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Coronavirus!

By Ben Rickmond 

As you probably know, the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is currently outbreaking around the entire world. So, what exactly is the corona virus? Well, it is this new virus that Chinese health officials first documented in December 2019. All the different news sites are covering this crazy virus, so all the sites have different totals. So, trying to say official, I am choosing to check the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for the COVID-19 updates. The CDC says that as of March 21st, there are a total of 15,219 cases in the US. Now in Pennsylvania, PA.gov says that there 371 cases and the CDC say there are 185 (PA.gov is more accurate, as of 3/21/20). See how many numbers there are to choose from? In Delaware County, (our county), PA.gov says there are 33 cases in Delaware county. That is a starter overview of the novel Coronavirus!*

The coronaviruses are a large group of viruses that look like a crown. Crown in Latin is corona, so that’s how it got its name. The coronavirus that is stirring up trouble today is a NOVEL coronavirus. There were other coronaviruses in 2003 and 2012.  The novel Coronavirus disease started with a group of people with pneumonia, that were present in a live animal market in China.  From there, sick people spread the disease to family, and healthcare workers. Then the virus started spreading around the word. The past coronaviruses started from animals and spread to humans. The animal for the novel coronavirus is unknown but theorized to be bats. That’s why the people in the live animal market got pneumonia which morphed into coronavirus. People that are caring for people infected with the virus have a very high risk.  

As the coronavirus is closing schools and the stores are emptying, a lot of stress is happening around the globe. You may get a little frustrated about everything that is happening. You may even be scared that you will get the virus yourself.  I suggest using Headspace to help calm down a bit. They are offering free help during this time.  Try to relax a bit.  Anyway, just because you have a cough, or a fever does not mean you have the coronavirus. Remember that it is still the cold and flu season, and you could have the common cold or the flu.

These are some of the serious symptoms. Remember, that this virus is still very new, so this information can change.  Symptoms can be from mild to severe.  Some symptoms are a fever, cough, or shortness of breath. In more serious cases, there has been pneumonia and kidney failure.  To get tested to see if you have coronavirus, they take a sample and look for genetic evidence of their virus using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) techniques, which identifies the virus’s genetic fingerprint. Click here for lessons on Khan Academy about PCR. There is no current treatment or vaccine, but treatment and vaccines are in development.

People diagnosed with the virus are in supportive care. You can prevent this virus by thoroughly washing hands, and covering mouth and nose with tissue while sneezing or coughing. The World Health Organization (WHO) does not recommend wearing masks if you are not sick. If you have the symptoms listed above, then you should wear a mask, call your doctor first, and go seek medical care immediately.  If you are caring for someone that is diagnosed with coronavirus then it would be appropriate to wear a mask. Also, WHO says that masks alone are not enough. They suggest that masks are only effective in combination with frequent hand washing with soap or an alcohol-based hand rub.  If any symptoms are present, go to your doctor EARLY and share your travel history. 

So, what is the country doing about this? Well, recently PA Governor Tom Wolf closed all schools across Pennsylvania from March 16-27 or longer.  Also, recently, Gov. Tom Wolf closed all the non-life sustaining business.  That means that all unnecessary stores and places are now closed. Like gyms and other stores. Grocery stores like Whole Foods, Acme and WaWa are still open for the public use.  Lots of stores across the country are out of stock.  That is because people are trying to stock up on food so they have something to eat if they are enclosed in their homes.

I hope you found my article on the Novel Coronavirus interesting. To learn more, take a look at the links below. Also take a look out the CDC PA.gov and WHO for trusted information. 

*All stats are from March 21st, 2020

WATCH THE HAND WASH RAP: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Tao33mBRVk 

Bibliography: 

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html

https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx

Quick Cool video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOV1aBVYKGA 

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/when-and-how-to-use-masks

Now on Netflix: A Series Of Unfortunate Events

By Ben Rickmond

Today I am reviewing a Netflix Original series, “A Series of Unfortunate Events,” based on the book series with the same name by “Lemony Snicket.”

With a total of 25 total episodes, each episode is based on the books in the book series with the same episode name. Each book is split into two episodes named part one and two, except the last one.  To learn more about the book series click here.  

The series starts out with the three Baudelaire children’s (Violet, Klaus, and Sunny) parents supposedly getting killed in a fire. They are forced to live with antagonist Count Olaf (played by Neil Patrick Harris) who will stop at nothing to get their enormous fortune the parents left behind in their will to the oldest child, Violet (played by Malina Weissman) when she comes of age.

