How to be a Great Fanboy/Fangirl

Step 1: Find Your Fandom

The key to being a fanboy/fangirl is to find the right obsession. Maybe you already have one. But if you don’t, that’s okay too. It might take years to find a great movie/book/anime that you love. Ask your friends for recommendations. If you don’t find a fandom that you’re totally obsessed with but kind of like, that’s great. A casual fan is still a fan, even if they don’t totally love their fandom.

Step 2: Hit the Books

Most fanboys/fangirls know a lot about their fandom. To know your fandom well, try reading a lot about it. If your obsession is a book, try reading it and rereading it to find important details. If you love a movie/movie series, there are so many ways to find information. Star Wars, for example, has an extended universe (tons and tons of books written about a fandom). It also has several reference books by DK, and a whole lot of other facts on the internet by official sources. If you’re obsessed with a singer, actor(ess), or band, try reading biographies about that person/people. Note: the bigger the fandom, the bigger the facts.

Step 3: Let Your Imagination Soar

Expressing your creativity for your fandom is a great way to show your fandom pride. Here are some ways to let your imagination soar:

  1. Write a fanfiction. There is no better way to let your fandom pride shine than to write one. Even if you stink at writing, you can still make one. Try step 2 and study up, then create a plot that you love. You can even post your story online (be careful what you post though)!
  2. Try fanart. If you hate writing but love drawing, fanart can be a great way to express your creativity. Find something in your fandom that makes you laugh, cry, or tugs on your heartstrings and put it on paper. If you want to be a serious fanartist, try downloading some drawing software. It makes your art look professional, and you feel great about your work.
  3. Make a fan video. If you think it’s absolutely taboo to recast your characters, try animation. It combines fanart and fanfiction into a whole new level of fandom creativity. Warning: animation is extremely hard. It takes weeks and weeks to create a short animation, and a whole lot of effort is needed, too. If you’re worried about the time or skill it takes, try writing a fanfiction or drawing fanart.

Step 4: Fan Friendships

Want to find other people who love your fandom as much as you do? Bored and tired of associating with people who hate your obsession? There are so many ways to make fandom friends! Try going to a comic con or a convention about your fandom. Other fanboys and fangirls will be waiting to meet you! Most fanboys and fangirls have one big dream: to be friends their favorite character or celebrity. Book signings can be a great way to briefly meet your favorite author, and conventions sometimes have the actors and actresses of your favorite fandom movie. Sadly, many fanboys and fangirls go unnoticed by their favorite character/celebrities. At most conventions and books signings, you’ll only get to say a few words, like “hello” and “I’m so excited to meet you” before you get your book/merchandise signed and move on. Fortunately, this is usually enough for most fanboys and fangirls, and they often remember that for the rest of their lives. In some rare cases, fanboys and fangirls want more than a brief meeting, and resort to stalking. My advice to all fan people is to not stalk. It’s undignified, strange, and in some cases, dangerous. Instead, with hard work and perseverance you can be a friend to your favorite character/celebrity! It just takes time. Go to as many conventions as you can, along with other events that your favorite character/celebrity is at. Chances are, that person will say, “Hey, I remember you!” If you have social media, great. Follow that person on Twitter, Instagram, or any other social site you have. Some celebrities are known for sharing/retweeting posts of fanboys and fangirls just like you!

Step 5: Stay True to Your Fandom

Your Fandom is your personality! So stay true to it. If someone teases you about your fandom, just reply back with, “Geez, that’s rude! I don’t say anything about what you like!” If you don’t love your fandom anymore, don’t feel awful. It’s natural to outgrow some obsessions. And on the vice versa side of things, don’t feel like you’re not ordinary if you’ve not outgrown your fandom. You’ve found a fandom for life! Feel proud! Stay true, stay original, stay a fan!

Opinion: Hearing is Too Often Abandoned

Brady Rivkin

Disclaimer: This article and any other opinion articles published by the Daniel Wright Voice are not endorsed by the Daniel Wright Junior High School, nor do they reflect the views of the school. These articles are solely the opinions of the students at the school.

