next year?

I’ll probably be a model again.

A Guide to High School

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By Andi Mayer-Goodman

Read her Humans of FHCI article here

High school is like a roller coaster. It has its ups and downs, its unexpected quick turns, its excitement, and the feeling you get halfway through when you decide you want to get off, but you can’t, so you stick through it and end up having one of the greatest times of your life.  High school is everything you make it. It sometimes feels like you cannot get through a day, let alone four years. Over my three years of high school I have developed skills and tips that have kept me from breaking down and taught me how to enjoy school. If you follow along these four tips, I guarantee you will not only be able to survive, but thrive in high school with success and happiness.

 Steps to succeed:

1. Stay Organized.

You get an assignment sheet from your English teacher, then you just throw it in your bag because, ugh, you will figure it out later, right? Skip to two weeks later, it’s the due date of the assignment that you totally forgot you had, and you can’t even find the sheet. All of this could have been prevented with simple organization.  Organization is a skill that is crucial to survive high school. It is a skill that one can easily learn and develop.  Being organized can lower your stress and give you a sense of calmness. There are many ways to stay organized in high school. Now I know, it’s so easy just to throw the sheet into your bag and worry about it later. But why worry! Rather than struggling and rushing to write the assignment the night before, you should plan ahead so don’t have to have that extra anxiety on you. By planning ahead and sticking to that plan, you will know what you have to do each night, instead of leaving it all to the last minute. Write in your agenda. Your agenda is your lifesaver in high school. When you get an assignment or test, write it down! It takes less than five seconds. Get binders and dividers! This way, come exam time, when you’re struggling to find all the papers that you thought you had crumbled up in your knapsack, it is all organized in one nice binder. It will save you time and stress. These three organization tips, writing in your agenda, planning ahead, and using binders, will definitely save you from that extra unworthy high school stress.

2. Develop Relationships

School is not all about the work. Don’t forget to have fun and be social. Try to make friends with a diverse group of people. When coming to FHCI in grade 10 I had a core friend group, but over the past two years I have made friends with many other people that I never thought I would be friends with. I’m not saying you need to be best friends with everyone, but making friends is a nice way to put yourself out there. It’s great getting to know people! Develop relationships with teachers. Not all teachers you see walk around with a ruler in one hand and an apple in the other. You’d be surprised how fun and insightful they can be. Plus, if a teacher likes you, they will be easier on you. However, you can’t fake being nice, teachers can smell that a mile away.

3. Get Involved

Getting involved in school adds to the high school experience. Do things like joining the school play, going to home games, participating in sports teams etc. By having school spirit and doing these things you get a sense of community and will meet more people.  We have so many clubs to choose from at our school that at least one must interest you, and if they don’t, start your own club! High school is a time where you find out who you are and what you enjoy doing. By joining these things you will have fun pursuing new interests. Don’t look at these extra activities as a burden to take up your time. In the long run these activities will be nothing but positive as they will add to your high school experience as a whole.

4. Lastly, have fun!

Although high school may not be what we see in movies with pep rallies and breaking out into songs in the middle of lunch, you can still have fun. High school is a once in a lifetime moment. Stop stressing. So what if you do poorly on a quiz about safety equipment at the beginning of the year. Will that really matter in your overall high school experience? There is a part of high school that is supposed to be fun. It is our time to learn who we are; we do this by joining clubs, making new friends, and getting involved. So try not to get through high school just doing the “bare minimum.” Put yourself out there, step outside of your comfort zone, and make it the best four years of your life! Cheers to the teenage years!

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