Olaf says he will stop at nothing to get the fortune (you will see if you watch or read), but it is something more than that. From what I have watched, Count Olaf was originally a member of the V.F.D. He got in a fight with other members of the V.F.D, which included the Baudelaire’s parents. There was a large unknown incident, and Olaf left the V.F.D. This book has very complicated plot lines and can be tagged as Mystery and Dark Humor. 

This show is rated TV-PG, but lots of scary events appear in all the seasons. One scary moment is when one of the Baudelaire’s guardians pushes them down an empty elevator shaft and then becomes a antagonist. This book can get dark at some points, as Count Olaf will stop at nothing to get the fortune.  

You may want to think twice about showing the show to younger kids. 

The book and the show is thoroughly narrated personally by the author, whose pen name is Lemony Snicket (real name Daniel Handler). Lemony is played by Patrick Warburton as an on-screen narrator. 

Snicket often connects the books to his own life a bit. I highly suggest watching this show as it is addicting. I hope you enjoyed this review, and I hope you start watching! 

Radnor Basketball: Why REC?

By Nancy Wible  

Swish!  Do you play basketball in the winter? Lots of students at WES including myself choose to play REC.  

Why REC? Families chooses REC for many reasons, one of them being that it’s not too serious. Serious, what? Well you have one practice on a weekday and a game on a weekend. Some Malvern or CYO teams have practices every day that conflicts with lots of people schedules or they don’t love basketball enough to go every day.  

How can I sign up? Go to this website if you have an interest in signing up: https://www.radnor.com/730/Youth-Basketball-Programs make sure to sign up early slots fill up quickly lots of people want to be a part people who have played since they were 3 or people that are starting this year.  

Will I be with my friends? In REC you can request to be with a friend or a group of friends. You might not be with all them or any of them but the organizers will try their best. Every year they also make sure you’re with someone else that is in your school so you know someone and don’t feel left out.  

Do I need a parent to coach me? Parents usually volunteer to coach the teams. You can ask you parent if that’s what you would like but, if not that’s okay! Usually enough parents volunteer. My dad does coach me but my friends’ parents, Maddie and Reece’s don’t.   

Do kids who are better get more time to play? No! Everyone usually gets to play the same amount. If you don’t it’s not just the good kids that get more time on the court. Sometimes there are an uneven number of kids at the game so people have to stay in or stay out for two rounds.  

Interviews 

Who Grade Class Said 
Reece Brown (Player) 4th  Crowe REC basketball is not too serious, and the players, coaches, and Refs are USUALLY nice.  
Maddie Flynn (Player) 4th  Becker REC basketball is fun because you might see some people that you know on other teams.  
Sophia Damiani (Player)   4th  Cook  REC basketball is fun because you might make new friends on your team and the REFs and coaches are fair most of the time.  

History’s Most Forgotten US Presidents

By Anand Palshikar, History & Collections Desk


There have been 45 presidents and not everyone can name them all. Here are history’s most forgotten presidents.

  1. Millard Fillmore
    Millard Fillmore was the 13th president of
    the United States and was the last member
    of the Whig party to be President. He had
    no Vice President and was from New York.
    He was the vice president of Zachary Taylor
    and filled in when Taylor died of stomach
    diseases.
  1. James Garfield
    James Garfield was the 20th president of
    the United States was from the Republican
    party and was assassinated on July 2nd, 1881.
  2. James Buchanan
    James Buchanan was the 15th President of
    the United States and was a Democrat, and
    many people consider him to be the worst
    President ever. He is often credited with
    starting the Civil War because he was right
    before Lincoln.
  3. James Monroe
    James Monroe was the 5th president and was
    from the Democratic-Republican party and
    was surprisingly good for being so
    unknown. He issued the Monroe Doctrine, a
    policy of opposing European colonization in
    the Americas. Monroe was in the Senate, the Continental Army, was the seventh Secretary of State, the eighth Secretary of
    War and in the Continental Congress.
  4. James Polk
    James Polk was the 11th president and was a
    Democrat.
    Those are the most forgotten presidents
    and their stories. They all didn’t do much
    but they are a part of our history.
James Monroe. Source: Library of Congress.

Fiction: Computer Crazies

By Ben Rickmond

“Jeez dude I want what I want!”

Hi, I am Dan Chipmunk, and I am not a chipmunk. I live in a computer. I am having a fight with my best friend, ASAP. I am frustrated, because he is older than me and can do more jobs in the computer, and that is not fair.

My dad is a RAM officer, and my mom is the GPU assistant. The computer we live in is a Dell 3100 2-in-1 Chromebook at an elementary school. I quickly apologized to ASAP, because fighting inside a computer can lead to internal misery as Grandpa Microchip said.