At a time when noise research has encouraged people to protect their hearing, one could hope that it is common practice to do so at large gatherings. Unfortunately, that is not the case, and although the current Lake County Public Nuisance Ordinance and the Cook County Environmental Control Ordinance outlaw noise that is detrimental to health, the laws are loosely enforced and event planners don’t tend to obey the law when applied by someone at the event. This is likely due to the opinions of the people at the gatherings because in the moment, they do not realize what damage they are posing to their ears and are so engrossed in the sound that they do not have the initiative to ask for the volume to be turned down. Even if this impediment is avoided, the volume goes down very little to be noticeable, and sometimes, the request is not even remotely considered. With this knowledge of the hearing loss, state and local legislatures must not falter in creating successful regulation of the noise level at parties.

At a party I was once invited to, I had to take most of the time out of the room recovering from the noise, but while I was in the party room, I took measurements of the noise with Decibel 10th and estimated the dimensions of the room at about sixty feet by sixty feet. In the back of the room, about forty feet from the speakers, the average decibel level was measured at above 95. In the middle of the room, the average was above 100 decibels and the maximum was 109.3, but what made this measurement most astounding was that it was made from about double the distance from the speakers that most of the people were dancing. This also was during a period of less noise in which people were walking around and getting food, so it was nothing compared to the times when music blasted even louder and people were shouting. This extreme noise concentrated in such a small room came close to the noise level in the United Center during hockey games, likely because the United Center is so large and the party room was very small for such loud noise. After gathering the measurements, I was able to conclude that the noise level was easily enough to cause hearing damage over the nearly 4 hours the party lasted, so I decided to ask for the noise level to be turned down. The response I was given? Flat refusal. A blunt “no”, even after I explained the hearing damage problem. If the noise is out of control like this and people refuse to act, many in America will face the effects of the noise and it will be calamitous.

Because many people have gone to loud gatherings and experienced the extreme noise without having immediate or even relatively noticeable hearing damage, they are liable to believe that it is impossible to sustain damage from the decibel levels at parties. This is untrue, for according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, which is a United States federal agency and a part of the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), the lowest damaging decibel level is 85, for which one can be exposed to for eight hours. In fact, workers are not allowed to perform their services in a place in which they can hear 85 decibels or higher noise for more than eight hours. For each 3-decibel increase from 85, the exposure time is reduced by half. Using this formula, one can determine that a two-hour party should be no louder than an average of 91 decibels. This almost never happens, and it could lead to widespread hearing loss in the future.

The Lake County Public Nuisance Ordinance states, in one section, that “…the County Board finds that excessively loud amplification systems…operating at any time of the day or night…tend to have a detrimental effect on the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Lake County, Illinois, specifically for the reasons that such noise tends to…cause noise pollution…, and therefore hereby declares excessive noise to be a public nuisance”(, and this means that any noise that poses health risks because of the noise level and pollution is considered a nuisance. Although this outlaws unhealthy noise, it is vague, and the Cook County Environmental Control Ordinance expresses it better. It states, “No person owning, or in possession or control of any building or premises, shall… permit the use of the same, or rent the same to be used… for any purpose of pleasure or recreation, if such use shall… be dangerous or detrimental to health”( This is, in simpler terms, that nobody that owns property can let it be used for some activity that involves noise loud enough that it poses health risks. Applying this law to the fact that the party I was at was in Northbrook, which is in Cook County, one can determine that the restaurant is held accountable for the noise risk and the party planner must then obey the law to be allowed to rent the restaurant. In any situation in Lake and Cook County, the laws apply and one can be sure that damaging noise is illegal.

Having been able to access the data on noise levels and hearing, state and local legislatures have had an opportunity to pass completely adequate regulations and have not done so. Since the regulations only need to be perfected, they will take time to be revised, so in the meantime, one can use earplugs and work with others to make environments less deafening. If health is a priority, reform will be brought about, and the trend in hearing loss will be stopped in its tracks.

