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Cure for Tasmanian Devil Cancer On the Way

Did you know that Tasmanian devils are getting cancer? Unlike cancer in humans, cancer among Tasmanian devils is contagious. The cancer is in the form of a face tumor, and it spreads when they fight over food. Scientists have found that the tumors hide from the immune system by switching off important molecules that are on the surface of cells. So when a Tasmanian devil gets the cancer, the immune system doesn’t know it and the Tasmanian devil is unable to fight back. Tasmanian devil populations have dropped 80-90% since scientists first noticed the cancer in 1996. The discovery of the cell-surface MHC molecules was a breakthrough, however, in research for a cure. Scientists believe that there will be a cure within a few years, according to the BBC and Radio Australia. Upon learning of this epidemic, however, seventh grader Naim Saleem said, “The Tasmanian devils should be kept apart…


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A Step Back in Time to the Renaissance Faire

At 7:30 a.m. on October 17, 2013, the sixth grade gathered in front of Shallcross Hall to depart on a journey to the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire. In Social Studies, the sixth graders have been learning about the Middle Ages, so visiting the faire provided them with further knowledge about medieval times. There were many shops and attractions for them to visit that were both informing and entertaining. The sixth graders split into seven groups, and these groups had two chaperones each. There were a number of activities in which each group could participate, including mudbegging, jousts, chess, melee battles, and magic shows. At mudbegging, actors pretending to be homeless serfs performed a comedy act in the mud pit, as they would have in medieval times. Sixth grader Emma Gordon said, “I really liked all of the Renaissance Faire, but I really enjoyed watching the comedy knife throwing. It was really…


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Working for a Healthy Stream

In eighth grade science classes, students visit the East Branch of Indian Creek weekly to conduct calculations, including tests of the turbidity, phosphate, nitrate and pH levels of the water. They take detailed notes on the overall health of the creek and, thanks to the Streamwatch Committee, the stream’s conditions have greatly improved. Test results have been fairly strong this year. The chemical levels, including phosphate levels, have sloped toward the norm. Once drastically out of control, the levels are closer to what is considered healthy. This is an incredibly impressive feat given the circumstances at the start. “There was a rusted shopping cart. There was a rusted boiler. There was plaster and there were bricks. It was covered in invasive plants. And I remember going down there to pick up trash and one of my students said, ‘Mr. Ross, we could do this every week and it would never…


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Welcome Violet Riley Tozer

On October 8, 2013, math teacher and sixth grade advisor Ryan Tozer and his wife, Natalie, celebrated the birth of their first child, Violet Riley Tozer. A few staff writers asked Mr. Tozer to give us insight on his first experiences with his new daughter. Interviewers: What is the most exciting part about being a dad? Mr. Tozer: Having a beautiful daughter to love and take care of has been a great joy.  It is hard to articulate. Being a dad is awesome and I am looking forward to the ride. Interviewers: Did you feel relieved or more stressed when Violet was born? Mr. Tozer: I was relieved that my wife and Violet were okay. The lack of sleep the last several weeks has been a bit stressful but I wouldn’t change it for the world.


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Friends’ Central Celebrates Peace Day

In 1981, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously voted to create a day of peace on which there would be a military ceasefire, and the world would be without war for that day. On September 21, 2013, our school community celebrated International Peace Day. Since it fell on a Saturday this year, FCS celebrated it on Friday, carrying the spirit of peace all through the day. In the morning, we held an assembly for the Lower, Middle, and Upper Schools.  The combined choruses sang three songs, each representing a vision of peace. In addition to the beautiful singing, we heard a beautiful peace poem written and read aloud by students in Mr. Terrell’s eighth grade Language Arts class.  We also heard Mrs. Crowley speak about the CTC, which was created in the memory of Chris T. Campbell, an FCS lifer.  He loved soccer, and played it both at Friends’ Central…


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How to Draw a Manga Head

Step 1: Lightly draw a circle . If you can’t draw a circle, simply trace around a circular object. Step 2: Draw a spade-like shape along the two sides of the circle. The point of the spade-like shape will be your character’s chin. Don’t make it too pointy.


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