Enterovirus D68

By Ani and Anmol

Enterovirus D68, also known as Human Rhinovirus 87, is a respiratory illness that has killed 7 people including a Michigan 4-year old toddler. The 68th mutation of the original Enterovirus D68 is an incurable disease. There is no vaccine either. First spotted in 1962 in isolation, it has slowly spread throughout the world. Sometimes, though rarely, it can cause paralysis and brain swelling. A few kids in Colorado have been paralyzed due to D68.

Although D68 has no vaccine you can lower your risk of infection with basic hygiene like washing your hands. People who have asthma need to be careful because kids with asthma have a higher chance of infection . D68 is also transferred by skin and touching. If you have a family member with D68, do not touch any of his/her possessions. This increases the risk of getting the infection.






Fox News


New Jersey.gov


NASA Hires Private Companies to Fly Astronauts

By: Sydney G.

On August 1, NASA hired Boeing, SpaceX, and Sierra Nevada to charter astronauts to and from the space station, and possibly to an asteroid or Mars some day. NASA was previously reliant on Russia to send supplies, astronauts, and experiments back and forth from the International Space Station. The United States and Russia have been working together to achieve space travel for  quite some time. Since the end of the space shuttles in 2011, NASA astronauts have been dependent on Russia for a ride to space. Some people believe Russia refused to keep transporting American supplies and astronauts. Others believe the United States stopped asking Russia for help. It won’t be easy to let Russia go, and the United States had to find a company who would be able to bring their astronauts back and forth.

Boeing, a large company who has worked with NASA previously, is believed to be the best option for this job by The White House. They will be ready to launch within three years, much faster than other companies are expected to be prepared. SpaceX is a newer company, however it was designed solely for space travel and has already successfully launched rockets and delivered cargo to the Space Station. Sierra Nevada is an older company which is still very small. Although NASA hired all three companies, in the end Boeing or SpaceX will most likely be completing all the research and engineering. NASA hasn’t mentioned what they hope to accomplish with these companies other than transportation to the station, but many suspect they have bigger projects in mind.

The Big Story


The Week


The Washington Post


The ‘Write’ Idea: Tips for Aspiring Authors

By Olivia L.

Ever feel as if your creative writing has potential, but the stylistic details are a little bit off? Or that you have great ideas for stories, but just can’t make them sound right on paper? Never fear! We’re here to help. In honor of Halloween, the literary skill of this issue is suspense.

Edgar Allen Poe. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Agatha Christie. These  renowned authors have something in common- and it’s not just that they’re all on your assigned reading list. No, these writers are also masters of a little something called suspense. This element of any good mystery, thriller or generally spooky story has the uncanny ability to send a shiver up the spine of not only readers, but writers, too. Why? Because even the best of wordsmiths can have trouble making their plot lines pulsate with the nervous energy trademark to suspenseful stories. But with a little practice, anyone can use suspense to make their book a true page-turner.

Adult thriller author Steven James says that in regards to suspense, a story is “…like inflating a balloon—you can’t let the air out of your story….” If the goal of your plotline is to convey a feeling of suspense, then eliminate anything unnecessary. Flowery adjectives and entire paragraphs of descriptive language have their place, but in a more fast-paced plot line, they’ll just be letting air out of your metaphorical balloon. Keep your language sharp, and your plot turns sharper. Every aspect of your story should be more stream-lined than usual. If you’re not feeling a bit stressed by your storyline, then neither will your readers, so to create suspense, the bare minimum is key.

And yet, even if you keep your writing tight in regards to word choice, an element of suspense is not going to come automatically. Your reader also needs to care about your inevitable climax and, better yet, anxiously await it. Award winning children’s book author Gail Carson Levine suggests doing this by incorporating time, saying that “There needs to be a destination in the future that is looming.” The reader needs to have a definite idea of what they are waiting for and why it matters. Let’s say your main character’s name is Marty, and Marty is waiting to see whether he got accepted into a special school. Okay, great for Marty. But if Marty is a noble orphan with no friends and a cruel caretaker, and this opportunity is his only chance to get out of the situation he’s in until he turns eighteen…we have suspense. Before, all we had were vague details about some random kid and a letter, but now we have a clear definition of what is happening and why it is significant to the protagonist, and in turn, the reader. We want to know the outcome.

Suspense isn’t always necessary. In a story heavy on profound themes, appropriately lengthy language, and less tangible conflicts  rather than traditional, more simple plot elements, it’s probably not the best idea. But if you’ve got a plot line that’s sagging in the rising action or is starting to lose your interest, raise the stakes and tighten up the language. You’ll have suspense in no time.


By Joyce B.

I fumbled with the keys in my hand, trying to shove them into the lock on my front door. When I finally succeeded, I dropped my backpack on the floor and sighed, tired from a long school day.

Plopping down on my stool, I began my homework–there was a ton from math class.

Yes, I said stool. After all, I am rather particular about the items I sit on.

Plus, I pretty much hate those spinning office chairs, considering that one incident that happened back in (6th? 5th?) grade….

And then I begin to remember.

I had just come back from school. It was a hard day: lots of homework, and lots of projects. Everyday, I have five minutes of relief before I jump back into the twisted, stress-filled whirl pool of blood, sweat, and tears that is called school. I sat down on my chair sighing, thinking of nothing except the weekend. Suddenly, I started feeling dizzy. I was having a killer headache. I stood up to get some water to calm my throbbing head. All I could see were the colors purple and orange. I don’t know why, but I kept on thinking of one of those carnival dizzy mirrors with illusions. I looked down to rest my head for just a moment. And I saw a whirlpool. Yes, a whirlpool. I started to feel a sinking sensation, and then saw sheer blackness.

I woke up in a field of wildflowers. I had a bump on my head, nausea, and no idea what had happened. Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore, I thought, but there was no yellow brick road to guide me. My memories all started coming back. A carnival illusion, purple and orange, and a dizzy feeling. It painted a big picture that I could clearly see, but didn’t want to admit. I was in another realm.

To be continued…

How to Make a Last Minute Halloween Costume

By: Jack H.

Vampire costume

What you need

  • Collared shirt (white or red)
  • Cape (you can get it at a halloween store)
  • Black pants (preferably pocketless)
  • White makeup
  • Plastic Fangs
  • Red makeup
  • Fake blood
  • Transylvanian accent

Step 1

Get a white collared shirt.  If it is French collared, buy a spooky cufflink for it. If you are going to Halloween party you could use some fake blood on your shirt for an extra effect.

Step 2

Buy a black cape, preferably having red on the inside. If you can sew, attach a cape with a red inside. For a realistic feel sew on collar that pops up.

Step 3

Get black pants. Black dress pants are the best for the costume. Be sure it has no shiny buttons. Keep an extra set of fangs in your pocket.

Step 4

Put on white make-up. To practice your Transylvanian accent say the letter “A” like you are at the doctor’s office.