Decibel 10th has not been verified as credible, and the measurements are very likely to be inaccurate. However, because the measurements were averaging over ten decibels of the level that causes hearing damage after two hours, it can be derived that the noise level in the room could cause damage.


Autumn Recipes!


2c flour
1/ tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
3 tbs sugar
5 tbs cold butter (cut into small pieces)
1 egg
½ to ¾ heavy cream

Preheat oven to 450°
Pulse flour, salt, baking powder, butter, and sugar in the food processor until the mixture resembles cornmeal
Add egg and enough cream to make the dough slightly sticky
Turn dough on floured surface and knead once or twice, then press into ¾ in thick.
Use cookie cutter or cut wedges
Place on cookie sheet with parchment paper, brush with cream, and sprinkle with sugar.


Bread Pudding

9×13 Baking dish, buttered and floured
Mixing bowl

1 loaf bread
1 quart milk
½ cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1 T vanilla
≈1 cup butterscotch sauce (separate ingredients)
1 can pumpkin (28 oz?)

1 cup brown sugar
¼ – ½ cup butter

For the butterscotch sauce, melt the butter in a skillet. Slowly pour in the sugar, about a tablespoon at a time, and stir. Once each tablespoon melts and combines with the butter, continue pouring the sugar.
Let it reduce to about one cup and do not let it burn. Continually stir as it reduces, and it should have a flavor slightly reminiscent of molasses.
Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Crumble the bread and place it on the baking dish.
Put everything that is not in the baking dish in a bowl and stir. It should end up about as thick as porridge.
Bake for about an hour, or until close to set.


Roasted Potatoes

1 baking sheet lined with parchment
1 culinary brush

3 lb. small white potatoes, each should be about the same size
1-2 T butter
1 T Olive oil
1 T thyme
1 T rosemary
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Cut each potato widthwise with a paring knife about ⅛ inches apart across the whole potato. Ensure that the knife doesn’t go all the way through the potato so that it does not split into pieces.
Put the potatoes onto the baking sheet. Melt the butter with the oil, and brush onto the potatoes. Let some fall in between the knife cuts in the potatoes. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the top of the potatoes, and follow with thyme and rosemary. Make sure everything is evenly distributed.
Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown on the bottoms.
Once golden brown, flip and place back in the oven until tender. Once at that stage, a knife should easily cut through the potatoes.
Gather leftover oil from the baking tray and drizzle over the potatoes. Season once again, then serve immediately.


Hot Chocolate w/ Whipped Cream

1 small saucepan
Electric mixer

3 T unsweetened cocoa powder
½-2 T sugar, to taste
2 finger pinch of salt (to bring out the flavor)
1 cup milk (could make thicker with some cream)
⅛ t. Vanilla extract

1 cup cream
¼ cup sugar
1 T vanilla

Over low to medium-low heat, whisk the first three ingredients in the saucepan along with about ⅛  of the milk until the mixture is uniform and the sugar is dissolved. Slowly pour in the remaining milk and whisk while turning the heat to medium. The milk should reach somewhere between 140-150˚F so that it doesn’t burn. When it is at your desired temperature, serve immediately.

For the whipped cream, put the cream in an electric mixer. Whip on medium for about a minute, then slowly pour in the sugar, then the vanilla. Whip until stiff peaks form, then spoon over mugs of hot chocolate.


Potato Leek Soup

Large saucepan or dutch oven
Medium size skillet
Stick blender

6 cups chicken stock (2 jars of mine)
3-4 large potatoes
2 leeks
Butter (for sweating the leeks)
1-2 cups heavy cream (depends on how creamy you want it)
Cut the potatoes in a large dice. Slice the leeks lengthwise, flip onto the flat edge, and slice lengthwise again. Chop pieces about ¾ inch wide.
Simmer the broth, then add the potatoes. Allow to remain at a simmer until the potatoes become tender, about 25-30 minutes.
Meanwhile, sweat the leeks until they become tender, and then add them to the potatoes. Use the stick blender to puree the potatoes and leeks, and drizzle in the cream as that happens. Let the soup come to the temperature you want for serving, then serve immediately.