Anyway, I BARELY get to do any important jobs around here.  I work in the fan department. My friends and I are in the middle of fanning the computer. Our user is currently using Prodigy, a high-powered game. Do you see now how hard it is working in a computer now? 

Anyway, since Prodigy is a high-power website, all the chips heat up the computer a lot. That is where I come in. We get our power from Mr. Battery Pack, and then CPU James (super nice guy by the way) tells us when to turn the fans on. This is where my story begins. 

So, I was settling in for a normal day in the computer. I headed over to the “fan” area of the computer. I plugged in my earbuds and started working. Then, about fifteen minutes later, ASAP shouts something at me. I do not hear what he said, and I do not care. About another fifteen minutes later all the fan workers are GONE! I do not worry though; they went into the break room to get some “chips.” Then, the power shut off for some reason. After that I heard yelling, “I told him,” I heard ASAP say. Then CPU James and ASAP came out. 

“What are you doing?” said CPU James. 

“Nothing” I said. 

“WELL YOU SHOULD HAVE TOLD HIM!!” CPU James exploded, “Now we are stuck in the computer hospital!!,” He yelled “You’re in big trouble ASAP, we’re shoving you into a flash drive and you’re NEVER coming back!” 

“No! Please I’ll do anything!” ASAP said. 

“You are older and have more power over him” CPU James said, “You should be able to control him to the fullest.” 

“No Buts!” said CPU James, “We are at the computer office, and we will be turned on in a minute.” He said. “ASAP come with me and you, Dan, go home NOW,” said CPU James. But when I got home ohh boy.  My parents were the maddest I have ever seen them. “I can’t believe you would do such a thing. Doing that to your own friend.” “You are never listening to music again. You are also never working again,” They said. 

The next day was wild. Since I never turned off the fans, they were still running. And so, some people thought to keep working- and some people listened to CPU James to them turn off.

So, with half the chips doing what they were supposed to, and half not, the entire computer was malfunctioning and had to be forced to shut down.

Now the computer was broken, because of the overload. We are now in the computer office, right next to the computer hospital. The scariest place on earth. My parents are making me try to go to CPU James and get ASAP out of trouble, a.s.a.p. I tried, but he would not budge.

“Your punishment is to feel bad for your friend and be sad to see him go- if you actually care.” CPU James said. I left his office, felling miserable.

As I walked home, Grandpa Microchip stopped me. 

“Why the long face kiddo?” he said.

 
“I was the reason for the malfunction,” I said. 

“Oh,” he said, “CPU James told me.”  

“Yeah,” I said as I told him the whole story. 
“Ah,” he said, “I may be able to help you.” 

“Really?”, I said. 

“Yes” he said, “You see, I may be able to change your appearance so you can switch places and identities with ASAP”, he said, “But ASAP will have to agree with you himself. Then you will be stuck in the flash drive instead of ASAP. Come back here with him on Saturday at five o’clock.” 

“Okay,” I said, “See you then!” 

It took some convincing to get ASAP to come with me, but he came.

At first, he said, “I wouldn’t come with you if my life depended on it.” But I met with him at his house at 4:55 pm on Saturday and was somehow able to get him to forgive me. We zoomed over to Grandpa Microchip’s Office. 

“Alright boys,” he said “We are about to change the appearances of you two. I asked your parents, so they already know, and they confirmed. So, are you sure you guys want to do this?” 

“YES!” we both cried. 

“All right, then you will have to have the appearance of each other for the rest of your lives.” 

“Okay,” I say. 

“Alright then, said Grandpa Microchip, “3-2-1 FLASH!” There was a great boom. Suddenly, “HEY,” said ASAP, “WE look SO different!” 
“Excellent!”, said Grandpa Microchip. “The permanent switching is a complete!  Now, remember, you don’t need to act different around your new parents, but you should for everyone else.  Don’t worry about your voices, no one will notice. Have fun with your new appearances, now good-bye boys!”

The next couple of days have been CRAZY! Living with a different family is tough. Anyway, we are on our way to the prisoner’s ceremony when the prisoners go into the flash drive forever. I fear what will happen to me in the flash drive but I wanted to do this save my friend. S o, after all of the hugs and good-byes from my real parents and other friends, I was ready to step into the drive. As I walked on the path to the flash drive, CPU James said “You’ll go far!”

And then ASAP gave a handshake and then I said, “write to me, will you?” He laughed and said, “We don’t write, we type!”

“Ha-ha,” I said.

Then walked right into my new life. 

