Meet the X-3: the Sci-fi Thruster That Shoots Plasma from Its… Back

There’s one thing that the human race is sure of; the space age is upon us. Surprisingly, the best way of doing it right about now is putting humans on top of a rocket that could explode at any moment and launching them into space. I know, it sounds reckless. And surprisingly, it works. But here’s the problem: chemical rockets can get humans into earth’s orbit and out, but if we are going to explore the stars, chemical rockets just won’t do it. These rockets are powered by liquid hydrogen (LH2) having liquid oxygen (LOX) as the oxidizer which creates thrust. Unfortunately the thrust is very powerful, doesn’t last long. However, at P.E.P.L. (Plasmadynamics & Electric Propulsion Laboratory), scientists have a solution. The X3 ion thruster is a type of electric propulsion design called a hall thruster, which has ten times the efficiency of a chemical rocket. To create thrust,…


Is “Apex: Legends” Worth the Hype?

As many of you know, Apex: Legends is the new battle royale on the market. Before release Apex gained a lot of hype, and with new features, gameplay elements, and amazing graphics it met and surpassed my expectations. Some of the new features are original and some are new to battle royale. This includes things like respawn beacons. After someone dies, instead of being out like most other battle royales, another player on your team can collect your player “banner” and bring it to a respawn station where they can bring you back to life. When respawned you will not keep any items you had before death, which is understandable. The main new element, completely new to battle royale, is character choice. Different characters have special abilities to aid in battle and passives that help the player in different ways depending on the character. For example, Bloodhound’s passive is to…


NFL Controversy and Superbowl

On January 20th, 2019, the New Orleans Saints were playing the Los Angeles Rams when an extremely controversial play was made. It was the fourth quarter and the game was tied 20-20, with less than two minutes left. The Saints had the ball, the play started, and a pass was made from the quarterback to the receiver. He was about to catch the ball and get the first down when a Rams player came into the play and knocked him down. The play was clearly Pass Interference, as he obviously shoved him over, but the refs did not call it. If the Saints had made this catch or at least gotten the foul called they would have most definitely won the game. The Saints went on to get a field goal, but then the Rams got a field goal tying it and going into overtime. In overtime, the Rams won…


Premier League Title Race Heats Up

The Premier League title race is up and running, with Liverpool (as of March 6th) only one point behind Manchester City, with ten games left in the season. With the season coming to a close soon, we will be making our predictions for the end of the season and who will win the league. First of all, Liverpool looks like the most likely to win the league. Their goal difference is lower which means they are scoring fewer goals and letting in more goals than Manchester City. Manchester City has been thrashing teams like Chelsea 6-0. When they win games like this, it helps with their goal difference a lot, making them more likely to win the league. Liverpool hasn’t been scoring as much as Man City but they haven’t been conceding many goals. Now we will show our predictions for the top 5 of the league and also the…


The Cafeteria’s Croissant Crisis

English muffins and breakfast sandwiches- the two don’t mix right, but when one of the only breakfast options at Friends Central is to get an English muffin breakfast sandwich, a lot of people are forced into getting this crumbly mess.  But there’s a catch! Seemingly randomly, one walks into the cafeteria, and in place of the bad muffins are perfectly baked croissants with the normal egg, cheese, bacon or sausage in between them. We have decided to investigate this strange phenomenon and get to the bottom of why the school can’t just have croissant breakfast sandwiches every day, instead of these horrible English muffins.   We started our investigation by asking a cafeteria staffer about a possible croissant schedule. From this questioning, we were able to get a complete breakfast sandwich bread weekly schedule. The results on the schedule shocked us.   Monday- Biscuit Tuesday- English Muffin Wednesday- Biscuit Thursday-…


FCS Winter Sports Round-Up

The winter sports season went very well and offered many different opportunities. The choices for winter sports this year were boys’ basketball, girls’ basketball, boys’ squash, girls’ squash, dance, and swimming. There were not many cancelled games, and the weather was on our side. Michelle Crowley, the director of athletics and wellness had this to say about the winter sports season: “Generally speaking I am ready to go outside in the spring. In my opinion the winter season seems very long, but all of our winter teams have done very well in this growth period. The winter sports season in the end went very well.” The main thought expressed by middle school students was that they want to continue the sport they chose for the winter in their future sport careers. In terms of eighth grade, most students are thinking about the transition from middle school sports to high school…


Behind the Scenes of the MS Play: Hoodie

As the middle school’s spring play approaches, I realized not much had been released about it and that not many people were discussing how our middle school’s plays are designed and put into action. So I decided to interview the head of the drama department, Ms. Gordon and a Play Production service member, in the hope of learning more about it. I started by talking with Ms. Gordon.   Who decides on which play to create? I choose it. But I try to get input from students also.   What other adults help coordinate the show? I’m the director, so I spearhead the work and CJ Keller, our technical director, helps with the technical elements.   Can you give us a quick summary of what Hoodie is about? Hoodie is a conceptual play about adolescence and middle school. It’s about growing up. It’s about fitting in. It’s about appearance. It’s…


El Chapo Finally Sentenced

On Tuesday the 12th of February, Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán was found guilty on all of his ten charges and is guaranteed life in prison. He will be sent to the “Alcatraz of the Rockies,” where some of the US’s worst criminals and terrorist are being held. The charges mostly include drug trafficking of marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and crystal meth. The trial lasted eleven weeks in Brooklyn and came down to a decision by the jury. During the trial he was also accused of drugging and raping girls as young as thirteen. He also was accused of bribing former Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto for $100 million when said president took office in 2012, as well as offering him $250 million more to end the manhunt against El Chapo. El Chapo has also been accused of various other murders and other brutal crimes. The reason his arrest is so important…


Everything You Need to Know About Venezuela

Venezuela is a South American country that many consider to be on decline after their revolution in 1999. Many average citizens are living in extreme poverty without access to basic necessities like food and medicine. Recently many Venezuelans have been sick of the suffering and are wanting change, and it looks like change is coming and it may be bloody. Recently, opposition leader Juan Guaido has declared himself as interim president, and called for elections on February 3rd, because of controversy that previous elections were rigged., which of course never happened. Guaido has earned US and European support, and a US and EU backed coup may be coming soon. European countries such as the UK, France, Germany, Spain and many more have all supported Guaido and called for current President Maduro to step down.   Additionally current President Nicolas Maduro was asked if the current crisis in Venezuela could result…


Curling: What Is it, Exactly?

Let me regale you with a tale of a most noble of sports; Curling. It is similar to Bocce, which I’m now realizing probably isn’t the best comparison to make because Bocce is an equally obscure sport, if not more so. So, some basics. Curling is a Winter Olympic sport, and is most commonly played in Canada. The rules of Curling are as follows: two teams, each with four players, who take turns throwing granite rocks down the curling sheet (a rectangular sheet of ice) towards the target. Points are scored by having your rock closer to the center, with teams trying to get as many in a row and closest as possible. Each team has eight rocks which they throw in turns. At the end of each round the points are counted each game consists of 8-10 rounds. Curling’s unique style of movement, sweeping, allows for different patterns and…


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