Time: > 2 hrs.
Stand Mixer
2-3 Cookie Sheets w/Baking parchment
Ziploc bag for piping

4 egg whites
¼ tsp. Cream of tartar
1 cup sugar
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 215˚F. Put a piece of parchment on each cookie sheet.
Put egg whites and cream of tartar in stand mixer and whip on medium speed, gradually increasing to high speed. When the mixture is thick and airy, slowly drizzle in the sugar, until the mixture has stiff peaks and is close to opaque.
Pour the mixture into a ziploc bag with a hole cut in the corner. Slowly let the meringue fall onto the parchment in whatever shape you desire.
Bake the meringue until the outside is somewhat hard and not moist, about 1 to 1 ½ hours. If you cut into one, the inside should look slightly chewy.


Chocolate Pies

Time: >= 15 minutes
Mixing Bowl
Food Processor
Stand Mixer
12 Cupcake Molds

½ c. Flour
6 T Butter
¼ c. Cocoa powder or more, to taste
2 c. cream
1 ¼ c. powdered sugar
½ c. chocolate chips
Soften 4T butter in microwave, about 15 seconds. Mash into flour with fork, and put in about 1c sugar, or to taste. Once smooth and consistent, spoon into cupcake molds and push toward sides and bottom. Set aside.
Using paddle attachment, cream butter and turn down. Add powdered sugar and put on stir. Once the consistency of rich frosting, set aside.
Put cream in food processor and turn on until it has the consistency of whipped cream. Mix in pumpkin and powdered sugar to taste. Mix in buttercream frosting. Spoon into cupcake molds and garnish with chocolate chips. Serve the day it’s made.

Bullying Is A Thing

Society doesn’t understand the fact that kids get bullied. A lot. Based upon, 1 in 3 kids gets bullied. From, every 1 in 5 kids get bullied and only 36% report it. And finally,  says 1 in 10 kids drop out of school because of repeated bullying. Do you see the pattern? Bullying is everywhere. You may not see it, but it can be in other forms as well. Cyberbullying, social/verbal bullying, and physical bullying are all types of bullying that can be seen or viewed by the victim, bully, and bystanders. What people don’t notice is that IT HAPPENS EVERY DAY. 1 in 4 teachers see bullying, and don’t intervene and also says that only 4% of teachers intervene when they see bullying happen. If you think about this issue, it would almost seem unreal, however bullying isn’t always similar in the movies as it is in real life. For example, if someone is talking about you behind your back then that is an example of bullying. We don’t notice these actions, however about 90% of kids in schools across America are bullied and are the bullies. And that’s coming from someone who has been to 11 different schools in their entire life.



First Gear

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BMW is finally bringing back the massive coupé that bears the 8-series badge. From what I (read as: the internet) know, it looks like a giant 2 series and comes with 2 engines. They are the 3.0L turbocharged inline 6, and the 4.4L twin turbo V8, called the 840i and 850i respectively. A 600+ horsepower v12 M8 that will be similar to the m6 is a possibility.

Remember the Dodge Charger Hellcat? You should. It was one of the cheapest ways to get more horsepower and torque than a Ferrari 458 Italian for a quarter of the price, all while being able to seat 5 people. Well, now that engine can go off of a track. In fact, it’s able to go off the road. Except on purpose this time. The dawn of the Jeep Cherokee Trackhawk, now with 707hp and 645lb/ft of torque sent to all four wheels. This monster can seat 7 people and go from 0-60 in a claimed 3.5 seconds. It starts at 86,000 dollars, which is a fair bit more than the Dodges. And it gets expensive too. 5 options including: red paint, better stereo, and leather seats instead of performance seats brought the price up to 96,000 dollars. It caps out around 107 grand. However, it is definitely worth thinking about.

One thing before we leave. The Aston Matrin Valkyrie is street legal and has a 1000 horsepower v8 and a set of electric motors that produce around 130 horsepower. That means it is another hypercar that is all sold out before it even gets revealed as a concept.