END 

Social Media Review (SMR): TikTok

By Ben Rickmond, Tech and Business Desk Chief 

TikTok is a growing social media website. The main purpose is to post 3-15 second videos of yourself lip-syncing, doing stunts/comedy, or just showing your talent! This is the average social media website, and it is addicting for teens. You can get likes, followers, and be followed by celebrities!

Anyway, TikTok is owned and founded by Chinese company Byte Dance.  According to People.com, there was a lawsuit against TikTok from a California college girl. She claims that she downloaded the app, but never created an account.  TikTok made an account for her without her consent. There were also videos created that she did not make. That proves that TikTok was sending her data to servers in China! So watch out when giving your info on TikTok. 

As you may already know, TikTok is a merger of Musical.ly. That means that Byte Dance bought Musical.ly. Afterwards, they developed Tik Tok and turned Musical.ly into TikTok. Musical.ly was founded by Alex Zhu. He was always into education, and then he thought he came up with a billion-dollar idea: short education videos. Zhu and his founding partner, Louis Yang raised $250,000 to start the company. Then he started working on an app called Cicada for six months. Users could post 3-5 minute education videos. Then when they sent the application for the company, he said it was “doomed to be a failure.” It did not take off. Three to five minutes was too short to post lesson plans. It did not attract many teens. By then, his team only had 8% of his money left. Then he got the idea for Musical.ly. And then it skyrocketed with no trace of the education app roots. Finally, the current parent company, Byte Dance, bought Musical.ly in 2017 and then merged into TikTok in 2018. 

TikTok is everything that teens want to have on their phones. But inappropriate content is easy to find! Lots of adults believe the content is too much, but if you have a responsible kid, some kids say it will be okay. There are filters to block out inappropriate stuff. You can make a private account if you want, but if you want to lip-sync there are songs in the library that may have cursing or etc.  Also, some people on TikTok are starting dangerous “challenges” which is something to be aware of.

Common Sense Media says the best age is 16+. 

TikTok seems to be in the top of the list of popular apps at WES. So, you and your parents can decide if TikTok is right for you. Thank you for reading the latest Social Media Review! 

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musical.ly

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ByteDance

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TikTok

Cool Review: https://www.commonsensemedia.org/video/modal/5457846?height=420&iframe=1&width=660

https://people.com/tech/tiktok-sued-allegedly-transferring-teens-data-china/

https://www.courthousenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Tiktok.pdf 

https://bytedance.com/en/about#milestones

https://www.businessinsider.com/what-is-musically-2016-5

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/app-reviews/tiktok#csm-tooltip-about-our-ratings

https://abcnews.go.com/US/authorities-warn-dangerous-tiktok-outlet-challenge/story?id=68531391

Bingo Night: A WES Tradition

By Ben Rickmond

Bingo night is an annual tradition that is PTO-run. Bingo night is usually in the middle of January. This year, bingo was on Friday, January 10th from 7:00-8:45pm.

It is fun for everyone! So you come in and pick up your cards, sit down, chat with friends and begin Bingo! There are multiple rounds, like regular (up, down and diagonal), T, four corners, and the final round X. If you are a winner you raise your hand and then get to go onstage to pick a prize. The first one who wins the X wins a bigger prize, better then all the others. Usually it is a gigantic teddy bear. My friend Graci Gill won the grand prize this year.

If you have never been before, you can sign up next year on the WES PTO website. It really is a fun time. As ever, all proceeds are donated to WES. There were quite a lot of parent volunteers. Thank you parents and students! See, you next time.

A picture from the 2020 bingo night. Credit: WES PTO.

WES 2020 Talent Show: Registration Open

By Ben Rickmond

Hello WES! The annual talent show is coming soon! There will be singers, pianists, dancers, magicians, comedians and more!

The talent show takes place in late March every year. The dates for this year are, Grades K-2 will be on March 25, 2020 – 6:30-8:00 PM. Grades 3-5 will be on March 26, 2020 – 6:30-8:00 PM. 

The preview will be on March 2, 2020 from 5:00 – 8:00 PM for all grades and is mandatory.

Sign up is now open! Click HERE to register.  Registration closes on February 17th, 2020.  Learn more HERE. You can help us by volunteering

Try to be creative when choosing your acts, so your audience will get a laugh or a taste of pleasure.  Also, don’t show up to the show without practicing your acts. Audiences love it when they see good and prepared performers.  And if you are not performing, be sure to come to this free show to support our WES performers! Parents and students, thank you for supporting WES!  

All About Snapchat

By Ben Rickmond 

Snapchat is an image messaging service that posts videos for a short amount of time once users click on the video. Which means that you can post videos to your friends and when they click on the video, the video/picture is only available for the amount of time the poster chooses. Let’s say you post a video with your friends at Target and you put the video for 15 seconds. When your friends watch it, they will only be able to see it for, 15 seconds.  

Snapchat was developed by Snap Inc. Snapchat was created by three former Stanford students, Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy and Reggie Brown. It started when Evan Spiegel was talking with Reggie Brown. He said “I wish that these pictures that I am sending to this girl would disappear”. 💡 That gave Evan the Idea for Snapchat. Then he created (along with the others) the original website: Picaboo in July 2011. They gained 127 users at the end of the summer. Reggie Brown left in an argument with the others shortly after the company was created.  Then, Evan and Bobby re-named the company “Snapchat”.  Snapchat became popular with school kids because they could text in class and the teachers would never know. In 2012, Snapchat gained 100,000 users by April 2012. The company also turned down a $3 billion acquiring offer from Facebook in Jan 2014. Snapchat has now 210 million users as of July 2019. Snapchat is now owned by Snap Inc. Evan is the CEO and the current stock price is shown below. 

1-2-3 SNAP! Snapchat is gaining more users EVERY day. There is currently 310.7 monthly million users as of summer 2019*. 90% of those people are 13-24 years old*. Wow! Not many adults use Snapchat, do they? Also, 3 billion snaps are created every day! * Unfortunately, some users decided to post inappropriate snaps. These users might be pressured by friends that have more followers/likes because they post inappropriate snaps. More teens do this on this app because they are supposed to disappear. But watchers can easily screenshot any video or picture on their phone, so snaps never really disappear. That was not what Reggie Brown wanted in the first place. I believe that Snapchat is in the top three most popular apps at WES in 4th-5th grade. Thank you for reading and be sure to check out more articles from my social media reviews series! See good security practices on this expert review. https://bit.ly/2QJTAql Coming Soon: TikTok! 

Sources and videos: 

 *Quote https://www.omnicoreagency.com for the Statistics. 

Stock: NYSE: SNAP 17.41 USD +0.050 (0.29%)  
At close: January 10 4:04PM EST 

https://www.statista.com/statistics/545967/snapchat-app-dau/

https://www.afponline.org/about/who-we-are/snapchat

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snap_Inc.

https://bit.ly/2FIE1Jh

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/0/owns-snapchat-created/

Cool Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4IO5yso1MfM 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snapchat

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/app-reviews/snapchat

Good Review : https://www.commonsensemedia.org/video/modal/5195236?height=420&iframe=1&width=660 

https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/snap?ltr=1

https://bit.ly/2uJFCML

Social Media: Good or Bad?

By Ben Rickmond  

Did you know that some people believe that Facebook is becoming too powerful? The U.S. Government believes so. Multiple newspapers and websites such as The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times are reporting that Facebook is trying to integrate Instagram and WhatsApp. Basically Facebook is turning into a “monopoly,” which is when a bunch of major companies in the same market are all in one company. A monopoly creates a high stock price and almost total control of the market. This is outlawed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC is trying to put a stop to the monopoly. As the government’s main business controller, the FTC could seek an injunction. “An injunction could deal a severe blow to Facebook and its efforts to combine its services, which began earlier this year. It would also leave the company more vulnerable to being broken up.” Quote NBC News.

The companies bought by Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, are both steadily growing and popular social media websites/apps. WhatsApp is a text-like messaging program available on most devices. WhatsApp is not so bad compared to other social media websites but parents have no way of seeing what messages kids send, according to Common Sense Media.

Instagram is a cool social media website designed to share pictures with family and friends. The main purpose is to share great pictures on the web. Like a lot of social media websites, it is misused and can be used to share “anything on the web” which drives away the site’s “true” purpose. There can be a lot of inappropriate posts, and hackers. Instagram also has many ads. Like Facebook, many of the ads are targeted. The ads can cost on average $.70-$1.00 per click.

In the end, a lot of kids at WES seem to use these social media services starting in about 4th-5th grade. From my perspective, Snapchat, Instagram and TikTok are the most popular. All of these websites have pros and cons. Now you decide, Social Media, good or bad? 

Sources: 

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-facebook-ftc/ftc-weighs-seeking-injunction-against-facebook-over-how-its-apps-interact-wsj-idUSKBN1YG2FH

https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/facebook-wants-integrate-instagram-whatsapp-u-s-government-may-try-n1101146

https://www.engadget.com/2019/12/13/ftc-may-block-facebook-integration-whatsapp-instagram/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Injunction#

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/app-reviews/whatsapp-messenger

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/app-reviews/instagram

https://www.whatsapp.com

https://karolakarlson.com/instagram-ads-cost-and-bidding/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pay-per-click#

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